Top 25 Cocky Professional Athletes

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Whether they are cocky, arrogant or both…these pro athletes are those you just don’t want to play with because it would be no fun. All they would do is either get on your last nerve with their antics or their attitude and/or embarrass you with their skills. Remember from Cocky or Confident, cockiness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Everyone has different ways of expressing their confidence.

This is Cover Grounds list of the top 25 Cocky professional athletes:

25. Chad Ochocinco

Have you see Chad Johnson Ochocinco last name? Who changes their name legally to the number you wear? Wonder if he gets traded and has to take number number 1…he going to change it to Uno? He is definitely an entertainer (and so he was on Dancing With The Stars) Seriously, Chad is a pretty good wide receiver though (needs a better team) but maybe not since he is already a Future H.O.F. for 20??

24. Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis thought he was the man of the track before Ben beat him and still thought so after (even if HE himself could have been on steroids and never received a positive drug test…but I’m just saying) On a positive note though (no pun intended), he did hold the record for the most Olympic medals by an American before Michael Phelphs broke it in Beijing.

23. Michael Phelps

You can never forget this winning face from Beijing, but your allowed to do that when you win 8 Gold medals (and smoke pot). Phelps has for sure become an athlete icon from Beijing and one of the top swimmers in the world…and no one can beat him.

22. Deion Sanders

Labeled a “true shutdown corner” Deion was an outstanding cornerback in the NFL. His career really stood-out while winning Two NFL Championships with the Dallas Cowboys and One Championship with the San Francisco 49ers. Deion also acquired the nickname Primetime for his excessive dancing and touchdown celebrations. Hence the 15 yard penalty in the future for excessive celebrations…ya that most likely came from him.

21. Jeremy Roenick

Loves and cares for his fan’s, but just not on the ice… “Yeah, I’m cocky and arrogant. But that doesn’t mean I’m not a nice person.”

20. Linford Christie

When you hawk a lugy to spit in another guys lane or kick another sprinters starting blocks out of place…you make this list. Enough said.

19. Jeff Gordon

95% of NASCAR fans hate him. They don’t like him because he is so damn good. A great racer but a horrible person who treats his fans poorly.

18. Charles Barkley

The legendary obnoxious Barkley loved to be the show…and still loves to be obnoxious on TNT.

17. Barry Bonds

Arrogant and Cocky and could smack a ball into the water….then BALCO happened : )

16. Rampage

Mr. T could rip a door apart! If you saw Ultimate Fighter 10 you’ll know that he is the worst TRASH talker ever…(then he got it handed to him by Rashad when the fought)

15. Brett Hull

The young and cocky “Golden Brett” came into the league and it just got worse from there, because he thought he was the greatest on the ice…but he was good.

14. Usain Bolt

The fastest man on this planet created his signature move “to the world” during the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he won 3 gold medals and broke 3 world records. If it wasn’t the Yams or McNuggets it certainly was his little ego that made him the lighting bolt he is.

13. Lance Armstrong

7 straight Tour de France wins…oh AFTER surviving testicular cancer…He was the greatest and he knew it! but what? Allegations of drug use…?

12. Roger Clemens

The most CY Young Awards with 7. He DEMANDED $22 million for a year to pitch with the Astros and that made him the highest yearly salary earned by a pitcher in MLB history.

11. Cristiano Ronaldo

The Man-U soccer player considers himself the best soccer player on the planet. He’s soft, arrogant, and a ball hog, but can score an awesome goal. (It was just his cockiness after the goal.)

10. Patrick Roy

Have you ever heard of a goalie fighting another golie? Ya… Roy started that trend. The French-Canadian didn’t care what anybody thought of him because he had his ears plugged with his two championship rings.

9. Kobe Bryant

The Black Mamba makes the list with 4 Championship Rings, 2 MVPs (finals & NBA), a rape case and the fact that he sometimes forgets that he has 4 other teammates….but damn he is good!

8. Muhammed Ali

Float he did…and sting he for sure did! Greatest boxer ever? When you knock a guy out in the first round in the first minute…I think so.

7. Mo Greene

The classic sprint at Mt. Sac in a time of 9.86 and crossing the line with his feet on fire. He had to throw his shoes off and quickly get them extinguished. His “track swagger” was like no other, but a really nice approachable guy, just not on the track : )

6. Mark McGwire

“Big Mac” broke the rookie single season home run record his year at 43. He then broke the single season home run record at 70. He was definitely on top of the world and showed it…AND then admitted to using performance enhancing drugs throughout his career.

5. Serena Williams

There aren’t too many cocky female athletes, but she is definetly a prominent one to make the list. #1 in the world, both ranking & on the money list, and a great powerful tennis player. Oh…We can’t forget when she freaked out on the side judge at the 2009 US Open.

4. Anderson Silva

After seeing Silva taunt his opponent and then try to help him up, right after punching him in his face…you make the list. He loves to taunt his opponents, but see that belt across his chest…ya he can do that. Dana White almost fired him though from the UFC, and didn’t care if he is the greatest fighter.

3. Floyd Mayweather Jr.

I saw all of HBO’s episodes of 24/7 of Mayweather (before fighting Mosley) and I could not believe how CONFIDENT he was. He came off so confident it came off arrogant and cocky, I could see how people hate this boxer. But is he’s the best pound-for-pound boxer? and undefeated at that, so we’ll see what happens if he loses.

2. Michael Jordan

23 shoes later and the Air Jordan brand (in my opinion) made Nike. Considered the greatest basketball player ever (?). 6 championship rings and the signature tongue during his air time.

