Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Heat star forward LeBron James went from hero to hated when he came to Miami. But after spending a year near the top of the most hated athletes list, LeBron has fallen from the top.
LeBron came in at number six on the new list of unpopular athletes compiled by Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research.
At the top of the list is one of the most controversial athletes of the last decade, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. He jumped into the list after his conviction on dog fighting charges and despite a career year just two years ago, still isn’t popular amongst Americans.
Right behind Vick is PGA Tour legend Tiger Woods. The former number one golfer in the world fell from grace after he had numerous affairs while he was still married to his then-wife. Woods’ popularity has never recovered from the revelation of his affairs.
Number three on the list is another ex-con who made a comeback last year in the NFL, Plaxico Burress. He went from being a Super Bowl hero to an inmate when he fired a loaded gun into his thigh inside a New York nightclub.
Behind Burress is another NFL player, but one who hasn’t broken a law, Ndamukong Suh. The Detroit Lions defensive tackle has been labeled a dirty player and was suspended after “stomping” on a player last year, which apparently has spurned a dislike for the boy named Suh.
Proving that you don’t mess with a Kardashian, New Jersey Nets center Kris Humphries made his first appearance on the list at number five. Humphries and Kim Kardashian are divorcing after 72 days of marriage and apparently, respondents overwhelmingly blame him for the breakup.
With LeBron number six, the seventh most disliked athlete, according to Forbes, is another NBA legend, Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers star has a checkered past after rape allegations and recently divorced his wife. He’s not well-liked by many NBA fans, at least those outside of Los Angeles.
Number eight went to a player who didn’t even get on the field in the NFL in 2011, Terrell Owens. The notorious former Cincinnati Bengal, Dallas Cowboy, San Francisco 49er was talented, but his antics on and off the field were too much for most fans, even of the teams he was playing on at the time.
Alex Rodriguez, or A-Rod, came in at number nine on the list. Ever since he signed some of the richest contracts in pro sports history, A-Rod has not been popular. The fact that he plays on one of the most hated, and loved, teams and has a history of womanizing doesn’t help his image.
Finally, at the end of the Forbes Top 10 most disliked athletes is NASCAR driver Kurt Busch. He’s never found a controversy he didn’t like. His temper tantrums and antics on the racetrack and in the pits have caused him to leave his race team and draw the scorn of NASCAR fans everywhere.