The Worst Teammates in Sports History
It’s no secret the most popular sports in the world are team sports. Individual sports like golf or tennis are nice, but fans gravitate toward sports that rely on chemistry, teamwork and sacrificing for the greater good. These are common values we all learn while growing up, and we get to see them manifest in the form of a team.
While teamwork does make the dream work, some teammates are just flat-out nightmares. Not every athlete is like LeBron James, who basically gets to pick his teammates no matter where he’s playing. Most athletes have to deal with teammates they don't like for various reasons. A teammate may not put in the effort to become a better player, or perhaps a teammate has a personal vendetta with another athlete.
We’ll take a look at the best of the worst teammates in sports and why everyone disliked them so much. Here are the 40 worst teammates in sports history.
Michael Vick, Football
Dogfighting aside, Michael Vick didn’t win over many of his former Falcons teammates with comments he made after joining the Eagles.
His former Atlanta coach, Jim Mora, interviewed Vick and asked him how his preparation for Sundays is different with Philadelphia than it was in Atlanta. Vick then admitted that he didn’t study tape with the Falcons, even though the staff spent hours cutting up film on defenses specifically for him. Vick said he would get the DVDs from the staff and just toss them in the back of his car.
Mora then asked, "So if we put a check for $1 million dollars in those DVD cases?" Vick responded, "It would still be sitting there to this day."
Vick was a phenomenal athlete who became a great rehabilitation story, but he didn’t put the work in to endear himself to his teammates.
Jimmy Jackson, Basketball
Jimmy Jackson played for a record-tying 12 different NBA team. That meant at least 11 different teams wanted to get rid of him. There haven’t been any known incidents regarding Jackson with his teammates on the court or in the locker room, but there is an urban legend involving Jackson, Mavs teammate Jason Kidd and singer Toni Braxton.
The rumor, which has been retold in many different ways, is that Kidd and Braxton were dating, and they showed up to an event together. However, Braxton left the event with Jackson instead. That started a beef between the two players and within the span of seven weeks, Jackson and Kidd were both traded out of Dallas.
Both Kidd and Jackson have said the story is not true, but since Kidd is a Hall of Famer, and Jackson played with a dozen teams, Jimmy Jackson always ends up with the lion’s share of the blame.
Manny Ramirez, Baseball
A team is more than just the guys in the locker room or clubhouse. It also includes coaches, trainers and staff. So when Manny Ramirez attacked a 64-year-old Red Sox employee, he alienated himself from the team.
In June 2008, Ramirez’s tenure in Boston already was on shaky ground when he pushed the Red Sox traveling secretary to the ground. The slugger was unhappy with his ticket allotment for a game and also channelled his inner Bill Belichick by yelling at him, "Just do your job!"
That incident, along with confrontations with other players and faking injuries, led to "Manny Being Manny" in Hollywood as he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers a month later.
John Terry, Soccer
The former captain of England's national team and Chelsea committed the ultimate act of soccer treason by having an affair with a teammate’s girlfriend. The victim in this situation was Wayne Bridge, Terry's teammate of on both teams.
But Bridge announced his permanent withdrawal from the national team following revelations of the affair.
Terry was temporarily stripped of his captaincy with England and also had a legal case surrounding the affair denied. In Terry v Persons Unknown, John Terry filed an injunction to prevent a tabloid from publishing a story about the affair. However, the injunction was rejected on grounds that the purpose of the injunction was to protect commercial interests.
Steve Smith, Football
There were two Steve Smiths in the NFL for a stretch, and they both played wide receiver. This Steve Smith was differentiated from the other as he was known as "the Steve Smith who broke a teammate’s nose."
Smith got into a training camp altercation with cornerback Ken Lucas in 2008 and broke Lucas’ nose during the fight. Even though Smith was the Carolina Panthers’ best player, the team suspended him two games for conduct detrimental to the team.
Why two games? Because Smith was suspended for one game the first time he broke a facial bone of a teammate. Back in 2002, Smith got into a fight with a teammate during a film session and left his teammate with a broken orbital bone.
