Lance Stephenson made headlines in the Eastern Conference Finals for his many unsuccessful attempts at distracting LeBron James and stifling his performance.
Some called it bush league.
I called it a masterpiece.
Indeed, the art of distracting the athlete dates back almost as far as the dawn of sports themselves. Over the years, the practice has been refined to the beautiful work we see today—athletes are now better at distracting each other than ever before.
A good distraction can turn a hero into a failure or an underdog into a champion.
It can tarnish the reputation of both the distractor and the distracted in one fell swoop.
And of course, distractions have that rare ability to alter fate on a daily basis.
Today, I raise my glass not to the greatest athletes, but to the ones who continuously make them falter.
Criticize them all you want, but the men and women that follow on this list are the ones who have provided the most entertaining, head-scratching and sometimes oddly successful distractions the sports world has seen in the past several years.
Note: Just for the sake of fun, I've decided to stretch the definition of "athletes" to also include coaches, cheerleaders and hockey dads. You'll see what I mean.