The NBA is one of the most popular sports leagues in the entire world, and a major reason is that it is extremely competitive. Fan bases support their teams with extreme dedication and bias and show up every night to watch the world's greatest athletes play the game. This also means that some fan bases develop animosity towards particular players, either due to the fact that they win often in their building or simply because disrespect was shown one way or the other.
Without further ado, here are the most hated players for every NBA franchise in the league.
Atlanta Hawks - LeBron James
To kick things off, LeBron James heads the Atlanta Hawks hitlist. James is hated by a lot of team supporters, mainly because he is so darn good. James knocked off the very good Atlanta Hawks teams two seasons in a row with the Cavs, and even once in 2008-2009.
LeBron seems to always have Atalanta's number, and he never let the team prosper to any decent heights. It will be interesting to see just how many times LeBron James appears in this article...
Boston Celtics - LeBron James
The Celtics are one of the most storied franchises in NBA history, and their fanbases are extremely loyal to their team. This means that whoever walks in the building and owns them, there will be hell to pay when this player visits the Garden. This player is LeBron James, who almost singlehandedly dismantles the team on his lonesome on his way to the NBA Finals two years ago. James is so great, and this means that the Celtics will hate him.
Brooklyn Nets - Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons is certainly not favored in Brooklyn, after his altercation with then-Net Jared Dudley. Simmons got into it with the Nets player, and seemingly felt comfortable in his environment surrounded by Brooklyn natives. This doesn't sit well with Brooklyn fans, who will always take the time to boo him for the treatment of their player at the time.
Charlotte Hornets - LeBron James
This one is more of a petty reason... mainly because LeBron James is the only player to challenge Jordan's status as the best player ever at this moment in time.
While MJ hasn't done a very good job running the Hornets per se, he is still the main face of the franchise, and fans will support him because of this. LeBron may appear as a threat to the franchise and thus fans might not appreciate him.
Chicago Bulls - LeBron James
Once again, LeBron James heads the list for the most hated player. The Bulls don't like James, and they don't like him at all. He had a beef with Joakim Noah, and his strut around the court after defeating one of the best Bulls teams led by Rose and Noah will never be forgotten by most loyal Chicago Bulls fans. Needless to say, this will likely never change (unless James joins them).
Cleveland Cavaliers - Kelly Olynyk
Without a doubt, Kelly Olynyk is the most hated player in the Cavaliers fanbase. While this was previously LeBron James, he did return and win them their first NBA title, so Olynyk takes this one easily.
Kelly Olynyk tried to break Kevin Love's arm in the NBA playoffs, in one of the most bizarrely dirty plays we have seen in a very long time. Love was thankfully ok, but Cavaliers fans will never forget that moment.
Dallas Mavericks - Rajon Rondo
The Mavericks tried to get back to the NBA Finals by acquiring Rajon Rondo to be the team's leader and point guard a few years ago. Rondo was still an excellent player and many thought he would make a difference to the team.
Unfortunately, Rondo ended up quitting on the team and barely put any effort like he used to do with the Boston Celtics. Most famously, he walked the ball up the floor for an eight-seconds violation then walked carelessly to the bench. Mavs fans don't like that from him, and he certainly isn't welcome back.
Denver Nuggets - Joel Embiid
Embiid headlines another team's hit list because of his competitiveness with the leagues' top bigs. Jokic clearly falls in that category, and Nuggets fans will side with Jokic over Embiid any day.
Embiid clearly feels he can dominate any big in the game, so Jokic and his strong support system will want to prove otherwise.
Detroit Pistons - Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid tops the hate list for the Detroit Pistons faithful, mainly because he has a rivalry with franchise player Andre Drummond. While two talented big men are always known to get into it, they genuinely don't like or respect each other - or so it seems.
Embiid feels he can give it to Drummond on a nightly basis, while Drummond does not feel intimidated one bit by Embiid's offense. This rivalry will likely continue and the hate for Embiid will too.
Golden State Warriors - LeBron James
Once again, LeBron James is the most hated player for the Warriors simply because they have a storied rivalry with one another. James met the Warriors in the Finals four times, defeating him three times to one.
James also had beef with Draymond Green, and many feel that their beef is what cost the Warriors their second straight NBA title after their 73-win season since Green ended up getting ejected. Warriors fans won't forget that anytime soon.
