People in Sports Who Should Have Quit a Long Time Ago

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2014

People in Sports Who Should Have Quit a Long Time Ago

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    Richard Lipski/Associated Press

    No one ever wants to be described as that annoying person who just won't stop, but, unfortunately, because of stubbornness, pride and persistence, there's always one in the crowd.

    And sports is absolutely no different.

    Whether it's someone who hangs onto their career for too long or tries to save face, here are a few people in sports who should have quit long ago.

Pete Rose

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    DAVID KOHL/Associated Press

    I get it, dude.

    You're the all-time hits king in major league history and just want to be acknowledged as one of the best players to ever put on a uniform.

    While Pete Rose's exclusion from the Hall of Fame is due to his gambling past, he still continues to try his damnedest to get himself a plaque.

    Rose is one of the great sports debates, but because he's annoyingly pestering Cooperstown to let him in, it's beginning to get a bit old.

Michael Vick

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    When Michael Vick first came to the NFL back in 2001 as the first overall pick, no one had seen the ridiculous combination of speed, agility and arm strength that he displayed.

    And while Vick failed to lead his former Atlanta Falcons team to a Super Bowl, he was still a superstar—until he had that whole dogfighting fiasco, sending him to prison for a pretty long time.

    After seeing a resurgence—and monster contract—with the Philadelphia Eagles following the 2010 season, he has been on a downward slope since, becoming more of a mentor to young quarterbacks like Nick Foles and now Geno Smith on the New York Jets.

    Vick might still have some flashes, but not on a consistent basis—and he probably should have just hung it up this past offseason.

Jermaine O'Neal

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    Andy Wong/Associated Press

    I know that Golden State Warriors power forward Jermaine O'Neal contributed to the team last year, actually starting 13 games and providing a big body down low, but there has to be better options out there.

    A six-time All-Star over the course of his now 18 seasons, O'Neal's best days are way behind him, and—if it weren't for his height and experience—he should not take up a roster spot in a young man's league.

    Jermaine had his day in the sun, but it's time for the 35-year-old to spend more time beneath the rays—as in on a beach, retired.

Alex Rodriguez's Lawsuit

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    DAVID KARP/Associated Press

    There are so many things that us sports fans probably would love for suspended New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez to stop doing.

    One that we should all celebrate him doing, though?

    Finally dropping in June the lawsuit against major league baseball regarding his record suspension for using PEDs.

    Sure, it's a thing of the past now, but did A-Rod really believe that a lawsuit against MLB would do anything for his image or legacy other than hurt it more?

    Sadly, I really think he did—but at least it's no longer.

Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    Much like the aforementioned Jermaine O'Neal, there just isn't anything left in the tank for Amar'e Stoudemire or Kenyon Martin.

    Once lethal, athletic freaks who could jump out of the gym, the two New York Knicks forwards have seen their skills fall off hard and fast.

    Both are former All-Stars who carry former fame, but starting a combined 47 games the past two years should have been a sign that it's time for them to help the Knicks out and clear some cap space—although, what athlete is ever going to turn down millions?

Stephen A. Smith

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    There aren't too many sports fans out there who enjoy hearing the voice of ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, who continuously screams his points through television speakers each day.

    While I respect anyone who holds an opinion and sticks by it, it's Smith's arrogance and matter-of-fact persona that makes me cringe—especially when on the same panel as Skip Bayless.

    And although Stephen A. gets paid to give insight and talk sports, sometimes he takes it too far—as he did with the Ray Rice situation—earning him a suspension from ESPN.

    Will he stop being what we've always seen, though? It's highly doubtful.

Steve Nash

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    Chris Carlson/Associated Press

    L.A. Lakers point guard Steve Nash has always been one of the most exciting players the league has seen.

    Undersized and slight in frame, Nash didn't let that ever hold him back, winning two league MVPs, making eight All-Star Games and, when retired, he will make the Hall of Fame.

    Ahh, yes, that word retired, though.

    It doesn't seem as if Nash has any plans to do that just yet, actually admitting earlier this year that he wasn't going to call it quits because he "[wants] the money" owed to him by the Lakers.

    He's set to make $9.7 million this season, so I guess I can't blame him—although he isn't nearly the player that he used to be due to recent injuries.

Jason Giambi

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    Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

    As a Cleveland sports fan, I hate ever talking smack about a player who suits up for one of my teams, but in Jason Giambi's case, I just can't help but plead that he calls it quits.

    While the 43-year-old had tremendous moments in helping the Indians reach the postseason last year, he hasn't done anything of mention this year, earning just 47 at-bats in 15 games.

    Interviewing for the Colorado Rockies managerial job before the Tribe invited him to spring training before the 2013 season, it's a good sign that Giambino shouldn't be stepping to the plate.

    He's a great mentor for young guys, but why is the team actually activating him again this year?

Daniel Snyder

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Is the name the Washington Redskins racist?

    Of course it is!

    That's why I have no idea why owner Daniel Snyder is even trying to put up a fight in keeping the darn thing as representing his team?

    Sure, the franchise has history and all, but over the years the debate has become more intense, so it might just be time for Snyder to do a re-brand—which, of course, will create even more money coming in, so that's a good thing.

Chauncey Billups

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    He may have been known as Mr. Big Shot years ago thanks to his remarkable postseason performances, but Chauncey Billups hasn't been that guy in a long time now.

    While his skills have diminished, it's Billups' body that has let him down, playing in just 61 total games over the past three seasons.

    After signing with the Detroit Pistons prior to last season—which is where he made a name for himself—there was hope Billups would go out in fitting fashion.

    Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case, yet he still continues to just ponder retirement.

Lance Armstrong

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    George Burns/Associated Press

    Sure, former *seven-time Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong finally admitted to Oprah Winfrey in early 2013 that he had been doping for the majority of his cycling career, but that doesn't mean it erased all the denials he had previously made for so long.

    Armstrong captivated the sporting world by not only defeating cancer, but also raising a ton of awareness for the worst disease on earth, all while somehow miraculously being on top of his sport.

    Of course, Armstrong lied and deceived everyone to stay at the top, so when Lance finally owned up to it, it was about a decade too late.

Donald Sterling

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    Mark Terrill/Associated Press

    Let's all rejoice, because Donald Sterling can finally be referred to as the former owner of the L.A. Clippers—but it was an exhausting process to get there.

    After it was first reported that he and his estranged wife had come to terms to sell the Clips, Donald backed out and sued the NBA and everyone else who he thought went against his belief that he should still be the team's majority owner following his racist comments back in May.

    Even though it took months to be approved by all sides, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has now been awarded the team—though I have a feeling Sterling will still fight the sale somehow.