1 of 15John W. McDonough/SI; Andy Hayt/Getty Images
Danny Ainge-Robert Horry
The sharp-shooting forward disagreed with being pulled from a game in January 1997 and expressed his displeasure by throwing a towel at then Suns coach Ainge, who traded Horry to the Lakers less than a week later. Horry: "Anybody who will look will see that I respected Rudy [Tomjanovich, in Houston]. I respected Cotton [Fitzsimmons]. With Danny, I respected him, but I never felt like he was really the coach. I saw him as a guy I had just finished playing against. It never hit me that he was the coach. I guess I found out the hard way." Ainge: "I never felt like Robert felt like he belonged on our team. He communicated that to me.... He said that the only guys he talked with were Sam [Cassell] and Chucky [Brown], and they weren't there anymore. He just didn't fit in with this group of guys."
2 of 15Manny Millan/SI
Allen Iverson-Larry Brown
Brown: "How would you feel if a guy didn't show up for work? Why is it my problem if a guy is not ready to practice? If a guy is going to react where he's upset at me for pointing that out, that shouldn't be my problem. In his mind if he shows up and plays, he's doing his job. And [Allen] doesn't cheat you in that respect at all. But there are certain responsibilities you have when you are a great player. People expect you to be at your best every single night. And if you don't take care of yourself, or if you don't prepare or practice, sometimes you're not able to play at the level you're expected." Iverson: "The people around me, the organization, I don't think they treat me like the franchise player. I'm treated like the 12th guy on the bench with this franchise, believe it or not."
3 of 15John W. McDonough/SI
Kobe Bryant-Phil Jackson
Jackson: "I won't coach this team next year if he is still here. He won't listen to anyone. I've had it with this kid.... Kobe is missing out by not finding a way to become part of a system than involves giving to something larger than himself.... The boyish hero image has been replaced by that of a callous gun for hire." Bryant: "He's just trying to sell books. I'll just leave it at that."
4 of 15AP
Patrick Ewing-Don Nelson
Only 59 games into his tenure, Don Nelson was fired as coach of the Knicks in large part due to the dislike many of the team's stars -- Patrick Ewing, John Starks among them -- had for Nelson's strategies. Starks: "You don't take advantage of a player, try to make him look bad.... All of a sudden, you boost another player in front of him? If you want that to happen, be a man about it and say you want the situation to be this way." Ewing: "I want to be on the floor as much as I can. That's what I told [Nelson]. I just want him to accommodate me so I can go out there and get the job done.... It's different not being on the court. It's hard to sit, period. I've communicated it to him. But that's between he and I." Nelson: "I don't enjoy being crucified in the newspapers, but ... it was bound to happen. I was well aware that things like these happen here more than anywhere.... I feel more like a New Yorker now than I ever have. I've been kicked in the teeth, kicked in the ass, roughed up and I'm still standing. That's what it's all about, right? You gotta get tough."
5 of 15John W. McDonough/SI
Bob Hill-Dennis Rodman
Rodman: "I think it's really stupid that you set me down and all of a sudden I don't start and I've got to take some pity minutes -- two or three here or there -- to get everybody's respect. I think that's really stupid. My respect is to go out there and do what I do best, and I do it well. All of a sudden you set me down like a kid and say, `Hey, you've got to start over again.' Damn, I've been in the league nine years. I know what to do." Hill: "If I were you guys [in the media], I would always listen very closely to Dennis, and then probably know that, whatever he says, the opposite is true. That's as honest as I can be."
6 of 15Sam Forencich/Getty Images
Maurice Cheeks-Darius Miles
Miles chafed under the then Blazers coach's sometimes stern tutelage, finally exploding at a team film session in which Miles repeatedly called Cheeks a racial epithet and told the coach he didn't care if Portland lost 20 games in a row because Cheeks was going to be fired anyway. Miles: "We have our ups and downs, you know, we get into arguments. But it ain't to the point where I would dog him because he is a good person, and he is looking out for my best interests. It's just that some days we communicate right, and some days we communicate wrong. I just think my IQ of the basketball game is so high ... but there is a lot of stuff where I feel I need to give my opinion." Cheeks: "I have to challenge him because he, for whatever reason, doesn't put it out there like I would like him to. He thinks he does, and I think he doesn't. So I've got to challenge him in a different way."
7 of 15AP
Otis Thorpe-Doug Collins
Veteran forward Otis Thorpe and former Pistons coach Doug Collins failed to see eye-to-eye on much during their years together in Detroit. Thorpe went so far as to avoid contact with Collins, eschewing in-game huddles and forcing Collins to relay messages to Thorpe through teammates. Thorpe: "[Collins is] able to adjust to my personality. I make him listen, and he makes me listen. He realizes I've been around for a while, and he has been around. We both have jobs to do. We have an understanding in that area." Collins: "It took me awhile to understand him because he's a quiet, intense person."
8 of 15J.D. Cuban/Getty Images; Greg Nelson/SI
Kendall Gill-George Karl
The Sonics coach and player feuded largely over playing time and reached a flash point when Karl criticized Gill on a radio show, which still bothered the swingman after he left the team. Karl (on the air): "Kendall's not totally happy under the circumstances, and we understand that. We may not be totally happy with the money we're paying him." Gill: "I wouldn't mind running into him in a dark alley somewhere, and then we'd see how much smack he's gonna talk. Normally, I wouldn't say anything about George, but I'm tired of holding my tongue. I would have done anything to get away from George Karl. I would have played in Baghdad.... Judgment Day will come, and he'll have to meet his maker. All of the characters he tried to destroy, he'll have to pay for."
