One of the many great aspects of sports is how it connects people. For young kids growing up, its a great way to get involved and make friends that you might have never said a word to.
Sadly, as we have seen many times, athletes can be forced to play with teammates that they flat out don't like. This becomes especially apparent when money becomes involved. For example, if a player gets the big-time contract that his star teammate was looking for, the athlete with the smaller offer might take offense and hold grudges against his or her organization/teammate.
Or it could be something as simple as how a player conducts his or herself on the court/field. Sports bring out different sides of people and sometimes its not for the better. Although it can make for great entertainment.
If a superstar player has animosity towards a teammate, that can ruin the team's chemistry and cause a ton of internal issues. When a fan's favorite team releases a superstar talent, the response will usually be something a long the lines of, "what the BLEEP is the GM/head coach thinking?!" The fans, unfortunately, don't have access to the real reasons as to why these decisions are made.
Sometimes the issues take place behind closed doors or off the court/field, and in other instances, athletes don't shy away from telling the media exactly how much they dislike/hate their teammate.
With all that being said, let's dive into the Top 15 Athletes Who Refused To Play Together.
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14 Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb
At first, Terrell Owens going to the Philadelphia Eagles was a match made in heaven. He and McNabb were unstoppable.
Then, prior to his final season with Philly in 2005, Owens called out his quarterback in an interview with Michael Irvin, claiming that the team would be better off with Brett Favre under center.
Maybe he meant it as a joke, maybe he didn't. But McNabb was extremely offended by the comments, as was the Eagles organization. As he approached the end of his career with Philadelphia, Owens soaked up all the attention that he possibly could and showed no respect to the organization or his teammates, especially during his holdout. It came as no surprise that the Eagles parted ways with him at the end of the 2005-06 season, with McNann not lobbying him to keep him with the team.
13 John Terry and Wayne Bridge
There have been plenty of accounts of infidelity with professional athletes, but when a player sleeps with his teammate's wife, things can get extra dicey.
That was the case when Chelsea FC captain John Terry slept with teammate Wayne Bridge's French underwear model wife, Vanessa Perroncel. Obviously, this didn't sit well with Bridge.
Distraught over the events that took place, Bridge refused to play for the English national team in 2010 World Cup. His reason being that he couldn't play with Terry.
12 Eric Lindros and The Quebec Nordiques
Eric Lindros was the top prospect in the 1991 draft and with the number one overall pick, the Quebec Nordiques were a shoe in to draft him.
One problem, Lindros made it no secret that he would not lace up the skates and play for the Nordiques.
Not only did he refuse to play for Quebec, but when they drafted him anyway, he wouldn't even put the jersey on. The Nordiques were aware that Lindros wouldn't play for them, but selected him knowing that his talent would draw offers all over the league.
The Nordiques traded Lindros to the Philadelphia Flyers for Peter Forsberg, Steve Duschene, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, Ron Hextall, Chris Simon, Philly’s first-round pick in 1993 and 1994, and $15 million in cash. Wow.
11 Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett
Marbury and Garnett were a dynamic guard/center duo for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the mid to late 90s. Many said the two were going to be the next Stockton/Malone.
Unfortunately, NBA fans, and Minnesota, never got to see that through. Following the 1999 season, the Timberwolves signed Garnett to a massive contract worth $126 million. Marbury wasn't pleased and forced a move to the New Jersey Nets, saying that he wanted to be closer to home.
Rumor has it that Marbury was jealous of the contract Garnett received and didn't want to continue to play second fiddle.
10 Percy Harvin and Golden Tate/Doug Baldwin
When the Seattle Seahawks traded Percy Harvin to the Jets in the middle of the 2014 season, many wondered why the Hawks let the playmaker go at such a cheap price. Harvin was the greatest big-play threat that Seattle had and they had given up their first, third and seventh round picks a year and a half earlier.
Those reasons came to light when Harvin confirmed the rumors that wide receivers Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin both wanted Harvin off the team.
Former teammate Michael Robinson said that Harvin and Tate had altercations with each other. Harvin later confirmed that the two got into a heated fight just one week before the Super Bowl, which they won against the Denver Broncos.
9 Charles Barkley and Scottie Pippen
In 1998, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen and Hakeem Olajuwon teamed up to form what looked on paper to be a dynamic trio.
The chemistry wasn't there and the three stars didn't play as well as expected. Pippen decided to leave Houston for the Portland Trail Blazers. His reason, though, may have shed some light on the chemistry problems that the team had.
