Stephen Jackson, DeMarcus Cousins and the NBA's Most Uncoachable Players
Stephen Jackson and DeMarcus Cousins have been making headlines lately, but neither for their play. Cousins has been in the news for butting heads with coach Paul Westphal and was kicked out of practice Monday.
When the Sacramento Kings drafted Cousins they knew what they were getting themselves into, but like most teams they feel like they can "fix the problem."
Cousins can't be "fixed" now because he needs to mature, something that won't come for years.
Until then, he is going to be an enigmatic power forward with flashes of basketball brilliance on the court, just enough to warrant putting up with his poor attitude and work ethic.
In Jackson's case, he isn't a 20-year-old kid anymore, but you couldn't tell just by seeing his on-court composure.
He has seven technical fouls on the year—second behind Dwight Howard—and has received a $50,000 fine for verbally abusing officials.
Not to mention, he was suspended for one game Tuesday, also for verbally abusing officials. To continue piling on bad news, Jackson was ejected from the Charlotte Bobcats' last game, after receiving two technical fouls.
A 10-year veteran, who is coached by a Hall of Famer, should know how to compose himself by now. Jackson isn't doing Larry Brown any favors with his antics this season, and things are going to have to change or he's going to be traded again.
Cousins and Jackson can find solace in knowing that they aren't the only un-coachable players in the NBA. Without further ado, let's get started.
In the picture above, Smith is cringing, much like George Karl does every time his talented, yet frustrating, shooting guard hoists up a bad shot.
There's no doubt Smith is a head case who hasn't responded to Karl's coaching.
Karl has tried to rein in the talented guard and turn him into one of the best in the NBA, but his lackadaisical play, along with poor shot selection, have prevented him from being a special player.
Smith hasn't had a good season so far, although, against Phoenix, this past Sunday he dropped 30 points.
Too bad Smith hasn't found a way to bring his "A" game more consistently.
When Haywood was with the Washington Wizards, there were grumblings about his attitude. Now that he is with the Dallas Mavericks, it appears things haven't changed.
After losing the starting center gig to Tyson Chandler, Haywood hasn't been happy with his reduced role.
Haywood was promised to start, during the off-season when he re-signed, but his play hasn't warranted him a starting slot.
This may have been why he got in a fight with Rick Carlisle, which led to him being suspended for last Friday's game.
Chandler has played better, sending Haywood to the pine. Haywood's antics could land him on the trading block once again.
The only problem: there wouldn't be many takers for his bloated contract.
Ron Ron may have helped the LA Lakers to a title earlier this year, but he still hasn't grasped the triangle offense. How long does it honestly take an NBA player to learn the triangle?
For an average NBA player, a season within it, on the best team in the league, would normally be enough, unless you have the basketball IQ that Artest does.
Phil Jackson is one of the greatest coaches of all time, and he still hasn't been able to "smarten" up the forward.
Artest has become infamous in LA, for hoisting untimely three-pointers and making poor decisions on the offensive end.
All is well when you're winning, but a Jackson-Artest clash is bound to happen sooner or later.
One of the NBA's most controversial figures always seems to find his name in the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Last season, it was the gun incident, and in the preseason it was him faking an injury. Arenas is the definition of an un-coachable player.
Arenas does what Arenas wants, when Arenas pleases. That has been the type of mentality that has haunted his coaches.
Right now, Flip Saunders is stuck dealing with Arenas' antics, and if Washington is fortunate it won't be for long.The Wizards are going to do all they can to try and move him this season, but his horrific contract may be too difficult to ship out.
Bottom line: Arenas is past his prime, isn't worth the headache and remains a stain on the Washington franchise.
Why does Diaw land himself on this list?
While he hasn't had any off the court issues with his coaches, he still remains one of the biggest underachievers in basketball.
Diaw is a unique power forward who can handle the ball and shoot it from the outside. Larry Brown has pleaded the Frenchman to be more assertive on the offensive end, yet Diaw always seems to pick and choose when he wants to play.
When he does show up, he's capable of triple-double type numbers, but his lack of motivation and ability to come to camp in shape has always hindered him.
There's no excuse for why Diaw isn't effective more often, other than he chooses to march to the beat of his own drum.
When Vinny Del Negro ripped Davis for being out of shape in early November, the point guard didn't deny what was said; instead, he agreed with it.
While Davis gets points for manning up and being honest, it's hard to give a guy credit who has failed to get on the court because of his conditioning problem, which has led to a sore knee.
This looks worse because it had to have been a point of emphasis, from Del Negro to Davis, this off-season when Negro got the job.
By not showing up in good shape, Davis let his team down and continued to prove that he hasn't worked hard since he signed his contract with LA.
Davis needs to take the game more seriously and follow Del Negro's guidance.
Why does Bosh stand a couple of steps inside the three-point line on almost every Miami possession? Because he wants to.
Erik Spoelstra has his hands full with LeBron at the moment, and may not be interested in stirring up any more controversy, despite Bosh's lackluster play on the defensive end.
