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NBA Power Rankings: Stephon Marbury and the 25 Worst Teammates in League History

John FrielAnalyst IJanuary 9, 2017

NBA Power Rankings: Stephon Marbury and the 25 Worst Teammates in League History

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    In a sport like basketball, one rotten apple can easily spoil the bunch.

    It's a team sport that usually needs all of its key players working on all cylinders for a specific roster to build some chemistry and cohesion for it to work.

    Any championship team will tell you that it needed the entirety of its roster for it to achieve that level. Every player on that roster needs to set their egos aside for the sole purpose of obtaining the goal that every team comes together for.

    However, sometimes an organization will make the wrong move when signing a player. A few players in this league would rather play as individuals than as a team and they could run an entire franchise into the ground with their on and off the court antics.

    At times, the player can even be amazing and could win championships, but still be a horrible teammate to play alongside of.

    Over the years, we have witnessed some of the most ridiculous antics by a few NBA players that decided their personal success was worth more than the teams. Even the most elite of players have their downfalls and faults and it can relate to being a bad teammate.

    If you have a player that just can't co-exist on good terms with other players, it can result in years of mediocrity and obscurity for that team, especially if he means a lot to that franchise.

    This article is dedicated to those players that have aggravated and frustrated the organizations, players, and fans. There have been plenty of players that have brought down a franchise, but we were able to narrow it down to 25 of the worst teammates in NBA history.

    No matter how many wins or championships they secured, they can still be regarded as the guy that no one wants to play with.

    You can follow John Friel on twitter @JohnFtheheatgod

25. Michael Jordan

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    Before you lose your mind, this isn't about Michael Jordan being a bad teammate, but more of a teammate that was really bad at being a president.

    In his time as president of the Washington Wizards, Jordan managed to make the team into a train wreck.

    Aside from notoriously drafting famed draft bust Kwame Brown with the first pick in the NBA draft, he also traded away a young Richard Hamilton for an injury-riddled Jerry Stackhouse.

    His signings with the team were never quality and the team could never get off to the right start.

    Best player in the world? Absolutely.

    Best NBA president? Hardly.

24. DeShawn Stevenson

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    Tattoos of Abraham Lincoln don't make you a bad teammate (it makes you a good patriot actually), but pissing off LeBron James during a playoff series does.

    Prior to the start of the Washington Wizards series with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Stevenson openly came out and said that James was overrated.

    The two then got into a ridiculous feud that featured rappers like Jay Z siding with James and Soulja Boy siding with Stevenson after LeBron compared himself to Jay Z and then compared Stevenson to Soulja Boy, a rapper who has nowhere near the recognition that Jigga has.

    The two went at each other all series long with James and the heavily-favored Cavs coming out on top in six games, fueled by LeBron and Stevenson's words.

    One of the most memorable moments came after Stevenson hit a three-pointer over James and then promptly did a "you can't see me" motion by waving his hand over his face with his team down by 19 points.

    LeBron promptly came back down and hit a three of his own in DeShawn's face.

    Stevenson isn't a bad teammate, but he probably cost his team a chance of winning the series by teasing the league's most athletic player.

23. Micheal Ray Richardson

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    Micheal Ray Richardson wasn't the type of teammate that was going to affect one individual game with his antics. Instead, he'd rather affect his team with off-court antics that eventually cost his team a star player.

    Richardson was a four time All-Star and a two time member of the All-Defensive First team before Richardson managed to get himself banned from the league.

    During the 1980's, the drug war was at its peak and cocaine usage was a prevalent problem amongst nearly all the major sporting leagues. Richardson was a player with a problem as he violated the league's drug program three times.

    A year after averaging 16 points, seven assists, and five rebounds per game, Richardson was banned from the league for his incessant druge use. He was then restored into the league in 1988 before failing two more tests in 1991 to get banned once again.

    Richardson also openly complained about the NBA's drug program by claiming that there was a double-standard.

    He said that Chris Mullin's problem with alcohol was never punished because he was white, while Richardson's problem with cocaine was punished because he was black.

    Cocaine is a hell of a drug.

22. Delonte West

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    Legal troubles could affect a team in a negative light even if it is from a role player like Delonte West.

    West was pulled over in his three-wheeled motorcycle and was reported to have possessed a 9MM pistol, a .357 Magnum, and a Remington 870 in a guitar case.

