The Top Five NBA “Bad Boys” of the 80s

No sport is without a hint of controversy. It could be something to do with an individual’s private life or something in the game, but there will almost be a guaranteed chance of problems happening at one point or another. The ego of the average superstar is typically so massive that it will flare like a supernova at times, and in the NBA this has been seen to happen quite often. People get bumped, wires get crossed, and eventually a single player will gain a reputation for being a “bad boy” on the court or just in general for the things they do or say. Those listed below are just a few of the many that have graced the court since the NBA was formed. There are always bound to be more.

Basketball isn’t an easy sport, but it definitely spawns attitudes just like any other professional venue.

5. Bill Laimbeer – Detroit Pistons

He had a heck of a great work ethic, but Laimbeer was considered to be one of the dirtiest players of his era. I can still recall in many games how he’d throw elbows and checks that didn’t look even close to legal and then cry when he got busted for them. There was a reason why a lot of fans took to calling him Bill Lame-deer, especially when he started wearing the plastic facemask. Like him or not, he was a great player, but a notably dirty one on the court.

4. Charles Barkley – Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Houston Rockets

If there was anything people will remember about Barkley besides his superstar status it was his mouth. He could trash talk with the best of them, but every now and again his mouth would end up getting him into trouble that he couldn’t talk his way out of. It was strange to watch him jaw with the likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and so many others largely because it made them look like bitter enemies. But in real life they’re good friends.

3. Chris Washburn – Golden State Warriors

He was supposed to be one of the hottest prospects coming out of NC State, but an arrest record and a drug habit derailed his dreams rather quickly. Despite his promising career in college he soon became sidelined with an injury which eventually became an infection and kept him out of the game for quite some time. Eventually when he returned however his game was no better and he was eventually banned for life from the NBA after three failed drug tests in three years.

2. Charles Oakley – Chicago Bulls, Knicks

To put it simply, he was brought in as an enforcer for the Bulls to protect their young prospect at the time, Michael Jordan. He was a sound and well-rounded player at the time but he was also kind of a hothead and could get into a scuffle at the drop of a hat and get physical with almost anyone.  Admittedly you want your enforcers tough, but they don’t need to cop an attitude.

1. Xavier  McDaniel – Seattle Supersonics, New York Knicks

McDaniel was another great player that had a lot of attitude coming into the game. One of his most notable fights came against Horace Grant when the Bulls played the Knicks. He wasn’t afraid of anyone and would go full bore in a fight with another player. He once even got into with Charles Oakley when he was still with the Sonics. That fight actually managed to spill into the front row before it got broken up.

The NBA is full of supposed “bad boys”, but some of them are miles above the others simply because they don’t care and are willing to throw down at any second. If someone was smart they’d make an NBA-based tape titled “When Egos Run Attack”.


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