I love the Utah Jazz. I was raised watching Stockton and Malone, living and dying with every game. Over the years, I developed some strong feelings about different teams. In this article I have ranked my most hated teams and my most hated player on each team. The order is based on my most hated teams, not the most hated players. In other words, my most hated player on my most hated team is not necessarily my most hated player of all-time. I don’t know what it is about certain players and certain teams that really gets under my skin, but the players on this list all got to me and are my most hated players.
Note: When I say “Hate” am I not talking about actual hatred where I wish bad things to happen to these players and their family, this is more of a “least favorite” definition. Please read it accordingly.
30-Jazz, Enes Kanter
My favorite team is and always will be the Jazz. And the title of most hated Jazz player goes to…Enes Kanter. Kanter, just edges out Greg Ostertag, Gordon Hayward, John Crotty, and Carlos Arroyo. Ostertag was just infuriating to watch with his stone hands, and his inconsistency was just unbelievable. Gordon Hayward was a fan favorite and a personal favorite, but he gets an honorable mention because he broke the hearts of Jazz fans. He doesn’t win the dishonor because of his broken ankle and because Donovan Mitchell who made us all forget Hayward quickly. John Crotty and Carlos Arroyo were both back-up point guards each for a few seasons in the 90’s and 2000’s. Both triggered ugly feelings in me and led me and I’m sure countless other Jazz fans to literally yell at the TV to “Pass the ball!” Both drove me crazy with their over-dribbling. I couldn’t stand them. But here, I am going with a player who was ungrateful to the Jazz for his develop and whined when his role was reduced, and was ultimately shipped away. Kanter couldn’t play defense in the Jazz’s system and once he was traded the Jazz started winning. For that I am grateful. After he badmouthed the Jazz organization after the trade, the guy can’t say anything on Twitter without me wanting to throw something. Can’t stand the guy!
29-Celtics, Len Bias
Ironic that Hayward left the Jazz and went to my second favorite team. I owned Celtics shorts and socks before Hayward went there. Hey, Larry Bird is my favorite player of all-time, so what do you expect? So, I loved lots of Celtics players and liked most, but I hated that Len Bias’s poor choices robbed the Celtics a chance to avoid the post-Bird collapse. Combine that with Reggie Lewis’s premature death and that was rough for any franchise. When you pick a player that never actually played a game in that uniform, that is a sign of a pretty beloved franchise.
28-Bucks, Sam Cassell
My high school colors were green and white, so I always kind of liked the Bucks uniforms and logo. I liked watching Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson in his Purdue days and then kept an eye on him with the Bucks. I liked Ray Allen. I like Jabari and Giannis on the current version of the Bucks. And the Jazz always seem to beat them, so what’s not to like. Still, my feelings from Sam Cassell came from Cassell’s days of killing the Jazz when he was with the Rockets. As a kid I always thought he looked like some type of alien creature. Is that mean?
27-Hornets, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
My love for the Hornets goes back to the days of Grandmama, Mourning, Mugsey, and Curry (Steph’s dad). I liked their colors and I liked the way they played. They haven’t been good enough lately for me to dislike them much. My beef with Kidd-Gilchrist is only because of the damage done to my eyes from watching his butt-ugly shot and the dry-heaving it causes. How a player can make it to the NBA with a jump shot like that is both amazing and a mystery. Gilchrist’s shot is a hybrid of Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, and Kevin Martin and that’s not a good thing.
26-Hawks, Doc Rivers
I have always kind of liked the Hawks. I loved watching Dominique. I loved it when they were the Utah Jazz East with Korver, Millsap, and Carroll. That said, I couldn’t stand Doc Rivers when he played for the Hawks and I can’t stand him now. Always complaining. Not my favorite.
25-Pacers, Ron Artest
Kind of liked the Pacers because of the connection to Larry Legend. I don’t have any strong feelings for any Pacers’ players except for Ron Artest for creating the “Malice at the Palace.” Any time a player leaves the court and engages in a fight with fans in the stands, you are going to earn yourself a lot of enemies. I’ve never been a fan of Artest, but that once sealed his fate on this list.
