Basketball fans, myself included especially, love to talk trash about
who we think the best current and all time NBA players are. The
basketball gym has proven to be a breeding ground for incredible
athletes that have thrilled and inspired us over the years. It is also
fun to identify some of the most underrated players that have played in
the NBA. Believe it or not, some of the all time best players may still
end up on the list. Michael Jordan is one of them. My contention is
that even though he may well be the best player of all time, he is
also, in my humble opinion, one of the most underrated.
Typical NBA Team Dynasties
The reason I feel this way is because the team
dynasty that Jordan built is quite different from the team dynasties
built by some of my favorite all time players Magic Johnson and Larry
Bird. You see, the Laker dynasty led by Magic had a starting lineup of
allstars on it. People like Kareem, Scott, and Worthy had all achieved
allstar status despite playing in the shadows of Johnson. The same is
true of Bird. He had a supporting cast of all stars like DJ, McHale,
Ainge and the "Chief". Even Dr. J was usually backed up by the likes of
Moses Malone and Charles Barkley during his five ABA seasons during
which he won three scoring titles.
Building an Unlikely Team Dynasty
Jordan, on the other hand, played with a bunch of
relative no-namers. Despite claims that a team needed a dominant center
to take a championship, Jordan made use of Luke Longly. He even made
Steve Kerr and Bill Paxton look like they truly belonged in the NBA.
True, he did play along side a talented player in Scotty Pippen, but
Jordan is the one that helped Scotty become the great player he became.
Even though basketball is a team sport that is usually dominated by the
team with the most superstars on it, Jordan proved time and time again
that one extremely talented player could take four other mediocre
players and beat the best teams in the league. For that reason, I
believe the world's best player may well be the most underrated as
Underrated Players without Much Press
Having gotten that out of my system, I want to take
my hat off to some of the most underrated players of the past and
present that don't get the headlines they deserve but still play their
hearts out to entertain us.
1. Andre Miller
Andre has been a starting point guard in the NBA for about 13 years now
averaging double digit points and over 8 rebounds per game. He has led
his teammates to the playoffs several times but gets very little press.
He has been underrated his entire career.
2. Jeff Hornacek
Jeff was an outstanding player. He is remembered by many for hitting 8
consecutive three pointers in 1994. During the back to back years that
the Utah Jazz went to the finals, all of the talk was about the
Stockton and Malone duo, but Jeff Hornicek was the quiet third best guy
on the team that made the difference. He was a highly underrated player
3. JJ Hickson
JJ is an incredible finisher that earns every point he gets. Averaging
a little over 12 points a game, he has the potential to be an all-star
if he ever gets to play with an elite point guard that can get him the
4. Manu Ginobili
Manu has been on three NBA championship teams and yet he flies under
the national NBA radar most of the time. It is difficult getting
attention when you play with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker. He is another
very underrated player in my opinion.
5. Goran Dragic
Goran of the Phoenix Suns has a difficult role to fill replacing the
beloved Steve Nash. Last season, Dragic started 28 games and averaged
over 26 points per game while battling Kyle Lowry for playing time. He
is another truly underrated player to keep an eye on.
Posted contributed by Andrew Zurchen with Connor Sports
– the basketball flooring specialists. Andrew loves reading and writing
about basketball and other sports topics. As his friends keep telling
him though, he writes better than he plays. He figures if he can’t play
it, he can at least still write about it.