Crazy Teammate Stories
One of my favorite things about playing sports is the camaraderie I get by playing with teammates.
More than just playing together for a few hours during a game, I've gotten the chance to build friendships with some of my mates by hanging out and doing more than a few memorable things together.
Like us weekend warriors, pro athletes have some good teammate stories, too, which is why I'm giving you some of the craziest to remember.
Townsend Plays Solo in Doubles Tennis
The key to playing a doubles match in tennis is having another person beside you.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case with Taylor Townsend last week, because she found herself playing solo against Martina Hingis and Anastasia Rodionova during a World TeamTennis event following her teammate Liezel Huber suffering an injury.
Anytime a sport gets to be two-on-one, it's unfair, but when it happens on the professional level, it's just embarrassing.
Michael Jordan Punched Steve Kerr
As a giant Michael Jordan fan, I remember a quote that was once used to describe the guy, with his dad saying, per Dan McGrath of the Chicago Tribune, he "doesn't have a gambling problem; he has a competition problem."
And no more did MJ show that than in a scrimmage with his former teammate, Steve Kerr, while both were playing for the Chicago Bulls.
During a practice in the mid-1990s, Kerr took exception to Jordan's mouth running, said something and got nailed in the face by No. 23 with a punch.
It resulted in teammates having to hold the two back from each other but, ultimately, did bring Michael and Kerr closer.
Michael Irvin and Everett McIver
Former Dallas Cowboys wideout and Hall of Famer Michael Irvin may have been known as one of the loudest, most brash athletes ever to play sports, but he nearly did something that is seriously remarkable—slash a teammate's throat.
That's right, The Playmaker was fortunate enough not to injure former teammate Everett McIver more seriously after Irvin sliced the dude's throat with scissors, with the Cowboys helping to cover up the incident by allegedly paying McIver cash not to talk about it, per sports writer and author Jeff Pearlman in a Q&A with The New York Times.
Kobe Bryant and Smush Parker
Personally, this is one of my favorites, because it shows just how ruthless L.A. Lakers star Kobe Bryant is—as well as the ridiculous standards he puts on teammates.
Back in 2005, Kobe had Smush Parker as a teammate, which, at the time, probably wasn't too bad of a thing.
Then Kobe started talking a few years later, Parker took offense to it—understandably—and, well, long story short, these two aren't sending birthday cards to each other after Bryant basically belittled the entire career of his former mate.
Jason Kipnis and Vinnie Pestano
So what's it like when two professional baseball players actually live together?
Absolute magic—if you think that all teammates who share the same address have as much fun as the Cleveland Indians' Jason Kipnis and Vinnie Pestano.
With a tiny golf course in their backyard, the two dudes appear to be doing something right, because when they're not wearing their baseball gloves, they're enjoying bro time.
Ryan Braun Hits Jean Segura
Remember when playing little league baseball how your coaches would tell you to only swing a bat if standing in the on-deck circle?
Yeah, this is why.
Apparently, Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Ryan Braun ignored that advice, though, because he was recorded getting loose with his Louisville Slugger a little too close to the dugout, popping his teammate Jean Segura in the noggin with the thing.
Segura even needed to hit up the hospital for stitches by a plastic surgeon after Braun found that the sweet spot of a bat was best on his teammate's head.
Lance Armstrong's Teammates
So much for sticking by a teammate's side in good and bad times—although I'm not really sure that's part of being a good teammate, anyway.
Still, it was a bit shocking to hear that former *seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's teammates turned against him by testifying that Armstrong had indeed used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
How quickly all the good memories get forgotten when a federal judge requests people to tell the truth, huh?
This is seriously something that you just can't make up.
Look, I get it. When there are multiple bruising, massive people in a smallish area on a football field, sometimes it can be easiest to just go ahead and hit the nearest guy.
Still, when Florida Gators football players Jonotthan Harrison and Quinton Dunbar did it last season against Georgia Southern, the Internet went a little crazy because it was something that rarely really happens—and it came during a loss to Georgia Southern in The Swamp—though players and coaches just seemed to laugh it off.
Chris Sale Pranks Scott Carroll
Pranking someone is always a good time.
No matter if it's just a tap on one shoulder and being behind the other or something even more elaborate, finding a little humor at another's expense is fun.
It can be even funnier when it's a pro athlete who pulls the joke on his teammate, as Chicago White Sox ace Chris Sale proved earlier this year on Scott Carroll, when Sale did postgame interviews with a hat that had Carroll's cell number on it and the words, "Call me."
Bill Romanowski Punches Marcus Williams, Ends His Career
Former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski proved during his playing days to be quite the terror for opponents—and, after an incident with former teammate Marcus Williams, on his own guys, too.
Romanowski punched Williams' face so hard that he "broke a bone around his left eye and also injured his brain," per The Associated Press (via ESPN.com). The former tight end had to call it quits.
Jeff Francoeur and Jorge Reyes
I mentioned a few slides ago about how fun it is to prank someone, but when the joke goes on for nearly a month, that's when it becomes legendary.
And that's exactly what happened when minor league teammates on the El Paso Chihuahuas convinced Jeff Francoeur that Jorge Reyes was deaf, with the entire team and coaching staff playing along.
As you can tell by this video, Francoeur felt like he was more than just the village idiot—but the mayor of an entire idiot village for believing this for so long.
Delonte West and LeBron James
Of course, there's absolutely no proof that this ever actually happened, but the fact that Delonte West was even rumored, as detailed by Barry Petchesky of Deadspin, to be doing a few untold things with then-teammate LeBron James' mom, Gloria, is crazy.
I mean, on one side, you've got the best player on the planet, who has openly talked about his close bond with his mom.
On the other side, there's West, who had been busted a few times by the law, even once going all Desperado-like by carrying guns in bag on his motorcycle.
West has vehemently denied anything ever going on, but some folks have still bought into the whole thing.
Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson
Yeah, this one's a little bit bizarre.
Sure, there's a TV show called Wife Swap, but before that came out, former New York Yankees players Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich thought they'd just do it without a camera in their face, as they literally swapped wives.
There have been some crazy trades in baseball history, but this one may be the absolute strangest—even if Peterson has admitted to no regrets since the deal went down.
Kobe and Shaq
Although the two haven't played hoops together on the same team in over a decade, the Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal feud will always be talked about by fans and media.
And because these two guys have such enlarged personalities, we sports fans just love recapping the entire history of it.
Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin
This is a story that became a serious national debate thanks to the relation not just to hazing, but bullying, too.
And while pro athletes are expected to be tough and thick-skinned, it's obvious to see why Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin was a little sensitive to the bashing that he took from former teammate Richie Incognito last season.
With recordings of verbal abuse and threats, Incognito showed that you can take the kid off the playground, but you can't take the playground bullying out of the kid.