When it comes to athletes, coaches and general managers routinely state that they are not looking for choir boys. They just want players who can perform. That being said, nobody on a team likes dealing with a knucklehead. In some instances, teams tolerate these individuals because they are supremely talented players. But there is always a limit to this tolerance. As soon as a team starts to decline, they start to wonder why they persist in keeping a player who is so high maintenance.
This article lists ten athletes that are a pain to deal with for their teams. In some instances, it is because of their off field antics and the attention it garners. In other cases, some of these individuals are just not fun to be around. The players on this list are from a variety of sports such as soccer and all the major North American sports. Some of these individuals have had great success with their teams and others have contributed to the constant loosing of their teams. What is beyond doubt is they are regularly in the headlines for the wrong reasons.
10 Rob Gronkowski - New England Patriots
Kicking of the list is New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. The Gronk, as he is affectionately called, has repeatedly annoyed teammates and Patriots officials with his off the field antics. These antics mostly consist of him taking his shirt off and dancing, which he did after the Patriots last Super Bowl loss, much to the chagrin of his teammates and Patriots fans. These infractions do not seem like much but in the ultra-conservative world of the NFL they can lead to the proverbial distraction.
9 Alex Ovechkin - Washington Capitals
8 Dwight Howard - Houston Rockets
7 Tim Thomas -Dallas Stars
6 Ben Roethlisberger - Pittsburgh Steelers
5 Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees
4 Mario Balotelli - AC Milan
While Mario Balotelli is an undoubtedly talented player, he has been a constant nuisance to his teammates and supporters for three different teams. Balotelli started his career with Inter Milan and he often clashed with manager Jose Mourinho. Apart from Mourinho, it appeared the entire team hated the young striker and he was a peripheral figure in their treble winning season of 2010. Mourinho often tells a story of a game where he only had one striker in Balotelli due to injuries and Balotelli had a yellow card going into halftime. He explained the situation and told him to employ calm. Balotelli got onto the field for the second half and quickly got a yellow card for a rash, unnecessary tackle.
3 Yasiel Puig - Los Angeles Dodgers
2 DeMarcus Cousins - Sacramento Kings
1 Dez Bryant - Dallas Cowboys
With the amount of attention given to Dez Bryant, you would think he was the next Jerry Rice. Bryant has spent four seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and has never been on a playoff team. The last three seasons the Cowboys have finished 8-8. Bryant is touted as one of the best receivers in the NFL, but he has only had two 1,000 yard seasons. What is more troubling is his penchant for dropping the ball or making a critical mistake at a crucial time of the game. Early in his career he had some off the field issues, but Bryant seems to have cleaned up that part of his act and moved that immaturity to the field. He is a ticking time bomb who routinely lashes out if he does not receive the ball. He has been seen screaming at teammates and walking off the field during Cowboy collapses. His excuses are always the same, he is just showing passion. Cowboys fans would prefer he just caught the ball in the clutch and stopped acting like a baby on the field when things don't go his way.
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