Top 10 Most Controversial Free Agent Signings in Sports

In sports, a player becomes a free agent once their contract expires and they are then free to sign with any team they want. And while that decision is completely up to them, some signings just leave a bad taste in the mouths of sports fans everywhere. Here are ten free agent signings that ruffled the feathers of the sports universe.
The Top Ten
1 Kevin Durant signs with the Golden State Warriors Kevin Wayne Durant is an American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association. He has played for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Golden State Warriors, and the Nets. He was MVP of the 2017 and 2018 NBA Finals.

The Oklahoma City Thunder were up 3 games to 1 against the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Western Conference Finals. The job was simple: win one game and they would be in the NBA Finals playing the Cavaliers. However, the Thunder failed to clinch the series despite having three opportunities and the Warriors moved onto the Finals. In those three games, Kevin Durant severely underperformed and had he played anywhere near his normal level of play, the Thunder would have definitely won the series. A few months later, Durant signed with the Warriors adding a whole new meaning to the phrase "If you can't beat them, join them". The fact that he signed with a team that won an NBA record 73 games in the regular season and that they were the team he wasn't good enough to beat, coupled with the way he lied to and backstabbed his Thunder teammates (especially Russell Westbrook) to win a championship while doing as little work as possible made him the most hated player possibly in NBA history. He can win as many championships and Finals MVPs as he wants but that isn't going to change the fact that he's a coward who took the easy path to achieving his success. When Michael Jordan kept losing to the Pistons in the late 80s and early 90s, he didn't just leave the Bulls and join the Pistons. He worked harder than ever and managed to elevate his team over their archrival and he became the greatest basketball player in history. Kevin Durant's decision to join the most successful, bandwagon-ridden team of the 2010s just reeks of cowardice and dishonor and it's unlikely that he'll be remembered as fondly as the other greats in NBA history. He will always be looked at as the guy who did it the easy way and screwed over his friends and an entire city to appease his selfish and lazy desires. Kevin Durant is a snake. And this is from a non-Warriors hating, unbiased Sixers fan.

2 LeBron James signs with the Miami Heat LeBron Raymone James is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. LeBron has played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, and the Lakers.

LeBron James was the main guy in his home town of Cleveland for seven years until he reached the free agency market in 2010. With the Cavaliers, he was essentially was a one-man show and the front office failed to match him up with any solid players to work with. As a result, he and Chris Bosh took their talents to South Beach in order to rebuild the past glory of the Miami Heat and form the Big 3 with Dwyane Wade. In retrospect, James' decision to leave Cleveland was very understandable because of all the ways they let him down over the years, but at the time, LeBron was the most hated man in sports. It wasn't until the Heat won a pair of championships and his returning to Cleveland when LeBron was redeemed in a lot of people's eyes. And besides, him being in Cleveland just seems right. Let's see if he decides to leave a second time during the 2018 offseason.

3 Terrell Owens signs with the Dallas Cowboys Terrell Eldorado Owens is an American football wide receiver who played for the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, and Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League.

My Dad told me that Philadelphians only teach their kids to hate three things:
1. Racism
2. Cancer
3. The Dallas Cowboys

And yeah, that is completely 100% accurate. When Terrell Owens signed with the Eagles in 2004, he was seen as the guy to take us to the promised land. He was the missing piece to an otherwise championship roster. And for the entire year, he proved it. His presence vaulted the Eagles into Super Bowl 39 where they ended up losing to the New England Patriots. And trust me, that loss feels a thousand times less painful now. T.O. shocked the football world and Eagles fans everywhere when he signed with the hated Cowboys in 2006. He went from a hero in Philadelphia to public enemy number one in the blink of an eye. I was only seven at the time of his signing, but I remember how pissed off I was at the time and resented Owens for a good six or seven years. Nowadays, I respect T.O. as one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history and am very glad that he finally made the Hall of Fame. Still though, that pain and anger took a lot for this sports-loving town to get over.

4 Richard Sherman signs with the San Francisco 49ers Richard Kevin Sherman is an American football cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers of the National Football League.

