Sports

35 Bitter Teammate Feuds That Shook Professional Sports

Darren - June 1, 2020
Sports

35 Bitter Teammate Feuds That Shook Professional Sports

Darren - June 1, 2020
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

23. Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs. Oguchi Onyewu

Zlatan is an immensely talented soccer player, but he’s also one of the biggest divas in the game. Several teammates have experienced his fury. First of all, he threatened to break Rafael Van Der Vaart’s legs at Ajax. Then he punched Jonathan Zebina in the face at Juventus. In sum, ‘Ibra’ just didn’t care.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

But the former LA Galaxy superstar’s most notorious incident was with his fellow former AC Milan teammate Onyewu. He headbutted him during practice, prompting a furious fight. The pair were on the ground landing knees, punching, and kicking each other. After, Ibrahimovic said they wanted to kill each other.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

22. Steve Downie vs. Akim Aliu

Hockey’s most notorious hazing incident is still shocking to read about, even to this day. Downie and Aliu played for the Windsor Spitfires in the Ontario Hockey League. First of all, Aliu’s senior teammates allegedly ordered him to strip naked and stuff himself into a bus bathroom during initiation.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He refused to the fury of his teammates. Weeks later, captain Downie cross-checked new teammate Aliu in the mouth during practice and left the ice. He then came back and started a fight with the youngster. In the end, the Spitfires suspended Downie for five games and ordered him to take anger management class.

Alex Rodriguez
Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

21. Alex Rodriguez vs. Derek Jeter

Jeter was the Yankee’s main man when Rodriguez arrived in 2004. As the latter’s popularity flared, Jeter became increasingly jealous. In fact, Rodriguez even admired and respected ‘The Captain.’ He wanted to be as popular with his new teammates but this resulted in a massive dent in their relationship.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Once good friends, things deteriorated as Jeter’s envy grew. While they never had a major flashpoint like others on this list, it was more of a cold war. They effectively agreed to remain teammates and coexist without any other personal relationship. In sum, they did what they had to do.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

20. Bobby Portis vs. Nikola Mirotic

The Bulls’ season was terrible in 2017 and tensions were mounting. Portis and Mirotic didn’t get along at all and continuously trash-talked each other in practice. But suddenly things escalated in a stunning outburst of violence. Ironically, Mirotic started it but came off much worse in the end.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The two young forwards got in a scuffle that left Mirotic with a fractured face and a concussion and Portis with an eight-game suspension. Mirotic charged at Portis twice before Portis threw a punch and connected with Mirotic’s face. It’s probably the worst beef in recent NBA history.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

19. Donovan McNabb vs. Terrell Owens

Owens really wasn’t the best teammate on the Eagles roster. As well as McNabb, he also fell out with Hugh Douglas. Later when he moved on, he had feuds with 49ers teammate Jeff Garcia and Tony Romo in Dallas. Owens really didn’t like quarterbacks that much and tried to deflect his own flaws onto them.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

McNabb and Owens played together for just two seasons. The first ended with a trip to the Super Bowl but the second was disastrous. McNabb was furious after Owens condemned his conditioning and leadership. Needless to say, they didn’t play together for much longer.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

18. Lewis Hamilton vs. Nico Rosberg

Formula One has served up some outstanding rivalries and this is one of the best in recent history. The UK’s Hamilton and Germany’s Rosberg were both driving for Mercedes but that didn’t stop them from wanting to beat each other. Hamilton won two championships and Rosberg one during their time together.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

But this rivalry was fiery. The final season, when Rosberg won, saw them crash out of races together and infuriate their bosses who threatened them with team orders. In the final race, Hamilton tried to let rival drivers overtake him and Rosberg so that he would finish with more points. They just never saw eye-to-eye.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

17. O.J. Mayo vs. Tony Allen

Somebody needs to stop NBA players from gambling because it seems like card games are the number source of feuds between players. Enter Mayo and Allen, who were seemingly no exceptions. Their entry into the teammate feuds list happened back in 2011 when the pair were teammates with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Mayo allegedly refused to pay a $7,500 gambling debt he owed Allen. Then he continued to run his mouth, criticizing Allen’s game and basically saying that he was a better player. After about 15 minutes, Allen punched him in the face several times. Mayo brought it upon himself.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

16. Peyton Manning vs. Mike Vanderjagt

When he’s not beating Tom Brady at golf, Manning is also a legendary quarterback. Despite this, he didn’t get along with everybody on the Indianapolis Colts’ roster. In fact, he labeled Vanderjagt as the Colts’ ‘idiot kicker,’ a nickname the latter couldn’t shake for the rest of his time with the team.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

