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).
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.
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.
4. Jamarcus Russell - Oakland Raiders
3. Chad Johnson - Nasty Nati Bungles
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.