The NBA is full of the most talented and athletic players in the world.
They have the grace football players lack, the strength baseball players wish they had and the athleticism NHL players are missing.
Add it up, and NBA players are supremely talented, and they know it. That means there are some jumbo-sized egos in the league that can get out of control at times.
The list could stretch to well over 100—but for today's purposes, we'll stick to five.
Trash talking, comments made to the media and overall behavior were all taken into account when compiling this list.
The word "arrogant" means exaggerated or inflated perception of one's self-worth and abilities...so expect to find a few players that think and act like they are waaaay better than they actually are.
You will find a mixture of role players that think the world of themselves and superstars that have attempted to walk on water.
Here are the five biggest egos in the NBA.
J.R. Smith is a pretty solid bench player for the Denver Nuggets.
In his career, he has scored 12.5 points a game as one of the streakiest shooters in the game.
That's where his arrogance comes into play.
Smith has a tendency to get red-hot from three-point land at times, and he demands the ball after making two in a row.
Literally demands it.
He stands near the ball-handler and claps and shouts until he is fed the rock. At this point, defenders are covering him rather closely...doesn't matter to Smith. He will launch ill-advised threes from anywhere on the court.
Off the court, he is constantly clashing with coach George Karl about becoming a starter and has publicly bashed his coach and teammates in the past.
The kicker came in the 2011 postseason against the OKC Thunder. After dropping the first two games in the series, Smith told reporters he wasn't going to re-sign with the team.
Yeah, that's right. In the middle of a playoff series...Smith is talking about how he is leaving the team as soon as he possibly could.
The play of Aaron Brooks suggests he is a solid contributor that is a borderline starter.
His career stats back that up: 12.5 points, 3.6 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game and 41 percent shooting.
Nothing spectacular...but certainly solid for an NBA player.
So when Brooks was taken out of an early February game this past season with the Houston Rockets with 6:45 left in the fourth quarter, instead of heading to the bench, he went straight to the locker room for the remainder of the game. Brooks has said he had been frustrated with his role coming off the bench and couldn't take it anymore.
Instead of Brooks having a chat with the coaching staff about his diminishing role after the game like every other player, Brooks went into the locker room.
This incredibly selfish act got him a one-way ticket out of town only a few weeks later.
Now, he's the Phoenix Suns' problem.
Kobe Bryant deserves to have a certain level of arrogance after winning five NBA championships, but he has a knack for going overboard, and players around the league are more than aware of this.
Dallas Mavericks backup center Ian Mahinmi recently voiced his thoughts on the subject matter:
"Kobe is super arrogant but everybody loves him."
A nice, concise way to sum things up. Bryant has been a notorious trash talker in his time in the NBA and has gotten into verbal disputes with a large chunk of the league. Raja Bell has called him "pompous and arrogant," while Bruce Bowen has called him "full of himself."
This is the guy that whined to Laker management about Shaq enough to get him booted out of town. This is the guy that literally quit on his team in the fourth quarter of a pivotal playoff game against the Phoenix Suns in 2006.
After scoring 23 first half points, Bryant entered the second half with the Lakers down by 15, and he ended it by taking three shots and scoring one point. The ultimate sign of arrogance: showing up all your teammates by trying to prove how screwed they are without you.
Bryant has cooled off in this department recently...but then you have him calling a referee a gay slur on national TV.
Kobe has certainly earned a spot on the list.
Carmelo Anthony earned a spot on this list strictly for the mess he put the Denver Nuggets through this past season.
After refusing to sign an extension in the summer, 'Melo went into the season fully knowing he would eventually be traded to the New York Knicks.
It was the elephant in the room all season long, and it sucked the energy out of the entire franchise. He refused to go to any team but the Knicks, and it really handicapped the Nuggets from gaining much leverage in negotiations with other teams.
He pretended like the talk wasn't setting the rumor mill ablaze and acted like a spoiled little kid that was clueless, when in reality he was more than aware of what was going on.
Eventually, he got his way.
Another reason he is incredibly arrogant is his play on the defensive end...or should I say lack of play.
He is only focused on the offensive end and puts forth zero effort on defense. He routinely lets his man race by him and expects a teammate in the paint to pick up the slack. It's a habit that hasn't changed throughout his NBA career...and you wonder why he has made it out of the first round only once.
He is arrogant enough to think he doesn't have to be a complete player because of his great scoring ability—sounds like a perfect candidate for this list.
"I'm going to take my talents to South Beach."
He thought people wouldn't be offended that he publicly humiliated the entire city of Cleveland by not telling it of his decision until everyone else found out.
He thought it was normal to hold a victory parade three whole months before the season ever started. He thought it was a good idea to say, when talking about championships, "not four, not five, not six, not seven..."
After getting all of the hate and disgust thrown back into his face, he shrunk to the size of a peanut when the stakes couldn't have been higher. His response to the media after a very disappointing performance in the 2011 NBA Finals:
"All the people that were rooting for me to fail...at the end of the day, tomorrow they have to wake up and have the same life that (they had) before they woke up today. They got the same personal problems they had today. And I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things I want to do."
He is telling the fans, the people that support the NBA and help pay his salary, that his life is a million times better than theirs, and they can all shove it.
Sounds like the definition of arrogance to me.