1. Tiger Woods (ye old tiger)

Before… ya know…car into the tree…20 women later…Tiger had every right to be cocky. Being the first athlete to make $1 Billion will do that to you. (and 20 women later further pushed his point that he was the man). Besides the troubles, Tiger was (and still is) the greatest golfer in the world, but now he has a long road of proving he’s still #1. (All with no fist pumps, or clubs thrown)

Honorable Mentions?

UPDATE: John McEnroe, Lebron James,  Mike Tyson, Terrell Owens

There are many honorable mentions, but I’d be here all day. Write your athletes below, let me know who I’m missing, who should be taken off this list, also if there are any other women who could make this list because women could be cocky too : )

I want to know what you guys think!



About Justyn Warner

Justyn is a 26 year old, professional sprinter out of Toronto. Justyn is the co-owner of Cover Ground, a blog that discusses all aspects to be a better athlete and the line that clothes them. Justyn is also very active on twitter @justynwarner.
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  • T

    Pound 4 pound boxing has its question whether it manny or mayweather
    Boxing sugar ray leonard/ mike tyson/roy jones jr before his losses
    the indian guy called prince whatever it was
    Tennis John MacEnroe

  • Justyn Warner

    John MacEnroe for sure…forgot about him : )
    Good one! Thanks for mentioning him

  • Quinn Moose Smith

    Terrel Owens !! where is he!!

  • Sarah Clancy

    This is fantastic :)

  • Ian Warner

    @Quinn – You are right styll it was soo hard coming up with the list man. t.o should def be on there, there were a lot of wide outs that could of made it though.

    @Sarah – thank you very much

  • Justin Peel

    Ya bro TO def gets a vote from me. and lebron… all the pregame antics emanate from pure cockiness

  • Andrew Heaney

    haha you know michael johnson should be on that list too…Shannon Sharpe, Michael Irvin, etc…you could have a top 50 list from the last 10 years for every sport out there, easily. I’m sure table tennis has it’s cocky too. good piece on a good site…you and your brother need to keep this up.

  • Quinn Moose Smith

    It is definately a hard list to make, you could make a list for every sport !

  • Ian Warner

    @Heaney- Ya MJ should be on their I forgot about him, Sharpe I am not sure to me he was just a blabber mouth with a big lisp. But Michael Irvin is a hell yeah for the list. Thanks for offering up those names. We are going to keep this going for sure thanks for the support.

    @Quinn- Ya maybe will do that next just because it was hard to get them all the sports into one list.

  • Vishal Tiwari

    Haha yeah, Rampage talks so much smack, but when Sugar took care of Rampage I was laughing so hard…and Rampage can never be Mr. T.

  • Justyn Warner

    He can’t be Mr.T anymore…not after that lol

  • Troy Adams

    T.O has to be in the top 5 somewhere for sure. Great talent, probly the best ever in terms of yards after catch but I can’t stand the guy. Mr. Owens is a little bit too high on himself.

  • Curry Brown

    Steve Prefontaine

  • Draicon

    McEnroe has the funniest moments ever. “You can NOT be serious!” People started watching tennis just to see him blow up. Mo Greene’s G.O.A.T tat is too cool. I loved the flaming shoe stunt he pulled. It was amazing. Everyone got mad because they didn’t think of it first.

  • Kyle

    Hahaha, love that Mo Greene video.

    I’d say LeBron deserves to be in the Top 10. He had his own show on ESPN just to announce what team he was going to.

    And MJ, in my opinion, is not the greatest player ever. He just made the shots when it counted (and the only one you ever see is the one against Jazz during the Finals). I’m quite sure that a number of other players have made the shots when they really counted. His stats are impressive but there are players with much better numbers.

    As a suggestion… You should make another list like this, but with the Top 25 Humble Professionals!

  • Ian Warner

    @ Draicon- Man I was so mad that I did not come up with that before him I would been doing that all through highschool ahhahah

    @ Kyle- I like the sound of making a top humble athletes list, and ya Lebron could of made the top 10 easy but in our defense he made the decision to leave and do that whole show after we made this article I believe, if not than we just messed up on that one.

  • Gina

    You forgot Rafael Nadal.

    • Ian Warner

      To be honest I never seen him as being that cocky of an athlete. I could totally just be missing something though. I really do appreciate the comment Gina.

  • Joban Sidhu

    reggie miller? he should be top 10 garunteed. and t.o should be top 25 for sure.

    • Ian Warner

      Reggie Miller, shoot you are so correct totaly forgot about him he ran his mouth so much. Terell Owens definerly slipped through the cracks too man. Thanks a lot for the comment.

  • Cody Revel

    I think FLoyd should be 1st; and he needs to be knocked out by Manny! Lol, just my thoughts. haha..

    • Justyn Warner

      Hahaha ya Floyd does need to be up there! And that fight sure does need to happen. Thanks for the comment Cody!

  • Rear-View Camera

    Great list! I think that most pro-athletes are unfortunately cocky in some way, but I think this is definitely a good top 25. I haven’t seen him in years but I do have to say that I used to work at a restaurant a lot of SD Chargers players came into and most were cocky, but when Drew Brees used to play there I met him a few times and he was always really, really nice. So I’ll always be a fan. (LT and Jammer were nice, too).


    • Ian Warner

      Well most athletes do have that cocky attitude bout them becaue they believe that them being good at a sport makes them better than everyone else. In reality though this is not the case and that reason right there is what inspired me to write for CG. There is more to life than how good you can play, because when it is time to check out people will look at the person you were not the athlete you were.

  • The Cowboy


    • Ian Warner

      True True

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  • Mike Zika

    Those are all pretty legit, but I feel Randy Moss “Straight Cash Homie” and Allen Iverson “Practice? We talkin bout practice?” deserve a shout out for the Honorable Mention category!

    • Ian Warner

      Zika you are def right I totally forgot about those when we made that article.

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