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Least popular star of all-time?


Steel Certain

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Bonds would have made the HOF without steroids/HGH...no question about that. He probably would not have morphed from Pinnochio into Shrek without the HGH, but still would have been a perennial All Star and often-voted MVP.

Here's my question: is he in fact the LEAST popular star of all-time? He has a terrible locker room presence. He gives terrible interviews, time and time again. He disdains the media. He is famously unpopular to fans (outside of SF of course). He's hardly Wheaties Box material, fair to say?

What other HOF-caliber players (in any sport) are as unlikeable as Barry "US" Bonds? I can't think of anyone who can give him a run for his money. What are your thoughts?

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Ty Cobb comes to mind. He was despised by opponents and teammates alike. I honestly don't know how the fans of that era felt about him. I imagine it was pretty similar to Bonds, his hometown fans probably overlooked his personality while road fans hated his guts. But I can't really say for sure.

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To answer the question, probably not. Not even Cobb was universally hated to the extent Bonds is. The reasons were far different as well: Cobb played a mean game but wasn't seen as a mean person (little the fans really knew back then). Bonds is seen as a mean person who plays a mean game. Huge difference.

And sorry, Hedley, Kobe Bryant isn't in the same league (pardon the pun) as Bonds in the disgust/hatred department. The only one in any other sport so repulsive to sports fans is O.J. Simpson - and no, I'm not comparing the two in any other sense.

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While I don't think anyone matches Bonds, I think you could make an argument that Michael Vick would fall in that category (if having HOF quality talent, while not HOF quality credentials still counts). If not, I'd say Kobe is probably the closest, but like TMM said, there's a pretty big gap between the two.

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Aside from the fans' perspective... many of his team mates and many opposing players have a dislike for Bonds. He's a bad team mate and a bad guy in general. I've never heard so many negative things come from within baseball regarding Bonds. Kobe also has had rumblings from within the NBA (other players) regarding how he is not liked. That's what classifies these two from most others. There are many not liked by fans... but they are spoken highly of by other players.

OJ is different. During his playing days, he was liked (as far as I know). I mean, heck fans liked OJ so much that many were pulling for him to "get over" during the murder trials. To this day not everyone hates OJ, and he was found guilty in the Civil Trial!!

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I love this post because it begs a question of the opposite: Who was the nicest of the nice guys in all of sports?

One could make good arguments for the following in baseball:

Yogi Berra

Lou Gehrig

Cal Ripken Jr.

Babe Ruth (yes, he had his sins, but people loved him)

Stan Musial

Ernie Banks

Tony Gwynn

Kirby Puckett (despite his marital problems)

I'm trying to think of such players in the NFL, NBA or NHL, but they just don't stand out as much as in baseball.

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I love this post because it begs a question of the opposite: Who was the nicest of the nice guys in all of sports?

One could make good arguments for the following in baseball:

Yogi Berra

Lou Gehrig

Cal Ripken Jr.

Babe Ruth (yes, he had his sins, but people loved him)

Stan Musial

Ernie Banks

Tony Gwynn

Kirby Puckett (despite his marital problems)

I'm trying to think of such players in the NFL, NBA or NHL, but they just don't stand out as much as in baseball.

In the NFL, you got Peyton Manning. Gilbert Arenas is the nicest guy in the NBA, by far.

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OJ is different. During his playing days, he was liked (as far as I know).

OJ the player was the exact opposite of OJ the acquitted. He was a very popular player in his heyday. Everyone loved him. He did a ton of TV spots. Hell, OJ was so popular that his O-Line even got some play. They were known as "Juice and The Electric Company." He was as popular as any player in the league at the time. At least that's how I remember it. It was 35 years ago after all. Anyone in their 40's has to remember his Hertz commercial. Go O.J. go!

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And sorry, Hedley, Kobe Bryant isn't in the same league (pardon the pun) as Bonds in the disgust/hatred department. The only one in any other sport so repulsive to sports fans is O.J. Simpson - and no, I'm not comparing the two in any other sense.

