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The Most Hated NBA Player By Each Fan Base Today

The Most Hated NBA Player By Each Fan Base Today

Who is the most hated player in the NBA? The first players that come to mind are likely LeBron James and Joel Embiid. To be a hated player, you likely meet one of these criteria. You are probably really good at what you do. You might have taken your trash talk too far. Worse, you might have escalated or taken part in a fight. If you draw attention, you are going to get some kind of response no matter what.

There have always been antagonists in sports. From Isiah Thomas to the Chicago Bulls to Larry Bird with the Lakers, a fan’s hate can be from so many different levels. Either way, that hate can run deep within a fan base and fans have no issue with telling you how they feel at games either.

As we countdown towards the end of the 2021-2022 season, these players are the most hated by each franchise’s fanbase.

Atlanta Hawks - Joel Embiid

The Philadelphia 76ers and the Hawks met in the second round of the playoffs last season. With the 76ers up in the series 2-1, the two sides were going back and forth in a pivotal Game 4 with the 76ers leading 77-75. After a no-call under the basket, Embiid could be caught talking trash to the Hawks fanbase. After that, it led to extra ammunition for the Hawks crowd, helping the team eventually close out Philly and make the Conference Finals.

Boston Celtics - LeBron James

This stems back to when Paul Piece spits in the direction of the Cavaliers bench. It sparked a long rivalry that stretched from when James played for the Cavaliers and Heat. Because of the fans’ loyalty to Pierce, that helped with a lot of the hate. It also didn’t help that James defeated the Celtics in the Conference Finals to make the 2012 NBA Finals.

Brooklyn Nets - James Harden

The Nets traded the bank to land James Harden. The idea was that Harden was going to play with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant to land the team an NBA Championship. Instead, the relationship didn’t last a full season and they traded him for Ben Simmons. Harden cost the Nets four first-round picks and four pick swaps and all they have to show is last year’s second-round appearance.

Charlotte Hornets - LeBron James

It doesn’t help when Michael Jordan owns the team. The constant comparisons of James to Jordan has to get old, which is why some believe that James hates Jordan altogether. Because James doesn’t like Jordan, that is enough for the feeling to be sent back in return. Also, James crushes the Hornets every time he plays against them. There seem to be only a few teams he shows no mercy and the Hornets are one of those teams.

Chicago Bulls - Grayson Allen

The most hated man in Chicago might have used to be LeBron James for constantly denying this team a chance to make the NBA Finals. Then, Grayson Allen told James to hold his beer and fouled Alex Caruso unnecessarily hard one night when the Bucks and Bulls played a regular-season game this year. The foul left Caruso with a broken wrist that required two months of recovery time. The next time these two teams play, the Bucks are going to need to hire protection for Allen.

Cleveland Cavaliers - Draymond Green

The All-Star Game was a perfect example of how Cleveland feels about Draymond Green. While Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant were the main catalysts in a 3-1 Finals edge over four seasons, it was Green that was the hard-nosed, physical, and open-voiced player that rubbed some fans and players the wrong way. For that, he was greeted with many boos. When you beat the Cavaliers three times in the NBA Finals, there isn’t going to be a lot of love for you in the city.

Dallas Mavericks - Marcus Morris

The Mavericks were defeated by the Clippers in back-to-back playoffs. That is part one of this. In 2020, Morris and Luka Doncic got into a heated scuffle in the first quarter of Game 6. Morris committed a hard foul that sent Doncic to the ground and he had to be held back. Morris has not forgotten, once said that the Clippers beat the Mavericks all the time. The feud remains plenty alive today.

Denver Nuggets - Markieff Morris

Sometimes, our emotions get the best of us. Markieff Morris, known to be a tougher and more physical player in the league, fouled Jokic with a hard hit with his shoulder. The game was practically over with Denver leading 111-94 with under three minutes to play. The retaliation that Jokic gave him was over the top, but fans in Denver defending their MVP will be quick to point out that Morris should not have fouled him in this stage of the game.