Pippen said he wanted to get away from Barkley's "selfish" and "sorry fat butt." But he didn't stop there. He went on to claim that Michael Jordan said he will never win a championship because of his lack of dedication. Jordan later denied the claims in a phone call to Barkley
8 Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen
The Celtics big three consisted of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Or so we thought.
According to Paul Pierce, Allen was never truly apart of the big three. In fact, he went as far as to say that Sam Cassell was more apart of the big three than Allen or Rondo.
Pierce also made it clear that Allen and Rondo didn't like each other. Rondo was still supportive of Allen despite the hostility between the two players, but Allen was not the same way. His dismay for the budding point guard caused him to miss team dinners and charity functions.
Eventually he left to the Miami Heat, for several reasons, but it's hard to believe that Rondo was not apart of that.
7 Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas
For a long-time, there was a lot of speculation over whether or not Isiah Thomas was left off the 1992 "Dream Team" because of the beef he had with Michael Jordan.
In June of 2012, a documentary about that team aired, and those rumors were brought to light. Jordan confirmed that what everyone believed to be true, was true. "That was one of the stipulations put to me…that Isiah wasn't part of the team," Jordan said in the documentary.
Jordan's Chicago Bulls teammate Scottie Pippen, who played on the "Dream Team," also confirmed the rumors.
6 Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton
Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were auto racers for McLaren with a great amount of dislike for each other.
Alonso was signed to McLaren in 2007 after winning consecutive titles, while Hamilton was signed as a rookie. The duo encountered problems almost immediately, bad mouthing each other openly to the press. The in-house rivalry hit its peak when Alonso refused to move his car in the pits to allow Alonso to take another qualifying lap at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The two stopped speaking, Hamilton won the 2008 title and Alonso headed for the exit.
5 Jason Richardson and Steve Nash
Upon having his third child, Nash and his ex-wife divorced. Rumor has it, that third child belonged to Richardson.
Things got more interesting when Richardson was traded from the Suns shortly after the divorce. In 2012, the Los Angeles Lakers showed interest in trading for Richardson. However, Nash was on the team at that time and Richardson refused to play for the Lakers for that reason.
The rumors between Richardson and Nash were never fully confirmed, but it was clear that the two did not want to be on the same team.
4 Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin
In 2013, Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito was in the middle of a hazing scandal involving teammate and second year offensive lineman Jonathan Martin.
The text messages revealed ongoing harassment of the young offensive lineman, including derogatory remarks about Martin's sister. Eventually the torment became too much for Martin, who decided to leave the team. Shortly after, when all the texts/locker-room/on-field incidents came to light, Incognito was suspended and eventually cut by the Dolphins.
3 Eli Manning and the San Diego Chargers
The Quebec Nordiques can relate with the San Diego Chargers.
Eli Manning, the coveted younger brother of star Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, made it clear to the Chargers that he did not want to play for them.
San Diego decided to select Manning with the first overall pick anyway and then ended up trading him for the New York Giants' fourth overall pick, Philip Rivers, and a fourth round pick.
2 Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton
Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton would play poker on flights to and from games. On one occasion, the two had a dispute over a pot that ended up escalating very quickly.
The disputed poker hand caused each player to come fully strapped into the locker room at practice soon after. Arenas brought four guns into the facility, but it was Crittenton who ended up pointing a gun in the face of Arenas. Caron Butler, who wrote about the events that took place that day, calmed the situation and talked Crittenton out of making a huge mistake.
Arenas was traded to the Magic and Crittenton never played again.
2. Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal
You'd be hard pressed to find two players who openly hated each other more then Kobe and Shaq. The feud begins about two years after each player signed with Los Angeles, as O'Neal was reportedly jealous of Bryant's jersey sales. This feud went strong into 2004-05 season, when the two played each other for the first time for different franchises on Christmas Day.
During this time, the two achieved incredible success, but at the same time, were at each others throats. It started out innocent, when O'Neal mocked Bryant during an All-Star game, but later played it off as an "inside joke." The superstars grudge eventually hit its peak in 2003-04, when Shaq was rumored to ask Bryant to opt out of his contract. Eventually the team parted ways with head coach Phil Jackson, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat and Bryant signed a long-term extension. The two captured three straight NBA finals titles from 1999-2002.
1 Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan
Figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan both represented the USA at the 1994 Winter Olympics, but ironically were bitter rivals and hated each other.
Harding took the rivalry way further then anyone could have anticipated when she hired a hitman to club Kerrigan in the knee following one of her practice sessions. It caused Kerrigan to miss the 1994 National Championship, which led to Harding winning the national championship and brief moment of glory.
That glory was short-lived, as the truth was discovered shortly after, and Harding went from loved figure skater to universally hated by all of America.
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