Why not? Consider what all Kobe's been famous/infamous for:

1. His rape allegations a few years ago.

2. Basically having a hand in trading Shaq, getting Phil to retire, and dismantling the Lakers.

3. His trade demands over the past year or two.

4. Thought by many to be a selfish, stat-padding player throughout his career.

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Ty Cobb comes to mind. He was despised by opponents and teammates alike. I honestly don't know how the fans of that era felt about him. I imagine it was pretty similar to Bonds, his hometown fans probably overlooked his personality while road fans hated his guts. But I can't really say for sure.

Wasn't Ty Cobb a terrible racist as well?

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And sorry, Hedley, Kobe Bryant isn't in the same league (pardon the pun) as Bonds in the disgust/hatred department. The only one in any other sport so repulsive to sports fans is O.J. Simpson - and no, I'm not comparing the two in any other sense.

Why not? Consider what all Kobe's been famous/infamous for:

1. His rape allegations a few years ago.

2. Basically having a hand in trading Shaq, getting Phil to retire, and dismantling the Lakers.

3. His trade demands over the past year or two.

4. Thought by many to be a selfish, stat-padding player throughout his career.

I think that yes, Kobe is the NBA equivalent of Bonds. However, he didn't cheat (well, at basketball), and Bonds "did."

Actually, forget it. I can't think of any legitimate reason why Bonds is so much more hated than Kobe. I like both players -- I think they're the best of their generations (well, tie Bonds with Griffey) -- but I recognize I'm in the vast minority.

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Why not? Consider what all Kobe's been famous/infamous for:

1. His rape allegations a few years ago.

2. Basically having a hand in trading Shaq, getting Phil to retire, and dismantling the Lakers.

3. His trade demands over the past year or two.

4. Thought by many to be a selfish, stat-padding player throughout his career.

Yeah, but if you're on the east coast and you have less than a fervent interest in basketball, you couldn't give two :censored:s about Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant's not broken any significant records that fans treasure. Kobe Bryant's rants and raves thus far are done in private rather than through the media. That's the difference.

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OJ is different. During his playing days, he was liked (as far as I know).

OJ the player was the exact opposite of OJ the acquitted. He was a very popular player in his heyday. Everyone loved him. He did a ton of TV spots. Hell, OJ was so popular that his O-Line even got some play. They were known as "Juice and The Electric Company." He was as popular as any player in the league at the time. At least that's how I remember it. It was 35 years ago after all. Anyone in their 40's has to remember his Hertz commercial. Go O.J. go!

Exactly. O.J. Simpson was an icon up to the day he committed murder. Bonds was considered an :censored:hole by the time he signed with San Francisco.

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Why not? Consider what all Kobe's been famous/infamous for:

1. His rape allegations a few years ago.

2. Basically having a hand in trading Shaq, getting Phil to retire, and dismantling the Lakers.

3. His trade demands over the past year or two.

4. Thought by many to be a selfish, stat-padding player throughout his career.

Yeah, but if you're on the east coast and you have less than a fervent interest in basketball, you couldn't give two :censored:s about Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant's not broken any significant records that fans treasure. Kobe Bryant's rants and raves thus far are done in private rather than through the media. That's the difference.

What tangent are you wandering on? Would Bonds be less of a jerk and be more popular if he didn't didn't break the homerun record?

Kobe's off-the-court issues (the rape allegations, his trade demands) got just as much attention as Bonds' off-the-field issues. Kobe's in-game accomplishments get just a much ridicule as Bonds'. Kobe isn't as hated in visiting arenas as Bonds is because there are more Lakers fans spread out than there are Giants fans.

Going back to the original question, Kobe is definitely one of the least-popular Hall of Fame (or potentially HOF) players around. Not as hated as Bonds, I'll give you that, but he's well on his way.

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