In his NBA.COM article Fran Blinebury said that "a market research poll found Arenas to be one of the most disliked people in sports." After a little Googling, I was able to track down the source of that information to Forbes Magazine and market research firm, E-Poll Market Research.
On June 18th Forbes Magazine published "The Most Disliked People in Sports." You can also see it in pictures here. According to its website, E-Poll specializes is research for agencies, brands and entertainment companies. It also appears that Forbes and E-Poll partnered on this survey. Forbes created their list of "people in sport" by using E-Poll's celebrity database. This is important because not every individual associated with a sports franchise would be considered a celebrity. For example, the Wizards only appeared to have two people listed in their database - Gilbert Arenas & Antawn Jamison. The point is that this survey began with a relatively small universe, only those that have a certain amount of "celebrity status."
From there it appears that Forbes used E-Poll's services to conduct the actual survey. According to reports, E-Poll surveyed 1,100 people nationwide. I find it curious that they surveyed people age 13 and older. (How and why did they include kids in its survey?) It is not clear if the survey was given in-person (such as at the mall), over the telephone, through e-mail, etc. Ultimately, they asked individuals to list the sports figures they disliked most.
Here were the results as published on Forbes.com:
- Michael Vick - 69%
- Al Davis - 66%
- Ben Roethlisberger - 57%
- Tiger Woods - 53%
- Jerry Jones - 53%
- Mark McGwire - 48%
- Terrell Owens - 47%
- Alex Rodriguez - 45%
- Allen Iverson - 45%
- Gilbert Arenas - 44%
Yes, Gilbert made the list, but it appears to be directly aimed at the entertainment side of sports. The short-term implications appear to revolve around potential sponsorship opportunities for Mr. Arenas. E-Poll does much of their work with brand managers and advertising agencies to help give them a sense of who would be a good spokesperson for their product. But as we know, time heals most wounds. If Gilbert regains his form from 2006/7 (or something close to that) and the Wizards have some success, he will be able to repair his image and regain some of his lost sponsorship opportunities.
Let's consider this question from the perspective of a diehard sports fan and open it up to you. But since this is a Wizards blog, let's limit responses to NBA players.
Who, aside from LeBron James (too easy), is your most disliked figure in the NBA and why?