It's inherent in the NBA that certain players are going to get under other player's and fans' skin every year. In fact, some players make a career out of being a trouble-maker and being the player fans love to hate when they come to each city.
But, others do it simply by being themselves as they showboat or do not show respect when it is due. In any event there are players that fans love to hate in basketball and they continue to antagonize each and every night on NBA courts.
Obviously, some teams do not have that many players to dislike. Other teams have numerous players you probably cannot stand. Either way it's interesting to see which players take the bulk of the heat (no pun intended) for their teams.
The face of Mark Cuban's Mavericks for over a decade, Dirk Nowitzki, has upset fans across the league during that time in many games with his stone-cold shooting from anywhere on the court. One of the best, if not the best, foreign-born players of all time, Dirk has made the Mavericks a power in the West every year, and has made life horrible for other teams trying to guard him.
His popularity most definitely wins out with his 10 All-Star appearances to go along with his MVP award.
Bargnani certainly has not done much to deserve the reputation as being the most hated player on the Raptors. But, that exactly is the problem, as the first overall pick from the 2006 Draft has not been the leader that the only Canadian team needs desperately at this time.
He has become a solid player thus far in his career, but Raptors fans would like more from a player they invested so much in. With Chris Bosh gone they lack the talent to overcome a lot, and it is on Bargnani's back now.
On a team that does not have any character to really dislike, Russell Westbrook is one player on the Oklahoma City Thunder that can irritate many teams. Westbrook has been one of the key pieces for the Thunder as they continue to climb the ranks for best team in the Western Conference.
Though the leader of the Thunder is Kevin Durant, it seems impossible to dislike the "Durantula." So Westbrook who is an MVP candidate this season will have to take the brunt of road crowds disdain, and I'm sure he'd do so gladly.
The Kings are real bad right now and they are also real young. They have only two players that have played in the NBA for longer than five seasons, and that should mean some form of improvement should come in the future. Also, with that youth, the team doesn't really have anyone the team can really be looked at as the "bad guy."
So by default Tyreke Evans, the team's best player, should receive the chorus of boo's when the Kings are in your building. The Rookie of the Year is the player that the organization will no doubt build around going forward and is going to be one of the best in the West for a while.
No player has truly emerged from the Warriors to be known as a player that leaves fans with a bad taste in their mouths. They seem to be a high-scoring, average, likeable bunch for the most part with Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis leading the bunch.
But, some could find offense with shooting ace Monta Ellis. The second-round pick who has spent his entire career with the Warriors has previously won Most Improved Player and has averaged 25+ points a game in each of the last two seasons.
It is certainly hard to find a player on the Bucks that fits the description of being disliked enough to be "hated," but with Scott Skiles' tough-minded defensive schemes, it is just a matter of time before someone gets annoying.
Veteran Corey Maggette has been a solid player throughout his NBA career with four different teams. Some, however, do not think he has lived up to the expectations out of Duke that some had. He has never had success in the postseason, which has turned some on him in certain cities.
The Knicks' most hated player may in fact be a player that the fans of the team cannot stand themselves. That being Eddy Curry, whose injuries over the years have limited him to a suit-wearing cheerleader courtside the majority of the time.
In the last two seasons in New York he has played a total of 10 games, and to make matters worse his enormous contract cripples the Knicks to make deals to get him out of the "Big Apple." Adding the off-the-court issues that Curry has had, it seems his once promising days as "Baby Shaq" have faded away.
It is not what Rashard Lewis has done that makes him disliked by some, but what he has been unable to do. It is some analysts' and fans' belief that Lewis has not lived up to the money that he received over the course of his career.
He no doubt has been a very good player, but has not lived up to the big-time contracts that he has gotten. He has made it to two All-Star games, and has been to the Finals once.
One of the better defensive shooting guards in the NBA, Rudy Fernandez continues to try to establish himself as a force in a position that is swarmed with talent in the league. He did not endear himself that much with Trail Blazer fans this past offseason when he was demanding a trade out of Portland.
Since that time he has cooled his proverbial tongue on that front, but the trade rumors persist. He is a talented young player that could help plenty of teams in the NBA.
Despite being one of the more popular players of his generation; Vince Carter has his share of critics as well. Some say that he is simply a flashy, highlight reel player that is not winning to play tough defense to win.
