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Pro Athletes Who Played for Both Teams in Heated Rivalries

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Rivalries certainly are a cornerstone of professional sports. When players sign with a specific team, they recognize what opponent is most meaningful with their supporters and also the franchise itself.

    But sometimes, a new player experiences that passion from both sides of the rivalry throughout their career.

    That is in no way an exhaustive set of players who’ve had that experience, though we tried to spotlight marquee names while including multiple players as you possibly can.

    Additionally, the set of rivalries is hand-picked. You can find a large number of matchups to potentially feature, but we centered on the five common professional sports: baseball, basketball, football, hockey and soccer.

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    Andrew Benintendi | Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Before the 2022 trade deadline, outfielder Andrew Benintendi joined the set of those to match up for both Boston Red Sox and NY Yankees.

    And he’s now section of an extended, star-studded list.

    Legendary pitcher Roger Clemens won a Cy Young on both sides of the rivalry. Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs was a perennial All-Star with the Sox and Yankees. Johnny Damon played an intrinsic role in Boston’s epic set you back the 2004 World Series, then bolted for NY and later won another ring on the Yankees.

    Oh, plus some old guy named Babe Ruth pretty famously went from Boston to NY and sparked 80-plus years of superstition that Damon helped end.

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    Joc Pederson | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    A lot more than 200 players have donned the colors of both LA Dodgers and SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA Giants. So, hey, in case a certain player seems excluded, know it is a substantial field of options.

    Hall of Fame outfielder Duke Snider, All-Star outfielder (and today Houston Astros manager) Dusty Baker and Cy Young-winning pitcher Orel Hershiser spent most their rivalry amount of time in Dodger Blue but played one season in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA.

    From the contrary view, Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal and All-Star hurler Jason Schmidt thrived with the Giants ahead of career sendoffs in LA.

    Stolen-base machine Brett Butler and All-Star second baseman Jeff Kent had probably the most balanced contributions.

    The newest example is outfielder Joc Pederson.

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    Julius Peppers | David Banks/Getty Images

    Since 1921, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers have practically squared off twice each year atlanta divorce attorneys season.

    Through the Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers eras, the rivalry has leaned decidedly in Green Bay’s favor. Before then, though, the Bears dominated each decade apart from the Vince Lombardi-led Packers’ peak in the 1960s.

    Recently, edge-rusher Julius Peppers may be the perhaps most obviously player to seem on both sides. He was an All-Pro in Chicago and an expert Bowl choice with the Packers.

    Adrian Amos, Martellus Bennett, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Jimmy Graham, Lucas Patrick and Josh Sitton all crossed sides in the 2010s and 2020s, too.

    Jim McMahon, the quarterback of the Bears’ iconic Super Bowl win in 1985, also served as a backup to Favre in Green Bay.

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    James D. Smith /Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

    Hall of Fame wide receiver Terrell Owens is most beneficial recognized for his dominance with the SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA 49ers. And, hey, the rivalry between your 49ers and Dallas Cowboys also features Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders on either side.

    Owens also pulled off a memorable double with the Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

    In 2004, he landed first-team All-Pro recognition as an associate of the Eagles’ NFC-winning team. Three seasons later in Dallas, he again reeled in first-team honors.

    All-Pro quarterback Randall Cunningham, wideout Harold Carmichael and receiver Tommy McDonald each had prolific Eagles careers with an end in Dallas. All-Pro running back DeMarco Murray may be the perhaps most obviously name that went the contrary direction.

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    Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant | Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

    Probably the most historic rivalries in sports, the Boston Celtics and LA Lakers have an extended history of championship duels. They commonly met in the NBA Finals through the 1960s and 1980s, however they had little crossover beyond Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo’s 20-game stint in Boston.

    The very best player to play for both sideswith zero hesitationis Hall of Fame center Shaquille O’Neal.

    Shaq played eight years in L.A., winning three NBA titles, three NBA Finals MVPs and something regular-season MVP. He spent the ultimate season of his career in Boston.

    Seattle SuperSonics legend Gary Payton used a ring-chasing year on both franchises, too. Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo and Isaiah Thomas are otherwise probably the most recognizable recent names.

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    Marian Hossa (81) and Chris Chelios (24) | Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

    One disclaimer: The rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks has dwindled because the Detroit Red Wings moved to the Eastern Conference. At its peak, though, it had been a bitter matchup that dated back again to the NHL’s Original Six era.

    Chris Chelios played in Chicago, then Detroit. Marian Hossa made the contrary move.

    The parallels within their Hall of Fame careers are remarkable, too. They starred with the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators, respectively, prior to making their solution to this rivalry. Neither player won a championship at the sooner stop, but both hoisted the Stanley Cup at the next.

    Wildest section of all? They shared the ice during Chelios’ final and Hossa’s lone season in Detroit, and the Wings toppled the Blackhawks to win the Western Conference.

    Bob Probert and Stu Grimson, a couple of enforcers, wore both sweaters in the 1990s, while Pius Suter and Dominik Kubalik are recent Chicago-to-Detroit defectors.

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    Luis Figo | Eddy LEMAISTRE/Corbis via Getty Images

    The story of Luis Figo summarizes this rivalry.

    From 1995 to 2000, the attacker was a beloved star for FC Barcelona. However in the summertime of 2000, he left for La Liga nemesis Real Madrid. During his first appearance back at Barcelona, fans threw from a whiskey bottle and fruit to a severed pig’s head.

    Figo played for Real until 2005, earning FIFA World Player of the entire year honors in 2001.

    Also of note, Figo played alongside Brazilian legend Ronaldo at Barcelona in 1996-97 and Real from 2002 to 2005. Ronaldo won FIFA World Player of the entire year at both clubs.

    Luis Enrique, Michael Laudrup and Javier Saviola are on the list of other notable players for both rivals.

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