In any sport there are stars and athletes of incredible ability that wow us with their skills. They make their jobs seem easy and that ease in which they play their game of choice inspires us to watch and cheer them on rigorously from season to season, and from game to game. These players that play so well are ones that we hope are a part of our favourite teams, and we collectively hope that they will be a part of and lead our teams to victory time and time again.
Yet on the flip side of that, there are indeed players that play our favourite game and in all honesty, we often wonder why they’re still on the court. It’s true. Sometimes, there are players that just aren’t hitting the mark, anymore, or if they ever did. These players can be frustrating to watch, as they are taking up a spot and fans can’t help thinking that maybe there wouldn’t be a better suited player for the job. For a multitude of spectators, such players can be the worst aspect of a season that could have gone well but didn’t. With the latest NBA season almost at an end, many players have played well, and of course many have dropped the ball so to speak, and it leads us to wonder: which of these players should stick around a little longer, and which should hang up the high tops for good?
We’ve compiled a decent list based on this season’s action of 8 players that should stick around, as they’ve done quite well, and 8 that should collect their gold watches, whether it’s too early or not.
16 Should Retire: Luol Deng
Luol Deng is one of those players that can indeed show a lot of potential. The only thing is his potential rarely shines through as of late and the outcomes of his performances leave many to wonder why he still tries. Mind you, persistence is a great trait to have, so we must commend him on that. This 33 year old baller has had an interesting career, though. He has played with: The Chicago Bulls, The Cleveland Cavaliers, The Miami Heat, and since 2016, the franchise and prestigious establishment that is The Los Angeles Lakers.
Now aside from his persistence, he does have a few honors that need mentioning. He is a 2 time NBA all-star, and he did win the 2007 sportsmanship award, so kudos to him for all that. He also performed pretty strongly in his first season with the Bulls and his stats proved consistent at that time. As the years progressed, his skill shone through pretty much consistently. After his two all-star seasons in which he suffered a pretty severe ligament injury, he became a free agent in 2013-2014. He then bounced around a tad before ending up in LA, where he still plays to this day. But judging by his performance this past season, we wonder why he hasn’t considered retirement.
15 Give It Another Year: Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk Nowitzki, the 39 year old power forward born in Germany definitely seems to have obvious reasons to retire, especially when considering his age. A typical towering figure indeed, at 7 feet tall and weighing in at 245 pounds, he sure makes up the ideal basketball player, but probably only on the surface, especially when looking at some of his more recent performances on the court. But we’re likely to ask him to stick around for another year, and yes, we’ve got our reasons. He did help bring home an NBA championship back in 2011, and was even an NBA finals MVP that year. His stats and honors look even better when looked back on as a whole.
For all his accomplishments, he definitely earns our respect.
He was first drafted in 1998, but he had a difficult start, yet he definitely got acclimated to his new surroundings and eventually improve greatly. He did have a great career when looking back, so indeed, his best years are behind him, but his latest season almost mirrors his first troublesome season in the NBA. He got out of that hump and we would imagine that he can get out of this latest bad season and give us at least one more good old college try.
14 Should Retire: Timofey Mozgov
For all intents and purposes, this imposing 7’1” 275 pound Russian should be the poster boy for the sport and the new direction of athletes we’ve been seeing in all sports as of late, if we were basing it on physical prowess and stature of course. Unfortunately, his skills don’t match his looks; especially as of late. I don’t know why, but whenever I see him, he makes me think of the Russian boxer character from the Rocky and Creed movies, Ivan Drago, played by action star Dolph Lundgren. And interestingly enough, he is big and strong like that character, but also rather clumsy, much like that famous character as well.
And like many basketball fans know, clumsy on the court is often a disaster waiting to happen, as this season’s stats have shown. He played for the Russian national team and they brought home the bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. He’s played with The Knicks, The Nuggets, The Cavaliers, LA and The Nets. Yes, indeed, he’s bounced around quite a great deal in his career, and it needs to mention that he hasn’t performed badly for the entirety of his career. It’s just that his most performance leaves a lot to be desired.
