Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The 10 most selfish athletes in professional sports.

Bonnie Richardson's accomplishments as mentioned in my previous post has me thinking about a lot of players in today's pro sports and how much happier they would be without their team and teammates taking some of the spotlight. I thought I'd compose a list of the 10 most selfish professional athletes in homage to this young ladies amazing accomplishment(s).

10. Ron Artest - Sacramento Kings

In spite of his abilities, Artest has been the subject of much controversy. During his early years, he was subject to criticism for numerous antics including applying for a job at Circuit City, just to get an employee discount, attending Pacers practice in a bath robe, and asking for a month off because he was "tired" from promoting an album on his Lable. For this one he got a nice little suspension. Other suspensions for Artest came for destroying a TV camera at MSG, and again for a confrontation with Pat Riley. He has seen the league's heavy hand in suspensions for numerous Flagrant fouls. Oh, and then there was a little fight in Detroit where he missed the remainder of the season. Not just a bad teammate but apparently a bad pet owner there was, allegedly, a pre-seizure notice on his home to remove Artest's Great Dane due to lack of food. He was also picked up on Domestic Abuse Charges in 2007 that led to his "excuse" from the Kings organization until he basically learned to behave himself. He even started the most recent season on the bench serving a suspension.

Oh, and did I mention the fight...

9. Shea Hillenbrand - On a ranch in Gilbert, AZ

Arizona boy Hillenbrandhad started a brief yet promising career in Boston. Until of course 2003 when trade rumors surfaced and he went on a Boston area sports radio show to call Theo Epstein, Red Sox GM, a Faggot. Classy. He bounced around a little bit and looked to be resurging. In 2005, his first year with the Blue Jays, Hillenbrand hit .291 with 18 home runs and 82 RBI over 152 games, while splitting time between 1B, 3B, and DH. In July of 2006, Hillenbrand was becoming sour in Toronto due to lack of PT and sharing time with Lyle Overbay (1B) and Troy Glaus (3B) and even having the Gaul to make him a DH. There are differing accounts but the message was the same. After a game he and Manger John Gibbons got into it and Hillenbrand wrote on the team whiteboard something to the effect of "This is a Sinking Ship" and "Play for yourselves" He was designated for assignment that day and a couple days later traded to the G-Men in SF. Hillenbrand signed a one year contract with LA in December of 06, he was designated for assignment before July, a day after being quoted as saying, "If I'm not going to play here, give me enough respect to trade me or get rid of me." About a week later thanks to that statement and the emergence of Reggie Willitis and Casey Kotchman, Hillenbrand was waived by the Angels destined to live in his Gilbert AZ ranch with his mini horses, tortoises and random other animals.

8. Keyshawn Johnson - Retired WR, TV Analyst

The Author more commonly known as a Wide Receiver decided, after just one season in the NFL, that included 63 catches, decided to write a book entitled Just Give Me the Damn Ball!. He makes it to number 8 on this list just based strictly on the strength of his book title and his early selfish antics at times. Apparently the book isn't as focused on the subject of getting that ball as one might assume based on the book title, but I haven't read it and have no interest in doing so. In fact in his later years in Carolina he was highly touted as a good teammate. On an awesome side note, he once said, "If you have a problem with Keyshawn Johnson, then you have a problem with yourself."

7. Kobe Bryant - LA Lakers

Number 8 is one of the most selfish players in the game. In the 4 years since fellow superstar Shaq left the Lake Show after being forced out in Kobe's him or me ultimatum Kobe has led the NBA in Field Goals Attempted 3 years. The only exception, 2004-2005 Season he only attempted 1324 shots, but only played in 66 games. In exactly 0 of those seasons The Black Mamba finished inside of the Top 30 in FG%. His Career FG% of .453 isn't in the top 300 of all time either. He's also 80th in career TO ratio as well. He is the quintessential me-first player. The only reason he isn't higher is based on the fact that at (granted a very few) times it is necessary for him to be me-first, and he is the top player on his team.

6. Vince Carter - New Jersey Nets

I'm not going to lie. I used to love Vince Carter. He was one of my favorite ballers back in the day. I can remember watching his Unreal Slam Dunk Contest with the rest of the Freshman Basketball team. I loved him, Antawn, Williams, and Cota back in the day in Chapel Hill. With all of that said, he is one of the most selfish players in the game. Famous more now for his pouting and quiting on his team than his old high flying antics. After achieving immediate success and accolades in Toronto he was the future, then he got frustrated with some unfulfilled front office promises, started slacking, quiting, and even unsubstantiated rumors that he gave away plays to opposing teams to sabotage the Raptors. He eventually got the trade he was gunning for and went to New Jersey. Carter enjoyed the new scenery and thrived in New Jersey. After a couple successful years in New Jersey there were rumblings of a Holland Tunnel exchange to the Knicks after Carter opted out but he eventually re-signed with the Nets.
5. Ricky Williams - Toronto Argonauts, Miami Dolphins, I think

