It is no secret there are plenty of players picked as NBA All-Stars that just don't belong. Majority of the time it is due to the fact that the fans have had their hands in voting the All-Star starters. But the coaches have made their fair share of inadequate selections as well. Players have been voted in, after being shelved for most of the season or struggling through the end of their career just off of their past reputation. In 2016, Kobe Bryant started and played the second most minutes on the Western Conference team despite averaging below his carer averages in every statistical category and playing in just 66 games. His legacy led fans to get him voted in for one more All-Star farewell.
Added to the lure of an All-Star select not belonging is sometimes who they were picked over. Steph Curry wasn't always a perennial All-Star. It took some time for him to find his spot, and Damian Lillard is still fighting to get off the All-Star snub list despite posting numbers some NBA players can only dream of. Sometimes a team's hot start lands them three and even four NBA All-Stars like in 2015 where a red hot Atlanta Hawks team sported out Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford. While they were all having career years, was it really necessary that all four players were given the accolade?
In this article, we will count down the worst NBA All-Star in each of the past fifteen seasons. Taking into consideration, who they were selected in front of, how they made the team, and if they would ever make it back for a second term.
15 2017 - Paul Millsap
Millsap has now made four straight All-Star appearances as a member of the Atlanta Hawks starting in 2014. You don't make four All-Star games without earning the right, but in 2017 Millsap could have sat this one out. Millsap was selected as an All-Star reserve, averaging 17.9 points and 7.9 rebounds. His Hawks are sitting at fifth in the Eastern Conference and are playing consistent basketball as expected in recent years. Millsap is a smooth, consistent force at power forward, and at the end of the day is an All-Star caliber player. But in this season he was chosen over the likes of Joel Embiid averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 boards and 2.5 blocks, Carmelo Anthony averaging 23.4 points (who did end up replacing an injured player), and even teammate Dwight Howard who is providing more than 13 points and 13 rebounds per game for the 2017 season. Millsap will probably make more All-Star Games during his career, but this year could have went elsewhere.
14 2016 - Kobe Bryant
It is hard to include Kobe in anything that starts with "Worst", but for the sake of this article, he does belong. Kobe was voted in by the fans during his 2015-2016 NBA farewell tour. Kobe ended the seasons playing the least MPG since his second year in the NBA, and provided just 17 points per game on a career low 35 percent from the field. Add in 28 percent from three point land, and his lowest assist per game output since 1997-1998, and its simple to see that Kobe was only at the All-Star game to cap off his legacy as one of the greatest players the game has ever seen.
In the game Kobe provided 10 points on 11 shots, shooting 1 of 5 from three point land. He finished the game playing the second most minutes on the Western Conference squad which did actually win the game 196-173.
13 2015 - Kyle Korver
Korver was actually added as an alternate to the 2015 All-Star game but still he will take the spot on the list for this year. Korver was one of four Atlanta Hawks to take part in the showcase, with Jeff Teague, Al Horford and Paul Millsap. The team did have a good season ending at 60-22 and a Southeast Division championship. But it is simple to see why Korver was the worst pick. His strength is spot up shooting, which doesn't involve creating his own shot. Korver most likely made the team in due to his other three All-Star teammates finding him for his open looks.
Korver ended the season averaging 12.1 points and just under three three point field goals made per game. It was a nice gesture to
12 2014 - Roy Hibbert
Hibbert actually made the All-Star team in 2012 also, and he almost took that spot as well if it wasn't for Andre Iguodala representing the 76ers that year. Hibbert being included in our list is pretty cut and dry. During the 2013-14 season Hibbert averaged 10.6 points and despite standing at 7 feet 2 inches grabbed just 6.6 rebounds per game. Hibbert may be the reason that the NBA turned the center position into just another front court spot when it comes to the All-Star game. A two time participant of the game, Hibbert's career numbers are 10.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg, and 1.7 bpg. Those numbers seem fine or a serviceable big man. His inclusion and consideration for the game is probably because during this span the Pacers were the second best team in the east, competing in exciting playoff series with the big 3 and the Miami Heat.
11 2013 - David Lee
Another two time All-Star, one with the New York Knicks in 2010 and this one with the Golden State Warriors. Lee's nod came in the season that really started this whole Golden State Warriors run, leading the team to the second round of the playoffs that year. But his spot actually should have belonged to teammate Steph Curry who led that team with 22.9 points per game compared to Lee's 18.5. We mentioned in the intro that Curry had to wait out his snubbing process before finally earning the perennial honors he currently is enjoying. Lee did have a good season, and did help Curry in building this Warriors dynasty. But the fact that he was responsible for his teammate being snubbed, and really just didn't belong ahead of some other players outside of Curry lands him on the list for 2013.
10 2012 - Andre Iguodala
Iguodala earned this appearance by being the best player on a 76ers team that got out to a hot start during the 2011-2012 NBA season. Previously in his Sixers tenure he was a go to scorer while still stuffing the stat sheet but the year he actually got to the All-Star game he averaged just 12.4 points while adding 6.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Some players considered snubs that year actually don't blow you out of the water: Greg Monroe, Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings, rookie Kyrie Irving. But for the sake of this list, with the exception of Roy Hibbert, Iguodala was probably the worst player to take part in the NBA All-Star game. To go with his mediocre stat stuffing numbers, Iguodala also only managed to shoot 61 percent from the free throw line, pretty much taking away the best part of his game which was driving to the basket. Iguodala claims the spot for 2012.
