10 Times Sports Stars Made 'Business Decisions' During Games

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 17, 2016

Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) is seen against the Denver Broncos during the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

No one, especially not professional athletes, wants to be embarrassed. However, even the biggest superstars find themselves in positions where they're forced to make a business decision and do what's best for their own good—and ego—and get the hell out of the way sometimes.

Whether it's avoiding being posterized by an oncoming dunker, getting a little timid while going across the middle trying to grab a catch in football or making sure they don't get hit while skating around the ice, there have been a number of times players weren't about that life.

Who are the biggest culprits? I've narrowed the list down to give you the biggest names who have bowed out to avoid possible humiliation.

10. Tom Brady Doesn't Get Paid To Make Tackles

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has done it all during his NFL career, including winning four Super Bowls and a couple of league MVPs, and earning himself a spot in the Hall of Fame whenever he's eligible.

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Tackling an opposing player, though? Yeah, that's not really Brady's strength.

Tom Terrific has shown that a few times throughout his career, bailing on an opposing player coming toward him in epic fashion and reminding us all that even the great ones have terrible moments.

9. Kyle Korver Ain't Getting in the Way of LeBron James

C'mon, Kyle Korver, at least look like you care about playing defense!

The Atlanta Hawks guard/forward wouldn't be nominated for any acting awards following his "attempt" during a playoff game against the Cleveland Cavs last season, because he didn't look like he even tried to stop the bullish James on this play.

Korver actually thought leaving the lane to stop an anticipated pass from LeBron was the better choice—and the result was hilarity.

8. Todd Pinkston Forgets He's Playing Tackle Football

Far from a star, former NFL wide receiver Todd Pinkston's alligator arms during a Monday Night Football game is just too classic not to include on this list, as he appeared as if his life would end had he gotten hit.

No joke, in all of my years of watching sports, I've never seen a pro athlete be so scared to do his job as Pinkston looked like here, pulling up to avoid all contact with then-Washington Redskins safety Ryan Clark.

It's actually hilarious to think something like this can happen.

7. Larry Walker Doesn't Feel Safe Standing in the Batter's Box Against Randy Johnson

This is actually one of my favorite business decisions an athlete has ever made during the heat of competition because it proves that, no matter how at ease a player appears to be, he's never 100 percent comfortable.

And I'd say that a Randy Johnson fastball sailing over one's head would be a good reason to be scared.

For that reason, it's understandable why Larry Walker thought that it would be the best choice to just switch from the left-handed batter's box to the right-handed side while facing the Big Unit during the 1997 MLB All-Star Game, because, you know, he wanted to live to see the end of the game.

6. DeAndre Hopkins Isn't Taking Another Hit He Doesn't Really Need To

Enjoying back-to-back 1,200-plus-yard receiving seasons and making the Pro Bowl in 2015 are good things that Houston Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins has done.

Hesitating and appearing scared to dive on a loose ball during a game in 2014 against the Indianapolis Colts? Not so good.

Like others on this list, I understand when a guy wants to protect himself from injury by not getting into a scrum for a fumble, but Hopkins' decision came with his team trailing by five with under two minutes left in the game, so keeping possession of the ball was just a little important.

Coming up with a pretty pathetic reason for not diving on it just made this one even worse.

5. Nope, Kobe Bryant Doesn't Want To End Up on a Poster

Not even an all-time great such as Kobe Bryant is immune to making a business decision when that moment during a game hits, as he proved against the New Orleans Pelicans not too long ago.

Look, it's Kobe's last season, his Los Angeles Lakers are terrible, and he has proved that he's a top-10 player in league history, so, while this is a bad look, once can't really be too upset with Bryant's choice to just let the dunk happen.

Really, is anyone on the Lakers going to yell at him? No... and the Black Mamba knows it.

4. Kristaps Porzingis Sees the James Train Coming

New York Knicks rookie Kristaps Porzingis might be getting praise as a budding star this season, but he still knows who's the king of the block—and his name happens to be LeBron James.

During a game earlier this season, Porzingis saw the mammoth James driving the lane for a jam, deciding that, rather than be embarrassed or get hurt during the attempt, he would just give LeBron an easy two points.

Porzingis has a lot to learn as a first-year player in the NBA, but he appears to understand that, when a 6'8" 250-pound man is steamrolling toward the basket, you get the hell out of the way.

3. Cam Newton Doesn't Think Diving on a Fumble in Super Bowl 50 Is Worth It

What I don't understand about this decision by Carolina Panthers quarterback and 2015 league MVP Cam Newton is how he didn't think to at least make it appear like he cared about the fumble.

In the biggest game of his life, Super Bowl 50, Newton's Superman kryptonite appeared to be his decision-making on this fumble, deciding that his health was more important than trying to keep possession of the football late in the game.

Of course, Newton looking out for his knee is understandable but, well, not with the game on the line!

2. It Doesn't Appear Vernon Davis Wants To Be Hit

Remember when the Denver Broncos acquired Vernon Davis and everyone who plays fantasy football believed the tight end would become the player he used to be a few years ago? Yeah, that didn't happen.

What did happen was Davis seemingly forgetting how to play the position he excelled at once before, appearing afraid to get hit while attempting to make catches as defenders breathed down his neck.

No one enjoys getting hit—I understand that—but it comes with being a professional football player, so it was disappointing to see Vernon Davis do it so frequently last season.

1. Any "Attempts" James Harden Makes on Defense

If there were an award for the worst defensive player in the NBA each season, I'm not so sure that Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden wouldn't be a repeat champion.

That's because Harden, who can light it up offensively with the best of them, just refuses to play D at all—and even that might be an understatement.

Rather than disguise the fact that he doesn't want to work at it, Harden simply just gives up when the opposing team has the ball, quitting on a play and hoping he gets the rock back before not too long.

It's embarrassing and humorous all at once.


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