The 25 Biggest Hotheads in Sports

Amber Lee@@BlamberrSports Lists Lead WriterJanuary 23, 2012

The 25 Biggest Hotheads in Sports

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    People take sports very seriously. Fans scream, they cry, they throw beer on people and, sometimes, they straight-up riot. And they're not even the ones playing the game!

    Some athletes and coaches routinely behave just as irrationally as fans, and generally we love them for it. 

    Here are the top 25 hotheads in sports. 

25. Josh Beckett, Boston Red Sox

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    Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett is a headhunter and a hothead; not a great combination. His antics on the mound have resulted in a number of bench-clearing brawls, making him one of the most hated players in MLB, outside of Boston. 

    Recently, the Sox new manager Bobby Valentine discussed his first conversation with Beckett with the Boston media, saying, "I did reach out to Josh (Beckett) and he didn't want me to say anything, so I'm not going to say anything other than after he told me how pissed off he was, we had a really good conversation."  

    Something tells me that most conversations with Beckett involved him telling someone how pissed off he is. 

24. Metta World Peace, Los Angeles Lakers

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    Metta World Peace may be all sunshine and rainbows these days, but he wasn't always such a puppy dog. While playing for the Pacers in 2004, M.W. Peace (then Ron Artest) responded to a Pistons fan throwing a drink on him by jumping into the crowd and sparking a massive brawl. 

    When all was said and done, M.W. Peace was suspended for the remainder of the season and was charged with assault and battery. The incident, which resulted in injuries to nine fans, is one of the most infamous in NBA history.

23. Marcos Baghdatis, Tennis

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    At the 2012 Australian Open, Marcos Baghdatis made headlines around the world when he responded to losing a match by systematically smashing four rackets; one after the other. 

    It was one of the most juvenile, crazy and straight-up embarrassing moments in the history of professional tennis; a sport that has seen far more than its share of unhinged freakouts. 

22. Gennaro Gattuso, A.C. Milan

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    A.C. Milan's Gennaro Gattuso is known for being a short-fused loudmouth with a penchant for violence. Gattuso's most famous incident came in the UEFA Champions League game against Tottenham Hotspur in February 2011. 

    During the game, he slapped Tottenham's assistant coach Joe Jordan in the neck; Gattuso wasn't disciplined for the event. After Milan's surprise loss, Gattuso gave an encore performance, headbutting Jordan's face during the post-game handshake. 

21. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers

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    Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has definitely earned a reputation as a hothead.

    Rivers has a temper and is almost always the loudest, most red-faced man on the field.

    Pretty much the polar opposite of his one-time nemesis, Jay Cutler (in a good way). 

20. Steve Downie, Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Lightning winger Steve Downie isn't one to talk through problems over a couple of beers. He's earned a reputation as a violent hothead who dishes out head injuries, and he's been doing it his entire career. Not even his own teammates are immune. 

    In 2005, Downie blindly cross-checked a junior hockey teammate, 16-year-old Akim Aliu, knocking out three of his teeth in the process. Aliu left the ice to seek medical treatment and when he returned, Downie promptly beat the hell out of him.

    Downie was reportedly angry about Aliu's refusal to strip naked and stand inside the bathroom on the team bus with the other rookies. Sounds like a proportional response... 

19. Vicente Padilla, Boston Red Sox

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    Red Sox pitcher Vicente Padilla never met a batter he didn't want to hit with a baseball; he's pegged an impressive 106 batters in his career so far.

    In 2000, Padilla nailed former teammate Mark Teixeira in consecutive at-bats in retaliation for a couple of home runs Teixeira hit against him in 2005. 

    Padilla is also known to carry a gun; in 2009, Padilla accidentally shot himself in the right thigh while home in his native Nicaragua. A nasty temper and a deadly weapon are an excellent combination. 

18. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

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    Throughout history, overheated coaches have spectacles of themselves at press conferences and, before YouTube, it wasn't really that big of a deal.

    My how times have changed! Add Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy to the long list of coaches whose off-the-cuff crazy will define their entire careers. 

    He probably doesn't care. He's a man! He's 40!!!!!!!

17. Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions

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    Without getting into the whole "dirty" player debate, we can probably all agree that Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is a hothead on the field. He's a obviously a passionate player, but that passion translated to some questionable behavior. 

    In November 2011, after racking up fines for illegal hits for most of two seasons, Suh was suspended two games without pay for pushing Packers Evan Dietrich-Smith's head into the turf and stomping on his arm for good measure.  

16. Danica Patrick, NASCAR/IndyCar

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    Danica Patrick seems to have cleaned up her act in recent years, but it wasn't long ago that she was known as a confrontational hothead who wasn't afraid to get into it with any driver on the track. 

    In 2007, Patrick was involved in an on-track collision with fellow driver Dan Wheldon and a subsequent verbal altercation.

    And in 2008, Patrick was involved in a highly publicized spat with fellow female driver Milko Duno, no doubt launching countless "catfight" jokes. 

15. Milton Bradley, Free Agent (MLB)

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    Free agent Milton Bradley is probably a free agent because he's an unstable loon who has been more trouble than he's worth his entire career.

    Bradley has been known to throw bottles into the stands, chuck balls at fans, fight with umpires and get into nasty altercations with reporters. 

    He's also been arrested for various domestic violence issues, reportedly once showing a photo of gun to his wife and stating, "This is the gun that I'm going to kill you with." 

14. David Bennett, "Relieved of Coaching Duties" in December 2011

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    Pretty much everything stated about Oklahoma State's coach Mike Gundy holds true for David Bennett. Despite being the head coach at Coastal Carolina University for a decade, Bennett's entire career will be defined by his inability to keep his cool.

    In a press conference in September 2011, Bennett gave one of the most bizarre speeches ever captured on video. His whole theory that his team "needed more dogs" and "less cats" probably sounded a lot better in his head.

    Maybe it would have even been better without the sound effects. 

13. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics

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    After saying Charlie Villanueva looked like a cancer patient in a game against the Pistons in November 2010, Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett admitted that he had a long discussion with head coach Doc Rivers on the plane ride back.

    He didn't go into detail, but presumably the discussion was about his hot-tempered antics. KG has been known as a hotheaded trash-talker throughout his entire career and his aggression isn't limited to his on-court opposition.

    In February 2011, director Spike Lee discussed an incident where Garnett was cursing at him through an entire game, insisting that KG needs to "calm the f**k down." 

12. John Daly, PGA

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    Golfer and noted booze enthusiast John Daly's antics are legendary. Daly has been known to melt down on the course, breaking clubs and lashing out at anyone in his way; although the highlight of his shenanigans was an arrest for drunken belligerence at a Hooters in 2008.

    At the Australian Open in November 2011, Daly stayed true to form when he reacted to an automatic two-stroke penalty for hitting all seven of his balls into the water by storming off the course.

    At the time, Daly was appropriately ranked No. 666 in the world. 

11. Floyd Mayweather Jr., Boxing

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    Floyd Mayweather's rap sheet really speaks for itself; these are not the actions of a cool-headed character:  

    2002: Convicted of two counts of domestic violence and one count of misdemeanor battery.

    2004: Convicted of misdemeanor battery of two women in a night club.

    2005: Acquitted of assaulting his girlfriend after she changed her story on the stand.  He also pled no contest to misdemeanor assault. 

    2009: Mayweather’s home was searched after his car and one of his associates was identified fleeing the scene of a Las Vegas shooting.

    2010: Arrested and charged with three misdemeanor harassment charges, felony grand larceny, two felony coercion and one felony robbery charge.  And he probably would have been arrested for a confrontation with rapper Rick Ross had Diddy not intervened. 

    2011: Arrested for misdemeanor assault, stemming from an incident in October 2011; Mayweather threatened to have security guards shot for ticketing his cars.

10. Stan Van Gundy, Orlando Magic

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    Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has the ego and attitude of a much taller man. Van Gundy is known as a yeller who will go to battle the ref for any and/or all calls during a given game.

    He's got a short fuse and a hot temper that have cost him plenty of money in fines dished out by the NBA. 

