Professional athletes are all egotistical to some degree. In addition to natural ability and hard work, it takes a lot of confidence to get to the pro level of any sport.
That said, some athletes, perhaps even most of them, are able to maintain a sense of humility. Some semblance of it, at the very least. Enough to avoid acting like the sun around which the rest of the universe feels lucky to revolve.
Others...not so much.
When it comes to the egotistical actions of professional athletes, not all are created equal. And not all are included on this list, obviously.
But here are 20 of the most egotistical things athletes have ever done—in relatively recent history.
NBA legend Michael Jordan has been trying to unload his Chicago-area mansion for almost two years. In January 2013, it was discounted to the bargain-basement price of $21 million.
Perhaps it'd be a little easier to sell if the estate wasn't large enough to require its own zip code and MJ wasn't so eager to flagrantly display his wealth—and his number.
It's not really a big deal, because we all know that His Airness isn't really hurting for cash, but seeing his number prominently displayed on this real-estate albatross has got to bug him a little.
Or maybe he doesn't even know about it. We all know Jordan is surrounded by nothing but yes men—and the only thing he's ever done well was play basketball. At least he was the best ever at it!
The NFL lockout in 2011 was essentially the biggest story in all of sports from the day it began in early March until the day it ended in late July.
After months of intense negotiations, the only thing fans cared about was getting the damn thing resolved—and resolved in time that it wouldn't impact the regular season.
A resolution looked within reach by mid-July, but there was one sticking point holding things up that didn't sit well with fans.
The handful of players involved with filing the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, including Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, were seeking special exemptions, like being exempt from the franchise tag, becoming a free agent and/or cash settlements.
They yielded on their demands quickly, but considering Manning and Brees were both nearing the end of their contracts, holding up the entire league for their own personal benefit certainly showed a different side of both of them.
Apparently, it was a ploy that worked for all the players involved in the 1993 antitrust suit that was settled, so they probably just figured they could slip it in this time too.
Anyone who saw American soccer star Hope Solo on Dancing With The Stars in 2011 knows she has the style and grace of a tranquilized bear on the dance floor. Everyone, that is, except for Hope Solo.
She actually finished in an impressive fourth place, thanks to the resounding lack of "star" power usually on the show. But Solo was not impressed. She got weepy eyed initially and her sadness quickly turned to rage.
Solo refused to do any interviews after the elimination and suggested that the judges "kiss [her] f*****g booty." A year later, she accused the reality show of being rigged in her memoir. Which was stupid and sad.
Considering that the approval rating of Congress usually hovers around 10 percent these days, it's no surprise that every village idiot in the country thinks he or she is fit for public office. An unshakable, unfounded confidence is the only thing required to combat the fact that you're completely unqualified.
One such guy is UFC fighter Chael Sonnen, who launched a campaign to run for a seat in the Oregon state legislature in early 2010. A few months later, he mysteriously dropped out of the race without giving the local Republicans any reason aside from a "2006 legal issue" that had arisen and required his attention.
A year later, he pleaded guilty to money laundering in connection to a mortgage fraud scheme. The fact that Sonnen believed he could trash talk and bully his way into public office, despite being, uh, Chael Sonnen, is stunning. Even for him.
To say things have spiraled downhill for former Lions wide receiver Titus Young in recent months, and even days, would be an understatement. He's currently in jail facing 11 criminal charges stemming from a series of arrests in May 2013.
His notoriously bad behavior had become a running joke by the end of 2012, but suddenly it's not so funny. Young's Twitter rants, unemployment and run-ins with the law have been well documented.
But something he told his high school coach in December 2012 really put much of his actions into perspective. According to the Detroit Free Press, Young adamantly insisted he was better than (then) teammate Calvin Johnson.
An egotistical declaration based very far from reality and an early sign of what was on the horizon for Young.
Former USC quarterback Matt Barkley had quite a season with the Trojans in 2011. The team went from 8-5 the previous year to a record of 10-2, but the Trojans were still not bowl eligible thanks to the sins of Pete Carroll.
In February 2012, USC was the ridiculously early preseason No. 1 team in the country. Considering that and the fact that it would no longer be facing NCAA sanctions, Barkley decided to come back for his senior season.
That July, the overly confident Barkley told Dan Patrick that had he decided to declare for the draft, he would've been selected before Heisman winner Robert Griffin III. It was a bold declaration at the time.
