Remember the 90s? You should because it will always be a special time in NBA history when looking at the most memorable games, players, teams and stories. The game was more intense with everyone scrapping on every play in hopes of winning a ring. Drama became very real on the court with rivalries between tremendous teams and talented superstars creating storylines you couldn’t script better if you tried. The style of play being more physical added to this dynamic and fans of the era absolutely loved it. Basketball has evolved and changed in various ways but this is the main thing fans miss about the 90s.
We were also blessed with the first era of superstars across the league attracting attention via their skills and personalities. The larger than life personas of a couple of stars made the league a more exciting product to follow. The 1992 Dream Team of legendary players representing the United States in the world game of basketball showed how big the star power was. Most All-Star teams of that generation were like an all-time great hit list. We were spoiled with greatness in many ways but the star talent was the main gift given by the basketball Gods. Many fans resent the current NBA game out of fondly remembering the 90s era of the sport.
Old school fans badly want the days of the 90s to return, but you can’t revisit the past. The game has adapted in ways that make sense for the time but we’ll always remember the special memories from the past. The legends from that time frame are still big names that bring in excitement when discussing their impact on the game. We all wonder what is going on in their lives today. Some stay in the basketball world via coaching or broadcasting. Others leave the sport completely and just live a “real life” again. A few unfortunate souls go through tough times after poorly spending their money. Without further ado, lets find out what the fifteen biggest NBA stars of the 90s are doing today.
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15 Dennis Rodman: Meet and Greets
Dennis Rodman will always go down as one of the most entertaining NBA personalities of all time. The Worm won NBA Championships with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls leading to great success in the 90s. Rodman has not been a part of the NBA world following retirement like many on this list, but he’s definitely still in the public eye. An incredibly controversial point in Rodman’s life recently was becoming friends with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Rodman arranged a basketball game of former NBA players participating in a game as a birthday gift for the hated figure. Rodman's life, at this point, consists of basically making public appearances in exchange for large amounts of money.
14 Penny Hardaway: Basketball Coach
A sad story of injuries ruined the promising career of Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway. Everyone thought the Orlando Magic could evolve into the next dynasty with Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal, but Hardaway’s injuries piled up and it shortened his career. The recent ESPN 30 for 30 special showed Hardaway still wasn’t over the Orlando Magic’s 1995 NBA Finals loss by criticizing Nick Anderson for missing a pair of clutch free throws. Hardaway seems happy in his everyday life coaching youth basketball in hopes of passing along his knowledge of the game. You can also find Penny doing a lot of work trying to help the community in Memphis through the power of sports.
13 Dikembe Mutombo: Humanitarian Work/Commercials
Dikembe Mutombo entered the NBA and instantly becamd one of the most exciting defensive stars in the league. The big man became known for blocking the stars driving into the lane and giving a finger wag, signifying that no one would be able to the hoop on his watch. Mutombo is a well-respected humanitarian known for his great work in helping to improve life in his homeland, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The past few decades have seen Mutombo continue his inspiring work by helping those in need in Africa, along with putting effort into other causes like the Special Olympics. Mutombo still appears in the spotlight between doing more humanitarian work with the NBA and starring in Geico commercials, making light of his former playing days.
12 Clyde Drexler: NBA Commentary/Drexler Holdings LLC/Restaurant
Clyde Drexler is mostly remembered for his time in the 80s during his peak, but the legend was still great in the 90s and Drexler helped the Houston Rockets win NBA Championships in the mid-90s before calling it a career. The former Rockets star does commentary for many home games during the regular season in Houston. Drexler also has his hand in the business world, doing light real estate managing with Drexler Holdings LLC and owns Drexler's World Famous BBQ & Grill that is run by his siblings. Many superstars struggle to return to everyday life but Drexler is the rare exception of finding fulfillment in other passions while remaining tied to the game.
11 Gary Payton: Advocate for Seattle NBA Team
NBA players would generally agree that Gary Payton was the greatest trash talker of all time. The Seattle SuperSonics star led the way with tough defense and a brash style. Payton was the best player on the 1996 SuperSonics team that made it to the NBA Finals before falling short against Michael Jordan and the legendary Chicago Bulls. “The Glove” is currently trying to help bring an NBA team back to Seattle and wants to be part of the organization to prevent it from being moved again. Payton is also mentoring his son Gary Payton Jr. in college with the hopes he will be able to enter the NBA like his dad.
10 Scottie Pippen: Ambassador and Senior Adviser for Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls legendary 90s teams definitely will always be remembered for Michael Jordan, but Scottie Pippen was right behind him. Pippen’s all-around game in every facet of the sport helped make him a superstar in the all-time greatest duo ever with Jordan. Unlike many of his peers, Pippen has not entered the coaching or broadcasting world but he still has a role in the NBA with Chicago. The Bulls employ Pippen as an ambassador and senior advisor for the team and it gives fans the joy of having a former hero still play a role in the organization. Pippen is also pretty vocal with his opinions, as he recently said the 1995-1996 Bulls would have destroyed the Golden State Warriors team to break their record in 2016. We'd LOVE to see that matchup.
9 Shaquille O’Neal: Actor/TV Personality/ Minority Owner of Sacramento Kings
Shaquille O’Neal would be higher on this list if we were going on solely talent or all-around careers. The problem is Shaq didn’t have his best years until the 2000s with the Los Angeles Lakers dynasty, but he was still a force in the 90s. O’Neal was the best player on a young Orlando Magic team to beat Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls team in a best of seven series. There’s no doubt Shaq was always a dominant force but his post-NBA career is almost equally impressive. O’Neal is one of the members of the highly praised Inside the NBA talk show, a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings, has his own podcast, entered the acting world, appeared at WrestleMania 32 and is a reserve cop. Someone knows how to live life.