Detroit Pistons - Joel Embiid

When Andre Drummond played for the Pistons, the former All-Star Drummond used to have a major beef with each other. Outside of trash talking, Drummond was ejected from a game one time. Embiid flopped super hard and Drummond was called for a technical foul. Embiid then got up and taunted the crowd as Drummond was ejected from the close game.

Golden State Warriors - LeBron James

This mainly has to do with the rivalry that developed between the Warriors and Cavaliers from 2015 to 2018. The two teams met in the NBA Finals each season during this time. The real heartbreaker for Golden State was when LeBron led the Cavaliers back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to take the 2016 championship, which was the same season the Warriors set the NBA record for wins in a season with 73.

Houston Rockets - Steph Curry

From 2015 to 2019, the Rockets had some of their most successful since the days of Hakeem Olajuwon. James Harden tried to lead the team to the NBA Finals and he was close, but he came up short to Steph Curry three different times. In 2015 and 2018, the Warriors eliminated the Rockets in the Conference Finals. Today, Curry still torches the Rockets and reminds them how great he is.

Indiana Pacers - LeBron James

LeBron James was heavily hated when he was with Miami, but nobody disliked him more than those in Indiana. James led the Heat over the Pacers in 2013 and 2014 in the Conference Finals. Then, he joined the Cavaliers and dominated the Pacers for another four years. Altogether, the road to the Finals was through James and he never let Indy through. A few months ago, LeBron James told referees to eject Pacers fans after making gestures and saying words that have no place in the game.

Los Angeles Clippers - Luka Doncic

Doncic just seems to rise every time he plays the Clippers. Recently, he scored a career-high 51 points against the team. The two teams have met in the playoffs. The Clippers have defeated the Mavericks both times, but Doncic always keeps the Mavericks fighting. Between being great and animated, Doncic has a target on his back when the Clippers are on the schedule.

Los Angeles Lakers - Isaiah Stewart

When lining up at the free-throw line, LeBron James and Stewart were by each other. On the miss, James hit Stewart in the face with an elbow that knocked Stewart to the ground. Stewart confronted James, which led to a massive brawl. For fans in Los Angeles, they are going to stick up for their superstar.

Memphis Grizzlies - Andre Iguodala

A few years ago, the Grizzlies acquired Iguodala in a trade, but he was under the impression that he was going to be traded or bought out. The Grizzlies were considered to be a rebuilding team and Iguodala didn’t want to be a part of that given where he is in his career. Eventually, he was traded to the Heat, but not before players sounded off on his decision to do what is best for his career and not the team.

Miami Heat - Nikola Jokic

The hard foul from Markieff Morris was probably unnecessary, but the blindside shove that Jokic gave Morris was completely uncalled for. It could have seriously injured Morris and it was an act of straight brute force. The altercation escalated and Jokic's family got involved. All in all, don’t expect the Heat to welcome Jokic with open arms the rest of his career.

Milwaukee Bucks - James Harden ​​

At the end of the 2018-2019 season, Giannis Antetokounmpo was given the MVP trophy. There was one member in the league that was not happy about this assessment and that was James Harden. He believed that he put up legendary numbers and the MVP belonged to him. Given how beloved Giannis is in Milwaukee, it’s not surprising to see how everyone turned on Harden when he uttered these words.

Minnesota Timberwolves - Jimmy Butler

The Timberwolves acquired Jimmy Butler from the Bulls because they believed he could be a perfect addition to Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. After one playoff appearance, he was done with the organization, called for a trade, and conducted a heated practice where he told the players they couldn’t win without him. He was then traded to the 76ers and the team has been scrambling to put the pieces back together.

New Orleans Pelicans - Anthony Davis

Davis was the No. 1 overall pick by the franchise in 2012. He was supposed to be the player the team built around to lead them to contention. Instead, the team made the second round once, and Davis decided he grew tired of wasting his prime seasons with little to show for in the playoffs. He demanded a trade, was sent to the Lakers and won a championship in his first year. Between jealousy and heartbreak, fans in Nola are going to have a tough time loving him when he comes back.

