Coffee Talk #176: Your Favorite Heel Turns

Last week LeBron James pulled off one of the most thorough heel turns in the history of heel turns. He went from a basketball player that was loved by some and liked by most to one of the most hated people in the NBA. One of Bill Simmons’ readers compared it to Hulk Hogan’s heel turn at Bash at the Beach ’96. It’s a funny analogy, but it totally works. James’ heel turn is so unbelievable that it could pass for a WWE storyline. I’m pretty sure halfway through the season, Pat Riley is going to take out Erik Spoelstra with a steel chair, spray paint his back, and take over as head coach.

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the World Cup finals, Jesse Jackson accusing Dan Gilbert of seeing LeBron James as a “runaway slave”, or BP’s efforts in the Gulf of Mexico, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Last week LeBron James pulled off one of the most thorough heel turns in the history of heel turns. He went from a basketball player that was loved by some and liked by most to one of the most hated people in the NBA. One of Bill Simmons’ readers compared it to Hulk Hogan’s heel turn at Bash at the Beach ’96. It’s a funny analogy, but it totally works. James’ heel turn is so unbelievable that it could pass for a WWE storyline. I’m pretty sure halfway through the season, Pat Riley is going to take out Erik Spoelstra with a steel chair, spray paint his back, and take over as head coach.

What are some of your favorite heel turns? Whether they’re from WWE shows, sports, videogame storylines, or real life, betrayals are powerful things. From Cain betraying Abel to LeBron betraying his hometown franchise, I want to know what some of your favorite heel turns in history are.

Author: RPadTV

114 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #176: Your Favorite Heel Turns”

  1. aww come on, is LeBron James really one of the most hated NBA players? not down here in MAIMI!! zing! the radio stations down here are even praising our little trio of basketball heroes. all my friends are saying forget waiting for the band wagon, we can't wait for game one!

    GO MIAMI HEAT!! (i'm just freakin happy soccer is over =P)

  2. @cornflake

    dude, breaking your hometown on tv for money is a dick move. I'm from Chicago and we hold players who win championships or make Chicago their home very very closely. I remember when Ditka picked against the Bears one time and he was made out to be a bad guy. The Bears were not going to beat the Patriots, i think is who they were facing, but Chicago fans didn't want to hear it especially on tv. It doesn't matter if you gave that money to charity, he has money right? He should've given some of his money away to them.

  3. @Big Blak

    oh that's a good one too.

    I feel Hogan turning heel was my favorite. It made me love wrestling again and actually started my love with heels.

    @Jesse Jackson

    I hate this guy. I wish he would stop butting in. This guy helped one of Chicago's street gangs get funded by the government once claiming he didn't know anything about them and thought they were trying to make things better for their communities.

    @world cup

    as strange as it may sound i'm glad to see that Spain won the world cup, even if it costed me a pr0n star bj.

    @BP oil spill

    i don't know what they're up to now but i'm sure it will fail like everything else they've tried.

  4. yeah but how long has he been placid in cleavland? loyalty doesn't win you championship rings.. i'm sure its a blow to cleavland but i'd be in it for the fame, money, then the fans cause the fans only come arround when you're worth something i.e. my friends and i coming out to see the HEAT now that they're worth something with James.

  5. @cornflake

    i'm not saying he had to stay in Cleveland. He just had to be upfront and tell them like a man, in person or over the phone, not on a hyped up 1 hour special for money.

  6. meh yeah but if it was for money he probably would have taken those other available deals out there for 15million more over the life of those contracts.. the whole show and spectacle was to hype the miami fans and happened to sting a little for cleavland… they knew he was gonna go anyway.. no sense in crying over spilt milk, you know?

  7. I saw Joe Horn become a falcon, I really wish he would have retired in black and gold.

  8. @oOcornflakeOo It's not why he left, it's how he left. His decision was also down to the wire and he didn't notify the other franchises that he wasn't going to play for them. Chicago thought they had a real chance. The way he handled his decision was unprofessional and took away from his celebrity.

  9. @lebron

    I always felt bad for him, He has always had really high expectations to try and meet. He joined the Cavs and was supposed to win a championship. The Cavs were garbage before he joined them, He eventually turned them into a winning team but still no championship. He asked for some help so they picked up Shaq about 5 years too late. And they still thought he should have gotten a ring. If he doesn't win a championship this year, there is going to be so much Lebron hate people may even forget about BP. As far as him leaving the Cavs, Cleveland is a terrible place. I wouldn't get paid to live there either.

