Ego Over Team: These Athletes Make Everything About Themselves

Darren - February 26, 2024

Ego Over Team: These Athletes Make Everything About Themselves

Darren - February 26, 2024

As fans, we might not like to admit it, but every elite athlete needs a certain amount of arrogance and selfishness to reach the highest level. It could be demanding their value in salaries or special treatment off the field. But some stars take that too far and make everything about themselves.

They cross the line by taking the drama to another level. They don’t care about their teammates because their only concern is themselves. Check out the most extreme examples of this type of athlete below.

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Odell Beckham Jr.

There was a time when Beckham was arguably on his way to becoming the NFL’s biggest star. However, it’s safe to say that he never reached his full potential despite winning a Super Bowl ring with the L.A. Rams. The receiver had a great start to his career with the New York Giants but also showed he’s a massive diva.

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He made the mistake of signing a big contract with the Cleveland Browns. Beckham is one of those players who always make everything about themselves. Perhaps surprisingly, he still maintains more Instagram followers than any other NFL player (via Sports Illustrated).

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Fox News

Kyrie Irving

Irving is probably the least self-aware athlete on this list. He’s a brilliant basketball player but he brings a lot of baggage everywhere. Things stabilized for him when he moved to Dallas. But he wreaked havoc during the pandemic in Brooklyn.

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He also quit the Celtics and burnt bridges with the franchise in the worst way possible. Irving received a suspension for an anti-semitic post in 2022. There’s no denying his talent on the court but is it worth it (via Forbes)?

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Fox News

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers is one of the greatest quarterbacks of his generation. A certain amount of selfishness is expected from elite players. But in recent years, Rodgers brought it to a new level and joined the category of athletes who make everything about themselves.

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The way he left the Packers changed the franchise’s perception of him. Their fans loved him but he burnt those bridges. Rodgers also showed that he’s a strange duck with his nonstop conspiracy theories (via Bleacher Report).

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Tennis World

Nick Kyrgios

Kyrgios is another of the world’s most self-centered athletes. There’s no denying the Australian’s talents but he doesn’t live up to them. He acts like a superstar but doesn’t have the wins to back it up. Tennis fans know that he loves tantrums for no reason.

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Sky Sports

Many of them slammed his reaction in 2022 after Ash Barty won the prestigious Newcombe Medal. Kyrgios showed a lack of class as he disrespected her achievement. Kyrgios is a brilliant player but not a classy human being. He wants the world to love him but doesn’t make it easy (via Sportskeeda).

Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray

Former Cardinal Patrick Peterson once said that Murray only cares about one person in the world: himself. The Cardinals quarterback is one of the most polarizing players in the NFL right now. Some people think that analysts vastly overrated him (via UPI).

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It doesn’t help that he signed a massive contract and then suffered a serious injury. This was fuel for his critics because they could say that he wasn’t earning pay. But there’s no denying that his attitude rubs many the wrong way, making them believe he’s one of those athletes who make everything about themselves.

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Conor McGregor

There might not be a more selfish athlete in the world than McGregor. The Irishman became the UFC’s first and only true superstar as he transcended the sport. He entered a new stratosphere after boxing Floyd Mayweather and starting his whiskey company (via MMA Junkie).

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However, he loves drama and takes every opportunity to make headlines. His list of criminal charges is probably longer than this article. Some athletes make everything about themselves but McGregor takes this to another level. Many fans think that he became a parody of himself.

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Ring Magazine

Claressa Shields

There’s no denying Shields is one of the greatest female boxers ever. The two-time Olympic gold medallist is a pioneer and one of the best combat sports athletes of her generation. Nonetheless, it’s incredibly difficult to like her because her arrogance tarnishes everything she says.

The Hill

Shields always brashly says that she’s the greatest of all time. It’s worth noting that the likes of Cecilia Braekhus and Katie Taylor never speak this way despite having equal or great claims to fame. Shields always makes it about her but doesn’t do so in the right way (via Give Me Sport).

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Deion Sanders

Coach ‘Prime’ remains one of the most high-profile figures in U.S. sports. The Colorado Buffaloes head coach ensures that everyone talks about him. He is unashamedly one of the most visible figures in college sports.

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However, some people think that he’s all about his brand and doesn’t care about his team. They also believe that the media overhypes his coaching abilities. Sanders is a polarizing figure and one of those people who make everything about themselves (via Fox News).

