DAR Sports: A Look At NBA Feuds

By @TrueGodImmortal

In the history of the NBA, there are spats and issues that arise between players and organizations, players and fans, and coaches and players. The most notable of these issues usually arise between players, driven mostly by the competitive nature of sports in general, and other times driven by personal problems. Today, we wanted to look back at some of the most infamous NBA feuds that have occurred, including the biggest one right now between Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. We won't cover every single feud, but instead we'll talk some of the most noteworthy ones. Let's get into it.

*LeBron James vs Deshawn Stevenson

-This feud was honestly beyond hilarious. LeBron and Deshawn had the strangest feud, which somehow led to a comparison between the two.... of Jay-Z to Soulja Boy. Not sure how that comparison would make sense or be accurate, however, what I can say is that during the Cavs and Wizards playoff battles, Deshawn had a lot to say. He called LeBron overrated, he taunted him, and all LeBron said in return was.... him responding would be like Jay-Z responding to Soulja Boy. Yeah, I mean... I guess. I don't know. To make the feud even weirder, Jay-Z performed a verse dissing Deshawn in a DC club apparently. Which caused Caron Butler, a teammate of Deshawn to leave the club. Very odd feud, but LeBron won the games and playoff series nearly every time, so no denying who won that one (Unless of course we talk about the time Deshawn was with the Mavericks when they beat the Heat in the 2011 Finals).

*Isaiah Thomas vs Dennis Schroder

-For these two guards, it seems the issue stems from pure competition and maybe a bit of trash talk going slightly too far. The Celtics and the Hawks had a very tough rivalry in previous years, but these two guards want to be the best and if you watched the Hawks vs Celtics playoff series, you'll see why this more recent feud is very important and fun to watch, especially with IT becoming a star.

*Charles Barkley vs Charles Oakley

-If we've known anything, it's that Charles Oakley is a real one. His actions in Madison Square Garden recently solidified that. However, Oakley used to torment many players in his heyday, but none of those incidents are funnier than his feud with Charles Barkley. Barkley is seen as a joker and a trash talker, but Oakley is no nonsense and ready to whoop ass at all times. Barkley was slapped (yes slapped) twice by Oakley to my knowledge, once in a preseason game and once in a Players Association meeting. Oakley told Barkley that every time he saw him, he would slap him and to be honest, while that's a bit petty and immature for a man Oakley's age, it is still hilarious to this day because you can tell he meant it. Oakley was critical of Barkley and his role on TNT as well, but Barkley doesn't seem to have a need to continue their feud, which is not surprising.

*Carmelo Anthony vs Kevin Garnett

-The details on this feud are short and sweet. A competitive drive and some slick talk led to a rumored confrontation after KG apparently told Carmelo that his wife LaLa tasted like "Honey Nut Cheerios". Now, I'm not sure about you, but trash talking is fine on the court, but it has its limits. I'm going to call you a number of names, maybe call your game weak, or try to distract you, but where is it cool to talk about another player's wife, kids, or family on the court? KG had a tendency to trash talk with the best of them and as a result, the rumors say Melo was waiting outside of the team bus for KG to "address" the situation. Though this feud is virtually dead now for obvious reasons, it was still a funny time in the NBA.

*Shaquille O'Neal vs Kobe Bryant

-Probably the greatest or 2nd greatest NBA feud ever. These two players are all time legends and greats. Yet, somehow, they just couldn't keep it together or get along. Their personal issues persisted throughout their time together, and both were very critical of the other for their own reasons, but somehow through it all, this duo won three straight championships and made 4 NBA Finals together. However, it is believed that their issues cost them another title together and perhaps another Finals trip or two. The clashing of the personalities would make many headlines over the years and continue even years after they were teammates.

*Kobe Bryant vs Smush Parker

-This was a pretty simple feud that stemmed from Smush not being an effective teammate. Kobe was busting his ass to carry the Lakers and Smush was.... well, Smush was Smush. They weren't friends, weren't good teammates and during this period of time, Kobe seemed to be selfish, according to Smush and other people. Kobe had the weight of the Lakers on his shoulders and he was having stellar individual seasons with a lackluster roster around him, and he made sure to call out Smush at every chance he got. The feud is slightly over now, but when mentioned, both men throw shots here and there, even if subliminal.

*Alonzo Mourning vs Larry Johnson

-A strange feud from two former teammates who really never seemed to be close. They have bonded more in recent years over health issues, but at the time, neither man seemed to be fond of the other. Now, when both men were on separate teams in the late 90s with the Heat and Knicks having a small rivalry, things got worse. The funniest moment is the clip of a fistfight between the two attempting to be broken up. Back in those days, the feuds were real and could go beyond just trash talk on the court.

*LeBron James vs Joakim Noah

-Their feud is mostly one sided, at least in essence. Noah has never been a big fan of LeBron and Bron doesn't seem to care either way, but Noah has said some disparaging comments about LeBron over the years, from the days that Bron was in Miami to the days he returned home to Cleveland. Noah infamously ran down the city of Cleveland and subsequently LeBron at the same time, and even told LeBron on the court "fuck you" and "I hate you". LeBron won every battle they had however, so once again, this feud was more one sided than anything. Still funny.

*Michael Jordan vs Isiah Thomas

-The ultimate NBA feud between two ultimate competitors. This feud reached levels of anguish and anger that I never thought possible in the sport, but when you want to be the best, and you don't want to be defeated, sometimes that drive spills over into other regions of the game. The Bulls vs Pistons is an all time rivalry and Jordan vs Isiah is at the center of it. Jordan helped keep Isiah off the Dream Team, and Isiah showed a lack of sportsmanship when the Bulls finally got beyond the Pistons. Isiah and Michael still don't seem to get along after all of these years, making this likely the biggest and longest running feud between legends.

*Karl Malone vs Dennis Rodman

-Their feud is always funny to me for a number of reasons. Both are questionable as human beings, and although I don't care for either, their feud during the physical NBA Finals led to a hilarious tag team main event in WCW. It was a great way to carry the feud into pop culture and make headlines, showing that under the feud, both men were able to do business with each other when it counted most.

*Russell Westbrook vs Kevin Durant

-Is this really a true feud? Some would say yes, but I don't really see it as such. KD made the decision to go to Golden State, a decision that really worked well for him and longevity in his career. Russell is struggling in OKC still, and seems to harbor resentment for KD overall. However, KD and Russ are two entirely different men and players, so it comes as no surprise that they clash now, since it was rumored that they did clash years prior as teammates. The fundamental differences coupled with KD leaving to go to a team that Russ and he had just lost to made the breakup of KD and Russ even tougher. Is KD wrong? Is Russ wrong? Whatever the case, the taunting and trash talk came during the recent game between the Warriors and Thunder, but it hasn't gone much further than that. We will see if time can heal all wounds.

There are many other feuds to speak of, and one would consider Draymond Green vs LeBron James to be one, and many might even feel that Damian Lillard vs Stephen Curry was a feud based on last season, and while there is some validity to that in a way, those feuds haven't hit the level that some of the other highlighted ones have (Draymond and LeBron might be getting there soon). You could classify Magic Johnson vs Isiah Thomas as a bad feud though they were the closest friends at one point and the fallout would come at the very end of both of their careers just about. Karl Malone and David Robinson would have a feud as well, not to mention you could consider Matt Barnes vs Derek Fisher to technically be one as well, though it's more personal than basketball related. In any sport, I think it's likely for people to butt heads so all of these feuds are par for the course. Whether current or old, NBA feuds will never go away and will always be a part of the game.



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