The 20 Worst Teammates in Sports History

RM Herold@@BR_RollinFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2010

The 20 Worst Teammates in Sports History

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    CANTON, OH - AUGUST 8: Terrell Owens #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals looks on before the game against the Dallas Cowboys during the 2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium on August 8, 2010 in Canton, Oh
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Most of us have played on some sporting team at one point or another. And we know the cliches about teamwork and the chain only being as strong as its weakest link, etc.

    But the rule that most of us tried to abide by and most pros obviously try to as well is a simple one: don't be a bad teammate.

    Using common sense with this rule would include:

    1) Not throwing teammates under the bus to the media and/or the cops.

    2) Not spreading rumors about teammates.

    3) Not beating them up.

    4) Not dogging it on the field and leaving the team vulnerable.

    5) Stay away from teammates' wives, sisters (unless given permission) and other close relatives.

    That pretty much covers the rules of being a good teammate.

    This list might be controversial but I will use facts (or strong rumors) as my defense.

20. Kobe Bryant

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    NEW YORK CITY, NY - AUGUST 14:  Kobe Bryant attends the World Basketball Festival at Rucker Park on August 14, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for Nike)
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    I can hear the Kobe backers already. "How can he be a bad teammate with five rings, you Kobe-hater!"

    Uh, no. I'm not. And he might not be a bad teammate anymore, but once upon a time he was one of the worst, which is why he is 20 and not in the Top 5.

    A) It's pretty much confirmed he punched former teammate Samaki Walker.

    B) He was caught on tape telling fans that the Lakers should "ship his ass out!" He was of course talking about Andrew Bynum when the opportunity to trade him for Jason Kidd came about.

    C) Shaq...the cops...paying off women...

    D) Threatened call Malone when he heard that the Mailman made a pass at his wife with the "I'm hunting little Mexican girls" comment.

    Actually, Kobe gets a pass for the last one.

    Anyway, that's all in the past, now I hear he's a great teammate. Right Laker fans?!

19. Keyshawn Johnson

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    PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Former USC Trojan receiver Keyshawn Johnson talks on his mobile phone on the field prior to the Rose Bowl presented by Citi against the Illinois Fighting Illini at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2008 in Pasadena, California. The T
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Keyshawn has been outspoken his whole life, I assume. And being the first pick in the draft made him take it even further.

    Remember his book, "Throw me the damn ball?"

    Remember his Jets teammate Wayne Chrebet?

    Remember Johnson thought the team would win more if they, well, threw him the damn ball more and not keep "throwing it to a short, little white guy?"

    Bad teammate.

18. Tiki Barber

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    WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 28:  Former National Football League player Tiki Barber listens to testimony during a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee about football brain injuries on Captiol Hill October 28, 2009 in Washington, DC. A recent NFL study of ret
    Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

    Why is he so low? Because this isn't a bad husband list.

    But Barber seems to have been pretty bad at being a teammate as well.

    He once said that watching Eli Manning try and lead the team was "comical."

    He also called Michael Strahan "greedy" during Strahan's contract talks with the team a few years ago.

    That should be another rule: never talk about another man's earning potential.

    Bad teammate, Tiki.

17. Jeff Kent

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 22:  Jeff Kent #12 of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the major league record-holder for home runs by a second baseman announces his retirement after 17seasons in Major League Baseball at a press conference on January 22, 2009 at Dod
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The rumor goes that Kent was so bad with younger teammates that Barry Bonds had to jump in his face to stop him from berating one of the young guys.

    Do you know how bad you have to be as a teammate for Bonds to have to get up off of his recliner to check you?

    Later as a Dodger when asked if the team followed Kent, one of the younger players said they didn't listen to anything he said.


16. Allen Iverson

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    By most accounts he gave it all on the court.

    But the younger players needed to practice with him to get better. He knew he was supposed to lead by example.

    But in the end, we all found out how he felt about non-game days.

    Do you ever get tired of seeing it?

15. Plaxico Burress

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    LEBANON - JANUARY 14: New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress walks through security as he arrives at the Lebanon County Courthouse January 14, 2009 in Lebanon, Pa.  Burress is scheduled to appear in a civil trial in a dispute with an automobile dea
    Chris Gardner/Getty Images

    Shooting yourself in the leg while out with a teammate and leaving him to have decide if he is going to cover for you and lie is one thing.

    Being fined by the team close to 50 times in just four seasons? That is the mark of a bad teammate.

    I hope for his sake he is a good cellmate.

    And no that is not a low blow.

    Just serious concern.

14. Jeff George

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    By all accounts he wasn't the easiest guy to get along with. Most members of the media didn't have much good to say about him and neither did his teammates.

    One story says that he actually tried to go after head coach June Jones when he was with the Falcons.

