Humility seems a dying art: When athletes like themselves just a little too much

We’ve discussed what it means to be a “true” fan numerous times in the Jock Strip. Just as the teams and athletes we pledge fan-ship to, our favorite athletes are entitled to their own fan allegiances. Great, right? I’m a fan of basketball. Paul Pierce is also a fan of basketball. Here’s the issue though: Paul Pierce is also a huge fan of Paul Pierce.  The youth of today have a lot of problems. They think playing Wii counts as exercise, they can’t spell the words “jock” or “strip,” and worst of all, they have no idea who Mr. Rogers is. What does our youth need? Role models. Oh wait. The guys that would be their role models are narcissistic jerks.

Now, for every 10 arrogant fools in pro sports, there is one humble guy. Case in point, Derrick Rose, the leading NBA MVP candidate from the Chicago Bulls. Even though the Bulls’ success is little more than Derrick Rose dribbling around a lot, he is still a sweet slice of humble pie in every interview. He always cites good plays be his teammates and draws attention away from himself. D-Rose and a few other quality guys in pro sports are in stark contrast to the following list of the most narcissistic athletes in sports.

Kobe Bryant – Y’all are probably getting tired of me hatin’ on Kobe, but when it comes to a list of jerk-bag, egotistical athletes, of course Kobe’s going to be on it. Kobe’s good, real good, and Kobe knows it too. Although you may not see him blatantly making statements about his personal belief in his ability to walk on water, he’s been known to berate his teammates time and time again for their unsuperstar-like downfalls on the court.

Cristiano Ronaldo – It took a lot for me to put my boy Ronaldo (aka CR9) on this list, but it can’t be denied, Ronaldo is extremely big-headed. Cristiano can do things with a soccer ball most people could never even dream of, and he’s not afraid to tell you about it. In fact, he considers himself the best player on the planet, and he may be, but let your feet do the talking, not your mouth. Plus, he goes down way to easy on the field (we all saw you flop Cristiano, you’re not the only person in the stadium).

Usain Bolt – He’s fast. I mean extremely fast, but he’s a little too cocky about it for my taste. When you watch him race, you’re surprised he doesn’t turn around and stick out his tongue at his losing opponents. However, the true reason Bolt’s on this list is because of a news report around a year ago, explaining that Bolt was honestly considering changing his career to soccer and wanted to try to play for Manchester United. You can’t just do that. You can’t just think, just because I’m fast and a superstar, I can join one the best soccer clubs in the world like no big deal … that’s a slap in the face to soccer players everywhere.

Paul Pierce – Paul thinks he is absolutely incredible at basketball. In fact, he has said he believes he is the best player in the world. In an interview by a Spanish reporter, Pierce said, “I'm the best player (in the world). There's a line that separates having confidence and being conceited. I don't cross that line.” How can you possibly make the claim that you are the best player in the world and immediately say you’re not conceited? Unbelievable, Paul Pierce.

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Brent Edstrom