Today, it looks more boneheaded. The Trojans were abysmal in 2012, finishing 7-6 and losing by two touchdowns to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl. And in a draft devoid of standout QB talent in 2013, Barkley plummeted to the fourth round.
In late January 2013, Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli sealed a $40 million deal that would send him to AC Milan in his native Italy. His tenure there had been, well...action-packed is one way to describe it.
Balotelli didn't bother to hide his joy over ditching the Premier League to play for the club he grew up supporting. Things had been going downhill for him with City for awhile, and the move was inevitable.
Fans in Milan were elated as well and took to the streets, at first to celebrate Balotelli's return and then to riot. The shift in tone probably had something to do with the fact that Balotelli himself decided to join them.
Video footage showed Balotelli quite visible in his orange hat, right in the middle of the action. Would any other athlete be compelled to show up to his very own riot?
Oh, Terrell Owens! What a force of nature he was during the height of his wide receiving career in the NFL. Not the kind that you miss when it's gone, though.
Owens was kind of like a natural disaster, wreaking havoc on the opposition during games and doing the same thing to his own team in the locker room after games.
He was as egomaniacal as he was athletic. His trademarked phrases, "I Love Me Some Me" and "Getcha Popcorn Ready," really say it all.
When all was said and done, he was the only one who loved him some him.
Professional athletes find all kinds of fun and interesting ways to waste their money. Jewelry is one of the easiest ways to drop a ton of money at one time, so that makes it a popular purchase.
Well, that and the fact that it's one of the most overt ways to display your wealth. Although, diamond earrings and a Rolex watch are one thing. A custom 3-D diamond and gold pendant of your own damn head?
Well, that's something else entirely. I'm looking at you, Marquis Daniels.
What's sad is that back when free agent wide receiver Chad Johnson sported his gold jacket with "Future H.O.F. 20??" on the back during the Bengals' season opener in 2007, the assertion wasn't absurd.
It was definitely a stupid stunt. But it wasn't entirely out of the question.
Granted, I don't claim to be an authority on the credentials required to make it into the NFL Hall of Fame. And the fact that I don't have a vote in the matter, well, that probably goes without saying.
At the time, it was silly and egotistical. Today, it looks even more so on both accounts—and every time he gets cut or arrested, Johnson's past antics make him even more of a mockery.
Final words in the NBA, I should say. Latrell Sprewell isn't dead or anything. In fact, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, he was arrested in January of 2013 for disorderly conduct.
The charge stemmed from two complaints within an hour about loud music at his residence, which had apparently been a pattern. So, yeah, he's doing swell.
I was referencing what would essentially become the last words of Sprewell's career. In October 2004, in the last season of a five-year contract, he rejected a three-year extension offer by the Bucks which was reportedly worth upwards of $30 million.
Why did he reject it? Said Sprewell, "I've got a family to feed." He played out the season in Milwaukee and retired on principle. Now, he's bankrupt. No one ever said principles came cheap.
Free-agent wide receiver Randy Moss hasn't done much on the field, in terms of production, in recent years to make headlines. Although, he manages to make news every now and again anyway. He just has a knack for it.
Usually it's for something terrible, but during Super Bowl Media Day in January 2013, it was for something absurd. Moss, coming off a less-than-mediocre season with the 49ers, declared himself the greatest wide receiver of all time.
Moss is either egomaniacal or delusional. Or perhaps a little of both.
And more than anything, he loves displaying the fact that he has it. A lot of it.
Mayweather has a big house, fancy cars and more diamonds and fur coats than the Queen of England.
Though there's nothing Floyd Money loves to brag about more these days than his gambling habits. If you Google "Floyd Mayweather gambling," a half-million results will pop up.
He publicizes his betting slips on Twitter, which provides plenty of fodder for the sports media. Apparently, he made $4.3 million gambling in 2012—but remember that he only boasts about his winnings. How much he loses annually is anybody's guess.
Although, considering he's been one of the highest-paid athletes in the world for years now, the $3.4 million tax lien put on him by the IRS in 2011 makes you wonder how much Mayweather is metaphorically (or literally) burning.
Over the years, Hall of Fame baller Dennis Rodman has engaged in so much outrageous and egotistical behavior that it started to feel like there was nothing left he could do to surprise us.
We should've known better. Of course he could still shock us.
And shock us he did when he decided to befriend Kim Jong Un, the pint-sized rotund dictator of North Korea, by visiting him him in February 2013.