New York Knicks - Trae Young

Young didn’t always use to be hated by the Knicks. It all started after the season. The two teams met in the first round of the playoffs. In Game 1, Young hit the game-winning shot and put a finger to his mouth to silence the crowd. It was one of many antics that frustrated fans at Madison Square Garden. He put the cherry on top by eliminating the Knicks and leading the Hawks to the Conference Finals.

Oklahoma City Thunder - Patrick Beverley

When Kevin Durant left the Thunder, Russell Westbrook was everything to this franchise. When an opposing player appears to look like he is trying to injure him, everyone is ready to throw the kitchen sink at him. Westbrook and Beverley’s rivalry goes way back from a trash talk standpoint, but it looks like he went for the knees of Westbrook on two occasions. One of those times forced Westbrook to miss time due to injury.

Orlando Magic - Dwight Howard

It’s getting close to a decade since Dwight Howard has played with the Orlando Magic, the team he led to the NBA Finals in 2009. Howard was the game’s best center during his prime in Orlando, but he grew tired of coming up short and wanted out of the smaller market for Los Angeles. Magic fans have not forgotten how he forced his way out and still greet him with a levy of boos when he takes to the court.

Philadelphia 76ers - Ben Simmons

This is as simple as it gets. Simmons refused to play for the team, which resulted in lost money for a player that was contributing. This puts stress on the team, players, and fans. A lot of fans do not like the way that Simmons has handled this process despite his claims about his mental health. When Simmons was finally traded, fans weren’t upset about it at all.

Phoenix Suns - Patrick Beverley

The Western Conference Finals is about as intense as it gets outside of the NBA Finals. The Clippers, without Kawhi Leonard, are fighting for their lives against the Phoenix Suns. Patrick Beverley is already an intense trash talker. When Chris Paul looked like he flopped, he had to mimic it, which caught the attention of plenty of fans, who have resented him ever since, especially when Paul remained lying down on the court.

Portland Trail Blazers - Russell Westbrook

When you have two stars going head to head, that makes for great basketball. With that play, comes trash talk. When you can visibly see a player going after your star, you have to defend him, right? That is how you can categorize this hatred from Portland fans for Westbrook. The competitive back and forth between Westbrook and Damian Lillard was often caught on camera, so if fans had to choose, they are going to back Lillard here.

Sacramento Kings - LeBron James

For similar reasons as the Hornets, LeBron has bullied the Kings for years. The Kings can take some of the blame on their own, but because of his greatness, it comes with a bit of baggage. That baggage is the feeling of jealousy and resentment each time he can lead his team to a win over the Kings.

San Antonio Spurs - Kawhi Leonard

Leonard helped the Spurs defeat the Miami Heat juggernaut in 2014, even winning the Finals MVP. He nearly led the Spurs back to the NBA Finals on his own, but an injury prevented him from playing against the Warriors in 2017. That led to a broken relationship with the team and his eventual departure via a trade to the Raptors. Fans weren’t happy about how this was handled, specifically the way Leonard acted. That is why when he returned, he was greeted with boos.

Toronto Raptors - LeBron James

When Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan played together in Toronto, they helped the franchise rise to new heights they had never seen before. That included winning a No. 1 seed in the East during the 2017-2018 season. The year before that, they finished one game behind the Cavaliers. Both seasons, LeBron James led the Cavs to a series win in the playoffs over the Raptors, crushing their hopes of making the NBA Finals.

Utah Jazz - Paul George

The nickname “Playoff P” has rubbed some people the wrong way. Specifically, the Jazz is not a fan. Last year in the playoffs, George was at the brunt of trash talk from the crowd, which featured being called “overrated.” After the game, George thought it was funny, and he ultimately led the Clippers to a win over the Jazz in the second round.

Washington Wizards - Kelly Olynyk

Some fans can hold a grudge, even if it has been almost five years. In the 2017 playoffs, a back-and-forth between Kelly Oubre Jr. and Kelly Olynyk ended in a fight between the two players. It resulted in Oubre’s rejection. Wizards fans have not forgotten about that night and still hold disdain for Olynyk even though it’s been a long period.


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