In every sport, we come across some of the most interesting personalities and characters.
The MLB has guys like Ozzie Guillen and Manny Ramirez, the NFL has the likes of Jared Allen and the NHL has the likes of Sean Avery. We always seem to come across these wild-card personalities in sports. Since it's not the type of job where you can lose your job if you're completely out of line, you get to experience real people in a real environment.
The NBA seems to have the most players where personalities are prevalent and outlandish. There are so many players who we could think of that are either hilarious, egotistical or just flat-out rude. We seem to be more personal with NBA players because of how much we see them.
They don't wear any helmets, so we know what they all look like and notice all their facial expressions. They're personal with the officials, their coaching staff and the organization entirely. They play in 82 games and are interviewed after every game, before games, during practices and in the offseason.
We take a look at seven players who have wild-card personalities. By wild card, we mean players that could act one or another at any point during a contest. They have an extraordinary emotional frequency and could be on other side of the spectrum.
These players all wear their hearts on their sleeves, but each one utilizes their emotions in different ways.
Where do we even begin when speaking of the personality of Metta World Peace?
I guess you can start off with his name. Formerly known simply as Ron Artest, World Peace changed his name prior to the start of the 2011-12 season. Why'd he do it? I'll leave it for World Peace himself to explain:
"Changing my name was meant to inspire and bring youth together all around the world."
Of course it did. For those who don't know, the word 'metta' is a Buddhist word meaning kindness and friendliness towards all. I suppose he could have just stayed out of the spotlight and not clothesline 5'11" point guards, but this is good, too.
When he's not attempting to tear the heads off of Dallas Maverick point guards, he's actually one of the more colorful and entertaining personalities in the NBA. He's a fan favorite in Los Angeles, even though there's a collective "no" from 20,000 fans whenever he's getting set for a three-pointer, and he is extremely active on Twitter.
He kisses his biceps, throws down dunks that still surprise us and is constantly instigating contact and being the initial reason for an altercation taking place.
He's not as much of a loose cannon as he was in Indiana when he ran into the stands of the Palace at Auburn Hills and started beating people up. He's more of a Roman candle that's fun to watch, but troublesome when aimed at spectators.
Stephen Jackson didn't play one game for the Milwaukee Bucks before he started complaining.
He immediately started to complain about receiving a contract extension and ended up missing training camp, which was of great significance, considering that there was hardly any time to practice and get back into basketball shape after the lengthy lockout.
So nobody was surprised when Jackson started playing and was absolutely terrible. He'd average 11 points per game on 36 percent shooting, would convert on 28 percent of the four three-pointers he was taking, dish out three boards and three assists and turn the ball over three times to add some icing on this horrific tasting cake.
Of course, Jackson wasn't just annoying on the court. He was also annoying off the court and would end up getting benched by coach Scott Skiles. The Bucks needed a shooting guard, yet the team refused to start Jackson consistently at the two. He started in only 13 games and got traded to the San Antonio Spurs after 26 games.
He's done this for the majority of his career. He has horrible shot selection, takes too many shots, isn't committed on defense and doesn't do much outside of scoring. Despite averaging 33 minutes of playing time for his career, Jackson's only averaged four boards and three assists to go along with 16 points per game on 41 percent shooting.
Jackson usually allows his mouth to do the talking, instead of his game.
For example, he said that the reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks suck. I think my argument is finished.
Over time, Matt Barnes has continued to rub me, and many others, the wrong way.
He's always been a good defender and a solid role player who can disrupt the rhythm and flow of the opposition's offense.
He hopped around from team to team to start off his career and found momentary niches in Golden State, Phoenix and Orlando. He'd average as much as 10 points with Phoenix and would shoot well at 34 percent from beyond the arc.
However, Barnes has always come across as an annoying player. I'm not the only one to share this sentiment as Barnes has frustrated and annoyed many opponents. In fact, you may remember a time before he joined the Los Angeles Lakers when he was the mortal enemy of Kobe Bryant. Kobe didn't react, but Barnes was relentless.
Barnes kept on poking and prodding, but Kobe wouldn't flinch, not even when Matt attempted a fake pass in his face.
After witnessing that nonsense, it became clear to me that Barnes had one of the most unlikeable personalities in the NBA.
He wasn't that great of a player, couldn't hit the ocean from a boat, would constantly attempt jump shots that he couldn't make and would basically be out on the court as an enforcer who would get under the skin of his opponents.
Understood that there are plenty of players like Barnes whose role is to annoy, but he seems to do this personally. It's not just a simple hack and then move on to the next play. With Barnes, he'll hold vendettas like he did with Bryant before teaming up with him in L.A.
He also punched an opposing player during a lockout game. Imagine what he'd do if there wasn't anything holding him back in the NBA.
Although he did say something about Blake Griffin that we were all thinking.
