Top 10 Underrated Basketball Players Who Avoid the Spotlights

Explore the hidden gems of basketball – the unsung heroes overshadowed by legends. From Dennis Johnson to Jalen Brunson, discover the underrated talents shaping the game.

Within the realm of basketball, where superstar names frequently make headlines and dominate fan discourse, there is a subset of players who quietly succeed despite having their extraordinary talents overshadowed by more prominent players of the league. These extraordinary names are the unsung heroes of the game; they have displayed extraordinary abilities and made significant contributions without receiving a star-studded media appearance and extravagant fan base. In this article, we will take a look at the top ten most underrated basketball players who have been overshadowed by the legendary players.

1. Dennis Johnson

Dennis Johnson is typically seen as an underrated figure in the history of basketball. Known for his exceptional defensive skills and his ability to perform under pressure, Johnson was a key member of many NBA championship-winning teams. Although some may argue that his offensive numbers aren’t as impressive as those of other great guards, most agree that Johnson’s overall impact on the game and his clutch plays go unnoticed. Throughout his NBA career, Dennis Johnson experienced several noteworthy highlights. Johnson was successful both on his own and with teams that won championships. With the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979 and the Boston Celtics in 1984 and 1986, Johnson won three NBA titles. Johnson won NBA Finals MVP for his outstanding performance in the 1979 NBA Finals. Johnson’s defensive prowess was demonstrated by his selection as an NBA All-Star five times and as an NBA All-Defensive Team member nine times. In the 1984–85 season, he also led the league in steals per game and was named to the All-NBA Team three times. 

2. Dominique Wilkins

Wilkins played at the same time as other basketball greats of the day, like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. He is sometimes regarded as being underappreciated by some, who feel that his achievements were somewhat overshadowed. Further limiting Wilkins’s national exposure may have been the fact that he played a large part of his career with the Atlanta Hawks, a team that was then in a smaller market. Wilkins was an incredible talent, though, as you can see by looking at his career. As one of the most explosive dunkers in NBA history, Wilkins was also a scoring champion and a nine-time All-Star.

Also Read: Top 10 Popular Basketball Brands of 2024

3. Sam Jones

Because Sam Jones played with basketball greats like Bill Russell and Bob Cousy while he was a member of the Boston Celtics, he is periodically regarded as being underappreciated. Due to his more well-known teammates, Jones’ contributions might be overlooked during this Celtics era of dominance. Nevertheless, a closer look at his record reveals that Sam Jones was an essential member of those winning squads. Because of his clutch plays and scoring prowess, Jones—who shared Russell’s record of 10 NBA titles—was one of the most formidable forces. Additionally, Sam Jones is also included in the Hall of Fame and was a five-time NBA All-Star.

4. Bernard King

For numerous reasons, Bernard King is frequently regarded as being underappreciated. King’s prime NBA years were marked by injuries, which prevented him from reaching his full potential and making all of his contributions. Bernard King was a tremendous scorer and a force on the court despite this. King had incredible scoring ability, especially when he was a member of the New York Knicks. In the 1984–85 season, Bernard King led the league in scoring with an average of 32.9 points per game. King’s achievements might have been overshadowed by the fact that he played during a time when other legendary scorers like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were also prevalent. The belief that Bernard King is not as prominent as he ought to be stems from his injuries as well as the competitiveness of his time.

5. Scottie Pippen

Scottie Pippen is often looked upon as one of the most underappreciated players in NBA history. Due in large part to his collaboration with one of the all-time greats in basketball, Michael Jordan, this impression has been made. Even though Jordan was given a lot of credit, Pippen’s versatility and all-around abilities were essential to the Chicago Bulls’ 1990s success. Pippen was an impeccable playmaker, a flexible forward, and an outstanding defender. In addition to being a seven-time All-Star and a ten-time selection to the All-Defensive Team, Scottie assisted the Bulls clinch six NBA titles. According to the critics, being in Jordan’s shadow sometimes prevents Scottie from receiving the credit he deserves for his individual and team achievements in basketball.

Also Read: Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Basketball

6. Kevin Johnson

There are several reasons why Kevin Johnson is frequently regarded as undervalued. He was among the most gifted point guards of his time, but his achievements were somewhat overshadowed by the presence of great point guards such as Magic Johnson, John Stockton, and Isiah Thomas. Kevin Johnson demonstrated his exceptional ability to create plays and score points by being selected as a three-time NBA All-Star and five-time All-NBA Team member. His court vision, quickness, and team-leading abilities were well-known. He was also an important member of the Phoenix Suns, which helped them make it to the NBA Finals in 1993. Kevin is occasionally disregarded in debates about the greatest point guards in history, though, and this adds to the impression that he is not as good as he should be. 

7. Mark Price

Mark Price is underappreciated for several reasons. Although he constantly gave excellent performances, his national recognition was limited by his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that struggled to win championships. Price was one of the most accurate three-point and free-throw shooters of his time, but his remarkable shooting abilities are sometimes disregarded in discussions of the past. His five All-Star choices and five All-NBA Team selections attest to his superiority as a point guard, but he is still somewhat underappreciated by his colleagues. Price’s ability to be a versatile playmaker with exceptional court vision is just one more example of his diverse skill set. With all of these attributes, he is a compelling reason to be considered an underappreciated player in NBA history.

8. Malcolm Brogdon

Several reasons contribute to Malcolm Brogdon’s underappreciated status in the NBA. Oftentimes overlooked in the glare of more well-known players, he consistently performs at a high level, especially in his capacity as the Indiana Pacers’ point guard. While flashy scoring may garner more attention, Brogdon is renowned for his efficiency, which is typified by a high basketball IQ and astute decision-making on the court. Even though his team’s success depends on his leadership abilities, he frequently gets overlooked in favour of the league’s most well-known scorers. Brogdon’s underappreciated reputation is a result of his defensive prowess and adaptability as a guard who can succeed both on and off the ball.

Also Read: Top 10 Duos of NBA Legends Who Ruled the Court Together

9. Antwan Jamison

The NBA’s underappreciated status of Antawn Jamison is complex. His lengthy and reliable career, characterized by double-digit points and rebounds, was frequently overlooked in favour of the league’s more glamorous narratives. Despite having more offensive versatility than other players, Jamison’s ability to score from both inside and outside the court, as well as his strong rebounding and defensive abilities, went unnoticed. His lack of success as a team member of championship-contending teams further reduced his visibility in the postseason. He also performed at a time when there were a lot of well-known celebrities, which might have eclipsed his achievements. Despite these drawbacks, Jamison’s well-rounded game and quiet but consistent contributions make a strong case for his underappreciated status in the NBA. 

10. Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson’s NBA underappreciation is due to several things. Compared to first-round picks, Jalen was initially viewed as a lower draft pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Brunson has continually outperformed those predictions with his performance, proving his skill and commitment. Brunson’s quiet brilliance is what sets him apart; he prefers simple, effective plays to showy ones, which occasionally causes his consistent efforts to go unappreciated. Despite being a valuable guard who can handle the ball, distribute the ball, and score points with efficiency, Brunson frequently doesn’t get the same recognition as the league’s more flashy stars.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More