By Jacob Kornhauser on July 25, 2014
Sometimes it just isn't meant to be. A player or coach becomes so entrenched in a school or team that life without them seems impossible. However, players and coaches like this leave regularly and the team and fan base left behind are usually pretty bitter. Here are the 20 worst breakups the sporting world has seen.
Petrino was a legendary coach at Arkansas, but he kind of forced their hand on this one. He got in a car wreck that helped reveal he was having an affair with an assistant at the university. With his reputation in shambles, he was forced to leave the program he helped build.
He wasn't a star or anything at the time, but the public nature of this breakup is what made it pretty bad. When the team started shopping the quarterback, he was irked by it and wanted to be moved right away. Once he was traded to the Bears, he was mocked by most of the Broncos' fan base.
When North Carolina first came knocking, Williams turned them away and became a hero to Jayhawk fans. However, the second time they came knocking, he answered and took the job at North Carolina. Jumping from one big program to another, Williams faced a lot of public backlash for his decision.
Even though he became one of the most famous athletes of all time in Brooklyn, Robinson had a falling out with the team. Once Branch Rickey was out of power, the team traded him to the rival Giants. Instead of join the rival team, Robinson elected to retire from MLB.
At one point, Carter wanted to force the Raptors' hand in a trade so badly that he didn't give his full effort on the court. His lack of effort was embarrassing and the team did eventually trade him and end the public duel going on between the two sides.
It seemed like for a stretch of the 2012 season, Jeremy Lin was on ESPN every single night. He was putting up insane numbers for the Knicks, but it seemed too good to last. It ended up being too good to be true, and the Knicks decided not to match the Rockets' offer sheet to Lin the following season.
As one-third of the original Big Three in Boston, Allen was beloved by Celtics fans. That was until he decided to join another Big Three in Miami and become a rival of his former team. Playing off of his character's name from He Got Game, Jesus Shuttlesworth, Boston fans began mockingly calling him Judas Shuttlesworth.
Talk about ending something before it begins. Ruth was just on the cusp of becoming a star in the major leagues when the Red Sox traded him for cash to the rival Yankees. The Bronx Bombers ended up with a stash of World Series titles and the rest, as they say, is history.
An integral part of two World Series teams in Boston, Manny Ramirez was almost synonymous with the Red Sox. However, he and the team began to clash during the 2008 season and he was eventually traded to the Dodgers, where he went on to dominate after the trade deadline.
Always under-appreciated in Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb and the Eagles came to an impasse. Evidently, Eagles brass decided it was time to move in another direction and McNabb moved on to the rival Redskins. Even though things were tense between McNabb and his former team for a while, the two sides have since made amends.
In one of the most shocking trades in NHL history, the greatest player of all time was shipped to the Los Angeles Kings for draft picks and cash. "The Great One" delivered four Stanley Cups to the Oilers before departing, and even though it wasn't by choice, the fans never quite got over his exit.
After leading the Yankees into their most recent dynasty, Torre hit hard times in the late 2000's. He and the Yankees were slowly growing further apart and eventually that tension led to his firing. Ending as one of the greatest skippers to wear a Yankee uniform, he promptly got a job leading the Dodgers the following season.
Who would've thought the greatest quarterback of all time could be replaced? Well, that's exactly what happened when Montana was forced to miss the 1993 season. His replacement, Steve Young went on to win the MVP and the team began to force Montana out. He went to Kansas City, but his career at that point was essentially over.
Usually when your car ends up beaten with a golf club by your wife, you're in a sticky situation. That's exactly where Tiger Woods found himself after his wife found out about numerous affairs he had been having. Ever since the incident, Tiger hasn't been the same and is without a major title.
Dwight Howard honestly acted like a five-year-old kid when it came to dealing with his situation with the Magic. First of all, he played with other guys' jobs when he said he wanted Stan Van Gundy fired. Then he was very public, but secretive, about his hopes for the future. Finally, the mess ended and Howard took his whiny attitude elsewhere.
After being part of the Laker dynasty together in the early 2000's, Bryant and O'Neal had a very public falling out. In the wake of the breakup, neither one had any reserve about calling out the other. It wasn't until recently that the two publicly cleared the air between each other.
Despite winning back-to-back Super Bowl titles, Jimmy Johnson was relieved of his duties as head coach of the Cowboys. Clearly, there was a riff between he and general manager Jerry Jones. To this day, Johnson seems hesitant to make comments about his final days with the Cowboys.
When Aaron Rodgers forced Favre out of Green Bay, it was an awkward situation for everyone involved. Fans weren't happy about Favre's unwillingness to hand over the baton, and when he later joined the rival Minnesota Vikings, some had complete disdain for their one-time quarterback. It appears the wounds caused by this are beginning to heal, but it will always be a stain on his Hall of Fame career.
It really is a shame that MLB's all-time hits leader isn't in the Hall of Fame. In fact, he's not even allowed in professional baseball at all. Honestly, it's absurd that he's still banned for something he did as a coach, not a player. Still, Rose clearly wants back into baseball, and for the time being, it's not going to happen.
Everything about this breakup spelled trouble. The best basketball player in a generation left his hometown on national television in hopes of winning championships somewhere else. Rightfully so, his former fans were extremely upset. However, like all love stories that are meant to be, he's now back in the good graces of Cleveland and only time will tell if there will be a happy ending.
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