13 Give It Another Year: Vince Carter
Here’s yet another dude who’s up there in terms of age, but yet another example that age isn’t anything but a mere number. His career has been as storied and as colourful as any NBA star alive or passed. And his high school and college careers are almost as colourful as his NBA career. He played his high school ball in Daytona Beach where he led the Mainland High team to its first Class 6A Title in over 56 years and he received the honour of McDonald’s All-American for his troubles. His college years were just as successful, he went on to play for The North Carolina Tar Heels, as he attended that school, and he did exquisitely well there as well.
He was drafted to the NBA by the Toronto Raptors, and he was off to the races.
He played for quite a few teams, New Jersey, Dallas, Orlando and Phoenix among them. Unfortunately, he has suffered his worst season with Sacramento, but his past performances were indeed quite strong. He has been down before, and has since risen to the challenge of getting out of a funk. So forgive us if we’re willing to give him another year to prove that he still has what it takes, and yes, even at 41.
12 Should Retire: Miles Plumlee
Miles Plumlee, the center /power forward from Fort Wayne, Indiana sure as heck didn’t have himself a stellar season this year. In fact, he had just the opposite, and we regret to say this, but we’d rather not see him anywhere near a court next year. He had himself a shameful season, especially considering that he was a decent player in years passed. His performance eaves us all with one valid and yet persistent question: where did all that talent go? Who’s to say? When it comes to pro players, it can be for absolutely any reason at all. They range from too much partying, not enough practice and conditioning, to perhaps even a lack of interest and motivation.
This is something that may seem weird to fans, but it does happen. We can’t say for sure that this is what happened to Plumlee, here; we can only speculate and raise our arms in the air in wonder. Yes, he’s definitely a tall drink of water, and pretty big and muscular to boot, but his stats show that his impressiveness doesn’t go anywhere beyond opposing players being afraid. His highlights and accolades are non-existent. His attendance is the only proof that he was a part of the team at times. So sadly, we wouldn’t mind being Plumless next season.
11 Give It Another Year: Derrick Rose
He’s played his ball with The Chicago Bulls, The New York Knicks, The Cleveland Cavaliers and since 2018, The Minnesota Timberwolves. His NBA career is definitely rich and storied: a 2011 MVP, an NBA Rookie of the Year in 2009 and a 3 time NBA All-Star, his accolades definitely impress even the harshest critic, we’re sure. He has had great stats over the years, his highest career points per game came in 2011, when he was with Chicago, which comes in at an exact 25, and most recently, he did score quite low, averaging out at 5.0.
Yes, we’ll admit, the difference in his stats is indeed glaring, but we’d still be like to give him another year to prove his worth.
He too has been down before, and he too has climbed out of that hole. Sometimes, when it comes to athletes, especially with athletes of this man’s caliber, persistence is key and it wins out in the end, so we’d say it’s safe to bet on this man to turn it around before it’s time for him to hang up the sneakers for the last time. He’s only 29 after all, so we hope he’s got a few more years in him after all.
10 Should Retire: Quincy Pondexter
I love saying this dude’s name. “And from the 3 point line, it’s QUINCY PONDEXTER!” But apart from his awesome name, a little needs to be said on his skill and past performance as we’ve been doing this far in this article. So, yes, we love his name, but his skills at the game we love, known as basketball his skills leave a lot to be desired. He is in fact currently a free agent, and after his latest performance this season with The Bulls, we wonder if anyone will be interested on enlisting the young man for a position on any NBA team.
Yes indeed, things do look grim for Quincy, but his career hasn’t been all daisies and sunny afternoons now has it? Not at all, actually. He’s been playing since 2010 and unfortunately hasn’t amassed more than a single honor in all that time and his stats speak for themselves. What is commendable about the lad, though is that he holds a basketball tutorial and camp in San Joaquin Valley every year where he works with kids in kindergarten through the 12th grade. And judging on his unfortunate performances on the court as of late, we feel that maybe he should stick to such endeavours from now on and retire from professional play.
9 Give It Another Year: Dwyane Wade
The Heat’s current Shooting Guard has definitely had an interesting career to say the least. Having also played with The Chicago Bulls and The Cleveland Cavaliers, his career has had quite a few ups and downs, but he has consistently shown that he can rise to the challenge time and time again, and that’s why he makes our list of players that should definitely stick around for at least another season, or more. This 36 year old NBA star has won 3 NBA championships and was named NBA All-Star a whopping 12 times. His honors and accolades are definitely voluminous and actually the list is so big, we won’t get into it all here. Just trust us when we say that he is indeed decorated.