24-Trailblazers, Rasheed Wallace
I can’t really explain this one, but despite competing with the Jazz for years in the same division, I’ve never really minded the Blazers. I love Lillard and would love it if he came to the Jazz someday. But, when it comes to least favorites, one of the original cry-babies, Rasheed Wallace is the worst! He was so picked on. He was constantly complaining to refs and had that permanent, “wo is me” look on his face. I don’t think Rasheed ever committed an actual foul. In his mind, everything he ever did was clean and I couldn’t stand it. The gray hair patch on the top of his head gave my one more reason to hate him as a kid, though I realize now that is silly. Still, I see Rasheed and to this day a flood of negative emotions come flooding back.
Who is Frank Johnson do you ask? My brother and I called him, “travel man.” When we were young, while we watched a game, Frank Johnson just took off and took at least 4 steps in one of the most bizarre moves we had ever seen. It was by far the worst travel we had ever seen a professional player commit. The name stuck and still to this day, I can’t help but think that Frank Johnson must be the worst player on the planet. Call me Saturday Night Live’s “Canteen Boy” if you must, but I have gone to find it on YouTube and you can’t find it anywhere, so don’t go looking for it.
22-Grizzlies, Mike Bibby
I like the gritty style of the Grizzlies (though that culture seems to have been lost recently). The one I hate here is a former King that I had to work in another way. I don’t remember Bibby playing a single game with the Grizzlies, but I hated how perfect his shooting form was when he played for the Kings and he led the worst group of whiners and floppers in the history of the game.
21-Raptors, Doug Christie
Don’t mind the Raptors, but Christie played for the Kings and you may be picking up on a theme here.
20-Heat, Chris Anderson
The Heat are getting into the indifferent zone. I don’t really care for or dislike the Heat. I do remember suffering through Chris Anderson’s dunk contest attempts when it took him 43 attempts to complete a dunk. Worst dunk contest ever and he single handedly brought back the rule where attempts were limited.
19-76ers, Allen Iverson
I don’t mind “The Process” and I like Embiid and Simmons. They are both super talented and have a lot going for them, but boy was Allen Iverson hated. I couldn’t stand the guy. He changed the league into an isolation, “hero ball” league. He was the antithesis of team ball and it drove me crazy. Now that Iverson has inspired a generation of shoot-first point guards, this hatred is tough for the younger generation to understand. For me it was very real. I really struggled with Iverson while he played and still do today.
18-Cavs, Isaiah Thomas
I was a big fan of Isaiah Thomas the Celtic, but Isaiah Thomas on the Cavs was an entitled, crybaby who was really bad at basketball. When you already can’t play defense and you rely on your offense and then your offense disappears, you better shut your mouth because there is no reason for the coach to play you when you suck on both ends. I don’t remember ever seeing a player whose stock dropped so rapidly as Thomas’s has in the last 12 months.
17-Wizards, Michael Jordan
Why Michael? Why did you come back, again? It’s taken me years to get the images of “Old MJ” out of my brain.
He is the epitome of how I hope I do not look when I play basketball and may be the sole reason I buzz my hair.
15-Nets, Kenyon Martin
For a guy that physically gifted, he just never became what he could’ve been. he maxed out at 16 points per game, but once he wasn’t playing with Jason Kidd, he became a below average rotation player. Drives me crazy when I see that kind of talent go to waste.
14-Timberwolves, Jeff Teague
You can’t cheap shot Ricky Rubio just because you are tired of playing in his lingering shadow in Minnesota without making this list. For some reason it feels a little wrong to put him ahead of Latrell Spreewell, who tried to strangle his coach (but that was when he was in Golden State), so I’m going with Teague.
13-Mavs, Derek Harper
The Mavs have some problems these days. But, I am going way back into the 80’s and 90’s for my most hated Mav, Derek Harper. He was one of the first free agents I remember saying that he would not play in Utah. Such a punk. I’m glad he never came.
12-Thunder (including Sonics), Enes Kanter
Did I already hate on Kanter? Oops, so I did. Oh well. Still hate him.
11-Knicks, Enes Kanter
I always hated John Starks, but then he played for the Jazz and my hatred for him disappeared. But Kanter…wait, have I already talked about how I feel about him?
10-Clippers, Chris Paul
This one was close between Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, but Paul gets the edge. I’m sure Paul is one of those players that I would love to have on my team and would love him if he had my team’s jersey on, but I cannot stand how much he whined and complained about calls. I also couldn’t stand how freaking good he was at running the pick and roll. He even added the next chapter to Stockton’s book about how to keep your opponent on your hip. He was so good at it, he has become one of the most efficient guards in NBA history, much like Stockton. Again, if he were on the Jazz I’m sure I’d love him, but he isn’t and I don’t. Instead, we got to cheer for Deron Williams for his 6 year career. Sheesh!