    I'm not sure if Delonte is a vigilante on the side, but it didn't go over well with the team and the police officers that caught him. He didn't get any jail time, but he did get probation and community service.

    What everyone is waiting to hear about now are the allegations that supposedly happened between Delonte West and Gloria James, the mother of LeBron.

    We can't really use that since it's only a rumor, but it's said that James went to his mother's home only to see West wearing nothing but a towel upon entering the house.

21. Jim Jackson

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    Jim Jackson probably made a lot of friends considering he tied the record for being on the most NBA rosters with 12 over 14 seasons, but chances are that Jason Kidd was not one of those friends.

    In an event straight out of a soap opera, the two Mavericks were in a love triangle with singer Toni Braxton.

    It was said that Braxton went to a hotel that the Mavericks were staying at to pick up Jason Kidd for a date, but then left with Jim Jackson instead.

    Both players denied the rumors, but Braxton was one to talk as she never openly denied or confirmed the rumors.

    Either way, it formed a rift between the two teammates and ended a possible dynasty in the making. Kidd demanded a trade and got his wish by being sent to Phoenix.

20. O.J. Mayo

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    It's not right to judge O.J. Mayo's sportsmanship based on this high school video of him "assaulting" a referee that flopped worse than Bill Laimbeer on a good day.

    However, you can judge Mayo based on him getting into an altercation with teammate Tony Allen over a gambling debt.

    The two players came to blows on an airplane before needing to be separated by teammates.

    Mayo also was suspended for 10 games after testing positive for steroids.

    He first claimed that it was an over the counter supplement, but then said that it was an energy drink that he bought at a gas station that attributed to the positive drug test.

19. Nate Robinson

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    He's probably the best dunker in NBA history for a player his size, but what do you remember Nate Robinson for in a positive light aside from that?

    In his first NBA season, Robinson was involved in a number of altercations with his teammates, most notably with Jerome James and Malik Rose in separate incidents.

    Coach Larry Brown decided to send Robinson to the inactive list for ten days to teach him a lesson of some sorts.

    Robinson's temper got the best of him again when he got into an altercation with Nuggets hot head J.R. Smith. The biggest problem being that Smith went after a different Knick player that committed a flagrant foul on Smith on the fast break.

    Robinson then got in the middle of it and instigated an even larger altercation that spilled into the seats of Madison Square Garden.

    He also shot on his own basket and that was about all New York could take from little Nate.

18. DeMarcus Cousins

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    I find it baffling when I hear of rookies complaining about their status on a professional basketball team that is literally paying them millions more than any hard-working, blue collar American will ever make.

    As a broke college student, its players like DeMarcus Cousins that get my blood boiling.

    He had a productive rookie season averaging 14 points and nine rebounds, but it didn't go without Cousins voicing some complaints about the organization.

    As soon as a few weeks into the regular seasons, reports surfaced that DeMarcus was clashing with coaches and teammates. He is said to be extremely difficult to handle and has already been fined by the team on a number of occasions.

    No 20-year-old basketball player should have any sort of attitude when they're getting paid a couple million dollars just to play basketball. Cousins appears to be a problem in the making for Sacramento and could be let go soon if he doesn't clean up his act.

    Also, he thinks he's a point guard for some reason. He also does 'choke signs'.

17. Rafer Alston

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    As a Heat fan, I remember the Rafer Alston saga from last season all too well.

    The Heat brought in thinking that a former player of theirs would help the team out in their point guard situation since Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo weren't playing all too well.

    Alston started 25 games, but they were uneventful as he averaged seven points per game on 35 percent shooting while only dishing out three assists per game.

    After being rumored to soon be benched, Alston sent text messages to the organization saying he wouldn't be able to make it for one of their games. He never returned and was eventually suspended the remainder of the season.

    He also got into an altercation with Matt Barnes after a non-call on a dirty screen and also slapped Eddie House in the back of the head after House hit a three-pointer.

    Off the court, Alston has also had a few altercations that he'd like to forget.

    In 2007, he was arrested for assault and public intoxication after allegedly slashing a man across his neck. In 2008, he would be charged with a DWI.

16. Vince Carter

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    It all started out so well too.

