For every great connection of a Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, there is a tumultuous one such as that between Mike Vanderjagt and Peyton Manning. As we get further along in once peaceful terrain, things can turn bleak and unappealing.
This group is a mix of liked, disliked and neutral based players by the NBA community. There are many different views one can take while looking at whether a certain player is in the right given the feud happening between them. Such can look at a simple dispute as an atrocious, disheartening experience, while others see the more tenuous acts as simple actions.
Many of these altercations are memorable, while others were just a couple guys getting into a meaningless fight. These feuds make their highest mark in that they would lead to at least one, if not both members of the feud to be removed from the organization eventually. Usually for the betterment of all parties involved.
These aren't the most fabulous of players to choose from, but they will do for the given time. Over a two year period, Thomas and Haywood got into three fights during practice. They could have been fighting to be the weak starting Center on a team that was pretty solid at the other four positions for all we know. Either way, it's fun to see one player calling out another player by his full name in Brendan Todd Haywood.
The Jail Blazers had many issues and incidents occur during their heyday. One of their low lights came in a 2003 practice between Patterson and Randolph. A scuffle ensued after an argument between Patterson and Qyntel Woods and would end with Randolph punching Patterson in the face. It's hard to say who's to blame in this case given the past of both players. The league put the blame on Randolph fining him $100,000 and suspending him two games.
The one time All-Star Szcerbiak and K.G. did not always have the smoothest of sailings. Garnett has always held players up to playing great defense. That was not something that fell in to Wally's world. One of the worst defenders in the league, Szczerbiak brought much frustration to Kevin. This surfaced the most during a practice in 2000, in which Garnett punched Wally. Their relationship stayed fractured from then on.
Did it happen? Did it not happen? This is the question that is always brought to the front about whether or not Delonte West engaged in sexual relations with LeBron James' mother. Whether West did or not, LeBron looks to be back in the mold of revenge as is shown by his latest twitter messages. West is back in Boston this year and if he heals up from his hand injury, we might just see LeBron dunk all over him again in the TD Garden like he did in this ferocious dunk.
The showers can be an awfully treacherous area in the NBA. Just ask Malik Rose who stated: "Nate tried to jump on me when I was naked, thinking he had the advantage that way. He just got on my nerves, trying to get his money, and I'm not giving it to him. It was a couple of dollars." The dispute was over a Monday Night Seahawks versus Eagles game with betting on the line as usual with these scrappings. Robinson for his hometown Seahawks and Rose on the Eagles.
Along with losing the money, the loser of the bet in Rose had to wear a Seahawks jersey and hat. Rose admitted that he tried to get out of the bet during the game when the Eagles' Michael Westbrook was injured. His reasoning was that "All bets aren't good until halftime. When Westbrook went down, I didn't want to bet no more and Nate won't let me out of it. I don't think I should have to pay because all of my guys were injured." Now this kind of reasoning almost gives me an understanding of the NBA culture, almost.
All for a singer, albeit Toni Braxton, but a singer nonetheless broke up the young trio in Dallas. As rumor had it at the time, in 1996 Braxton was set up to go out on a date with Jason Kidd as she came to their hotel. She reportedly left with Jimmy Jackson.
Jackson and Kidd both became cold towards each other and neither one reached out to absolve the relationship. Kidd would demand that the team trade Jackson or him and by seasons end both were gone. Kidd to the Suns, Jackson to the Nets and even Jamal Mashburn would go to Miami. The Mavericks would play a total of 27 different players that season.
The most recent of incidents, was the gambling on a plane which led to the physical altercation between these two. The Grizzlies had just beaten the defending champion Lakers in an impressive win. They celebrated by having a little card game. The only hand Mayo end up seeing that night was Tony Allen's coming toward his face.
Mayo reportedly lost the card games and owed $1,000 to $1,500 to Allen before insulting Allen and not paying him. Allen responded by beating down Mayo into O.J. Mayo would sit out the Grizzlies next game due to "bronchitis".
Former teammates, the year before, Mahorn and Thomas had been working together as Bad Boys on a Champion Pistons team. Mahorn would then find himself alongside Charles Barkley in Philadelphia. Thomas was not shy to do whatever he felt he needed to (cheap or not) to win the game. This was a perfect example of the extremes he used including once breaking his hand by punching Bill Laimbeer in the back. The lack of Mahorn being phased by the missed punch is definitely the highlight here.