9-Warriors, Chris Webber
For a year or two, I loved the Warriors. They were fun and exciting. They played team ball and had a lot of fun winning together. The Splash Brothers were the greatest shooting combination ever and they seemed miles ahead of any other team. Then, they signed Kevin Durant and all of that changed. There is an arrogance and entitlement now. Lots of whining to refs and lots of technicals and ejections. But my least favorite Warrior is Chris Webber. Not from his days as a Warrior, but as his days as a King. Yeah, I really hated the Kings.
8-Pistons, Bill Lambeer/Isiah Thomas-tie
Of all of the franchises, it is fitting that the Pistons should have two players representing it. The Bad Boys had some fans, but the vast majority of NBA fans hated them, especially these two. Laimbeer was dirty and smug and Isiah was disingenuous and really good. Both just attracted criticism and hatred. Thomas even went a step further as a Knicks executive and did such an amazing job at devastating the Knicks franchise that he manufactured even more hate for himself.
There were too many Kings that I hated to name Demacrus my most hated King, so here he is. DeMarcus Cousins is the biggest cancer in the NBA today. You never wish an injury on anyone, but if someone is going to go down with the Achilles injury, Cousins would be my first choice. How can a guy be so productive and yet such a drag on a team? Pelicans are a borderline Playoff Team before you get hurt and then after your injury they go on a 10-game winning streak? Hmmmm….
This is kind of a love-hate kind of relationship here. I respect Jordan and always will. He is the greatest competitor and greatest scorer I have ever seen. But when he ripped Jazz fans’ hearts out in the Finals two years in a row, it was just too much to keep him off this list. I guess I could’ve put Dennis Rodman, Bill Cartwright, Pete Myers, or Carlos Boozer, but really I hated Michael because he robbed Jazz Nation of its best chance to win a championship. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over that.
5-Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo could be one of my least favorite players ever. On the day he passed Jerry West for scoring, he has a clip of him yelling at a teammate for not helping him after James Harden embarrassed him on a drive to the basket. That about sums up Carmelo, he’s a great scorer, but is a terrible teammate and lockerroom cancer. The “Thuggets” when Melo played with Iverson were one of my least favorite teams ever. The Knicks couldn’t win anything and now he’s made the Thunder worse despite an upgraded roster.
4-Rockets, Mario Elie
This guy’s kiss of death and his ability to kill the Jazz make this guy completely annoying. He won three championships as a hired gun. He was cocky, clutch, good, and never played for the Jazz, so I naturally hated him.
This one may confuse some of you, but I spent a good part of my life hating the Big Fundamental. Yeah, I respect his game, but I still hate the guy. Why did he get 5 rings and Stockton and Malone couldn’t get one? How could anyone think he’s a better Power Forward than the Mailman? Why does anyone think he’s a four anyway? He’s a Center! He had no personality on the floor and was so boring! No charisma whatsoever! I cringe when I hear people talk about his “leadership” or a claim that he is a top 10 all-time player. I wish everyone would see that it was Pop’s leadership, not Duncan’s that took them to titles. It was Manu’s clutch shooting, not Duncan that lead to titles. Can I get an amen?!?
2-Kings, Vlade Divac
The pioneer of the European flop in the NBA. Yes, we have Vlade to thank for introducing flopping to the western world. He also played for my least favorite team in the history of the NBA. Those Kings teams with Vlade, Webber, Christie, Bibby, Barnes, and Stojakovic man, I hate them all.
1-Lakers, Matt Barnes
This was a tough one. I have a lot of least favorite Lakers, Matt Barnes, Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant (though I like him much better now that he’s retired), Robert Sacre, Adam Morrison, Nick Van Exel, Metta World Peace, Rick Fox, Lonzo Ball, Larry Nance Jr., man there are a lot of options here. Barnes was the thuggiest of the thugs and I just couldn’t stand the guy. He always seemed more interested in picking a fight than playing basketball and I think he was a better fighter than a player. The annoying part is that most teams get an enforcer with a little muscle on their frames, you know, Charles Oakley, Antonio Davis, Orlando Woolridge, the Mailman, Barkley, or Chris Dudley. Not the Lakers, their enforcer was build like Kevin Durant, which is the perfect recipe for hating someone.
So, that’s my ordered list of my most hated teams and most hated players. Did I forget anyone? Am I the only one that hates the Lakers more than any other team?