This is a continuation from last week’s article where I listed the best players currently in the NBA who have never made an All- Star team. The opposite of that, you guessed it, the worst players to be named All- Stars. This was much trickier. I limited it to guys I would me more familiar with, so you’ll only see All-Stars from the 1990 season until now. I am also not arguing the fact that they had a great season (or half season) the year or years they were selected, rather its players you would not associate with being an All- Star. I don’t want to list players who had a number of great seasons, but then faded in their careers, so people more forgot they were even good (Stephon Marbury, Derrick Coleman, Mookie Blaylock, Terry Porter, Sam Cassell, Ben Wallace, Otis Thorpe, Kenny Anderson, Hershey Hawkins, and Rickey Pierce.). If injury was the main reason they didn’t make more All- Star teams (Kenyon Martin, Tom Gugliotta, Shareef Abur-Rahim, and Antonio McDyess) you won’t see them on this list either.
I didn’t want to entitle this “Worst Players to be Named All-Stars,” because the reality is these guys were/are good players, but great? Instead the purpose is to get a chuckle looking at some of the names of guys who, yes, were NBA All- Stars. Here is the “Top” 25.
25. Mehmet Okur
All- Star season (2007): 17.6 pts., 7.2 rebs.
Career Averages: 13.4 pts., 7.1 rebs., 1.7 asts.
I’m a fan of Okur, and his years in Detroit where he didn’t play much don’t help his career numbers. The Jazz are known for their 2 All-Stars, not 3, or 4…
24. Andrei Kirilenko
All- Star season (2004): 16.5 pts., 8.1 rebs.
Career Averages: 12.6 pts., 5.9 rebs., 2.8 asts.
That’s right AK-47 was an All- Star back in 2004. I can’t keep it straight when he’s in Sloan’s dog house or not. How good is Kirilenko? Who knows he’s had a great season, and awful season, and some in between. (Points, rebounds, and assists nearly cut in half from 06 to 07.) He’s harder to read than some of the articles on ESPN.
23. Anthony Mason
All- Star season (2001): 16.1 pts., 9.6 rebs.
Career Averages: 10.9 pts., 8.3 rebs., 3.4 asts.
Mase had some solid seasons with the Knicks and Hornets, perhaps best known for his hair cuts. Shoulders of a linebacker with the dribbling ability of a point guard, Mason was a unique player.
22. Cedric Ceballos
All- Star season (1995): 21.7 pts., 8 rebs.
Career Averages: 14.3 pts., 5.3 rebs., 1.2 asts.
Injuries hurt Ceballos career, so I already went against my qualifications to be on this list. Ced can share this spot with McDyess, guys who had 3 very solid seasons, then because of injury look extremely average the rest of their careers.
21. Horace Grant
All- Star season (1994): 15.1 pts., 11 rebs.
Career Averages: 11.2 pts., 8.1 rebs., 2.2 asts.
Obviously Ho-Grant won 3 titles as the “rebounder” on the first trio of championships for Jordan, but don’t forget he was a big part of the Magic team with Shaq and Penny that got swept out of the Finals by Hakeem and the Rockets.
20. Charles Oakley
All- Star season (1994): 11.8 pts., 11.8 rebs.
Career Averages: 9.7 pts., 9.5 rebs., 2.5 asts.
Charles Oakley was a lot of things, but an All- Star? I would write more, but there has never been a more intimidating player in my history of watching the NBA. If there was a Bad-Ass All- Star team he’d get voted in by the fans.
All- Star seasons (2003, 2005): in ’05: 16.9 pts., 8.6 rebs.
Career Averages: 14.5 pts., 7.9 rebs., 1.8 blks.
Big Z must be good, he’s made 2 All- Star teams. I don’t see it. He, along with current teammates Wally Szczerbiak (#17) and Ben Wallace helped inspire this article.
18. Nick Van Exel
All- Star season (1998): 13.8 pts., 6.9 asts.
Career Averages: 14.4 pts., 2.9 rebs., 6.6 asts.
Nick the Quick. The guy could play, but like everyone else on this list you don’t think “All-Star” when you hear his name. He actually had better seasons than the year he was selected to the team.
17. Wally Szczerbiak
All- Star season (2002): 18.7 pts., 4.8 rebs.
Career Averages: 15 pts., 4.1 rebs., 2.5 asts.
Wally World is as one dimensional a player as there is in the game today. He had a great first 6 games against the Celtics, out playing Ray Allen, but in the end he returned to form as the Cavs bowed out of the playoffs. His 15 point per game career average is the highest on this list of surprise All- Stars.
16. Brad Miller
All- Star season (2003, 2004): in ’04: 14.1 pts., 10.3 rebs.
Career Averages: 12.1 pts., 7.8 rebs., 3 asts.
Like Big Z, Miller was an All-Star not once, but twice. He even found himself on Team USA commercials. What the hell? I don’t get it either. Averaged double digit rebounds in a season just once and never scored more than 15.6 points per game.
15. Jayson Williams
All- Star season (1998): 12.9 pts., 13.6 rebs.
Career Averages: 7.3 pts., 7.5 rebs., 0.6 blks.
Not the motorcycle or white chocolate Jayson Williams, this is the “the gun went off” Jayson Williams. Check the stats and he was a monster on the boards. After 5 struggling seasons to begin his career, he put up 10+ rebounds his final 4 years in the league. Never a great offensive threat Big Jayson Williams was still an NBA All- Star.
