Like with most other sports, the NBA also has its fair share of revisionist history. This is the same with the fanbases of each NBA franchise, as every die-hard fan of a team wants to believe that some of their star players are, in fact, all-time greats, but in reality, they were, at best, above average players who put up decent numbers for a few years.
Some of the following players will probably go down as all-time greats, and some will undoubtedly end up going into the Professional Basketball Hall of Fame someday if they aren't already.
To be fair to some of these players, not every single one of them were bad players, they were just overrated by their own fanbase because they had one or two good seasons under their team's banner.
Nevertheless, every NBA team has a handful of players that have been overrated, but as you probably already know, for this list we're going to be focusing on each team's most overrated player.
So, with all of that in mind, let's break down the most overrated player in the history of each NBA franchise, starting with the most overrated player in the history of the Washington Wizards organization.
30 Atlanta Hawks - Joe Johnson
The Atlanta Hawks decided to give Joe Johnson a boatload of money in the late 2000s to be their superstar, but he never quite lived up to his contract. Sure, the team had some good years, but that was mostly due to the excellent play of Josh Smith and Al Horford. You could probably argue that Johnson should've stayed in Phoenix with Steve Nash, who helped Johnson get paid a massive amount of money by the Hawks. If he would've stayed in Phoenix, he might've been the missing piece they needed to get past the Spurs in the playoffs. To sum it up, he never should've been treated like, or paid like a team's main guy.
29 Boston Celtics - Paul Pierce
While he's looked at as an all-time legend in Boston, Paul Pierce is easily the most overrated Celtic of all-time. He was a one-way player who, on his own, didn't lead his team to much success. In fact, the team went through some pretty dark years with him as their star player. But things miraculously turned around when they acquired both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, who both carried Pierce and the Celtics to the trio's first and only NBA championship ring. It's very possible that Pierce would be viewed as overrated if Boston didn't acquire Garnett and Allen.
28 Brooklyn/New Jersey Nets - Keith Van Horn
Keith Van Horn was a pretty good offensive player during his prime years, but he was an awful defensive player, to say the least. It's actually quite surprising that the then-New Jersey Nets were able to make the finals for two straight seasons with him in the starting lineup, which probably says a lot about the incredible ability of Jason Kidd. Also, the eastern conference was terribly weak at the time, which allowed the Nets to have success in the postseason during the early 2000s. But it's pretty safe to say that Van Horn never quite lived up to his potential as a former number two overall pick.
27 Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats - Gerald Wallace
Gerald Wallace was a fantastic defensive player during his run with the Charlotte Bobcats, but much like the aforementioned Tony Allen, he was a one-way player. Sure, he was an aggressive offensive player who loved to attack the rim, but once that was taken away from him, he didn't have much else to offer on the offensive end. Furthermore, his excellent defensive ability never led the Bobcats to any team success, and by the time he was eventually traded to a contending team, his best years were behind him.
26 Chicago Bulls - Derrick Rose
Aside from his MVP year back in 2011, Derrick Rose was a good point guard, but he wasn't a huge difference maker. Sure, he could've been great if he would've been able to stay healthy, but he only ended up having one great year during his time with the Bulls. So him being overrated is probably due to the fact that he had a tremendous amount of potential, and could've ended up being the best point guard of his era if he was able to stay healthy, but he couldn't, so he never ended up reaching the heights that he maybe should have otherwise.
25 Cleveland Cavaliers - Larry Hughes
After acquiring LeBron James via the draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers were on the lookout for his Scottie Pippen, and they thought they had found that in Larry Hughes. However, Hughes never became the player that the franchise hoped he'd become, which is probably one of the biggest reasons why James never won a championship during his first run with the Cavs. In fact, the entire team they put around "The King" during that time was pretty awful, as they had Eric Snow as their starting point guard. But Hughes was easily the biggest disappointment on the team during LeBron's first run in Cleveland.
24 Dallas Mavericks - Steve Nash
This one might seem a bit ridiculous because Steve Nash went on to become a two-time league MVP, but that wasn't until he left Dallas for Phoenix. While Nash was a good player in Dallas, he certainly wasn't the type of player that he was when he got to Phoenix. Who knows, maybe he would've been that guy if the team's front office decided to re-sign him over deciding to give Erick Dampier a big money deal. But he just wasn't that guy during his run in Dallas, which is too bad, because he and Dirk Nowitzki probably could've won a few titles together.
