By Cody Williams @TheSizzle20 on March 11, 2014
There are always going to be NBA players that have knack for irking their opponents. The recent verbal beef between Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley and Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is evidence of that. In that light, who are the top five players in the game today that have a way of always getting under their opponents’ skin and eliciting some type of reaction?
He may only be a rookie, but Steven Adams has already proven to be a guy that, purposefully or not, provokes a reaction from opponents. The big man from New Zealand plays with a ton of heart and hustle, but his bruising style of play doesn’t always sit well with opponents. I’d suspect that he has a long career of annoying opponents ahead of him.
For different reasons than the other four players on this list, Blake Griffin always seems to be catching the ire of opponents. Perhaps it’s what he demands of opponents physically, or perhaps it’s because of his highlight-reel dunks, but he often seems to find himself on the verge of an altercation because an opponent isn’t pleased with him for one reason or another.
Joakim Noah has said plainly that he’s fine with being the villain when he’s on the court and he more often than not plays the part. Noah never shies away from physicality, will fight for every rebound and loose ball, and is generally bothering opponents a great deal while he puts them away.
As I mentioned to start, Patrick Beverley is currently in a bit of a feud with Damian Lillard because of how physical he was with the 2013 Rookie of the Year in a recent contest. Not only is Beverley obnoxious and tenacious defensively, but he’s also not one to keep quiet while doing so. If you’re the Rockets, you love what he brings to the team. If you’re an opponent of Houston’s, though, you can’t stand him.
It’s been toned down a bit due to his limited role in Brooklyn, but Kevin Garnett is a legendary trash-talker in this league. Basically, all that needs to be said to build his case is “Honey Nut Cheerios.”
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