Dennis Rodman, Basketball
In certain sports, you can get by not communicating with certain teammates. If a left fielder and first baseman hate each other, that’s fine since they essentially operate independently of each other. If no one on the football team talks to the punter, then it sounds like a typical football team.
But communication is key in basketball — all five players need to be on the same page in order to be successful. Not only on the court, but off the court players need to have at least some communication in order to see how their personalities mesh together.
But that wasn’t the case on the Bulls’ second three-peat, which makes their success even more amazing, because Dennis Rodman didn’t talk to Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen. Ever.
"Me and Scottie [Pippen] and Michael [Jordan] never had a conversation in three years in Chicago," Rodman said in 2011. "Only time we had a conversation was on the court, that was it. And nobody believes that."
While most would think that Rodman was at fault, maybe Jordan and Pippen didn’t want to talk to Rodman because of the foul he put on Pippen during the Bulls-Bad Boy Pistons feud?
Shea Hillenbrand, Baseball
In 2005, Shea Hillenbrand was named an All-Star while playing for the Toronto Blue Jays. Just one year later, he was on his way out of town and burned every bridge in sight.
First, Hillenbrand wasn’t happy that the organization failed to congratulate him on adopting a baby girl. Then, he was demoted to a platoon situation instead of being an everyday player. After a game Hillenbrand then wrote on a whiteboard in the clubhouse, "This is a sinking ship. Play for yourself."
This action led to a confrontation with manager John Gibbons, who threatened to quit if Hillenbrand ever played for the Blue Jays again.
And Hillenbrand never played for the Blue Jays again. He was designated for assignment that same evening, and two days later, he was traded to the Giants.
Brendan Shanahan, Hockey
One of the greatest players in NHL history, Brendan Shanahan committed one of the greatest sins a man can do: He stole another man’s wife.
But he didn’t just steal another man’s wife — he stole a teammate’s wife.
Catherine Janney was married to Shanahan’s Blues teammate, Craig Janney. That was until Catherine met Shanahan at a Blues team party, and a couple of years later, the once-Mrs. Janney had become Mrs. Shanahan.
Catherine divorced Craig Janney and wed his teammate. After that, some of Shanahan’s new teammates may have had some misgivings about him.
Kenyon Martin, Basketball
Calling out a teammate for not playing through a sprained ankle is one thing. But calling out a teammate for not playing through a kidney disease gets you on this list.
Kenyon Martin and Alonzo Mourning got into it during a Nets practice in 2003, shortly after Mourning missed an entire season due to a kidney condition. Martin had a tendency to be in the trainer’s room during practice getting his ankles taped ,and Mourning called him out on that. Martin then responded in a way that nearly led to a fistfight between teammates.
"You can’t be a leader in the trainer’s room crying, 'My ankle, my ankle,' " Mourning said, referring to the sprained ankle that sidelined Martin for five games. Martin responded by mocking Mourning, muttering, "My kidney, my kidney."
Teammates then had to restrain Mourning from going after Martin who later apologized. Just weeks after that incident, Mourning underwent a kidney transplant and missed the remainder of the season.
Rafa Marquez, Soccer
Rafa Marquez made history at the 2018 World Cup by becoming the third player to ever play in five World Cups. But in 2011, the former Mexican captain made headlines by calling out his Red Bulls teammates for "not being on his level."
"If we look at statistics, I stole a lot of balls. I think I made two or three bad passes out of 30-plus attempts," Marquez said after his team’s 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake. "I almost didn’t commit any errors, so I am not worried. I think I am playing at my maximum level, and doing everything I can. I don’t have, unfortunately, four defenders on my level that can help me out."
Later in the interview, Marquez doubled down and again said none of his teammates were on his level with the exception of Thierry Henry. Marquez left MLS shortly thereafter and later said that going to the United States to continue his career was a mistake.
