Crossing The Line: 10 Most Outrageous Verbal Attacks In Sports History

11.05.10 6 years ago • 48 Comments

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Cancer isn’t funny.

But Charlie Villanueva getting his pube-less panties in a bunch over Kevin Garnett (allegedly!!) calling him a “cancer patient” and KG’s subsequent “clarification” are both hilarious events. But let’s imagine for a second that Garnett actually said those horrible things about Charlie. It still might not rank up there with these crazy verbal attacks from the world of sports.

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Attacker — Isiah Thomas

Victim — Larry Bird

Offense — Isiah Thomas, former coach of the New York Knicks, also played basketball a couple of decades ago. During his basketball days, he and his Pistons were the punching bag of choice for Larry Bird and his Celtics. After the Celts eliminated Thomas and his Bad Boys from the 1987 playoffs, the point guard went all reverse racist-y on us and said that Larry Bird was “meh” and only considered great because he’s white. We disagree: he’s great because he stole a horrible inbounds pass during the playoffs, homie. Don’t worry, though. Bird got his revenge later when he took over the Pacers and promptly fired Thomas from his head coaching position.

Attacker — Scottie Pippen

Victim — Karl Malone

Offense — Game 1. NBA Finals. 1997. Karl Malone is at the free throw line with a chance to put the Jazz out of reach. Pippen strolls up to the free throw line and says “Remember, the mailman doesn’t deliver on Sunday.” Malone, the reigning and undeserving MVP, missed his free throws, allowing Jordan to go to the other side of the court and drain a game winner. We’re not sure if it was Pippen’s trash talking or God smiting Malone for being a douche of a dad that actually made him miss. Whatever it was, the clank is legendary.

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Attacker — Bill Romanowski

Victim — Half of the Black Guys in the NFL

Offense — Lots of crazy things happen in NFL huddles. Crotches get grabbed. Eyes get gouged. And fists end up in places that even Roger Goodell can’t legislate. But if you’re in a huddle with the OG Romo, chances are you would have heard a few N-bombs. While peddling his ‘roids to the rest of the NFL, Romanowski decided he’d reel in the white customers by saying that steroids gives them a chance to be as good as the “Black players”. Hint: he didn’t use the word “Black”. Bill also once spat in J.J. Stokes’ face during a game. We bet he did that after dropping a couple of N-bombs.

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AttackerMichael Jordan

Victim — Darrick Martin, the city of Vancouver and the Grizzlies as team, franchise and as a mothaf*ckin’ crew

Offense— Look, there are three things you never, under any circumstances, commit. In no order whatsoever, they are: tugging on Superman’s cape, spitting into the wind and verbally provoke Michael Jordan. Darrick Martin, a rookie during the 1995-96 season where the Bulls made history by going 72-10, obviously didn’t get the memo on the last one. The Grizz were actually beating the Bulls well into the fourth quarter when Martin told Chicago’s bench, “I told you we were going to beat you tonight.” What an idiot. Jordan proceeded to score 19 points in the quarter and rub it all in the first year man’s face. Check the 5:45 mark. That’s classic MJ.

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AttackerMike Tyson

Victim — Lennox Lewis, his children and probably Jim Gray

Offense — “Iron” Mike Tyson was once known as the baddest man on the planet – he still might be – but buddy was also one of the craziest. Leave it to Jim Gray to be at the center of another controversial moment in sports history. After putting Lou Savarese out of his misery in June 2000, Tyson praised Allah profusely and proceeded to launch into one of the greatest talking tirades of all time. Some quotes became part of songs, but the money quote came in the form of devouring his former sparring partner’s unborn children. If those aren’t fighting words, then Mike threatening to take everyone’s manhood at the weigh-in certainly was. Unfortunately, Tyson’s bark was far worse than his bite – no pun – because Lewis channeled his inner-Joe Jackson on the night of April 6, 2002.

Attacker — Marge Schott

Victim — Black Athletes

Offense: Bosses say what they want and former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott was the biggest boss of them all. As an old battleaxe of a woman who bore a striking resemblance to her pet St. Bernard, Schott never considered biting her tongue and found herself in a boiling cauldron when she once allegedly referred to two of the team’s superstars – one supposedly being Eric Davis – as her “million-dollar niggers” and also allegedly made disparaging remarks about Jews (she thought Hitler was “good” for Nazi Germany) and Japanese. Her punishment? Six months suspension and a mere drop in the bucket of $25k as a fine.

Attacker — Fuzzy Zoeller

Victim — Tiger Woods

Offense — Oh my, where to begin. Golf’s country club image took a 9 iron to the nuts in 1997 when reporters asked Fuzzy Zoeller what he thought of then rising star Tiger Woods. Referring to Woods as a “boy”? Check. Suggesting that when Tiger wins the Master’s, he shouldn’t serve chicken at the celebratory dinner? Oooh, check. Toss in references to collared greens and watermelon as he walks away from the throng of reporters? Hat trick! There’s a possibility that Fuzzy still explains to visiting friends that he said nothing wrong, making the statement while sitting in a rocking chair and gazing out towards a yard whose perimeter has lawn jockeys. Here’s the visual evidence:

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