14. John Starks
All- Star season (1994): 19 pts., 5.9 asts.
Career Averages: 12.5 pts., 2.5 rebs., 3.6 asts
Maybe the streakiest shooter in NBA history John Starks was one of the key figures in those solid Knick teams of the 90’s. New York fans certainly have their own opinions on Starks. (2-18 shooting in Game 7 of the NBA Finals vs. the Rockets.)
All- Star season: (1997): 18.1 pts., 8.8 rebs.
Career Averages: 12.8 pts., 6.7 rebs., 2.6 asts.
And he was on the Dream Team. Most people think of Laettner as a failed NBA player, but he did make the ‘97 All-Star team. One of the most hated players of all time (certainly my least favorite player ever) his actual NBA legacy probably falls somewhere in the middle of perception and reality.
12. Vlade Divac
All- Star season (2001): 12 pts., 8.3 rebs.
Career Averages: 11.8 pts., 8.2 rebs., 3.1 asts.
Vlade was traded for Kobe Bryant on draft day to the Charlotte Hornets, was a smoker, and a great passing big man.
11. A.C. Green
All- Star season (1990): 12.9 pts., 8.7 rebs.
Career Averages: 9.6 pts., 7.4 rebs., 1.1 asts.
This is probably his first time… on a list like this.
10. Jamaal Magloire
All- Star season (2004): 13.6 pts., 10.3 rebs.
Career Averages: 8.6 pts., 7.2 rebs., 1 blk.
How about Magloire? Slow start, couple decent seasons, and then fades away. Sucked before the Hornets and sucked after.
9. Rik Smits
All- Star season (1998): 16.7 pts., 6.9 rebs.
Career Average: 14.8 pts., 6.1 rebs., 1.4 asts.
The Dunking Dutchman. At 7’4 he only averages over 7 rebounds for a season once, and he didn’t block shots either. His 14.8 points per game career average is second to Wally’s 15 on this list, but neither one of these guys did a whole lot else.
8. Tyrone Hill
All- Star season (1995): 13.8 pts., 10.9 rebs.
Career Averages: 9.4 pts., 8.6 rebs., 0.8 asts.
Scored in double figures 5 years of his 14 year career with a high water mark of 13.8, the year he was named an All- Star. 4 years is the longest consecutive streak he ever played with one team. Journey men seldom make All- Star teams.
All- Star season (2001): 13.7 pts., 10.1 rebs.
Career Averages: 10 pts., 7.5 rebs., 1 blk.
Never scored more than 14.5 in a season and only once collected 10 boards a night. A very average player with an All- Star game on his resume.
6. Dale Davis
All- Star season (2000): 10 pts., 9.9 rebs.
Career Averages: 8 pts., 7.9 rebs., 1.2 blks.
Who’s more surprising than Antonio Davis, it’s got to be Dale Davis. Since when does 10-10 send you to the All- Star game. Marcus Camby must be scratching his head right now. Dale also finished his career shooting 56% from the stripe.
All- Star season (1989, 1991): in 91 – 15.8 pts., 6.6 rebs.
Career Averages: 11.8 pts., 5.8 pts., 0.9 asts.
We’re into the “top” 5 now so let’s get some good ones. The center from the Clyde Drexler Portland Trail Blazer teams! Career high in rebounding for this 7 footer was 8. A lifetime 12-6 guy with 2 All-Star games to his credit. Weird.
4. Theo Ratliff
All- Star season (2001): 12.4 pts., 8.3 rebs., 3.7 blks.
Career Averages: 7.9 pts., 6.3 rebs., 2.6 blks.
7.9 points per game in his career, 7 teams played for. Bill Simmons has changed his named to “Theo Ratliff’s Expiring Contract.” The guy could block shots, but is that all you have to do to make an All- Star team. (Marcus Camby is completely shocked now.) Ratliff couldn’t score or rebound.
3. Dana Barros
All- Star season (1995): 20.6 pts., 7.5 asts.
Career Averages: 10.5 pts., 1.9 rebs., 3.3 asts.
His numbers were solid in ’95 when he made the All- Star team, but every other year? Nope. It’s safe to say his AS season came out of no where. He had nothing like that before or after. But he could shoot the 3 ball.
All- Star season (1994): 14.8 pts., 3.9 asts.
Career Averages: 9.8 pts., 1.8 rebs., 3.3 asts.
BEE-JAY ARM-STRONG! That’s right, the 4 th option on the 1 st three Jordan championship teams. Maybe Jordan and Pippen had a lot more help than we thought, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwraight, and Armstrong were all All- Star at one time in their career. The year B.J. was an AS though, Jordan was playing AA ball. Still, this one surprised me.
All- Star season (1997): 19 pts., 7.9 rebs.
Career Averages: 10.3 pts., 5.3 rebs., 0.7 asts.
In baseball there’s Brady Anderson, in music there’s the B’52 and other one hit wonders, in the NBA there’s Chris Gatling. He put up 19 a game the year he made the All- Star team; his next best season was 13.7, finished in single digits scoring half of his career. He definitely deserves the biggest “WHO?” of all the NBA All- Stars of the 1990s. But hey, he’s made more All- Star teams than Deron Williams, Mike Bibby, Richard Jefferson, Marcus Camby, Jason Richardson, and Lamar Odom combined.