Overrated players are not an uncommon sight. It is a sad reality that many NBA players receive huge contracts, massive endorsements, and oftentimes fail to provide any evidence that their investment is actually worthwhile. That said, we have to be careful when assigning these spots to players, as oftentimes overrated players perform poorly due to circumstances beyond their control, such as bad teams, poor coaching, or bad decision-making on behalf of teammates and managements. However, there are a good number of definitely overrated players, and our list start with Andrea Bargnani, the seven foot tall Raptor forward center.
Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors has to be one of the most overrated players around. Bargnani just is not performing, and it goes beyond poor performance to something akin to deliberate sabotage. Bargnani has a 15.2 points per game career average, averages 4.8 rebounds per game, and it gets worse. He was the number one draft pick in 2006! This alone is indicative of the level to which he has largely failed to live up to the expectations placed on him, and Bargnani is clearly an overrated player. Sadly, it seems he has just enough potential to keep the hope alive, but for the moment, Bargnani is disappointing and overrated.
Next up is Josh Smith, the power forward for the Detroit Pistons. This is another example where we cannot be sure whether or not the performance issues are the fault of Smith or his team, but it is clear that Smith has potential. He is a great dunker, has impressive speed and jumping abilities, and is fast and thinks well. Sadly, he seems incapable of making baskets. This man has been playing for nine years maintains a tragic 15.3 points per game average, something that is simply unacceptable for a man of his position and salary. He needs to calm down with dunking and flashy maneuvers and focus on basic shooting accuracy and point scoring from the field. Moreover, he needs to stop with the three point shots. His terrible accuracy is not helpful, and Smith gives us no reason to put him anywhere else on this list. Perhaps if he was traded he would do better, but there is little incentive to bring on a player who cannot make baskets and who has been playing for nearly a decade.
Dwight Howard take s the eighth spot on this. Yes, it is a bold statement. But first, let us make sure we know what we are saying. No one is arguing Howard is a bad player, nor a poorly performing one. We are talking solely about whether or not he is overrated as a function of his skills and performance. With that, the answer is clearly yes. Howard is a great player, yes, but his joke of a run with the Lakers in recent years and his marked decline in numbers cannot be denied. Howard is still an elite, top level center and a dangerous player on the field, but he has not shown the viewers or coaches that he has the sort of skills to back up his hype in recent years. While his past speaks for itself, and he has a bright future, he needs to back up his hype and egoism with practical results and tangible benefits that he brings to a team. Howard has zero championship rings. Keep that in mind when we move on to other overrated players…this list is not about listing bad players, but good players in the NBA that are overrated in terms of the actual numbers they post in comparison to their hype or reputation.
umber seven is…rather depressing. Monta Ellis, the six foot three inch guard for the Dallas Mavericks, was named the 2007 Most Improved Player of the Year. Sadly, he fails to really put up the numbers to justify his salary and his hype. At roughly 11 million a year in salary, Ellis needs to be showing the world that he can do a lot better than just 19.4 points per game. Simply put, he is not backing up his salary and hype with actual performance. Theoretically, players like him do well when transferred, but few people are willing to buy out a contract worth that much money when he has not produced the numbers necessary to justify his cost.
Number Six. Chris Bosh. Bosh is a striking figure, and a good NBA player. It is obvious that he is very, very good. His numbers show that, after all. He rocked a solid 24.0 points per game in his last season with the Raptors in his earlier years. Yet, after joining the Heat, something has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Bosh is good, but ever since he arrived at the Heat, he simply has not produced the numbers necessary to justify his expense. He is good, but that not good. He is not worth the money and is producing sufficient numbers overall. It seems Bosh will be reduced to just another player who failed to actualize most of his potential and suffered greatly from a transition to a team where he isn’t producing the sort of work his employers are probably wishing from him.
Number five goes to Chris Webber, the former Sacramento Kings player who just never lived up to his expectations. With the Kings, Webber was great. He posted great numbers, make good moves, and just performed very, very well. Unfortunately for him, his aggressiveness would be his downfall. Webber never knew when to stop attacking and stop driving for baskets, which is deeply saddening to see. Webber never really put in the effort needed on the defense, preferring instead to just attack, attack, and attack some more. In fact, he managed to post almost the lowest number of defensive rebounds of any player…ever. Only two other players ever did worse than him on that. Webber is a classic case of failed potential.
Number four goes to Dominique Wilkins. He was good, there is no denying that. But he never had the ability or drive to focus on the truly important aspects of his play. Any player can dunk, but not that many players can defend, rebound, and nail important aspects of personal fundamentals that separate the good players from the bad. Wilkins is a great example of a flashy player that looks good on a dunk contest, but was ultimately more flash and speculation than material. Wilkins, while a great showman, just never put up the numbers in terms of practical application to the goal of winning championships that other players did.
Number three. Vince Carter will, without a doubt, be considered one of the best dunkers of all time, but he always failed to make that transition from a good showman into a good competitor. Carter never “got” the idea of what it means to be a team player, or what it means to actually work for substance in your play rather than merely be an entertainer and look good for the cameras. Moreover, Carter always seemed like a little too whiny for our tastes. He had talent, to be sure, but complaining over the most minor of injuries when you are a star player in the NBA, playing for a multi-million dollar salary seems a little absurd. There comes a time when you have to either suck it up or quit the game, and Carter always seemed more like a quitter.
Number two. Carmelo Anthony is a great player, but he needs to stop losing. For eight years he has been the dominant player for the Nuggets, and for eight years he has been one the world’s best forwards. That’s all well and good, but until he can bring himself to win a championship with his team, he will never be live up to the reputation and hype he has now. Jordan did it with the Bulls, Anthony needs to do it with the Nuggets.
The most overrated player in the NBA is, without question, LeBron James. Yes, James is one of the best players around. When you look at the current scene of basketball talent, it’s safe to rank him as the best, second best, or at least top three players in the entire league. Yet, despite that, there seems to be a godlike aura of invincibility around the man that makes entire teams drop their rosters just to fit his extreme salary. How many championships has he won? None. The Celtics dominated, and they never had the top scorer, or flashy players like James. He needs to settle down and win a championship, then his hype will be proven.
The problem with James is that he has mind made up that he is the best (and there is a good chance he is). But he does not realize that means effectively nothing, not until he can win a championship and show he is not a one-man show. One man cannot win a championship, not unless he can bring his whole team with him. Sadly, LeBron James has failed to do that thus far.