This is a good old mixing of words and we know Barkley is never short on them. However, it was the slimmer and longer Pippen who was the one firing off words. During a feud between the two in 1999, Pippen went on ESPN calling Barkley "selfish", "fat" and that he did not hold the dedication to win an NBA championship. This led to a loss of words between the teammates and Pippen getting an eventual trade to the Portland Trailblazers.
It seems that if you were a teammate of Jordan he was always testing you in practice, after practice, during games, always. Scottie Pippen went through the rigors Dennis Hopson could not handle; but Pippen had a large hill to climb to gain Jordan's trust.
Jordan tried to put the 18-year-old Kwame Brown in the mix and he did not respond well at all. Jordan would at times put Brown to tears with his comments and broke him down mentally as he did so many teammates throughout his career. Funny enough that Jordan signed Kwame to the Bobcats this off-season. Bottom line, if you did not do something to help Jordan win, you were going to hear from him.
This was a build up over years of frustration between the former Charlotte Hornet teammates.Only teammates for three seasons (1992 to 1995), they always had problems. Johnson originally taunted Mourning his Rookie year in 1992, showing him his NBA Rookie of the Year leather coat, and saying, "Hey, young fellow, if you play real hard you might get one of these jackets." Every member of the Hornets who heard Johnson laughed, except Mourning.
During game 4 of the 1998 Playoffs enough was enough and as was the theme of the games between Miami and New York something had to give. Both players couldn't wait the final 1.8 seconds of the game and went at each other. They both needed some help from Mike Tyson as neither landed a punch. Funny enough, the lasting image from this is Jeff Van Gundy wrapping himself around the ankle of Mourning to try and dissolve the situation.
This is not the biggest draw in terms of names; but is the most dangerous feud of all. This was a combination of teammates and guns. Both players would end up suspended for the rest of the season. One in Crittenton would find his career done (He played five Preseason Games for Charlotte) and the other would have to start from the ground on up.
On Christmas Eve, over a gambling debt both players would pull guns on each other beginning with Arenas. It was as the theme continues to be today, a gambling debt that went awry. This was the second time Gilbert had received a weapons charge. Arenas pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed weapon while in the San Francisco - Bay area back in 2003.
"The Worm" and "The Admiral" were not made for each other that's for sure. In Rodman's first book: Bad As I Wanna Be, Dennis brings about the chemistry issues that surfaced between he and the Spurs along with Robinson. David's inability to stand up and take charge of the Playoffs in 1995 were brought out of the mist in his book. Dennis and David for the most part got along during their short tenure, but the 1995 Playoffs caused tension for the split in direction of the team. The #1 seed, 62 win Spurs would be knocked out by the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals. Robinson would stay lip shut about any animosity between the two.
Rodman would then find himself out of town before the 95-96 campaign as he was traded for Will Perdue. It was one of the more silent conflicts that would be resolved and lead to positive directions for both players.
This was the infamous choking incident that changed the landscape of player coach relations in the NBA. Spreewell. Latrell along with other players had begun to be irritated by Carlesimo's tactics. It would come to a head on December 1st,1997 when Spree to P.J. to the ground with choke marks around his neck.
The next day, the Warriors chose to void Spreewell’s contract. A contract with three years and $24 million remaining. The NBA then suspended him for one year. After taking the case to arbitration, the void contract was overturned and the suspension was shortened to the remainder of the season which amounted to 68 games. It would begin a precedent of season ending suspensions that have been given to the likes of Ron Artest and the aforementioned Gilbert Arenas.
This has to be the biggest feud of all. The soap opera that was Shaq and Kobe with a little bit of Phil Jackson mixed in. Whether you liked Shaq or Kobe, that wasn't the biggest question. The question was always whether they could put their egos aside and work together to bring home titles. They were strong enough to bring three straight titles back together along with fourth Finals appearance in 2004.
The desire for Kobe to be given more power and Shaq relenting his was an uneasy affair for Jackson and eventually both Jackson and Shaq would leave with Kobe remaining as the lone piece of the trio. A great 1-2 punch which makes you ponder how well they could have done together if they actually had stayed in good graces with one another.