In this day and age, NBA players are known for much more than their moves on the hardwood every other night. Frankly put, if you don’t have insane Twitter handles, press conference zingers, or your own self-promoting apparel line, then the average fan either does not know who you are or does not care who you are. To be a star in this league, you almost have to put in as much work off the court as you do on the court. After all, you don’t see many kids these days rocking jerseys of the quiet-but-efficient players, to the likes of Mike Conley or Kyle Lowry. More often than not, its players like Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Russell Westbrook that are sported by the youth of America and youngsters all over the world. To be a star, it is about establishing your brand, and sometimes that takes saying some crazy things or admitting to something extremely embarrassing to get yourself into the national spotlight.
In light of this conversation, it should be loads of fun to think back to the times when NBA superstars said something off the deep end that they should have kept to themselves. Let us divulge into the 15 craziest confessions from NBA stars that will change how you see them forever.
- Nick Young Confessed To Cheating On His Fiancé
Arguably the most entertaining and exciting story to come out of the Los Angeles Lakers 2016 season (other than the obvious farewell tour for Kobe Bryant) was captured on D’Angelo Russell’s cell phone. Hotshot teammate Nick “Swaggy P” Young and Russell were engaged in a harmless prank war, until Russell took things to a whole different level.
Apparently, Russell recorded a conversation with Young in the locker room in which Young admitted to cheating on his then fiancé, Iggy Azalea. The video went viral, the team chemistry was forever thrown off, and Young eventually went on to lose the girl. To make matters worse, Russell was immediately placed in the doghouse by his teammates. Reports were that he was shunned by everyone in the locker room. Russell was rumored to be left alone for meals, and veterans would stand up and walk away when he sat by them.
The ironic part of this odd story is that the player who caught most of the backlash was Russell. Sure, he proved himself to be a dishonest snitch, but it is borderline comical how Swaggy P made off like a bandit and hardly had his reputation touched for cheating on his fiancé. To this day, NBA fans do not think of Young as a cheating liar, but they will always remember Russell for that unexplainable cell phone blunder.
- Carmelo Anthony Had No Interest In Joining The Blazers Because Of Family
The most recent offseason in the NBA featured more superstars swapping jerseys than ever before. This was the summer of Gordon Hayward, Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Paul Millsap, and Jimmy Butler, to name a few.
But reining supreme was the saga of Carmelo Anthony. Melo was linked to trade talks for what seemed like an eternity, ever since Phil Jackson did all in his power to run the aging superstar out of town. But Melo possessed all of the cards, with the ever-coveted no-trade clause that only he and two other NBA players possess. Things got so hairy in New York, that even Melo decided it was time to go. But it had to be to the right place. Among the teams in the running were the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, and the surprising dark horse Oklahoma City Thunder.
One team that was brought up multiple times but never seriously considered was the Portland Trail Blazers. Rumor had it that Melo expressed some interest in joining the West coast team, but he eventually declined Portland as a final destination due to some familial restrictions. Melo decided that he could not put his son through a move that large, uprooting his comfortable home in New York to go across the country. Melo was also going through a rough patch with his wife, Lala, and knew that such a distance would not bode well for their relationship. Once he allowed the Oklahoma City trade to be finalized, Melo had ultimately chosen family over his career.
- Kyrie Irving Believes That The Earth Is Flat
Kyrie Irving is a very controversial player for many reasons. Say what you will about his loyalty to LeBron or his sheer stupidity for leaving a perennial championship team, nothing comes close to being as downright weird as his outlandish theory of the earth.
The former Duke University standout is the most outspoken advocate for the earth being flat. Yes, you read that correctly – arguably the best point guard in the league believes that this planet we call home is as flat as the screen you are reading this on right now.
As ludicrous as this belief may be, it appears he may not be the only one who is on board. Shaquille O’Neal has been linked to flat earth talks, and Irving’s newfound teammate Jaylen Brown has also admitted to being open to the idea.
I think these guys need to head back to fifth grade science class.
- Derrick Rose Believed He Could Build His Own Super Team
You would have to go back to the 2010-2011 season to find a time when Derrick Rose was anything more than relevant in the NBA. But the former superstar at that time had big plans for his hometown Chicago Bulls that, if they had come to fruition, would have changed the game for many years to come.
When he was on top of the basketball world, D-Rose had dreams of forming his very own super team. He put together a video to recruit LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade in 2010. Unfortunately for Rose, the Chicago brass never say eye-to-eye with his plan and neglected to pursue their star player’s wishes.
Basketball history instead favored the Miami Heat in this case, and we all know how that went. LeBron took his talents to South Beach, D-Wade and Bosh also followed suit, and the Heat formed a super team of their own – without Rose. Ever since then, Rose’s career has trended downward.
- Kevin Durant Cried For A Week After Losing The Finals
Kevin Durant is universally regarded as the next best thing to LeBron James when it comes to basketball royalty. But after the 2012 NBA Finals, in which the two kings from the East and the West squared off, KD did not deal well with the loss.
