The 25 Biggest Egomaniacs in Sports

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistNovember 2, 2012

The 25 Biggest Egomaniacs in Sports

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    It's not uncommon to associate great players and coaches with having an ego. Many of those who reach the pinnacle of their sport happen to be some of the biggest "me love me some me" guys ever.

    As we examined who the best of the best were—or worst of the worst?—we thought of the guys who seem to do it for the betterment of themselves, even if it does lead to more team victories.

    So take a look at the best egotistical sports figures you'll ever read about. We absolutely, positively know you won't find another one better, and that we didn't leave anyone off.

    Dammit! It looks like we've developed quite the ego now, too...

25. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: "I am the North, I am the South, I am the East, and I am the West. I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic."

    One of the finer phrases from a professional athlete, the giant Swede wrote this to a school diary for Italian students, demonstrating a professional soccer player's modesty.

    Hmm...hopefully the majority of those kids missed that day of school.

24. Jerry Jones

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: The construction of the new Cowboys Stadium.

    With so many quotes and actions Jones has given us over his 20-plus years as an owner, we just had to choose his decision to build "Jerry World."

    We all know the saying, "Everything's bigger in Texas." Well, good ol' Jerry had to prove it by building a billion-dollar stadium just to show the world how great he, and "America's Team," really are.

23. Jim Tressel

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Lying and misleading the NCAA on the Ohio State football investigation.

    Tress was one hell of a coach—when you're nicknamed "The Governor," that's usually the case.

    But when you refuse to report wrongdoings of your own and try to sneak one past the NCAA, you're never going to get away with it, and you will probably lose your job if and when you're caught.

    Unfortunately for Buckeye fans, both happened.

22. Ryan Lochte

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: His trademarking of "Jeah."

    Now that he's got the Olympic medals, the looks and the persona, Lochte has officially turned into an egomaniac, doing everything he can for attention.

    It's like that bad reality star who just keeps trying to make it big by making game-show appearances.

21. Allen Iverson

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Turning down the chance to play with the Lakers earlier this year because he didn't want to start on their D-League team.

    We could go with so many other ones here:

    The step over a grown man (Tyronn Lue) after hitting a shot in the Finals.

    His complaining about practice.

    Hell, his entire career!

    We loved A.I., but for a guy who's reportedly struggling with money and just wants another chance in the league, he's not really doing a great job showing he's ready to work for anything.

20. Randy Moss

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: "Straight cash, homey."

    As one of the greatest (and most recycled) quotes ever, Moss told the world just about how humble he was with three little words.

    If that wasn't enough, as he was solely focused on securing one last long-term contract of his career, he wasted the opportunity of an NFL wideout's dreams—playing with Tom Brady.

    Maybe his one year off and time as a Niner will make him appreciate things a little more. Doubtful.

19. Brett Favre

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Comeback No. 1? No, how about No. 2? Or the whole Jenn Sterger incident?

    When first compiling this list, we really wanted to try to stay away from adding Favre—he's so irrelevant to sports fans these days now that he's (thankfully) retired for good.

    But for the reasons we listed above, we just had to acknowledge his many moments with an inflated ego.

    He always wanted the attention, so we guess we're just happy to cater to his requests.

18. Rajon Rondo

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: His general presence in a room.

    We went to school with this guy, so we've heard some confirmed and unconfirmed stories about his time as a Wildcat.

    Regardless of truth or rumors to those tales, the name "Rondo" just rubs us the wrong way.

    He's as dynamic a point guard as the league has, but all the extracurricular activity, techs and overall thought that he's so great is just a little too much.

17. Cam Newton

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Anytime he scores a touchdown.

    Most people find football to be the most team-oriented sport of any. It requires each and every guy to sacrifice their body and know their role, doing anything they can to protect the man with the ball.

    So each time Newton acts as if he's pulling open his jersey to expose a Superman-like "S" on his chest, we get a little irritated.

    It just seems whenever things are great, he's quick to take the credit, but when they're less than perfect, he points the finger.

16. Rex Ryan

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Predictions.

    We know predictions are part of NFL lore, but who does Rex Ryan think he is to get in front of the cameras and proclaim some of the things he does?

    He's a good head coach, but unless it's a player who actually has some sort of physical impact on the game, we don't care about anything "Ridiculous Rex" has to say.

15. Chad Johnson

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Donning a "Future H.O.F." cape following a regular-season touchdown.

    The man who literally changed his name to fit his secondary persona is one of the most attention-starved athletes of the past 50 years.

    Sure, the guy had some great years, but he never did anything more than create buzz around his creative touchdown celebrations or call attention to himself in other ways.

14. Sean Avery

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: "It's become a common thing for guys in the NHL to fall in love with my sloppy seconds."

    This is a case of a bro being a bro, and we actually love the quote.

    Sure, the NHL suspended him for the remark, but who cares?

    If it was a one-time thing, Avery wouldn't be on our list. But it's his continuous "me first" attitude that actually landed him out of the league.

13. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: "I respect Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson. But as of now, I feel I'm the best.”

    Mayweather loves every bit of himself as much as Ali did.

