True dislike between NBA players is almost extinct today. Almost.
Fortunately for lovers of the old school and fans of genuine, heated competition, there are still tiny pockets of real hatred on the hardwood.
Considering so few of our current NBA stars spent much time on a college campus, it’s a little odd that the feeling of fraternity among the league’s players is so strong. For the most part, these guys all get along and any perceived animosity after a hard foul or an in-your-face dunk is really just posturing.
After the game (or even the play) is over, combatants who were apparently on the edge of violence moments before are slapping high fives and making dinner plans.
Ill will between NBA players seems to have decreased in direct proportion to the ever expanding network of high-profile AAU programs. By the time these guys face each other in the big show, they’ve already knocked heads (and probably played some X-Box) throughout their high school years.
Things were different back in the day. Michael Jordan and John Starks couldn’t stand each other, the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers used to regularly come to blows and everyone wanted to strangle Reggie Miller.
But now, the bro-hugs and elaborate fist-pound routines have become so prevalent that the NBA actually instituted a rule this year to trim the ritualistic pregame exchange of pleasantries to 90 seconds.
Sure, it’s probably better for the millions of young viewers of NBA basketball if the players they idolize aren’t trying to decapitate each other. But that’s not what we want to focus on here.
You can check your courtesy and politeness at the door for this list of NBA players who really, truly hate each other.