  10. @Cornflake

    I hope MIami loses the first half dozen games. If they win their first game the talking heads will be unbearable. Besides, hearing them say things like "after we all practice together the games are gonna be easy". That's how you get your teeth kicked in in a pro league.

    Go Hornets.

  11. @Tokz
    That's a foregone conclusion man. Mello won't sign in NOLA next year. He'll go to NY and wait for CP3.

  12. @smartguy I'm not sure if it will play out that smoothly. Anthony will probably sign an extension now, to cash in on the contract he can get before the next collective bargaining agreement is in place. Once he signs, Denver will make him expensive to acquire.

  13. Am I really gonna be the first person to say "When Shawn Michaels kicked Marty Jannetty through th Barber Shop window"?

  14. @Topic: Brett Hart kicking Austin when he was unconscious after he passed out because he wouldn't tap out to the sharpshooter. Best combo heel/face turn by two guys in one match.

  15. Scott Steiner beating his brother Rick down after they won a match together. Steiner Brothers, best tag team ever! Smashed!

  16. " I’m pretty sure halfway through the season, Pat Riley is going to take out Erik Spoelstra with a steel chair, spray paint his back, and take over as head coach."

    This is actually a very likely scenario considering what Pat did with Van Gundy. I wouldn't put it out of the realm of possibility.

    @ topic;

    I was a pretty decent wrestling fan in college when I followed it, but I stopped watching sometime around when The Rock and Stone Cold left. That said, the most memorable moment that I've seen in wrestling was when Triple H went from Degeneration X to a corporate heel for Vince. I watched that show and was like: "Oh, damn!"


  17. @topic
    Gotta add Morten Anderson signing with the Falcons. That broke my heart as a very young Saints fan. Joe Horn going there hurt as well. Damn dirty birds.

  18. @ other heel turns

    When Sid Bream signed with the Braves when I was a kid, it broke my heart. I still hate the Braves.

    The birth of Dick Cheney.


    Caligula (he was highly respected by the Roman people, then he had a nervous breakdown, and came back SUPER evil)

    Mel Gibson's racist rants.

    The Fingerpoke of Death (turned Kevin Nash back to heel)

    Eddie Murphy making kids movies

  19. @Rpad

    Riley can spray paint JWB.

    You know which was a heel turn gone wrong in wrestling Austin finally giving in to the corporation and joining Vince.

    Another good heel turn was the Rock when he joined the corporation. I think this is when he has his best matches against Foley.


    i was going to mention HBK but i didn't want to seem like such an HBK mark plus i figure Rpad would mention it right away once we started.

  20. @ tokz

    Nah, it's my fault for not reading the comments better.

    I went to Santa Monica Beach on Saturday and got burnt to all hell on my legs, I forgot to put sunblock on my legs and my ankles are so swollen I can barely stand.

    I also had an allergic reaction to said sunblock and have broken out in a rash in the places I did use it.

    I am broken all over and didn't pay close attention because of that (or at least that's my excuse).

    Meanwhile, I had rehearsal yesterday and again today. I have a job interview on Thursday as well. I get no slack.

  21. @n8r

    dude, i got a sun burnt over the weekend for not using said sun block that i'm allergic too!

  22. @ tokz

    Dude, I f**king hate these skin allergies.

    I fell asleep on the absolutely gorgeous beach, and totally paid the price.

    I even used the hypoallergenic sunblock… but it didn't matter. I found that I can handle the tanning oils though, but those you still have to get in the shade after too long.

  23. @n8r

    tell me about it. tanning oils work but i don't want to be too dark. i'd rather just take it in naturally. (insert joke here)

  24. @ BB

    A) Tokz just said he doesn't want to be too dark.

    B) Black people do get tanned and burnt.

    C) I am black, but only from my waist to mid thigh.

  25. @ Tokz

    Hmmmm, what problems do Blacks have that Hispanics don't (real question)?

  26. @ N8R

    We don't tan, especially us really dark ones. We turn black leather couch-ish.

  27. @ Tokz and N8;

    You guys are apparently "Team Edward" and should stay out of direct sunlight. Why don't you both just stay inside and play video games instead?

    I hear that Miyamoto is working on “Wii Beach” :)


  28. @ Tokz

    That post came out wrong dude, I don't mean to offend and I am not offended.

