Kentucky Basketball: 5 Biggest Hot Heads in Wildcats History

Bobby ReaganFeatured ColumnistOctober 3, 2013

Kentucky Basketball: 5 Biggest Hot Heads in Wildcats History

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    Any successful college basketball program is made up of players and coaches with different personalities throughout the years. That is definitely the case with Kentucky's basketball program.

    The Wildcats have a history of winning national championships with both quiet and tame players such as Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Darius Miller as well as a history of hot heads.

    Sure, John Calipari has been seen blowing his top on the sideline, or in the case of Terrence Jones, on the court, but there have been several other players and coaches who have made their mark in Lexington for being a hot head.

    This slideshow will examine those characters in Kentucky lore. 

DeMarcus Cousins, PF (2010)

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    DeMarcus Cousins is one of the more lovable big guys in Kentucky's history. However, that doesn't mean he was a hot head on the court.

    Sure, he's more known for being a hot head for the NBA's Sacramento Kings, but at Kentucky he showed signs of it. 

    At the NBA level, Cousins has been in a fight with Donte Greene, been left off a team flight, kicked out of practice and fined by the Kings for blowing up on his weight coach. 

    At the college level, Cousins' most famous incident came against hated rival Louisville. Very early in the game at Rupp Arena, Cousins got into a tussle with Jared Swopshire. During the tussle, Cousins threw a forearm that drilled Swopshire in the head.

    Whether it's just rivals talking or not, Louisville's Edgar Sosa called Cousins a nutcase after the game. 

    It may have fit, but Cousins was Kentucky's nutcase. 

Andre Riddick, C (1991-95)

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    Andre Riddick was a great shot blocker at Kentucky, earning the nickname "The Rejector." However, it wasn't his dunks or blocked shots that will endure him in Big Blue Nation.

    It was a fight that won over the hearts of Kentucky fans. It was a fight in the Elite Eight. It was a fight against the University of North Carolina.

    More importantly, it was a fight against the biggest hot head out there.

    That's right, Riddick came to blows with Rasheed Wallace. 

    Very few people will find this hard to believe, but after Wallace hit Riddick with an elbow, the former Kentucky player retaliated by going toe-to-toe with Wallace. 

    Not only did Riddick attack Wallace, he immediately went to choke him. 

Ramel Bradley, PG (2004-08)

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    Ramel Bradley earned the nickname "Smooth." However, that didn't come from his attitude on the basketball court.

    The New York native made his presence known by standing up to Andrew Bogut during an NCAA tournament game. As you can guess, Bradley isn't the same size of Bogut. He's almost an entire foot shorter. 

    However, that didn't stop Bradley from going chest-to-chest with the All-American from University of Utah. 

    Bradley made sure his presence was known no matter what.

    Another incident was during his senior day against Florida when Bradley walked through the UoF huddle just to bump shoulders with the teams star, Nick Calathes. Was it necessary? Absolutely not. 

    But, was it Bradley? Absolutely. 

    He was a tough-nosed player and backed down from no man big or small, whether it was driving to the rim or trash-talking. 

Coach Calipari (2010-Present)

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    Oh, Coach Calipari. So good with the media with his one-liners and political-like slogans. 

    However, when he's not received death threats from other coaches (looking at you John Cheney) he's blowing his lid on the side at his teammates or assistant coaches.

    Arguably the most heated Calipari has gotten was in the above video with former Kentucky player Terrence Jones during a loss at Alabama. Calipari accused Jones of being selfish, along with some other words that aren't safe for work or typing. 

    Then there was last year in a home game against Portland. Yes, Portland. Despite leading by 14 early in the game, Calipari did not take kind to assistant coach Orlando Antigua giving instructions while he was yelling from the bench. 

    A simple hand slap later and Antigua was silent sitting next to him. 

    Don't get me wrong, Calipari is a great coach and fits Kentucky perfectly. He just happens to have a hot head demeanor as well. 

Coach Billy Gillispie (2007-09)

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    Then there's the legend of Billy Gillispie. Sure, Billy Clyde didn't win that many games or land that many great recruits, but he did land one of the most awkward halftime interviews of all time. As far as public relations go, anytime you can tell a reporter they asked a dumb or bad question, you must.

    Then there was the story of Gillispie locking Josh Harrellson in a bathroom stall at a halftime during a game at Vanderbilt. Or the time he made Harrellson ride home in the van with the balls and managers.

    Gillispie battled alcohol issues and a backlash as coach at Kentucky. The list of his actions as a hot head could go on for pages.

    There is one thing I believe everyone can agree on when it comes to this slideshow, and it's that Gillispie is the biggest hot head in Kentucky basketball history.