This comes after early in his career when some wondered if he was going to take the step and be the next Michael Jordan.
He has certainly fallen short of that level of player, but has become somewhat of a quandary as he is still a good scorer, but never lived up to what people thought he could be. Some people in Toronto still believe he did not give it his all in games as a Raptor on occasion.
Some may say that Shane Battier is a player that they cannot stand, or Yao Ming has done nothing (can't blame him for injuries). Brad Miller has been a player that has gotten to players like Shaq in his day. Shaq tried to land the hammer on Miller back in 2002, but that blew over.
Since that time Miller has made the All-Star Game twice and has become one of the best shooting centers the league has to offer.
The tough defensive-minded Argentinian forward has been known as a player that will mix it up with anyone in the NBA. With the Bulls he had run-ins with Dwayne Wade which got him thrown in into the first row by Udonis Haslem, and also committed a big-time foul on Tayshaun Prince.
Since leaving Chicago as a free agent he was relegated to more bench time in Sacramento before joining the Sixers, where he has had moderate success.
Al Horford has been a great talent since being drafted third overall from Florida by the Atlanta Hawks. But, in his rookie season, Horford said some dumb things to the media and has since been known to commit a lot of hard fouls.
No doubt Horford has toned down his veracity in his words but he still is a intense player on the court, and continues to fuel the Hawks in their ascension as one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
Now a Net, Sasha Vujacic's reputation as being an "irritating" figure in the NBA has carried its way over the country from Los Angeles.
The two-time NBA champion has had a tendency to get under some of the elite players in the NBA's skin over the past few years. He even got some criticism from from Laker players and coaches. It might also be jealousy from outsiders, though, with his two rings and engagement to tennis star Maria Sharapova.
The fans of Charlotte may have a special place in their hearts for Emeka Okafor, who now plays for the Hornets after he was left for them to pick after Dwight Howard. But, Trevor Ariza gives players throughout the league fits with his commanding defense.
He is well-liked for his days in Los Angeles, but is not so admired by other Western Conference teams for his efforts.
A "Wild Thing" of Cleveland that would make Rick Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) proud; Anderson Varejao has seen his share of loathing throughout the NBA in his career. He has been said to "flop" on many occasions in manners that would make an actor proud.
Varejao has been a good role player for the Cavs over the past few years as a big-time rebounder. Some would argue owner Dan Gilbert would be the most hated for the Cavs if he were to put on a uniform.
The team that has gotten under the skin of many players and fans over the years; the Pistons have featured players like Bill Lambier, Isaiah Thomas, Dennis Rodman and Mark Aguirre. In today's era, the memories of the incident in Detroit of the game against the Pistons still resonates in the league.
And, the player that it all started with was center Ben Wallace. Wallace has made an outstanding career out of his physical play, winning four Defensive Player of the Year awards with his title in 2004. But, lackluster stays in Chicago and Cleveland have diluted his once great career.
In the league there have not been players, and specifically defenders, that have gotten the reputation as one of the most defensive players as much as Raja Bell has. In the 2006 playoffs, Kobe Bryant learned firsthand what kind of player Bell was with a clothesline that many will not soon forget.
Twice in his career Bell has been apart of the defensive teams of the year and for an undrafted player out of Florida International that is quite impressive. He has played for many teams in his career, but is still known and somewhat respected for his game.
The Indiana Pacers' James Posey has been around the block some would say, with his seven different teams that he has played with thus far in his career. But, with championship victories in Miami and Boston, he has shown he can get it done at the highest level.
At the same time he has been known to take "cheap shots" against teams like Miami and Chicago in his career. In games against the Bulls he injured players Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Tyrus Thomas on three different occasions. Lucky or unlucky for Posey, he now plays in the Bulls' division.
No player has taken the NBA by storm in their rookie season in quite a while like Blake Griffin has this season for the Clippers. After sitting out last season with injury, he has emerged as an All-Star this year that doesn't take anything from anyone. He has already stirred up anger from veterans Lamar Odom and Andre Miller among others this season.
The truth is, though, Griffin is winning over the fans with his 110 percent effort every night and attitude on the court. The others in the league can whine all they want about his "reckless" play, but they are going to have to get used to it or get out of his way.