It all came about because Vanderjagt called out Manning and head coach Tony Dungy after the New York Jets crushed the Colts 41-0 in the playoffs. In short, he accused them of being weak leaders. Four years later, Manning led the Colts to Super Bowl glory. Meanwhile, Vanderjagt left for good.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

15. Carlos Zambrano vs. Michael Barrett

2007 was a horrible year for the Cubs and tensions were boiling over. After they lost four straight and 10 of 14, nobody was happy. In the fifth inning of a matchup with Atlanta, starter Zambrano gave up five runs on five hits, while catcher Barrett allowed a passed ball and made a throwing error on the same play.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Suddenly, Zambrano decided to confront Barrett. He went over to him in the dugout and shouted in his face. Barrett responded and the next thing was the two of them were scrapping. Finally, teammates forced them apart. However, it was an inglorious moment for both men.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

14. Joey Barton vs. Ousmane Dabo

Dabo hates Barton for this and no wonder because it’s one of the most brutal beatdowns on this list. Currently managing the lower-league soccer side Fleetwood Town, Barton had a terrible reputation as a player for his crazy behavior. The FA and police have banned and arrested him multiple times.

Mandatory Credit: BBC

Barton squared up with Dabo on the Manchester City training field. He sucker-punched Dabo, sending him to the ground. Then he followed up with ground-and-pound. A court gave him a four-month suspended prison sentence while the league banned him for 12 games with six suspended.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

13. Darryl Strawberry vs. Keith Hernandez

1986 was a terrific year for the New York Mets as they won the World Series. However, behind closed doors, all was not well. Strawberry and Hernandez both had chips on their shoulder. In sum, Strawberry believed he was the most important player for the team, and his rivalry with Hernandez increased.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Things got worse over the next three years. In 1989, Strawberry had a tantrum because he wanted to sit near his friends during a team photoshoot. Hernandez went on to call Strawberry a “crybaby” because of both how he handled that situation and a contract dispute.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

12. Richie Incognito vs. Jonathan Martin

The antics of Incognito didn’t help the Miami Dolphins during a tumultuous 2014 season. The troubled offensive lineman had a terrible relationship with Martin. He bullied the younger man to the point that Martin got fed up and walked away from the NFL.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

Incognito tried to pass off his actions as leadership but that didn’t stop the Dolphins from suspending him. After losing both players, the Dolphins went on to an 8-8 season. There really isn’t anything good to say about Incognito from all of this. It was an ugly situation with no real winner.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

11. LeBron James vs. Kyrie Irving

This one was a bit of a surprise. In one sentence, James just had no patience for Irving. After returning to the Cavaliers in 2014, he clashed with his teammate because of Irving’s attitude. When you’re totally focused on winning it’s difficult to respect somebody who doesn’t take the sport as seriously as you.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He felt that Irving was more concerned about his own statistics than those of the overall team. Eventually, Irving matured. But his relationship with James was nonexistent and he wanted out of Cleveland. Finally, he demanded a move and ended up moving to be the ‘man’ with the Boston Celtics.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

10. Michael Jordan vs. Scottie Pippen

One of the most discussed sports beefs as of late comes from two of the greatest teammates in the history of the NBA. It happened after Jordan’s biographical documentary series ‘The Last Dance.’ They’re not technically teammates now, but their names were synonymous with each other during the Bulls’ heyday.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

To sum up, Pippen took a major issue with his portrayal in the show. Jordan called him selfish because he chose to have surgery during the regular season instead of the offseason. There were multiple reasons why and several other former teammates have called Jordan out after a very subjective representation in the documentary.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

9. Michael Westbrook vs. Stephen Davis

It’s difficult to remember when things were actually good for the Redskins but this is one of the most ridiculous incidents from the beleaguered franchise. According to Westbrook’s camp, Davis was a thorn in his side for a couple of seasons. He alleged constant abuse from Davis, including homophobic slurs.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

However, this doesn’t justify Westbook assaulting Davis. The pair clashed during a 2007 training camp with Westbrook starting the fight. The Redskins fined him $50,000. Westbrook retired from the NFL shortly after. Then he went on to pursue a short career in MMA that didn’t end very well for him.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

8. Kevin Durant vs. Draymond Green

About halfway through the 2018/19 season, Durant announced he was leaving the Golden State Warriors. Nobody expected the on-court feud that erupted between him and Green in a game against the LA Clippers. Green came off worse because his team suspended him for his actions.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

