When a team goes sour, and starts to lose games repetitively the general public are most likely to blame the coach, then the players. Seldom does anybody blame the ones behind the curtain that hide in the Owner’s Box on game day. The ones that actually have a huge say in the team’s direction usually have nothing to say and if they do have something to say, it has little to no effect at all. These guys are some of the wealthiest men in the country and yet lack good ole common sense! My agenda in this piece is to reveal to you the Top 10 WORST Franchise Owners In Sports History (in my opinion of course). Get ready for some truth here, guys. Here we go!
10. Al Davis, Oakland Raiders
I know the man is dead, God rest his soul, but he was a horrible owner. Not only was he stubborn and bull headed, but he had no idea what to look for when it came to hiring the right people to take the Raiders forward. The only good hire that Davis made was Jon Gruden and in 2002 when he hired Bill Callahan who took the team to Super Bowl XXXVII with Rich Gannon. How ironic was it that Gruden was coaching the Buccaneers in that Super Bowl game? It seems as though things had gone down hill from there on. In 2011, Lane Kiffin stated that it was “almost impossible” to win with Al Davis. Well, before then, Davis said that Kiffin was a “disgrace to the organization.” Davis wanted to control everything. It was his way or the highway, and he meant that literally. He also refused to hire a general manager, which gave him full control over the head coaching position and other player personnel issues. His fans started to question his leadership skills when it came down to drafting the right players and even in player contracts. Apparently, Davis did not care much about what people thought of his leadership skills hence him having full control of the team until his death in 2011.
9. Michael Jordan, Charlotte Bobcats and President of the Washington Wizards
Michael Jordan is one of the BEST players of all time, but one of the WORST franchise owners in history. His stint with the Charlotte Bobcats (2006-10) was a horrid one. He did not know how to make effective decisions, hence the Bobcats consistent losing record throughout the years. The team under his direction has made one playoff appearance and went 143-185. The value of the team was 25th in the NBA. I am not the first to say this and I wont be the last. Charles Barkley made a statement in 2012 about the ownership of Michael Jordan. “I love Michael, but he just has not done a good job. Even though he is one of my great friends. I cant get on here and tell you he’s done a great job. He has not done a great job, plain and simple.” It is no secret that Jordan screwed the team up by a load of drafting errors. He received much criticism for drafting Adam Morrison in the 2006 draft, and ended up regretting it.
Not only did he screw things up in Charlotte, but in Washington as well when he was president of the Wizards. That my friend, was the year they drafter Kwame Brown. Jordan’s decision. In both Washington and Charlotte, he was inadequate as a leader. Like other bad owners, Jordan did not like to be told what to do. He finally got the hint that he was a bad owner, and stepped away from the front office of basketball in 2010. Mike, you are the greatest player to ever play…but you cannot run a team to save your life.
8. Charles Wang, New York Islanders
I am sitting here and I am really pondering what good has New York Islanders former owner, Charles Wang done for the team instead of just looking out for himself, and I’ve got nothing. From 2000-04, Wang owned the Islanders, partially, until 2004, when he became the sole owner of the hockey club. The Islanders have gone 316-322-30, has had 4 playoff appearances and no championships. What makes Wang a bad owner was his decision making. The guy’s heart was in the right place, but his mind was elsewhere. Faced with the problem of a goalie, Wang logically thought that nobody could get a puck pass a sumo wrestler (yes, a sumo wrestler.) To put the icing on the cake, he signed goalie, Rick DiPietro to a 15 year deal worth 67.5 million dollars. My heart bleeds for this guy who has no idea what he is doing with this team. He fired former general manager, Neil Smith after only 40 days because of their differences.
In 2003, Wang admitted that the team had lost $52.2 million dollars under his watch. I am inclined to believe that Wang knew nothing about owning a professional hockey team and the trouble that came along with it. His purpose in buying the team was to turn it into a first class winning team, but he had not the slightest idea on how to make that possible. A word to the wise: Just because you own a largely successful computer software corporation does not qualify you to be a professional sports team owner.
