10 Athletes vs Heckler Showdowns
In today's day and age, fans heckling athletes in sports has become woven into the tapestry of the game.
It's commonplace for a fan to emerge from the stands and berate a player while fellow attendees cheer on in support.
Throughout the history of sports, we've seen some great displays of heckling.
This list below examines some of the best moments featuring athletes and fans at their very best.
As always, browse through the slideshow, drop a comment and let us know your favorites.
Don't Ever Bother Kobe Bryant
With all of the talk about LeBron James, sometimes it's easy to forget that Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is one of the best players to ever lace up a pair of kicks.
But when you remember that he has multiple championship rings and an 81-point performance under his belt, you start to recall how deadly the Black Mamba can be.
As a fan, heckling Bryant is usually bad for your health.
Bryant is an assassin on the court who delivers heartbreak in a hand basket.
These Boston Celtics fans got a taste of what berating Bryant can lead to.
After dishing out a pint of hot verbal soup, Bryant drains two three-pointers and stares the poor hecklers down just because he can.
Fan vs. Taylor Teagarden
Before catcher Taylor Teagarden played for the New York Mets, he was behind the plate managing games for the Baltimore Orioles.
During what appears to be a beautiful, sunny day, Teagarden had the pleasure of being heckled by a fan while he warmed up.
Unlike a lot of hecklers who decide to hurl profanity at player, this guy was pretty clever with his barbs.
Remember kids, an experienced heckler beats an amateur every time.
Spike Lee vs. Reggie Miller
If there were a Hall of Fame for hecklers and athletes, director Spike Lee and former Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller would be a shoo-in.
The legendary story between the two guys reached its tipping point back in 1994.
Lee, sitting courtside in Madison Square Garden as always, jarred with Miller all game long.
If you dice up a lovely amount of trash talk and mix it together with Miller's choking gestures, what you get is a classic moment in sports history.
The good news is that Spike and Reggie have found a way to squash their beef from the glory days.
Shaun Ellis and the Snow Boulder
Former New York Jets great Shaun Ellis wasn't just a productive force for Gang Green on the field.
When he wasn't out there stuffing the run, he apparently enjoyed hurling mountains of snow into the stands.
In a game against the Seattle Seahawks, fans had themselves a grand time by flinging snowballs at Jets players heading back into the tunnel.
Ellis decided to join in on all of the winter-like fun, except he took it to another level by picking up a crater of frosty goodness and heaving it at fans.
Dwight Howard Gives a Fan a Souvenir
Souvenirs in sports usually come by way of the baseball field.
One place you never expect to get one is during an NBA game.
Last season, when Houston Rockets big man Dwight Howard was playing against the Dallas Mavericks, he was heckled by a fan to the point of no return.
Toward the end of the fourth quarter, Howard tossed the ball into the stands at the fan in frustration, picking up a technical foul in the process.
Before Matt Diaz hung it up, he gave us this classic moment in heckling vs. athlete history.
Sitting in the outfield for the Atlanta Braves, Diaz was abused by a New York Mets fan for a solid two minutes.
Screaming with a New York accent radiating through his vocal chords, the fan repeatedly growled "Hey Diaz!"
Through it all, he kept his chin up and even responded to the heckler by showing him that he was in fact wearing matching socks.
Honestly, does anything go together better than heckling and baseball?
A Converstion Between the Glass
One of the coolest parts about attending a hockey game is that you have a chance to sit near the penalty box and poke fun at players.
In the clip above, Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf was sent to the sin bin for tripping. After entering the chamber of doom, he was greeted by a Los Angeles Kings fan.
Although we can't hear what exactly was being said, the conversation that took place through the glass clearly seared Getzlaf's loins.
He fired back with comments of his own and even a little spritz of Gatorade just for good measure.
Fan Gets Obliterated by an Umpire
Heckling can come in various shapes and sizes.
If fans aren't throwing verbal daggers at athletes, they can take things to the next level and run onto the field—just remember, that usually results in jail time.
During a game between the Baltimore Orioles and Oakland Athletics, this fan—who runs around like a guy who has had sipped on a few too many cold brewskis—is trolling the crowd having a wonderful time.
But that quickly changed after he slid across home plate and was tackled by the game's umpire.
Looking like Brock Lesnar out there on the field, the umpire makes sure that he ends this heckling session with a bang.
The Curious Case of the Ejected Heckler
Usually, heckling is just part of attending any live sporting event.
Fans pay good money to sit down and yell insults at opposing players.
But in this case, the fan in question may have taken things a little too far.
During a showdown between the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks, a fan got so rowdy that Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr. had to get involved.
After that, the security staff at Madison Square Garden removed the fan, with the supportive cheers of fellow onlookers serving as background music.
Brandon Phillips for the Win
Of all the athletes vs. heckler showdowns, Cincinnati Reds infielder Brandon Phillips may have put forth the most dominant performance of them all.
During a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Phillips was heckled nonstop by a fan. According to Craig Calcaterra of HardballTalk.com, this is what went down:
Wednesday night, the Reds-Pirates game was a soggy affair, which pretty much emptied out PNC Park. One of the people who stayed was a Pirates fan, who decided to heckle Reds players pretty continuously. Since the park was empty, the players heard him loud and clear. One of them was Brandon Phillips who smiled at the jeering and then, after the game, did something fun.
Phillips gave a signed baseball to the heckler with a pretty funny message scribed onto it.
It's important for all hecklers to take note: Phillips is the Floyd Mayweather of this game. You can try and break him down, but it's not going to work.
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