Another year is coming to a close and while there were plenty of feel good moments in the sports world, there were some questionable ones as well. Below are 12 of the worst sports moments of 2012.
12) Lakers Fire Mike Brown
Following an 11 time championship winning coach is tough as it is, but doing it in the glare of the Los Angeles stage is very daunting. Mike Brown had the unenviable task of coaching the Lakers after Phil Jackson stepped down. After a strike shortened season that did not end with a Finals appearance and a 1-4 start to this season, either Kobe worked his “Magic” (inside joke: Magic Johnson reportedly got his first coach Paul Westhead fired paving the way for Pat Riley to come on board) or management really did not like what they saw. Funny thing is Phil wanted to come back but got snubbed for Mike D’Antoni. Wait…What?
11) Amare Stoudamire Punching Fire Extinguisher
This wouldn’t be so bad if Stoudamire didn’t do a similarly boneheaded move the year before in the playoffs against the Boston Celtics. Prior to Game 2 in the 2011 playoffs Stoudamire hurt his back while trying to perform a trick dunk in the layup line. Fast forward to a year later, Amare, angered at a Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat, took out his frustration on a defenseless fire extinguisher. Unfortunately for STAT it was encased in glass. Stitches were needed and Stoudamire missed a critical playoff game due to injury. Not saying these two lapses in judgement cost the Knicks the series but it would have been nice to have the extra firepower on the court.
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10) Metta World Peace Harden Elbow
Just when you thought the athlete formerly known as Ron Artest had calmed down and was content to lay low in LA, homey throws a vicious, totally unprovoked elbow to the back of the head of Oklahoma City’s James Harden during the playoffs last season. As you can imagine Harden was out cold and suddenly there were flashbacks of the infamous “Malice at the Palace” brawl of 2004. While replays showed differently, World Peace claimed he was unaware that he hit Harden with his elbow in the midst of his celebration.
9) Hector “Macho” Camacho Killed
The sports world was stunned when news surfaced that flamboyant boxer Hector “Macho” Camacho was shot while sitting in his car. The boxer made a name for himself in the ’80s beating fighters like Sugar Ray Leonard among others. Camacho was taken off of life support only after all of his family was able to see him. He was only 50 years old.
8) Manny Pacquiao Loses Title to Timothy Bradley
Everyone is focused on a Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather showdown in the ring, but the more time passes the more it looks like the chances of that fight happening are right up there with the release of Dr. Dre’s Detox album. Looking to stay active, Pacman put his WBO welterweight title on the line against relatively unknown Timothy Bradley and in a decision that was, to put it nicely, controversial Bradley was awarded the fight in a split decision. Anybody watching the match saw that while Manny didn’t knock Bradley out he clearly landed more punches. The Twitterverse went nuts after the decision was announced and the sport of boxing took a few more steps back.
7) Ray Allen Leaving Celtics for Heat
Along with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, Ray Allen brought the storied Celtics franchise back to prominence with the first modern day incarnation of the “Big 3”. Many copycats followed including the Miami Heat who signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join Dwyane Wade in South Beach in 2010. The Celtics and Heat turned into a bitter rivalry as Boston would not concede anything to the newly formed super team. After losing a hard fought seven game playoff series in 2011 with a trip to The Finals on the line, Allen took less money to join Miami in the offseason spurning the Celtics. It was a move that shocked many including Garnett who still refuses to speak to Allen in public.
6) Dez Bryant Assaulting His Mother
Bryant was a highly touted wide receiver coming out of college. With that notoriety comes a microscope into your personal life. Bryant’s life was no picnic and his mother’s personal struggles were front page news. Still it was disheartening when he was arrested in July for allegedly striking his own mother and charged with misdemeanor domestic violence.
5) Chad Ocho Cinco Domestic Violence
Although their romance played out on reality television in front of millions of viewers, Chad Ochocinco (now Johnson again) and Evelyn Lozada seemed like a solid couple. There were issues surrounding Chad’s past as a philanderer, but their wedding was one of the most anticipated. This is why many people were stunned when accusations of domestic abuse surfaced days after their wedding. Things snowballed for the wide receiver as he was subsequently released from the Miami Dolphins and VH1 cancelled the Ev & Ocho spinoff they were planning to release. Left without a source of income, divorce papers soon followed. Damn.
4) Roger Goddell Suspending Saints Players/Coach
With the amount of lawsuits being directed at the NFL by former players suffering from debilitating injuries due to repeated hits to the head and body, Commissioner Roger Goddell made an example of the New Orleans Saints who allegedly paid members of the team to physically injure certain opposing players. The scandal, called “Bounty-gate”, accused lineman Jonathan Vilma and others of putting a bounty on the head of players like Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, paying out as much as $10,000 to anyone who knocks them out of the game. Vilma and the Saints organization vehemently denied the charges, but were still suspended by Goddell. Vilma was initially given an entire season off as was head coach Sean Payton. Vilma took Goddell to court for defamation of character and eventually the last commissioner Paul Tagliabue reversed all player suspensions.
3) Lance Armstrong Stripped of Medals
There is nothing worse in sports, check that life, than a fraud. So when formerly decorated and revered cyclist Lance Armstrong was exposed as a steroid cheat by his own peers after years of adamant denials, your perception of what’s real becomes jaded. Armstrong set a record winning seven straight Tour de France championships. It was unprecedented and, we know now, tainted. Armstrong played on the public perception when he made his fight with cancer public before winning the tours. Armstrong chose to stop fighting an investigation into his reported drug use therefore admitting his guilt in the eyes of many. Lance was stripped of all his medals and Tour de France victories.
2) Kansas City Chiefs Javon Belcher Murder/Suicide
This story was extremely sad because it left a three month old girl an orphan. Who knows what was going through the mind of Belcher when he killed his girlfriend and then drove to the team practice facility and spoke to his head coach and GM before turning the gun on himself. For a team already having issues winning on the field this made a rough season even tougher.
1) Jerry Sandusky Trial
What more can be said about a man who completely destroyed the lives of young men in his care and tarnished the good name and legacy of a school and its legendary coach. Jerry Sandusky allegedly molested young boys in his care while serving as a coach on Penn State football team. Coach Joe Paterno lost his job for not being vigilant enough in reporting the crime and lost his life shortly thereafter. The fact that this monster was allowed to walk around that long is sickening.