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Poll: Who's more annoying, Ilya Kovalchuk or Lebron James?

Jul 8, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

Chances are that if you’re even vaguely interested in professional sports, you’ve probably heard that Lebron James is going to make his long-awaited free agent decision tonight on live TV. If you frequent this site, you’re probably also a little beaten down by the on-again, off-again saga that is Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract negotiations.

As followers of athletic events, it’s crucial that we separate some of the egomania and greed from the games. Otherwise we’d likely feel sour whether our favorite team was dousing each other with victory champagne or sulking their way to the worst record in their given league.

Still, there’s no doubt that Lebron-Kovalchuk talk has stretched itself from charming to exhausting. With all the negativity toward the two parties on Twitter and Internet forums around the world, I couldn’t help but wonder which one annoys hockey fans the most? Before I drop the poll on you, a few points for and against each one being the champion of irritation.

For/Against Lebronlebronforagainst.jpg

Why he’s annoying: Lebron James might be compared to Michael Jordan, but he’s had the red carpet rolled out for him since Day One. He owned a Hummer in high school, was given a huge contract from Nike before he played a single NBA game and has been crowned the “King” without winning a title.

Redeeming qualities: That being said, he’s seen something Kovalchuk hasn’t. That would be the second round of the playoffs (not to mention the third round and the NBA finals). He’s also known as someone who makes his teammates better, a qualification that is still in limbo for Kovalchuk. Let’s not forget, also, that the NBA salary cap is a lot more conducive to the kind of deal Lebron wants as opposed to Kovy. He’s also a charming fellow.

For/Against KovalchukThumbnail image for russiakovalchuk.jpg

Why he’s annoying: He passed up the kind of lifetime, ridiculous deal he’s hoping for with the team that drafted him in Atlanta. Whether it’s the fault of his teammates or not, he’s 1-8 in his playoff career. Even in the Olympics, Kovalchuk has had very little “big game” success. It’s not like he was starving with his previous $7.5 million per year contract.

Redeeming qualities: Despite those flaws, he’s one of the most consistent scorers in the league even though he only benefited from playing a few years with capable teammates such as Marian Hossa, Marc Savard and Dany Heatley. Only Alex Ovechkin scored more goals since the lockout. Kovalchuk might have spurned the Thrashers, but he also suffered quite some time with that team. Unlike Lebron, Kovalchuk had to fight through the culture shock of going from Russia to Atlanta. By all accounts, he seems like a good person to boot.

So with that out of the way, which athlete leaves you more annoyed: Lebron or Kovalchuk? Vote in the poll below.

  1. PhillyFran - Jul 8, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    Ilya is way more annoying cause his request are dumb he dont care about winning its all about money where Lebron wants to win. There is no way Kovalchuck signs until at least Monday cause he desn’t want to share the spotlight.

  2. Matt Reitz - Jul 8, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    Oh Lebron. You had me at “One Hour Primetime Special.”

  3. Francis - Jul 8, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    Ilya is a dumb ass who thinks he’s the most valuable player in the whole league. He’s asking for a ridiculous amount of money. I think he should just go to the KHL.
    The message he’s sending is he doesn’t want to win. He just wants to be on the team that’ll pay him the most.

  4. zibgnew - Jul 8, 2010 at 4:47 PM

    Lebron is having a “One Hour Primetime Special” to announce his decision. Does anyone need to ask who is more annoying? Lebron is KING.

  5. Koho - Jul 8, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    Funny that Mr. O’Brien mentions greed and egomania near the beginning of this article. I wrote about what is worse, Kovalchuk’s greed or Lebron’s egomania? Its all past the point of being obnoxious, but I have to give the “Most Annoying” title to Lebron James. Anyone who requests to have a prime time TV special dedicated to their own hype is beyond narcissistic.

  6. Koho - Jul 8, 2010 at 9:33 PM

    I’ve changed my mind, ESPN is far more annoying than Lebron or Kovy. They lied about airing Lebron’s announcement within the first 10 minutes of the program. I can understand that they want to milk it but don’t openly lie about something you douchebags.

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