Houston Rockets - Draymond Green
Green seems to get under a player's skin, and his beef with superstar James Harden is one of them. Green consistently gets into it with Harden on the floor, and their beef seems to run deep. Not to mention, Green famously kicked James Harden much to the dismay of Rockets fans.
Green is loved by the Warriors and probably detested in most other buildings since he plays solely for the sake of his teammates and not to make highlight reels.
There is probably nothing Rockets fans wanted more than to see Draymond Green and his Warriors fall to them in the playoffs, but unfortunately for them, that hasn't happened yet.
Indiana Pacers - Paul George
George was supposed to be the franchise player for Indiana, the player who could bring them to the promised land. But it never turned out the way, instead of wanting out of Indiana and basically willing his way out. George now is part of a near superteam alongside Kawhi Leonard with the Clippers.
Indiana doesn't want to welcome George at any time and will feel that they won the trade that shipped George to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Los Angeles Clippers - James Harden
On the flip side of things, the Los Angeles Clippers fanbase is certainly no fan of James Harden. The reason is quite simple, James Harden often destroys the LA Clippers defense. He seems to always get under the skin of the defensive players, including stopper Patrick Beverley, and draw fouls that push them over the edge leading to technical fouls.
Harden also has his way with the Clippers and seems to always go off for big performances. Considering the matchups so far this season, it all makes sense why the Clippers should hate him.
Los Angeles Lakers - Patrick Beverley
The Lakers fans are quite a confident bunch, especially since they have LeBron James and Anthony Davis on their squad this year. Therefore they shouldn't feel the need to hate a specific player unless it's coming from their native Los Angeles. The Clippers are their supposed rivals this season, and Patrick Beverley is a player that can't stand the Lakers at all. Because of that fact, the Lakers can't stand him either.
Beverley is a player who loves to get after it and get under player's skins, and he seems to step it up a notch when he plays the Lakers. As long as Beverley is on the court, he will be faced with a chorus of boos.
Memphis Grizzlies - Russel Westbrook
Russ earns a lot of respect from his peers and even across many fanbases. But something about Memphis makes Russ ball out of control. He always seems to have a great game playing the Grizzlies, and cannot be stopped when he gets going against them. Memphis fans probably worry when he is playing, and that makes him the most hated.
Miami Heat - Michael Beasley
The Heat fans are a proud bunch, so they won't like it when a very talented player like Beasley fails to live up to his potential. Beasley was supposed to be a star for the Heat and looked extremely promising in his early days with Miami. But he wasn't focused, wasn't dedicated to the team, and wasted away the great potential for a franchise that could have used him.
For now, fans will not appreciate that.
Milwaukee Bucks - James Harden
Harden will find his way on many team's hit list, and the Bucks is one of them. Harden has bashed Giannis on more than one occasion, basically saying that he is in the league mainly because he is tall.
The Bucks fanbase is extremely protective of Giannis, as they should be, and Harden will most likely be welcomed with boos until he apologizes for his comments. Which will never happen.
Minnesota Timberwolves - Jimmy Butler
Butler bashed the Wolves organization, basically questioning their desire to win. He was unimpressed with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns and caused a massive fuss until he was traded out of Minnesota. The fans certainly don't appreciate the locker room unrest and no matter how good Butler was, he was not going to be the face of the franchise like KAT. Alienating the future of the team is never good and Butler will always hear boos as a result.
New Orleans Pelicans - Anthony Davis
The Pelicans fanbase clearly doesn't like Anthony Davis, especially after he quit on the team and forced his way to Los Angeles. Any sport's franchise would detest a player who does that, and AD is no different.
As long as AD is on the floor, you will most likely hear boos and see multiple anti-Davis signs that surround the camera angles. AD is an excellent player and one of the best talents they ever had, but New Orleans isn't a fan of him anymore.
New York Knicks - Kristaps Porzingis
The Knicks booed the heck out of the Porzingis draft signing when Phil Jackson was in charge, only to be left shocked at what they saw. Porzingis developed into an amazing talent, and many dubbed him "The Unicorn" for his unique ability on the floor.