9 of 15Bill Sallaz/Getty Images; AP
Raef Lafrentz -Dan Issel
Angered over Issel's treatment of teammate Raef LaFrentz and his calling for an 11 a.m. practice after the team arrived home at 3 a.m., the Nuggets boycotted a practice in 2000. Issel: "The players should have come to me and said they didn't want to practice. I did tell them I was glad they did it together. That's probably the first thing we've done as a team this year." LaFrentz: "When things go bad, Dan Issel doesn't think. He just reacts. And he goes off. When Dan Issel gets mad, that's what happens. He attacks referees, the press, his players."
10 of 15AP
Rafer Alston-Sam Mitchell
The Raptors coach and point guard feuded throughout the 2004-05 season, highlighted by a number of arguments, some rumored to verge on physical altercations and benchings. Alston: "When I walked out of practice the other day, I was man enough to apologize, I was man enough to say I made a mistake. Somebody better be man enough to say they made a mistake." Mitchell: "I'm an emotional person and I'm getting better at it. Rafer's an emotional player and he's getting better at it. We're all working to channel our emotions in the right direction."
11 of 15AP; Manny Millan/SI
Dave Checketts-Pat Riley
After four years coaching the Knicks, Pat Riley faxed in his resignation to the team's front office to accept a lucrative deal as coach and president of the Miami Heat in 1995. Riley: ``I was not going to be squashed by the Knicks machine. I did not, contrary to what Mr. Checketts said, turn my back on the New York Knicks fans. I turned my back on him. Period. One person. One person only. It was a broken promise. He knows it." Checketts: "Pat, listen to your father. Your father said, `There comes a time when you have to plant your feet firmly on the ground and take a stand.' Given a chance to come clean, why doesn't he just stand up and take a stance? Pat, the truth is, you got a once-in-a-lifetime, unbelievable coaching deal. I understand that. The reason I got angry was you gave up on our team in the middle of the fourth season. You stopped coaching our team to negotiate with another team. You owe the team and the organization an apology ... The more he goes on with this song of somehow it was about me and my word, he sounds like Tyson trying to explain why he had to bite Holyfield."
12 of 15AP
Stephon Marbury-Larry Brown
Marbury: "I'm no longer going to allow him to say things about me [and] I'm not going to say anything back. That's just not going to happen. I allowed him to drag me the first three, four months in the paper and I didn't say one word. I just sat back and took it. I'm not taking it anymore. If something is going to be said, I'm going to defend myself. My mother taught me that if somebody hits you, hit them back." Brown: "I've been coaching how many years? A long time. I never left a team in worse shape than I got it. Not once. Now think about that. Think about me and think about the guy who's talking. All right? I've never asked anything of my players any different than I'm doing right now. Think about that."
13 of 15John W. McDonough/SI
Jerry Krause-Michael Jordan
Krause: "Players and coaches alone don't win championships. Organizations win championships." Jordan: "The trade of [Charles] Oakley was good, and the best thing he did was to get [Scottie] Pippen and [Horace] Grant. That's it. His claim to fame is that he drafted Earl Monroe for the Bullets [in 1967]. And I say to him, `What pick was that?' He says, `Two.' And I say, `Hell! Earl Monroe was a real secret, huh? A real secret? If you hadn't taken him, he'd have gone third!'"
14 of 15Robert Beck/SI
Kobe Bryant- Shaquille O'Neal
O'Neal: "We want [stuff] done right. As long as it's my team, I'll voice my opinion. Yep, it's my team. You [media] guys might give it to him, like you've given him everything else his whole lifetime, but this is the Diesel's ship. And if we're not right, I'm going to go out there and try to get [it] right.... Just ask Karl [Malone] and Gary [Payton] why they wanted to come here. [It was because of] one person, not two. One." Bryant: "I have been successfully sacrificing my game for years for Shaq. That's what [coach Phil Jackson] wanted me to do, so I did it. Last year Phil told me Shaq was not in physical condition to carry the trust of our offense, so he asked me to do it. But then he saw Shaq was getting upset that the team wasn't running through him, so Phil asked me to pull back, and I did."
15 of 15AP
P.J. Carlesimo-Latrell Sprewell
Simmering tension between Sprewell and Carlesimo exploded in a Warriors practice when Sprewell choked the then Golden State coach, leading to the temporary termination of Sprewell's contract before it was reinstated by an arbitrator. Sprewell: "I wasn't choking P.J. I mean, P.J., he could breathe. It's not like he was losing air or anything like that. I mean, it wasn't a choke, I wasn't trying to kill P.J.... If you're choking someone, you don't get scratches. You get welts totally around your neck. It's not like I was going to sit there and kill the man. No, I would have stopped, definitely." Carlesimo: "I think it's more important that you're respected and it's more important that you're effective than you be liked. Coaching isn't a popularity contest. You'd like to be liked, but if you're concerned with that in coaching, you're not going to be successful."
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