Despite David Stern’s best efforts to turn the NBA into a family-friendly, PG affair, there are still a handful of legitimate bad boys reminding fans of a time when the league had a little bit of an edge.
There are loose cannons like Metta World Peace, scrappers like Rajon Rondo and legitimately scary dudes like Zach Randolph keeping the tough-guy legacy alive in an ever-softening league.
Sure, it’s better for the NBA’s mass appeal if fans and families have assurances that wild-eyed giants won’t come barreling into the stands looking for trouble. But from a pure entertainment perspective, it’s always nice to have an element of unpredictability around.
The “bad boys” on our list have earned their stripes in a variety of different ways, but they all share a reputation as players you really don’t want to mess with. Put another way, if you’re heading down a dark alley, you’d much rather have these guys with you than against you.
Nobody here is afraid of giving a hard foul, cursing out an official or coming to blows on the court.
Be sure you don’t make any direct eye contact with your screen. You wouldn’t want to anger the members of our updated NBA bad boy rankings.