13 Athletes Who Really Didn't Want to Be Interviewed
The sports interview certainly seems like an easy enough endeavor, usually garnering little more than ho-hum questions and throwaway answers. Sometimes, however, these normally benign exchanges get heated, awkward and downright weird.
If you enjoy feeling uncomfortable, you came to the right place. Here is a brief breakdown of some of the more memorable moments when certain athletes obviously didn't want to be interviewed.
In the interest of including some mighty fine Gregg Popovich interviews into the mix, we hope you will forgive us for including some coaches along the way.
Feel free to chime in with some awkward interviews we may have missed, because this stuff never gets old.
Linda Cohn and a Grumpy Ken Griffey Jr.
As Business Insider's Cork Gaines spotted recently, Ken Griffey Jr. was on ESPN's SportsCenter to rap about a new venture with card company Upper Deck.
Although he wasn't nearly as loquacious as the company would have liked, treating the interview like a teenager who has to answer for poor grades.
Griffey would later apologize once the odd exchange went viral, stating on Instagram, "I want to apologize to Linda for the way things went today. I was in the middle of a cough attack and felt a little ill and didn't want to walk off the set. Linda has always been professional to me and my family."
Someone please get The Kid a hug, because he looks like he really needs one at the moment.
Before Mike Tyson featured as a lovable character in random comedic cameos, he was busy pummeling boxers and delivering highly entertaining interviews.
Now, these interviews weren't entertaining in the "laugh out loud" manner you might expect, but rather in the "I think Mike might reach through the camera and choke this dude" way.
From the start, you can tell Tyson is over the interview that was actually rather benign when you consider the initial line of questions.
If you weren't quite aware the interview was over, Tyson punctuates things rather nicely with "[Expletive] off."
Of course you did. Everybody knows that.
However, you may have forgotten Johnson took exception (read: was beyond furious) at a cameraman who would dare do his job. Also, it's apparently inadvisable to talk back to the large lefty.
And yes, we will of course have to cover the other two ballplayers featured on ESPN's list in the video.
As you have already seen, some of these guys don't even want to be on camera, let alone answer any questions that might fly their way.
Former Mariners pitcher Tim Belcher wasn't all that happy to see a bunch of cameramen hanging out next to the clubhouse during Game 2 of the 1995 American League Division series with the Yankees.
Granted, the game ended with a Jim Leyritz home run in the 15th inning off of Belcher, so we understand why the pitcher was a little sore. Check out the NSFW tirade here.
We might as well revisit Kenny Rogers' incident with a cameraman, something you may have seen in a previous video centered on Randy Johnson.
ESPN reported at the time that the then-Rangers pitcher confronted a couple of cameramen. The problem when you do something like that is there is a very good chance you will have your meltdown saved for posterity.
John Hart, who was serving as the Rangers general manager at the time, had this to say, via ESPN's report: "Kenny is having anger issues right now. I don't know what's going on inside. We're responding to something that's very unusual."
We would classify chastising cameramen, sending one to the hospital, as "anger" issues. Fortunately, Rogers would later get help for his anger.
Rajon Rondo came out wearing his best Mad Hatter costume to let a cameraman know that he had just about enough of being recorded.
Yahoo! Sports' Dan Devine has more on the man who went over to mumble, "Listen—how many times I'mma tell you? You are not filming me. I told you to quit filming. Do not film me. I'm not doing an interview right now. I just told you."
Some cameramen just don't listen.
The moment came after a Game 5 loss to the Hawks, one that left the Celtics star fuming in the aftermath. Still, we aren't sure how anyone can be all that grumpy with that jacket in their closet.
Gregg Popovich is a highly successful coach who is also legendary when it comes to sideline interviews. The remarkable part is that he does a lot with very little—at least when it comes to his exchanges with various reporters.
Pop's job is to get back and coach up the Spurs, which he would like to do as soon as possible. Not to worry, would-be Popovich interviewers, because there is help.
ESPN's J.A. Adande will walk you through the particulars with an informative and charming "Media Guide to Gregg Popovich."
Then again, you could always attempt to opt out of duties. The best sign that Pop's sentiments have gone viral is the hilarious video of ESPN media Dave Pasch and Jon Barry flipping a coin to see who would enjoy the pain that is getting more than a couple of words from the Spurs' coach.
Mike Tyson II
The posted video contains NSFW language.
We simply have to include a couple more instances of Tyson running away with an interview in his own manner, discarding questions with a volatile personality and profanity-laced rants.
Feel free to enjoy the entirety of the video, but for our purposes, we would like to direct you to the 28-second mark, when Tyson storms off the set, leaving behind a gloriously awkward Don King.
And then, at four minutes and 36 seconds, Tyson decides to stop the questioning to chastise a female reporter. Yes, classic Mike was mean, unapologetic and nearly impossible to interview.
Larry Merchant Angers Money May
It's always nice when we can revisit the love fest shared between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Larry Merchant, an interview that certainly started as your regular, run-of-the-mill post-fight interview.
At about the minute mark, the proverbial wheels come off, because Merchant can't help but demand an answer for Mayweather's shot on Victor Ortiz.
Money May attempts to shake off the line of questions by thanking the pay-per-view subscribers and all the fans who watched.
Merchant dives back into the fray, garnering a passionate response from Mayweather, who demands, "I'm gonna let you talk to Victor Ortiz...put somebody else up here and give me an interview."
As we all know, it only gets better from there.
Matt Harvey went from affable athlete to grumpy curmudgeon in no time flat, taking a rather intriguing interview with Dan Patrick and turning it into something that was brutally awkward.
It's clear that Harvey was over discussing his Tommy John surgery, so he demanded to get his pitch in. Patrick allows him to deliver the pitch, which is hard to listen to.
To this day we can't hear anything, because we are too busy cringing.
Let this be a lesson to you, athletes. It doesn't matter if you are a legend like Griffey or a budding star like Harvey, these types of interviews will lead to an obvious apology.
Sorry, but we simply have to bend the rules one more time to include one of the shining moments of a sports personality not wanting an interview.
Andy Reid had just taken down his former team and was immediately greeted by media, which included ESPN's Sal Paolantonio.
Sites like Deadspin quickly noticed Reid wanted nothing to do with the reporter, dropping some fairly passive-aggressive stiff arms along the way to the locker room.
The Dan Patrick Show's Paul Pabst cleared it all up, tweeting that, "On the awkward Sal Pal/Andy Reid post-game interview. Andy Reid/Chiefs had told media that Reid would not be doing a walk-off interview."
For entertainment's sake, we are glad Paolantonio ignored this.
It's clear that on August 10, 2005, Terrell Owens didn't want to give media interviews; he wanted a media spectacle.
The then-Eagles receiver was enjoying a brief suspension from the team, which garnered the obvious buzz and contingent of reporters outside his house.
Owens decided to work out in his driveway, giving ample "No comments" to various media queries. You can see the hilarity at this link, but as a warning, the quality makes me think it was filmed with a potato.
The week prior to the Super Bowl features a cavalcade of reporters launching question upon question at the athletes about to embark on the big game.
Marshawn Lynch was having very little of it.
As you can see by Bleacher Report's Kyle Newport's breakdown on the subject, the days preceding the Super Bowl essentially featured a "Marshawn Lynch Watch" of sorts.
Before the game and the commercials hit our living rooms, Americans were tuned in to see what Lynch might say (or not say) next.
Lastly, we thought it would be funny to flip the script and feature an athlete who actually wanted to be interviewed.
Here, for your viewing pleasure, is Chris Bosh storming off when the media could muster all of one question. Well, at least we know what happened to his neck.
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