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NESN: 10 Biggest Divas In Sport

June 1, 2014 by  

10 Biggest Divas In Sport NESN, Some people can’t stay out of the spotlight. Chad Johnson was cut by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday after being arrested for head-butting his wife the day before. Hope Solo ran into trouble with her coach for trying to publish her autobiography during the Olympics.

For someone like Bill Belichick, this negative media attention — in fact, any media attention at all — would be viewed as an annoyance, a pesky mosquito to be swatted from the air. But for Johnson, Solo and others like them, it’s all part of the territory. These athletes have been known to use controversy — or to create their own trouble — to keep themselves in the spotlight, providing endless tabloid fodder with their antics.

What follows is a list of sport’s biggest divas — the anti-Belichicks, if you will. If one of these athletes is on your team, beware. Many of them offer prodigious talent, but any misstep, and it will feel like the circus is in town.

10. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks. Anthony was drawing attention to himself even before he landed in New York, brawling with Knicks players as a member of the Nuggets in 2006. Then, Anthony was at the center of “The Melodrama,” as the Nuggets eventually shipped him to the Knicks in 2011 after it became clear he wanted out of Denver. Recently, he’s been critical of the Rockets’ offer to Jeremy Lin and claimed that the media is to blame for his image as a selfish player.

9. Darrelle Revis, New York Jets. Revis held out for most of training camp in 2010 after he was named an All-Pro the previous season. He eventually agreed to a new four-year, $32 million deal just a week before the season opener. But not even two years later, Revis was unhappy with that deal and threatened to hold out again this year before reporting to Jets camp on time. He’s also trademarked his moderately self-absorbed nickname, “Revis Island,” although in fairness to Revis, his play over the last three seasons has been worthy of the moniker.

8. Hope Solo, U.S. Women’s Soccer. Women’s soccer usually isn’t very popular unless it’s the World Cup or the Olympics. But when those events roll around, Solo (above right, with U.S. gymnast Jordyn Wieber) knows how to capitalize on the attention. She first entered the national consciousness in 2007 for ripping U.S. coach Greg Ryan for benching her in a 4-0 World Cup semifinal loss to Brazil. This year, Solo opened up to ESPN the Magazine about partying in the Olympic Village in 2008 and was in the headlines again for failing a drug test in June and almost missing the Olympics to publish her autobiography.

7. Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees. A-Rod’s always drawn attention wherever he goes, from Seattle to Texas to New York. Part of that is due to his supreme talent — three MVP awards, 14 All-Star appearances, 644 career home runs — but part of it is the way he acts. He’s yelled “It’s mine!” while running the bases during a pop-up in a game in 2007, and he tried to slap the ball from the glove of Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo during Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS. He also announced he was opting out of his contract in 2007 at the same time as the Red Sox were one inning away from winning the World Series.

6. Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers. Few NBA superstars have botched their departure from a city as badly as Dwight Howard. Carmelo Anthony’s constant pining for New York was annoying, and LeBron James still can’t show his face in Cleveland without being booed, but Howard’s drawn-out departure from the Magic takes the cake. First, he wanted to go to Brooklyn. Then he tried to get coach Stan Van Gundy fired, only to interrupt Van Gundy’s media session to show his support for the coach. Then he decided he’d play out the 2012-13 season in Orlando, only to request a trade again months later. Of course, Van Gundy and general manager Otis Smith had been fired by that point. Now Howard gets to play for a contender in Los Angeles while new Magic general manager Rob Hennigan cleans up his mess.

5. Floyd Mayweather, Jr., boxer. Mayweather (above right, with friend and rapper 50 Cent) has been involved in his share of controversy, such as his rocky relationship with his father and multiple domestic assault cases, including a September 2010 incident for which he is currently serving a jail sentence. Lately, the biggest problem has been his delay in agreeing to a superfight with Manny Pacquiao, one of the reasons why boxing’s popularity continues to dwindle. “Money” Mayweather still has some pretty incredible accomplishments, though, as he’s 43-0 in his pro career and surpassed Tiger Woods this year as sports’ highest earner.

4. Brett Favre, retired (?). Every summer from 2008 to 2010, everyone heard the same rumors: Brett Favre may be playing one more season. By the end, Favre had left a blemish on his once-untouchable legacy in Greeen Bay and provoked the collective ire of a nation of sports fans who will never again want to hear the words “Favre comeback.” Although he played his last NFL game in 2010, his name still pops up only semi-jokingly whenever a team needs a new quarterback.

3. Mario Balotelli, Manchester City. There’s no doubt that the Italian forward — who just turned 22 on Monday — is supremely talented, as evidenced by his two goals in a Euro 2012 semifinal win over Germany in June. But he’s also been in the British tabloids for all sorts of things, including stopping at a Manchester high school to use the bathroom and throwing darts at a member of City’s youth team. Balotelli set his house on fire in October after releasing fireworks inside but the very next day proceeded to score in City’s 6-1 win over rivals Manchester United, revealing a shirt with the words, “Why always me?” The answer: because of the things you do, Mario.

2. Terrell Owens, Seattle Seahawks. The camera has followed Owens wherever he’s gone during a career that has spanned 17 years and six teams. From doing ab exercises in his driveway to clashing with Donovan McNabb to tearfully defending Tony Romo, the media has been there to report on everything that’s happened to Owens. That also includes catching 153 touchdown passes, more than anyone in NFL history not named Jerry Rice.

1. Chad Johnson, free agent. Johnson just loves attention. When he’s not changing his name to Chad Ochocinco — or changing it back to Chad Johnson — the wide receiver is filing reports for the Ochochinco News Network, opining to his over 3 million Twitter followers or choreographing an elaborate touchdown celebration. Oh yeah, he’s been known to play some football from time to time as well, most recently with the Miami Dolphins, who cut him Sunday before he had even appeared in a game.

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