Loyalty is something you can’t find easily nowadays and that’s more visible in sports, where you’re able to see several changes every minute. Basketball is far from being the exception of this and in recent years we have witnessed trades and purchases that brought a lot of controversy to the table.
It’s never odd to watch players be cataloged as snakes or traitors because they decide to suit up for their current team’s rivals, or the very same guys that whooped their butts the prior campaigns, and that’s an easy way to win a ring but lose the respect of your peers and the fans.
There have been a considerable number of snakes in NBA since its very beginning, but only a few of them made a real impact on fans, players and directives. This is a hard job to carry out, but here are the five biggest snakes in NBA history.
5. Dwight Howard (2012 from Magic to Lakers)
Dwight Howard was having the time of his life with the Orlando Magic, but after demanding a more competitive team, Howard decided to move to the Los Angeles Lakers to be part of the apparently number one candidate for the title that season.
Even though Dwight was an idol at Orlando, the former Naismith award winner decided to take his talents to a team with enough figures to compete for the title, even if that team defeated the Magic on the NBA Finals a couple of years ago. However, after that neither Dwight nor the Lakers were the same they used to be although everything pointed to that.
4. Shaquille O’Neal (1996 from Magic to Lakers)
Orlando is obviously not the right spot to attach talent since before Dwight Howard there was another snaking episode. You can say this only happens in movies, but it was another center extremely dominant, another #1 draft pick and a beast on both offense and defense and even for the same reason: lack of team’s competitiveness; that was nothing else than Shaquille O’Neal.
Besides, Shaq left Magic for the same destination that Howard did: Los Angeles Lakers, but that time everything worked out for O’Neal and the Lakers –even if he left the team later on not-so-good terms. Shaq was going to be the maximum figure in Orlando alongside Penny Hardaway, but unfortunately we were never able to watch those two smash rivals every night. It would be incredibly fun and who knows, perhaps Orlando would have had a dynasty instead of L.A.
3. Ray Allen (2012 from Boston to Miami)
After being great in all the teams he played before, Allen joined Celtics, the team that became his house for several years, where he won a championship ring against their maximum rivals, Los Angeles Lakers. However, due to the bad relationship with Rajon Rondo and the front office’s constant desire to trade him, Allen decided to move to Miami Heat in 2012, making one of the most shocking moves in basketball.
Allen’s departure was unbelievable and even more after seeing his new team: Miami Heat, Boston’s biggest competition in the Eastern Conference. Fortunately for Allen, he helped the team to win another championship in a great way after he made the shot in game six of 2012/13 NBA finals.
2. LeBron James (2010 from Cleveland to Miami)
Besides number one, this move is the most famous of this kind. LeBron James joining Miami in 2010 was the most shocking move of all time until the last year seeing the things LeBron did to announce his new destination. Cavaliers’ fan were nothing but angry when they heard the news and Miami’s one were nothing but pleased knowing they will know Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James himself playing together in his team.
This was the beginning of current super teams in the NBA since LeBron brought a lot of players to play alongside him and his friends in Florida. James and his teammates reached four finals in a row, winning two of them, so you can’t say it wasn’t a successful move.
1. Kevin Durant (2016 from Oklahoma City to Golden State)
This one surprised everybody (even though there were several rumors about it) since Kevin Durant didn’t manage things very well in most people’s opinion. Durant decided to join the Warriors to make them the most overpowered superteam of all time.
But what made this move even worse is the fact that he joined them after choking in the Western Conference Finals just to finally win his ring. It was a great move since Durant had no competition in the league as even LeBron couldn’t damage KD and his Warriors.