    Vince Carter was the toast of Toronto as he became the cities first basketball superstar. Carter was a terrific scorer as he averaged at least 19 points per game in the six-and-a-half seasons he spent with Toronto.

    Mostly, he was remembered and recognized for his gravity-defying dunks that electrified Toronto and the NBA world.

    However, it turned sour fast as Carter, coach Sam Mitchell, and the Raptors organization began growing on weary terms. In the 2004 off season, Vince was angry with the organization not attempting to build around him in an attempt to find some sort of post season success.

    Toronto had promised to find better players, but couldn't obtain anyone which led to Carter's overall disdain for playing in Toronto.

    Carter was benched in the fourth quarter of close games and said that he would stop dunking. By that point, there was no return and the Raptors traded him to New Jersey during the 2004-'05 season.

14. Gilbert Arenas/15. Javaris Crittenton

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    It must be that Washington Bullets mentality.

    The Washington Wizards weren't always the cream of the crop of the Eastern Conference and it certainly didn't help when it was reported that All-Star Gilbert Arenas had brought guns into the locker room of the Verizon Center.

    It only got worse from there as it then became reported that Arenas and Wizards guard Javaris Crittenton drew guns on each other in a dispute over a gambling debt.

    Apparently, Crittenton had wanted Arenas to own up on a gambling debt and he refused to own up to it. Arenas then branished a pistol, with Crittenton branishing one of his own quickly after.

    No shots were fired, but the damage had been done. Gilbert was sent to a halfway house and was eventually traded by the Wizards for Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis.

    By trading Arenas, the Wizards had officially began their rebuilding period.

13. J.R. Smith

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    Do you want to know J.R. Smith's mentality?

    When the going gets tough, get frustrated and give up.

    Smith is one of the league's most gifted shooters and high flyers, but can sometimes let his mentality and poor attitude get the best of him.

    Denver Nuggets coach George Karl has vented a few times of Smith and his tendency to cool off when the team needs him and his shot selection.

    During the 2006-'07 post season, Karl grew frustrated with Smith's poor shooting and decided to bench him.

    In a close game, Karl reportedly drew a play designed to get the ball to Allen Iverson or Carmelo Anthony. Instead, it was Smith taking an ill advised final shot and not looking for Iverson or Anthony.

    He was also suspended seven games during the 2009-'10 season for a reckless driving incident.

12. Antoine Walker

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    Antoine Walker wasn't the type of player that was going to have off court troubles, in fact he was one of the more likable players in the league for the shimmy that he used to do after hitting big shots.

    The problem with Walker, aside from being out of shape, was that he had one of the worst shot selections in the history of the NBA.

    He was a quality three-point shooter, but he never knew when enough was enough. In the 2001-'02 season, Walker averaged eight three-point attempts per game and only hit 34 percent of them while also shooting below 40 percent from the field.

    For three consecutive seasons, Walker was taking at least seven three-pointers per game and only having a high of 37 percent.

    Antoine shot 41 percent from the field for his career and only won a championship when he took a back seat to Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal.

    Even during his championship season with Miami, he was still taking five three-pointers per game and only hitting 36 percent of them.

11. Ron Artest

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    He's toned down lately, but prior to joining Sacramento, Ron Artest was one player you did not want to get on his bad side.

    It all added up one fateful November 19, 2004 evening during a match between Artest's Pacers and their division rivals Detroit Pistons.

    The Pistons already had the game won with under a minute remaining until Artest committed a hard foul on Detroit center Ben Wallace on a drive to the basket. Wallace responded by pushing Artest and getting into a shoving match before being restrained near the scorers table.

    Artest then laid down across the scorers table as a way to avoid any more conflict. It then escalated when a Pistons fan decided it would be wise to throw a drink at the 6'7", 260-pound, Queensbridge-born Artest. Ron Ron responded by running a few rows into the stands and attacking the wrong fan.

    A few more Pacers spilled into the stands and it then escalated on the court where a few fans decided to confont Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal.

    Ron was suspened for the rest of the season and eventually demanded a trade. He was traded to Sacramento, a place he didn't want to go, and mellowed out there and then in Houston before settling in with the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Artest also reportedly used to get drunk during halftime. Basketball and liquor tend not to mix, so I'm not sure how that worked out.