Tiki Barber, Football
Tiki Barber had one foot out the door during his last season with the New York Giants in 2006, as he began preparing for his media career. But even before that, he had no problem taking shots at his teammates, including the two most famous — Michael Strahan and Eli Manning.
In 2002, Barber called out Strahan for wanting more money. That is a taboo subject in the NFL as another player’s money and personal life usually are off limits.
Barber’s criticism of Manning was more personality-related since he thought Manning didn’t come across as a good leader. Shortly after Barber retired in 2007, he said that Manning sounded comical when he gave a pregame speech to the Giants in the previous season.
Perhaps from "addition by subtraction," the Giants won the Super Bowl the season after Barber retired.
Reggie Jackson, Baseball
Even though Reggie Jackson hit over 500 home runs and is in the Baseball Hall of Fame, one quote has defined him for over 40 years. In his first year with the Yankees in 1977, Jackson insinuated that the success of the team is all due to him when he said the following:
"This team, it all flows from me. I'm the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and Munson, but he can only stir it bad," said Jackson.
Munson was Thurman Munson, the Yankees' captain and a beloved figure.
Calling out the Yankees’ most popular player never will go over well with the rest of the team, and not even Alex Rodriguez did that with Derek Jeter.
Jackson later denied ever making the quote, but the author who published it says that Jackson is lying.
Vontae Davis, Football
Vontae Davis pullied off 2018’s strangest retirement. A 10-year NFL vet and two-time Pro Bowler, Davis abruptly retired during halftime of the first game he played in the season.
Davis started at cornerback for the Buffalo Bills before removing himself from play during the first half and telling his coach he was "done." Davis and the Bills went into the locker room for halftime, and Davis never returned to the field.
Many teammates blasted Davis afterward for quitting on them, including linebacker Lorenzo Alexander who said, "Never have seen it ever — Pop Warner, high school, college, pros — never heard of it, never seen it. It’s just completely disrespectful to his teammates."
Kobe Bryant, Basketball
Cut from the same cloth as Michael Jordan in a ruthlessly, competitive sense, Kobe Bean Bryant had no problem laying into his teammates for not matching his level of play.
He said that teammate Smush Parker "shouldn’t have been in the NBA" because he was so bad and the only reason he was on the Lakers was because the team was too cheap to pay for a real player.
Then, there was an unnamed player whom Bryant cites as a teammate he made cry. In his early 20s at the time, Bryant once told a teammate, "You know, dude, you might want to reconsider what your life purpose is. Maybe it's not this."
Bryant said the player was a European kid most people wouldn’t remember, but if you do some digging through the early 2000s Lakers rosters, you can pretty easily find out the player Bryant is talking about.
Sammy Sosa, Baseball
By the end of 2004, Sammy Sosa had worn out his welcome in Chicago. In addition to his declining production, Sosa annoyed teammates by blaring salsa music through the Cubs clubhouse every ... single ... day.
On the last day of the season, Sosa’s teammates finally had enough especially since he left the stadium early after not playing in the game. A teammate who still has not yet been named took a baseball bat to the boombox and smashed it into pieces.
That day turned out to be Sosa’s last in a Cubs uniform. The team traded him during the offseason.
Nesta Carter, Track and Field
Usain Bolt’s resume has one hole in it, though it’s not his fault. The greatest sprinter of all time won gold medals in the 100 meters, 200 meters and 4x100 meters at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.
However, one of those nine gold medals was taken away from him due to a relay teammate, Nesta Carter, testing positive for a banned substance.
Bolt never tested positive, but the IOC says if one person is guilty, then the whole team has to pay so Bolt, Carter and the rest of the Jamaican 4x100m relay team had to return their gold medal from the 2008 Olympics.
Wilt Chamberlain, Basketball
A notorious late owl, Wilt Chamberlain often would not wake up until noon, even on game days. That presented a problem when he was on the Lakers because new coach Bill Sharman had implemented a morning shootaround to, in part, curtail his players’ nightlife.