Unfortunately, Porzingis seemingly returned the favor of being booed by asking for a trade and leaving the Knicks without any real All-Star talent. Porzingis forced his way out of New York, and the fans aren't happy about that.
Oklahoma City Thunder - Kevin Durant
Without a doubt, KD is the most hated player in Oklahoma sports. Nobody expected him to pack up, leave, and join the same team that beat them in the playoffs. And the fact that he left his "buddy" Russell Westbrook to carry the team on his own is something OKC fans will never forget.
To OKC fans, joining the Warriors was the easy way out and they feel Durant completely turned his back on the franchise that knew and loved him. Instead of being the most iconic figure in their city's history, he is now the most hated.
Orlando Magic - Dwight Howard
While there will be fans who appreciate what Howard did for the franchise by carrying them to the NBA Finals once in 2009, others will not be fans. He caused a massive rift with then-head coach Stan Van Gundy and made the entire organization change their entire plan by firing Stan and losing Dwight to the Lakers.
Since then, the Magic have been practically irrelevant. Many fans feel that if Dwight was more mature and focused, he might have won the Magic an NBA title.
Philadelphia 76ers - Karl-Anthony Towns
The Joel Embiid and KAT beef are well documented. They clearly don't respect each other's games and they each feel that they are the best in the game. Embiid has a legitimate claim at being the best big man in the game, although KAT may feel like he is the most talented.
Either way, it was fun to see both giants go at it on Twitter and on the court. Only time will tell who truly comes out on top... but for now, the Sixers fanbase will boo Karl Anthony-Towns.
Phoenix Suns - Markieff Morris
Morris made a huge deal when Phoenix traded away his twin brother. Instead of staying to fight for his place, he forced his way out of Phoenix and vowed to not play when his brother isn't there.
While the NBA is a professional business that involves getting past personal feelings, Markieff didn't feel that way and he caused unnecessary unrest within the organization.
Portland Trail Blazers - Russell Westbrook
It is about time ultra-competitive Russell Westbrook appears on this list. Portland fans simply view Russ as the main rival of their franchise star Damian Lillard, and even though they respect his game, rival normally translates to enemy number one.
Westbrook normally tries to go at Lillard and relishes the one on one opportunity to back him down in the post. This aggression is normally met with incredible sharpshooting from Lillard, but this matchup makes Russ a rival for Blazers fans.
Sacramento Kings - LeBron James
The Kings and Lakers have a storied rivalry that goes back quite a while, and even today Kings fans don't like the Lakers. The face of the Lakers, LeBron James, will, therefore, get the brunt of it.
Kings fans would rather not see LeBron James have a great game against them, and they will probably wait for the day The King finally hands it up for good.
San Antonio Spurs - Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard famously called it quits on his former team after many Spurs players felt that Kawhi was being too hesitant and soft after suffering an injury against the Golden State Warriors (and Zaza Pachulia specifically) in the NBA playoffs.
Kawhi did not appreciate how his teammates failed to back him up and ended up forcing a trade. The Spurs fans feel that Kawhi quit on their team and they have not been a title contender ever since he left.
Toronto Raptors - LeBron James
Without a doubt, Raptors fans both respect and fear, LeBron James. Every time LeBron plays against them, he seems to have his way. This does not sit well with Raptors fans, who immediately recall James going ballistic and knocking their team out the playoffs year by year.
The tandem of Lowry and DeRozan never saw the success they should have, and you can thank LeBron James for that.
Utah Jazz - James Harden
The Jazz is a very good team, but they always seem to fall to James Harden and the Rockets. Their tough defense and hard-nosed aggressiveness seem to lead to more Harden free throws than wins in the postseason.
The Rockets have the number of the Utah Jazz in the playoffs, and the extremely passionate Utah fans probably won't be happy when Russell Westbrook walks into the building to back up James Harden either.
Washington Wizards - Marcin Gortat
The Wizards had a nice core going with Wall, Beal, Gortat, Porter, and Morris. But Gortat ended up needing with the franchise player in John Wall, and that ultimately began the downward spiral of a very promising team in the East.
Gortat began blaming John Wall for lack of leadership, while Wall retaliated with his belief that Gortat benefited most from Wall's point guard play. Either way, this ended ugly and most Wizards fans will support John Wall over Gortat.