25 Craziest Teammate Fights Ever
Team sports can get downright nasty when it’s all on the line. The best way to achieve success is for a team to stick together and work as a cohesive unit.
Sometimes that just doesn’t happen.
This one isn’t for the Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen types in the world, the loyal teammates who seamlessly compliment each other’s talent and exchange high fives and smiles with one another.
This one is for the hotheaded rivals, jealous teammates sick of another’s media attention or mistakes. It’s a tribute to the red-faced, fuming mad teammate who will not hesitate to show, once and for all, who the alpha male in town really is.
Take a look back at some of the best teammate fights in sports history.
25. Scott Skiles vs. Shaquille O'Neal
On paper this doesn’t seem like much of a fight.
Shaquille O’Neal is, quite literally, twice the man that Scott Skiles is, standing a full foot taller and hundred pounds heavier than his former teammate. The former Orlando Magic point guard wasn’t intimidated by big Shaq’s stature.
During a team scuffle, Skiles stepped in to break things up with a wild right hook at the 7’1” behemoth that failed to land but ended up in a WWF-style headlock.
“Skiles ended up wrapped around his shoulders hanging on for dear life, and Shaq was like a wild bull trying to shake him off,” Larry Krystkowiak recalls witnessing of the event.
24. Steve Downie vs. Akim Aliu
Philadelphia Flyers draft prospect Steve Downie charged off the bench during a practice session to confront teammate Akim Aliu about an apparent hazing episode involving the newcomers on the team.
When Aliu wouldn’t shut his mouth about the incident, Downie did it for him with a quick cross-check straight to the kisser.
A few teeth were lost in the fight, as is generally expected when you get smacked in the lips with a hockey stick.
The skirmish landed rising star Downie in hot water with the organization and threatened his chances at competing with Canada at the World Junior Championships.
This gives a whole new meaning to smack talk.
23. Bill Guerin vs. Brett Draney
During a Dallas Stars scrimmage, Bill Guerin and Brett Draney were getting on each other’s nerves.
Jabs were exchanged back and forth, and a few brutal checks later Guerin took his stick and swung it hard into his teammate’s neck.
To make matters worse, the whole thing was caught on camera, as the Canadian sports network TSN was on scene to do a spotlight piece on the grumpy Guerin. Although the neck-slashing incident was quickly resolved on the ice, I doubt Draney appreciated Guerin’s best Happy Gilmore impersonation.
22. Terrell Owens vs. Jeff Garcia
Terrell Owens isn’t exactly your picture of professionalism. He’s generally the kind of athlete that prefers to pick fights from behind a microphone in front of clamoring reporters.
The always vocal wide receiver is equally known for his big talent as he is for his big mouth. Owens’ storied career has been a revolving door of crazy. One week he hates his entire organization top-to-bottom, and the next he is sobbing like a drunken girl on prom night because the media is picking on his celebrity quarterback.
Unfortunately for Jeff Garcia, TO saved all of his emotional attachment for Tony Romo.
From an interview in Playboy to frequent media appearances, Owens made a number of comments about his suspicion that Jeff Garcia was gay.
"Like my boy tells me: If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, by golly, it is a rat," Owens responded when asked if he believed the rumors.
Owens’ low blow wasn’t well received by the public, and the now unemployed star tried to recant his bigoted remarks—not an easy task when you call the person throwing the ball to you a “rat.”
21. Matt Barnaby vs. Marty Lapointe
In 2006, the Chicago Blackhawks were a shell of the winning franchise they are now. When you continue to lose every year, things can get a little heated between teammates.
In a Blackhawks practice session, Barnaby and Lapointe threw down their sticks and put up their fists.
Punches were thrown, jerseys were ripped and the two reconciled after this short burst of heated passion.
20. O.J. Mayo vs. Tony Allen
Memphis teammates Mayo and Allen were on a chartered flight with the rest of the Grizzlies squad when a heated confrontation erupted over a simple card game.
It’s unlikely that the game was Go Fish because Mayo was a few grand in debt to Allen after it was all said and done.
With that kind of money on the line, tension escalated quickly, and Allen landed a punch on Mayo in true loan shark fashion. Mayo missed the team's next game with a case of phantom “bronchitis” that is rumored to have been connected to the altercation.
