Top 10 NBA Players With Bad Tempers

Basketball is a very physical sport and demands a strong aptitude from the players if they think of dominating their opponents. The NBA is no exception to this nature of the game and remains one of the most physical leagues in the world. Hence, it is very common in the league for the players to lose their cool and start a conflict with opponents or even officials.

However, some players have taken that to a whole other level and leveraged these as their weapons in the game to get other players ejected. Today we will be looking at the top 10 NBA players with bad tempers who have been troublemakers on the court.

#10. Joakim Noah

The former Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah was one of the most aggressive players that have played in the NBA. He played the part of a solid defensive anchor for his teams and his great passion and fiery personality sometimes prompted display of anger on court.

 NBA Players With Bad Tempers
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Over his whole NBA career, Noah received a lot of technical fouls and ejections because of him losing his temper. He holds the record for most ejections in a single season by a Chicago Bulls player. He even once flipped out on a fan after being ejected in a game against the Miami Heat in 2013. Unfortunately for the player, the fan captured Noah’s reaction and it became a laughable meme.

#9. Joel Embiid

The ace of the Philadelphia 76ers, Joel Embiid is a dominant force on the court once he gets going. There are very few in the NBA that can stop him if he is allowed to catch his rhythm. His passion for the fans fuels his dominant game and sometimes it backfires for him.

Embiid sometimes gets caught up in the heat of the moment or gives into his emotions which results in displays of great anger and sometimes even funny reactions. He is not afraid to challenge the referees on their decisions and has received a lot of technical fouls for doing so.

#8. Russell Westbrook

Mr. Triple-Double, Russell Westbrook has been one of the fastest players playing in the NBA. His form has been going up and down for the past few seasons, but he has been doing fine ever since he signed with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Westbrook has a great passion for the game alongside his fiery competitive spirit that in some cases takes hold of him.

 NBA Players With Bad Tempers
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Brodie is known to do some intense dunks as a way to let out his anger when he gets riled up about something on the court. Russ also has a history of technical fouls that he received for arguing with referees. He is often involved in heated confrontations on the court and once shoved Denis Schroder really hard showing the competitive fire inside him.

#7. DeMarcus Cousins

Popularly known as the “Boogie” DeMarcus Cousins has a reputation as a bold and aggressive player who does not fear anything on the court. Whether it be protesting against the officiating or physical altercations on the court, Cousins is always there as the eye of the storm.

He holds the record for the most ejections in a single season in the entire NBA and has collected a lot of technical fouls in his whole career. Most of them came from protesting and arguing with the official in charge of the match.

DeMarcus Cousins has also had physical altercations with players such as Draymond Green and Montrezl Harrell on multiple occasions. He can often be seen throwing a fit on the court when he gets injured or things don’t go his way.

#6. Kevin Garnett

NBA legend Kevin Garnett has etched his name as one of the best players to have played the game. He is a legend for the Boston Celtics and had one of the longest careers in NBA history. Garnett’s defensive capabilities were one of the best in his time and he could shut any player down in a match.

 NBA Players With Bad Tempers
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But his great defensive prowess also came with his fiery passion for the game and extremely competitive nature. He was quite the trash-talker and liked to get under people’s skin. However, he also lost his cool on many occasions and ended up getting penalized for it. He has received a staggering number of technical fouls in his career and got in the faces of referees which mostly led to ejections.

#5. Charles Oakley

Charles Oakley in every sense of the game is a true legend of the NBA and surely one of the high-profile NBA players with a bad temper. Not only he was a tough shell to crack for the opposition but proved to be a defensive force, and he had the same intimidating dominance when he attacked.

 NBA Players With Bad Tempers
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His burning passion for the game was far superior to most of the players in his time and often led to anger outbursts on the court. The league was much more physical in his time and having a bit of extra aggression was not a bad thing.

Oakley often let the emotions take over when he argued with referees and even got into fights which has amounted to a lot of career technical fouls. Oakley has not confined his anger only to the court, he has often expressed his anger in interviews and across social media as well.

#4. Gary Payton

Gary Payton is remembered as a multifaceted figure in the world of basketball. He was a dominant figure in his playing days with an exceptional defensive capability. He remains the only point guard in the history of the NBA to be named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year.

 NBA Players With Bad Tempers
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Payton was great at the skill of getting under other people’s skin. He used to trash-talk a lot and force other players to get angry and lose their composure. This made opponents make mistakes which became an opportunity for his team.

Payton himself was very hotheaded and often engaged with the referees in arguments and clashes that sometimes were not necessary. This made him gain a very bad reputation among the officials. He received a lot of technical fouls in his entire career but did not face a lot of ejections.

#3. Draymond Green

The defensive pillar of the Golden State Warriors, Draymond Green is a player with a very short temper. Rarely does a Warriors’ game go by without Green getting into any trouble. He gets worked up really quickly and has a habit of protesting against the referees or letting his emotions get the best of him in a game.

He has a notorious image of stacking up technical fouls and holds the record for the most technical fouls received by a player in a playoffs campaign. He has had physical altercations with many players – the most famous of those being against LeBron James, especially in the 2016 NBA Finals.

#2. Dennis Rodman

The infamous “Worm” of the NBA was an unstoppable force in his time with the Chicago Bulls. But even before his Bulls days, Rodman was quite the trouble for other teams. He was an eccentric fellow who butted heads with anyone who came in his way.

Rodman had one of the most persistent spirits in the NBA. Once he decided to shut down a player, he would make sure to not let them have their way on the court.

 NBA Players With Bad Tempers
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Rodman had a big mouth that trash-talked a lot and he did not let anyone slip by, especially the referees. He argued with them every opportunity he got and even got into the face of other players causing fights to start on the court.

He holds the record for the most technical fouls acquired by a player in a single season. He had a very volatile personality and even got into fistfights with many players. Rodman once headbutted referee Ted Bernhardt which made him gain a notorious image in the league.

#1. Rasheed Wallace

Rasheed Wallace was an interesting figure in the NBA. His career can be summarized as a combination of exceptional talent and intense rage. He was truly an unforgettable player because of his antics on the court. Wallace was a defensive juggernaut and played key roles in the champion runs of his two teams (Detroit Pistons and Portland Trail Blazers).

 NBA Players With Bad Tempers
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However, despite his great talent as a defender he allowed his anger to get the best of him. He argued with the officials a lot which mostly led to him getting a technical foul or getting ejected from the game.

Wallace was a player to watch when he got angry. His animated gestures on the court drew a lot of attention and were funny sometimes. During his career, he became quite successful thanks to his ability to channel his anger into productive energy on the court. He was the best option to stop clutch players from turning the game. Sheed wasn’t afraid to face anyone and his control over his anger made him the defensive legend he is.

Who else would you like us to add on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Avi Shravan

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Avi Shravan is an anime, games and sports enthusiast who likes NBA and Soccer. He is an avid reader who loves to write as well. You can find him reading books in a cafe or playing games if he is not watching his favourite team play. You can contact him on [email protected]


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