The 10 Dirtiest Players in the NBA
With the LeBron "Decision" and Chris Paul apparently plotting his escape from the Hornets, this offseason has seen many players quickly transition from fan favorites to despised villains.
Following in the footsteps of such famous scrappers as Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, and John Stockton, these are the 10 players most disliked in the association not named LeBron, Bosh, or Wade.
No. 10: Kobe Bryant
While Bryant is a global ambassador for the NBA and one of the purest offensive talents we've ever seen in this league, there's no denying his down and sometimes dirty defensive style warranting a selection for this dubious group.
Not even the dirtiest player on his own team (see Artest, Ron), Kobe's win at all cost attitude and intense demeanor on the court can sometimes lead to some extra curricular physical play.
His recent on court tussles with Raja Bell and Matt Barnes only back up his inclusion on the list. Perhaps with less success Kobe would be higher on the list, but No. 10 feels right.
No. 9: Paul Pierce
The player that was once hated for spitting in the face of a young LeBron James during an argument with the superstar will now likely be lauded in Cleveland for his treatment of James.
The same cannot be said for several other NBA cities that have seen their players battle with the scrappy forward from Kansas.
Pierce is know throughout league circles as a chronic jersey puller.
His veteran guile is oftentimes mistaken by opposing players and fans as dirty play.
Again, like Mr. Bryant before him, Pierce's 110 percent effort on the defensive end and his reputation as a winner softens the blow and lands him at the high end of the list.
No. 8: Kenyon Martin
Like its winter sports counterpart hockey, basketball is a game where overtly physical players, sometimes referred to as "enforcers," are extremely valuable to a team that wants to be better than average.
Among basketball enforcers, Kenyon Martin is the Bash Brothers of the NBA. By himself.
If you are insane (or just plain stupid) enough to cross this scary individual, you deserve whatever physical punishment befalls you.
Mark Cuban famously called Martin a "thug" to his mother, prompting an incensed Martin to seek out Cuban in the tunnel after the game.
Cuban most likely had to promptly change his Mavericks' boxer shorts after Kenyon was steered back to the visitor's locker room. Yikes!
No. 7: Kevin Garnett
While Garnett's temperament has somewhat cooled due to his recent injury struggles, he is still known throughout the NBA as a player that will simply not shut up.
Trash talking is right up there with the 15-foot bank shot and shot blocking as what makes Kevin "KG". And in a league full of type-A personalities, this can cause many conflicts for the aging vet.
Along with his constantly flapping mouth, KG is also known for the two pointy elbows that he has a tendency to swing wildly after pulling down a rebound in a crowd. This of course causes the inevitable violent connection of said elbows and another players face.
And good luck getting an apology from KG. The dude would swallow his size 17s before he'd swallow his pride.
No. 6: Andres Nocioni
Andres Nocioni is like that guy at the local Rec that everyone hates but everyone wants on their team. He just plain gets on your nerves, unless he's on your team.
Not known as much of a scorer, Nocioni makes his money on the defensive end, usually guarding the opposing team's best player, thus making their night in Sacramento a living hell.
"Noce" never shys away from contact or physical play, and has suffered multiple broken noses throughout his career as a result of his defensive mentality.
No. 5: Chris Paul
The shortest member of this list is also known as one of the most tenacious and underhanded players in the league. Upon coming into the league as a rookie out of Wake Forest, Paul's reputation as the guy that struck NC State forward Julius Hodge below the belt with an elbow preceded him.
Almost immediately upon taking the floor his rookie year, the league was abuzz with talk of how dirty Paul is.
Yet since he is so talented and will disguise his actions with that 1,000 watt smile, much of his questionable play stays out of the headlines. Along with his being injured most of the 2009-2010 season, Paul lands at No. 5.
Look for him to probably move up the list next year if the Hornets begin to struggle this coming season as many believe they will.
#4: Ron Artest
Ron Ron has made a career for himself with his scrappy, often times downright annoying play.
The guy couldn't even make it 15 seconds before getting tangled up with Paul Pierce in Game 1 of this year's finals.
Despite his reputation as the lunatic that rampaged through the stands during the infamous Brawl at Auburn Hills, punching the wrong fan in the face, Artests' standing as one of the best defensive players in the league is indisputable.
His stifling lock down D on Paul Pierce throughout the series was a huge factor in the Lakers hoisting the trophy again this year.
Plus, who doesn't love a guy that takes the time to thank his psychiatrist during the post game press conference?
#1: Kendrick Perkins
Mr. Perkins quickly went from unknown to the NBA's newest bad boy this postseason.
Perkins racked up technical fouls like they were going out of style. So much so that the NBA was considering suspending him during the Finals if he received another T.
The only thing that possibly saved him from drawing a plethora of technical fouls and ejections(and thus a season starting suspension for 2010-2011) during the finals was a back injury that caused him to watch much of the series from the bench.
Look for a healthy Kendrick to pick right back up where he left off this coming season and cement himself as the dirtiest player on the dirtiest team in the league.
Because hey, in the NBA it's better to be known for anything than not known at all.