It seems like there's been an NBA beef every week. But which beef was the biggest? Who had the most savage burn and who got Ethered?
It's time to settle this once and for all ... at least until the May beefs begin.
Draymond Green vs. Paul Pierce
Green, the NBA's biggest trash talker, took aim at Pierce, shouting, “You can’t get no farewell tour, they don’t love you like that! … You thought you was Kobe?" The Warriors then proceeded to erase an 18-point deficit and beat the Clippers for the 10th straight time. Pierce fired back on Twitter: "73 wins and u thought u was gonna win a title that yr 3-1 lead oops."
Really, this is just trash talk. Barely qualifies as a beef.
Who got Ethered: Pierce and the Clippers. Though Draymond has a long way to go to become the player Pierce was, Pierce has an equally long way to go to become the trash talker Draymond is. Another 3-1 Warriors dig? Paul, your Clips have never even made the Finals.
Lance Stephenson vs. Raptors
"Born Ready" got an earful from P.J. Tucker, DeMar DeRozan and the rest of the Raptors after he broke one of b-ball's unwritten rules and scored on an uncontested layup in the last seconds.
Who got Ethered: The lock of Lopez's hair that Ibaka's punch plowed through. It might even have straightened for a second.
Phil Jackson vs. Carmelo Anthony
After Phil dissed LeBron's "posse" earlier this season, Melo questioned why he was talking about another team's players, so Phil turned his attention back to subtweeting his star player. Melo, meanwhile, continues rolling his eyes hard.
Just Phil being Phil, undermining the guy he gave a max contract with a no-trade clause.
Who got Ethered: Definitely not Melo. Phil's "Michael Graham" reference went right over most people's heads, as do most of Phil's references.
DeMarcus Cousins vs. the Kings
Cousins called the Kings' trade of him "a coward move," while the rest of us just called it the worst trade in franchise history. And while Boogie never was on his best behavior, Vlade Divac always said Sacramento wanted him to stay. Then they basically gave him away.
As beefs go, a (perpetually) pissed-off player trashing his old team for being two-faced is about as common in the NBA as bad trades.
Who got Ethered: The Kings. And they did it to themselves.
LeBron James vs. LaVar Ball
Ball, whose ridiculous boasts about him and his sons provoked Charles Barkley into a war of words earlier this year, elicited a warning from LeBron after predicting the King's sons would be "wack" compared to their dad. Ball wasn't shook, though, scoffing both at the suggestion he did anything wrong and the notion that LeBron would do anything to him.
Ball may be new to beefing at the NBA level, but he's holding nothing back and raking in the publicity as a result.
This was late December, but it makes the list on the strength of sheer pettiness. Karl trashed a number of his former players, including Kenyon Martin, in his autobiography "Furious George" — blaming their immaturity on them not having fathers, among other things. Martin then blasted Karl, calling him an "awful and coward ass coach," and other players dismissed the tell-all as an attempt to stay relevant.
And that about covers it. Though Karl's willingness to make himself unhireable just so he can sell some books and settle some grudges is pretty wild.
Who got Ethered: Karl, again by his own hand.
Rajon Rondo vs. the Bulls
Rondo started by beefing with coach Fred Hoiberg after being benched, then called out Bulls stars Dwyane Wade and Jimmy Butler after they criticized their teammates' effort in a loss. Rondo's rant claimed his old Celtics captains would "never go to the media" ... "didn't take days off" ... "didn't care about their numbers" ... and they "played for the team." Strong stuff — but all of them still are in Chicago.
Rondo's notorious for beefing with his coaches, but bringing it to the best players on the team — and doing it by comparing them to his Big Three in Boston — was something special.
Who got Ethered: Wade, Butler, Hoiberg and any other vet who can't hold a candle to those old Celtics stars.
Kevin Durant vs. Russell Westbrook
The rift between these two since Durant left OKC for the Warriors has gotten the most publicity and provided some entertaining moments: a cupcake craze, wild Westbrook costumes, a passionate discussion of Fashion Week, and even some on-court chirping between the two. But we're still waiting for one of them to trash the other in even the most ordinary way.
The good news is this one's not going away.
Who got Ethered: Off the court, KD. On the court, Russ.
LeBron James vs. Charles Barkley
To be fair, Barkley brings it to everybody and has been doing it for years. But when Charles chided LeBron for asking for more help, James called him "a hater", then aired his dirty laundry. "I'm not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that," James told ESPN. "I'm not the one who threw somebody through a window. I never spit on a kid. I never had unpaid debt in Las Vegas. I never said, 'I'm not a role model.' I never showed up to All-Star Weekend on Sunday because I was in Vegas all weekend partying."
Yup, years' worth of beef paid back right there. Anyone could've done it, but being that it was the King, who has been extremely active in the beef category this year, we award bonus points.
Who got Ethered: Barkley, who usually does the Ethering.
Yes, KD really said that in defense of JaVale McGee. If this becames Shaq vs. KD, it could challenge for No. 1.
Who got Ethered: KD's already suspect reputation.
Matt Barnes vs. Derek Fisher
This beef over Barnes' ex-wife has been cooking since they tussled in 2015, and Fisher told Bleacher Report in January: "If the worst thing someone has to say about me is that I'm now going out with a woman who used to be married to this guy I worked with for a year six years ago … Cool." Barnes had the last word, though, with this posted comment: "He sound real tough on here, didn't sound like that when he was running around my house screaming & pleading."
This one may only be simmering on a back burner, but the fact that Barnes once drove 95 miles to throw punches at Fisher makes this an enduring beef.
Who got Ethered: Fisher, who's fine with that.
NBAE/Getty ImagesJoe Murphy
Charles Oakley vs. the Knicks
Oakley has been outspoken against his old team — and especially owner James Dolan— for years. And when Oakley showed up to a game at MSG earlier this year, security promptly gave him the bum's rush, then the Knicks' PR put out a character-assassinating statement, which Dolan doubled down on in an interview in which he announced Oakley was banned from MSG for life.
Dolan has since lifted the ban, but jeez. That was vicious.
Who got Ethered: Both sides — Oakley by his old team, and Dolan by his own fans and everyone else.
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