7. James Dolan, New York Knicks
Dolan owns the New York Knicks who have a value of $655 million dollars, making them the wealthiest team in the NBA. Dolan’s heart, like Wang, is in the right place. It’s just that they cripple themselves and the organization when it comes to making good decisions that will benefit the team in the long run. Dolan started to lose his touch with the Knicks in 2003. Since then, he has had a sexual harassment scandal as well as the situation with the Knicks losing most of its games and missing the playoffs year after year. Everybody knows that Dolan does not make the best decisions when it comes to the front office, highlighted by the Larry Brown-Isaiah Thomas debacle.
Dolan is one of the most powerful man in New York sports, but it is clear that he cannot create a winning team. Dolan also owns the WNBA’s New York Liberty, and NHL’s New York Rangers. While owning the Rangers, Dolan has gone 547-512-91-80. They have had no Stanley Cups despite being the second wealthiest team in the NHL. How is it that Dolan has all of this money and cannot build himself a winning team?
6. Mike Brown, Cincinnati Bengals
One question: Why in the world is Marvin Lewis STILL the head coach of the Bengals? One answer: Mike Brown. Brown has owned the team since 1991 and since then he has had five playoff appearances in 23 years. There is definitely something wrong with that. This is not the only thing wrong with Brown’s owning the Bengals though. For some reason, Brown is dead set against hiring a general manager, so instead Brown himself is the general manager, which makes it more difficult to suggest things to him. Like most bad owners, the guy is close minded and stubborn. It makes me wonder if his father, the legendary Paul Brown was like this too. Winning is in his blood, but it must have definitely skipped a generation. He has also been known to have bad relationships with his players and basically lying to them about not having any intentions on cutting them. To make matters worse, Bengals fans have shown their disappointment in the Bengals owner by starting a www.mikebrownsucks.com. Hilarious!
5. Daniel Snyder, Washington Redskins
Since owning the Washington Redskins in 1999, Snyder has gone 86-106, has three post season appearances and no championships. The team is worth over a billion dollars but has yet to show the billion dollar performance in the front office and on the field. Snyder’s decision making is ultimately shot, beginning with the RG3 and Shanahan administration. I have never seen the Redskins so dysfunctional until this season. Snyder also has a rocky relationship with the fans, especially since he charges ridiculous prices for games. Joe Gibbs was actually winning without Snyder’s help, sporting a 140-65 record. Snyder even had his vendors selling beer in the bathrooms. Ever heard of E coli? For Fan Appreciation Day, this guy charged $25 to park to watch the Redskins in a scrimmage.
Snyder is selfish, greedy and does not care who he hurts in the long run including his staff, players, and coaches. If he continues to treat his players and staff as well as the fans like this, the Redskins can forget about having a winning season. What profits a man to gain the whole wide world and lose his soul? Ask Dan Snyder.
4. Daniel Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers have been absolutely grotesque for years. Recently, they have turned it around a bit, being mediocre under the coaching of Vinny Del Negro, and even better under Doc Rivers. (I am playing NBA 2K14 with the Los Angeles Clippers and we are on a pretty nice winning streak.) Anyway, let us discuss the reasons why Sterling is a very bad owner.
Besides the sexual harassment charges, Sterling has even taunts his own players. Who does that? Not only is that embarrassing but it’s pretty sad and funny. He has been accused of being a bigot and very nonchalant and abrasive. Sterling had to go to court for violating federal regulations in refusing to rent to African Americans, which are accusations he denies to this day. In his buildings, he has refused to accept rent checks and fix things for black tenants. According to Sumner Davenport, Sterling who happens to be the largest landowner in Beverly Hills said that the billionaire wanted his tenants to fit his image. What that simply meant was that his tenants could not be Mexican Americans, no blacks and no government housing subsidy recipients. During games, Sterling has been known to shout out insults calling players “out of shape” and asking them what are they in the game for. He is the perfect example along with Dan Snyder on how not to be as professional sports team owner.
