Tuesday, July 19, 2005


In high school Allen Iverson spent four months in jail over a bowling-alley brawl. He then (somehow) went to Georgetown University and became a star guard. He was drafted #1 by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1996. But despite becoming an extremely wealthy celebrity, Iverson never wavered from his commitment to mimic gang culture. In 1997 he was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm. In 2001 Iverson was again charged with marijuana possession and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit after an early-morning search of his car. Also in 2001, Iverson created controversy when he recorded a rap album with lyrics that he sings – “Man enough to pull a gun, be man enough to squeeze it.” The song ends with the lyrics played over the sounds of a gun being cocked and fired. Then, in 2002 Iverson was charged with threatening two men with a gun while searching for his wife and his cousin. As a basketball player, however, he is extremely talented, even as he refuses to practice and has had an adversarial relationship with every coach he has ever had.

The NBA’s first and only cross-dressing, pierced-nosed, rainbow hair colored psychopathic power forward. Rodman was nothing, if not entertaining. He had a tendency to cry spontaneously, and also to kick courtside photographers in the nuts. In 1996 Rodman was suspended for 6 games for head-butting a referee on the court. Rodman is not known to have made any friends in the NBA as he virtually refused to practice and was not a fan of the game that made him famous. Nevertheless, teammates endured Rodman’s quirky behavior, because underneath all of the lipstick and eyeliner was one of the best rebounders the game has ever seen. He retired from the NBA during the 1999-00 season after being waived by the Dallas Mavericks.

This gifted power forward has one of the most volatile tempers ever seen in professional sports. He owns about every record for technical fouls and was even called for a technical foul in high school during the McDonald’s All-American game. In 2001 Wallace was suspended for two games without pay and fined $10,000 by the NBA for hitting an official with a towel. Two months later, Wallace was suspended one game by the Trailblazers for throwing a towel into the face of teammate ARVYDAS SABONIS during an argument in a loss to the Lakers. Wallace also loathes the media. He rarely speaks to reporters, and when he does, he says something offensive and/or stupid. He especially hates being questioned about his 2002 arrest for marijuana possession. In 2003 he was suspended for seven games without pay for confronting and threatening a referee outside the Rose Garden in Portland. Later that year, Wallace charged that the league's white establishment is exploiting young black athletes to enrich itself. Wallace was paid $17 million that season.

Have you ever threatened to kill someone? Latrell Sprewell has. In 1995, he scrapped with Warriors teammate JEROME KERSEY and returned to practice carrying a two-by-four. He reportedly threatened to return again, with a gun. Have you ever been so mad at someone that you just wanted to choke the hell out of that person? Sprewell has, and he did. In 1997 Sprewell was suspended by the NBA for 82 games (it was later shortened) for choking and threatening to kill his Warriors coach – P.J. CARLESIMO, during a practice. Sprewell returned to the court about 20 minutes later and punched Carlesimo. Are you a safe driver? Sprewell is not. In 1998, he spent three months under house arrest for a reckless driving incident in California in which he forced another driver off the road. Do you believe that you should be offered a fair salary from your employer? So does Sprewell. Before last season, the 34-year old Sprewell rejected a 9 million dollars a year offer from his Timberwolves team, telling reporters that it was “insulting" and that - “I got my family to feed.”

If ever there was a professional athlete that could use extensive anger management classes, it is Ron Artest. He has been fined or suspended by the NBA seven times in the past two years. The last suspension was the longest in league history that was not involving drugs or betting. NBA commissioner DAVID STERN suspended Artest for 73 games for climbing into the stands to fight with Detroit Pistons fans. Before the brawl, Artest had angered Pistons management and teammates after he requested time off to promote a new CD he produced for an R&B group. Unfortunately, Artest had shown this bizarre behavior numerous times before in his career. In 2003 he was suspended by the NBA for 12 games for an incident in which he destroyed a TV camera in New York. Also that season, he was suspended for four games for confronting and making physical contact with Miami Heat head coach PAT RILEY, taunting the Heat bench, committing a flagrant-foul penalty by pushing Heat guard Caron Butler into the stands, and making an obscene gesture toward fans.

As a citizen, Washington does not belong on this list of bad apples. But, with one horrendous, violent punch thrown on a basketball court in 1977, he almost became a murderer. During a game between the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers, a scuffle began near mid-court. RUDY TOMJANOVICH rushed to the fracas to help break it up. Instead, he was met with a vicious sucker-punch thrown by Washington. Tomjanovich was knocked unconscious before he even hit the floor. Numerous facial bones were broken, and his skull was displaced. Spinal fluid began leaking into the skull capsule, and Tomjanovich was near death. Neither Tomjanovich, nor Washington would ever fully recover from the punch. Tomjanovich was a shadow of his former self as a player and retired three years later. Washington would forever be seen as a villain.

They didn’t call Vernon Maxwell “Mad Max” because of a resemblance to MEL GIBSON. This dude just couldn’t stay out of trouble. It all started in 1993 when Maxwell was charged with resisting arrest outside a Houston nightclub called Fat Tuesday's. In 1994 Maxwell was charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon. He pleaded guilty and received a sentence of $1,500 fine and four days in jail. Also that year, Maxwell was accused of breaking a beer bottle over the head of fellow basketball player HERBERT ANDERSON at a nightclub. Then, in 1995, Maxwell was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He had reportedly been pulled over in his Mercedes-Benz after running a red light. Maxwell also was suspended for 10 games without pay and fined $20,000 in 1995 for going into the stands and punching a fan who had been heckling him at a game in Portland. He was arrested for failure to pay child support in 1997. In 1998 he served a 90-day jail sentence for a 1995 marijuana possession conviction. And in 2000, Maxwell was involved in a locker room brawl with teammate GARY PAYTON. Maxwell threatened to bash Payton’s brains in with a free-weight. He retired from the NBA after that season

After getting drunk and partying with the Harlem Globetrotters, this former New Jersey Net accidentally shot and killed his limousine driver. That is all that needs to be said about this bad apple.

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