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10 Most Hated Players in NBA History

It should be said that what makes someone hate depends on each individual and no player has ever been completely hated by NBA fans. Despite all this, there are definitely a few tall NBA players who have either been known or have become known as some of the most hated names in the game.



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The reasons why a particular player has become so hated are often different, but there seem to be some trends. Players who tend to complain or whine, those who use dirty tactics in the game, and those who become a little more outspoken can generate a lot of hate. Whether rightfully hated or not, there are quite a few NBA players in basketball history that fans simply can’t get behind, no matter how many movie cameos they make.

ten LeBron James

Most hardcore NBA fans probably know why so many people hate LeBron James despite how good he is almost every time he hits the court. Even people who like LeBron are willing to admit that he can be quite an outspoken person, for better or worse.

There are people who point to his behavior on the court, why they don’t like him, but most of the consensus seems to come from his opinionated nature. Whether one agrees with him or not, voicing opinions on important issues is bound to generate some hatred.


9 Shaquille O’Neal

It should be said that Shaka is as much a beloved figure as he is a hated figure, but even those who love him tend to greet the big man with an eye roll. His many ventures outside of the NBA are one of the reasons many are tired of the man, but his attitude is often the real issue.

Many people point out how he treated former teammates in interviews and even publicly while still on the same team. Pretty much anyone who is a big fan of Kobe Bryant probably doesn’t look at Shaq with that much affection.

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eight Dwight Howard

There have been people who have complained that Dwight Howard is injury prone, but that doesn’t seem to be the main reason people don’t like the star. The real reason seems to be how difficult it can sometimes be for Howard to work with the coaching staff.

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He has made many public statements about the coaching staff, both those he has worked with and those he would have preferred to work with over the years. He even felt that he had to choose his own coaches, which does not suit people who prefer modest stars.

7 Kevin Duran

Some people actually believe that the hatred surrounding Durant is not really justified. While some people disagree about what attitude he might have during the game, much of his hatred seems to stem from his move to the strong Golden State Warriors back in 2016.

Some believe that Durant moved to the Warriors only to win the championship, making an already monstrously strong team even stronger. Someone will say that this is not a reason to hate someone, but everyone has their own opinion.


6 James Harden

Pretty much everyone, even Harden’s fans, agrees that he can be a serious adventurer at times. The issue has been so severe that he has even had issues with some teammates in the past, and fans often feel the same annoyance at Harden’s actions.

Some might say that Harden still manages to play fantastic most of the time, but he failed to impress when it matters most. Anyone who has watched a game with a Harden fan is probably used to their friend constantly yelling “PASS!”

5 Paul Pierce

To be honest, there were a lot of people who respected Paul Pierce’s cheeky style, but most people just hated him at some point. He was one of those players who felt at his best on the court every night, regardless of the outcome of the match.

Because of this, Pierce was often at odds with big stars like Kobe Bryant. Even when his playing career was over, he continued to babble on contemporary stars like LeBron James, allowing a whole new generation of fans to hate him.

four Bruce Bowen

Those who know Bruce Bowen know that he can be one of the roughest players on the court. This is what caused the ire of NBA fans. Fans like it when their players play hard, but not when they go too far.

Some have said that Bowen often played relatively irresponsibly and dangerously for no reason. His willingness to risk everything to play the game or stop the team in their tracks is something that just about everyone who hasn’t been a direct fan of his musings has twice.


3 Vince Carter

Instead of being a dirty player or too outspoken, Vince Carter seems to be more hated for his playing style. He has often been criticized as someone who plays too much while taking shots that he shouldn’t have taken.

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Any NBA fan knows that wasting property can lead to some frustration. If your players aren’t working efficiently and prudently, chances are your team isn’t scoring as many goals as they could. Despite all the hatred, Carter is still considered a legendary player.

2 Kevin McHale

Few basketball stars have displayed real professional wrestling moves on the court, but Kevin McHale absolutely pulled off a man during the 1984 NBA Finals. McHale has always been an assertive player on the court, but it was at this point that he was forever hated.

McHale was one of the key players in the dominant Boston Celtics team at the time, which only added to the hatred he received. While he can be looked back on fondly, there are still plenty of people who hate him for what he did on the court.

one Vernon Maxwell

Those who know who Vernon Maxwell is probably won’t be surprised to see his name. He was a player who always had some reputation throughout his career, but he made things much worse when he punched a fan in the face.

It wasn’t because the fan bothered him in his spare time, but because he ran up to the fan in the middle of the game and hit him. It was all a mess and showed the clear gulf that existed between Maxwell and his other teammates, which made him a more hated player.

Next: The 10 shortest players in NBA history by height

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