Craziest Tantrums and Freakouts of 2012-13 NBA Season
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
It's no secret that emotions are a big part of basketball—maybe even the biggest part.
Basketball is an emotional game, and that holds true for everyone from players to coaches and even fans. And there's nothing wrong with that. Quite the opposite, actually. That's what makes the NBA so thrilling.
But with that being said, there are times when all that emotion gets the better of people and makes them go a little crazy. Sometimes that can lead to good results, but it more often than not leads to some very bad things. Like a temper tantrum or a freakout. Either way though, it's usually all pretty entertaining. And that's what really matters.
Honorable Mention: Joakim Noah Makes a New Friend
It's not often that fans make a list like this, but Filomena Tobias—the woman who infamously flipped Joakim Noah the bird after Noah was ejected in Game 2 against the Miami Heat—is an exception.
Because if what you see above isn't considered craziness or freaking out, then I don't know what is. This lady is nuts.
Honorable Mention: Kobe Bryant Terrifies Mike Brown (probably)
Rumors that Mike Brown accepted the job in Cleveland to be as far away as possible from Kobe...possibly true.
I can't really put this as anything but an honorable mention since it's not technically a temper tantrum. It's just Kobe Bryant shooting Mike Brown one of the angriest, most hate-filled looks in human history. It's a silent kind of rage.
Brown was fired a few short days later, but let's be honest, this was the moment that he really lost his job.
No. 8: Courtney Kirkland Denies Kris Humphries
Kris Humphries just can't catch a break.
Exactly why NBA referee Courtney Kirkland freaked out and tried to block a Kris Humphries free throw is unclear. Sure, there were substitutes checking in, but it seems to me like officials have big, loud whistles for just such an occasion.
You've got to admit though, it's a pretty impressive leap—there are coaches in the NBA who would kill to have their players close out on shooters like that. Plus, the officials have been a little weird in general this season (Joey Crawford probably knows what I'm talking about), so maybe this shouldn't have been quite as surprising as it was.
No. 7: The Golden State Warriors Bench Anytime Anything Remotely Cool Happens
That's right. A positive freakout. Crazy stuff. Seriously though, the Golden State Warriors are just the best.
There's nothing more entertaining than watching the Warriors' bench totally freak out whenever anything exciting happens. They're a virtual “gif” factory. And the best thing about it is that though it started with rookies like Draymond Green and Kent Bazemore, it's spread to the veterans at this point. It's totally contagious, and it's a blast to watch.
Just check out a few of the celebrations they've busted out this season. There was...
And that's just for starters. These guys are plain amazing.
No. 6: George Karl Takes It out on Wilson Chandler
Poor, poor Wilson Chandler.
Sure, coaches scream at officials over bad calls all the time, but they don't often knock their own players out of the way to get to those officials.
Admittedly, charging Ty Lawson with a foul on what was clearly a Ricky Rubio flop was a terrible call. But still, poor Wilson Chandler was just trying to make his way to the sideline when George Karl comes in and shoves the heck out of him for basically no reason. Chandler wasn't even in the way of the official Karl was yelling at.
At least Chandler's a big man and not a guard, or Karl might have actually knocked him down Nazr Mohammed-style. It's also fun to watch Andre Miller come ambling into the background around 30 seconds into the video with a huge grin on his face as Karl is going nuts at the officials.
Really funny moment.
No. 5: Mike D'Antoni Snaps at a Reporter
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Sadly, the videos of Mike D'Antoni's little blow up have been removed from YouTube, but you can still find one at lakersmedia.com. It occurs around the 3:30 mark.
Let's set the scene: D'Antoni was talking to reporters after the Los Angeles Lakers suffered a frustrating early-December loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, in which the Lakers played little defense and let Kyrie Irving carve them up to the tune of 28 points and 11 assists.
Everything was going okay until the Los Angeles Times' T.J. Simers, a notorious instigator (he's described as “provocative” in his biography), essentially accused D'Antoni of not practicing defense at the Lakers' morning shootaround. At which point D'Antoni got a little prickly, saying:
Hell, yeah, we worked for a half-hour on it. You're starting to piss me off. You're starting to piss me off because you're saying something that's not factually correct.
To be honest, you can't really blame D'Antoni for losing his cool since he was clearly goaded into an angry response. Plus, no amount of practicing is going to help Darius Morris stick with Irving after something like this, or get Kobe Bryant to, you know, actually play defense.
Still though, D'Antoni's little tantrum ended up being one of the more memorable things about this Lakers season, which says as much about the Lakers year as it does the moment itself.
No. 4: Doug Collins Throws His Entire Team Under the Bus
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
You can't rip into a team more than Doug Collins did to his Philadelphia 76ers team after they suffered a lethargic February loss to the Orlando Magic.
Collins did everything short of dragging his guys under a bus and running them over himself in his now-infamous rant. It was seriously that bad (though not totally undeserved). Here are a few of the highlights, prefaced by what I'm sure Collins was really trying to say (via csnphilly.com):
Don't look at me, guys. I'm just the coach.
I love it when the fans start yelling at me—I'm not playing. You didn't yell at me when I played. Why are you yelling at me when I'm coaching?
And I'm doing everything that I possibly can.
Can I tell you something? If everybody looked inside themselves as much as I did, this world would be a CAT scan. Okay?