The “downs” of his career came mostly from injury, as his playing has stayed spot on.
And any look at his stats proves this. He has a very high PPG average, recorded at 30.2, and although this last season was in fact quite low for him, at a 12.0, it was still higher than most players playing the game today. He has also been quite prominent in social media and the mainstream, having been named one of People’s 50 most Beautiful People!
8 Should Retire: Jason Terry
Jason Terry is definitely a distinguished basketball player and his rich history in the sport cannot be forgotten, but unfortunately, his skills definitely have seemed to diminish quite a bit as of late, and particularly this season, and for that reason, we’ve decided to add him to this unfortunate list of players that should just call it a day, and maybe play a little recreational golf with their time. He was a tremendous young athlete, who had a fantastic high school career, having played with Franklin High School in Seattle, Washington. When he moved on to college, the school actually retired his number and that was a tremendous honour and a blatant testament to how much of a great player he in fact was. He played his college ball in Arizona and to rave reviews, leading to his NBA career.
Said NBA career started in 1999, and he played for the Atlanta Hawks—a position he would hold until 2004. He moved on to The Mavericks, The Celtics, The Nets, The Rockets and finally, The Bucks. His accolades are numerous and deservedly so, having helped to bring home a championship in 2011 with The Mavericks. He was also 6th Man Of The Year back in 2009. But unfortunately, this past season was atrocious and the decline of his abilities and drive have shown in his game. We feel it might be time for this former star player to move on.
7 Give It Another Year: LeBron James
Every generation has its star player, and the same goes for every sport. Soccer had Maradona in the 70s and 80s, Roberto Baggio in the 90s and Ronaldo now. And to touch on a sport we feature often here at The Sportster, wrestling had Hogan in the 80s, Steve Austin in the 90s and John Cena in this new generation. Yes, every sport has to have a leader who defines the sport they play. The NBA had many, but Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neil definitely stand out. These days, LeBron James definitely fits that bill and rightfully so.
After phenomenal high school and college careers, he busted on to the scene with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, and he hasn’t looked back since. He has had a phenomenal career, having played with The Cavaliers and Miami Heat. He is a 3 time NBA champion, a 4 time MVP, a whopping 14 time NBA All-Star and was a 2004 Rookie Of The Year, as well as having many other accolades and accomplishments. Off the courts, he is a spokesman and ambassador for the sport and has even appeared in mainstream media and film, most notably was his role as himself in the Amy Schumer comedy, Trainwreck. And, he’s showing no signs of slowing down, his latest season, he’s still going strong, so LeBron, good Sir, please stick around.
6 Should Retire: Joakim Noah
Unfortunately, it’s probably time for this young man to thing about maybe doing something else. His father was Yannick Noah, tennis star and inner of the French Open way back in 1983, and his mother was a beauty queen. So his gene pool is most definitely based in strength and success, and although that showed at the early portion of this athlete’s career, his star quality has sadly not endured, and as of late his skills and success on the courts has indeed declined.
He did have a great start in the game, however, having garnered himself decent stats in high school. In 2004 he was considered the 75th best player in the nation. His college career actually started off a little rough, but by the end he was indeed a player to keep your eye on, showing signs of a promising future. He was finally drafted to The Chicago Bulls in 2007 and played with them until 2016. He subsequently played with The New York Knicks, where he still holds a position at this time, but unfortunately his latest season was indeed a severe disappointment. And although he is quite young, we feel that he would be more successful doing something else, so maybe a pre-order on a decent gold watch is needed for the young Mr. Noah.
5 Give It Another Year: Kevin Durant
The 29 year old basketball player from Washington has had a successful NBA career thus far, and this latest season proves that he should carry on just as he has, so we put him on the positive side of this list we’re compiling here for you today. He reached up to 6 feet tall by the time he was in junior high, which was the age of 13 and excelled at athletics, but basketball was definitely his forte, as he did quite well in the sport during his high school career, moving around quite a bit. His college career showed even more promise. He played for The Texas Longhorns while he was a student at the University Of Texas.