13. Albert Haynesworth

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    LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 13:  Albert Haynesworth #92 of the Washington Redskins warms up before the preseason game against the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field on August 13, 2010 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
    Greg Fiume/Getty Images

    Being out of shape and refusing to play nose tackle even though the team needs you there won't get you a lot of sympathy.

    Especially when you have signed a $100 million contract.

    Continuing to voice negative opinions can only make things worse.

12. Manny Ramirez

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    ST. LOUIS - JULY 15:  Manny Ramierez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers bats against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 15, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    In 2008 Ramirez almost caused a mutiny on the Red Sox. Word was that teammates hated him so much that it threatened to blow the rest of the team up.

    He was soon traded to the Dodgers.

    The most egregious offense he was accused of?

    Dogging it on the field and having a habit of saying he was hurt when he really wasn’t.

    Manny? Noooo.

11. Jerry Porter

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    Porter says the story isn't true, which is why he isn't higher on the list.

    But the story that everyone has heard is that while the Raiders were getting pummelled 27-0 by the San Diego Chargers a few years ago, Porter was laughing and pumping his fist when Aaron Brooks would get sacked.

    I hope it's not true.

    Just the fact that it was reported gets him on this list.

10. Randy Moss

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    FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 12: Randy Moss #81 of the New England Patriots holds the football before the preseason game against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on August 12, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    I am a fan of Moss. But even I can't defend his infamous "I play when I want to play" statement from back in 2001.

    Raider fans probably have even more complaints with him.

    But I think he more than made up for it with his "straight cash, homey."

9. Gilbert Arenas

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    PHOENIX - DECEMBER 19:  Gilbert Arenas #0 of the Washington Wizards reacts during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on December 19, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns defeated the Wizards 121-95. NOTE TO USER: User expressly ackno
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    He has been known for berating teammates while on road trips and hazing younger guys to prove that he was the main guy.

    But challenging a teammate to a gun fight has to put you in the Top 10, right?

8. Vince Carter

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18:  Vince Carter #15 of the Orlando Magic injures his shoulder in the second quarter during the game against the Los Angeles Lakers on January 18, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly a
    Harry How/Getty Images

    He not only has former teammates that have questioned his heart and some of his injuries, he has whole countries that can't stand him.

    He was a bad teammate to all of freaking Canada!

7. Rafael Palmeiro

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    I hate to spread rumors.

    I really do. But this one was one of the best ever.

    Near the abrupt end of his career, Rafael Palmeiro became a spokesman for Viagra.

    Well the word is that teammates started teasing him about it. So he allegedly got them back by sleeping with their wives.

    Like I said, it is rumor. But the rumor that is all over baseball is that Palmeiro got traded early in his career from the Cubs for sleeping with teammate Ryne Sandberg's wife.

    Google it if you don't believe me.

6. Michael Westbrook

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    The jury is still out on this one. Granted Westbrook definitely pounded teammate Stephen Davis' face during practice, which is a no-no.

    But the rumor is it was because Davis was spreading rumors about Westbrook's sexuality.

    Also a no-no.

    So we'll call it a wash.

    The word is now he is an MMA heavyweight.

    I can see why.

5. Joe Horn

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    Pulling the phone out after the touchdown? Priceless.

    Allegedly sleeping with teammate Willie Roaf’s wife? Not so much.

    (You might start to notice a trend in this countdown).

4. John Terry

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    We even found a way to get some Euros on to the list.

    By sleeping with his teammate's girl, getting her pregnant (allegedly) then helping her get an abortion, Terry is a special kind of bad teammate.

    Again, I don't know all the details but that sounds pretty bad to me.

    Welcome to B/R, John. Cheers, mate.

3. Barry Bonds (tie)

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    During his stay with the Giants word is Bonds sometimes needed four lockers to himself.

    But that's not the best bad teammate story.

    The best is when he first arrived with the Giants he walked into a pitcher's meeting to let some of his new teammates know that he homered off of them.

    "I got you..."

    In a word, awesome.

3. Terrell Owens (tie)

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    CINCINNATI - AUGUST 20:  Terrell Owens #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs during a play during the NFL preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Paul Brown Stadium on August 20, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Spreading rumors that Jeff Garcia is gay (he clearly is not).

    Not stopping rumors that Donovan McNabb got scared and threw up during the Super Bowl.

    Overall being a team killer for most of his career.

2. Tonya Harding

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    We know the story...

    Nancy Kerrigan was her U.S. Olympic teammate.

    Harding got her husband to try and break Kerrigan's leg so that she could win the gold.

    There can't be any argument here at this being number two, right?

    Tonya's the blonde, stalking Nancy in the picture.

1. Delonte West

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    He is No. 1, only if it's true, people.

    Only if it's true.

    And we all hope that it isn't.