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Fox News

Jalen Hurts

Hurts earned the respect of the NFL when he led the Eagles to a Super Bowl appearance in 2023. His team suffered a narrow defeat but he played well. The following season they started brilliantly but suffered a horrific meltdown as they lost six of their last seven games.

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CBS Sports

Then the story emerged that Hurts clashed with O.C. Brian Johnson and changed many plays in the huddle. The quarterback undermined the coach’s authority and the team stumbled badly. Some athletes make everything about themselves but there’s no excuse if they don’t win (via Sportskeeda).

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New York Times

Kylian Mbappe

Few athletes have as much power as Mbappe does. The French international is one of the world’s best soccer players. But he’s one of those stars who make everything about themselves. Sometimes it’s through his brilliance like when he scored a hat trick in the World Cup Final.

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However, Mbappe also brings drama and has split his locker room on multiple occasions. Some teammates hate him because they think he’s selfish. Meanwhile, he constantly creates contract drama and this makes it harder to respect him (via Essentially Sports).

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Sporting News

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy is a former World No. 1 golfer and one of the most recognizable faces in the sport. The Irish star won plaudits for speaking out against the upstart Saudi-backed LIV Tour. However, one of his former Ryder Cup teammates said that McIlroy is a selfish liar.

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Sky Sports

The anonymous source said: “I’m so sick of hearing about how he’s some hero who is saving golf. He’s bought and paid for like everybody else, it’s just that his money is coming from the other side (via Essentially Sports). McIlroy also broke an engagement because he wanted to focus on his sports career.

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Sports Illustrated

James Harden

On paper, Harden is one of basketball’s most talented players. But the former MVP is also a nightmare for GMs to deal with. He forced his way out of Houston because he wanted to win a ring. This came after he chased Chris Paul out of the franchise and made the Rockets play his way.

NBC Sports

He had a short stay in Brooklyn after he joined their so-called super team. That didn’t end well so he moved to Philadelphia. Then he had a massive disagreement with management and demanded another move. Now he’s in L.A. with the Clippers, so good luck to them (via Basketball Network).

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Sky Sports

Tyson Fury

Most experts agree that Fury is the best heavyweight boxer of his era. However, he’s also one of the most polarizing stars ever. He failed drug tests while espousing controversial views about women and the LGBTQ+ community. In recent years, he ducked fights against the best opponents.

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Sky Sports

Fury lost fans when he pretended that Oleksander Usyk didn’t want to fight him. This was a lie and it showed the British boxer at his worst. Many people accused him of being selfish and trying to hang onto his titles. Selfishness is a part of the job but this was very annoying (via The Mirror).

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Emma Raducanu

This tennis star rose to prominence when she shocked the world by winning the U.S. Open in 2021. It was a stunning and unexpected victory as she instantly achieved fame. However, it’s been a rocky journey since then but she sowed the seeds of her downfall.

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Sky Sports

Raducanu hires and fires coaches as if they’re going out of fashion. She dumped Andrew Richardson after her U.S. Open victory and went through a bevy of them. Many critics believe that she made a mistake by not choosing one and establishing a relationship with them (via Sky Sports).

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Sky Sports

Antonio Brown

Let’s caveat this by stating that Brown says he has CTE. Nonetheless, he has a reputation for being one of the most ludicrous athletes in the world. The former receiver is a terrible teammate and infamously stormed off the field.

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The New Yorker

Meanwhile, his list of misdemeanors is a sight to behold. From farting on a doctor to throwing rocks at moving vans, Brown is a wild man. He is notoriously a bad teammate and also has multiple sexual assault charges behind him. Brown is a very challenging character for coaches to deal with (via Complex).

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Sky Sports

Lebron James

James is arguably the greatest NBA player ever but he doesn’t have universal adoration like Michael Jordan. The Lakers star began his career in Cleveland but he quit the franchise in dramatic circumstances. James made ‘The Decision’ and joined the Miami Heat in pursuit of rings.

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CBS Sports

This decision didn’t go down well in his hometown and fans lit his shirt on fire. Eventually, James returned and won that elusive title with the Cavs. However, he always had a reputation for selfishness but that’s part of being one of the biggest superstars on the planet (via Essentially Sports).