Randolph has shown throughout his career that he has some great talent for a big man in the NBA. But, off-court issues and incidents such as punching Phoenix Suns player, Louis Amundson, back in 2009 have hampered his image.
He made the All-Star Game last season, and was a snub this season to go to the game. But, underwhelming performances with the Knicks and Clippers will be remembered by those fans forever.
In a career that has not quite lived up to the expectations that were put before him, Michael Beasley still might have time to right the ship in Minnesota. After a superb career at Kansas State he has battled off the court problems coupled with what seems like indifference at times.
Beasley has never come close to matching the accomplishments that Derrick Rose, who was taken ahead of him in the draft, has done. He was left off the Miami "Heatles" and is trying to make a niche for himself for the Timberwolves.
A player with unquestioned talent, J.R. Smith has shown through his performances in the Slam Dunk Contest and has shown he is more than competent three-point shooter. Incidents such as his brawl with the Knicks and lack of passion in the playoffs have made him a disliked figure for many.
Some would say that Carmelo is the player that they love to boo when the Nuggets come to town, but J.R. Smith has earned the boos more than a player that simply is at the top of the trade rumor mill all the time.
One of the most hated and, at the same time, underrated players in the NBA over the course of the last decade. Stephen Jackson has shown that he is as tough as it gets, and has been known to be one of the most unpredictable.
In his time with six different NBA teams he will be best remembered for receiving the 30-game suspension while with the Pacers after jumping into the stands against the Detroit in the famous brawl. Since that time he has been more of a leader, and is currently the co-captain of the Bobcats.
As accomplished as any player could dream of; three-time NBA champion and three-time All-Star, Tony Parker is known for his off-court celebrity as much as on-court. Parker's marriage and subsequent divorce to actress Eva Longoria have made him a larger-than-life player in the NBA; especially in contrast to reserved teammate Tim Duncan.
Some fans resent the rumors of Parker wanting to play in New York City when he has a good thing in San Antonio. Whatever reason Parker gets the slack, he does not let it affect him with his production on the court.
"Agent Zero," "Hibachi," those are some of the nicknames that Gilbert Arenas has been given over the years. There has certainly been some who have called Arenas other not-so-flattering names in his years in the NBA.
The flashy, self-promoting scorer has seen his share of controversy in his career, and he has made three All-Star games. With issues on the court and off it; Gilbert Arenas has proven to be one of the most polarizing figures in basketball throughout his career.
He has been relatively quiet of late, but who knows when "Agent Zero" will strike again.
As a Bulls fan, I had (cough) reservations about the Bulls bringing in Florida forward Joakim Noah after the draft. But, since that time Noah has gotten better and better with each season, and also has grown into one of the most hated figures outside of Chicago since.
If you're a Celtic fan you can't like Mr. Noah on account of his words concerning Kevin Garnett, and the way Noah seems to play up for the Celtics. And, the people of Cleveland have the words of Noah calling their city basically boring to concern themselves with. Cities elsewhere have followed suit and Noah is becoming a love-to-hate player.
Not a lot of players have come along that can say they have had as many interesting moments in their career as "The Truth" Paul Pierce.
The nine-time All-Star and former NBA Finals MVP has risen above his draft-day snub that landed him in Boston with the No. 10 overall pick. He has become one of the legendary Celtics that will be revered for ages to come.
But, elsewhere he is known as a player that cannot be trusted. This is especially true after the first game of the Finals in 2008 with the "wheelchair incident." Other times such as saying he was a superior player to Kobe Bryant have gotten Pierce negative attention.
While wearing the crown you are bound to hear the boos and take the hate. Some might say that Kobe Bryant is the most disliked Laker because of his incidents off the court, and his attitude earlier in his career.
However, the much-controversial Ron Artest has been a player that many have rooted against for years.
The fiasco in Detroit, the rapping, the drinking before games, the interviews...the list goes on and on regarding the former All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year. Artest has played on a few teams in the NBA, and like Joakim Noah is usually only liked by the team's that he is playing for.
Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem and for in all intents and purposes the whole Heat team have developed a mantra around the league of being utterly despised. But, no player has received the venomous hatred like LeBron James has since taking his talents to South Beach.
"King" James vilified himself to Cleveland and made enemies of the fans of cities like New York and Chicago by spurning them as well. His "decision" will go down in history and despite not knowing how this tale will end it is sure to be interesting.