The key to becoming a legitimate Superstar in the NBA is consistency. Talented basketball players all enter the league with the hopes of breaking out to become franchise players. The big money contracts, star power and respectability all comes with the territory. LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook are the examples of players delivering outstanding work every season to earn the title of Superstars. Players like Jimmy Butler, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Gordon Hayward are trying to put together the consistency to match their great play. Not everyone can keep such a pace and many of them actually flounder.
There have been quite a few one hit wonders in the world of basketball through the years. We have witnessed these talented players achieve huge success in the NBA for a short time period. Some struggled with injuries impacting their careers in ways they’d never be able to recover from. Others received big contracts that saw them lose their hunger for success. A few just couldn’t keep it up and the league figured them out. We’ll look at all of the stories and find out what each of these former stars is up to nowadays. These are fifteen of the most memorable one hit wonders in NBA history and where they are today.
15. John Starks: Knicks Organization & Co-Owner of Shoe Brand Ektio
New York Knicks fans fell in love with John Starks in the mid-90s. His toughness, work ethic and shooting touch made him their top guard for a few years. Starks saw his career high average of 19.0 points per game come during the 1993-1994 season helping the team reach the NBA Finals. The memorable moment of Starks dunking on Michael Jordan became a popular poster in New York.
Starks was on the rise before a decline saw him fall off dramatically. The Knicks eventually gave up on him after a few seasons with his numbers gradually regressing. Starks became an irrelevant player before his career ended in 2002. The Knicks hired him back in recent years to work in the organization as a fan developmental official and occasional broadcaster. Starks is also a co-owner of the the Ektio basketball shoe brand made to help prevent ankle injuries.
14. Jeremy Lin: Brooklyn Nets
The rise of Linsanity took over the NBA for a few weeks. Jeremy Lin was a journeyman trying to find a spot in the NBA before his career took off with the New York Knicks out of nowhere. Lin’s non-guaranteed contract saw him use his small opportunity to showcase his skills. Lin had an unbelievable run with feats like out-scoring Kobe Bryant to beat the Lakers and hitting a game-winning shot against the Toronto Raptors.
Unfortunately, his play diminished and he could not hold the Superstar status. Lin has played for numerous teams since then with mediocre numbers for the most part. A solid season on the Charlotte Hornets last year saw him receive a great contract from the Brooklyn Nets to be their starting point guard of the future. Lin is currently dealing with injury issues, but is expected to be the face of Brooklyn sports as the Nets continue to rebuild.
13. Andray Blatche: Xinjiang Flying Tigers, Chinese Basketball League
Andray Blatche was one of the more underrated talents in the NBA and had the potential to be among the top centers. However, his personal issues always held him back from truly ascending to a role he could have secured. Blatche did have a few good seasons with the Washington Wizards, with career high averages of 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in 2010-2001.
Washington expected him to be a part of the future but the issues returned. Blatche showed a lack conditioning on the court and a lack of effort in practice. The Wizards let him go following an ugly breakup. Blatche played a few seasons for the Brooklyn Nets before leaving the NBA. Today, the big man is a member of the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in the Chinese Basketball League. Blatche is currently injured, but still on the roster as a star player in China.
12. Bonzi Wells: Ice Cube’s 3 on 3 League
Bonzi Wells’ talent made him one of the better players for the Portland Trail Blazers in the early 2000s. Wells averaged 17 points in the 2001-2002 season to make Blazers fans believe he was their star of the future, as his ability to score definitely helped Portland remain relevant in the Western Conference for a few years. That ended when his regression started to see him fall off into obscurity.
The Blazers giving up on Wells saw him bounce around a few teams, failing to find a home. Wells continued to decline up to the point where no NBA team wanted to sign him. Bonzi continued his career in China and Puerto Rico before retiring. Fans of Wells will see him return to the spotlight this summer with Ice Cube’s 3 on 3 league. Wells is listed with Allen Iverson and Stephen Jackson, among others, as the first names announced for the interesting project.
11. Bobby Simmons: Chicago Nightclub Society & Clothing Store Succezz
Bobby Simmons is the perfect example of a one hit wonder. The forgotten NBA name actually won the Most Improved Player of the Year Award in 2005. Simmons averaged 16.4 points per game for the Los Angeles Clippers that season to become a respected free agent. The Milwaukee Bucks offered him a good contract and unfortunately only received one good season from him.
The total of two good seasons in a row is where it ended for Simmons. His overall play declined and an ankle injury saw things get worse. Simmons was a journeyman for a few seasons before retiring from the NBA due to no interest in signing him. His current life sees him own the Chicago nightclub Society and a Chicago clothing store named Succezz. Hopefully the investment works out better than the tail end of his career.