10. Ricky Davis

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    You thought Andray Blatche wanted a triple-double badly? At least he wasn't desperate enough to shoot and miss on his own basket just for the rebound to obtain the triple-double.

    To say the least, Ricky Davis was as selfish as selfish got. Early on in his career, his reputation as a selfish player and a showboater grew in his time with Cleveland.

    He had averaged 20 points per game in his final season with the Cavaliers, but was only shooting 41 percent and taking 19 field goal attempts per contest.

    He then went on to join Boston where his most memorable highlight came when he attempted a between-the-legs dunk during a fast break of an actual regulation NBA game.

    He failed miserably and decided that a windmill dunk would be enough once he retained possession of the ball.

    He is now playing in France and was out of the league by the time he was 30 years old.

9. Smush Parker

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    I remember a story being told of Smush Parker when he was a member of the Miami Heat:

    It went like so: Parker dribbling the ball with teammate Dwyane Wade demanding it. Parker ignored and continued to dribble at the top of the key. Wade continued to demand the ball, but never got it since Parker waited out the shot clock and shot a brick. Dwyane then looked towards head coach Pat Riley and said this isn't going to work out.

    Yes, Parker's time with Miami will be remembered as a dark time in Heat history. It's sad that he'll be most remembered for an off-court situation where Parker got into a physical altercation with a woman over $12.

    A female valet attendant said that when she couldn't find his ticket, Smush hurt her left arm that left her with some scratches and nerve damage.

    Nerve damage? That might be a little much.

    It was enough for the Heat organization to waive Parker and end the dark period.

8. Steve Francis

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    From the start, Steve Francis wasn't exactly making friends.

    After a productive career at the University of Maryland, Francis was good enough to be selected with the number two pick by the Vancouver Grizzlies.

    At 22 years old, Stevie Franchise decided that he should control his destiny and where he should go, so he publically came out and said that he did not want to play for Vancouver.

    Here comes the best part: Francis claimed that he didn't want to play in Vancouver because of the distance from his abode in Maryland, taxes, a possible lack of endorsements, and God's will.

    Yes, he cited God's will for a reason why he shouldn't play for a professional basketball team that was ready to pay him millions upon millions of dollars.

    What is this? Manifest destiny? Francis citing God as a reason as to why he shouldn't play in Vancouver is a travesty.

    Eventually he got his wish and was traded to Houston where he would make a few All-Star games before crashing and burning as an NBA player at the ripe age of 30. He was last seen playing in China.

7. Kobe Bryant

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    He might have won five championships, but Kobe Bryant certainly won't win any titles for best teammate.

    During the highly publicized feud between himself and Shaquille O'Neal, a number of insults were thrown in Bryant's corner.

    On occassion after losses, O'Neal would put the blame on Bryant by calling him selfish and a ball hog. It wouldn't be right to say that O'Neal was wrong because Bryant does have the tendency to become selfish when the game is on the line.

    At times, Bryant would rather take the contested, difficult shot rather than passing it up to an open teammate.

    The feud persisted and it eventually forced the Lakers organization to trade away Shaquille O'Neal, the player who had led the team to three championships and had won three Finals MVP's.

    The Lakers were a mediocre team for the next few years until Pau Gasol arrived.

    Bryant was also caught on amateur video criticizing Lakers center Andrew Bynum stating that they should have shipped him out in a trade when they had the chance.

6. Kwame Brown

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    It's not that Kwame Brown is so much of a bad teammate that nobody wants to play with him, it's just that he is so much of a bad teammate because he's a bad player.

    When you're getting booed every time you touch the ball in your own arena, ala LeBron James on the road, you know you're not a good teammate.

    In his short time with the Washington Wizards, he wasn't making friends from the start as he got in altercations with coach Eddie Jordan and All-Star Gilbert Arenas.

    He also decided that the $30 million the Wizards offered him was not enough, as he decided to test the free agent market instead.

    Brown has also had off the court trouble as well with a rape allegation, a disorderly conduct involving the police when Brown was travelling the wrong way on a one way street, and cake.

5. Shaquille O'Neal

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    It takes two to tango and Shaquille O'Neal wasn't exactly the good guy in the feud between himself and Kobe Bryant.

    O'Neal was just as much to blame for the feud by publically criticizing Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak and his All-Star teammate Kobe Bryant.

