Ranking the Most Awkward Interviews in Sports

Paul Grossinger@@pgrossingerAnalyst IIAugust 10, 2012

Ranking the Most Awkward Interviews in Sports

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    Most interviews are boring.

    It's a fact of life. Most sports interviews have little punch and bore the viewer.  The reporter asks an athlete a few questions, the athlete dances around with prepared answers, then its over.  

    But every once in a while, there is a juicy bit of riveting awkwardness that makes a sports interview historically entertaining.

    Here is a list of the most awkward interviews in sports history.  

No. 20: Mike Brown Keeps Laughing

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    Did you know Mo Williams could dunk?  Mike Brown, his coach with the Cleveland Cavaliers, sure didn't.

    After Williams dunked in a Cavaliers-Celtics game, Brown couldn't stop laughing at the post-game conference and said he didn't know his point guard could dunk the ball.

    If you were Williams, would you be surprised or insulted?

No. 19: Dennis Green Flips out

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    Dennis Green's most awkward interview is now a famous Coors Light commercial.  It came after a Chicago Bears-Arizona Cardinals game, which his Cardinals lost in the final minutes.

    In the post-game, Green just lost it and kept screaming, "they are who we thought they were!" as reporters looked on, trying hard not laugh.  

No. 18: Nicole Richie Wants Kobe Bryant

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    Do you remember when Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton used to run around the country in The Simple Life, saying outrageous things just to get TV attention?

    While Hilton graduated to making (and probably leaking) sex tapes, Richie contented herself with telling Lakers fans, "I love Kobe Bryant because I want him to have sex with me!"

No. 17: Bob Knight Hates Interruptions

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    For once, Bob Knight was angry, but not screaming.

    Instead, a cool and collected Knight decided to make his point—and stop any future interruptions.

    Staring down at reporter Jeremy Schaap, he said, "You keep interrupting me with your questions so let me get back...you have got a long way to be as good as your dad."

    He didn't raise his voice but reporters watching this video will think twice about interrupting him in their interviews.  

No. 16: Shaq Doesn't Mind Swearing on Live TV

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    Shaq likes to keep it real, even if that involves using some four-letter words.

    When reminded that, "Shaq you are on air," the big man simply responded, "I don't give a ****."

No. 15: Chris Bosh Gets No Questions

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    Chris Bosh was willing to admit he had a bad game, but no one wanted to listen.

    Bosh went from being the franchise player on the Toronto Raptors to the least important member of the Heatles...and no reporters even wanted to talk to him after the game.  

    Several awkward, painful seconds later, Bosh left the stage.  

No. 14: Terrell Owens Cries on Air

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    T.O. isn't know for liking his quarterbacks but he seemed to take a liking to Tony Romo.

    After a 2007 playoff loss with the Dallas Cowboys, T.O. got emotional and tried to defend Romo from criticism.  Unfortunately for him, he ended up losing his own job.  

No. 13: Shaq Will Buy You a New Jacket

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    If you ask Shaq how he can up his game, make sure you don't have anything to improve yourself.

    Asked, "What can you do to improve your game?" Shaq simply answered, "Buy you a new jacket...that's horror-awful!"

    Is there any worse outcome for the fashion-conscious reporter?

No. 12: Milt Stegall Devalues Junior High

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    Athletes tend to assume that non-athletes rarely understand what is going on inside a locker room and Milt Stegall is no exception.

    When one reporter decided to argue that he was in the know because he was a football player in junior high, Stegall didn't exactly endorse his athletic credentials.  

No. 11: Joe Kine at the 2006 Independence Bowl

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    Kine's Alabama team was 6-6 and he must have been very concerned that they were going to end up with a losing season.

    A visibly animated Kine continually repeated himself in a barely understandable clip that is one of the best poster examples for why the sideline coaches' interview needs to be abolished.

No. 10: Greg Popovich Sets the Boundaries

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    Don't ask Gregg Popovich about his injury updates.

    He's glad you want to know, but he doesn't care.

    There is a decade's worth of awkward Greg Popovich moments with the media but this short zinger was simply priceless.  

No. 9: Michael Strahan Wants You to Look Him in the Eye

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    Nowadays, Michael Strahan is known as one of the chummy personalities fans experience before NFL Sunday games.

    But back in his playing days, Strahan sometimes had a strained relationship with the New York media. And that came out when he lashed out at this New York reporter. 

No. 8: Larry Merchant Wants to Beat Up Floyd Mayweather

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    Merchant vs. Mayweather is an ongoing saga going from years back, and the 80-year-old Merchant won't go out without a bang.

    After being ridiculed by Mayweather (and not for the first time) after Money Floyd's swift end to his fight with Victor Ortiz, an angry Merchant yelled, "If I was 50 years younger, I would kick your ass!"

    Hey, maybe they can computer generate the fight: Merchant v. Mayweather, like in the last Rocky Balboa movie.  Would you watch?  

No. 7: Pete Rose Denies Betting on Baseball

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    It's the duty of every enterprising investigative reporter to try to break the biggest story at all times. Sadly, it often backfires.

    Jim Gray tried to pry the betting confession out of Rose in a pregame interview in front of fans and wound up look terrible.  Unfortunately for him, he turned out to be right and Rose confessed to wrongdoing years later.  

No. 6: Joe Namath Wants a Kiss

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    Joe Namath harked back to his playboy football-playing days and the result was predictably awkward.

    Asked about the current Jets' on-field struggles at a Monday Night Football game against the New England Patriots, a drunk Namath said, "I want to kiss you...I couldn't care less about the team's struggles."

    Hardly the best words from the New York legend.  

No. 5: Michael Phelps Discusses His Bong with Piers Morgan

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    If you expected Piers Morgan to ask Michael Phelps about what he will do to make a difference in the world, you guessed wrong.

    Nope, Morgan asked him to discuss his infamous pot smoking incident and pushed Phelps to wax poetic about his bong.  Needless to say, his response didn't make for crisp television.  

    But ask yourself: this is Piers Morgan so, is that really so shocking?  

No. 4: Floyd Mayweather Picks His Favorites

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    Floyd Mayweather knows how to play the villain and pick favorites, including in the sports media.

    When asked how he felt about fans booing at the end of his mega-fight, Mayweather turned to reporter Larry Merchant and said, "You always give me a hard time!"

    Worse, he then turned to the camera and said, "Larry Merchant is just a commentator, he don't know nothing about boxing!"

No. 3: Ryan Lochte on His One Night Stands

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    Ryan Lochte is the second most decorated swimmer of all time, but don't ask him to tell you about it.

    The swimming stars' poor interview skills have been on display for years and have hit a new low at the 2012 London Olympics, when he tried to clarify his own mother's statement that he, "Only had time for one night stands."

    In fairness, can you imagine anything worse than acknowledging that your mother said that on international television?

No. 2: Metta World Peace Forgets His Pants

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    Metta World Peace, the man formerly known as Ron Artest, is known for big stunts.  But when he went on Jimmy Kimmel Live in just boxers, the result was pure awkwardness.

    Sometimes, you just can't know how someone's brain works.  

No. 1: Dwight Howard and Stan Van Gundy

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    The Dwightware continues to rage onward.  But the most awkward moment of the entire Howard-trade saga came at a post-game press conference last season.  

    In a few short minutes, Stan Van Gundy confirmed the rumors that Howard wanted him fired. Then Howard came in, put his arm around Van Gundy, and tried to deny the rumors without knowing Van Gundy had just confirmed them.

    It's so awkward you don't even need to be there to cringe inside!