23 Denver Nuggets - Antonio McDyess
Antonio McDyess had a few good years for the Denver Nuggets, but he could never lead the team to any kind of real playoff success. He also had a ton of issues with his health, but that didn't stop the New York Knicks from eventually signing him to a massive contract in the early 2000s, which didn't turn out well for them. Much like with Grant Hill, McDyess was able to overcome his injuries and become an effective role player later in his career, but during his prime years in Denver, he just didn't have it figured out yet, though he did put up some monster numbers despite that.
22 Detroit Pistons - Bill Laimbeer
While he was an effective enforcer during his run with the "Bad Boy" Detroit Pistons in the late '80s, Bill Laimbeer wasn't much of an offensive player or a rim protector. He was also thought to be a dirty player by his peers, most notably Larry Bird, who said that the ex-Pistons' center would regularly try to injure players on the opposing team on purpose. Luckily for Detroit, his lack of offensive ability didn't stop them from winning back to back championships, but that was mostly due to their incredible backcourt of Joe Dumars and Isiah Thomas.
21 Golden State Warriors - Baron Davis
Back in 2007, Baron Davis helped lead the number eight seed Golden State Warriors to a round one playoff victory over that year's league MVP Dirk Nowitzki and the number one seed Dallas Mavericks. Sure, that was an impressive accomplishment, but that's about the only thing he accomplished in Golden State. During his time with the team, he had a hard time staying healthy, and his run with them only lasted three and a half seasons before he was sent to the Los Angeles Clippers. Up until recently, Davis was probably thought to be the best point guard the team has had aside from Tim Hardaway.
20 Houston Rockets - Steve Francis
While Steve Francis was one of the most gifted guards in the league during his prime, his poor attitude and his lack of ability to make anyone around him better ended up hurting the Houston Rockets. He led the team to the playoffs only once, but they were eliminated in round one. But there are a few positives when it comes to Francis in Houston, as his inability to make anyone around him better helped them land the first overall pick back in 2002, where they drafted Yao Ming. He was also just good enough to where the Orlando Magic thought that they were getting equal value when they traded Tracy McGrady for him. So his bad attitude and selfish mentality did lead to a few good things for the team.
19 Indiana Pacers - Jermaine O'Neal
If you look at Jermaine O'Neal's numbers from the regular season during his time with the Indiana Pacers, then you'll probably be pretty impressed. He was a walking double-double, and he made six All-Star teams as a Pacer. However, during postseason play, he clearly wasn't the player that he was during the regular season, as his numbers shrunk during the playoffs, which isn't acceptable if you're a team's number one option. So, while he was a fantastic player during the regular season, he would become much less effective during the biggest games of his career, which really hurt the Pacers, to say the least. He was their main building block, but he just couldn't get it going in the playoffs.
18 Los Angeles Clippers - Blake Griffin
There was a period of time when there was a three-player debate about who was the best power forward in the entire NBA: LaMarcus Aldridge, Kevin Love, or Blake Griffin. In my opinion, Griffin was by far the least effective of the three. Sure, he was an explosive athlete, but the team would've fared much better if they had either Aldridge or Love paired alongside Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan. Also, Griffin struggled to stay on the court due to constant injury issues, which really slowed them down. Furthermore, he could never lead the team past the second round of the playoffs, which caused friction within the Clippers' locker room.
17 Los Angeles Lakers - Andrew Bynum
Former Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum had a few good years for the team, and he was even a part of a few championship teams during his time there. But his health was always a big issue. On top of that, he wasn't the greatest guy to have in the locker room, but for a period of time that didn't matter, as the team had arguably the best player in the league at the time in Kobe Bryant. He also had the added benefit of playing alongside Pau Gasol, who was one of the best passing big men of his generation. Unluckily for the Lakers, when they finally moved Bynum, they got Dwight Howard in return, which also didn't work out well for them.
