I’m trying to take my mind off the fact the Celtics look like a completely different team now then they did in the regular season. It’s frustrating beyond belief. They’re getting killed by Wally Szczerbiak, what’s left of Ben Wallace, and Big Z. In an attempt to make myself and friends feel better I said, well you know those guys were all All-Stars in there career. So it made me think, who are the worst NBA players to be selected to the All-Star team? Well those three would probably all start on that squad; why not compile a list of the best players not to have been an All-Star.
I kept it to active players, so you won’t see the likes of Rod Strickland, Byron Scott, Jalen Rose, Chuck Person, Wayman Tisdale, Orlando Woolridge, and Eddie Johnson, all who never had an All-Star selection to their credit on this list. Also a player must have at least 3 years in the league. It’s too hard to compare players that new to the league. Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, and Al Horford also won’t be found on this list. Some of the players will undoubtedly be named All-Stars by the time their careers are over while others best days are behind them. With that said here are the best 15 players in the NBA who have never been an All-Star.
15. Ben Gordon
Season Highs: Pts: 21.4 Rebs: 3.1 Asts: 3.6
Gordon has played 4 seasons in the league all with the Chicago Bulls. He was named the NBA’s 6th Man of the Year in 2004-2005 as well as 1st Team All-Rookie. A great scorer, the former UConn Husky has averaged 19 points in 22 playoff games.
14. Andre Iguodala
Season Highs: Pts: 19.9 Rebs: 5.9 Asts: 5.7
Iguodala has improved his scoring in each of his 4 years in Philly, and he has played in 322 of a possible 328 regular season games. Like Gordon he was a 1st Team All-Rookie selection. I fully expect him to make an All-Star or 4 by the time his career is over.
13. Josh Smith
Season Highs: Pts: 17.2 Rebs: 8.6 Asts: 3.4 Blks: 2.9
He was at All-Star weekend back in 2005 winning the Slam Dunk Contest, but the Oak Hill product has yet to be named one of the conference’s best. His points per game have also improved in each of his first four years, and defensively he has wreaked havoc blocking shots in bunches.
12. Tyson Chandler
Season Highs: Pts: 11.8 Rebs: 12.4 Blks: 1.8
It was a slow start to the career of Tyson Chandler who is still just 25 years old. His best 2 seasons have been the last 2 in New Orleans with Chris Paul. Chandler has ranked in the top 3 in the league in rebounding the past 2 years, and is one of the reasons behind the surprise Hornets.
11. Corey Maggette
Season Highs: Pts: 22.2 Rebs: 6 Asts: 3.4
One year at Duke and one year with the Magic, Maggette has spent the past 8 years with the Clippers putting up over 20 points per game in 3 seasons. He’s been inconsistent, but with Brand out for nearly the entire year he was the go-to guy in LA this year. He’s a guy you could see being the perfect scorer off the bench for a great team, or the leading scorer on a bad team. So far in his career, Maggette has been the latter.
10. Hedo Turkoglu
Season Highs: Pts: 19.5 Rebs: 5.7 Asts: 5
This season was far and away the best put forth by Turkoglu hence he was honored with the NBA’s Most Improved Award. Good for him right? But any Most Improved “Award” is also a slap in the face. What a nice way of saying, wow you were awful the year before, we never thought you’d come up with a season like this. You got us. Well done, here take this trophy. My high school even changed the named of Most Improved Award to the “Coach’s Award” because we all knew the implications of “most improved.” We’ll have to wait and see if Turkoglu keeps it up next year. He was a guy many thought should have made this year’s All-Star team.
9. Jason Terry
Season Highs: Pts: 19.7 Rebs: 4.1 Asts: 7.4
Terry averaged just under 19 points per game in the playoffs for a Mavs team that lost to the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. He has always been a solid scorer, holding a 15.9 per game career average after 9 seasons.
