NBA All-Terrible Teammate Team

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistSeptember 26, 2011

NBA All-Terrible Teammate Team

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    If this team was actually put together and forced to play a season, someone on the team would (a) get hurt, (b) commit a serious crime or (c) quit entirely. It just wouldn't work. 

    Why? It's the All-Time, All-Terrible Teammate Team, of course!

    Trust me when I tell you that Allen Iverson isn't looking to pass the ball in the above picture. He's looking for an open lane so he can try to drive to the hole and win yet another scoring title. Similarly, Stephon Marbury is probably being booed as he attempts to guard Iverson. 

    But these are just two of the 12 worst teammates of all time. 

    Read on to discover the rest of the team.  

Starting Point Guard: Stephon Marbury

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    Stephon Marbury may have been good enough at one point to justify tattooing a star onto the side of his head, but he wasn't exactly the nicest guy in the process. And that was before he managed to completely destroy the New York Knicks franchise for a couple of years. 

    At one point during the 2007-08 season, Starbury reportedly attempted to blackmail Isiah Thomas for not putting him in the starting lineup, and the two may have thrown a couple of haymakers on the team plane. 

    Marbury was booed by New York Knicks fans constantly and was eventually banned from attending any Knicks games or practices. 

    Then there's how he was thought of by teammates. Just for example, here's a quote from former teammate Tim Thomas: 

    "Stephon is the worst teammate I've ever had," Tim Thomas told me an hour after the Suns had eliminated the Clippers, echoing the sentiments of Jayson Williams, Keith Van Horn, Kurt Thomas and several Suns and Knicks who wish to remain anonymous. "We grew up together, yet the whole time I was with the Knicks he never talked to me. Not once. Not until I was traded did he say anything. When I was leaving he came over and gave me an I-Pod he'd bought as a going-away present. He even installed hip hop music. They don't come any weirder!"


Starting Shooting Guard: Allen Iverson

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    All you need to hear is the famous postgame practice interview.

    Would a good teammate say "How the hell can I make my teammates better by practicing?"

Starting Small Forward: Rick Barry

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    Rick Barry left the San Francisco Warriors for the ABA simply because the NBA wasn't offering him enough money (even though he was one of the highest paid players in the league). 

    During his short-lived tenure with the Virginia Squires, he made several ignorant statements and revealed that he wanted to move so his kids wouldn't grow up with Southern accents. 

    A notorious player and teammate, Barry also made several inappropriate comments throughout his career. None were more controversial than the one he made to Bill Russell while a broadcaster.

Starting Power Forward: Sidney Wicks

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    With the Celtics, Sidney Wicks once said after a close loss in the playoffs, "They don't put wins and losses on my paycheck."

    Isn't that pretty much the definition of being a bad teammate? 

Starting Center: Wilt Chamberlain

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    First of all, scoring 100 points in a single game means that you have to completely take over, in ways that are both good and bad. You have to take shots that you shouldn't take. You have to make your teammates pass up other shots. 

    Wilt Chamberlain did all of those things on March 2, 1962, against the New York Knicks. In fact, the game was a microcosm for his career. 

    Chamberlain drove off more coaches than I can count. He didn't win MVP awards because he was universally despised throughout the league. But most of all, he didn't care about winning, instead focusing solely on individual statistics. 

    To prove my point, I'd like to include the text I wrote earlier this month about Wilt the Stilt's MVP-winning 1968 season:

    Wilt Chamberlain's teammates were only getting better during this season, but somehow they couldn't match the previous season's record-setting pace. This was mostly due to the internal conflict between the center and owner Irv Kosloff, one that didn't help Chamberlain maintain the same drive he had during the 1966-1967 season.

    Once more, the Philadelphia 76ers posted the best record in the NBA behind the Chairman of the Boards' impressive statistical contributions. He led the league in rebounding at a 23.8 boards per game clip, finished fourth in scoring and led the league in total assists (although not assists per game), making him the first and only center in NBA history to do so.

    But the problem I have with this season is that Chamberlain's focus was solely on the statistics and not on winning games. He would pass up on open shots that he could and probably would have made in order to feed his teammates the ball with the hopes of adding just one more dime to his stat sheet. Chamberlain was great, but he could have been even better.


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    Guard: Vince Carter

    With out-of-this-world talent, Vince Carter terribly underperformed during his career simply because he didn't care on a nightly basis. If you have ever read anything that Bill Simmons has written, you will agree with me 100 percent. 

    Guard: Micheal Ray Richardson

    A noted anti-Semite, Michael Ray Richardson was actually banned from the NBA because of substance abuse problems. He then complained, in a quote that would basically sum up his attitude, that he was suspended because he was black, and Chris Mullin wasn't suspended for his alcohol problems because he was white, completely overlooking the fact that cocaine abuse is slightly different than drinking alcohol. 

    Forward: Latrell Sprewell

    He choked his head coach P.J. Carlesimo during practice. He refused a $21 million contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves because he couldn't feed his family with that little money. He fought with multiple teammates, including Byron Houston and Jerome Kersey. Enough said. 

    Forward: Ricky Davis

    Example 1: Ricky Davis missed a shot on his own basket to get a triple-double. Example 2: He attempted a between-the-legs dunk during a game.  

    Forward: Bob McAdoo

    The reason Bob McAdoo was a bad teammate was that he cared more about scoring than winning. It was his goal to win the scoring title year in and year out. While he succeeded on occasion, it was often at the expense of his teammates and the team's performance. 

    Center: Elvin Hayes

    The best way to sum up Elvin Hayes' worthlessness as a teammate is to direct you towards this terrific article by writer Kyle Welde: Elvin Hayes versus Wes Unseld. 

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    Adam Fromal is a syndicated writer and Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter.

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