16 Memphis Grizzlies - Tony Allen
One of my biggest pet peeves with NBA guards is when they can't shoot. Like, all they have to do is spend an entire summer working on their jump shot and they'll improve. But, for whatever reason, Tony Allen just never developed a consistent jump shot, which really hurt the Grizzlies during their "grit and grind" years. He was excellent on defense, but his lack of offensive ability forced Memphis to play four-on-five while on offense. If he would've been a reliable shooter, he might've ended up being the most valuable player on the team. But he never did, thus the team's good years were wasted due to his inability to shoot the ball.
15 Miami Heat - Alonzo Mourning
When healthy, Alonzo Mourning was an incredible defensive presence. However, "when healthy" is the key phrase, as the former Miami Heat big man never played a full season for the team. On top of that, he never led them to any type of success in the playoffs. In fact, the only time that the team accomplished anything on the roster is when he was playing the backup center role behind Shaquille O'Neal. So, as the team's superstar, he was good, but not someone who was going to lead them to any postseason success. But as a role player for Miami, he wasn't all that bad.
14 Milwaukee Bucks - Glenn Robinson
Glenn "The Big Dog" Robinson did have some success with teammate Ray Allen and the Milwaukee Bucks, but his inability to play defense or stay in shape hurt them when they reached the postseason. Yes, he was at times a pretty good offensive player, but he was also a black hole on defense, and he wasn't efficient at all. This is another case of a player having great stats on paper, but in reality, he wasn't as effective as the stat sheet would lead you to believe. On top of that, the Bucks held onto him for far too long, as they could've moved him for a better, more efficient forward who probably would've helped Ray Allen and company make a run at the finals in the late '90s and early 2000s.
13 Minnesota Timberwolves - Stephon Marbury
Here we are again with Stephon Marbury, who could've been a part of a great thing with the Minnesota Timberwolves if he would've stuck around. But instead, his ego couldn't handle that he was playing second fiddle to the team's star Kevin Garnett, so he forced his way out, and went on to a career of putting up big numbers on bad teams, while his former teammate was leading his team to the playoffs and winning MVP awards. So, it's pretty safe to say that the T-Wolves were right to get rid of him when they did, simply because he probably would've done more harm than good to the team if he stuck around.
12 New Orleans Pelicans - Jrue Holiday
When he's healthy, current New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is a pretty effective player, but the problem is that he's never healthy for long stretches of time. He's also one of the most overpaid players in the entire league, which has really hurt the Pelicans, as it's prevented them from acquiring someone who could provide some help for the team's star Anthony Davis, who might demand a trade if the team doesn't put more around him. Aside from last year, when Holiday was able to stay healthy for a significant period of time, he hasn't provided much support for who many believe is the best power forward in the entire league.
11 New York Knicks - Stephon Marbury
Like with Russell Westbrook, Stephon Marbury's numbers look incredible. But he was one of the most selfish players of all-time. He had a good thing going with Kevin Garnett in Minnesota, but he forced his way out of a potential championship team because he wasn't looked at as the team's number one guy. He had one good year in New York in which the team made the playoffs, but he didn't do much after that, which caused the team's fanbase to turn on him. Simply put, he wasn't the kind of point guard that could lead a team to the finals, nor could he even lead them to the playoffs in the weak Eastern Conference.
10 Oklahoma City Thunder - Russell Westbrook
It does seem that people outside of Oklahoma City are beginning to realize that Russell Westbrook isn't as good as his stats tell you he is. Sure, was the first player to average a triple-double in decades, and he was the first player ever to do it twice, let alone consecutively. However, when you watch him play, he's clearly playing for stats and he's not playing to win. If someone like LeBron James had Westbrook's mentality, then his numbers would blow the OKC star's away, but he'd also have a total of zero championships if he played that way. So while Westbrook's numbers look good, he hasn't led his team to much success ever since the departure of Kevin Durant.
9 Orlando Magic - Grant Hill
When Grant Hill signed with the Orlando Magic back in 2000, fans of the franchise were pumped, as they had just acquired a player who was the 90s' version of LeBron James. But due to a recurring ankle issue, Hill was unable to contribute to the team regularly, which meant that the newly acquired Tracy McGrady would have to shoulder the load by himself. When the team acquired both McGrady and Hill, the franchise thought they had the next Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen combo, but it never ended up coming to pass due to Hill's inability to stay healthy for an extended period of time. He did end up becoming a pretty good role player during his later years, but his years in Orlando were a complete flop.
