WRITTEN BY MIN LEE
Every sports team has its heroes and villains; here are six people that are particularly hated in New York.
Somehow you can judge a person based on what team he follows. For example, who’d you rather have your back in a fight: a Yankee fan, or a Blue Jays fan? Or who do you think has more wives, an Indiana Pacers fan or a die-hard Utah Jazz fan? Some say it’s unfair to generalize a whole city or state based on a local sports team and its fans. But this is just how we work; people like to choose sides and hate the enemy.
New York teams are involved in some of the most heated rivalries in sports. These rivalries create good guys and bad guys, depending on who you support. Here are 6 sports figures that are particularly hated by New York fans.
6. LeBron James (Forward, Miami Heat)
After seven long and memorable years in Cleveland, LeBron James decided to “take his talents to South Beach” in a controversial TV special about his free agency signing, called “The Decision”. James is obviously the most hated athlete in Cleveland, so why did he make this list? Because Knicks owner James Dolan made Knicks fans suffer through six long seasons of CYO basketball in Madison Square Garden. 2010 was the year every Knicks fan was waiting for. With enough cap space to sign a franchise playerin LeBron James and a sidekick, fans were positive that James would sign with New York and start an NBA dynasty. Instead, James took the easy way out teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Knicks fans aren’t complaining though, because All-Star center Amar’e Stoudemire ended up signing with New York. Also not to mention Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Knicks half way through the season, giving fans their first glimmer of hope in 118 years.
5. Isiah Thomas (Former Coach, GM)
James Dolan, owner of the Knicks and chairman of Madison Square Garden, hired his long time friend Isiah Thomas as General Manager in 2003. In one of his first moves as GM, Thomas acquired all-star Stephon Marbury through an eight player trade. Thomas continued to hand out ridiculous multi-year contracts to undeserving players. Head coach Larry Brown was signed to a five year 50 million dollar contract, and was fired after just one season. Thomas then took the coaching job and had a public feud with Marbury, all during an embarrasing season and a sexual harassment lawsuit. Respected general manager Donnie Walsh was hired by Dolan, who subsequently fired Thomas. Thomas was brought in as a “special advisor” by Dolan to help recruit LeBron James to the Knicks. NBA commisioner David Stern quickly put a kibosh on his position as advisor because it was against league policy. Halfway through the 2011 season, the Knicks were engaged in talks with Denver about trading Carmelo Anthony. Rumors about Thomas’ powerful influence over Dolan spread, saying that Walsh was ignored by Dolan during the decision making process. These rumors were squashed by Dolan himself, and Anthony eventually joined the Knicks in a heavily criticized deal. Some speculate that Thomas was responsible in the Knicks giving up too much for Anthony, especially young talent in Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler. Knicks fans today still hope that Thomas stays as far away from the team as possible.
4. Tom Brady (Quarterback, New England Patriots)
Imagine for a second that you make millions of dollars a year. And you have three super bowl rings. And a whole bunch of NFL records. And you drive a $300,000 Audi. And you’re worshipped by an entire portion of the United States. And you’re married to a Victoria’s Secret super model. Now realize you that you will never have any of this, but one man does: his name is Tom Brady, star quarterback of the New England Patriots. Brady has a storied career full of record breaking performances and three super bowl wins. Chosen as the 199th pick of 2000 NFL draft, he’s proved to be a future Hall of Famer with his abilities and accomplishments. In Super Bowl 42 in 2008, New York Giants fans rejoiced when the Giants defeated the Patriots after New England finished the season with a perfect 16-0 record, only to be defeated when it mattered the most. Thus, the phrase 18-1 was born, to annoy Patriots fans everywhere.
3. Reggie Miller (Guard, Indiana Pacers)
Reggie Miller was public enemy number one during the New York Knicks’ deep playoff runs during the 90’s. The shooting guard out of UCLA known for his amazing three point shooting and competitive nature went head to head with the Knicks, and sometimes with their biggest fan, Spike Lee. In the 1995 Eastern Conference semi finals against the Knicks, the Pacers trailed by six points with 18.7 seconds left. Miller sinked two back-to-back three pointers and two freethrows in a stunning comeback victory to reach the conference finals.
2. Kevin Youkilis (Infield/Designated Hitter, Boston Red Sox)
You sometimes wonder why you hate somebody so much for no apparent reason. Well that’s how Yankee fans feel about Boston Red Sox infielder and designated hitter Kevin Youkilis. Known for his scrappy play and his intensity on the field, Youkilis is a fan favorite in Boston. To be honest, there really is no clear cut answer as to why Yankee fans hate Kevin Youkilis. It could be his funny batting stance. It could be his cameo appearance on nobodys’s favorite show, Man vs. Food. It could also be his fondness for something that vaguely resembles music called “The Dropkick Murphys”. Or maybe it’s just because he plays for the Red Sox, and seems proud of it. This seems to be the only reason needed for Yankee fans to hate him.
1. The Red Sox in general, and “Red Sox Nation”
Baseball is America’s past time. The Boston – New York rivalry is as old as the sport itself. Yankee fans and their 27 World series titles scoff at Boston’s seven. Boston reminds New York of the 2004 ALCS. New Yorkers remind people from Boston that “they don’t know how to do it”. Boston says New York is full of bandwagoners and phonies. Red Sox fans love their Red Sox Nation. Actually, you have to pay a hefty membership fee to be a part of Red Sox Nation, a real wicked pissah. When it comes down to it, Boston is Boston and New York is New York. Two different cities with totally different people. At the end of the day, a fan is going to hate what he grew up to hate.