8 Reggie Miller: TNT Broadcaster
Reggie Miller's sharpshooting skills and clutch play made him one of the biggest stars of the 90s. Everyone remembers how amazing Miller played against the New York Knicks, including his war of words with Spike Lee. Miller earned the reputation of being arguably the greatest shooter of all time when he retired but Stephen Curry is passing him for that moniker. TNT employs Miller today as a broadcaster during the big games. The fan response to Reggie’s commentary is polarizing with most of his detractors having an intense hatred for his broadcasting style. Miller is still loved by the Turner big wigs and will likely hold the announcing spot for a long time.
7 Patrick Ewing: Assistant Coach
Many still argue that the 1985 NBA Draft lottery was rigged for the New York Knicks to select Patrick Ewing, but no one has ever admitted it. Ewing was the last great superstar in New York unless you consider Carmelo Anthony’s disappointing tenure a credible follow up. The legendary center has delved into the coaching world with years of experience as an assistant coach piling up. Ewing badly wants an opportunity as a head coach but has yet to get the chance from a team (though he just interviewed with the Memphis Grizzlies). Michael Jordan currently employs his friend Ewing as an assistant on the Charlotte Hornets under Steve Clifford, but Ewing is hoping someone hires him soon.
6 David Robinson: The Admiral Capital Group
A good majority of the stars on this list had larger than life personalities that matched their basketball skills, but David Robinson was of a different breed. As the only NBA player ever from the Navy, Robinson had different values and goals than his peers. The Admiral did his talking with his skills and could easily be argued as the best big man of his time. Robinson still appears at Spurs games and is a beloved figure in San Antonio, but his post-basketball career success has come outside of the NBA world. The Admiral Capital Group is a resounding hit with investments in real estate and the hospitality industry, making Robinson even more accomplished. Robinson’s wealth isn’t changing the values he wants his children to have as he plans to pay for their college but won’t give them any inheritance. Ouch.
5 John Stockton: Assistant Women's Basketball Coach
The point guard position was dominated by the unassuming John Stockton during the 90s. Stockton facilitated like no other during that time and made up one of the greatest NBA duos with Karl Malone. No one passed the ball as efficiently as Stockton in the 90s and the Utah Jazz legend retired with a great deal of respect. Stockton's post-NBA life is one of the least exciting of his peers and he’s rarely in the public spotlight. Stockton has coached various youth basketball teams at the same time because he wanted to help as many kids that love the game as possible. Montana State University recently hired Stockton as an assistant coach for their women’s basketball team.
4 Hakeem Olajuwon: Real Estate
Hakeem Olajuwon was perhaps the only basketball player of his time that could have been drafted over Michael Jordan and not had the fan base resentment him. The Houston Rockets selected Olajuwon as the first overall pick of the 1984 NBA Draft and it led to two NBA Championships in the mid-90s. Olajuwon’s hook shot is a beautiful memory we’ll always have but he was one of the best overall centers in league history. His retirement life has been wonderful, with success in the real estate market and running a basketball camp to help NBA stars. Olajuwon has tried to help Yao Ming, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and many other NBA names in improving their post-game.
3 Charles Barkley: TNT Broadcaster
The always outspoken Charles Barkley made news with his sound bites as an active player, so it only makes sense that he would become continue giving his opinions once his career ended. Barkley was one of the best power forwards in NBA history and gave Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls a great fight in the 1993 NBA Finals before falling short. TNT hired Barkley after his NBA career ended and he has been one of the most entertaining broadcasters in sports since then. Barkley is still the MVP of the highly acclaimed Inside the NBA and has developed a cult following for his humor among fans that didn’t even get to see him play. There have been issues with Barkley’s gambling addiction causing him to lose a lot of his money but his stable gig at TNT is a great way for Chuck to remain in the spotlight while getting paid well.
2 Karl Malone: Timber Company
Karl Malone is a popular choice when breaking down the greatest power forwards of all time and his work with the Utah Jazz gives him a great argument. The all-time list only shows Kareem Abdul-Jabbar above Malone when looking at the most points scored in a career. The Mailman ended his career with accomplishments and success all players dream of, though he was never able to win an NBA Championship. Malone does some work with Utah as a big man coach to help bring along the centers and power forwards in the organization. Outside of basketball, Malone has done work with his timber company and is a member of the NRA Board of Directors. Malone doesn’t have the high profile as many of the other 90's star these days but he appears to be as happy as anyone else.
1 Michael Jordan: Jordan Sneakers/Owner of Charlotte Hornets
The greatest basketball player of all time is still as famous as ever. Michael Jordan is a household name after dominating the professional sports world with six NBA Championships and a world of success in mainstream American society. Jordan currently owns the Charlotte Hornets and is trying to bring the franchise back to relevance. The Jordan sneaker brand and many other business ventures have caused MJ to still hold the spot as the biggest individual brand in sports. Jordan makes over $100 million through various platforms and makes more than current stars like Stephen Curry and LeBron James. The greatest NBA star of the 90s is still as successful and popular as ever. There’s even an unbelievably popular meme mocking Jordan’s embarrassing time crying (during his Hall of Fame speech), meaning that people who don't even know basketball, still know Jordan.
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