Barkley drew national scorn in 1993, when he did a commercial for Nike in which he looked into the camera and declared, “I am not a role model.” That spawned hand-wringing from critics ranging from Dan Quayle to Karl Malone.Barkley has become a loveably outrageous TNT quipster in his post-playing days, but the loveability wasn’t always there.The great mass of NBA players are perfectly respectable citizens. And in the process, they develop reputations that make those around them—fans, fellow players, coaches—simply hate the guy in question.They want to come in, do their jobs, improve their performance level, help their teams win and entertain the millions who watch their games. MORE: Most hated MLB players of 21st century | College basketball's most reviled ever There have been plenty such players in NBA history. 18) only played five professional seasons, going back to 1949, but he’s on this list representing the genus of players he spawned in the 1960s, 70s and 80s: The basketball enforcer.
MORE: Watch Reggie beat rapper Drake in ping-pong Miller famously capped a 14-point Pacers comeback, fueled by 25 fourth-quarter points by Miller, in the Eastern Conference finals by giving a choke sign to director and heralded Knicks fan Spike Lee, igniting years of rivalry. Mc Hale takes his place among the mid-80s most-hated crew thanks in large part to his clotheslining of Lakers forward Kurt Rambis in the 1984 NBA Finals.
When Rambis caught a pass on the wing on a fast break, Mc Hale reached out and clobbered Rambis with a forearm to the head, a play that Lakers coach Pat Riley called, “the most insidious, vicious and malicious play I’ve ever seen in basketball.” MORE: Danny Ainge tries to recruit Mc Hale to Celtics' staff But Mc Hale had plenty of dust-ups, primarily with the Lakers (ask Bob Mc Adoo) and with the Pistons (ask Rick Mahorn and friends), and he earned an extra level of hate for having a tongue as sharp as his elbows.
During the 1985 Finals, Mc Hale said of the Lakers, “I could have played a hell of a lot better.
Among the few the low points of the 1992 Dream Team was Barkley’s elbow to the chest of 174 pound Angola player Herlander Coimbra, who later said he was shocked that Barkley would, “make violence with me,” and left Barkley as the only member of that team to be booed. He’d been reviled while playing for the Sixers in 1991 for an incident in which he attempted to spit on a heckling fan, but instead hit a young girl seated nearby.
(Barkley subsequently apologized and befriended the girl.) MORE: Barkley interview: Why he says TNT will never fire him After eight years of tense relations with fans, media, coaches and the treadmills, he forced his way out of Philadelphia in 1992.
I could have taken a sledgehammer out there, knocked all 12 Lakers on the head and we would have won by default.” Everything was going so well for Howard in his first seven NBA seasons.