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In 1995, he was dubbed, “Mad Max,” for going into the stands in Portland to chase a hackling fan, which drew a 10-game suspension, his ninth suspension from the league.MORE: Hakeem Olajuwon Q&A: On how he'd fit in the modern game He left the Rockets after the first game of the 1995 playoffs, so upset over losing playing time to Clyde Drexler that he and the team agreed on a mutual break-up.Before that, Brisker earned a reputation as the meanest fellow in basketball, splitting his career between the ABA and NBA.While playing for Pittsburgh, his reputation was so widely known that Salt Lake City hosted a “John Brisker Intimidation Night,” lining the court with five professional boxers, in case, as that night’s program stated, “the husky, sometimes ill-tempered, Pittsburgh Condor forward gets out of line.” MORE: Here's what it takes to get into the Basketball Hall of Fame Charlie Williams, a teammate of Brisker’s, told "Loose Balls" author Terry Pluto, “Say something wrong to the guy—or at least that he thought was wrong—and you had this feeling that John would reach into his bag, take out a gun and shoot you. The guys on other teams were just scared of him, and the guys on John’s team were leery of him.” Thomas did not have as much of a negative reputation among fans as the rest of his Detroit teammates, but his exclusion from the 1992 USA Olympic team remains a monument to his unpopularity among his peers.Among the few the low points of the 1992 Dream Team was Barkley’s elbow to the chest of 174 pound Angola player Herlander Coimbra, who later said he was shocked that Barkley would, “make violence with me,” and left Barkley as the only member of that team to be booed. He’d been reviled while playing for the Sixers in 1991 for an incident in which he attempted to spit on a heckling fan, but instead hit a young girl seated nearby.(Barkley subsequently apologized and befriended the girl.) MORE: Barkley interview: Why he says TNT will never fire him After eight years of tense relations with fans, media, coaches and the treadmills, he forced his way out of Philadelphia in 1992.The great mass of NBA players are perfectly respectable citizens. And in the process, they develop reputations that make those around them—fans, fellow players, coaches—simply hate the guy in question.
Then he went and burned down his reputation among fans in his messy post-playing career.
I could have taken a sledgehammer out there, knocked all 12 Lakers on the head and we would have won by default.” Everything was going so well for Howard in his first seven NBA seasons.
He was popular, a well-liked endorser and dunk contest champion.
“Villains are kind of hard to know on a personal level. Also when you have this great size, sensitivity once again is not given to you.” MORE: That time when Chamberlain scored points in an NBA game Chamberlain also was an outspoken supporter of Richard Nixon in the 1968 presidential election, and Muhammad Ali labeled him, “the world’s largest Uncle Tom.” Another knock was that Chamberlain struggled to win the Big One before he joined the Lakers near the end of his career — and even that run started with a game in which he feuded with his coach on court during the 1969 NBA Finals.
Hayes entered the NBA with a wonderful turnaround jumper — he led the league with a 28.4-point scoring average for the expansion San Diego Rockets as a rookie — and a stubborn resistance to passing the ball that drew the ire of fans.