Chamberlain, who was the NBA’s preeminent "me" vs. "we" guy, didn’t want shootaround to interfere with his late nights and late mornings, so he frequently skipped the shootarounds.
Chamberlain put himself before the team, and his philosophy on shootarounds was summed up in this quote by Sam Smith: "Wilt supposedly told [Coach] Sharman he comes to the arena once a day, and Sharman can decide when. Wilt pretty much eschewed the shootaround."
John Rocker, Baseball
John Rocker is best known for his time as the Atlanta Braves' closer in the late 1990s, early 2000s. During that time he infamously made comments that criticized New York and its citizens as well as multiple ethnic groups.
But what’s often forgotten is that he also denigrated a teammate, calling Randall Simon, a black teammate from Curacao, a "fat monkey."
Shortly after making those comments, Major League Baseball suspended Rocker for 28 games. So not only did Rocker insult a teammate, but he hurt his team by taking himself off the field.
Ricky Watters, Football
Every athlete wants to line up alongside someone who’s willing to run through a brick wall for the good of the team. Well, former NFL running back Ricky Watters not only wouldn’t run through a brick wall, but he likely wouldn’t even run through a paper wall.
Watters infamously alligator-armed a pass while with the Eagles since he would have been hit hard by the defender if he stretched out for the pass. When asked about why he did that, Watters replied, "For who, for what?"
That quote has defined Watters in retirement, and it didn’t help that the words became the title of his autobiography.
He now regrets saying the line because it certainly didn’t endear him to his teammates or the fans in Philadelphia.
Boris Onischenko, Track and Field
Boris Onischenko pulled off a feat at the 1976 Summer Olympics that would land him on a "bad teammates list" and a "worst cheaters list."
A pentathlete for the Soviet Union, Onischenko devised a scheme to help himself win the fencing event of the modern pentathlon. Onischenko modified his épée with a pushbutton that would cause the electronic scoring system to register a hit whether or not the épée connected with the opponent. In other words, he configured his weapon to award him points even if he didn’t make contact with his opponent.
The opposing team’s coach noticed what was happening and asked officials to take a look at his épée. They then realized that he was cheating, and they ejected him from competition, forced the Soviet Union to withdraw from the team event, and Onischenko was banned for life from sports.
These Games marked the first in 24 years that the Soviet Union didn’t win a medal in the team event of the modern pentathlon.
Terrell Owens, Football
The quarterback is the most important player on nearly every NFL team, and Terrell Owens seemed to make it a mission to insult that player at every stop in his career.
He implied Jeff Garcia was gay on his way out of San Francisco. He said the Philadelphia Eagles would be better with Brett Favre at quarterback instead of Donovan McNabb. He said the Dallas Cowboys don’t have a T.O. problem — they have a T.R. (Tony Romo) problem.
Owens didn’t stay with the Buffalo Bills or Cincinnati Bengals long enough to insult their quarterbacks as both team ditched him after one season.
Owens was a phenomenally talented player, and his Hall of Fame induction was long overdue, but he also is deserving of a bust in the Worst Teammate Hall of Fame.
Jonathan Papelbon, Baseball
After leaving the Philadelphia Phillies in 2015, Jonathan Papelbon blamed the lack of team success on everyone from the owner all the way down to the bat boy, without pointing the finger at himself.
But that’s nothing compared to what he did when he joined the Washington Nationals. He got into a dugout fight with face of the franchise and NL MVP Bryce Harper in which Papelbon grabbed Harper by the throat. Harper was barely of drinking age at the time while Papelbon was 34 years old and was supposed to be a team leader.
The Nationals suspended Papelbon for four games, and he would be out of baseball less than a year later.
Dwight Howard, Basketball
When a player leaves a team, how his former teammates react to the transaction says a lot about how they feel about that player. When Dwight Howard was traded from his hometown Atlanta Hawks in 2017, Hawks players reportedly "screamed with jubilation" that they didn’t have to share a locker room with Howard anymore.
His farting ability aside, Howard is known as someone who says all of the right things as a teammate, but doesn’t execute those things on the court or in the locker room.