9 2011 - Yao Ming
Yao actually didn't play in the game, but the fact that he was voted as an NBA All-Star starter lands him the spot. Plus, I really couldn't pick a weak link on either side of the league. This vote is probably responsible for the current change in the All-Star starters selection process. Due to his popularity in his homeland China, Yao was voted to the All-Star game for the eighth time in his nine year career. The only time he wasn't selected was during a season in which he didn't appear in a single game. In this season he played a grand total of five games which would turn out to be his last in professional basketball.
Yao and Kobe are two most high profile players on this list. Yao has already been enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Their inclusions were during their final years, where their NBA bodies had had enough.
8 2010 - Chris Kaman
This one and actually the rest of this list make for some nice trivia answers. Kaman was a nice player coming out of Central Michigan and even helped get the Clippers to the playoffs during the 2005-2006 season. But All-Star he was not. During his All-Star season Kaman posted 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds for a Clippers team that won just 29 games that year. Kaman was included ahead of Carlos Boozer who was having an incredible season for a good Jazz team. Boozer finished the year averaging 19.5 points and 11.2 rebounds while being regarded as one of the best defenders in the league. Kaman stole the spot from Boozer who was also on a 53 win and 29 loss Utah Jazz team which went to the second round of the playoffs that year.
7 2009 - Devin Harris
Harris did have his best year in 2008-09 in a career that is going on 13 years in the NBA, but being that this was his only appearance it is pretty clear that he didn't quite belong in the NBA elite. Harris averaged 21.3 points and 6.9 assists during this season, but in all it was for a non-playoff New Jersey Nets team that finished the season at 34-48. After another season and a half in New Jersey, Harris has continued his NBA career with the Jazz, Hawks, and now back to the team that drafted him the Dallas Mavericks. He has not eclipsed the 10 points per game mark since 2011-2012, and really never found another true starting point guard role outside of New Jersey. During his stay with the Nets, he led the team to the playoffs zero times.
6 2008 - Rasheed Wallace
Wallace has been in four All-Star games, and this one in 2008 was his last and most recent. We know that Wallace's influence on the game has always gone further that stats. But this All-Star Game could have done without Wallace's participation. Wallace joined teammates Rip Hamilton and Chauncey Billups on the Eastern Conference squad. This was the period in Pistons history when Ben Wallace was moved on from the team and Rasheed took over as the team's center. Wallace posted 12.7 points and 6.6 points during the regular season. Nothing eye popping about that. Some notable snubs this year included Josh Smith, Hedo Turkoglu, and Jose Calderon. So ok maybe Sheed did belong on the team but was on the low end of participants.
5 2007 - Mehmet Okur
Okur was the lone Jazz player to make the 2007 All-Star game in a season where the team went 51-31 and won a division championship. So we can start by saying that either Carlos Boozer or Deron Williams should have been a participant in the game over Okur. Okur finished the season with 17.6 points and 7.2 rebounds compared to Boozer's 20.9 and 11.7. Outside of his own team, Zach Randolph probably would have made more sense. He was playing for a bad Portland Trail Blazers team, but did post 23.6 points per game to go along with 10.1 rebounds. Okur brought veteran leadership when he came over from the NBA Champion Detroit Pistons, and his hard work was rewarded. But he didn't belong with the other names in the All-Star game showcase.
4 2006 - Tracy McGrady
No way McGrady would ever be mentioned on this list, but frankly I couldn't find anyone else to pick. McGrady is an all time scorer and unfortunately his prime was cut short to numerous injuries. This season falls into part of that ordeal. Although he still averaged 24.4 points per game, T-Mac only managed to appear in 47 games during the 2005-2006 season. That Rockets team would go on to win just 34 games that season, and T-Mac played more than 62 games just one more time in his NBA career. He left Houston during the 2009-10 season before finishing his career with the Knicks, Pistons, Hawks, and then a playoff run on the bench with the San Antonio Spurs.
3 2005 - Zydrunas Ilgauskas
Ilgauskas appeared in his first All-Star Game in 2003, and added his second alongside LeBron James in 2005. He was a solid NBA center throughout his career but not the first person that comes to mind when you think NBA All-Star. The 2004-2005 season was arguably his best posting 16.9 points and 8.6 rebounds. Ilgauskas and his Cleveland Cavaliers made the playoffs just once in his first eight years in the league, the lone appearance coming his rookie year where they were ousted 3-1 by the Indiana Pacers.
Not trying to take anything away from the long time NBA big man, but most casual NBA fans probably won't even remember he appeared in not one but two NBA All-Star Games.
2 2004 - Jamaal Magloire
This was Magloire's lone appearance in the NBA All-Star Game. During his career his played with seven NBA teams from 2000-2012. His inclusion in the game will continue to be one of the more fascinating picks in the game's history. He posted career averages of 7.2 points and 6.5 boards and to his credit the 2003-2004 season was by far his best. But All-Star worthy? Not sure. That year he went for 13.6 points and 10.3 rebounds for a 41-41 Hornets team was ousted by the Miami Heat in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Although it was LeBron James' rookie year, Magloire's inclusion is also shadowed by the fact that James failed to make the game in his rookie season. But in all, good for Magloire.
1 2003 - Brad Miller
Another NBA center that made not just one but two NBA All-Star Games, by posting solid and consistent numbers. Miller actually made his appearances in back to back seasons, one with the Indiana Pacers and one with the Sacramento Kings after he took over the starting center reigns from Vlade Divac. During the 2002-03 season in mention, Miller went for 13.1 points per game and 8.3 rebounds per game for a good Pacers team that went 48-34 during the regular season. He made the game alongside teammate Jermaine O'Neal, who maybe he should credit for his inclusion. Miller went on to play eight more seasons in the NBA, not achieving his All-Star status again. He finished his career with a stat line of 11.2 points and 7.1 rebounds. A credible and reliable big man, sure. Back to back All-Star appearances seems like quite the accomplishment.
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