19. Matt Garza vs. Dioner Navarro
Very rarely is a pitcher’s success credited in any way to the performance of the man behind the plate. Positive chemistry between a pitcher and catcher can turn any outing into a well-oiled machine.
Matt Garza will take his chances.
After the Tampa Bay pitcher gave up another home run, catcher Navarro stormed the mound to let Garza know who was boss. Garza shook off the angry criticism, and the two separated with an explosion of heated tension.
Garza carried the feeling into the dugout and berated his catcher for the public spectacle before the scuffle was broken up.
18. Delonte West vs. Von Wafer
NBA guard Delonte West swapped punches with teammate Von Wafer in the Boston Celtics locker room.
West, who already has a few weapons charges on his record, is known for being a ticking time bomb of outrageous emotion. Naturally this has ruffled a few feathers along the way with incidents including an alleged encounter with LeBron James’ mother.
The fight caused Boston to reconsider keeping the volatile West for another year.
17. Setanta Ó hAilpín vs. Cameron Cloke
Australian Rules Football may be a foreign concept to many American sports fans. If this incident shows us anything, it’s that the Australian Rules handbook apparently allows teammates to bash one another across the face during match play.
That’s exactly what happened during this practice match between the two brawling footballers.
After Ó hAilpín knocked Cloke out with a punch, he very literally kicked him while he was down to send the message home.
16. Brian Cushing vs. Antonio Smith
It wasn’t too long ago when the Houston Texans didn’t have much to be happy about at all.
Expectations were high each year and generally resulted in sore disappointment and sloppy play.
After a sack on the opposing quarterback, Cushing and Smith played out their frustrations in an inappropriately timed shoving match.
We’ll wait until you’re finished.
15. Carlos Zambrano vs. Michael Barrett
Another pitcher-catcher brawl erupted during the fifth inning of a Chicago Cubs game involving the temperamental Carlos Zambrano and Michael Barrett.
They couldn’t even wait until after the game.
One thing lead to another, and a few schoolgirl slaps and pushes were exchanged between the two Cubs.
After another subpar season, this year the Cubs placed Zambrano on the disqualified list. He now spends his days at home picking fights with the television set.
14. Keith Primeau vs. Wayne Primeau
Whatever happened to brotherly love?
These two don’t wear the same-colored jerseys, but they play for the same team: Team Primeau. In a game where their two hockey teams squared off, the two brothers squared off against one another all by their lonesome in the corner.
Watch as years of deep-seated resentment and sibling rivalry play out in this family scuffle.
13. Terrell Owens vs. Donovan McNabb
No surprise that the boisterous TO has had a number of verbal wars with teammates over the years. With an ego as big as the JumboTron in Dallas, Owens never seems to make it full-term on a team without causing some trouble.
In this moment, the wide receiver sacked QB Donovan McNabb by downplaying the Philadelphia star’s talent. Calling out a lack in hustle or determination in your quarterback is not the best way to build team chemistry.
For TO in Philly, the rest is history.
The organization got fed up with his problem child remarks and delegated him to the bench as a form of punishment. All of this started with Owens saying he didn’t think Donovan McNabb was as good as Tom Brady.
That’s an understatement, if anything.
12. Mark Sanchez vs. Rex Ryan
This one is more wishful thinking than anything.
Don’t let Mark Sanchez’s appearance fool you. If the time comes, the New York Jets QB is ready for a fight.
After a loss to the Miami Dolphins, coach Rex Ryan took to the media and told the world he was considering benching Sanchez.
Mark got mad and stated in an interview that he wanted to fight Rex Ryan.
If this were to crystallize, it would go down as one of the most hilarious brawls in NFL history.
11. Barry Bonds vs. Jeff Kent
In his home run heyday, Barry Bonds was the unquestionable top dog in San Francisco, and his fellow Giants teammates knew it.
The guy was untouchable, shattering records left and right and dazzling the public with amazing displays of talent. Little did we know why the homers were so frequent and far, but that is besides the point.
Here Bonds shows off some (‘roid?) rage in the dugout against fellow Giant Jeff Kent. The argument ended with pushing and shoving and Barry Bonds’ hands around Kent’s neck.
The skirmish resulted in Kent wishing to leave town and Bonds eventually falling off the peak of his career and into brightly lit courtrooms.
10. Kobe Bryant vs. Shaquille O'Neal
Luckily this one never ended in punches.
