Even More Talented Head Cases

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2014

Even More Talented Head Cases

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    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    Although we love our athletes because they give us memories that we can't make for ourselves out there on the playing surface, we all sometimes roll our eyes after reading about the things they say or do off the field.

    Some get arrested for the dumbest things, others run their mouth during an interview and others just make a fool of themselves by doing something stupid during a game.

    Sure, I don't mind the emotion, but it's when they hurt their team that it crosses the line.

    Unfortunately, some of the best players, owners and coaches are the biggest culprits—as I wrote about last year—and I am giving you even more of the most talented head cases in sports.

Mark Cuban

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    He may not be an athlete himself—unless he played some sort of intramural sport in college—but Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sure is a crazy man.

    On top of his reputation for attacking refs during and after his team's games, Cuban has racked up over $1.7 million in fines over his 13 seasons as top dog for the organization.

    Cuban even lived up to his promise to write one more big charity check for his actions last week after a loss.

Nyjer Morgan

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    Don't get me wrong here, Nyjer Morgan may not be a star in the least, but he has shown in the past that he has some game—and quite the personality.

    Though he stayed quiet last season while playing in the Japanese Central League, Morgan—otherwise known as his alter ego, T-Plush—has signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, meaning we all may see some more interesting moments if Morgan's able to maintain a spot in the big leagues.

Jadeveon Clowney

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    RICHARD SHIRO/Associated Press

    Is future NFL player Jadeveon Clowney talented?


    Is he a guy who I'd want my favorite team drafting?


    There's no denying that Clowney might be the best defensive line prospect in the past 15 years or so, but I wouldn't touch him with a 10-foot pole.

    His lack of enthusiasm to play in a few games this past season for South Carolina seemed to show entitlement, and if you toss in the speeding tickets he's collected, Jadeveon seems like he's living the rock star life without even being in the band yet.

Kevin Garnett

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    Although I've never personally been a huge Kevin Garnett fan, I can admit that he's got my utmost respect for the player he has been over the course of his career.

    And while he's a future Hall of Famer, KG also happens to be a true jerk, famously being one of the biggest trash-talkers in the history of sports.

    The smack talk doesn't solely make him a head case, but with some of the things he has said to irritate opponents, Garnett has proved to have a few screws loose.

Steve Smith

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    I think athletes like Steve Smith are great for the game.

    It shows that, no matter the odds, a guy can not only accomplish the goals of playing in the NFL, but actually succeed and become pretty damn great.

    But there's a line that has to be known as to what's OK and what's not—and Smith sometimes crosses it.

    Whether fighting with a teammate, bashing an opponent or blasting a reporter out of frustration, Smith needs to maintain his composure a bit more.

Tim Thomas

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    Bill Wippert/Getty Images

    I know I'm not the only one who remembers NHL goalie Tim Thomas announcing on his Facebook page a few years ago that he was ready for retirement, right?

    The decision sort of caught the NHL world off guard.

    There was just a small problem with that, though—Thomas didn't technically hold true to his words, coming back this season after taking just last year off.

    Yeah, there are a number of situations like this with other athletes, but Thomas is the most recent athlete who has waffled back and forth between hanging it up and still playing—but I think he just came back to accept the challenge of a fight from his former mates.

The Entire Cleveland Browns Organization

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    As a Cleveland sports fan, I could go on a rant with this one and talk about how the entire state of each of the city's franchises is just about as dysfunctional as a Hollywood marriage.

    Instead, I'll just allow you to see Browns safety T.J. Ward flip his teammate—and top receiver in the NFL—Josh Gordon with a low hit in Sunday night's Pro Bowl, read about how the owner of the team is still in hot water for his business practices and how embarrassing the entire head coaching search was perceived by those around the league.

    For every fellow Browns fan looking forward to the two first-rounders the team has, I share the worry of the head cases in the front office screwing it up—as usual.

    OK, so maybe that did turn into a bit of a rant.

P.K. Subban

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    Graig Abel/Getty Images

    Although Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban is quite the talent, he has some major issues with losing his head.

    Look no further than the cases of him fighting with teammates and his assistant coaches.

    When it's not his own mates, Subban is doing what he can to make sure his opponents hate the hell out of him.

    P.K. might be a misunderstood at times, but dude brings a lot of it onto himself.

Rajon Rondo

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    Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

    While I commend the Boston Celtics' Rajon Rondo for his hard work in getting back on the floor after a torn ACL last season, that doesn't mean that he's the greatest guy around.

    Rondo is a superstar who, when completely healthy, has the ability to put up triple-double-like numbers on any given night.

    His stubbornness and attitude make him a Hall of Fame jackass, though.

    Rondo isn't shy in aggravating anyone he can, sharing his opinions on other teams and getting into it with other players when he can.

Philip Rivers

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    As big of a jerk as the previously mentioned Rajon Rondo comes across as, there might not be anyone in the NFL who rubs people the wrong way as much as the San Diego Chargers' Philip Rivers—at least while on the field.

    Not shy to run his mouth towards anyone within hearing distance, the super-competitive quarterback will let his emotions get the best of him during games a lot of times.

    He's fiery and eager to win a title, but Rivers has to learn that it's his play—and that factor alone—that will get him there.

Darnell Dockett

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    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    Darnell Dockett might be a Pro Bowl-caliber defensive end, but he's also quite the star when creating controversy with his Twitter account.