  29. @BB

    black leather couchish? lol. btw, I seem to remember you saying you liked DragonForce. If so check out Falconer and Iced Earth. I've been rocking them a lot lately. If that wasn't you, i'm sorry lol.

  30. @ BB

    I thought that until a good friend of mine (who is rather dark skinned) removed his watch from his wrist and showed me his tan line.

    That was irrefutable proof to me.

  31. @ N8R

    Lmfao that is true, but I don't wear a watch so I didn't think about it.

  32. @ BB

    I will agree that I've never seen a black person in a tanning salon though.

    They would be great places for the KKK to hold meetings.

  33. @bb

    one draw back are those bumps. i had some black roommates when i was in the army and they couldn't shave because of those bumps that would appear. another thing would be the hair. i hate having gel or any other product in my hair i can imagine how much of a hassle it can be to have that type of hair. i wasn't offended, i knew what you meant.

  34. @rpad

    i forgot about that Angle. ok so it wasn't that bad but it wasn't that good either.

  35. @n8r

    i think we only have one person who could answer that. maybe we can have a weekly topic like Chappelle had on his show. I can picture it now, ask a black dude Wednesdays.

  36. @ tokz

    Dude, have you seen Chris Rock's documentary "Good Hair"?

    It took me back a few steps. I truly had no idea. I have lots of friends who are black (a large amount of them are better musicians than me) and I still had no idea.

    I felt so ignorant.

  37. @n8r

    no i haven't. is it funny at least. i don't expect it to be funny throughout the whole film but a few laughs in between should suffice.

  38. @ Tokz

    I posted the link to the video, but it apparently went to the spam folder. It may pop back up.

    I wouldn't call it a comedy.

  39. @n8r

    maybe it will. I think it was on hbo sometime ago but i won't go out of my way to see it.

  40. @n8r

    thanks for the link but the vid doesn't work. nothin but spam. i know what movie you;re talking about anyways.

  41. @ Tokz

    Yea those razor bumps are a puta lol that's part of the reason I rock a beard.

  42. I don't put nothing in my hair but water and soap, I want to have a full head of white hair when I get old and I don't need any chemicals ruining my chances of success.

  43. @big blak

    are you sure it will be white??? I can forsee a big blak midlife crisis where you dye your hair until your gone and in your will you will ask for your hair to be dyed so people wont know your secret

  44. If I was a black guy, i'd have an afro for sure. I'd also hope to be white headed with my afro in older age.

  45. I foresee myself being bald within a couple of years. mainly because i keep betting my hair when i bowl against my hair.

  46. @N8R

    How was "Good Hair"? I have been wanting to see that for a while but just haven't gotten around to it. It was an eye opener for me too when I started dating my fiance now because she has to do soooo much to her hair and it gets everywhere. My ex really didn't have the stereotypical 'black' hair, but she still had to spend a bit of time on it when she kept it long. I'm pretty used to all now, but it was an adjustment that's for sure.

  47. @ Ray

    Coming to America (just watched it last night)

    @ BSU

    You know first hand then. It gets even deeper than you described.

    I enjoyed it and made others watch it.

  48. Damn it! I can't believe i missed that coming to america reference. I watched raw and i was only impressed with a few things. Jericho's awesomeness, randy's rko sell with help from evan bourne and morrison's entrance. I wish i could walk into a place and everything would go in slo-mo for me. Anyone watch victory road last nite??? I only liked the jay lethal v flair match. Everything else was meh.

  49. @Smartguy

    I finally got around to watching that documentary on Enron. Wow. After that it seems pretty clear that there are loopholes through all kinds of things like that. Claiming projected future profits based off of the same company's is one pretty big loophole though!! Overall I thought it was a pretty interesting film. After seeing that it seems completely plausible that a company like Sony or Microsoft can claim losses instead of gains on a console.

  50. @BSU

    Yes. Mark to market approach is so nebulous and unethical. So they'd buy a security or asset let's say for 15k and then put it in the books for what they "think" it will be worth in 5 years. So it goes on the books for 75k. That kind of stuff was rampant. Amazing huh?

  51. @big blak

    thanks. I'd been admiring her for many years now.

    ok fine i've been oogling her for many years now..

  52. @ray

    steinbrenner might not make it through the day dude, they are saying he suffered a massive heart attack early this morning

  53. @Big Blak

    only in the face. I've never seen Sandra Bullock with body like that, too bad the paps only got pics of her from the front. Her backside is WOW! i'll post a link for that later when i'm not at work.