In the last 25 years in the NBA no other teammate feud has been so highly publicized and talked about as this Los Angeles rivalry.
After a string of NBA championships and regular season accolades, the two began trash-talking each other and their value to the organization.
Eventually, Los Angeles decided it was Team Kobe, and Shaq packed his bags and left town.
9. Michael Jordan vs. Steve Kerr
Michael Jordan’s career speaks for itself, and the Chicago Bulls legend will go down as one of the best players to ever step foot on a basketball court. Jordan was known for a fanatical devotion to the game and improving himself and his team.
When Steve Kerr and Michael Jordan were defending each other in a Bulls practice session, Air Jordan took it to the next level and punched his teammate in the face.
At the end of the day, Kerr can’t be too upset over the incident. Jordan helped Kerr fill up his hand with shiny championship rings.
8. Darryl Strawberry vs. Keith Hernandez
Spring training photo day is supposed to be the time when grateful athletes smile for the cameras with fans and put a positive spin on their organization.
The New York Mets had no such luck during their own photo day in 1989.
In front of the world media, Strawberry and Hernandez acted on longstanding tension by getting into a fistfight in front of crowd and cameras alike.
The incident obviously proved to be a public relations nightmare for the disappointing franchise.
7. Bill Romanowski vs. Marcus Williams
Oakland Raiders star Bill Romanowski didn’t appreciate when Marcus Williams blocked him during a team practice.
Romanowski responded in his typically unhinged fashion by knocking Williams’ helmet right off his head and punching him square in the face.
Williams dropped like a bag of unconscious bricks with a shattered eye socket and a few chipped teeth.
6. Renardo Sidney vs. Elgin Bailey
During the Diamond Head Classic tournament in Hawaii, Mississippi State stars Sidney and Bailey were enjoying pregame activities in the stands before tipoff of a game between Utah and Hawaii.
The men got into a heated discussion that ended with the two trading punches and screaming wildly.
What makes this particularly bad is that the two were there to represent their college with professionalism and sportsmanship.
They showed neither.
5. John Hartson vs. Eyal Berkovic
West Ham teammates John Hartson and Eyal Berkovic showed the world what they thought of each other in this clip.
When Berkovic fell to the ground, his teammate went over to help him up,
Naturally Berkovic reacted negatively to this sign of mercy and pushed Hartson away.
Long story short, Hartson got upset that his teammate would decline his help and just kicked Berkovic in the head.
4. Steve Smith vs. Ken Lucas
The Carolina Panthers just can’t seem to get anything together.
It’s not for a lack of trying on NFL superstar Steve Smith’s part; the elite wide receiver has put up staggering numbers in his career.
Lucas and Smith had a history of bickering at each other on the sidelines of games, but the tension never manifested into anything physical.
Then Smith decided to slug teammate Lucas in the face.
Smith was sent home for his slugfest, and the team still struggles to come together.
3. Latrell Sprewell vs. P.J. Carlesimo
Golden State Warriors guard Latrell Sprewell spent a number of solid years in the NBA trying to make enough money to feed his family.
A good coach acts as if he himself is a member of the team.
His coach had pulled him from a game against the Los Angeles Lakers. A few weeks later, after Carlesimo told him to throw crisper passes in practice, Sprewell started to stare down the coach and try to intimidate him. When that didn’t work, Sprewell choked Carlesimo until teammates came in to break up the scuffle.
Sprewell later returned to try to land a few more punches because, as we all know, sometimes choking someone just isn’t enough.
2. Gilbert Arenas vs. Javaris Crittenton
Unfortunately there isn’t a video for this Wild West-style brawl.
During a card game on a Washington Wizards chartered plane, teammates Agent Zero and Crittenton argued about a large debt that Arenas had incurred.
A few days later, when Arenas didn’t pay up, the two pulled pistols on each other in the locker room. That kind of commitment really ups the ante for teammate fights.
1. Michael Westbrook vs. Stephen Davis
The 1997 Washington Redskins weren’t a model for success.
During a training camp practice session Michael Westbrook flew off the handle and delivered a serious beatdown to teammate Stephen Davis.
Westbrook didn’t hit and run. He stayed and pummeled Davis into the ground with fists of fury.
Hopefully, Westbrook got his money's worth because the incident cost him roughly $50,000.