When you think of an NBA legend or superstar of today, the team that they shined the most with may also come to your mind. Such as Michael Jordan and the Bulls or Shaquille O'Neal and the Lakers, the player and the team can go hand in hand when discussing a legacy of a player sometimes. While some savvy basketball fans may know all the short stints that NBA legends have played on with random teams, most people are not aware of some NBA teams that some of their favorite players actually suited up for. Whether it be early in their career before they reached country-wide recognition or they played for that team past their prime just before retirement, a lot of NBA players have played for teams that you didn't know about.
In this article, we will be looking at 15 NBA teams that you had no idea these big name superstars once played for. This article can really test your basketball knowledge, and I applaud you if you know all or most of these random player and team connections.
As always, feel free to leave any other random teams that NBA superstars played for, as we would love to hear your thoughts.
Here are 15 NBA teams you didn't know these superstars played for.
16 Dennis Rodman - Los Angeles Lakers
Dennis Rodman is arguably the best rebounder to ever play the game of basketball, due to his ability to bring down hefty amount of boards each game being only listed at 6'7" inches. You know what, he IS the greatest rebounder of all-time. A two-time champion with the Detroit Pistons early in his career, Rodman gained most of his fame with the Chicago Bulls, as he was a key piece to the franchise's second three-peat. After the 1997-98 season, the Bulls underwent a rebuilding phase, which led to Rodman being released. His sister, who was his acting manager at the time, got him a deal with the Lakers. Rodman only played 23 games in purple and gold, and still managed to grab over 11 rebounds per game.
15 Kyle Lowry - Memphis Grizzlies
It took years for Kyle Lowry to develop into the point-guard he is today, which is why many people don't know that he actually played for both the Memphis Grizzlies and the Houston Rockets before flourishing with the Toronto Raptors. Lowry was a steal in the 2006 NBA Draft, as he was drafted with the 24th pick by the Memphis Grizzlies. Ten games into his rookie season, he broke his wrist meaning he would miss the rest of the season. In his third season, he was traded to the Rockets where he spent four seasons, and was then traded to the Raptors where he became one of the most versatile guards in the league. At 31 years of age, Lowry is looking to win a championship and Toronto may not be where he signs this summer.
14 13. Patrick Ewing - Seattle SuperSonics/Orlando Magic
When I think of Patrick Ewing, I think of New York Knicks dominance as he spent the majority of his long career in the Big Apple. Like many of the players on this list however, Ewing's finals few seasons were spent on random teams. After spending 15 seasons with the New York Knicks, Ewing was traded to the Sonics and spent one season there where he averaged about 10 points per game, and then went on to play for the Orlando Magic where he averaged 6 points per contest.
Seeing Ewing in both the Sonics jersey and Magic jersey looks odd to say the least, as if you type in Patrick Ewing on Google, you will be flooded with pictures of him on the Knicks, and may have to dive a little deeper to see him in colors other than blue and orange.
13 12. Gary Payton - Milwaukee Bucks
Gary "The Glove" Payton was a premier defender during his time in the league, on his way to becoming one of the best Seattle SuperSonics in all of the franchises' history. He was selected with the 2nd pick in the 1990 NBA Draft to Seattle, and ended up playing 13 seasons for the team, and had much success even though he was never able to win a championship with them.
His first season after Seattle was with the Bucks, and while he did play well for them, he only played 28 games with the team before playing for the Lakers, Celtics, and Heat in looks of winning a championship which he was able to achieve in 2006 with Miami. It was good to see Payton grab one before retiring.
12 Scottie Pippen - Houston Rockets
I consider myself to be a pretty knowledgable basketball fan, but I can honestly say I didn't know Scottie Pippen played a season with the Houston Rockets. I knew he spent some years with the Portland Trail Blazers other than the Bulls, but seeing him in this Rockets jersey is just a little weird. Pippen had a long and illustrious NBA career as he and Michael Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls on his way to becoming one of the best power forwards in the history of the NBA. The Bulls ended up trading Pippen in 1999 for Roy Rogers and a second round pick, which in my opinion is just blasphemy as you don't trade a guy like Pippen that did so much for your team for a weak trade like that.
11 Vince Carter - Phoenix Suns
Vince Carter has been in the league since 1998, a 19 year NBA career that is still going strong. Carter was drafted with the 5th pick in the 1998 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, but was then traded to the Raptors where he made a name for himself for his high-flying dunks and excellent scoring skill. Spending most of his career with the Raptors, Carter also dominated the league with the New Jersey Nets. Playing a few seasons with the Magic after that, the Phoenix Suns managed to grab Carter for just a season, which is why many people don't think of the Suns when speaking on Carter, as many are unaware he played for them. Now playing for the Grizzlies, Carter is the oldest player in the NBA.
10 Dominique Wilkins - Boston Celtics
Dominique Wilkins was drafted with the 3rd overall pick in the 1982 NBA Draft by the Utah Jazz, who ultimately ended up trading him to the Atlanta Hawks. Atlanta is what people think of when Dominique Wilkins is brought into conversation, as he spent a long time with the team and was very successful becoming one of the best scorers in the league while doing it in style, even being dubbed "The Human Highlight Reel" due to his ability to pull off incredible plays on the court. His last four years of his career where spent on different teams, as Wilkins was traded to the Clippers for Danny Manning, and still played incredible for L.A. as he averaged a bit under 30 points per game for the Clippers.
He then signed with the Celtics, and even though he played for both the Spurs and the Magic for a year as well, seeing him in the Celtics jersey looks the oddest in my opinion.