He’s a future Hall of Famer, but he’s also someone who has played for six different teams over the last eight years, and that’s because someone’s gotten tired of his schtick at every stop in his career.
Richie Incognito, Football
A four-time NFL Pro Bowler, Richie Incognito is best known for being at the center of a bullying scandal involving teammate Jonathan Martin. Incognito was the ringleader of a group of Miami Dolphins who harassed Martin to the point that he left the team and checked into a hospital for emotional distress.
An investigation showed that Incognito had sent several racist and menacing text messages and voice messages to Martin while also threatening to harm members of Martin’s family.
Miami Dolphins coaches reportedly wanted Incognito to "toughen up" Martin, but he took things too far, and Incognito ended up being suspended for half of the 2013 season before missing the entire 2014 season as no team wanted to touch him in free agency.
Ryan Lochte, Swimming
Ryan Lochte has been an exemplary teammate in the pool for USA Swimming, but it’s what happened at a gas station in Brazil that lands him on this list.
Lochte said that he and three swimming teammates were robbed at gunpoint during the 2016 Olympics, but two of those teammates later said he fabricated the claim. The four swim team members actually vandalized a bathroom at a gas station, and security guards then detained them with the swimmers handing over cash as compensation for the damage.
What makes Lochte look even worse is that he bailed on his swimming teammates and left Brazil soon after the incident while the other three were detained by police and forced to answer questions on his behalf. USA Swimming ended up suspending Lochte 10 months, and the other three were suspended four months each.
Lochte also lost endorsements that Forbes projected as a loss of $5 million to 10 million in future income.
Tony Parker, Basketball
Cheating on your spouse is one thing. Cheating on your spouse with the spouse of a teammate is a whole 'nother thing. That is what former San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker did in 2010 to the shock of his then-wife, actress Eva Longoria.
The other teammate involved was Brent Barry, whose wife had an affair with Parker, according to "Extra." The affair cost two marriages as Parker and Longoria divorced and the Barrys did that same year.
They say time heals all wounds, but that’s not the case with the tension between Parker and Barry. The two maintained distance between them, which was evident by Barry joining the Spurs front office in 2018, only when Parker had left the team after 17 years.
Le'Veon Bell, Football
The latest entry to this list, Le'Veon Bell sold out his teammates in chase of a bigger payday. After months of holding out and saying he would return to the Steelers at some point, Bell decided to skip the entire 2018 NFL season in order to "preserve his body."
On top of that, he openly trolled the Steelers by playing pickup basketball in Pittsburgh while his teammates were practicing just down the block.
But the Steelers may have gotten the last laugh. Once Bell punted on the season, his Steeler teammates raided his locker and took everything from his nameplate to multiple pairs of shoes to even a mixtape.
Charles Comiskey, Baseball
The surname of Charles Comiskey should ring a bell. He was the founder of the Chicago White Sox and lent his name to Comiskey Park. But before Comiskey took over the White Sox, he was a player-manager in the late 19th century.
With this being a "worst teammates" list and Comiskey being a player-manager, you should see where this is going. Comiskey often inserted himself into the lineup even though he wasn’t a particularly good hitter. That means he was a bad player, a bad teammate and a bad manager.
Comiskey also wasn’t that good of an owner with the White Sox as his cheap ways led to his players taking part in the 1919 Black Sox scandal.
Rick Barry, Basketball
"You could send him to the U.N., and he'd start World War III." That's what Mike Dunleavy once said to the Chicago Tribune about Rick Barry, his longtime teammate and friend.
If one of Barry's best friends felt that way about him, imagine how those who weren’t friendly with the Hall of Famer felt about him. Barry played for seven different NBA and ABA teams, and he rubbed people the wrong way on all of them.
Known as a perfectionist, Barry was overbearing and intimidating to teammates if they couldn’t match the same level of play that he had. Even a fellow Hall of Fame teammate like Robert Parish was critical of Barry’s attitude and said, "He was always looking down at you."
