All the news from Los Angeles is about Kobe Bryant these days (at least, the news that isn't related to SC dropping a game at home to the Stanford Cardinal), and with the Sonics playing the Lakers tomorrow night in Bakersfield, could this be the last time Kobe suits up in a Laker jersey against the Sonics? (This is, of course, assuming he makes the trip).
Why do I care? Well, because Kobe is one of a select group of players who are almost universally hated in the NBA. With the exception of those twits who live in the 206 and own a Kobe-8 jersey, most folks around these parts would sooner wax their unmentionables before donning a Laker jersey, let alone a Kobe one.
And, being that this is the 41st season in team history (and, to be accurate, the true 40th anniversary of the team), I thought we could reminisce about the top ten most hated players in team history. I've only been a fan of the team since the early 80s, so please add your suggestions for the 60s and 70s in the comments. In reverse order:
10. Rick Barry (I'm just assuming this to be the case, being that everyone hated the Rickster)
9. Charles Barkley
8. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
7. Clyde Drexler
6. Vlade Divac ("The NBA, it's Floptastic!")
5. Kevin Johnson
4. John Stockton
3. Jim McIlvaine (zing!)
2. Kobe Bryant
1. Karl Malone
I'll take arguments on the other 9, but no opposing player in the history of the Seattle professional basketball ever received as many boos as Karl Malone. Sorry, but that one is in concrete.
Man, all those Suns: Majerle, Rex Chapman, Frankie Johnson (or, as I called him, Frankie "Bad" Johnson).
I always thought dan majerle was the ultimate sonic killer on the kevin johnson/barkley phoenix teams
rex chapman could be on this list just for hitting the ultimate circus shot (on an inbounds pass from jason kidd) to send a mid-90s playoff game into overtime. although, I believe we ended up winning that one
jim mcilvaine could easily be #1 for his role in sending a winning playoff team into the tank. of course, it was ex-sonic wally walker who signed him
Man, I'm embarrassed to say I forgot about Thunder Dan. He really should be top five on any list such as this ... I should be forced to turn in my Nate McMillan jersey for that blunder.
I nominate Ruben Patterson for the top ten. We loved while he was here, but when he left for the Blazers it was whole other story.
Oh, yeah, and he sexually assaulted his nanny.
In the modern era, I'd have to add Brad Miller, Doug Christie, and the entire Spurs roster.
In the 90's boom era, I really hated Nick Van Exel and Dennis Rodman.
Man, I've got a lot of hate.
Taking your Spurs' thought, Paul, I'll nominate Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, especially Ginobili. That guy just sticks in my craw. And my craw don't like it when things are stuck in it.
I nominate Bruce "Kick Ray Allen in the back" Bowen, he's easily my most hated sports star ever. And MJ just for killing our one shot in the past couple decades at winning a championship.
Man, I've got a lot of hate.
It's ok, Paul. Hating Doug Christie is a must.
I'll add Benoit Benjamin and since he was a former player, Wally Walker makes it on a technicality.
Others: Vin Baker, Joe Forte, Danny Ainge, Zach Randolph, JR Rider, Bill Walton (although mostly for his commentating).
What? No Bill Laimbeer? I think I was at the game where he clotheslined (or was it headlocked?) Reggie King. (I know, "Who?") '85 or '86 I think.
Anyway, whatever or whoever it was, Laimbeer was an extremely dirty player and nearly universally hated. He must make the list.
Seriously, Rex Chapman and Manu Ginobli both have to make a top-10 list, along with Bruce Bowen.
Don't forget Jeff Hornacek. That creepy touching his face thing he did at the foul line bugged the tar out of me. (Yeah, I know it was some sort of recognition thing for his kids, but it still bugged me).
Two words: Dikembe Mutombo...does no one else have that image in thier head of Mutombo rolling on the ground with a big stupid smile on his face after they beat the 1 seeded sonics in the first round
Gonna have to second Ginobli and Chapman.
As much as a douche as Laimbeer was, we only saw him a couple of times a year at most here in the Northwest, so he wasn't really on our radar (or mine, anyway).
I forgot to mention Shaq. I really hated him when he was with the Lakers. Nothing personal, just hated that the Lakers bought themselves an insta-dynasty like the Yankees. Gawd how I hate the Lakers.
The only thing I hate more is Kobe fans who go to Sonics games and cheer against Seattle. OH, THE HATE I HAVE!
I thought about Mutombo and Shaq, but I never felt like they got hated as much as the other guys. I'll freely admit I screwed up by not including Thunder Dan and Ginobili, but to me, Shaq was always too good natured to be hated, and his pinnacle of success in LA coincided with a real down-time for Sonic basketball. It's hard to hate someone when you're irrelevant.
Well, except for the Blazers. It's always easy to hate the Blazers. And good for your colon, as well.
Eddie Jones used to murders the Sonics, but I'll have to agree with the Doug Christie voters. Not only is he from Seattle, his wife is his stalker and she is not attractive, and on top of it, he always throw up that I love you sign all game. AND he had the worst hairline in the NBA when he was playing.
Man... that feels good to get that off my chest.
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