By Joseph Myers, Review Staff Writer, and Alvaro Balderas, Review Intern
We have so much to celebrate at this time of year, especially when recalling all of the thrilling sporting accomplishments. This entry, however, has us thankful for how much dislike that certain athletes can incite. Granted, these athletes are or have been rich (poor Allen Iverson, literally), so they can shake off hatred or indiscretion with a nice purchase (Kobe Bryant, anyone?), but they cannot stop our wrath. May these athletes be thankful for their loved ones, as they certainly would not be welcome with us for the holidays.
We present our most disliked professional basketball and football players.
Joe’s NBA List (in order of most reviled)
1. Stephon Marbury — I have a rule. If I dislike a guy in college, I will likely nurture my hate when he hits the pros. I despised Marbury in his brief Georgia Tech stay and doused him with disdain when he bought his arrogance to Minnesota, New Jersey, Phoenix, New York and Boston. Why does a great player need so many teams?
2. Allen Iverson — He is the answer to anyone’s inquiry on what happens when someone places an “I” in “team.”
3. Chris Webber — I pity him only for the fact that he twice had to play for the Golden State Warriors.
4. Dwyane Wade — Just the spelling of his first name is enough, but I dislike him handling the ball and the English language.
5. Tyrone Hill — I never discriminate based on looks, but Hill is an exception, and in this case, I am talking about his appearances as a defender.
6. John Starks — His big shots could not rival his big mouth. How many titles did we win, John?
7. Rasheed Wallace — See Marbury. Five teams in 15 years, including three in 2004?
8. Derrick Coleman — I loathed him in college and had just enough rage left when he played for the Sixers. I saw him on television last week, cheering for his alma mater. DC looks as if he has given up posting up for cozying up to Krispy Kremes.
9. Mark Jackson — Something about that swagger irked me. How could a guy with so much talent make only one All-Star team? Oh, that’s right, fans determine starters. As for not making teams as a reserve, maybe NBA coaches were not in a New York/Los Angeles/Indiana/Denver/Toronto/Utah/Houston state of mind.
10. LeBron James — The Chosen One is not receiving as much hate from me as others have distributed. In five years, perhaps, when he still has no rings, he will ascend. As for now, I see him as a foolish young man.
11. Kobe Bryant — I see him as a foolish slightly older man. Only seven months my senior, Bryant has been receiving my bashing for over a decade. A winner, yes. A narcissist, undoubtedly.
12. Karl Malone — In my eyes, the Mailman delivered only disappointment to Utah. He bombed in two attempts to bring the Jazz glory and latched on pathetically with the Lakers in 2003 to win a title. Thanks, Detroit, for keeping his bag empty.
13. Corey Maggette: What a prima donna! This fool entered the NBA way too soon and has made no All-Star or All-League teams. I should leave him alone, as he suffered for eight years as a Clipper. This is more fun.
14. Samuel Dalembert: Another college stiff who thought the NBA would crumble at his feet. Hey, Sam, hustle up and down the floor to help that wish along.
Al’s NBA List
We have all rolled our eyes plenty of times watching athletes on TV making thought provoking decisions. And I don’t mean good thoughts.
Whether it is their lack of talent or their personality we all have our list of most hated athletes.
When it comes to basketball, my favorite sport, there are plenty of fallacies I see in players year in and year out.
Currently there are two players in the NBA that grind my gears: Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets and Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.
What comes to mind when you think of either of them? All-Stars? Go-to guys?
Perhaps they are but that is not what comes to my mind. I am not going to say they are mediocre players because they are not, but what I will say is that both of them will never reach their full potential for reasons that go beyond physical talent. They seem to be content with what they’ve done since coming into the league, which is dominate on one end of the floor and gorge on the spotlight.
Let me break down my distaste of these players so you can better understand what makes it so easy to hate on them.
