Forgotten NBA Players: Where Are They Now?
Some basketball players have their jersey in every sporting good store on the planet, while others aren't so lucky. They may have one shining moment. but it's not enough to go down in history.
These players had short-lived fame in the NBA and then went on to do different things. Some stayed with the sport working as a coach, and some went on to completely different areas of life. These players were once shining stars, however, and they deserve credit for what they gave to the sport.
Arizona native Mike Bibby started out his NBA career with the Vancouver Grizzlies before going on to play for the Sacramento Kings. He was a major factor in the Kings becoming Western Conference contenders.
Playing for the Detroit Pistons, Ben Wallace became a top-notch defensive player. His smaller size made no difference in his ability to defend the hoop. He won the Defensive Player of the Year award four times and was also instrumental in the Pistons beating the Lakers during the NBA finals in the 2003-2004 season.
At 6 foot 11 inches, Mehmet Okur preferred to spread the floor, and it was good when he did, because he had a 37.5 percent average shot from outside the three-point-line.
Hedo Turkoglu, the NBA's first Turkish basketball player, became one of the league's best bench players when he played for the Sacramento Kings. He then went to Orlando and had career highs in points per game (17.5), rebounds per game (6.4) and assists per game (5.5).
Isaiah Rider Jr.
Isaiah Rider Jr. won the 1994 Dunk Contest, and his natural talent made it seem like he would go far in the NBA. As great of a player as he was, however, his substance abuse led him to a seven-month jail sentence. He’s now a coach for Phoenix Hillcrest Prep.
One of the best players of the 90s, Shawn Kemp was similar to Zion Williamson in athletic ability and physicality. He didn't get his name publicized like Charles Barkley or Karl Malone, but he was still one of the most talented players in the game.
Metta World Peace (Ron Artest)
Metta World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest) was a great athlete. He went from being a stellar scorer to a great defensive player, and ignoring the 'Malice at the Palace' incident, he had a great career.
An underrated top scorer, Alex English averaged over twenty-one points per game and was also an eight-time All-Star. As a three-time member of the NBA Second Team, he led them in scoring during the 1983 season.
Second only to LeBron James, Yao Ming had lots of hype surrounding his entrance into the NBA. At 7 feet 6 inches tall, he became an All-Star eight out of his ten seasons. He proved once and for all that Asian-Americans can play sports as well as anyone.
Antoine Walker, a Chicago native, had the talent and ability to score from anywhere on the court. He also made three All-Star teams. However, he had money management problems and wasted away all $108 million that he made from playing ball.
One of the best players in the entirety of the Cleveland Cavaliers' franchise was Mark Price. Of his four seasons as an All-Star, his best was in 1993. His stats resulted in him becoming an All-NBA First Team selection.
As a Kentucky native, Chapman was adored by hometown fans at the University of Kentucky. He then went on to a 13-year career in the NBA. Afterward, he worked for several NBA teams as a front office member.
Known as ‘White Chocolate,’ Jason Williams consistently gave crowds a show despite his small size. He was known to be a wizard with the basketball and had more than stellar passing skills.
Having played for both the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks for a total of 10 years, Larry Johnson was truly gifted when it came to rebounds. He made space on the court and had relentless energy that not many players could match.
One of the league's best power forwards was 6-foot-11 Vin Baker. Most of his career was spent playing for both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Seattle Supersonics. He was a four-time All-Star, but despite his talent on the court, he was not as good with money management.
While he was teased for his weight, Oliver Miller was still a great basketball player. However, after his basketball career, he was charged with both first and second-degree assault over an altercation at a barbeque in 2011.
As a top-10 fringe player, Penny Hardaway was on track to be a great NBA player. However, after being plagued by injuries, he was not able to fully recover. His game never fully recovered, and his career as a player was unfortunately over.
Andrew Bynum’s career was going well. He helped the Los Angeles win two championships in his eight seasons as a player and even made the All-Star team. However, his career was cut short by injuries in 2014.
Picked number four overall in the 2001 NBA draft, Windy City native Eddy Curry was welcomed with open arms by basketball fans in Chicago. However, his career was cut short after an irregular heartbeat caused the front office to cut his spot on the team.
When Kwame Brown was picked number one straight out of high school, he already had an endorsement from Michael Jordan, and people had great expectations of him. However, he lacked scoring skills and an ability to defend the rim.
Delonte West was a star player in college alongside Jameer Nelson and ready to have a great NBA career. He played for the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers and other teams before ending up in China.
Known as "Big Z", Zydrunas Ilgauskas was adored by Cleveland fans. While not quite as good as Hakeem Olajuwon, he was still a major player on the court. He was on two All-Star teams and was an All-Rookie selection. He also was able to see his number being retired by the Cavalier's franchise.
Darko Milicic was picked over Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in the NBA draft. Sadly for the city of Detroit, Darko never managed to score more than 8.8 points per game in a single season (his career average was 6.0 PPG).
While only 5-foot-10-inches tall, "Mighty Mouse" Damon Stoudamire was a fiery competitor on the court. He played for Toronto for the first three years of his career and averaged 19.7 PPG. Then he played for Portland, and his performance started to go downhill.
Of the now-defunct Vancouver Grizzlies franchise, "Big Country" Bryant Reeves was the most notable face of the team. Although he was a bigger guy, he had surprising ball-handling skills. He was never an elite NBA player, but he was loved by both Memphis and Vancouver teams.
Jerry Stackhouse, a bigger guy, was surprisingly great with his footwork. He averaged 29.8 PPG for the Detroit Pistons during the 2000-2001 season. After retiring from playing the game he did a stint as a commentator.
Stephon Marbury, aka ‘Starbury,’ was a legend even before attending Georgia Tech. He averaged 19.3 PPG throughout his career but was distracted by issues off the court. Since his career in the NBA, he has spent the last nine years in China, where he is an adored celebrity.
Robert Swift became a team member of the Seattle SuperSonics when he was picked twelfth overall right out of high school, but he failed to make much of an impact on the game during his four-year NBA career. This was mostly due to drug addiction, and he even served a month in jail as a result.
Steve Francis was an incredible athlete. Very few could check him on the court, as he was a quick and explosive player. He played for seven years, made All-Star appearances three times and even won Rookie of the Year.
Brandon Roy did a lot for the Portland Trail Blazers in his prime, and some folks in the area still remember his contributions to the sport. He was an important part of how his team became relevant in the league again.