Sometimes, the spirit of competition can get the best of NBA players, leading to normal human mistakes that they later regret. But sometimes, players go into games with an agenda and are determined to cause trouble in any way they can. There’s a difference between competitive and just plain dirty. In NBA history, we’ve seen guys like Metta World Peace, Bill Laimbeer, Charles Oakley, and Bruce Bowen flat out cross the line in order to retaliate or make a statement. Even some of the greatest players to ever touch a basketball like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett have had their share of dirty plays.
Today’s NBA is less physical and more sensitive than it was back in the day, but the dirty plays are still present. From groin shots to unnecessary hard fouls, we’ve seen a variety of bush league antics from players. Zaza Pachulia, for example, has never dominated NBA headlines for his actual skill, but he has dominated them for his countless cheap shots. Most recently, his name was back in the news after he got into it with Russell Westbrook during a game against the Thunder, which led to Westbrook saying Pachulia is "for sure" a dirty player.
Gilbert Arenas and the Out of Bounds crew discussed Pachulia's dirty play on Monday's episode and also touched on some of the other dirty players in the league this season. Scroll down to check out the dirtiest players in the NBA today.
Patrick Beverley is a straight-up bully. He’ll do anything to get on your nerves and in your head. NBA fans will never forget Beverly taking Russell Westbrook out of the 2013 Playoffs after charging at him when Westbrook was clearly about to take a timeout.
Let’s not forget when he went full WWE mode on Mike Conley, either.
Although he can be a bit over the top at times, Beverley’s tactics are pretty effective as he’s one of the best on-ball defending point guards in the league, if not the best. It was a shame to see him leave Houston last summer because the Westbrook/Beverly playoff beef was quite the show.
Serge Ibaka could take no losses when he first started dating Keri Hilson in 2012, but that has been far from the case. He’s as dirty as it gets, and like Chris Paul, he seems to have no limits. You can make an excuse for punching a player in the sack once, but doing it twice to the same player within a year is just ridiculous. Ask Blake Griffin.
Not to mention, Ibaka is a terrific instigator, starting on-court fights with just about everyone in the league. Unfortunately for him, his most recent battle against James Johnson didn’t end well for Ibaka. Ibaka foolishly messed with one of the few guys in the NBA you shouldn’t mess with and he caught a two-piece from the black belt.