What some of these players do during the season, it’s great to watch as a fan, but it can be seen as downright disrespect. From technical fouls to outrageous playmaking, the NBA is a carnival of spectacular feats each time a game is played.
We have seen ankle-breakers, in-game trash talk, and hard fouls in all our years of fandom. When looking back, these 20 plays take the cake for the game’s most disrespectful moments.
20. Jared Dudley’s Beef With Ben Simmons
Before the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets played Game 4 of their playoff series, Jared Dudley was asked about what he thought about Ben Simmons by reporters. He called Simmons “average at best.”
Dudley took advantage of Game 4 to knock down a long three-point shot and then proceed to talk trash to Simmons. There was no need for this, but Dudley found a way to get into the head of the former No. 1 overall pick.
19. DeAndre Jordan’s Slam Dunk
The former Los Angeles Clippers center enjoyed the prime of his career when he was a member of the “Lob City.” One of Jordan’s dunks is one of the all-time greats when he completely posterizes Brandon Knight in a regular-season game.
Knight went up to try and stop Jordan as he arose to the rim. However, Jordan’s arm completely flew over Knight’s body as he slammed it down. On his way back, his teammates were excited and hyped. Jordan knew what he did with his facial expressions after doing all the talking.
18. Nate Robinson Blocks Yao Ming
The former Houston Rockets big man towered over 7-feet tall as Yao Ming was an international superstar. As the Rockets played the New York Knicks, Ming took a feed off the block and went up for an easy dunk.
Not so fast as 5-foot-9 guard Nate Robinson rose to the challenge, literally, and blocked the man who had a foot of height over him. Robinson, a former Slam Dunk Contest champion, got in Ming’s head so much that Ming covered his face after the block to make it look like he was fouled.
17. Lance Stephenson Blows On LeBron James
In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Indiana Pacers believed they had a squad that could take down the Miami Heat superteam of LeBron, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Lance Stephenson was tasked with the job of being a “pest” to LeBron James.
As the two were waiting on a dead ball, Stephenson stood next to LeBron and subtly blew in LeBron’s face. His reaction was a smile as he shook his head, knowing that Stephenson was trying to get into his head. It didn’t work as the Heat ultimately made the NBA Finals.
16. James Harden Crosses Up Wesley Johnson
In a regular-season game, James Harden and the Houston Rockets were taking on the Los Angeles Clippers. Leading 28-7, Harden took possession down to the other side of the floor. After a few dribbles, Harden pulled off a successful crossover that sent Wesley Johnson flying onto the ground.
Harden proceeded to stare down Johnson for a complete second with the ball in his hand. He then shot the three-point shot and it switched in to give the team a 24-point lead.
15. LeBron Stands Over Jason Terry
Everyone loves to see the best teams around Christmas time. The LeBron-led Heat and the Boston Celtics were squaring off. The Heat used a turnover to race down the court and set up a big-time slam by LeBron James.
What made the move disrespectful wasn’t the lob, nor the athletic poster dunk on Terry. It was LeBron standing over Terry, while he was on the ground. Surprisingly, no punches were thrown.
14. The Marcus Morris Staredown
There is something untapped energy when it comes to Marcus Morris Sr., which is why teams love his tenacity. When a member of the Boston Celtics, Morris was used in the same capacity that PJ Tucker is used with the Milwaukee Bucks. He will play physical defense and look to get inside your head.
When playing the Cleveland Cavaliers, Morris denied Larry Nance Jr. a chance for an alley-oop. Nance went to the floor, while Morris stared him down. Nance promptly got up from the floor and chased down Morris before the two were separated.
13. Draymond Green Kicks Stephen Adams In The Groin
With the Warriors and Thunder battling in the Conference Finals of Game 3, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green took a lot of flak for this incident. From what it appears, Green is going up for a shot with Adams defending him in the paint. When Adams smothers Green and prevents him from shooting, Green’s leg rises a tad too high.
Adams took the leg from Green near the groin area and went down immediately. It was a dirty play and disrespectful.
12. Gorgui Dieng Pushes Defenseless Chris Paul
The Minnesota Timberwolves and Houston Rockets enjoyed a regular-season game together. Paul helped the Rockets to a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter and frustration was taking its toll on Minnesota.
On an offensive possession, Paul lost the ball that had gone off Dieng. As Paul went down to pick up the ball, Dieng pushed Paul to the ground. Paul’s teammate Gerald Green retaliated by shoving Dieng extra hard, which prompted a scuffle between the two teams. This was extremely disrespectful because Paul was only trying to get the ball that went out of bounds.
11. Serge Ibaka’s Bad Day
In the late stages of the third quarter in a battle between the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers, the Raptors were trying to get the last-second shot off. A throw sailed over the head of Ibaka with Marquise Chriss guarding him. Ibaka missed the ball and it flew out of bounds.