Hamilton Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton

Race car drivers have an uneasy relationship with their teammates. In essence, it’s an individual sport but every Formula 1 team has two drivers on the track. Hamilton proved how this can get messy when he refused to back down for his fellow Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

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CBS Sports

Rosberg was racing to be the champion but Hamilton still had an outside chance. He refused to give his German teammate the points he needed and infuriated Mercedes in the process. In the end, Rosberg did enough to claim the championship but Hamilton didn’t help (via The Mirror).

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beIN Sports

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic is the best tennis player alive but he’s a polarizing human being. There’s a reason why he has never captured the same adoration as Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. The Serbian star earned appreciation and respect but people don’t love him the same way.

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NBC Sports

That’s because he’s one of those players who wants to make everything about them. Australia infamously denied him entry into their country because he wouldn’t get a vaccine. Meanwhile, he spreads conspiracy theories and is generally a strange character off the court (via Euro News).

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Russell Westbrook

Westbrook is a legend away from the court. He does amazing charity work but this doesn’t change the fact that he’s one of basketball’s greediest players. Some athletes make it all about themselves by trying to take the glory. Westbrook is guilty of this on many occasions.

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L.A. Times

He chases triple-doubles like a dog chases cats. In 2019, he attracted significant criticism because his accuracy went out of the window. Westbrook has a big rivalry with Lebron James but the reality is that he’s not in the same conversation as the latter (via Fadeaway World).

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Jon Jones

Nobody can blame fighters who make everything about themselves. However, Jones took it to a new level after he won the heavyweight title. He underwent surgery while, Tom Aspinall won the interim heavyweight crown (via TalkSport).

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But Jones refused to fight Aspinall and unify the belts. He wanted a match against former champion Stipe Miocic. Miocic is a 41-year-old who hasn’t fought for over two years. It’s safe to say Jones wants the easiest fight before he retired instead of facing the hungry young wolf.

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Jalen Ramsey

Legendary NFL Coach Tom Coughlin shredded Ramsey in 2019. The cornerback earned a reputation for being one of the league’s greediest players after faking injuries. Now he plays for Miami. But it’s an incident that many fans don’t believe.

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Coughlin said: “Success in the NFL demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of the team. The hard work that many try to avoid is the major building block for the development of an outstanding football team (via Jacksonville).”

Tom Brady

Tom Brady

Brady technically retired but who knows? Some people consider him the ultimate winner because he led his teams to an unprecedented seven Super Bowl victories. However, he also earned his place on this list of players who made everything about themselves.

Tom Brady

The legendary quarterback cheated his way to victory with multiple scandals. Meanwhile, he divorced his wife because she wanted him to hang up his cleats and stop playing football. Brady does what he wants to do and he’s had a lot of success (via AJC).

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Sky Sports

Ben Simmons

It’s fair to say that Philadelphia won’t be welcoming Simmons back to their city anytime soon. The Australian NBA star left the Sixers after one of the most bitter splits ever. Simmons sat out for an entire season as he engaged in a civil war with his team. But he also lost the respect of teammates including MVP Joel Embiid.

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CBS Sports

His fellow Philly players believed that he didn’t care about the team and only cared about himself. In the end, Simmons got the move he wanted as he joined the Nets in 2022. However, he damaged his reputation and now fans think he’s one of the most selfish players in basketball (via NY Daily News).

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Daily Post Nigeria

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo is one of the most famous athletes on the planet. But he also has a reputation for being incredibly self-centered. This is true of every elite sport star but the Portuguese icon takes it to another level. Ronaldo infamously departed Manchester United under a cloud because he wanted the team to play his way.

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He also reacted badly to many of his teammates when they scored goals and stole his thunder. Ronaldo is the king of athletes who make everything about themselves. Now he’s playing in Saudi Arabia where he pretends life is good in exchange for being a cultural ambassador (via Sky Sports).

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Travis Kelce

Many people think Kelce is one of the most selfish athletes on the planet. Yes, he’s enjoyed massive team success with the Kansas City Chiefs as he won three Super Bowl rings. But the tight end also loves making the headlines because of his relationship with Taylor Swift.

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Furthermore, he received harsh criticism after he appeared to shove Kansas Head Coach Andy Reid during Super Bowl LVIII. This was a terrible look as Kelce crossed a line. Some fans said that Reid should have benched the star and that fame had gone to his head (via iHeart).