Best and Worst Cocky Athlete Moments

Whether you approve or not, cocky athletes have forever been a part of sports.

In many instances, arrogance has led to downfall, either ending careers or giving life to unforgettably embarrassing moments.

In fact, in the last year alone, Nick Young irreparably damaged his reputation with a single shot bred by arrogance, while Sammy Watkins tarnished an otherwise impressive rookie season with a memorably cocky collapse.   

Of course, no abstract force demands that arrogance have a negative effect. And when an athlete succeeds in spite of it—or, better yet, because of it—arrogance can serve as an amplifier, adding drama and excitement to a given narrative.

Take, for example, Babe Ruth's home run in the 1932 World Series, which would have been far less remarkable without the cocky antics that preceded it.   

Or, better yet, Muhammad Ali's 1966 bout with Cleveland Williams, which is largely remembered for the arrogant way in which he danced around the ring and baffled his opponent.

And more recently, Golden State's Stephen Curry has turned ordinary jumpers into baskets to cherish and behold, with nothing but a sweet stroke and a dose of cocky.

With, then, these good and bad moments in mind, we've decided to honor both sides of the arrogance coin, specifically highlighting the 12 Best & Worst Cocky Athlete Moments.

In every instance, whether our featured athlete sank or swam, one truth remained constant: His cocky character played the leading role.   

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