Perhaps the best sign that someone is a bad teammate and hard to work with is if the player openly admits it, which Barry once did.
"I was not an easy person to get along with," Barry told the Chicago Tribune. "I didn't have a lot of tact."
Eli Apple, Football
Many people on this list have a lack of maturity that makes them a bad teammate. This appears to be the case with NFL cornerback Eli Apple.
Apple was drafted as a 20-year-old redshirt sophomore out of Ohio State in 2016, and one scout described Apple as "having no life skills" and said he is someone who was babied his entire life.
He then enters a New York Giants locker room full of grown men, and he can’t/doesn’t know how to get along with his teammates.
One teammate even called Apple "a cancer" while they were still teammates, to which Apple’s mother hilariously replied, "Eli is actually a Leo."
The Giants removed the locker-room cancer during the 2018 season when they traded him to the New Orleans Saints.
Shawn Michaels, Pro Wrestling
Shawn Michaels may be the greatest in-ring performer in pro wrestling history, but that legend all started with Michaels backstabbing tag partner Marty Jannetty.
Michaels and Jannetty formed The Rockers and were one of the most popular tag teams in the late 1980s/early '90s. But tension between the two, both on-camera and backstage, led to their infamous split on Brutus Beefcake’s "Barbershop" segment.
After seemingly making up, Michaels suddenly superkicked Jannetty and then threw him through a glass window. That signaled the end of their partnership, and Michaels then embarked on a Hall of Fame singles career.
Carlos Zambrano, Baseball
The former Cubs pitcher was known for his notoriously short temper, and it led to not one, but two fights with teammates.
In 2007, Zambrano lit into his catcher, Michael Barrett, after Barrett allowed a passed ball and had a throwing error which contributed to Zambrano getting lit up himself on the mound. The two got into a physical altercation in the dugout and had to be separated by teammates.
Three years later, it was a similar scene, only this time with first baseman Derrek Lee, who was unable to make a tough fielding play, ticking off Big Z. However, with Lee being one of the Cubs’ best players, management stepped in and disciplined Zambrano afterward.
He was suspended indefinitely, forced to undergo anger management and demoted to the bullpen upon his return.
Gilbert Arenas, Basketball
Gilbert Arenas was thought to be a well-liked guy by both the media and inside the locker room, but it's what happened inside his own locker room that lands him on this list.
While with the Washington Wizards, Arenas wasn’t happy about an unpaid gambling debt from teammate Javaris Crittenton, so Arenas did the completely logical thing and brought four guns into the locker room to threaten his teammate. However, Arena didn’t realize Crittenton had ties to the Bloods street gang and had his own gun already stored in his locker.
A wild, wild West showdown in the Verizon Center between the two ensued. Fortunately, no shots were fired. Both players were convicted on charges of gun possession, and all of this came about because of a card game of booray.
Tonya Harding, Figure Skating
Many forget that not only were Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan competing for the gold medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics, but they also were teammates on the U.S. Figure Skating team for both the 1992 and 1994 Olympics.
Of course, everyone knows what happened next, as Harding orchestrated an attack on Kerrigan with the intent of knocking her out of the Olympics.
The reason Harding planned all of this was because she had a poor showing at the U.S. Skating Championships in 1993 and thought the only way she would make the Olympic team was if Kerrigan wasn’t able to skate. The execution of the attack went as planned, but the outcome did not.
Kerrigan was healthy enough to skate at the Olympics. She won a silver medal while Harding finished in a distant eighth place.
Ruben Rivera, Baseball
When you are cousins to the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera, you already have a foot in the door with the New York Yankees. However, Ruben Rivera proceeded to stick his own foot up his a-- by stealing from the Yankees' franchise player, Derek Jeter.
During spring training in 2002, Rivera took Jeter’s glove and bat and then sold them to a sports memorabilia dealer for $2,500, despite having a $1 million contract. Once the Yankees caught wind, his teammates voted him off the team like it was a "Survivor" elimination.