  54. @ray

    that aint nothing but ultra perm….i cant believe i wasnt here for that either

  55. @ray

    dude im sorry but steinbrenner just died, i always liked him even though i hated the yankees…..he was even great as a host on SNL

  56. RIP G. Steinbrenner, I hate the Yankees but thanks to that man and his people we have had one hell of a rivalry and oh so many great games.

  57. @big blak

    yankees/red sox has only really been a rivalry for about 7 years

    GO ORIOLES!!!!!

  58. what a bad week for Yankee fans. Do Yankee deaths come in 3 or is that celebrity deaths only? R.I.P George Steinbrenner one of my favorite owners in professional sports.

  59. @ Thunder

    I didn't know that I really don't like baseball, but as long as I can remember we were always asked "Do you like the Red Sox or the Yankees?" by the adults. Maybe its a Boston thing because we hate everything out of NY, even though Boston is like a training ground for NY City.

  60. @big blak

    i was just poking fun at the red sox because prior to 7 years ago, the red sox hadnt won a world series in 86 years or so….in order to have a rivalry, both teams have to win every now and then

  61. @ Thunder

    Now that I think about it we still lose in the ALCS pretty much every year, wow I remember when we had Clemens and Mo Vaughn I think the team to beat were the Braves. I think it was them or it might of been Cleavland.

  62. yeah atlanta was definitely a good team in the 90's but they only have one ring to show for it. The indians didnt win it at all, but you are right, they had a sick team back in the day…manny ramirez, albert belle, carlos baerga, omar vizquel…dont forget the blue jays either, another GREAT team back in the early 90s.

  63. The Cubs

    haven't been very good at all :s


    tomlin signed a 3 year extension. a little early to be doing that no? They should've at least waited until the next off-season.

  64. RIP George Stienbrenner. Thanks for caring about winning more than most sports owners.

  65. Damn, I thought Stienbrenner was immortal. He just seemed like one of those people that could live forever. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.


  66. If I'm ever a billionaire I'm having a robotic heart installed. I'll just donate the old not as good one.

  67. @smartguy

    i was actually thinking about having nanomites installed if i become a billionaire.

  68. @ tokz

    There are a few reasons I could see for an early extension.

    To start with, in the past 30 years we've only had 3 head coaches. Our franchise prides themselves on having that stat. The more years we can tack on to that without changing coaches, the better it sounds.

    From Tomlin's angle, he's a family man. He has babies. Considering the flack he's been getting locally for not being Bill Cowher on top of the flack he's been getting by the press and league for team members having legal issues on top of the fact that finding jobs right now sucks… it's job security for him and his family.

    Also, we seem to have this streak of players and staff members wanting to retire as Steelers. Even Rod Woodson came back for like a week or something so he could retire a Steeler. Repeatedly you any former Steeler talk about how it's one of the best clubs to work for. The problem alot of players have is they think the treatment they get in Pittsburgh spreads throughout the league… which isn't the case.

    That doesn't happen just because of the way the Rooneys run their franchise (though it helps). The way the people of the city embrace the Steelers something fierce. I'm talking every waiter to every doctor to every homeless person knows the entire roster including the practice squad by name and face. If you're a Steeler, you can't buy a meal in Pittsburgh, it will be given to you. Tomlin is certainly no exception.

    Those are all good reasons for him to stay in Pittsburgh as long as possible.

  69. Finally back on the Internet! I hate Time Warner Cable's service. While it has pleasant people in customer support, they're completely ineffective. *sigh* What a waste of two hours.

  70. @ Tokz & N8R

    Wow, dyslexia is in full effect, I thought you guys were talking about Tomlinson on the Jets.

  71. @Big Blak

    are you sure that's dyslexia and not being awake yet? You should go get some DD coffee.


    I see your point but i find it hard to justify a contract when you're team finished 3-5 and had 2 weeks in a row to lock up a playoff spot only to fall short time and time again.

  72. @ tokz

    We have faith in our picks. You can't win them all.

    That's why we have 6 Lombardis and you have one dusty one.

  73. @Tokz

    wait until he dies. then he might get some award named after him. I"m sure he will anyway.

    Tomlin's extension I guess can be justified like N8 put it above, but I still think he won that SB with Cowher's stuff. I think if he falters this year it will prove that.