9 Allen Iverson - Memphis Grizzlies
Allen Iverson could be the most talented basketball player to play in the NBA, due to his ability to dominate his opponents at only 6'0". Using his craftiness, quickness, and dribbling talent, Iverson became one of the best scoring guards in the league after being drafted with the 1st overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft to the Philadelphia 76ers. Iverson embodied what Philly is all about, as he brought a certain grit and grime to each game which saw him becoming one of the biggest names in all of Philadelphia sports.
When it was time to part ways with the Sixers, Iverson played for the Denver Nuggets for a few seasons, but many don't know that Iverson played a total of three games with the Memphis Grizzlies during the 2009-10 season. Coming off the bench, Iverson made it clear he wasn't happy and left the team which led to them terminating his contract with them. He then returned to the Sixers.
7 7. Karl Malone - Los Angeles Lakers
Karl Malone was one of the greatest scorers to ever grace the NBA hardwood, as he sits right behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for most points scored in the league's long history. The greatest Utah Jazz player of all-time, Karl Malone didn't spend his entire career with the Jazz likes some may think. He spent an incredible 18 seasons with the Jazz, but signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for the 2003-04 season in hopes of winning a championship, which was the only real piece of hardwood Karl didn't have to his name. Teaming up with the likes of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal and considering Malone was at the end of his career, he didn't do much with the Lakers as injuries kept him off the court. The Lakers ended up losing to the Detroit Pistons in five games in the 2004 NBA Finals.
6 Jamal Crawford - Portland Trail Blazers
Jamal Crawford has been one of the best bench players in the league for a long time now, as he has even won three NBA Sixth Man of the Year awards to his name. Crawford was drafted with the 8th pick in the 2000 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but was traded to the Bulls. He spent a lot of time in Chicago, and spent a season of great play in Golden State, and then a couple seasons in Atlanta. He even spent a season in Portland, where he played 60 games. Considering the team didn't make the playoffs, Crawford signed with the Clippers that summer making his time with the Trail Blazers a short memory, that mostly only he has family remember at this point.
5 Robert Parish - Chicago Bulls
Robert Parish is a Boston Celtics legend, winning three NBA championships with the team after being traded to them from the Golden State Warriors. Parish spent a long and successful 14 years with the team, spending pretty much his entire prime there with the likes of Larry Bird and Kevin McHale and many other great Celtics players. On the downward slope of his legendary NBA career, he played for the Charlotte Hornets for two seasons, and then spent one year in Chicago for the 1996-97 season, where he ultimately won his 4th NBA championship with Michael Jordan and the dominant Chicago Bulls team of the 90s despite not doing to much to help the team other than being a big veteran presence.
4 Rasheed Wallace - Atlanta Hawks
If you remember Rasheed Wallace playing for the Atlanta Hawks, I salute you. Wallace only played one single game for the Hawks making the spectacle of him in that jersey a rare sight to see. After playing one season with the Wizards his rookie year and eight seasons with the Trail Blazers, Wallace was traded to the Hawks for one game, scoring 20 points with 5 blocks to match, he was quickly traded to the Detroit Pistons where he was able to win a championship in 2004. Wallace spent only one season with a few different teams in the NBA such as the Celtics and the Knicks, but the fact that he was a member of the Atlanta Hawks for one night is why Wallace and the Hawks make this list.
3 Hakeem Olajuwon - Toronto Raptors
Hakeem Olajuwon is often considered to be one of the best big men in the history of the NBA. After being drafted with the number 1 pick in the 1984 NBA Draft to the Houston Rockets, Olajuwon went on to become an absolute beast on the court, winning two championships along the way. He played almost his entire career for the Rockets, but when he refused a $13 million deal with the Rockets, he was traded to the Raptors for draft selections as Houston began to rebuild. His career was already on the downward trend before being traded to the Raptors, but his final season which was spent up north saw him average 7.1 points per game and 6 rebounds per game. He called it a career after that season, ending one of the most legendary NBA careers of all-time.
2 Paul Pierce - Washington Wizards
Paul Pierce has now officially retired from the NBA after playing his final game with the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul is mostly known for his greatest on the Boston Celtics, but Paul has spent a few short stints that some people might have forgot about. His move to Brooklyn from Boston was a big move in the NBA, and while his time with Brooklyn was short and not so sweet, people remember him playing there.
He spent the next season however, with the Wizards and it seems to go forgotten he spent a year there before ending his career with the Los Angeles Clippers. Paul is without a doubt a Hall of Fame player but of course, he'll only be remembered as a Celtic.
1 Michael Jordan - Washington Wizards
Michael Jordan is the greatest NBA player to ever live, as he really was the perfect ball player and had possibly the most successful career fans of the league has ever seen. Drafted with the 2nd pick in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls, Jordan came into the league with a force, averaging over 28 points per game as a rookie as he had a certain skill set and will to win that was unmatched around the league even as a rookie. Even averaging over 37 points per game in just his third season in the league, Michael Jordan was primed for a legendary NBA career.
With six rings to his name, Jordan could have possibly won more but he went out and tried to dominant the baseball world like he did with the basketball world, but that didn't necessarily work out as planned.
After he retired again after winning three championships in a row for the second time with the Bulls, he came back in 2001 to play with the Washington Wizards, donating his salary to victims of the 9/11 attacks. Go ahead and ask someone what other team Michael Jordan played for, and some people will definitely think it's a trick question.