Rivera would latch on with a couple of other teams, but he was out of baseball about one year later.
Bill Romanowski, Football
Dirty player? Cheater? Bad teammate? Bill Romanowski checked all of those boxes during his 16-year NFL career.
An example of the first came when he tried to break Shannon Sharpe’s elbow during a game in 2002, even thought they won two Super Bowls together with the Broncos.
Romo the cheater came in the form of him admitting to using steroids during his career and being part of the BALCO investigation.
But the act which makes him a bad teammate takes the cake. In Romanowski’s final season in 2003, he viciously attacked a Raiders teammate after a play in practice, ripped off the guy’s helmet and socked him in the face.
The punch ended young Marcus Williams’ NFL career as he suffered a broken eye socket at the hands of Romo and ended up suing for $3.4 million. Williams claimed "'roid rage" on Romanowski’s part played a factor in the incident, but Williams ended up being awarded just 10 percent of what he sued for.
Hope Solo, Soccer
Hope Solo’s surname couldn’t be more appropriate since she seems to be someone better served at playing an individual sport rather than a team sport.
Her abrasive attitude has rubbed teammates the wrong way, but her biggest mistake came at the 2007 World Cup. After she was benched in a 4-0 semifinal loss, Solo ripped her coach’s decision and criticized the goalkeeper who replaced her.
"It was the wrong decision, and I think anybody that knows anything about the game knows that," said Solo. "“There's no doubt in my mind I would have made those saves."
Solo was removed from the USWNT for the third-place game, which the U.S. won, and afterward, team captain Kristine Lilly said the decision on Solo was made by the entire team.
Michael Jordan, Basketball
The greatest basketball player of all time was known for being a ruthless teammate who wasn’t afraid to use his words or his fists to make a point.
When the Bulls traded away Jordan’s friend, Charles Oakley, in return for Bill Cartwright, Jordan called Cartwright "Medical Bill" because of how often he was injured.
Jordan even went after his Dream Team teammates as he nearly trash-talked Clyde Drexler off the team by constantly reminding him the Bulls had just beaten the Blazers in the Finals weeks earlier.
Then there’s the infamous punch to Steve Kerr in 1995. Jordan was trash-talking to Kerr and the normally mellow player (now the Golden State Warriors coach) snapped back. Jordan took offense to the reaction and then socked Kerr in the face. The two did mend their relationship, and Kerr said standing up for himself "was one of the best things that ever happened for me."
Barry Bonds, Baseball
Barry Bonds may be the greatest baseball player of all time. He also may be the biggest jerk of all time.
Bonds seemed to be someone who knew he could get away with being difficult because of his sheer talent, and he made no effort to be more accommodating. His surliness was displayed to the media, fans, opponents and even teammates.
One noteworthy incident came in 2002 when Bonds and Giants teammate Jeff Kent got into a physical altercation in the dugout during a game. You would never see someone like LeBron James or Aaron Rodgers get into a public fight with a teammate, so for the best baseball player in the world at the time to do so tells you how much his teammates disliked him.
Carlton Dotson, Basketball
As the Showtime film "Disgraced" put it in 2017: Carlton Dotson is the only athlete in NCAA history to be convicted of murdering a teammate.
Dotson was a basketball player for Baylor in the early 2000s, and he befriended Patrick Dennehy who, like Dotson, had recently transferred to the school. At some point, the two reportedly felt concerned about their safety, purchased some guns and practiced firing them at a farm outside of Waco, Texas. Then, suddenly, no one heard from or saw Dennehy over the next few weeks.
Dotson told a cousin that he shot and killed his teammate during an argument while they were firing guns, and Dennehy’s body eventually was found in a gravel pit near Waco.
Dotson later told police he was "hearing voices" in his head and was originally declared incompetent to stand trial. But a psychologist said that Dotson hearing voices was "suspect," and just days before the murder trial was set to begin, Dotson pled guilty. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison and will be eligible for parole in 2021.