The 9 Most Hated People in College Basketball
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The 9 Most Hated People in College Basketball

by: Penn Collins On  Friday, March 13, 2015

dick vitale most hated people in college basketball
Man, college basketball sure is filled with some hateable characters. And because the tenure of most players hovers around 1-3 years, a lot of our hate focuses not on player but rather coaches and announcers—people America must endure in large doses for a short period of team every year during March Madness. In fact, to be quite honest, you have to work very hard to not be hated when everybody’s looking at you that intensely.

For that reason, narrowing the field of most hated people in college basketball down to just nineis a pretty tricky proposition. But, if anyone can find hate in their heart, I can. So let’s go through the announcers, coaches, and players to find the most terrible people ever to grace the courts, booths, and benches of the game.

Here are the nine most hated people in college basketball. Enjoy.

dick vitale most hated people in college basketball
Man, college basketball sure is filled with some hateable characters. And because the tenure of most players hovers around 1-3 years, a lot of our hate focuses not on player but rather coaches and announcers—people America must endure in large doses for a short period of team every year during March Madness. In fact, to be quite honest, you have to work very hard to not be hated when everybody’s looking at you that intensely.

For that reason, narrowing the field of most hated people in college basketball down to just nineis a pretty tricky proposition. But, if anyone can find hate in their heart, I can. So let’s go through the announcers, coaches, and players to find the most terrible people ever to grace the courts, booths, and benches of the game.

Here are the nine most hated people in college basketball. Enjoy.

9 Bobby Hurley

I promise we keep the Duke-bashing to a lean two entries here. Otherwise, this list could have very easily been titled simply, “9 People Involved with Duke Basketball.” Bobby Hurley may not stand out among the Duke greats in hindsight, but that’s sort of the point. Duke has engineered a college program that doesn’t necessarily crank out great NBA players, but rather these awkward-looking white guys that beat you with the fundamentals while wiping their Wonder Bread personality all over the floor. Bobby Hurley was one such player, who just had an eminently despicable Duke air about him. I mean, look at that picture. He couldn’t be a bigger geek if he tried.

9. Bobby Hurley

9 Bobby Hurley

I promise we keep the Duke-bashing to a lean two entries here. Otherwise, this list could have very easily been titled simply, “9 People Involved with Duke Basketball.” Bobby Hurley may not stand out among the Duke greats in hindsight, but that’s sort of the point. Duke has engineered a college program that doesn’t necessarily crank out great NBA players, but rather these awkward-looking white guys that beat you with the fundamentals while wiping their Wonder Bread personality all over the floor. Bobby Hurley was one such player, who just had an eminently despicable Duke air about him. I mean, look at that picture. He couldn’t be a bigger geek if he tried.

John Calipari

You want to know the fast track to getting on this list? Be successful coach that uses too much hair gel. Calipari has had tremendous success with UMass, Memphis, and Kentucky, which pretty much means fans of all but his current gig, Kentucky, hate him. While coaching in the NBA at new Jersey, he called a reporter a “Mexican idiot.” More profoundly, Calipari was at the nexus of an investigation that caused Memphis to have to vacate their entire 2007-8 season when they came in as tournament runners up. While it’s naïve to think that the game is so pure that he ruined it, lots of other fans are pretty cool with dumping on Coach Cal for that.

8. John Calipari

John Calipari

You want to know the fast track to getting on this list? Be successful coach that uses too much hair gel. Calipari has had tremendous success with UMass, Memphis, and Kentucky, which pretty much means fans of all but his current gig, Kentucky, hate him. While coaching in the NBA at new Jersey, he called a reporter a “Mexican idiot.” More profoundly, Calipari was at the nexus of an investigation that caused Memphis to have to vacate their entire 2007-8 season when they came in as tournament runners up. While it’s naïve to think that the game is so pure that he ruined it, lots of other fans are pretty cool with dumping on Coach Cal for that.

7. Rick Pitino

There’s also something about college coaches that leave for the NBA, fail, then come back to college. It makes them like 270% more sleazy. Then you factor in the hair gel and you’re at a record level of sleaze. Which is where we find current Louisville coach Rick Pitino. He made most of his enemies coaching for Kentucky. He won a championship there in 1996 and another with his current team, Louisville. But Pitino hasn’t had a particularly scandalous existence. He was extorted and he cheated on his wife with an erratic-looking blonde woman who accused him of rape twice, but the police, after thorough investigation, couldn’t substantiate the charges. Sure, he’s no saint, but most of the hate for this dude comes from his trail of success.

7. Rick Pitino

7. Rick Pitino

There’s also something about college coaches that leave for the NBA, fail, then come back to college. It makes them like 270% more sleazy. Then you factor in the hair gel and you’re at a record level of sleaze. Which is where we find current Louisville coach Rick Pitino. He made most of his enemies coaching for Kentucky. He won a championship there in 1996 and another with his current team, Louisville. But Pitino hasn’t had a particularly scandalous existence. He was extorted and he cheated on his wife with an erratic-looking blonde woman who accused him of rape twice, but the police, after thorough investigation, couldn’t substantiate the charges. Sure, he’s no saint, but most of the hate for this dude comes from his trail of success.