Ricky Marley is one of the top selfish athletes. It all started with his draft into the league. He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints. The Saints traded their ENTIRE draft, picks in every round, for Williams on the strength of his Heisman Campaign in Austin. Now that is not his fault; What was his fault was his choice to continue, after numerous warnings to stop, smoking the Hippie Lettuce. After, yet another failed drug test in 2004, he quit to become a Holistic Massage Therapist rather than face a fine and suspension. Unfortunately he owed quite a bit of money to the Fins that they had paid him to play. So he returned to Organized football in Miami to play out his contract. in 2005. By mid-season he tested positive, again, for the Cheeba weed and sat out the 2006 season at the behest of the NFL.

4. Jamarcus Russell - Oakland Raiders

The 2007 First overall pick was an exciting prospect for Raider fans. After years of fumbling through quarterbacks (Duante Culpepper, Andrew Walter, Aaron Brooks, Kerry Collins, Rich Gannon, and even Rick Mirer at one point) they finally had a guy the size of a linebacker, who wouldn't/couldn't go down and could launch the ball down field. Only problem was he didn't see the field until week 3. And no I don't mean that was his first game experience I mean he didn't sign a contract with the team until mid-September thus didn't practice with them until that point. Failing to reach a contract agreement with the Raiders, Russell held out through training campe and the first weeks of the 2007 NFL Season until September 12, when he signed a six-year contract worth up to $68 million, a league rookie record with $31.5 million guaranteed. When did the rookie finally see the field? The 2nd quarter of week 13. Then in this past off season, according to Don Banks of SI, Russell has ballooned to over 300lbs. My guess is his pockets were the heaviest part of his body.

3. Chad Johnson - Nasty Nati Bungles
Ocho Cinco started off the 2007 off season on the ESPN Radio show Mike and Mike in the morning, by saying, "I was labeled selfish and a cancer, and it hurt...Fingers were pointed at me this year. If the team and the organization wants to further itself, I think you need to get rid of the problem...It hurt me." After being hurt by the fingers pointed and the people calling him selfish, he proceeded to continue to be a lighting rod for the next 5 months, less than a month later there were rumblings that he would sit out the entirety of the 2008 season. Exactly one month later Ocho Cinco made the public statement of "Call me Dan". Not that he's looking for yet another nickname, he meant, "Hey Dan Snyder, rich owner of the 'Skins, make a trade for me". The following month he told Best Damn that he wanted to play for the Cowboys. Then in April, he said he wanted to be traded before the Draft. Recently he has said he will appear at the mini-camp and will honor his contract. How this plays out will show just how high or low Ocho Cinco will ultimately land on this list. Regardless he is constantly needing the spotlight.

2. Latrell "I'll Choke you too" Sprewell - Retired or unwanted -

We should start with the Choking incident as a way to set a base line of Mr. Sprewell's reputation. Back in '97 when he was a 4 time All-Star and team leader of the Warriors he decided to go Sprewell on Head Coach PJ Carelsimo threatening to kill him and tackled him to the ground by his throat attempting to choke the life out of him until teammates pried him off. His second attack on PJ also ended in pain, but he was again pulled away by teammates. Team Leader misses 68 games, selfish. He bounced around (New York and Minnesota) and actually appeared to turn his career around returning to the All-Star game and garnering accolades in Minnesota with Garnett and Cassell, then the Wolves offered him 3yr/$21 million which was apparently nothing because he vented stating that "I have a family to feed." He turned down the contract and refused to accept any of the offers out there because they were, a level beneath which [Sprewell] would not stoop or kneel!". I guess he was right about those financial problems. Recently his boat was repossessed and auctioned off.

1. Cedric Benson - Unsigned Free Agent

Another highly touted Austin Running Back on the list, Cedric held out through almost the entire preseason of his rookie season and was never able to get in line with the Bears organization. Also, based on This Article last week, where Benson was deemed selfish. In all honesty he takes number one based on the recent indiscretions of "me-first" thinking, DUI/BWI transgressions and of course his infamous Heisman Candidacy speech in which he said, "If I could win the game entirely by myself – both offense and defense, punt returns, kickoffs, kicking field goals, do everything – then I'd take the win over OU," Benson said. "But for me personally, the hard work I've been through, growing up as a kid and the dream I've had, I'd love nothing more than to win the Heisman."Thus he basically said he would rather be sans team (which luckily for him he is now). Class Act buddy. And definitely, by his own admission, the most selfish Athlete around.

Matt Randle El and Dom


Matt Randle "el" said...

brilliant...thanks for the tag team effort..it was a large task for me on top of everything else today but it had to be done.

Ian | Inside the Iggles said...

Pretty good list. I am wondering where TO and Barry Bonds are? They have to be 1 and 2.