The truth of the matter is, Durant really really wanted to win a championship in Oklahoma City. The team was loaded with the likes of Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Serge Ibaka at that time. But their youthfulness ultimately proved to be their downfall against the experienced Miami Heat, and it took a toll on Durant. He admitted to crying for a full week after the series ended woefully for him and the Thunder.
Admittedly, some of that team pride had to have worn off over the years, because Durant eventually fled from Oklahoma City in the 2016 offseason and opted to chase that ever-elusive ring with a much more likely suitor: the Golden State Warriors. From the looks of it in hindsight, Durant did not want to win the title for Oklahoma City nearly as much as he did for himself.
- Michael Jordan Put Too Much Pressure on Kwame Brown
When the great Michael Jordan was acting president of the Washington Wizards, he was a part of the team of men that selected Kwame Brown with the first overall pick. The move was storied to be a PR play to kick-start the team’s rebuilding process by selecting the first ever high school standout player with the number one overall pick.
But when the confetti settled after the draft and the going got tough for Brown, MJ’s seriousness and intensity only made things difficult for the prized prospect. Brown had a hard time adjusting to life in the NBA and went on to be regarded as one of the biggest busts in the history of the game. Place the blame wherever you will, perhaps on his simple inability to translate his game to the NBA level, but surely MJ’s ever-looming presence could not have helped the youngster. The tantalizing abuse, the verbal onslaught, and constant critiques that came with MJ proved to be too much for Brown to handle. This here was a case of a world-class talent ruining the potential of a potential world-class talent.
- Alonzo Mourning Was “Enhancing Performance” To Get Back On The Court
At the turn of the 21st century, Alonzo Mourning represented the small class of best big men in the game. Truth be told, he was not all that big, but he was capable of perpetually playing bigger than those opponents who were much taller and worlds stronger than him. However, he succumbed to focal glomerulosclerosis in the summer of 2000 after just returning from the Olympics and defending a First Team All-NBA honor.
Mourning had high hopes of achieving the 2001 NBA Championship with the Miami Heat that season. But to get back on the court, he needed a little extra milk in his cereal, if you will. He had to take it illegal means in order to raise his red blood cell count, to which the NBA turned a blind-eye. After his shady power-up move, Mourning saw the court again that March. But to this day, he is looked upon with scorn by players who had their careers cut short due to similar injuries.
- Isaiah Thomas Refuses To Speak To Danny Ainge Ever Again
When the Boston Celtics traded the face of their franchise in Isaiah Thomas this past summer, Thomas was initially surprised, then heartbroken, then over it, then angry.
Thomas penned a heartfelt note to the city of Boston in the Player’s Tribune, speaking his praises of the most loyal fan base in the NBA and his hopes that the Celtics gained some more followers after he put on an inspiring performance all season long and especially in the postseason. But weeks later, Thomas also admitted to holding a grudge against team president Danny Ainge. IT will always love the Celtics for what they did for him, and he will always love his teammates there and his coach Brad Stevens, but in a side comment admitted to never wanting to speak with Ainge again. I guess that is why they call this a business more than just a game.
- Reggie Jackson Never Listens To The Media
Reggie Jackson looked like a flash in the pan in his lone noteworthy season with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2013-2014. After not being particularly appreciated by his teammates and the organization, he got a fresh start with the Detroit Pistons the following season and made the most of it. Almost overnight, he became the unquestioned leader of the team on the ups. You would think Jackson would be happy, but after returning from an injury in his second season in Detroit, he wanted nothing to do with criticism from the media (which was undeservedly coming in droves at that time).
By all means, Jackson was not exactly lighting it up after returning to the court in the same way that he had done the season before. He just needed some time to get back into the rhythm of the game with his teammates. But when the media noise got to be too much, Jackson decided to take a no-media approach, choosing to forego reading newspapers, websites, social media, and videos about the Pistons. He credits this approach to the uptake in his play as of late, and has no plans to go back to paying any attention to the media.
- DeMarre Carroll Has Not Been The Same Since His Concussion
In this day and age, the dreaded word “concussion” is usually associated with football players. But we cannot forget that basketball is also a contact sport, and though head-to-head collisions are far less frequent, basketball players are still at risk.
Ask DeMarre Carroll, who rose to prominence for his role with the Atlanta Hawks’ remarkable 60-win season recently. His performance with that team landed him a monster contract with the Toronto Raptors, who were on the verge of becoming a great team. After two seasons up north, Carroll’s prominence fizzled out and he was back to being a forgotten name.
However, when it finally seemed like he was on the right path to coming back and actually leaving an impact on his team, he was inadvertently kicked in his head by his own teammate. As a result, he took on a nagging concussion and grabbed a stiff neck to go along with it. Since then, he has admitted that the injury has significantly impacted his ability to play to his fullest potential. The Raptors traded Carroll to the Brooklyn Nets this past offseason, so we will see if Carroll can put the concussion demon behind him and move on.