9. Serena Williams, Tennis

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    Tennis superstar Serena Williams might be the best female in the history of the game, but her on-court behavior has made her one of the most controversial.

    During the 2009 U.S. Open, Williams famously threatened to shove a bleeping ball down the bleeping throat of a linesman who faulted her during a match. 

    During the 2011 U.S. Open, Williams again had trouble with an official; calling the chair umpire a hater, unattractive on the inside, a loser and out of control and warned her not to make eye contact if they ever meet in a hall. What the hell?

8. Carlos Zambrano, Miami Marlins

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    Marlins pitcher Carlos Zambrano is joining Ozzie Guillen in Miami in 2012, which has potential to be very interesting.

    Zambrano is one of the biggest hotheads in all of sports and has been known to peg batters, incite brawls, confront umpires and storm around the mound like a rabid honey badger.

    Well he is pretty badass and obviously definitely doesn't give a sh*t. 

7. Sean Avery, New York Rangers

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    Everyone knows that Rangers winger Sean Avery is an unstable agitator who has anger issues that far surpass his talent.

    Off-the-ice, Avery's behavior isn't any better. In August 2011, he was arrested and charged with battery on a police officer after an altercation at his Hollywood Hills home. 

6. Bart Scott, New York Jets

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    Soon-to-be-released Jets linebacker Bart Scott has been known to, on occasion, get a little carried away. In a 2007 game against the Patriots, Scott (then with the Ravens) was penalized twice for unsportsmanlike conduct; the second of which came when he picked up the official's flag from the first call and threw it. 

    Though his most noteworthy incident came in January 2011, again against the Patriots. After the Jets defeated the Pats in the divisional round of the playoffs, Scott famously told reporter Sal Paolantonio what he thought about the Jets facing the Steelers in the AFC Championship the next week.

    Scott's response: Can't Wait!

5. Tiger Woods, PGA

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    Today, a Tiger Woods "meltdown" usually means he started a tournament strong, only to fall apart on Day 2 and finish near the bottom. But that wasn't always the case. 

    Before his marriage failed and his career began a seemingly unending tailspin, a Woods "meltdown" usually referred to his huffy displays on the green and his penchant for swearing like a sailor when things didn't go his way. 

    Let's hope Woods returns to form in 2012!

4. Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks

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    Billionaire Mark Cuban isn't a behind-the-scenes and/or in-the-press-box kind of owner. The owner of the 2011 NBA Champion Mavericks is one of the most visible owners in professional sports and prefers to watch game in the stands among players and fans. 

    Cuban is known for his hot temper and big mouth and, since 2000, they've cost him almost $2 million in fines. His largest fine came in 2006, when "several acts of misconduct" cost him $250,000. 

3. Andy Roddick, Tennis

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    American tennis player Andy Roddick has made more headlines for his on-court meltdowns than for actually winning anything. Much like Serena Williams, Roddick prefers to lose it at the U.S. Open, instead of embarrassing himself overseas. 

    At the 2010 U.S. Open, Roddick lost it on a line judge after he was called for a foot fault; naturally the whole embarrassing incident is available online.

    At the 2011 U.S. Open, Roddick topped his circus performance of a year prior when he went on a prolonged rant to an official about the wetness of the court. 

    Sorry, dude, bad calls and wet courts aren't good enough excuses for why you've won just one major in your entire career. 

2. Mario Balottelli, Manchester City

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    Manchester City's Mario Balotelli has no problem playing the villain. Some may say he's enthusiastic and gets carried away, others might say he's a dangerous psychopath. 

    In what was just his latest incident, Balotelli is facing a four-game suspension  for kicking Tottenham's Scott Parker in the head during a game in January 2012.

    And this isn't even the first time the 21-year-old has been in trouble; in 2009, Balotelli was suspended from Internazionale for a number of disciplinary issues. 

1. Ozzie Guillen, Miami Marlins

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    Marlins manger Ozzie Guillen is known to lose his crap early and often.

    He's already a legend, his rants are epic and let's just say Miami is about to get a lot more entertaining.