    One of the funnier players in all of sports, Dockett isn't shy with saying anything that's on his mind for fans and media to see, often bringing unnecessary attention to himself.

    If it helps fuel him to play, though, who am I to argue?

Andrew Bynum

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    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    It's kind of insane to think that Andrew Bynum is only 26 years old, isn't it?

    Seemingly around the NBA for years after coming in as a high schooler at age 18, Bynum has also had his fair share of drama since lacing them up in the Association.

    Let's see here: He's clashed with teammates while in L.A., sustained a serious injury that cost him all of the 2012-13 season and, after getting a chance to prove himself this year, showed displeasure and actually contemplated retirement before ultimately getting traded and promptly released.

    Bynum might not physically be able to play any longer, but he'd be wise to also think about rehabbing his image by thinking before doing a few things.

John Tortorella

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    Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

    Like the aforementioned Mark Cuban, Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella isn't a pro athlete, and after hearing some of his famous rants of aggression, that's definitely a good thing.

    Still, the guy is about as nuts as they come, picking up a number of fines and, most recently, a 15-day suspension from his franchise for a blowup he had.

    Dude needs to keep his head a little better—though I doubt he'll ever change.

Tuukka Rask

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    It may have come while he was still in the minor leagues, but current Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask's meltdown back a few years ago is still a prime example of this dude's craziness—which has actually come out a few other times, too.

    Rask is talented and could be the key factor in the Bruins securing another Stanley Cup title this year, but he's not short on losing his temper.

Davone Bess

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    Mark Duncan/Associated Press

    When will athletes learn not to post illegal things on their social media accounts?

    Unfortunately for NFL wideout Davone Bess, he wasn't reminded of this before a few incidents when he posted some pictures of what appeared to be pot on his Instagram account.

    Making matters worse, Bess left the Cleveland Browns this season for "personal reasons," and lost his mind by freaking out at the Miami airport—where he was allegedly tripping on something.

J.R. Smith

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    David Dow/Getty Images

    I may not be a New York Knicks fan, but I'd imagine anyone who is has to be sick and tired of shooting guard J.R. Smith's antics.

    Depending on the day, Smith is either in a closed-door meeting trying to smooth things over with his head coach, complaining about something on his social media accounts or thinking about doing something that could cause a fine from the league.

    The dude is streaky, but definitely has some game—evidenced by his Sixth Man of the Year Award last year.

    If only he could straighten his act up a bit.

LeSean McCoy

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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    Leading the NFL in rushing this year and collecting another Pro Bowl appearance, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy sure has proved himself to be one of the most versatile backs in all of football.

    He's a bit of a loose cannon though, showing that he likes to be heard—finding himself involved in a few battles with other players.

    Not sure if it's the attention he craves or not, but it's tough to like this guy with all the extracurricular stuff he brings onto himself.

Bryce Harper

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    susan walsh/Associated Press

    Bryce Harper is one of the best young players in all of baseball, but he's not short on finding himself caught up in drama that is a bit unnecessary.

    From the moments in the minors when he was seen showboating to his absolute freak-out after getting plunked by a pitch this past season, Harper is a guy who fans love to hate because of his attitude.

    There's no denying his skill, though.

Mike Wallace

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    Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

    I'm not sure what delusional world Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace lives in, but apparently it's one where he's the best receiver in the entire league.

    That seemed to be the point he tried making when he said that he should have had 15-20 more touchdowns this season.

    Wallace is a good receiver, but his prima donna attitude often makes him seem as if he's putting his own numbers before the team.

Yasiel Puig

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    Don Wright/Associated Press

    Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is an enigma if I've ever seen one.

    He has all the talent one finds once in a generation, proving that there are few athletes who can do what he does on the baseball field.

    Problem is, he seems to have achieved such fame a bit earlier than he may have deserved, disrespecting other teams, showing lack of focus and putting himself in poor situations when not in uniform.

    Puig is a stud, but people will continue to knock him until he shows some maturity.

Luis Suarez

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    To put it bluntly, Liverpool's Luis Suarez is one of the best players on the planet.

    It's too bad that he also happens to be one of the craziest.

    The Uruguayan international proved that last year when he took a chomp at the arm of opponent Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea, earning him a red card and eventually a 10-game suspension.

    Oh yeah, and this wasn't the first time he did it, either.

    Suarez can straight ball on the pitch, he just needs to keep his head a bit more.

Richard Sherman

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    Living in Seattle and being a bandwagon Seahawks fan—go ahead and rip me, it's expected—I have absolutely no problem with cornerback Richard Sherman's postgame words after winning the NFC championship.

    While I have Sherman's back on that particular instance, there are still plenty of other moments that he's lost his cool on the field.

    After being a fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft, it seems Sherman lets the chip on his shoulder come out through his words, often taunting opponents and, at times, getting flagged for being too aggressive.

    He's no doubt the best corner in the game, but he's also one of the craziest.

Alex Rodriguez

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    Seth Wenig/Associated Press

    I almost don't even want to waste my time explaining this one.

    The New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez is everything opposite of what a franchise wants as the face of the organization, displaying arrogance and a self-absorbed attitude that brings drama anywhere he is.

    At one time, A-Rod was a first-ballot Hall of Famer and best player in the game.

    With his recent season-long suspension and other embarrassing moments, though, Rodriguez has become a sideshow and a stain on the Yankees—and his own—legacy.