The NBA is one of the biggest sports leagues in the world and I have been a fan for nearly three decades.
1. Rasheed Wallace
There is no question that Rasheed Wallace had talent. He and Scottie Pippen were able to lead the Portland Trailblazers to the Western Conference Finals and were in the cusp of landing a Finals spot.
Wallace was one of the most talented and versatile forwards during his heyday. He had athleticism, a variety of post moves, a nice fadeaway jumper, a three-point shooting stroke and above average defensive abilities.
Despite being talented, he was more well known for being a hot head. He had an astounding 41 technical fouls in 2001. That equates to nearly two technicals per game.
Wallace had a fiery temper like no other. He was also the poster boy for the Portland Jailblazers. This was not a good time for the franchise as members of the team were involved in incidents on and off the court. Bonzi Wells, a team captain, made an obscene gesture at fans. Zach Randolph was caught smoking a joint in his Cadillac. Damon Stoudemire was caught trying to smuggle weed in the Tucson airport. Wallace even threatened disgraced referee Tim Donaghy at one point.
All these events sound like something out of a gangster movie. However, this was real life.
Nobody was safe from Wallace's wrath whether it was friend or foe. Arvydas Sabonis found this out firsthand. Sabonis accidentally hit Wallace when he was trying to draw a foul on Shaquille O' Neil. Wallace got pissed and threw a towel in Sabonis' face. Wallace also took it to other premier power forwards on a nightly basis. Whether it was Kevin Garnett or Karl Malone, nobody was safe from Sheed.
2, Ron Artest/Metta World Peace
Ron was a premier defensive player during his heyday. He was the Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and had been nominated to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 2004 and 2006. He also made the NBA All-Defensive Second Team in 2003 and 2009.
He was an integral part of Indiana Pacers, Sacramento Kings, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers. He was a catalyst in propelling Los Angeles past the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. His Game 7 heroics put the Lakers on top.
There was never a question about Artest's talent. The Knicks have long been criticized for not picking up the New York native and opting for Frederick Weis, a Frenchman who never even stepped foot in the NBA. Artest ended up going to the rival Chicago Bulls in the very next pick.
Despite Artest's defensive prowess, he will forever be remembered for being a catalyst in the Malice in the Palace incident. This was a bench-clearing brawl between the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons in the Palace of Auburn Hills on November 19, 2004. This ruined Reggie Miller's chances of getting a ring before he retired.
Artest changed his name to Metta World Peace to signify his transformation into a nicer and calmer person. However, you can't change a leopard's stripes.
3. Demarcus Cousins
Boogie Cousins is perhaps the best center in the game today. He could do anything from posting up, hitting the midrange jumper, doing the pick and roll and hitting a three-point bomb.
He spent more than six seasons with the Sacramento Kings and he improved each season. He never reached the playoffs with the team as management failed to surround Boogie with ample talent to compete in the Western Conference.
Boogie came close to playing in the playoffs with the New Orleans Pelicans but he got injured before the playoffs started.
Boogie was known throughout the league for his fiery temper. Whether you are Marcus Smart, Kevin Durant, Zach Randolph or Nik Stauskas, you are not safe from Boogie's wrath. He is easily triggered and would unleash his wrath upon anyone and everyone.
Boogie signed with the Golden State Warriors for a year to prove himself to the league. While he ended his playoff drought, he still hasn't brought home a championship.
4. Draymond Green
Draymond Green is the glue guy that holds the Warriors together. Though he is not in any way an elite scorer like Steph Curry or Klay Thompson, Green does the little things that count.
He guards the opposing team's best player night after night. He competes against the best big men in the league every single game. He also fills up the stat sheet with points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. He is the Warrior's Swiss army knife.
Green's fiery temper is a result of his passion for the game. Tom Izzo knew this and tried his best to reign in Green during his time at Michigan State.
Now it is Steve Kerr's job to reign in the tough Michigan native.
While it is said that Green is the heart of the Warriors, His passion can sometimes be the Warriors' downfall.
Take for instance the 2016 NBA Finals. The Warriors were up 3-1 and were poised to repeat. Green got into an altercation with LeBron James and got suspended. The Cavaliers went on to win Game 5 as they gained momentum in the series. The Cavs would eventually make history and be the first team to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the NBA Finals.
Green is also known for kicking players such as Kevin Durant, Steven Adams, Kyrie Irving and Danny Green.
This leads to a lot of technical fouls fouls. Green is often in danger of being suspended during the Warriors' annual playoff runs.
5. Stephen Jackson
Greg Popovich was a disciplinarian coming from a military background with the United States Air Force. While this may be good for players like David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, this did not sit well with the temperamental Stephen Jackson.
Jackson had to pay his dues to even be in the league. Originally drafted 42nd overall in 1997 by the Phoenix Suns, Jackson had to play overseas in the CBA before he even got to experience NBA action.
New Jersey gave him his first break by signing him and letting him spend his first season with them. He showed some promise with 8.2 PPG and 1.1 SPG.
He was then signed by the San Antonio Spurs the very next season. The headstrong Jackson would often clash with coach Greg Popovich. Despite their differences, the Spurs still tendered an offer to Jackson, but he rebuffed the offer and ended up with the Atlanta Hawks.
After a breakout season with the Hawks where he averaged 18.1 PPG, 1.8 SPG and 3.1 APG, Jackson's stock was up and the Hawks were able to trade him for Al Harrington.
Jackson further bolstered an already deep Pacers roster. The Pacers were primed to finally give Reggie Miller his first championship ring. This was not to be. The Malice in the Palace derailed their plans.
Jackson would end with the Golden State Warriors where he was able to lead their underdog team to an upset win over the Mavericks in the 2007 playoffs. The "We Believe" Warriors were able to do something that only seemed to be possible in sports movies.
Jackson would spend the rest of his career with the Charlotte Hornets, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers before calling it quits.
Crazy NBA Player
© 2018 Jan Michael Ong
Jan Michael Ong (author) from Metro Manila, Philippines on August 19, 2018:
Yes Dennis would definitely make my top ten.
TT from Anywhere on August 19, 2018:
There have been a lot of crazy personalities that have come through the NBA. After he left Detroit, Dennis Rodman made a complete 180 change in his personality