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TheStreet Open House

The 10 Biggest Sports Divas of 2014

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Athletes are placed on a special pedestal in our society. We admire them for their physical attributes and their ability to entertain us.

Fans love athletes, but they also love to hate athletes. Read any message board or online discussion and there is usually a lot of vitriol spewed towards athletes who, fans think, make too much money, are too arrogant or simply play for the wrong team.

It is easy to see how athletes become arrogant. With all the admiration and hate simultaneously showered down upon them, athletes often take on personas to insulate themselves.

Other times athletes have been coddled and surrounded by yes-men from the very first time someone discovered their one in a million talent.

Whatever the impetus, the trope of the diva athlete has become amplified due to social media and the 24-hour news cycle. While there are some classic examples of diva athletes from Jack Johnson to Joe Namath to Terrell Owens, this is a list of the biggest divas in the sports world today.

10. Lebron James

Sport: Basketball
Franchise: Cleveland Cavaliers
2014 Salary: $20,644,400

Lebron James is currently one of the most popular and hated athletes in the world. He seemed to be destined for stardom from an early age, landing on the cover of Sports Illustrated while he was still a high school student, and having his high school games broadcast on ESPN when he was just 17. Lebron's new Samsung app allows users to follow the superstar's day-to-day activities. He is a two-time NBA champion, four-time MVP and has made the NBA all-star team for 10 years running. He is also a notorious flopper and extremely arrogant in post-game interviews.

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