8. Stephen Jackson
Season Highs: Pts: 20.1 Rebs: 4.9 Asts: 4.1
Jackson is a NBA champion and came up with a 20-4-4 this season. He hit big shot after big shot along with Baron Davis in last season’s upset over the number 1 seed Dallas Mavericks. He’s certainly someone you’d want on your team, but to this point of his career he has yet to be an All-Star. Played for the Nets, Spurs, Hawks, and Pacers, but he’s really found a home with the Warriors. If he continues to play the way he did this year, it’ll be hard to keep him off the All-Star team in the future.
7. Andre Miller
Season Highs: Pts: 17 Rebs: 4.7 Asts: 10.9
A member of the NBA’s 1st Team All-Rookie squad back in 1999-2000 Miller has bounced around the league playing for the Cavs, Clippers, Nuggets, and 76ers. Eight of his nine seasons Miller has been top 10 in the league in assists including 01-02 where he was number 1 with 10.9 a game.
6. Jason Richardson
Season Highs: Pts: 23.2 Rebs: 6.7 Asts: 3.9
Like Josh Smith, Richardson participated in an All-Star weekend; in fact he was the Slam Dunk champion in 2002 and 2003. He joins Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, and Harold Miner as the only 2-time champions of the event. I think it’s safe to say his career lies somewhere in between Jordan/ Wilkins and Miner. Only 27, but I think his best chances to be an All-Star were with the Warriors.
5. Richard Jefferson
Season Highs: Pts: 22.6 Rebs: 7.3 Asts: 4
Jefferson has played the majority of his career along side All-Stars Jason Kidd and Vince Carter, but he himself has never had that honor. He was a part of the massacre that was the 2004 Olympic Bronze Medal team, so that doesn’t help him. He’s still got plenty of good basketball left in him, and always seems to be a guy in the conversation as an All-Star replacement for an injured player, but hasn’t made that leap.
4. Mike Bibby
Season Highs: Pts: 21.1 Rebs: 4.2 Asts: 8.4
Bibby just turned 30, but has never celebrated an All-Star selection in his career. He was 1st Team All-Rookie like the majority of the players on this list, back in the 98-99 season, and he was a big part of those entertaining Sacramento Kings teams that had deep runs in the Western Conference playoffs
3. Lamar Odom
Season Highs: Pts: 17.2 Rebs: 10.6 Asts: 5.9
Part of the Shaq to Miami trade, Odom landed in LA and has put together some solid seasons including this one where he was 7th in the league in rebounding. In his more natural role as the 3rd scorer Odom has thrived, and is a huge part of the Lakers’ possible title run. 1st Team All-Rookie back in 99-00, you get the feeling with Odom that he never played to his potential and thus never made an All-Star team. Career averages of 15.6, 8.9, and 4.4 he’s always been good, but not great.
2. Al Jefferson
Season Highs: Pts: 21 Rebs: 11.1
Big Al has improved his points, rebounds, assists, and steals in each of his first four seasons. I understand he was doing it for a terrible Minnesota team, but 21-11 is nothing to sneeze at, especially when he could have been playing in the NCAA Tournament this year instead of battling the best in the west on a nightly basis. He was just 1 of 4 players to post a 20-10 this year along with All-Stars Dwight Howard, Carlos Boozer, and Antawn Jamison. I think it’s safe to say he’ll make his fair share if he stays healthy.
1. Deron Williams
Season Highs: Pts: 18.8 Rebs: 3.3 Asts: 10.5
Williams has only played 3 years in the league so despite not being an All-Star yet, I’m very confident he’ll finish his career with close to 10 selections. In his brief career he has already been named to the All-Rookie 1st Team, the All-NBA 2nd Team, and he finished 12th in the MVP vote this season. Williams ranked 2nd in the league in assists two years ago and 3rd this past season. Drawing comparisons to a better scoring version of John Stockton, I think it’s safe to say he’ll be off this list next February. He’s the second best point guard in the NBA today, and look out Chris Paul, he’s coming for the number one spot.