6. Fab Five

I’m calling these guys a “figure” all together, because the Universtiy of Michigan starting five in 1991 were as often spoken of collectively as they were individually. If college basketball traditionalists were taxicabs, then the Fab 5 were Uber. They were disruptive to the status quo. They played aspirationally, they had swagger when the game didn’t particularly prize individually. They turned out to be the harbingers of a new era of basketball, and set the tone more than any NBA players did at this time. They ended up being pretty prescient, but that didn’t stop them from drawing the ire of fans who thought that basketball players should look like Jimmy Chitwood.

6. The Fab Five

6. Fab Five

I’m calling these guys a “figure” all together, because the Universtiy of Michigan starting five in 1991 were as often spoken of collectively as they were individually. If college basketball traditionalists were taxicabs, then the Fab 5 were Uber. They were disruptive to the status quo. They played aspirationally, they had swagger when the game didn’t particularly prize individually. They turned out to be the harbingers of a new era of basketball, and set the tone more than any NBA players did at this time. They ended up being pretty prescient, but that didn’t stop them from drawing the ire of fans who thought that basketball players should look like Jimmy Chitwood.

5. Dick Vitale

People hate Dick Vitale only a couple reasons, but they’re really good reasons. His colorful schtick was charming until he became super self-aware in the late 80’s. The phrase “diaper dandy” is stupid. The man looks like the spawn of Beelzebub when he’s not covered in makeup. And eventually, people have just gotten tired of this guy injecting his personality all over a whole sport. It would be like if Christopher Walken was your boss that you reported to every day for 30 years. The charm would wear off, and you would bite his neck.

5. Dick Vitale

5. Dick Vitale

People hate Dick Vitale only a couple reasons, but they’re really good reasons. His colorful schtick was charming until he became super self-aware in the late 80’s. The phrase “diaper dandy” is stupid. The man looks like the spawn of Beelzebub when he’s not covered in makeup. And eventually, people have just gotten tired of this guy injecting his personality all over a whole sport. It would be like if Christopher Walken was your boss that you reported to every day for 30 years. The charm would wear off, and you would bite his neck.

4. Billy Packer

Let’s stay on announcers. In 2008, the world of college basketball sent a heartfelt “smell ya later” to Billy Packer, a grouchy guy who likely kept his job so long because he was the yin to Vitale’s yang. Packer complained about everything and was one of those staunch traditionalists who probably always referred to basketball players as “young men,” and complained about haircuts. He was a pro, and he did his job well. He didn’t always have bad opinions, but people just sort of got sick of listening to him, and when you get the boot while Vitale is still yakkin’, your’e going to make this list.

4. Billy Packer

4. Billy Packer

Let’s stay on announcers. In 2008, the world of college basketball sent a heartfelt “smell ya later” to Billy Packer, a grouchy guy who likely kept his job so long because he was the yin to Vitale’s yang. Packer complained about everything and was one of those staunch traditionalists who probably always referred to basketball players as “young men,” and complained about haircuts. He was a pro, and he did his job well. He didn’t always have bad opinions, but people just sort of got sick of listening to him, and when you get the boot while Vitale is still yakkin’, your’e going to make this list.

MORRISON

Mustache. Crying. His NBA career. That should be enough, but besides those reasons, Adam Morrison just reeked of convention. He was on a team that made a Cinderella run that predictably came up short, and while he was a good player, he was drafted way too high, and ended up playing for about 4 NBA teams in four years (or so it seemed).

3. Adam Morrison

MORRISON

Mustache. Crying. His NBA career. That should be enough, but besides those reasons, Adam Morrison just reeked of convention. He was on a team that made a Cinderella run that predictably came up short, and while he was a good player, he was drafted way too high, and ended up playing for about 4 NBA teams in four years (or so it seemed).

2. Bobby Knight

Bobby Knight is a caricature of the hot head coach. He threw chairs, he showed his team toilet paper with his poop on it to demonstrate how they were playing during halftime of a game, and he wore red sweaters. All those things are very hateable. However, he ran clean programs, he attracted fanatical devotion from his former players and staff. What is less forgivable was his comment about rape to Connie Chung in 1988, “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” Oh, man. That’ll get you on the list.

2. Bobby Knight

2. Bobby Knight

Bobby Knight is a caricature of the hot head coach. He threw chairs, he showed his team toilet paper with his poop on it to demonstrate how they were playing during halftime of a game, and he wore red sweaters. All those things are very hateable. However, he ran clean programs, he attracted fanatical devotion from his former players and staff. What is less forgivable was his comment about rape to Connie Chung in 1988, “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it.” Oh, man. That’ll get you on the list.

1. Christian Laettner

We start with Duke, we end with Duke. And while we could have probably crammed a lot of Duke players in the middle, we took the high road. He wasn’t a bad guy, and he had a great college career. He started in four Final Fours and won two championships. Unfortunately, he did all these things while playing for Duke, which makes him the A-Rod of college basketball. His NBA career fell flat, but that just cements his place as the Duke poster boy, which, in turn, makes him #1. I wish there was a better story, but people just hate Duke that much.

1. Christian Laettner

1. Christian Laettner

We start with Duke, we end with Duke. And while we could have probably crammed a lot of Duke players in the middle, we took the high road. He wasn’t a bad guy, and he had a great college career. He started in four Final Fours and won two championships. Unfortunately, he did all these things while playing for Duke, which makes him the A-Rod of college basketball. His NBA career fell flat, but that just cements his place as the Duke poster boy, which, in turn, makes him #1. I wish there was a better story, but people just hate Duke that much.



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