Great players tend to get frustrated after constantly falling short of their Championship goals, trying to force a move out of the team they are, either because they’re not comfortable with their teammates or because they simply believe they would be better off elsewhere.
Over the course of history, we’ve seen this happen thousands of times, but every now and then, the league pretty much gets completely shook after a top-tier baller decides to ask for a trade to play elsewhere.
Transfer requests don’t always come through, as sometimes teams rather just force them to play until their contract runs out even if that means letting them walk for free afterward. Today, we’ll let you know about the top 10 players that demanded a trade.
10. Vince Carter (2004)
From The Toronto Raptors To The New Jersey Nets
Long before Chris Bosh and DeMar DeRozan, Vince Carter was considered to be the greatest player in Toronto Raptors history, and he was pretty much the main responsible why the NBA became so popular in Canada during the early 2000s up to the point of being what it is nowadays.
Carter felt that he was pretty much wasting his talents on such a small market with no ability to compete for an NBA Championship, so he tried and forced a move to play for the New Jersey Nets, where he’d have the best years of his career.
9. Chris Webber (2005)
From The Sacramento Kings To The Philadelphia Sixers
Chris Webber was one of the most skilled big men in the league during his prime, but he was never able to put the cherry on top of the sundae bay taking his Sacramento Kings the distance and get past Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
So, following a lot of altercations between him and his former teammate Peja Stojakovic, the elite power forward demanded a trade from the Kings, eventually being dealt to the Philadelphia 76ers in return for Brian Skinner, Kenny Thomas and Corliss Williamson on a trade that was supposed to make Philly a contender with the Webber-Iverson duo.
8. Dwight Howard (2012)
From The Orlando Magic To The Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard was considered to be the second coming of Shaquille O’Neal and he did pretty much the very same thing Shaq did to the Orlando Magic anyways after constantly missing out on the ultimate stage of the league.
Following an embarrassing loss in the Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers, Superman demanded to be traded out of the Magic, as he wanted to play for a bigger market and have a legit shot at the ring, something that still hasn’t happened up to this point and may never will.
7. Carmelo Anthony (2011)
From The Denver Nuggets To The New York Knicks
Most young fans may not remember this, but before playing for the New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony was actually the Denver Nuggets go-to-guy, at least until he forced a huge blockbuster trade that completely changed the future of both franchises.
The Nuggets built around Carmelo and always tried to suit all his needs, but he still wanted to play closer to home and have an easier path to the Finals in the Eastern Conference, but he’s still to make his first Finals appearance.
6. Chris Paul (2011)
From The New Orleans Hornets To The Los Angeles Clippers
Well, Chris Paul had pretty much outgrown both the city of New Orleans and the mediocre tiny franchise the Hornets were back in the day, a team that was owned by the league at the moment and whose direction seemed kind of lost.
Paul wanted to win now and stop wasting the best years of his career there, and he was almost dressed in purple and gold as a Laker, but David Stern eventually vetoed the move and CP3 wind up playing for their neighbors and rivals, the Clippers.
5. Kyrie Irving (2017)
From The Cleveland Cavaliers To The Boston Celtics
Following yet another loss in the NBA Finals, Kyrie Irving demanded a trade out of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason in order to stop playing with LeBron James and be a team’s go-to-guy once again.
Eventually, Kyrie would go on and be traded to the Boston Celtics and was playing at an MVP level before suffering a season-ending injury, but it’s still pretty crazy to believe anybody would give up on the chance to play with LeBron.
4. Kawhi Leonard (2018)
From The San Antonio Spurs To The Los Angeles Lakers
Kawhi Leonard shocked the world when he openly stated that he wanted to leave the San Antonio Spurs and play in Los Angeles, following a bit of a feud with the team’s medical staff throughout the season.
Leonard is still yet to be traded but he’s a lock to leave the team, either this summer or the next one, in one of the most bizarre and odd stories the NBA has ever seen. I mean, who wouldn’t love to play for Popovich?
3. Hakeem Olajuwon (1993)
Hakeem Olajuwon demanded to be traded out of the Houston Rockets because of a little rift with the team’s front office after the Rocket’s doctors cleared him to play with a hamstring injury but he refused to dress for the team and jeopardize his career.
Gladly, Houston refused to trade the Dream in 1993 and he would go on to win back-to-back titles with the franchise, making the most of the opportunity to dominate a Michael Jordan-less NBA.
2. Shaquille O’Neal (2004)
From The Los Angeles Lakers To The Miami Heat
Following an embarrassing loss to the Detroit Pistons in the Finals when he was a part of the Los Angeles Lakers, Shaquille O’Neal decided to finally put an end to his personal feud with Kobe Bryant and demanded to be traded out of the team.
Kobe and Shaq didn’t get along and things were complicated in the team’s locker room, to say the least. Eventually, the big diesel would be traded to the Miami Heat, where he’d win another Championship next to Dwyane Wade.
1. Kobe Bryant (2007)
From The Los Angeles To The Chicago Bulls
Right after Shaquille O’Neal left the Los Angeles Lakers, the team got stuck in a mediocrity spiral with a roster filled with borderline amateur players, frustrating Kobe up to the point where he wanted out of the team and play for the Chicago Bull.
As a matter of fact, Kobe was really close to being traded, but the team eventually backed off from the deal at the last minute. Then, he would go on to win a couple of Championships and become the greatest Laker ever.