Have you ever seen the Magic center act serious? I would take the guy on my team in a heartbeat but would not count on him to be my No. 1 option or more importantly win me a title. Averaging 18 and 13 for his seven year career, he has proved himself to be a defensive juggernaut and I love him for that, but all that goofing around off the court and shenanigans on it tells me he does not have that killer instinct. He should take notes on what the real superman did in his heyday. Shaquille O’Neal was just as childish off the court but when it came down to business he turned the smile into a frown and would devour opponents.
To make a long point short I’m reaching out to Dwight and asking him to please stop his pre-game dances, in-game jokes and just be this generation’s unstoppable center.
I love the hip hop culture in the NBA but if there is one thing I hate about it is when players bring it into the actual game. Case in point, staring down opponents after dunks, taunting and worst of all, the street swagger that some players want you to believe they have. Anthony is one of these players. Throughout the past three years I have been losing respect for his game and personality.
The hard nosed bully of a player that I once rooted for became an arrogant poser that I now root against. Two distinct memories stand out when I think of the three-time all-star. The first is from 2006 when he sucker-punched New York Knick Jared Jeffries and then proceeded to backpeddle all the way to the half court avoiding the fight he started. The second is the series of praises he gives himself after big plays. Perhaps the phrase “act like you’ve been there before” means nothing to Anthony.
Now that I’ve listed the two current players I detest the most in the Association here are my top four divas in the past decade that make my eyes roll:
1. Tracy McGrady- Overrated and always looking for the camera
2. Nate Robinson – Don’t know what he brings to the table besides his noise and reckless energy
3. Allen Iverson – Most selfish player “I don‘t know any franchise player that come off the bench.”
4. Kobe Bryant – as arrogant as they come and also a cry baby but gets away with it
Joe’s NFL List (in order of most reviled)
1. Brett Favre — How I wish he were playing his final game against the Eagles! Take your arrogance to Mississippi for the last time.
2. Jeremy Shockey — Does anyone remember his Facebook promotion to win a date with him? Jeremy, you have already lucked out my being a part of two Super Bowl-winning teams. Leave the ladies alone.
3. Donovan McNabb — How is that new contract working out, buddy?
4. Tony Romo — I dislike him not because he plays for Dallas. His seeing Jessica Simpson as tolerable earns him my clean-up spot.
5. Terrell Owens — He has suffered these last two years, ending up with the sad sack teams he deserves. When with three proud franchises, he ran into controversy as many times as he reached the end zone.
6. Chad Ochocinco — What kind of moon was out when this weirdo’s parents conceived him in Miami? At least he has the honor of being the 100th contestant eliminated on Dancing with the Stars.
7. Michael Vick — Sick Vick. This is not a nickname. It is what I would tell the neighborhood dogs to do to this moron.
8. Peyton Manning — I should leave him alone, too, as his parents gave him the wussiest name. Again, this is much more fun. Here’s to another playoff collapse!
9. Randy Moss — He played for the Patriots, whom I admire, but made me cringe every time he used his mouth more than his speed.
10. Ben Roethlisberger — I dislike all Pittsburgh teams, so the quarterback on the Steelers always earns my ire. That this boob likes to force himself on women seals his fate.
Al’s NFL List
For the majority of fans, cockiness is what makes them dislike players. For me it is ok as long as they back it up consistently, do it in a way that is not disrespecting the opposition and of course not over do it.
Eagle wide receiver DeSean Jackson did none of these things this weekend with his touchdown celebration against the Cowboys and though I do not have a problem with his celebration I do have a problem with the entire Cowboy defense for not doing something about it. Too bad George Teague does not play for the ’Boys anymore.
These types of incidents have occurred before, yet NFL players have done nothing to maintain the dignity of their home stadium and fans. Here are two more that have caught my eyes:
1. This years Steelers team did not stand up for QB Ben Roethlisberger after Oakland Raider Richard Seymour clocked him with an uppercut.
2. The 2005 Green Bay defense for letting Randy Moss degrade the Packer faithful on a TD celebration.