When you think of athletes, you think of people who will be well off when they retire. You don’t think that LeBron James, after his playing days are over, will be flipping burgers at McDonald's to make ends meet do you? Didn’t think so.
Well, the sad news is not all athletes have the luxurious lifestyle after their playing days are done. Just look at former All-Stars, Jayson Williams and Antoine Walker. Jayson Williams was an All-Star big man with the New Jersey Nets, but after his playing days, was found guilty of assault after accidentally shooting his limo driver and served eighteen months in prison. Walker was also an All-Star forward for the Boston Celtics, but after his playing days, he was found guilty of passing a bad check and filed bankruptcy.
As you can see, not all NBA players live the high life after they hang up their sneakers. Below is a list of fifteen players who might not live that life of luxury and might end up working at Home Depot. Many of these players are guys who were thought to be stars coming out of college, but were just guys who ended up being destined to be bench-warmers in the NBA and not sticking around too long.
15 Anthony Bennett, Nets
People keep picking on Anthony Bennett and there is good reason behind it. He was the number one pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2013 NBA Draft and has not lived up to the hype that surrounds the number one pick.
In his short NBA career, which has been four seasons long including this year, he has played for a different team every season (Cavaliers, Timberwolves, Raptors, Nets). That is unheard of for a top overall pick. His stats don’t help his case either. In his career so far, he is averaging 4.3 points per game, way off of the numbers a top draft pick is expected to put up. If it doesn't work out with the Nets, Bennett might as well trade in his sneakers for an orange apron and a pair of work boots because the NBA is not where he belongs.
14 Skal Labissiere, Kings
Yea, this past June’s draft was only six months ago and it is too soon to say one of the guys drafted is going to be a bust. Like Lee Corso says on College Gameday, “Not so fast!” However, Skal Labissiere IS going to be a bust. He was hyped up out of high school as being a phenom, but really didn’t show his potential during his year playing for John Calipari at Kentucky.
He only averaged 6.6 points per game as a Wildcat. That made it a head scratcher when he declared for the NBA Draft, mainly because many NBA scouts knew this wouldn’t be much more than a project player. He was selected 28th overall by the Phoenix Suns and was eventually traded to the Kings. He has appeared in eight games, averaging 3.3 points per game so far this season.
He's been bouncing between the D-League and the NBA constantly. With that being said, he’ll either be a lifetime D-Leaguer or assisting guests at Home Depot in five years.
13 Shabazz Napier, Blazers
Do you remember the miraculous run to the national championship Shabazz Napier led UConn on in 2014? Yea, it was awesome. What hasn’t been awesome is Napier’s NBA career so far...
He was drafted by the Miami Heat with the 24th pick in the 2014 Draft, in what many thought to be an attempt to persuade LeBron James to stay in Miami. The story is LeBron was impressed by Napier’s play and leadership during the NCAA tournament and was intrigued if the Heat could grab him in the draft. It turns out that LeBron wasn't too impressed by his play because Napier being drafted by the Heat wasn’t enough for LeBron to stay. Napier has played for three teams during his three seasons in the NBA and has yet to find a place to call home. He's also become one of those guys you don’t see on the court unless his team is up big or down big. In five years, he will be assisting, but it won’t be on the court. It will be assisting customers at Home Depot.
12 Deyonta Davis, Grizzlies
Like Skal Labissiere above, Deyonta Davis was selected in this past draft and like Labissiere, Davis took a nosedive when it came to being selected. He was projected to be a top ten pick, but that never came to fruition. He slid to the first pick in the second round where he was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies. Like Labissiere, Davis played one season in college, though it was at Michigan State, and averaged a measly 7.5 points per game. If you are going to be a top ten pick, that can't be your scoring average.
So far with the Grizzlies, he has appeared in 21 games and is averaging 2.2 points per game and, like Napier, is one of the guys on the cleanup crew. He is currently sidelined with a torn plantar fasciitis in his left foot and will miss six to eight weeks. It’s not like the Grizzlies will miss him by looking at his stats. Like Labissiere, Davis is projected to be wearing the orange apron and work boots while working at Home Depot.