3. The Maloof Family, Sacramento Kings
I remember watching the Sacramento Kings battle it out with the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000′s to advance to the NBA Finals. They are not that team anymore. I blame a great deal of this on the misadventures of the Maloof Brothers, and their bad decision making. They refused to listen to people about the possibility of building a new arena in downtown Sacramento. They basically squandered the Kings money and stripped operating costs all the way down to the bone.
What responsible owner becomes broke from bad casino deals and makes the team suffer? Anybody would love to own the Kings and would not jeopardize their ownership by stupidity and gambling. After not wanting to build an arena downtown, they were faced with the choice of moving the Kings to either Anaheim or San Jose. To make matters worse, they even owed the city of Sacramento $69 million dollars according to the Sacramento Bee. It’s a good thing they stepped away when they did before they ruined the Kings for good.
2. Jim Buss, Los Angeles Lakers
The son of former Lakers owner, Jerry Buss is beginning to ruin the name of the Los Angeles Lakers. If things don’t change, the Lakers may pretty soon be the former Los Angeles Clippers. Unlike most bad owners, Buss does not have complete control over the front office, but that doesn’t stop him from making all the major decisions. His incompetency in running the Lakers has driven a wedge between he and his sister, Jeannie Buss, who is engaged to former Lakers head coach, Phil Jackson. Magic Johnson has even blamed him for the sub-par performance of players and the front office. Jerry Buss has turned the Lakers into one of the most coveted franchises in all of sports. It’s too bad that his son is putting the franchise in hell.
1. Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys
SB Nation has claimed that Jones was turning America’s favorite team into the Oakland Raiders, and I couldn’t agree more. Jones has complete control over the Dallas Cowboys front office and will not hand over power to anybody else. Not only that, but the performance on the field has cost the team to miss the playoffs year after year. Then again, if they did make the playoffs, they would not advance past the Wild Card round. Tony Romo is suffering from the poor, poor offensive line, and Jones still claims that he has no plans to fire Jason Garrett or Romo. The team looks bad right now, and all of this falls at the feet of Jones who refuses any inkling of change. Jones says that being a general manager is one of the luxuries of being the team’s owner. Let’s face it: Jones is not going to fire himself, and he refuses to listen to anybody else.
Devoted Cowboys fans are ready for a change, but Jones is not willing to give them, not that this comes as a surprise. Jones has always been this way. As long as Jones is owners, the Cowboys will come to a very slow, and painful death.
Briyant Hines- Sports Kings Pass The Pill Contributor
We often try to pick the best players of all-time, and decide who is better than who. It’s not easy to compare players from different eras, but to make a list of the top ten, you have to try. Here’s my top ten players of all-time.
Honorable Mentions: LeBron James, John Stockton, Hakeem Olajuwon
10. Tim Duncan
Duncan is a part of a Spurs team that has been dominant in recent years, appearing in five NBA Finals, and winning four of them, since 1999. He is the biggest piece in the Spurs’ big 3, and he is loved by the city of San Antonio. Aside from 4 championships (so far), he is also a 2x MVP, a 3x Finals MVP, and a 14x all-star.
Michael Jordan, widely considered the greatest player to ever grace a basketball court, was well known for his dunking ability. MJ, at 6 foot 6, could hang in the air for what seemed like minutes at a time to pull off acrobatic, gravity defying layups and dunks. However, I’ll let you all in on a little secret. His younger brother, 5 foot 8 Larry Jordan, could get more air than Air Jordan himself. Michael even said “when you say “Air Jordan, he’s number one. I’m number two.”
Check out the video below of Larry Jordan dunking the ball with ease, even with his small stature:
It was brought to my attention Thursday afternoon that some people’s opinion in the NBA aren’t very educated. This is a tweet from ESPN’s Chris Palmer:
Best Players Who’ve Never Won Anything: 1. Melo 2. A.I. 3. Barkley 4. Stockton
— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) April 18, 2013
Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, but are Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson the top 2 players to never win a championship? It got me thinking, so I dug into some research and compiled my top 10 list of “Best Player Who’ve Never Won Anything.”
