1. LeBron James
James is one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet. The NBA’s biggest star maintains a squeaky-clean image. But sometimes even his dark side breaks through. A clear example occurred in 2021 when his Lakers played the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons were ahead before James elbowed Isaiah Smith in the face. Smith reacted furiously with blood dripping down his face. Furthermore, replays revealed James knew what he was doing.
However, the NBA hit their cash cow with just a one-game suspension for the hit. Meanwhile, they suspended Smith for two games because of his reaction. James escaped lightly because he was almost the instigator of a brawl. Nobody disagreed with Smith’s ban. But many people felt like James should have received the same. In the end, the “King” received special treatment (via CBS Sports).