The wild card of all wild-card players, Baron Davis has earned the reputation of a wild card because you just don't know which type of player you can get.
There are two types of Baron Davis:
Good Baron can play excellent. He takes and makes smart shots and gets his teammates involved. He'll utilize whatever athleticism he has left, take shots that aren't taken five seconds into the shot clock or 30 feet away from the basket and set up his teammates for beautiful dimes. It's been awhile since we've seen it, but Davis has excellent court vision.
Then there's evil Baron, which is the one we've become accustomed to seeing. Evil Baron takes horrific shots that usually occur right after he passes mid-court and often from far away. He won't involve his teammates, won't play any sort of defense and will single-handedly shoot his team out of the game.
Seriously, you will see games where Baron will disrupt any sort of rhythm his team had with some of the insane shots he takes.
Davis isn't the type to initiate a brawl or cause a stir in the locker room. Instead, he lets it all out on the court, which would be good if he would break out the side of him that was level-headed.
Instead, we're subject to seeing this type of player who has appeared never to have played a game of basketball outside of a one-on-one.
Metta World Peace is Chris Brown crazy. He's calm most of the time, but he'll also get riled up and start fighting anybody or throwing chairs out of windows in New York City.
Kevin Garnett is Gary Busey crazy. The crazy is consistent. You know exactly what you're going to get out of Kevin Garnett. There isn't a question on whether Garnett is going to tone it down for this game because he was insane to start off. The only question is which 6' point guard isn't going to have to endure an earful of the intimidating power forward.
Garnett has let a number of guards verbally have it. He bothered Jose Calderon, did some unfamiliar act with Jerryd Bayless, threw a shoulder into Marco Belinelli and has had so many illegal screens that have gone uncalled, it makes you think that David Stern himself was on the court officiating the game.
The big guys get their fair share of Garnett's abuse as well. Tim Duncan, Channing Frye and Travis Outlaw have all endured some sort of physical abuse with Garnett. Of course, those fouls are cheap shots down low or from behind, unlike the shots on guards where he is straight up disrespectful towards them.
He's been playing like this since his rookie year, but it's picked up strength since he joined the Boston Celtics because of his deteriorating play. He's not as talented and athletic as he used to and he realizes this.
As a result, he's found new ways to frustrate his opponent so he's performing more of these illegal and annoying acts in order to compensate for his diminishing defense.
Still a sure Hall of Famer. There's no argument to that. In fact, it's his personality and emotional state that has allowed them to become such a terrific player because of how well he can motivate himself and those around him.
Prior to the past offseason, we passed off Rajon Rondo as a mild-mannered guy.
He was an excellent facilitator, arguably the best in the league, and played a significant role on a Boston Celtics team that featured three Hall of Famers.
Some say that Rondo was gifted a team and this explains his success, but it takes so much more than just being surrounded by good players to become a good player.
Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen and Paul Pierce are good, but they're not the entire reason why Rondo is arguably a top five point guard in a league where every team seems to have an All-Star caliber floor general. Rondo finds his teammates in spots where you wouldn't even begin to conceive a thought of passing in that direction.
However, Rondo did seem a bit immature. He strutted up and down the court with a sense of entitlement and cockiness, had this annoying habit of grabbing the ball and putting it on the baseline for his opponent after someone on his team made a shot and attempted to listen in on the huddles of opponents. It's still not really much, but he certainly planted the seed.
Then it started to get out of hand. Reports started to surface that the Celtics were actually ready to trade Rondo right after the lockout. It seemed a bit questionable, since Rondo was pretty much the only hope of the Celtics having a future after the big three retired.
Then it all seemed so obvious after word came in that Rondo met the criticism of his assistant coach during a film session by throwing a water bottle through a video screen.
This occurred during the Celtics semifinals series against the Miami Heat. At the point Rondo threw the water bottle, the Celtics were down 2-0 in the series. That's immaturity at its biggest and it's also a sign of frustration.
These are times where you're supposed to unite in order to come back, yet Rondo is singling himself out and distancing himself from his teammates.
Chris Bosh has been relentlessly tormented by those who despise this Miami Heat team.
Why do they do it? I'm not really sure. Bosh just happened to get caught up in the crossfire of LeBron James leaving Cleveland for Miami. With so much attention being focused on James, the critics also noticed that Bosh had flaws in his game too, so they decided to attack him and every single aspect of his game.
We hated LeBron for leaving Cleveland, yet we said nothing about Chris leaving Toronto. Sure, the Raptors weren't winning any championships, but neither were the Cavaliers with the team they had.
Either way, we lost the Bosh of before. You may not remember, but Bosh was actually one of the funniest and most entertaining athletes in sports.
Bosh is hilarious, but he's also unintentionally funny. He talks to himself all the time, gets extremely riled up, makes strange faces and even strides up and down the court in a strange fashion. He's an interesting character who could care less what people think of him.
Even his postgame interviews are strange.