11 James Young, Celtics
James Young was a slashing guard for the Wildcats and helped lead them to the 2014 national title game, where they lost to Kentucky. He averaged 14.3 points per game with Kentucky during his only season in Lexington.
His slashing ability caught the attention of NBA scouts who crave guards that get to the basket and make plays. With the 17th pick in the draft, the Celtics took Young. He hasn’t lived up to the hype, only averaging 2.1 points per game so far in his career. He has spent most of his career in the D-League and looks out of place when called up to the NBA, which means he’ll end up a career D-Leaguer or out of the league. If he ends up out of the league, Home Depot is always hiring.
10 K.J. McDaniels, Rockets
It really hurts to put this guy on the list. He was originally drafted by the Sixers in the second round of the 2014 Draft. While with the Sixers, he looked like he was going to be a good player, averaging 9.2 points per game. In February of 2015, the Sixers traded McDaniels to the Rockets for Isaiah Canaan and a 2015 draft pick.
Since the trade, McDaniels has become one of the guys on the Rockets cleanup crew. He is averaging 2.5 points per game in Houston and isn’t even getting a chance to show that he belongs in the NBA, like he was doing while with the Sixers. If it keeps going this way and the Rockets keep avoiding him, McDaniels could find himself helping customers score deals at Home Depot.
9 Taurean Prince, Hawks
Here we go picking on another guy who was drafted in this past draft. Taurean Prince, while at Baylor, was a high-flying forward who was always rocking the rim or making the opponent’s life a living hell on the defensive end. When the Jazz picked him at number twelve in the draft and traded him to the Hawks, he seemed to be the kind of player the Hawks look for, a guy who is gifted defensively, but can also contribute on the offensive end.
In order to do that, a guy has to be on the court in the game. He has played in 18 games this season, but is only averaging 10.5 minutes per game. How can a guy contribute if he’s only getting ten minutes of playing time? The Hawks are loaded with talent so that might be why. If this keeps up, Prince will be forgotten about and will end up out of basketball. But like James Young has been told above, Home Depot is always hiring.
8 Aron Baynes, Pistons
This guy has to be on this list because if you look at a recent picture of him, he looks like the Home Depot type. He looks more like a lumberjack than an NBA big man. That's enough critiquing his style.
Like stated, he's an NBA big man (6’10”, 260 lbs) and, so far in his career, he's been nothing more than a big man that comes in to eat up minutes either because of foul trouble or just to be a big body to pound around in the paint. NBA teams love that kind of guy, but how long do they stick around usually? He is already in his fourth season (his first with the Pistons) and is stuck behind Andre Drummond and Boban Marjanovic in the rotation. In five years, he might get fed up with being the “third wheel” and trade in his sneakers for the apron and work boots of Home Depot.
7 Derrick Williams, Heat
Oh how far the former second overall pick has fallen? Derrick Williams was a high flyer during his time at the University of Arizona, which earned him the honor of being selected number two overall in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Yea, about that....
So far in his career, he hasn’t become the star that the Timberwolves thought they were drafting (just their luck), but he has turned out to be just another decent role player coming off the bench. He has been with four teams now in his six seasons in the NBA and has yet to find a place to call home. He is currently with the Heat and is averaging 6.8 points per game this year. By looking at how he has done so far in his career, he'll eventually fall off the NBA radar and many of you are wondering where he's going to end up. That answer is helping fulfill your home improvement needs at Home Depot.
6 Cameron Payne, Thunder
If you do not know who this is, it's Russell Westbrook’s dancing partner. He is supposed to be the backup point guard for the Thunder, but hasn't done much of that so far in his career. The Thunder originally drafted Cameron Payne with fourteenth pick in the 2015 Draft to be the backup to Russell Westbrook after the departure of Reggie Jackson, who was traded to the Pistons.