Most notable of his time there was his achievement in the form of the Naismith College Player Of The Year, the prestigious honour bestowed upon him in his freshman period at the school and that is most definitely impressive. To top it all off, The Longhorns retired his number (#35) and jersey after he was drafted to the NBA by The Seattle Supersonics in 2007. His NBA stats have been very impressive to say the least and his list of accomplishments in the sport have indeed grown over the years. So please, Kevin, stay a little while longer why don’t you?
4 Should Retire: Nik Stauskas
Yes indeed. Somewhere and not too far away, maybe at some jewellery store in Brooklyn, or maybe even in some jeweller’s halfway across the world there is a bright and shiny gold watch waiting for this young man. It sits there in wait as this young man ponderously passes by to claim it, if he does. And for the record, we here at The Sportster hope that he isn’t long in collecting the pricey piece of wrist jewellery after all. Why?
Because at 24, he had a terrible season within the NBA, a place where only the elite of the elites should be allowed to dunk, run and shoot in front of the adoring fans. If they lack passion and drive in any way, shape or form, they don’t belong there taking up space that some prodigy from Long Island, or hey even somewhere in Canada, is waiting up to fill so desperately. His presence won’t be missed. After all, this season, it wasn’t even felt. He started 0 games the entire season, and the games he did play in, he played an average of 13 minutes per. No, not too impressive. For such a young talent, we would have expected more from Stauskas.
3 Give It Another Year: James Harden
Now this young man has impressed us and considerably since the start of his NBA career. And as for the scouts responsible for his arrival in the professional level, that must be likewise when it comes to his collegiate career. He played for Arizona State and his stats are rather impressive. His scoring average for the 08-09 season was a 20.1. He was drafted by The Oklahoma City Thunder and he hasn’t looked back since. That was in 2009, and he has since played with only two teams, having been signed to The Houston Rockets in 2012.
His stats speak for themselves, his PPG (points per game) ranking highest this past season, with an average of 30.4, an all-time career high. So we think it’s safe to say we want him back on the courts next year, that’s for sure. In fact, we’re pretty sure he’s likely to do even better as the years progress, as he is indeed in the prime of a very impressive career and is showing no signs of slowing down or losing any of his awesome technique and skill. In addition to his awesome stats, he too has some exceptional accolades, including: 6 times NBA all-star, 2018 Scoring Champion and NBA assists leader (2017).
2 Should Retire: Cristiano Felicio
Cristiano Felicio is a Brazilian player of 25 years of age who has just completed his 3rd season in the illustrious NBA. He plays for the Bulls, the famous stomping grounds of the great Michael Jordan and his time within that great team seems like a big waste when you look at the little he has accomplished since being drafted. Yes, he did well in Brazil, where he played for Minas Tenis Clube, but this seems to be a perfect example of a big fish in a small pond—pertaining to his time in Brazil of course—because now, it seems to be that no matter how tall and big this young man is, he is playing second fiddle and “smaller fish” to many of the great players this organization has to offer.
The test of any great player is how well he can fare amidst the best of the best. We’ve been through this before. Players may have exceptional high school, collegiate and international careers, but the true test of their talents come only when they step on an NBA court, and so many have fallen at that test, and our good buddy Cristiano is no exception. His latest season is proof of that and we wouldn’t mind seeing him returning home to Brazil to play his ball.
1 Give It Another Year: Carmelo Anthony
The nearly 7 foot two hundred and forty pounder, Carmelo Anthony has had a great career thus far. He’s played for The Denver Nuggets, The New York Knicks and The Oklahoma City Thunder. He is a 10 time NBA All-Star and was named NBA scoring champion back in 2013. His collegiate career which he played at Syracuse University was short-lived, lasting only a single season. But when asked why it was so short, he claimed that he had indeed done everything he had intended to do at that level of play. And his stats showed promise for that 2002-2003 season.
He declared himself eligible for the draft, his coach agreeing of course, and was drafted by The Denver Nuggets. He was able to achieve a career high PPG (28.9) with The Nuggets in 2006-2007 and has remained pretty consistent throughout much of his career. This season, and his first season in Oklahoma garnered him a 16.2 which although low for him is indeed still pretty high. So yeah, we’d definitely like to see him dribbling the ball next season, seeing that he doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all when looking at his drive and dedication to the game.