My Top 5 Most Hated Professional Athletes

As a New York sports fan, the list could be endless. I narrow it down to the top 5 athletes I despise.

5. Martin Brodeur

As a career New Jersey Devil, Martin Brodeur has been routinely beating the Rangers since I was born (1991). He touts a career record of 48-30 against the Blue Shirts, including 9 Martin Brodeurshutouts. And it’s not just his spectacular play that has gotten him onto this list. It’s the fact that every time the Rangers seem to have a better team than the Devils, New Jersey finds a way to knock them off. Just two seasons ago, the Rangers looked prime for a chance to win the Stanley Cup, only to be halted by the Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Although I think he’s overrated for his career (he’s had great defense and overall teams), Brodeur has had one hell of a run. He will easily go down as one of the best goaltenders to ever play the game, and since he plays for the Rangers chief rival, he makes the list.*

*Other reasons Brodeur makes the list: A.) Almost everyone I know is a Devils fan. This should surely piss them off. B.) I figured I’d throw a hockey player onto the list, even though I really could care less about hockey.

4. John Rocker

John Rocker

Courtesy of

I considered putting John Rocker higher on the list, but he really doesn’t even deserve that much respect.  He wasn’t even a very good player, and appeared only briefly in the World Series against the Yankees. However, his comments towards New Yorkers in general were offensive, and for that, he makes my list. Finally, a place where Yankee and Met fans can agree! John Rocker; the definition of a sore loser:*

“It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you’re riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing… The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”

*Per Bleacher Report: “He was hated so much that, when he returned to New York to play the Mets on June 29, 2000, there were over 700 police officers, a beer limit was imposed, a special protective cover was placed over the Braves’ bullpen, and a videotaped apology from Rocker appeared before the game.”

3. Alonzo Mourning

My earliest memories as a sports fan mostly revolve around the late 90’s Knicks, with John Starks, Larry Johnson, Allan Houston* and Patrick Ewing. I always remember them playing the Heat and Pacers, and Alonzo Mourning (Mashburn and Hardaway deserve mentions, too) being an absolute killer. Mourning vs. Ewing was always great because of the Georgetown connection, but as a New York fan, I loathed Mourning. He put up some great battles, especially in the ’99 and ’00 playoff series, both of which were won by the Knicks, fortunately. Both times the Heat were the higher seeded team, too. In those playoff years, he averaged 22 PPG, 9 RPG, and 3 BPG. He was a beast, but just not good enough to get by Ewing and the Knicks.

This moment, here, pretty much cemented my hatred for Alonzo Mourning and my love for Jeff Van Gundy:

*Oh, and I remember going absolutely crazy when this happened…I still get chills watching this.

2. Manny Ramirez/David Ortiz

Ok, I know what you’re thinking. These are two players, and that brings my list up to six. Well, no. Actually, as a Yankee fan, I think of Manny and Ortiz as the same person, essentially. I hate them both equally. And they killed the Yankees equally as much. Just when we thought we had the Red Sox dead to rights again in 2004, Ortiz and Manny took over the series (two walk off hits for Ortiz), lifting the Sox to their first World Series in 86 years. That was a really, really long off-season as a fan, and inevitably led to my decline of love for baseball.

Ramirez will go down as one of the best right-handed hitters to ever play the game, and David Ortiz is still writing his script, as he seems to get better every year.*

*Steroids, anyone?

1. Reggie Miller

As you can see by my list, basketball was my first love as a kid in the late ‘90’s.* Those Knicks-Heat battles were great, but so were the Knicks-Pacers battles, which I vaguely remember (I was young, give me a break!). Reggie Miller was absolutely hated by ’90’s Knicks fans, and for good reason. This video* essentially sums up why I hate him so much:

The guy was an unbelievable shooter, especially when he needed to make one. Thankfully, he always had trouble beating the Knicks and appeared in just one NBA Finals. I may have went off my rocker (see what I did there?) if I had to see that guy on the podium raising a Championship trophy.

The crazy thing is, I think he’s a pretty good announcer. Don’t worry though, Reggie still makes it to number one on my list.

* I am so glad I grew up in this era of NBA basketball, it was truly the golden era of the league in my opinion. The 1990’s rough style of play, and those Riley/Van Gundy era Knicks teams were fun to watch.

*In this highlight, you can see Miller clearly pushed Greg Anthony, and a foul should have been called. Still angers me (and I am willing to bet Spike Lee) to this day.

About Tyler Michels

Tyler is an NC State alum living in Raleigh, NC. Growing up in Northwest New Jersey, Tyler developed a love for New York sports teams, driving his desire to become a writer. In his free time, Tyler can probably be found on a golf course.

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