On June 21st, 2022, DT Larry Ogunjobi signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, which is an excellent signing for their defensive line. However, it might bring about some awkwardness with some of the offensive players, specifically QB Mason Rudolph. There’s the typical divisional rivalry to be considered, as Ogunjobi played for the Cleveland Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals. More importantly, he played a part in the 2019 fracas where DE Myles Garrett swung a helmet at Rudolph. Ogunjobi pushed a helmetless Rudolph to the ground a few seconds after he broke out of the skirmish with Garrett. A few years have passed since the incident, but there could still be bad blood between them. It reminded me of similar awkward situations between teammates in the past.
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Some of the Known Pairs
WR Antonio Brown was one of the best WRs in the league at one point in his career. However, there are thoughts that a violent hit by LB Vontaze Burfict in 2015 could’ve been responsible for what seems like a personality change in his later seasons. There are talks of him possibly having CTE, which cannot be diagnosed in a living person. His current actions certanly point to abnormality, even if he may not have always been perfect in the past.
Burfict also had a dirty hit on him in 2018, so there is some history between them. Burfict, in general, has been known to be quite a dirty player with numerous violations. There was a chance they could’ve been at odds with each other when both were on the Las Vegas Raiders. Burfict downplayed the past and tried to restrain Brown in a fight he was having with GM Mike Mayock.
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Philadelphia 76ers star C Joel Embiid is somewhat of a troll in the NBA. He is known for his various antics, especially off the court and on Twitter. That being said, he is a very respectable player and one of the best centers in the league. He is hard to defend, won’t back down, and puts Philadelphia on his back at all times. He’s not known for making friends, as seen with the many beefs he has in the league. Karl-Anthony Towns, Marcus Smart, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant. Those are some of the many players whom Embiid has managed to annoy or anger.
One of them later joined him as his teammate in 2021, C Andre Drummond. There was a need for a backup center after Dwight Howard’s departure. Drummond fit the bill quite nicely, and things were amicable in their time together. Drummond was with Philadelphia until 2022 when he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. Things seem to be alright between them for now. However, Embiid may have injured Drummond on a play in March this year, which could be a possible problem.
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The Lesser-Known Pairs/Situations
Those seem like the main stories when it comes to possible enemies becoming teammates. Safety Rodney McLeod Jr. could not have liked being taunted by WR Golden Tate. The incident occurred while McLeod was on the Los Angeles Rams and Tate played for the Seattle Seahawks. McLeod signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016, while Tate was traded to Philadelphia in 2018. Even if it was for a brief period, they did have to be teammates.
Photo Cred: Philadelphia Eagles Photo Cred: Yahoo! Sports
While they may not all be enemies, LeBron James does bring in players he’s faced hard-fought battles against. One of the notable names on that list is former Indiana Pacer Lance Stephenson. Those two went at it during James’ Miami Heat tenure. Stephenson, in general, is known to be a pest, someone who can easily get under people’s skins. Lastly, here are more NBA and NHL players who became teammates after past altercations or grudges.
Photo Cred: NBA.com Photo Cred: NBA.com