    Difference is, Ali used that persona to gain fans and popularity. Mayweather uses his brash ego by waving a middle finger in the faces of those who doubt him or think he's not great. 

    You'd think when a guy gets paid millions for a fight, he'd let that stuff go, but not "Money."

12. Kobe Bryant

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: His entire career.

    When typing in "Kobe Bryant Ego" into Google, you might find something similar to this popping up: "An athletically gifted, but terminally narcissistic, basketball player whose considerable assets are spoiled by his massive ego."

    Kobe clashed with Shaq over star power.

    He's gotten coaches fired.

    We'll continuously defend him as the closest thing to Michael Jordan we have in the league, so it's only fitting that he mirrors Jordan on and off the hardwood.

11. Manny Ramirez

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Getting busted for performance-enhancing drugs...twice!

    At some point, "Manny just being Manny" doesn't fit, and his getting caught with banned substances would probably be one of those circumstances.

    Ramirez was one of the greatest hitters of his era, but he added questions to his career after all the PED hoopla.

10. Gary Bettman

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Locking out the NHL season...three times!

    Gary Bettman has played a key role in three NHL lockouts.

    It was bad enough when he cancelled the entire 2004-05 season, but just when the sport's gotten a little more popular, offering stars like Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, he threatens to lock them out again this year.

    Here's more examples of his giant ego.

9. Alex Rodriguez

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: These magazine pictures.

    OK, so that pictorial isn't the only reason Alex Rodriguez's ego is huge, but they couldn't paint a better example for everything else.

    We imagine his typical day goes something like this:

    Wakes up. Stares at himself in the mirror. Contemplates brushing teeth but decides to keep staring. Flexes in mirror. Takes some self-portraits. Skips the shower to take an hour of batting practice. Finally showers in the Yanks clubhouse. Stares at himself in the mirror while talking on his phone to some hot girl while counting his millions.

8. Nick Saban

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Making a professional football player cry.

    No matter what Nick Saban said to his then-defensive tackle Manuel Wright when coaching the Dolphins, it proves how big this guy believes in himself—not that there's anything wrong with that.

    We've probably all seen his press conferences when he bashes the media for a number of different things—one of which is, of course, doing their jobs—or when he looks pissed off that his players dumped Gatorade on him to celebrate the national title a couple years ago.

    He may go down as the best college football coach ever, so we guess it's working for him.

7. LeBron James

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: The "Decision."

    We really hate that we've fallen into that category of people who have forgiven LeBron now that he's won a title, but him standing at No. 7 on this list proves that.

    As Cleveland sports fans, we absolutely despise him, but we've actually gotten past him leaving the way he did, and can admit he's the best player in the world.

    Hey, sometimes real just recognizes real...but that doesn't mean he still isn't his own No. 1 fan.

6. Lance Armstrong

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Defending his PED use... until he didn't.

    It's crazy how all the greatness Lance had just disappeared in a quick flash.

    Thanks, in part, to his continuous denials of PEDs, Lance always seemed to put himself above the sport of cycling, and definitely never seemed to respect any other athletes in the same sport.

    It was finally uncovered that he did in fact test positive, leading to the stripping of his seven Tour de France victories.

5. Michael Jordan

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: His Hall of Fame speech.

    During his playing career, we all heard stories of Jordan being a complete prick, but when he stepped on that podium to give what was thought to be an appreciative and reflective speech about his career, it came across as arrogant as hell.

    He terrorized opponents on the court because he was skilled, smart, and savvy, but when we listend to him talk about his career, we wondered why he wasn't just a little more humble?

4. Terrell Owens

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Almost anything he's done while on camera during his career.

    We must admit that T.O. is one hell of an entertainer. He can cry. He can smile. He can give his workout secrets.

    But the dude just needs to give it up already, because frankly, everyone's just a little over it.

    Hopefully he finally got the message when even the friendliest player's coach out there, Pete Carroll, cut him this preseason from the Seahawks.

3. Roger Clemens

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: All of his comeback attempts... and that whole "misrememebring" thing.

    Man, we loved Roger Clemens growing up. Not because we were Red Sox fans, but because of his Nintendo game we always played.

    But as we got older, it was clear the guy was in love with himself.

    From throwing that shard piece of bat at Piazza, to him still trying to find a home on a Major League roster, it's time for the guy to swallow a humility pill.

2. Tiger Woods

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: His continuous outbursts.

    At one point not too long ago, Woods' rep was at an all-time high. He was thought of to be the anomaly when it came to pro athletes.

    He was polite and sincere.

    Sure, he was competitive and frustrated with himself at time, but he always got a pass.

    Then November, 2009 happened, and we all saw who the real TIger was

    He's repaired himself a bit, but until he wins another Major title, he'll never be considered all the way back.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

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    Most Famous Egotistic Moment: Saying he was sad.

    In most cases, when someone says they're sad, people typically feel sorry for them and try to help them out.

    But when that person happens to be Cristiano Ronaldo—who seems to have everything in the world—it's tough to show sympathy.

    Add to this his flamboyant goal celebrations, conquests with prostitutes in Italian hotels, and his endearing love for seeing himself, and he's by far got the biggest ego of any sports figure.