It’s quite difficult to try and contain a guy whose ego is off the charts due to their great performances, their known talent, their huge fanbase and of course, that big and juicy paycheck they get at the end of every month, as they always think they have the last word, and sometimes they actually do.
That’s one of the most difficult parts of being a coach, as you need to deal with more than a dozen different and strong characters, personalities and tempers, as well as handling the media, the pressure of important games and of course, your own private affairs.
Even if most of the players show respect to their coaching staff, understanding they’re actually their bosses, some of the biggest stars in the league aren’t always willing to play along, generating a lot of problems in the locker room and into the front office, and even making coaches leave their jobs before their contracts run out.
So, let’s take a look at the 5 most difficult players to coach in the NBA, so you try to avoid signing him when you get the chance to be an NBA coach.
5. Rajon Rondo
Rondo’s one of the lousiest teammates in the NBA and one of the biggest douchebags the league has ever seen. Nevertheless, Rajon’s stubbornness and his constant bitching and criticizing of pretty much everybody around him were tolerated because he was one of the most skilled defenders and passers in the NBA, but the playmaker’s prime is far, far behind him nowadays.
Rondo was one of the most intelligent ball players during his prime with the Celtics, but he constantly refused to run some sets demanded by the coach, always thinking he had a better idea. After having problems with Ray Allen, Doc Rivers, Ric Carlisle, Wade, Butler, Hoiberg and a long list of others, Rondo had to be featured on this list.
4. DeMarcus Cousins
Boogie’s one of the league’s most epic crybabies since being drafted several seasons ago. His incommensurable talent and his impressive skills always come second because of his hard-nosed, spoilt temper, making him one of the most unpredictable guys in the league.
He had problems with pretty much every single guy that tried to coach him, especially with George Karl, and even if he prevailed, Divac finally got sick of his temper. Boogie’s ceiling seems sky high, and he’s arguably the best center in the league, but this kind of character is never going to let him become what he can, and he should just stop excusing himself with the “I’m a spoiled brat because I want to win more than my teammates” little speech and just play basketball.
3. Dwight Howard
Just like DeMarcus Cousins, DH12 is one of the whiniest guys in the entire league since making his professional debut for the Orlando Magic several seasons ago. Howard is just a big baby, something very odd considering the fact that he’s one of the most physically gifted centers the league has ever seen.
Nevertheless, “Superman” has had several troubles with his coaches and even his teammates, even having a personal feud against James Harden despite reportedly being close friends. Now, as he reaches the sunset of his career, it seems like the only thing that Howard lacks more than post moves is actual character, and that’s why he’ll never be remembered as one of the elite players of his era.
2. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo has always been a gentleman to the press, but it seems like he’s been quite an asshole behind closed doors through most of his career, constantly getting into fights with his bosses due to his ball hogging/ball stopping/shoot every time you get the ball mentality and style of play, refusing to play along with some sets and preferring to isolate pretty much every single time he gets the rock in his hands.
Now, Melo’s career has entered a very difficult spot, being the main scapegoat with the New York Knicks due to Phil Jackson’s determination to let him go, as the veteran Small Forward constantly refuses to play the triangle offense, Jackson’s biggest whim.
1. LeBron James
Even if LeBron has proven to be quite a good teammate and even a very decent guy, he’s definitely got to be the most difficult player to coach in the NBA for several reasons. On one hand, he’s arguably the smartest player in the world right now, and he doesn’t tend to make many mistakes with the ball in his hands.
On the other hand, his determination to win makes him quite a pain in the butt for some of his coaches (just ask David Blatt) as he likes to point fingers and call the shots himself, even if that doesn’t work out. As a matter of fact, the Cavs’ current roster was pretty much created by the King himself, and he has notably refused to run the sets some of his coaches have drawn for him over the years. On top of that, how do you argue with a guy that’s won pretty much everything?