Every sport has its good and bad players. Some of them are lauded as stars of the sport, while others are just viewed as people that fill up the court. Basketball is one such sport. Although, while some players are remembered incredibly fondly, sometimes their playing wasn’t as good as everyone remembers it to be. This is a list of the top 25 most overrated players to have ever been in the NBA.
25. Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson was once the highest paid player in the entire NBA. He’s had a pretty great career, making seven All-Star teams and averaging no less than 20 points per game five seasons in a row. However, Johnson made those all-star teams in the rather terrible Eastern Conference. In 17 seasons he’s also only been named to one All-NBA First Team.
24. Rudy Gay
Rudy Gay has his skills as a player, with good scoring ability and high athleticism he average 18 points per game. However, his Player Efficiency Rating never went over that same number. He’s only made the playoffs twice, never made an All-Star team, and just can’t play defense.
23. Monta Ellis
Monta Ellis has great scoring ability, seemingly like he can sink a basket from anywhere on the court. However, as with Rudy Gay, his PER never went over 20. He only average 4.6 assists and only shot 31.4% of his throws from the three line.
22. Jermaine O’Neal
Jermaine O’Neal wasn’t a disappointment during his career, making six all-star teams. However, his stats took a nosedive in in post-season play. His career averages were 11.6 PPG and 6.5 rebounds.
21. Brian Grant
While at Portland, Brian Grant was seen as an integral part of his team’s infrastructure. However, his stats seem to tell a different story. He only averaged 10.2 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.6 steals, and 0.6 blocks and his career numbers weren’t much better.
20. Keith van Horn
Keith Van Horn struggled a lot when it came to the defensive half of playing basketball. A former No. 2 draft pick, he never really lived up to the hype attributed to him. He did manage to average 19.2 PPG, but all his other stats were average to bad. His PER for five years was 16.9.
19. Detlef Schrempf
Detlef Schrempf had a notably high percentage at the three-throw line and was efficient around the rim. However, he had rather abysmal defensive stats, which made sure his PER never went over 20. And when he was in the playoffs his shooting dropped as well.
18. Tony Parker
Tony Parker seems like a winner on paper, and was even integral in helping San Antonio win four NBA Championships. He also was a six-time All-Star during this time period. However, Parker was never really a great guard. He shot only 32.6 percent from three over the course of his career. Additionally, he was a rather poor player on the defensive end.
17. Emeka Omafar
Like Van Horn, Omafar was also a No. 2 draft pick that simply didn’t live up to the hype. With every season, his stats only seemed to diminish more and more. He’s been a very average player with these stats: 12.0 PPG, 9.7 RPG, 1.6 BPG.
16. Glenn Robinson
Glenn Robinson was a top scorer for the Bucks when he was with them. He could use his big frame to bully smaller defenders and had the skill to score from anywhere on the court. While he average 20 PPG, his PER was rather poor, at only 17.5.
15. Josh Howard
Josh Howard used to be one of the NBA’s better wing defenders. He made one All-Star team and came close to going over 20 PPG. However, his career was cut short as he often broke away from his team’s free-flowing offensive strategy and had a poor rating when it came to making baskets from the three-throw line.
14. Baron Davis
While with the Warriors, Baron Davis had some truly great moments. He was even the main cog in his team’s strategy that allowed them to dethrone the No. 1 seed Dallas Mavericks in 2007. However, prior to that time, he was a mediocre player with the Hornets. His PER only exceeded 20 once during his entire time with the Hornets.
13. Grant Hill
Grant Hill’s issues don’t exactly lye in his lack of skills, more so his inability to play. He just couldn’t stay healthy, and wound up needing to sit out a large portion of his games due to injuries.
12. Pete Maravich
Maravich had quite a great deal of skill as a shooter, but during an era without the three-throw line that wasn’t as useful a skill as it is now. Additionally, while Maravich was a skilled player, his teammates often were not on his level, simply making him look good by comparison. Also, he happened to turn over the ball at an alarmingly high rate.
11. Jason Williams
Williams was known as a skilled passer, doing it in a unique way that most people wouldn’t even attempt. However, he was an average scorer and rather poor defender. His most table stint with the Kings had him get a collective PER of only 12.3.
10. Robert Horry
Horry has come in clutch a lot in various games, with the most notable one being the game-winning shot against the Kings in the 2002 playoffs. However, he’s more notable for being on winning teams than being a winner himself. He has an incredibly low PPG average at only 7.
9. DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan is truly an average player, yet is in discussion to be considered a Top 15 player. He doesn’t always make the best decisions on the court and is a poor rebounder and facilitator for others.
8. Stephon Marbury
Stephon Marbury could beat anyone one-on-one. It seemed as though he could score as long as he touched it. However, his play-style doesn’t mesh well with the high-level play of the NBA. In the field, his shooting was only around 41%. And during the playoffs that number drops even more.
7. Gilbert Arenas
Arenas’ greatest skill was his ability to score. Of the three years he spent with the Wizards he managed to get scoring average of 25.5, 29.3, and 28.4 PPG respectively. However, he wasn’t a good leader, a good defender, and didn’t help make his teammates better.
6. Alonzo Mourning
Mourning was a skilled competitor, but much of his other skills are what contribute to his “overrated” status. He never played a full season. He was an aggressive post player but his average RPG was only 8.5.
5. Bill Laimbeer
Laimbeer was a skilled enforcer and lived on the boards. However, he wasn’t an efficient player. His PER never went over 20 in a season. He was also a poor rim protector, averaging less than a block per season.
4. Steve Francis
If anything, no one speaks ill of Steve Francis’ skill at the rim. However, his work ethic was often called into question and he had some attitude issues. He only led the Rockets to the playoffs once, but they got knocked out in the first round. He was really gifted on his own, but didn’t improve his teammates.
3. Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Anthony was one of the most skilled forwards in the NBA during his prime. However, his play-style wasn’t geared towards winning. He was always more focused on personal accolades than passing the ball for the betterment of the team. In seven years his team made the playoffs three times, and only once did they make it past the first round.
2. Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce was a good player, but he certainly wasn’t one of the elites. In his many years as a player he never made an All-NBA First Team and made the All-NBA selection four times. While playing for the Celtics, they never made it far in the playoffs, failing to even make it there two years in a row.
1. Dominique Wilkins
In a global dunk contest, Wilkins would certainly be a frontrunner. But as far as overall basketball skills go, he isn’t exactly the best. He could score in all sorts of ways and made plenty of points for himself, but he rarely ever got his teammates involved. Not to mention, he was pretty poor at rebounding as well.