10. Adrian Dantley
Dantley, inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2008, played 15 seasons in the NBA. Dantley finished his NBA career with a 24.3 points per game average, 6 NBA all star appearances and led the league in scoring twice. He ranks The Utah Jazz retired his number (4) in 2007. Dantley finished 9th on the NBA’s all time scoring list when he retired in 1991, having only played in one NBA Championship. That being the 1988-89 Championship versus the Lakers in which Dantley’s Pistons lost in 7 games.
9. Bernard King
Bernard King played 14 seasons in the NBA for 5 different teams. King had his greatest success as a member of the New York Knicks. In January 1984 King became the first player in 20 years to score 50 points in consecutive games. Also in 1984, on Christmas Day, he became just the 10th player in NBA history to score 60 points with his effort versus his former team the New Jersey Nets. King was a tremendous scorer, leading the league in scoring in 1985, and made 4 all star appearances. His knee injury in 1985 forced him to miss the 1985-86 season and significantly dampened his explosiveness. He is forgotten due to the other prolific scorers in his time (Dantley included).
8. Allen Iverson
Allen “The Answer” Iverson played in the league for 14 seasons. Iverson currently sits 19th on the NBA scoring list and is still actively playing in Turkey. While many didn’t like Iverson, he brought quite a look to the game. Standing only 6 feet tall, Iverson took a beating year in and year out. He led the Philadelphia 76ers to the teams first Championship series in 20 years. Iverson was an 11 time NBA all-star, 4 time NBA scoring champ and NBA MVP. While Iverson played in an era where Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal won 3 titles and little guys like Iverson didn’t stand much chance.
7. George Gervin
George “The Iceman” Gervin played 13 seasons in the ABA and NBA. The 6’7 guard/forward shot 51% during his NBA career with the Spurs and averaged 26 points a game. The Iceman was a 9 time NBA all-star, 4 time NBA scoring champ and named to the all NBA team 5 times. His #44 was retired by the San Antonio Spurs and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996. Gervin scored over 40 points in a game 68 times in his career plus 6 more in the playoffs. Most of his Spurs records have been surpassed by David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Gervin never made the finals while in the NBA.
6. Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller, who played 18 seasons for the Indiana Pacers, is known for his 3 point shooting. He alone scored 8 points in 8.9 seconds of the playoffs versus the New York Knicks (game 1) to win the game. Miller shot a career 39.5% from behind the arc, but was known for making the clutch shots. He took his Indiana Pacers to the teams only finals appearance in franchise history losing to Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal in the 2000 season. Playing in a time in which Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls were the best team in the East, it was hard for Miller to even sniff a shot at the NBA finals. Miller currently sits 14th on the NBA scoring list with just over 25,000 career points.
5. Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing entered the NBA with big shoes to fill, being called “the start of an era” by an unknown NBA scouting director. Ewing currently sits 18th on the NBA’s all time scoring list and 6th on the NBA’s all time blocks list. Having been in the same situation as many whose career was primarily played in the 1990′s, Ewing and the Knicks had to compete against Michael Jordan and the Bulls. The Knicks made the NBA finals one time (while Jordan was retired) in 1994 but lost to the Houston Rockets.
4. Pete Marivich
“Pistol” Pete Maravich didn’t have a long NBA career, but was very prolific. Drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in 1970, Maravich played 10 season in the NBA. The Pistol started his legacy in college averaging 44 points a game while at LSU. He averaged just over 24 points a game in the NBA. Knee problems forced Maravich to end his career short after the 1980 Eastern Conference Finals loss to Dr J’s 76ers. He only reached the postseason 4 times in his career, with his 9 playoff games for the Celtics in 1980 being the most of his career.
