Today's NBA is much different than that of yesteryear, notably in terms of evaluating a player. Today we have deeply formulated analytic stats, as well as the ability to fine comb our way through any players' career. With all these detailed ways to showcase how good or not good a players is, we still often see players become overrated.
There are many reasons why certain players are unjustly more respected, or more valued than others. Sometimes fans and media are attracted to a specific style of play and there is that one player who suits them perfectly. Or perhaps, the media and fans fall in love with a player's personality, ultimately letting it bleed into their view of them as a player. Other times, a player is part of an amazing team or franchise, but for whatever reason, they receive the lion's share of the credit. There are obviously many ways to gain unjust praise, and it happens all the time. It's normal for biases to form about a player, but for this list, we will try to take the emotion out of everything.
So let's get into who are they 15 most overrated players of the past 20 years.
15 DeAndre Jordan
Jordan is an interesting first entry. When DeAndre arrived in the NBA he was a second round pick by the Clippers. The plan was to have him spend a couple years on the bench learning from some of the older veteran post player on the team. However, injuries forced Jordan into action earlier than the team would have liked. As a rookie Jordan showed that he had potential to become a solid big man in the NBA.
14 Harrison Barnes
The Golden State Warriors have been the league's model franchise when it comes to drafting talent over the past decade. They have drafted Steph Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Harrison Barnes during that time. Players like Steph and Draymond make everyone around them better, just ask Kevin Durant.
13 Rajon Rondo
I personally had a hard time putting some of players on this list, but I have to be fair and un-objective, and clearly Rondo is highly overrated. Rondo has made many incredible plays and he has some of the flashiest assists in NBA history, but there is a reason he can't stay with a team longer than one season.
12 LaMarcus Aldridge
Aldridge has been a very consistent player during his ten plus seasons in the league. The thing about LaMarcus though, is that he is too consistent. He rarely takes games over, especially in postseason play. Having spent his first nine seasons in Portland, Aldridge always had quality players around him, yet he was never able to succeed in the playoffs.
11 Dwight Howard
Talk about having a million dollar body but a two cent head. Dwight Howard had all the gifts a person could ever ask for. He is a 6'11, 265 pound mountain of athleticism. In his prime, Howard may have had the highest vertical in the entire NBA, along with being the strongest player in the league too. What cost Howard his chance at reaching full potential was his inability to fit in with his teammates.
10 Derek Fisher
A fitting way to get into the top ten would be a player who is overrated, even though he is probably viewed as a role player by many. Derek Fisher, however, is known by pretty much any basketball fan out there, but why is that?
9 Derrick Rose
There was actually a time when many people would rather have Derrick Rose over LeBron James to start a franchise. In his third NBA season Derrick Rose was even named the league MVP over LeBron. Rose averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists, and 4.1 rebounds on 44% shooting. Rose led the NBA in not a single statistical category. It seems clear now that the MVP voters were simply tired of awarding James the trophy, so they switched things up and gave it to the up and coming Rose.
8 Blake Griffin
There are some things that you can never take away from Blake Griffin; that dunk on Timofey Mozgov is one of them. But Blake has been in the NBA for about eight years now, and he has proven to be a one trick pony. Blake has attempted to work on his jumpshot, and I guess if you compare it to his rookie year jumpshot it has improved, but he still lack consistency.
7 Yao Ming
I feel bad putting the freshly minted Hall of Famer on blast like this but honestly the only reason Yao is inshrined is because they take globalization of the game into account. There is a lot to be said for what Yao was able to do when it comes to spreading the game internationally, but his skills on the court were highly overrated.
6 Chris Paul
Chris Paul has been one of the most reliable players in the league over the past decade. Many people even say he is the best point guard in the NBA over that time frame, and he just might be, if you only included regular season. Some people even mention CP3 in the conversation for greatest point guard of all time, and that is simply ignorant.
5 Carmelo Anthony
Melo is this generation's Dominique Wilkins. There is no question that Carmelo Anthony has been one of the premier scorers in the NBA since his arrival in 2003. He has put together a scoring resume that rivals any who have ever laced em up, but there is so much more the the NBA game than scoring.
4 Steve Nash
Another one of those players I have a hard time including on this list, but again, the facts don't lie. Nash was one of the funnest players ever to watch, and I can only imagine how much fun it would have been to be his teammate.
3 Kevin Durant
It has become embarrassingly easy to knock Kevin Durant these days. He left his team and his best friend for the enemy. That alone undermines whatever legacy you hope to have as an NBA superstar, which KD was (and still is.)
2 Steph Curry
Steph's rise to glory was perhaps the fastest rise in NBA history. It only makes sense that in this generation of instant everything, Steph would skyrocket to GOAT status in only two years.
1 Kobe Bryant
The Black Mamba. I know this is blasphemy to some, but there is so much truth here. Many view Kobe as the second best player ever being Michael Jordan, many others view him a top 5 all time player.
Kobe was drafted out of high school, that alone means he was "rated" extremely high from the get go. When he entered the NBA he sputtered along for a while, taking four seasons before he reaching 20 points per game. The same amount of time it took Dwight Howard to get there. In comparison LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, and Tim Duncan all averaged over 20 in their rookie seasons.
Kobe fans love to point out his number of championship rings; all five of them. Having five rings is an incredible feat, especially considering he was one of the best players on all those championship teams, unlike players like Robert Horry and Derek Fisher. What those same fans fail to mention is that Kobe was the best player for only two of those championships, and that he was paired with the most dominant center since Wilt Chamberlain. What can be said about Kobe during that run with Shaq, is that he proved to be the best second option in NBA history.
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