Well, everyone. It's officially the end of an era. With stalwarts such as Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett departing, the Legion of Boom era in Seattle has come to an end. Richard Sherman built up the reputation as one of the best and most outspoken players in the NFL. He's probably the biggest trash talker in the entire league, but he can sure back it up with his abilities. After a tirade of yelling and mouth-foaming after the Seahawks beat the 49ers in the 2013 NFC Championship, many 49ers fans presumably pledged an oath of eternal hatred to Richard Sherman. But now, he left the Seahawks to join their rival who he has unapologetically insulted over the years. Many Seattle fans are feeling burned by this, but the Niners fans are ecstatic that they have a shot to return to football glory with Sherman leading the defense and Jimmy G leading at quarterback.

5 Wade Boggs signs with the New York Yankees

Wade Boggs is one of the greatest third baseman in MLB history and one of the most consistent hitters ever. He played for the Red Sox for eleven seasons before heading south an hour to play for the hated Yankees. And while Sox fans still have great memories and appreciation for Boggs' time with them, the image of him winning the World Series with the Yankees in 1996 has got to hurt them deep down.

6 Johnny Damon signs with the New York Yankees

Johnny Damon was seen as a hero in Boston for being a member of the curse-breaking 2004 Red Sox World Series team. He was a tough and gritty player who always looked like he was having the time of his life on the baseball field. He was perfect for the city of Boston...and then he signed with the Yankees. There are very few rivalries as intense and passionate as the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry, and the hatred the teams and fan bases have for each other is enough to start a war. For Red Sox fans, it was almost like Damon signed a deal with the Devil. Only the devil in this case was George Steinbrenner.

7 Brett Favre signs with the Minnesota Vikings Brett Lorenzo Favre is a former American football quarterback who spent the majority of his career with the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League.

Brett Favre retired from the NFL in 2007. He unretired and signed with the New York Jets in 2008. He retired again. He then did the impossible and signed with the Green Bay Packers rival Minnesota Vikings in 2009. At around this time, it was just a surreal image to see Brett Favre, BRETT FAVRE, in a purple Vikings jersey playing against the franchise he spent a decade and a half with. Brett Favre sure accomplished a lot in his first season in Minnesota, but it will be forever looked at as one of the oddest and most shocking decisions in NFL history. To this day, people believe he'll come out of retirement again.

8 Shaquille O'Neal signs with the Los Angeles Lakers Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal, nicknamed Shaq, is a retired American professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. He is known for his fun, friendly personality, and is one of the most beloved athletes of all time.

Shaquille O'Neal is one of the most dominating players not only in NBA history, but in the history of athletic competition. He was just so big and so strong that he was just impossible to stop on a nightly basis. So after his first four seasons with the Orlando Magic in the mid 90s, he was the largest name on the free agent market by far. Orlando pleaded with him to stay, but Shaq's personality and game seemed to make much more sense in Los Angeles, and he left the Magic behind to rest in mediocrity for a decade while he enjoyed three championships and an MVP in the City of Angels. There was another time when an all-star big man from Orlando moved to Los Angeles to heighten his career nearly twenty years later, but that experiment definitely did not achieve the same level of success.

9 Roger Clemens signs with the Toronto Blue Jays

Moral of the story: Red Sox fans will hate you forever if you ever decide to leave them.

Nope. It's when he signed with The Yankees.

10 Darrelle Revis signs with the New England Patriots

It's safe to say that the New England Patriots are the New York Yankees of the NFL. They always seem to be good, they always steal small-market players and turn them into superstars, and their attitude just reeks of annoying smugness of how good they are. So when star cornerback Darelle Revis signed with the Pats in 2014, many people were suspicious that he crossed over to the Dark Side. The move paid off however, as Revis won the Super Bowl in his first and only season with the team.

The Contenders
11 Michael Vick signs with the Philadelphia Eagles
12 Wayne Gretzky signs with the Los Angeles Kings
13 Greg Hardy signs with the Dallas Cowboys
14 Alex Rodriguez signs with the Texas Rangers Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, nicknamed "A-Rod", is an American former professional baseball shortstop and third baseman. He played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball for the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees.
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