Not all players can be everyone’s friend, or be well liked by the public, but some are worse than others. These players were, or still are, the villains in the NBA. They got that name by their actions on the court, but also by starting or encouraging fights.
Green might not exactly be as much as a villain as the rest of the players on this list, but he’s the closest thing the modern NBA has to a villain. Of course, he does have the skills to back his words up, but he can be seen as the enforcer of the Warriors.
There are several instances where Green showed his capabilities as a villain, for example he has hit Steven Adams in the groin, but he also got ejected several times for getting too many technicals; he even managed to once get two technicals within a minute.
Ainge was a great all-round player, and though he might not have been the star of the team, he was one of their good players. But, to be fair, his biggest strength was irritating his opponents. He had the ability to irritate his opponents that much, that they were thrown of their game. Most of the time, the players started a fight with him, instead of Ainge actually fighting.
Rodman won five championships, was the Defensive Player of the Year twice and the rebounding champions seven years in a row, but still Rodman is mostly known as a villain in the league. On one hand, this is because of his appearance with his coloured hair and piercings, but also his brutal, aggressive play on the court, where he definitely wasn’t afraid to get in someone’s face or even land a punch. Oh, and don’t forget the time when he head butted a referee.
If you say Ron Artest or Metta World Peace, everyone immediately thinks about the Malace in the Palace, the infamous Pacers/Pistons brawl. Of course, that’s where Artest got his bad name, but he definitely managed to ‘live up to it’ throughout his career. Artest once destroyed a TV camera, he got suspended quite a lot for very serious flagrant fouls, and even elbowed James Harden in his face after celebrating a dunk.
Bill Laimbeer is not called the dirtiest player in the NBA for no reason. Yes, he was a 2-time champion, 4-time All-Star and a member of the Bad Boys, but he might have been the baddest bad boy of them all. He was known for his physical and aggressive game, trash talking and his protesting to the refs. Super Nintendo even released a game about him: Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball, a game where physical play was encouraged. Similar to Danny Ainge, Laimbeer just knew how to get under people’s skins, and he definitely wasn’t afraid to do everything, and absolutely everything to take the opponents best player out of the game (mentally or injured).