He confronted Durant after losing the ball and questioned him over his free agency. Green also called Durant a b**ch several times and the argument simmered over into the locker room. To rub salt into their wounds, Golden State lost to the Clippers in overtime. Durant ultimately signed with the Brooklyn Nets.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

7. John Terry vs. Wayne Bridge

Like all the best feuds, this one was over a woman. Terry was England’s star defender and captain of Chelsea. Meanwhile, Bridge was his England and former Chelsea teammate. The latter was in a relationship with Veronica Perroncel for five years before this scandal rocked the soccer world.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

It emerged that Terry had secretly visited her house multiple times, violating Bridge’s trust as well as his own wife’s. It led to a massive scandal, which culminated with Bridge refusing to shake Terry’s hand when they faced off on the field. Finally, Bridge retired from international soccer.

Barry Bonds
Mandatory Credit: Jug Sports

6. Barry Bonds vs. Jeff Kent

One of the most notorious feuds in baseball history, Bonds and Kent were part of a loaded Giants offense. In 2002, they combined for 83 home runs and 219 RBIs in 2002. However, behind the scenes, all was not well. They had feuded all season but suddenly, it erupted as their cold war turned hot.

Mandatory Credit: Sports Illustrated

It all spilled over when the pair of them started fighting in the dugout in the middle of a game. They tried to brush it off but their relationship was beyond repair. Finally, the Houston Astros came for Kent and he was able to get out of San Francisco. In sum, they weren’t on each other’s Christmas card lists.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

5. Bryce Harper vs. Jonathan Papelbon

In 2015, the Nationals looked very strong coming into the new season. Instead, they hovered around .500 and didn’t make the playoffs with one of baseball’s most talented rosters. This led to a boiling point with Papelbon taking it out on his younger superstar teammate Harper in one of the dumbest feuds on this list.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

As Harper walked out to the dugout, Papelbon grabbed his throat and shoved him against the wall. The Nationals suspended Papelbon for the rest of the season because it was out of order. Furthermore, his former team, the Phillies, annihilated them in that game. Nats fans on Twitter offered to donate $100 each to a charity of the Nats’ choosing if it got rid of Papelbon.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY

4. Shaquille O’Neal vs. Kobe Bryant

One of the longest-running teammate feuds in sports, this was a battle of egos. Looking back, Shaq is the one who comes out of it worse because he definitely felt threatened by the rapid rise of the Black Mamba. Both extremely competitive, it probably worked in the Lakers’ favor during the early 2000s.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

However, the older Shaq’s body eventually started to break down and he went into decline. O’Neal’s abilities faded but his ego was as large as ever. In short, Bryant resented this more than ever as his importance stood out. Eventually, Shaq left LA on bad terms as he wanted Phil Jackson to return.

Mandatory Credit: BBC

3. Kieron Dyer vs. Lee Bowyer

One of the most iconic teammate feuds from soccer history was between these two men. They were playing for Newcastle United in the Premier League back in 2005. In short, Bowyer was furious with Dyer because he wouldn’t pass the ball to him. He squared up to his teammate which ended as well as you’d expect.

Mandatory Credit: Sky Sports

The next thing they were throwing punches at each other. It was a wild clash with both men taking shots to the face and Bowyer’s shirt ripped. The referee sent off both players. Then manager Graeme Souness made them sit next to each other and apologize in a press conference.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports

2. Gilbert Arenas vs. Javaris Crittenton

This feud comes from their days in Washington. First of all, their rivalry intensified because of a high-stakes card came on a flight back from Phoenix. However, nobody could have expected it to escalate the way it did. Two days later, Crittenton brought a gun to practice and pointed it at Arenas.

Mandatory Credit: ESPN

The latter had threatened Crittenton with gun violence but nobody expected this kind of reaction. The NBA suspended both players for the rest of the season following the incident, while the Wizards released Crittenton, who hadn’t played a minute for them before this. Definitely not the best signing they’d ever made.

Mandatory Credit: NBC

1. Bill Romanowski vs. Marcus Williams

Probably the most vicious and one-sided incident on this list, Romanowski’s actions in this feud were despicable. In 2003, the former Raiders linebacker ended Williams’ career with one punch. He attacked the tight end during a scrimmage, ripping off his helmet and breaking his eye socket with a punch.

Mandatory Credit: NBC

In 2005, a court awarded Williams 10 percent of the $3.4 million in damages he sought in a lawsuit against Romanowski. Williams claims that Romanowski was suffering from ‘roid rage’ and just erupted. Ever the charmer, Romanowski has had numerous run-ins with opponents and even been accused of racism.

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