As Chriss was walking away, he said “quit doing that s---” to Ibaka in regards to him pulling his jersey. Ibaka immediately rose, shoved Chris, and threw a hard right hand. The two were pulled apart and Chriss told reporters that Ibaka must have “had a bad day.”
10. Dame Time
The Portland Trail Blazers were tied with the Oklahoma City Thunder at 115-115 with under six seconds to play in the first round of the Western Conference Finals. With Portland leading the series 3-1, All-Star guard Damian Lillard had a chance to end the series with one last shot.
With All-Defensive selection Paul George on him, Lillard was backed up near the logo as he dribbled out the clock. With three seconds left, Lillard pulled up with an outstretched hand by George and nailed the game-winner. Given Lillard’s smack-talking exchange with Russell Westbrook throughout the series, Lillard’s deep shot stung a little bit more than normal, especially when he waved goodbye to the Thunder.
9. Joakim Noah Rips The City Of Cleveland
When the former Chicago Bulls center played for the Bulls, LeBron James remained a menace with the Cavaliers. The two teams had some great battles during the regular season, but even after LeBron left for Miami, the rivalry with James lived on.
While LeBron was in Cleveland in 2010, Noah told reporters that “Cleveland sucks.” When a reporter followed up, he asked if the reporters liked Cleveland and if he had ever heard anyone ask if they would like to go to Cleveland for vacation. The rivalry was already testy, so this kicked it up a notch.
8. Rajon Rondo Spits On Chris Paul
During a regular-season contest, Chris Paul and the Houston Rockets and Rondo of the Lakers were in a closely contested game. With the Rockets winning 109-108 with four minutes to play in the fourth, emotions were already high.
On a dead ball, one member of the Lakers and Carmelo Anthony start to chatter, while Rondo and Paul begin to exchange a few words. The two get up close, and Rondo slyly spits and it lands on Paul’s face. Paul retaliates with a shove, while Rondo lands a punch to his face. The two get separated and technicals are rewarded.
7. Scottie Pippen Hangs On Patrick Ewing
This was one of the most jaw-dropping dunks of the 1990s. On a fastbreak, Pippin took a lob pass and threw the dunk down like nobody was around. However, there was a defender around. All-Star and Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing.
Ewing did nothing to stop Pippen on the dunk and went down to the floor. Pippen proceeded to land in front of Ewing’s body and straddle him. Ewing did not appreciate this.
6. Shawn Kemp Points At Alton Lister
The dunk that Kemp completed was already nasty, but what happened afterward was darn right disrespectful. Kemp cuffed the ball with one hand off the dribble and sent Alton Lister to the floor.
As Kemp was rolling himself back up, Kemp landed on the floor. He looked directly at Lister and pointed at him with a crouch-double-finger-point. It was extra, but we still love watching that video on repeat.
5. Michael Jordan Finger Wags Dikembe Mutombo
It was no secret that Jordan and Mutombo had a friendly rivalry. Jordan detailed later in his career that he had always wanted to dunk on Mutombo, who was one of the greatest defenders in the league’s history. Every time Mutombo would block a shot, he would look at his opponent and wag his finger back and forth.
Eventually, Jordan got his dunk on his rival. His response after jamming at Mutombo? A full-fledged finger wagged directly at him.
4. Michael Jordan Makes Free Throw With His Eyes Closed
Another instance where Jordan disrespected Mutombo also makes our top-5 moments. As Jordan was at the free-throw line, the two were exchanging trash talk at one another. Jordan told Mutombo that he could make his next free throw with his eyes closed.
Jordan assumed the bully role, but he capitalized on his moments. Jordan closed his eyes and splashed his free throws.
3. Steph Curry Turns His Back On Big Time Bucket
In-Game 4 of a first-round matchup between the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry predicted the future. Curry is such a cold-blooded killer when it comes to scoring that he knew exactly what was going to happen with the ball when he released his shot
Curry’s shot floated into the air and Curry turned his back and talked to the bench as his bullet drained into the basket. The late Babe Ruth called his shot back in the day. Curry gave us the modern-day look of what that looked like.
2. Allen Iverson Steps Over Ty Lue
Iverson is known for his Practice Rant, but he is more known for what he did to Tyronn Lue in the NBA Finals. Iverson delivered on one of his basketball moves and made a deep three-point shot. The move sent Lue to the ground, but that didn’t bother Iverson.
Iverson could have gone around Lue. Instead, he stepped over him while he remained on the ground. If this isn’t a power move, then we don’t know what is.
1. Reggie Miller Chokes Out The Knicks
The most disrespectful moment has to come from 1995 at Madison Square Garden. It was the final seconds of a huge playoff game between the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks. The Pacers trailed by six points with 8.9 seconds remaining. In most cases, this lead is safe, but not this time.
Reggie Miller, the Hall of Famer sharpshooter, scored eight points in the final seconds of the game to give Indiana the lead. After putting the Pacers in front, Miller turned to superfan Spike Lee and gave him a two-handed choke sign. Have you seen anything more disrespectful?