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5/16/2008 02:22:00 PM
Dirtiest Players in Sports History
Bill Laimbeer's antics were a big part of the Pistons' "Bad Boys" persona.
Mike Powell/Getty Images
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
With a hard pick to David West's ailing back in Thursday night's NBA Playoffs, Spurs forward Robert Horry cemented his growing reputation, deserved or not, as one of the NBA's dirtiest players. Is Horry a dirty person? Not even close -- anyone who knows Horry will attest that he's one of the brightest, most thoughtful people in the NBA. Still, after decking Steve Nash last season and incapacitating West Thursday night, Horry will always have a black (and blue) mark on his resume, joining a list of many athletes who will forever be classified as dirty, whether or not they actually were.
Here's our list of the dirtiest players in sports history...
1. Bill Laimbeer: As the enforcer for the Detroit Pistons' "Bad Boys" teams, Laimbeer excelled at getting under the skin of opposing players, occasionally through thuggery, but more regularly by pinching, prodding and poking. Eventually, as you can see here Robert Parish couldn't take it any more.
2. Pete Rose: It takes a lot to beat out Ty Cobb, but Pete Rose did it in the record book and on my list. Not only did Rose knock out Ray Fosse during an All-Star Game, but after years of lying about betting on baseball, be finally he admitted that he was betting all along.
3. Bill Romanowski: Over his 16-year NFL career, Romanowski broke Kerry Collins' jaw, spit in JJ Stokes' face, kicked Larry Centers in the head, threw a punch at Tony Gonzalez, pegged a football into Bryan Cox's groin and broke a teammate's eye socket. And those are just the things he was caught doing. These days he's channeling his energies into blogging.
4. Ulf Samuelsson: He had a long NHL career and accumulated eight times as many penalty minutes as points. Samuelsson was mostly known for perfecting the knee-on-knee hit, one of which caused an injury that ultimately knocked Cam Neely out from the NHL for good.
5. Conrad Dobler: Once dubbed the dirtiest player in pro football by SI, Conrad Dobler's exploit seem to have been tempered by time. Still, anyone who punched Mean Joe Greene makes this list.
Who gets your vote as the dirtiest player in sports history? Let us know below...
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com.
Few athletes have a trophy case as full as Martina Navratilova's.
By Lang Whitaker, SI.com
With baseball in swing, the NBA Playoffs grinding on and the NFL draft just past us, we'll forgive you if you missed the start of the WNBA season. With Candace Parker and Candice Wiggins going to the pros, the league should be better than ever. And with Danica Patrick's recent resurgence, we thought this would be a good chance to take a look at the greatest female athletes of all time…
1. Babe Zaharias: Though she dominated the sports world, she lived in an era when the athletic accomplishments of women weren't exactly celebrated. Still, Babe hit five home runs in a baseball game, won three Olympic medals in track and field, was an All-American in basketball and won dozens of golf tournaments.
2. Jackie Joyner-Kersee: After scoring more 1,000 points as a basketball player at UCLA, Joyner-Kersee made her mark on the world as a heptathlete, winning seven Olympic medals (three golds).
3. Martina Navratilova: While many consider Billie Jean King the greatest female tennis player of all time, I'm going with Martina, who won 18 Grand Slam titles as a singles player and 31 in doubles. She also reeled off 74 consecutive wins at one point, and even King called her the greatest singles, doubles and mixed-doubles player "who ever lived."
4. Sonja Henie -- The Norwegian skater is known for revolutionizing figure skating by injecting style and structure to her routines. She won three Olympic gold medals and 10 world championships, then went on to organize skating tours and star in films.
5. Cheryl Miller: The greatest Miller family baller compiled a 132-4 record in high school, including one legendary game in which she scored 105 points in the first half. At USC, she was a four-time All-American and finished fifth on the NCAA Women's all-time charts in scoring and third in rebounding.
Who is the greatest female athlete of all time? Let us know below…
Lang Whitaker is the executive editor of SLAM magazine and writes daily at SLAMonline.com