And the one thing I have to understand is—from me staying up, working harder, not sleeping—that's not going to help anything. There's nothing wrong with our preparation.
To be honest, I think our guys just kind of suck.
I told you, I did not think our guys prepared themselves during the break to come back to play.
I say all the time ... they say it's a players' league, well then take ownership. Take ownership. That's all I'm asking: Take ownership of what you're putting out there.
Especially Lavoy Allen and Spencer Hawes...
How many teams can give up Andre Iguodala, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic and have nothing in return playing? That’s tough to overcome. That’s just the facts. I’m not looking for any outs. That’s a fact. Nik Vucevic had 19 rebounds tonight. Spencer [Hawes] had one, I think Lavoy [Allen] had two.
...and that Andrew Bynum guy.
You know guys, it's been hard. I think there's a part of this group wondering, "Are you gonna play? Aren't you gonna play?" And it's been a tough year.
No. 3: Russell Westbrook Handles It Like a Man (apparently)
It's kind of nice that the Russell Westbrook-less Oklahoma City Thunder have been bounced from the playoffs.
Because now there's a good chance that we'll finally stop hearing those annoying “OKC would be better with a real point guard” comments, or that Westbrook's too immature to ever help lead the Thunder to a championship.
Stuff like that is just plain dumb to begin with. But there was one instance this season in which Westbrook let his temper get the best of him, and it was pretty ugly.
You can see most of it in the video above. After he attempted to back down Jerryd Bayless for roughly 12 minutes, Westbrook was called for a five-second violation and then yelled at Thabo Sefolosha for no apparent reason.
Westbrook then asked to be taken out of the game and continued his tantrum on the bench as Thunder assistant coach Mo Cheeks tried to calm him down (guess how well that worked?). To Westbrook's credit, he ended up cooling down and returned to the game shortly after. But it's still a little weird that he got that heated when his team was up 25 points.
Though I guess it's still not as weird as the post-game interview he gave with Craig Sager, where he claimed he handled his anger “like a man” and ended the interview by telling Sager, "If that's what you say, brah."
It's a really great interview if you're a fan of uncomfortable silence and even more uncomfortable dialogue. Highly recommended.
No. 2: Most of What DeMarcus Cousins Did
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Oh, DeMarcus Cousins. What are we going to do with you?
Cousins did more than a few things during the 2012-13 season that could have landed him on this list, so let's just go with a brief rundown.
Cousins kicked off the party in November when he angrily confronted San Antonio Spurs broadcaster Sean Elliott after Elliott criticized Cousins on the air for talking trash to Tim Duncan. Elliott later paraphrased Cousins as saying (via Spurs Nation), "I’m going to bust his (expletive)."
Cousins faced a one-game suspension in December for striking O.J. Mayo in the groin, and then kept the train rolling when he was suspended by the Sacramento Kings organization for “unprofessional behavior” after he had a verbal argument with former Kings coach Keith Smart.
Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY reported:
The third-year big man had a verbal altercation with coach Keith Smart during halftime of the Kings' loss at the Clippers on Friday and was left in the locker room for the entire second half as a result. Two people with knowledge of the incident told USA TODAY Sports that nothing of a physical nature occurred between Cousins and his coach and that the yelling went back and forth between both men.
Cousins, according to one of the people, used extensive profanity while sharing his latest frustrations.
That all led up to this moment in February, when Cousins was ejected after arguing with referee Tre Maddox at halftime of a game against the Utah Jazz. Smart came over to help, but Cousins was thrown out of the game regardless (just check out the look on Smart's face when that was happening).
That's not particularly surprising, not only because of Cousins' reputation, but because according to The Sacramento Bee's Jason Jones, "Cousins said he told the ref not to act like a "bleeping female" to get his second tech."
Hard to imagine anyone taking too kindly to that. Throw in a confrontation with Kings play-by-play guy Grant Napear (via ProBasketballTalk's Kurt Helin), and that's a pretty busy season.
Cousins is one of the most skilled bigs in the league, but as has been said ad nauseum, he needs to control that temper. Or at the very least just save it for the court maybe.
No. 1: Amir Johnson's Mouthpiece Toss
That is what you might call an overreaction.
Could anything else be No. 1?
For whatever reason, it's become standard practice in the NBA to allow players to hold the ball between free throws. There's no real purpose to it, so you wouldn't expect anyone to care if they weren't allowed to.
That's what you'd expect, anyways. Because in a December game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Amir Johnson proved that he does care. He cares way too much, in fact.
When referee David Jones didn't want Johnson to have the ball after a free throw, Johnson wouldn't let it go. Both figuratively and literally. He refused to let go of the ball and fought Jones for it. Jones then ejected him, at which point things got even stranger.
Immediately following his ejection, Johnson actually winged his mouthpiece at Jones' back while his teammates tried to calm him down. Let me again say that this is over the privilege to hold the ball between free throws. Totally bizarre.
Johnson later apologized, saying (via Yahoo! Sports' Dan Devine):
I guess the ref didn't let me have the ball so we kind of got into a tug of war. No words were really said and he rejected me out of the game and I kind of lost my cool from there.
If this is what Johnson looks like when he “kind of” loses his cool, then no one should ever make him angry ever again. Who knows what he'll throw?
Also, J.J. Hickson and DeMar DeRozan's faces as they watch the whole scene unfold are absolute classics.