There's no reason Bosh should be averaging a career-low in rebounds on a team with very little size. By default, he should be grabbing 10 boards a game, but he isn't.
It appears Bosh's lackadaisical approach to crashing the boards could be coming from the feeling of entitlement that came with joining James and Dwayne Wade.
Regardless of where it's coming from, Spoelstra needs his starting power forward to play with more energy.
Bosh has to be on pace to set a record for bad jumpers taken in a season.
He consistently settles for jumpers, one or two steps within the three-point line. If you're going to take that shot, step out beyond the arc and make it worth it.
The former UConn star hasn't found much success with the Detroit Pistons since signing a five-year, $40 million contract, two summers ago. Villanueva clashed with coach John Kuester last season and has never been known to be a coach pleaser.
While Kuester claims that the power forward is a changed player, his track record speaks for itself.
Villanueva may very well be a changed man from here on forward, but it's going to take more than a couple months of good behavior for me to believe he's righted the ship.
Putting Ellis on this list wasn't easy because he truly seems like a different player with Don Nelson out and Keith Smart in. The explosive scorer seems more team oriented early in the season, although he still makes sure he gets his shots.
It was no secret that Nelson and Ellis didn't get along, and, despite the early success with Smart, it hasn't been a completely smooth ride.
Ellis sat the majority of the fourth quarter in an earlier game against Detroit with five fouls, and, afterward, he let the media know he wasn't happy about it.
Ellis' track record, coupled with him complaining about playing time to the media, could mean a potential feud is on the horizon.
Losing brings out the worst in everyone, and Prince is no different. When the Pistons reigned supreme over the Eastern Conference, there wasn't a more pleasant and affable player than Prince. My how things have changed, since Chauncey Billups was sent off to Denver.
Prince hasn't taken a liking to Kuester, although it very well could be a ploy from Prince to try and get out of Detroit as fast as possible. The best way to do that is to not give maximum effort, exchange heated words with your coach, and pout.
That's exactly what Prince did in a blowout loss earlier this season, when Kuester called him out for not fighting through a double-screen that led to a basket.
Apparently, Prince didn't take kindly to what was said to him, which probably sounded along the lines of, "Hey, Tayshaun, why didn't you fight through those screens?"
Prince replying, "Because maybe you'll finally trade me."
OK, maybe it didn't go exactly like that. Regardless, Prince wants out and apparently nothing to do with his coach.
Basketball's most controversial figure has to land on this list, right? Well, only because of what has recently gone on with Spoelstra.
Otherwise, James' tenure with Mike Brown in Cleveland was a rather peaceful one, and, even if James ran the Cavaliers, Brown was willing to let him. At least the organization was willing.
The same can't be said for Miami and Spoelstra. They want James to be coached instead of being the coach, something that he isn't used to. His early response to Spoelstra's coaching hasn't exactly been gracious.
Heavily influenced by James, Brown allowed him to freelance on the offensive end. Adjusting to being told what to do, rather than choosing what to do, is something the King is learning to deal with.
He had a good relationship with Brown, and even if it's been a rocky start, with Spoelstra, James isn't the worst offender on this list.
Stoudemire has already criticized the New York Knicks lack of urgency, and it appears that a potential butting of heads could take place between him and Mike D'Antoni.
D'Antoni coached Amare in Phoenix, and things didn't exactly end on a good note when D'Antoni left.
The two reportedly made up over the summer. If the Knicks don't continue to win, don't be surprised if Amare points the finger at his coach, which would serve as an easy scapegoat if New York's season turns sour.
One of my biggest pet peeves about Stoudemire is his effort on the defensive end. He has all the tools to be a good defender, but he just chooses to devote his talents to offense.
No coach has gotten him to play consistently on the defensive end, and that's the biggest reason he finds himself here.
Tex Winter once said Shaquille O'Neal was the least receptive of all the superstars he's been around to coach.
That makes sense because O'Neal's size and overall ability allowed him to believe he didn't need it. Now Shaq's been around so long that nobody's going to coach him up.
Nobody's going to tell the Big Fella what to do because all he has to do is stand in the lane, wait until he's fouled and block shots on the defensive end.
If you don't believe that Shaq has been an uncoachable player throughout his career, just look at his free throw shooting.
How does somebody honestly play basketball as long as he has and not get better at nailing down the easiest shot in basketball?
Probably because he's never had an interest in having someone help him improve. We all know that the Big Fella believes that he makes them when they count.
The only problem with that is they ALL count!
Turkoglu has completely fallen off of the face of the planet since signing a monster contract with Toronto. A year into his deal, he was shipped off to Phoenix and now has been relegated to coming off the bench for Alvin Gentry's squad.
It doesn't make sense how this multi-talented forward has suddenly become so ineffective. Jay Triano was unable to motivate him in Toronto, and Gentry hasn't had any success so far.
It's hard to imagine that this guy was largely responsible for Orlando's success, making it to the finals a couple of years ago. Now it looks like his career may wind up on the end of a bench or watching in a suit.