In his time with the Thunder including this year, he is averaging 5.0 points in 12.1 minutes of playing time per game. It looks like the Thunder are doing the same thing to Payne that they did to Reggie Jackson, trying to force him into wanting to leave. Jackson got his wish by playing well when the Thunder let him get on the court, but with Payne, he can’t even get on the court to make an impact. If he left the Thunder, he probably would end up at Home Depot.
5 Adreian Payne, Timberwolves
Adreian Payne is another example of a solid college player who went to the NBA never to be heard from again. Payne was drafted fifteenth overall by the Hawks in the 2014 NBA Draft and was thought to be the next coming of Draymond Green. He had a lot in common with Green after all; they both played at Michigan State under Tom Izzo and were both big men who could step out and shoot the three if need be.
It turns out, Green rose up and Payne became glued to the bench. Payne is now with the Timberwolves and is only used as part of the cleanup crew when the team is either up big or down big. You know what that means, don’t you? That means he won’t last too long in the league, unless he likes that role. Like mentioned before, if he's unhappy with his role and looking for work, Home Depot is always hiring.
4 Metta World Peace, Lakers
The guys at three and four on the list are on this list because their playing days are coming to an end soon. We'll start with Metta World Peace, or Ron Artest, whichever you prefer.
He has had a solid career, which started when he was drafted by the Chicago Bulls with the sixteenth pick in the 1999 NBA Draft out of St. John’s University. He has always been looked at as a bad guy ever since he went up into the stands and punched a fan during the Malice at the Palace that took place at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Detroit while his Pacers were playing the Pistons.
He's averaged 13.3 points per game during his career and is currently with the Lakers as a veteran leader for the young guys on the team. When his playing days are finally up, he could end up at Home Depot because like we said before, they’re always looking for help.
3 Chris Andersen, Cavaliers
The second of the two guys on the list only because their playing days are nearing an end is Chris "Birdman" Andersen. He is one of the players known as a LeBron follower. He followed LeBron to Miami and to Cleveland when LeBron returned home two years ago.
Andersen’s NBA career began when he was the first D-Leaguer to be called up by an NBA team back in 2001. In 2006, he was suspended by the league for testing positive for a banned substance and was kicked out of the NBA until he was reinstated in 2008. So far in his career, he has averaged 5.4 points per game and has been mainly used as a big man who can pound in the post and is also a good defensive presence. He's currently with the Cavaliers and is looking like his playing days will be up very soon. There is a rumor going around that Home Depot is very interested in acquiring his services pending an interview.
2 Roy Hibbert, Hornets
The saying is, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, right? Well, Roy Hibbert, a seven footer, fell pretty hard. He had his so-called coming out party in the playoff series versus the Heat in 2011 and everyone thought he was going to be one of the league’s top big men from that point on. Yea, that didn’t happen.
He went from being a potential All-Star big man to being made fun of in memes that have him as a trash can. When you are a seven footer in the NBA, you are supposed to be able to pound in the post and be defensively superior. That is not the case for Hibbert. He tends to wander out of the post because he like the mid-range and he's constantly the victim of posterizing dunks. He needs to stop trying to pretend he is an NBA big and come join the Home Depot family. They'll welcome him with open arms and won’t embarrass him like some of those dunkers.
1 Dwight Howard, Hawks
And that leads us to the one player who will end up working at Home Depot in five years and who better to fill that spot than Superman himself.
You are probably asking why? Well, let’s start off by saying that Dwight Howard has had a nasty breakup with every team he has played with so far in his career. He didn’t like it in Orlando. He didn’t like being bossed around by Kobe in L.A. He didn’t like playing with a ballhog like James Harden in Houston. It seems like he doesn’t like a lot of things.
James Harden came out and said that Dwight Howard is a cancer and that he ruins the team that he plays with because he wants to be the man. Well, we hate to break it to him, but basketball is a team game. But you know what job does not take a team effort (most times)? Assisting guests in finding what they're looking for at Home Depot.