Basketball is an extremely competitive sport, and the pursuit of greatness can often get the best of people. It’s not uncommon for players to be overly aggressive and get a little dirty to gain a competitive edge.

New NBA players and repeat offenders make headlines for crossing the line every year. This includes numerous acts of aggressiveness, such as unnecessary fouls, shots to the groin, and other bush league antics.

In this article, I highlight the dirtiest NBA players and explain how they got their bad reputations. My list includes some of the biggest stars in the NBA as well as role players who’ll do anything to throw off their opponents.

Basketball Draymond Green

  • Age: 32
  • Team: Golden State Warriors
  • Career Ejections: 14
  • Career Technical Fouls: 147
  • Career Flagrant Fouls: 16

Draymond Green is notorious for being over-aggressive. How can anyone forget about the 2015-16 NBA Playoffs? He blatantly hit Steven Adams in the groin, not once but twice!

Although Green received heavy backlash for his antics, he proceeded to take shots at LeBron James’ groin during the NBA Finals. The dirty play from Green got him suspended from Game 5, which ultimately cost the Warriors a championship.

The good news is that Green has curtailed a lot of that aggressiveness on the court. He doesn’t rack up nearly as many fouls, although he’s still an intimidating player.

The problem is that the veteran obviously is ill-tempered behind closed doors too. He just punched Jordan Poole and created a huge scandal, so even Green’s own teammates are not safe!

Basketball Patrick Beverley

  • Age: 34
  • Team: Los Angeles Lakers
  • Career Ejections: 9
  • Career Technical Fouls: 87
  • Career Flagrant Fouls: 4

Patrick Beverley talks a big game, but he can barely back it up with solid play. Instead, he says almost anything to try and intimidate his opponents. He’s notorious for being a bully and making outlandish statements about other NBA players.

Everyone remembers the 2012-13 postseason when Beverley effectively took Russell Westbrook out of the playoffs. Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus after a brutal collision with Beverley. Ironically enough, the two are now teammates for the LA Lakers and best buds.

I don’t think Beverly is malicious in nature, but he’s willing to gain an edge on the court in any way possible. That’s what makes him one of the dirties NBA players right now.

Basketball Kelly Olynyk

  • Age: 31
  • Team: Utah Jazz
  • Career Ejections: 0
  • Career Technical Fouls: 10
  • Career Flagrant Fouls: 1

The numbers aren’t too impressive, but Kelly Olynyk has caused significant injuries to other NBA players.

He first caught a lot of flak for essentially ripping Kevin Love’s shoulder out of its socket during the 2014-15 playoffs. Love’s absence was a big reason why the Cavaliers fell short of capturing a title that year.

Many will claim that the incident with Love was a fluke. However, it’s not the only time Olynyk has played dirty. In 2017, he performed a similar arm bar on Robin Lopez of the Chicago Bulls, although Lopez was able to avoid a major injury.

Olynyk is certainly among the sneakier dirty players in the NBA, but he can be really dangerous at times.

Basketball Grayson Allen

  • Age: 26
  • Team: Milwaukee Bucks
  • Career Ejections: 1
  • Career Technical Fouls: 4
  • Career Flagrant Fouls: 3

My list of dirty NBA players wouldn’t be complete without Grayson Allen. He’s notorious for his unnecessary aggressiveness, which often causes a major stir among NBA fans. His most recent violation was causing Bulls shooting guard Alex Caruso to suffer a fractured wrist.

In college, while playing for the Duke Blue Devils, Allen also had a reputation for being a dirty player. As a sophomore, he got busted for tripping multiple players. The very next season, he got caught tripping another player. He received a technical foul and threw a tantrum.

Allen is a perfect example of an NBA villain, and we can expect more nasty plays from him in the future.

Basketball Matthew Dellavedova

  • Age: 32
  • Team: Sacramento Kings
  • Career Ejections: 1
  • Career Technical Fouls: 4
  • Career Flagrant Fouls: 4

Fans of Matthew Dellavedova say that he’s a “scrappy” player who shows a lot of energy and enthusiasm. The truth is he’s nothing special and often plays mediocre basketball. However, his aggressiveness makes him an asset to NBA teams.

Dellavedova is known for throwing cheap shots and harming other players. You could even argue that his actions are malicious, with the most notable example involving Bradley Beal. Dellavedova clotheslined him during a regular season game in 2018 and was promptly ejected.

Basketball Steven Adams

  • Age: 32
  • Team: Memphis Grizzlies
  • Career Ejections: 0
  • Career Technical Fouls: 37
  • Career Flagrant Fouls: 3

A lot of NBA players don’t like Steven Adams, and that’s because he’s committed his fair share of antics. Not only has he been the victim of groin kicks, but he’s also doled them out to the other players. The most notable example was his karate kick against Bradley Beal in 2016.

Even coaches have expressed their outrage at Adams, claiming that he’s overly physical and often throws elbows. He’s also gotten into numerous scuffles, and he’s good at getting under the skin of other players.

Many believe Adams is a gentle giant, but we’ve seen his dark side too.

Basketball Chris Paul

  • Age: 37
  • Team: Phoenix Suns
  • Career Ejections: 5
  • Career Technical Fouls: 171
  • Career Flagrant Fouls: 6

I consider Chris Paul to be one of the dirty NBA players because he’s the king of groin shots. Although he’s small in stature, he can still land a deadly strike on a bigger player’s crotch.

Several notable NBA stars, including Kevin Durant and Rudy Gobert, have been on the receiving end of a Chris Paul groin shot. Paul’s most recent groin-related offense was against Jose Alvarado during the 2021-22 postseason. The incident drew an eight-second violation.

Basketball Conclusion

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