8 Philadelphia 76ers - Jerry Stackhouse
On paper, Jerry Stackhouse's years in Philadelphia look pretty good, but the fact that the team traded him just a year and a half after drafting him tells you that his stats didn't tell the entire story. During his time with the team, he earned the reputation as a "chucker" who wouldn't buy into the 76ers' team concept. He did go on to have some pretty good years for the Detroit Pistons after being traded, but it was more of the same of what he did in Philly, where he was a one-man band who couldn't carry a team by himself, unlike the franchise's future star at the time, Allen Iverson, who single-handedly carried the Sixers to the NBA finals.
7 Phoenix Suns - Amar'e Stoudemire
At one point, Amar'e Stoudemire was one of the most dominant power forwards in the league, but that only lasted for a few seasons as his knees began to go. In fact, the team refused to offer him a contract after 2009-10 season because they knew his knees were pretty much done, and while he did go on to have one more good season for the New York Knicks, the Suns' front office proved to be right in the end. Also, it's extremely likely that he wouldn't have had those good years in Phoenix if it weren't for former two-time MVP Steve Nash, who was arguably the best point guard of his generation.
6 Portland Trail Blazers - Arvydas Sabonis
Let's get one thing straight, if the Portland Trail Blazers would've gotten Arvydas Sabonis in his prime, then he might've ended up being one of the greatest NBA centers of all-time. In fact, he probably could've been a better version of what the Denver Nuggets currently have with Nikola Jokic. But when they got him, his knees were shot, and while he was decent, the fanbase treats him as an all-time legend. He was a good player, but if he still had his knees, he probably would've helped the Blazers roll right over the Lakers during the 2000 Western Conference finals, and who knows, maybe they would've dominated the early 2000s like L.A. did.
5 Sacramento Kings - Peja Stojakovic
Sure, Peja Stojakovic was vital towards the Sacramento Kings' success in the regular season during the early 2000s. However, he was a completely different player when the postseason came. Also, for a guy who was thought to be one of the best shooters in the league to airball wide open threes during the Kings' playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers back in 2002 pretty much tells you all you need to know about how ineffective he was in high-pressure moments. He was a good player, but he's one of the biggest reasons why the team fell short of an NBA Finals run.
4 San Antonio Spurs - Sean Elliott
It's quite difficult to find an overrated Spur simply because everyone who's played there over the last two decades has been incredibly successful. However, throughout the 90s you could argue that, prior to the team getting Tim Duncan, Sean Elliott was their second best player behind David Robinson, and while he did make the All-Star team twice, he was never more than an average forward during his run there. But, luckily for him and the rest of the franchise, they were able to land Tim Duncan, who helped Elliott capture his first and only NBA championship during the strike-shortened 1998-99 season.
3 Toronto Raptors - Vince Carter
It's funny how fans of the Toronto Raptors now believe that Vince Carter was an all-time great when just a decade ago they despised him for quitting on their team and demanding a trade elsewhere. Sure, Carter was an exciting player during his prime, and there was a year or two when you could argue that he was a top-10 player in the league, but he never once led the team to anything while he was in Toronto. But, due to the fact that he was an incredible athlete an dunker during his run there, the fanbase and the media alike have completely forgotten how he quit on the team and forced his way out.
2 Utah Jazz - Deron Williams
It's still crazy to me that at one point there was an argument over who the best point guard in the NBA was, Chris Paul or Deron Williams. The answer was obvious: Chris Paul. Like with previous entry Gilbert Arenas, Willams only had a few good years for the Utah Jazz before being shipped off to the Nets. Also, like with Arenas, and unlike with Chris Paul, D-Will wasn't effective on the defensive end of the floor, which hurt the Jazz during their various playoff runs with their big three of Williams, Carlos Boozer, and Andrei Kirilenko.
1 Washington Wizards - Gilbert Arenas
Sure, Gilbert Arenas had a few good years during his time in Washington, but his presence caused more headaches than anything else. He was constantly dealing with injuries, and the team did sign him to what could be the worst contract in recent memory. While he was an outstanding offensive player for a few years, he wasn't effective on defense, to say the least. Moreover, after he signed a monster contract extension with the team, he went on to play in less than 50 games over the next three seasons before being shipped off to Orlando.