The NBA is the best professional basketball league in the world, so the best ballers are naturally drawn towards playing for it. The big paycheck and the attention you’ll get assures that the best talent always tries to make it there.
Players who make the NBA are immediately considered the best of the best. Even players who occupy the end of the bench become star players when they join other professional leagues.
While the most casual fan only knows the league’s biggest stars, the league has a wealth of elite talent. These role players have game that can fascinate fans who love watching basketball played at the highest level.
This piece will detail some of the most underrated players who suited up for the league throughout its history.
When you think of the Sacramento Kings of the early 2000s, you don’t usually think of Doug Christie. However, seasoned OKBET bettors understand his value to the team that almost beat the Los Angeles Lakers during the peak of the Shaq-Kobe duo.
Doug Christie had made stops across multiple NBA teams by the time the Sacramento Kings acquired him. The 6’6” shooting guard was a defensive stalwart who also contributed on the offensive side.
During his five seasons with the Kings, he averaged 10.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.0 steals a game. Chris Webber and Peja Stojakovic overshadowed his numbers, but he was the all-around engine who did everything necessary to make the Kings a tough team to face in the West.
It may be weird for some that Clyde Drexler even made this list. After all, Clyde the Glide was one of the biggest roadblocks to Michael Jordan during the Chicago Bulls’ run to the 1992 Larry O’Brien trophy.
However, the sheer magnitude of Jordan’s shadow means that the Hall of Fame shooting guard’s solid career was also overshadowed. It also didn’t help that Drexler’s Portland Trail Blazers lost to the Bulls in six games.
Fortunately, he got a ring of his own after joining his college teammate Hakeem Olajuwon in Houston. The ten-time All-Star played three more years after winning his sole NBA ring before retiring.
Rodman is usually the third player mentioned whenever the second three-peat of the Chicago Bulls is mentioned. While it’s clear offensively that he wasn’t a reliable scorer, he did everything else to allow Jordan and Scottie Pippen to focus on scoring.
The Worm was an unstoppable rebounding machine that specialized in getting as many boards as possible. Plenty of nights, he had a stat line of zero points and more than 15 rebounds. His hustle and drive made him a lovable icon in the Windy City.
Rodman’s hustle was also integral to another team. He was a pivotal defensive figure, allowing the Detroit Pistons to win two championships in 1989 and 1990.
Discover More Underrated NBA Talent
These three are some of the most underrated players to suit up for the NBA. However, there are plenty of names we didn’t mention in this list. Ben Wallace, Andre Kirilenko, Bob McAdoo, and Mark Aguirre are some of the most talented players who don’t get enough attention among NBA historians.
Moreover, plenty of great players are playing in the NBA today. You only need to watch a game to see these outstanding talents shine.