    He would come out and claim that Bryant was selfish, mimicked his tendency to turnover the ball, and blamed Bryant for the teams shortcomings and failures. Shaq also showed up to camp out of shape on a number of occassions.

    It didn't stop there as his departure from Miami was shaky as well. He criticized the training staff for the way they handled his injury, he sat out most of the 2007-'08 season and then played at full health in Phoenix upon getting traded.

    He then openly criticized the Heat's system by saying that he no longer had to play with the likes of Chris Quinn and Ricky Davis when he arrived in Phoenix.

4. Rick Barry

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    When you're making racist comments towards possibly the greatest player to play the game, you're not going to be a fan favorite.

    As a player, Rick Barry was one of the best to play the game. He led the league in scoring in only his second year in the league when he averaged 36 points per game and then followed that up by averaging 34 the next season.

    He is mostly renowned for his unique free throw shooting and how successful it was. He was able to lead the league in free throw percentage for seven seasons.

    As a teammate, Rick Barry wasn't the type of player you wanted to be around.

    He got up and left the San Francisco Warriors and the NBA when he believed that the owner wasn't paying him money that he believed he earned, straight up told the ABA's Washington Caps that he did not want to play for them before being forced by the organization to play.

    Barry then made several comments towards the Virginia Squires and the community in a negative light.

    Barry said that he did not want to live in Virginia because he didn't want his kids growing up with a Southern accent.

    Forget bad teammate, Rick Barry was kind of a d-bag if anything.

3. Allen Iverson

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    There's no doubt about it that Allen Iverson had a hall of fame worthy career.

    He earned an MVP award, led a team to the NBA Finals, and was one of the greatest scorers in NBA history. At 6'0", 165 pounds, Iverson was the best for a player his size.

    As a teammate, not so much.

    In Philadelphia, he and coach Larry Brown would get into numerous altercations. Brown criticized Iverson for missing practices, which eventually led to Iverson's infamous practice speech. Brown would later leave the team following their 2003 post season loss.

    Iverson would then clash with new coach Chris Ford as Allen would be fined for missing practices and for not informing the team that he was sick for a game.

    When coming back from an injury, he felt insulted when Ford attempted to put him in off the bench and refused to step on the court.

    Iverson would continue to have problems with coaches including Jim O'Brien. Allen would also miss a mandatory sponosorship night and claimed that he fell asleep due to taking some medication.

    A teammate later said that Iverson decided to miss the night prior to the event taking place and just taking the fine instead.

    When searching for a team that would offer him a contract later on in his career, Iverson said that he would not play for any team that would play him off the bench.

    No team took the offer and he's currently playing in Turkey.

2. Stephon Marbury

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    There's nothing wrong with tattooing a star on your head. However, there is a problem when you nearly single-handedly run an entire franchise into the ground.

    That franchise was the New York Knicks and they were hit hard by the exploits of not only their former GM Isiah Thomas, but of their former All-Star point guard Stephon Marbury who also a few altercations with their former coach Larry Brown.

    Brown was eventually fired by the end of the 2005-'06 season on account of the public spats he had with Marbury. Brown was replaced by Thomas who would have feuds with Marbury as well.

    Stephon and Isiah reportedly came to blows on the team plane where Marbury threatened to blackmail Thomas because he decided to take him out of the starting lineup.

    The Knicks faithful would begin to boo Thomas and Marbury, who had a comfortable seat at the end of bench. Eventually, new coach Mike D'Antonio came in and he and the organization banned Marbury from attending any Knicks games or practices.

    Marbury did the next best thing by going to their game when visiting an opposing team.

1. Latrell Sprewell

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    You're at the top of any worst teammate list if you beat up on your much smaller boss.

    You're also at the top of any worst teammate list if you claim that $21 million isn't enough to feed your family. It's not like your championship caliber team needs you or anything.

    You're a bad teammate if you would rather retire than play for the NBA minimum salary, which is still more than what 95 percent of the income of an individual living in the United States.

    You're a bad teammate if you threaten your teammates with two-by-four's and weapons.

    You're a bad teammate if you actually get into a physical altercation with a teammate.

    You're a bad teammate if during a suspension, you get charged for reckless driving and injuring two people in the process.

    You're a bad teammate if your name is Latrell Sprewell.

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