  74. @smartguy

    i forgot the Rooney rule and I agree with your assessment (sp?) I want to see him win with talent that Cowher didn't find or mold.

  75. @ tokz and Smartguy

    Let's talk about last year.

    Our offense set franchise records almost across the board. We put the points on the board, but our opponents put more on the board.

    (where you can select the season, go to 2009)

    The answer to what happened is obvious. First off, all of our losses except 1 was by 3 points or less. These were all last minute field goals. Why were we even in a position to lose like that consistently? Our defense failed. It's not that we built a defense around Polamalu, it's that the players themselves grew accustomed to his presence and broke down. Our linebackers and linemen showed up being as how we came in 3rd in the league for rush defense, but the backfield broke down to where we only came in 16th.

    Several times I would see a Steeler cornerback (mainly Ike "motherfu**kin" Taylor) chasing a reciever and actually slow down and look behind him with an expression of "Shouldn't Troy have caught this guy by now? Where is he at?" followed by "Oh yeah, he's injured" and then looking back at the aforementioned receiver and punctuating his failure with a look of "F**k it, he's gone now".

    I don't know which Rooney Ike Taylor is sleeping with, but he needs to get traded to the Rams.

  76. @N8R

    In the 2008 season the saints lost games like that as well. Still a non playoff year though. I get what you are saying though.

    To me though Tomlin is like Gruden. He won using the other guy's horses. I think he not only has to win his division this year but also win a playoff game. Injuries happen but it's the coaching and scheme changes that really show off. Example of Jermon Bushrod at left tackle last year. Jamaal Brown is a lot better but Payton made up for Bushrod's lack of talent with different schemes. Same thing when Heath Evans tore his knee up.

    10/32 Saints > Steelers

  77. @n8r

    I saw what happened with Steelers last year. They cost me a couple of football pools last year. I'm not saying that they suck or that Tomlin sucks or anything. I'm just saying that it might've been a little early to give him that extension in IMO, i would've waited to next offseason.

  78. @ Smartguy

    The biggest dogs on the team this year are still Cowher's picks. Santonio came in under Tomlin and the guy that replaced Santonio (Antwaan Randle El, only reciever to ever throw a touchdown pass in Super Bowl history)… was originally brought in by Cowher. You're gonna have to wait like 6 years to see what a majority team of Tomlin's picks do.

    Your tune will also change when Brees gets injured in week 3.

    @ Tokz

    I think they signed him for 3 more years for at least 1 of 3 reasons.

    1) He asked them for one (for the security reasons I mentioned) and the obliged him for a shorter time than he actually asked for.

    2) They want to give him at least that long to prove his merit.

    3) The Rooneys feel they need to show support for their club given the heat the media threw on us during this offseason. Let's face it, the Roethlisberger thing was one thing… but Santonio Holmes receiving his second marijuana possession charge while on the team and Jeff Reed punching a cop… the obvious thing to do would be to fire the coach, but the honorable thing is to support him anyway. That's the difference between employees and family.

  79. @N8R

    Not to rock the boat too much but I think Rooney felt obligated because of his own rule to give Tomlin the extra time. Brees will be fine. I think one of those two gold painted fans will get a broken leg.

  80. I feel your pain on this one N8R. Living in a house with a Steelers fan and being a Giant's fan myself, I grew accustomed to watching bad rushing offenses and bad defensive play with overworked QB's and WR's trying to make up for it on their own last year. The only difference is that while Pittsburgh was consistently competitive despite poor results, I think the Giants just sucked ass after week 5 with a couple of random blips of relative success after that due in part to an absolute mash unit at linebacker and in the secondary.

  81. @ Smartguy

    I just keep insisting that Brees is gonna get hurt to piss you off. I'm really not superstitious, but I do believe in coincidences.

    I do also see why Rooney would feel the need to champion his own rule, but Tomlin was actually hand-picked by Cowher as his own replacement. There are other minorities Rooney could choose from. Hell, when are we gonna see an Asian head coach?

    @ Nightshade

    I feel you. Our RB broke 1000 yards so I can't say he had a bad year. I can't say our linemen or linebackers failed either. It was really the holes in our backfield.

    Big Blue however, I agree with you on. I like Eli alot actually. I hope nothing but positive things for the Giants next year. Especially since the focus in NY is probably going to be on the Jets.

    Kick Dallas' ass.

  82. Via thundercracker:

    <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Comments are closed.