List szn continues here on the blog. Monday I brought you my list of my favorite Astros that people might forget were Astros and yesterday I did the same with the Rockets. At some point I will dive into the Texans and see if there is a list I can really put together, but their history is not as lengthy as the others and they really have not had a ton of notable names that have run through here late in their careers that have been anything but a disaster and I just do not have much desire to go through that right now. So today, let's take this to a hate list. Current and former athletes that we have loved to hate as Houston fans. Making this list has taken forever and I have decided to narrow it down to these so I'm not writing a million things about a million different guys and finding video proof of each one as we go. At the bottom of the post you'll find the rest of the best from the list I put together off the top of my head. Like the first two days with my list blogs, these are players that I have seen in my life. I know that there are plenty pre-1990 that some of you would add. No more messing around, let's get to it.
No NBA player will probably ever top Derek Fisher on this list for me. Cocky, arrogant, cheap, dirty...whatever we word we wanted to use for him when he played against the Rockets will probably fit. Remember that brief moment when he got traded here? Thank god he never actually put on that Rockets uniform, I would not have been able to stomach it. We will never forget this incredibly cheap hit he dropped on Luis Scola. Could you imagine the suspension this would have landed him in today's world? The internet would have rioted and forced Adam Silver to suspend him for a lengthy period of time. This is the longer version video of the incident, the cheap shot happens around the 1:45 mark.
While I was too young to know the sports hate of Stockton while his career was going on, I have watched so many of those old Rockets/Jazz games to understand why he got under the skin of every Rockets fan for so long. You would love him if he was on your team, but watching him go against yours was just infuriating. Somebody should have told him he did not have to wear biker sized shorts while he was on the floor.
Oh what do you know...another Jazz player...there is a theme here. He just unfortunately fit the Jazz and the way they played and he gave me as a Houston sports fan my first real appreciation of what it is like to really hate the Utah Jazz as much as we do. The funny part about hating all these Jazz players is the fact that for the most part, the Rockets have crushed their souls more often than they have ours.
This one is so weird and recent but it fits given his departure from Houston for the Dallas Mavericks. We absolutely loved him when he was here, but when he was not on your team, he was easy to dislike. Given his cute little picture with Mark Cuban the night he signed the offer sheet from the Mavs while they were in the club, to his comments where he called the city of Houston dirty after leaving, he pushed himself up the charts of Houston sports hate quickly for a guy that was once loved. If there is one thing we can respect about him, the dude knew how to cash in big time and swindle a couple of teams out of a max level of contract for himself.
You're looking at this one and saying, I don't understand. This one is strictly a shout out to my younger brother, Matt. He has never been a massive basketball fan but he always kept up with what would go on during the regular season through me and would watch all the playoffs when they would come. He just always had the strangest hate for Luke Walton and will still say the funniest things about him to this day so I had to put this on the list for him alone. Matt, I know you're reading this and laughing while using some sort of curse word about Luke Walton.
Just that little pest that slapped the ball around on the ground and just drove you nuts. Always felt like it took forever to get him out and when he got a hit against you it just made me want to punch something. Playing for the Cardinals did not help his case.
This one is an easy one. He has been a thorn in our side for so long and has made a career of hitting dingers off Astros pitchers alone. It's a different sort of hate when it comes to Pujols because there really is not anything about the hate other than the fact that he has just destroyed the Astros for so long. Mad respect for the player he was and the career he put up. A legend...but the reason behind some brutal moments in our lives as Houston sports fans.
He is just very unlikable from the way he plays to his chirping and the fact that for a guy that really is not all that great, he talks way too much. We all smile when he strikes out a billion times a season against Astros pitching. Enjoy your second baseman, Arlington...we'll enjoy our guy at that position that is actually good.
I do not have to explain this one obviously. Hope you enjoy that ring, Mike.
The definition of the run your mouth guy, when Andre Johnson did this to him, we all stood up and cheered like crazy. The dude got the calmest man in the history of sports to lose his mind...that's saying something.
I had a hard time coming up with a ton of names of Texans opponents that we all loved to hate more than we hated having to watch this guy play quarterback for them. From the painful press conferences to the horrific commercials, that was one rough year of watching Texans football. How the hell they made the playoffs with him starting the majority of the season is still beyond me.
Okay so this technically is not an athlete but I just could not do this list without him. There might not be anyone ever related to the Texans either as an opponent or player on the team that will drum up more hate than Dictator O'Brien. Let's see what dumb idea he comes up with next to piss us off even more.
So that's it for the core of this list of the athletes that we have loved to hate as Houston sports fans in my life time. Here's the list of honorable mentions that I came up with that I did not dive into above.
John Stockton, Karl Malone, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, Mehmet Okur, Joe Ingles, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Jim Edmonds, Mike Napoli, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Juan Soto, TY Hilton, Chris Johnson...and even still after this list of honorable mentions, there are so many more.
Another list to come tomorrow. Catch me each morning on The Sean Salisbury Show from 6-10am on SportsTalk 790.