WE'RE FINISHED: The 10 Messiest Breakups In Recent Sports History

tiger woods steve williams

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the long partnership between Tiger Woods and “Stevie” Williams end in a messy breakup.

This happens fairly frequently in sports.

Two athletes form a successful bond over several years, and it all comes crashing down in a blaze of bitter, immature glory.

We went back through the last 10 years and found 10 of the messiest sports splits.

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal (2003)

It's the ultimate example of two superstars failing to coexist.

The tension heated up before the 2003-04 season.

'Bryant was now venting in front of teammates, vowing to leave at the end of the season when he'd be a free agent, that is, to get away from O'Neal,' the LA Times' Mark Heisler wrote in his book on the feud.

Eventually, LA traded Shaq to Miami, breaking up the tandem.

Source: Sports Illustrated

Lleyton Hewitt and Kim Clijsters (2004)

A literal breakup!

Hewitt and Clijsters were engaged in 2003 before the Belgian women's tennis star called it off.

One of Hewitt's friends told the San Diego Tribune:

He's angry, embarrassed, devastated, distraught -- all that stuff. He's been kicked in the guts and he has been kicked in the guts internationally and embarrassingly.

Source: San Diego Tribune

Terrell Owens and Donovan McNabb (2005)

T.O.'s promising 2004 season devolved into chaos going into 2005.

Owens started the breakup by saying he 'wasn't the guy who got tired in the Super Bowl,' in reference to McNabb's performance in Super Bowl XXXIX.

McNabb responded coldly, saying, 'He has no desire to talk to me. I have no desire to talk to him.'

The Eagles suspended Owens for being a 'destructive and continuing threat' to the team, and eventually traded him to Dallas.

Source: NBC Sports

Frank McCourt and Jamie McCourt (2009)

The children always bear the brunt of divorces, and that was the case with the Dodgers when owners Frank and Jamie McCourt divorced in 2009.

The two are currently locked in an on-going legal battle that is bleeding the baseball team dry.

In the end, they'll probably lose the franchise all together.

Source: Fox Sports

Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson

The friendship between the two Hall of Famers came to an end in 2009 when Magic claimed that Isiah questioned his sexuality in 1991.

Thomas said he was 'blindsided' by the news.

'I wish he would have had the courage to say this stuff to me face to face, as opposed to writing it in some damn book to sell and he can make money off it,' he said.

Source: Sports Illustrated

Brad Childress and Brett Favre (2009)

Childress tried to remove Favre from a game against Carolina in 2009. But after a 'heated discussion,' Favre stayed in the game.

It's never a good sign when a quarterback has more power than a coach. Childress was fired a year later.

Source: NBC Sports

Lane Kiffin and the entire state of Tennessee (2010)

When Lane Kiffin left the University of Tennessee for USC after just 14 months on the job, Knoxville went nuts.

From ESPN at the time:

Groups of angry students and fans began surrounding the football complex after the news leaked that Kiffin had taken the USC job. Eventually, it evolved into a mob-like scene, with police moving in and barricading Johnny Majors Drive in front of the football complex.

Source: ESPN

LeBron James and Dan Gilbert (2010)

When LeBron spurned Cleveland with The Decision, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert responded with an absurd, Comic Sans-fonted screed.

'This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown 'chosen one' sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And 'who' we would want them to grow-up to become,' he wrote.

Source: ESPN

Carson Palmer and Mike Brown (2011)

Palmer pleaded with the Cincinnati Bengals to trade, but owner Mike Brown was having none of it.

'If he is going to walk away from his commitment, we aren't going to reward him for doing it,' Brown said last month.

Brown's refusal effectively forced Palmer into retirement.

Source: USA Today

Tiger Woods and Steve Williams (2011)

After Woods fired Williams in July, the caddie went off on his old boss.

'I'm a very big stickler for loyalty and I stuck with Tiger through his difficult period when a lot of people thought I should have left his side,' he said.

After winning the Bridgestone on the bag of Adam Scott, Williams called the tournament 'the best week of my career.'

Who is Steve Williams anyway?

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