Rodman came back and spoke glowingly of his new friend and even announced he'd be returning in August to negotiate the release of imprisoned American missionary Kenneth Bae because, as he put it, "Obama can't do s**t."
Dennis Rodman thinks he's more qualified than the president to deal with international affairs because of course he does.
Former NFL wide receiver Freddie "Fred-Ex" Mitchell didn't make much of a name for himself during his four-year career in the NFL. If he did, it certainly wasn't a good name.
Mitchell is most (in)famous for running his mouth during the Eagles' Super Bowl run in early 2005. After the Eagles defeated the Vikings in the second round of the playoffs, Mitchell called himself "a special player" and went on to thank his hands for "being so great."
He had just two catches in that game. In the week leading up to the Super Bowl against the Patriots, Mitchell offended New England's secondary by calling the unit a bunch of no-names and promised Rodney Harrison he "[had] something" for him.
After New England's victory, it was Mitchell's baseless boasting that inspired the famously tight-lipped coach Bill Belichick ti lash the hell out. It was amazing. That Belichick beatdown is Fred-Ex's lasting legacy...which probably doesn't comfort him in jail.
In the summer of 2010, NBA free agent LeBron James was the biggest story in sports. After playing through his rookie contract with the Cavaliers, he hit the open market and had a very big decision to make.
Everyone wanted to know whether King James would stay with him home-state Cavs or, if not, where he would land. All that considered, he really overplayed his hand with the one-hour ESPN special dubbed "The Decision."
Sure, it was big news, but even James has since conceded that perhaps a simple press conference would've sufficed.
His reputation suffered severely and, although it has since rebounded, many will never get over the debacle.
There's no evidence that suggests that ailing Yankee Alex Rodriguez has the capacity for human emotions like embarrassment or regret.
It's funny that Albert Pujols is called "The Machine," since no athlete in history has come across more stoic or robotic than A-Rod. He's like one of those animatronic puppets that used to play in the Chuck E. Cheese band—going through the motions with a dead stare.
Egotistical isn't generally a word used when speaking positively about a person. That's why the overwhelming majority of this list has painted athletes in a light with varying degrees of negativity.
That being said, there are exceptions to every rule. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath's famous guarantee that the Jets would defeat the heavily favored Colts in Super Bowl III in 1969 is one such exception.
Either he was too obliviously confident to be intimidated by Johnny Unitas, or he was too proud to admit he was. But three nights before the game, Namath told a crowd gathered at a Miami hotel, "We're going to win the game. I guarantee it."
The Jets did win the game, and Namath's declaration instantly became part of American sports lore. Although he did later admit that it was partially posturing, inspired by the great Muhammad Ali.
Whether Namath believed it or not not at the time is irrelevant. The fact that he even dared to say it put him out on a limb of a tree that no QB going into the Super Bowl today would get within a mile of.
You may recall the hubbub surrounding swimmer Ryan Lochte's American flag grill at the 2012 Olympics in London. It was a controversy because he was told not to wear it, but he did it anyway because he's Ryan F'ing Lochte.
The International Olympic Committee, those old fuddy-duddies, warned against donning the $25,000 dentures under threat of having his medals revoked.
Lochte took took the grill out while standing on the podium—uh you're welcome IOC—but he wore it before and after. He bended the rules, but didn't break them entirely, so he got to keep his medals.
JEAH, that's right!
In case you're wondering, "Jeah" was the stupid catchphrase he moved to trademark after the Games. Which is one answer to the question What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, the title of his new reality show.
The show features Lochte in all his narcissistic glory.
How this kid became famous with an ability to make money that knows no ceiling and a level of stupidity that knows no floor...well, that's a question for another reality show.
In 2007, a book by former NFL running back O.J. Simpson, called If I Did It, told the hypothetical story about the hypothetical murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her boyfriend Ron Goldman and how he would have hypothetically committed it.
If he did it.
The book might have been less controversial if Simpson hadn't actually murdered them—allegedly—and been acquitted by one of those famous Los Angeles juries with stars in their eyes and rocks in their heads. The release was cancelled because—shock of all shocks—people were outraged.
Some people are just so sensitive these days!
Talk about having some stones. Simpson could've just lived out his days quietly in the shade that constitutional clause against double-jeopardy afforded him.
Instead, he decided to turn around and give the whole justice system the literary middle finger.