In Honor of Kyrie And LeBron, Here Are 10 Memorable Sports Divorces
Kyrie Irving supposedly wants out of Cleveland. Some reports say the guard is unhappy being in LeBron's shadow and other reports say that he doesn't want to stick around if James is going to bolt via free agency after next season. Things have already gotten ugly, with LeBron having to deny a report that he would "kick Irving's ass" if he saw him.
No matter what happens with this situation, sports fans have witnessed many ugly divorces. Here are some of the most memorable:
1. Bill Parcells vs. Bill Belichick
On June 3, 2000, Bill Belichick was named head coach of the New York Jets. On June 4, 2000, at a press conference to announce his hiring, Belichick resigned, by scrawling, “I resign at the HC of the NYJ.” Parcells, who was the Jets’ director of football operations, was not happy that his former defensive coordinator backed out of the job after originally taking it and the relationship became strained.
2. Shaquille O'Neal vs. Kobe
They played together from 1996 to 2004 and won three straight NBA titles from 2000-2002, but things ended with Shaq getting traded traded to Miami when the duo just couldn't get along. Heck, there's even an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to their feud. Things didn't get patched up quickly after O'Neal was traded, either. In 2008, Shaq performed at a New York City club and famously asked Kobe how a certain body part tasted.
3. LeBron James vs. Dan Gilbert
LeBron left Cleveland and took his talents to South Beach in 2010. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert reacted to the news by ripping LeBron to shreds in a nasty letter highlighted by the Comic Sans font.
4. Ray Allen vs. 2008 Celtics
Ray Allen helped the Celtics win an NBA title in 2008. He joined the Heat in 2012. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and the rest of the Boston squad took this personally and still hold a grudge to this day. In May, those three along with Kendrick Perkins and Glen Davis didn’t invite Allen to a Celtics reunion and then whined about Allen leaving.
5. Mike Greenburg vs. Mike Golic
The ESPN Radio morning show co-hosts will do their final show together in November, but it's been public knowledge for a long time that they'd be splitting up so Mike Greenberg can get his own show. This has led to uncomfortable tension between the duo as they finish out their run.
6. Jason Kidd vs. Jim Jackson
The Mavericks has these two along with Jamal Mashburn, but all three ended up getting traded. Rumors swirled for years that singer Toni Braxton came between these two Mavericks teammates, yet both have always denied the accusation. Mashburn, though, was quoted as saying Braxton cost him his relationships with Kidd and Jackson.
7. Alex Rodriguez vs. Yankees
After years filled with controversy and a season-long suspension, the Yankees flat-out released the future Hall of Famer on Aug. 13, 2006 (so they could call up Aaron Judge) while he still had one year and $27 million left on his contract.
8. Brett Favre vs. Packers
In 2008, after 16 seasons in Green Bay, Favre asked for his unconditional release after the Packers were not thrilled that he wanted to come back for another season. Green Bay said it was under the impression that Favre wanted to retire, which would've allowed the Packers to turn to Aaron Rodgers. However, Favre changed his mind and the Packers let him go. Favre did not return to Lambeau Field until 2015.
9. Bill Simmons vs ESPN
Bill ranted against Roger Goodell and the NFL on his podcast. Shortly thereafter, Simmons learned via Twitter than ESPN wasn’t renewing his contract. Of course, ESPN took the stand that this was a contract issue.
BIll SImmons to leave ESPN, according to ESPN president John Skipper. "We weren't going to get to the terms," said Skipper.— Richard Sandomir (@RichSandomir) May 8, 2015
10. Bret Hart vs Vince McMahon
Vince couldn’t pay Bret Hart anymore, so Bret had to leave WWF for WCW. Bret, though, was champion, and refused to lose the belt to Shawn Michaels, before he left, so Vince famously screwed him.