- Lonzo Ball (And Yes, His Father) Wanted To Be A Laker
It has been odd how the rookie sensation out of UCLA, Lonzo Ball, has become a national name to be recognized. But you cannot credit him alone for this; the credit should really go to his father, LaVar.
Putting all the radio talk shows and Big Baller Brand aside, LaVar made it seem like nothing short of fact that Lonzo would be suiting up for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2017-2018 season. It was clear from the get-go where LaVar’s NBA allegiance sat, but as for Lonzo, the team of choice was not as openly clear. It was a safe bet that he would want to play for the Lakers, and as the NBA draft drew closer, it seemed that Lonzo to the Lakers was the only way things were going to pan out.
Lonzo worked out for only one teams before the draft: the Lakers. Whether that decision was entirely his own, or whether his father was a driving force behind it, remains to be known. But all we know now is that Lonzo got his wish, was selected second overall by his hometown team, and is on a mission to pick up Rookie of the year honors and make the Lakers a relevant force to be reckoned with like old times.
- Larry Sanders Admits to Battling Depression Over His Career
Larry Sanders is probably not a name you are used to hearing in discussions regarding NBA stars. That is because he never really made it to the pinnacle of success that some of his peers have. The former Milwaukee Bucks center was a rising star for five seasons, but surprisingly became a bit disinterested in basketball and promptly retired.
Since then, Sanders has been in and out of the news as a potential big signing for teams during the summer and in the regular season. On paper, he looks like a shoe-in as a solid addition to any team in need of a big man. In the 2017 season, Sanders took on a limited contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. But, he was waved after a mere five games and has not seen NBA action since then.
What is to blame for this seemingly unexplainable lack of production? Sanders admits that he struggles with depression and has been fighting it for quite some time. It is a sad story for a player with such talent and poise. Let us hope that Sanders can harness his inner demons and return to the NBA looking like his former self.
- O.J. Mayo Admits That He Has Not Reached His Fullest Potential
The former shooting guard for the USC Trojans was selected third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2008 NBA draft. If you are a player drafted that high, you are expected to lead the team in statistics, in the locker room, and away from the court as well.
Mayo missed the shot in all three of these categories.
In his rookie season, all signs pointed upward for the young star. But since then, his career has been on a downward spiral and he has never replicated anywhere near the numbers that he did in his rookie campaign. He wound up removed from the league on a two-year suspension because of violating the substance abuse policy.
When asked about his shortcomings, Mayo has been very candid. He admitted that he let his coaches and teammates down, especially head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks, Jason Kidd. He even admitted his belief that he was making too much money for the way that he played, which we are not used to hearing from NBA players in today’s game. Whether or not he returns to the court as a productive player remains to be seen, but one thing for sure is that Mayo never reached his potential as a top draft prospect.
- Darko Milicic Is Content With Being Widely Recognized As A Bust
Darko Milicic is regarded by many NBA fans as one of the biggest draft busts of all time. He was chosen second overall in the most stacked draft class in recent memory, directly after LeBron James and before names like Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh.
To be fair, Milicic was not given much of a fighting chance with the Detroit Pistons and was not really given many pieces around him to guide him towards being a useful and dominant NBA player. However, he deserves at least a fair chunk of the blame for fizzling out, due to his short fuse that would manifest itself on the court on occasion or would manifest itself as a hole in his wall at home, caused by his own punching fist.
Ultimately, the pressure of the NBA proved to be too much for him, and he admitted that the short-lived fame went to his head big time. But, Milicic recognizes that only he is to blame for his failed career, and he has found peace living in Serbia with his family. No more punching holes in the wall for this big fella.
- Kobe Bryant Had Every Intention Of Becoming A Laker
If you thought Lonzo Ball’s backdoor methods of discouraging any team other than the Los Angeles Lakers from drafting him was petty, wait until you hear Kobe Bryant’s methods. Bryant was downright villainous in manipulating the system.
In the 1996 NBA draft, the Lakers possessed the 24th overall pick, which they knew would be too low to acquire the high school phenomenon Bryant. The two sides had mutual interest, and got to work to make it happen. Los Angeles struck a deal with the New Orleans Hornets that if Bryant was still on the board at the 13th pick, L.A. would send Vlade Divac to NOLA in exchange for the right to draft Bryant. At that point, it was up to Bryant to remain in the draft that long.
Like anything Bryant has ever done in his career, he set out to accomplish this task with 100% effort. When the Toronto Raptors were on the clock with the second pick and had interest in drafting Bryant, his father told the team that his son had no desire to play ball in Canada. Bryant had the foresight to decline to work out for the Milwaukee Bucks, who sat pretty with the fourth pick. The Nets, who owned the eighth pick, also were very interested in Bryant. But Bryant called them personally to let them know that he did not want to play for them. Can you believe that?
As the draft went on, the teams before the 13th pick opted for size over skill, and Bryant proved successful in remaining available for the Hornets to select him and trade him to the Lakers. The rest, well, I think you know the rest.