3. Charles Barkley
“Sir” Charles Barkley was another player who fell victim to playing in a time in which Michael Jordan won 6 NBA titles. Barkley currently ranks 23rd on the NBA all time scoring list, while playing in the league for 16 seasons. He once won the NBA MVP, was an 11 time NBA all-star and was a 5 time NBA all first team selection. His #34 is retired by the Phoenix Suns and the Philadelphia 76ers. Barkley retired as one of only four players in NBA history to record at least 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists for a career. Barkley only once reached the NBA finals, losing to Michael Jordan and the Bulls in 6 games.
2. John Stockton/Karl Malone
I put these two together as one for a reason, they played together for most of their careers. John Stockton played for 19 seasons with the Utah Jazz, while Karl Malone played for 19 seasons, 18 of which with the Jazz. Malone’s lone without Stockton was spent in LA with the Lakers trying to win that elusive NBA title. The Jazz did make two finals appearances, but were beaten both time by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Stockton finished his career as a 10 time NBA all-star, 9 time assist leader and 2 time steals leader; while Malone finished his career as 2 time NBA MVP, 14 time NBA all-star and 11 time NBA all first team. Both players have their jerseys hanging in the rafters, retired, by the Utah Jazz. This duo was guaranteed to make the playoffs, making it 18 straight seasons together, including 8 times in which the duo played 10 or more games in the playoffs. These two will always be remembered as two of the best to never win.
1. Elgin Baylor
Elgin Baylor is the best NBA player in history without a title. The 11 time all star made the NBA Finals a total of 8 times. Unfortunately for Baylor, his team came up short all 8 times. Not many players have made 8 NBA finals appearances period, let alone in one 13 year career. Baylor helped to resurrect a Lakers team that had finished a putrid 19-53 the season before he was drafted and take them to the finals shortly after his arrival. Baylor’s luck continued while he retired only 9 games into the 1971-72 season. This is the year that the Lakers would win a NBA championship. So elusive to Baylor yet so close as well. Baylor finished his career with a NBA Finals record of 61 points in a game (1962 game 5) and a record 71 points in a game (1960). He is not only recognized as the top player to never win a title, but also one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Sure there are a few players that were considered for the list and didn’t make it. The runners up (in no order) include: Carmelo Anthony, Alex English, Connie Hawkins, Dave Bing, Nate Thurmond, Steve Nash and Dominique Wilkins.
After looking into this list, I have to wonder why ESPN’s Chris Palmer tweeted this:
Melo is the best player who’s never won anything. Easily.
— chris palmer (@ESPNChrisPalmer) April 18, 2013
As I said before, we are all entitled to our opinions, but a player who has never sniffed a NBA Championship birth shouldn’t be considered as THE best to play who has never won.
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Anyone who has watched a basketball game over the past few years is fully aware that LeBron James is the greatest player in the world. Very few will refute this, even the LeBron haters.
This season has been particularly great for James, with his Miami Heat destroying everyone in their path. And of course, LeBron is having another freakish season, averaging 26.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.7 steals, .9 blocks, all while shooting 56% from the field and 40% from three.
Clearly, LeBron James has been dominant. New Orleans Hornets coach acknowledges this, but believes that LeBron’s competition is far below the level of Michael Jordan’s. Via Hornets247:
I asked Monty whether or not LeBron dominates games the same way that Jordan does, given that he played against both, and the response was stellar– “Jordan played against men. LeBron plays against young boys. That’s the difference.”
This isn’t the first time that Monty made it known that NBA players today aren’t as manly as their predecessors. He’s made repeated reference to the fact that kids are entering the league immature, physically and mentally unable to play at the level he expects, but this may be the first time that he’s referred to much of the NBA as “young boys”.
Two notes should be taken here. First of all, Monty Williams played against Jordan. So maybe he’s pumping his own tires here. Secondly, this comes after the Hornets were spanked by LeBron and the Heat. Does that mean that Monty’s team is just a bunch of “young boys?”
Either way, this simply seems like an old schooler who can’t fully accept LeBron’s greatness. King James could continue at this pace and win 10 rings, and there would still be people who believe he shouldn’t be in the same conversation as Jordan.
-Mark Evans, Assistant Site Manager