The NBA is one of the biggest sports leagues in the world, and I have been a fan for nearly three decades.
1. Tim Hardaway Hates on the Gay Community
There is no doubt that Tim Hardaway had a Hall of Fame career. He was a big part of the run-and-gun Run T-M-C squad with Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin. He was also a good partner for Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning during their run with the Miami Heat.
Hardaway was known for his killer crossover which he used to bamboozle his opponents and slice through the competition. If he ever got cornered, you could always rely on Hardaway to make crisp passes.
For his career, he averaged 17.7 points per game, 8.2 assists per game and 1.6 steals per game.
Hardaway sullied his reputation when NBA player John Amaechi came out as gay. Instead of being supportive, he lambasted the gay community with the following remarks.
“Well, you know, I hate gay people, so I let it be known, I don’t like gay people, and I don’t like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don’t like it. It shouldn’t be in the world or in the United States. So, yeah, I don’t like it.”
This has largely blackballed him and kept him from getting the recognition he truly deserves.
2. Latrell Sprewell Chokes P.J. Carlesimo
Latrell Sprewell did not grow up in the best circumstances. His father was an alcoholic who became very violent when drunk. This led to his mom pressing charges and the dad being incarcerated. Latrell's mom dated another guy but the new boyfriend was not kind towards Spree.
This was not the best environment for him growing up and this led to his anger management issues later down the line.
Sprewell was one of the top shooting guards in the league when you had legends such as Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler and Reggie Miller still playing.
He was good right out of the gate and averaged 15.4 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game and 3.8 assists per game as a rookie.
Spree was an inside and outside threat. He could light it up from downtown as well as take it to the hole. There was no denying Sprewell's talent.
However, he had a falling out with coach P.J. Carlesimo when he was criticized by the coach for his less than crisp passes. Sprewell would then choke Carlesimo until he was restrained. He then came back and punched Carlesimo.
This would lead to a lengthy suspension which lasted the rest of the season.
3. Kevin Johnson Sexually Harasses Women
Johnson was the 7th pick in the 1987 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. While productive in his limited minutes, he would truly blossom once he was traded to the Phoenix Suns.
In his first full season in Phoenix, Johnson averaged 20.4 points per game and 12.2 assists per game. He would quickly rise to be one of the league's elite point guards.
Johnson was one of the greatest Phoenix Suns players ever. He was an easy 20-point and 10-assist player long before Charles Barkley ever came into town.
When Sir Charles finally came into town, Charles and Kevin were a dynamic duo and were able to make it to the 1993 NBA Finals. While they may have lost to the Bulls in six games, they were a revelation as this was the team's first season together.
In 1996, the team was Kevin's team once more as Sir Charles was traded to Houston.
The 1997–98 season was the last for Johnson as he retired. He came back briefly in the 1999-2000 season to help lead the Suns in their playoff campaign.
Johnson retired once again and later threw his hat into politics. He ran for mayor of Sacramento and served as mayor from December 2, 2008, to December 13, 2016.
Despite being a legend in Phoenix, Johnson had a dark side. He has been accused of molesting minors, teenagers and young adults. Mandi Koba, one of the victims, was just 16 when Johnson victimized her. A couple of girls who were 18 at the time also made accusations. Even city employees were not safe from Johnson's antics.
Getting people to step forward has been difficult as most victims remain silent and the city council and police are hell-bent on protecting their mayor.
4. Lance Stephenson Assaults His Girlfriend
Lance Stephenson is best known for his time with the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers then were an Eastern Conference powerhouse who took the LeBron James-led Miami Heat to the limit on a couple of occasions.
The Pacers then had a solid starting lineup with David West, Paul George, Lance Stephenson, George Hill and Roy Hibbert.
The best-known incident in Stephenson's career as a Pacer was when he blew in LeBron James' ear during Game 5 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals.
On August 15, 2010, Stephenson pushed his girlfriend, Jasmine Williams, down a flight of stairs. This has led to head and neck injuries. Williams is the mother of Stephenson's child.
He was also arrested before for groping a 17-year-old girl while he was still in school.
Stephenson has proven to be a hothead with no respect for women.
5. Gilbert Arenas Gets Into a Gunfight With Teammate Javaris Crittenton
Gilbert Arenas was a pretty good player for his two seasons with the Arizona Wildcats where he averaged 15.4 points per game and 16.2 points per game respectively.
This unfortunately did not translate to the draft boards where he fell all the way to the 2nd round.
This became a chip on Arenas' shoulder and he wore the number 0 in commemoration of this. He wanted to prove the critics wrong who said he would not get any playing time.
Arenas was a supremely talented player who could drive to the hole or shoot it from the outside. He was a good scorer who averaged more than 20 points for six consecutive seasons.
He formed a deadly trio in Washington together with Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler.
Arenas was an avid gambler, and this hobby led to some disputes. Arenas and his teammate Javaris Crittenton had fired guns in the Wizards' locker room during a Christmas Eve argument over gambling debts.
This has led to a police investigation as Arenas and Crittenton have been illegally storing firearms in their locker room.
As stellar as Arenas' career was, it has been overshadowed by this incident.
© 2020 Jan Michael Ong