The history of the NBA has been full of world class players and the league has had its fair share of superstars who took the world by storm at one time or another. Lots of these players do get the praise and love that they deserve for their dominance, but others simply don’t get the credit that their play and impact deserved. Here are five of the most criminally underrated players in the history of the NBA.
1. Jack Sikma
The fact that most basketball fans don’t even know who this guy is, is a true testament to just how underrated he really was and still is. Sikma played a crucial role on the Seattle Supersonics, got his number retired by them and even helped them win a championship. He was an extremely rare breed for a center as not only was he a double double machine throughout his career, but also led the league in free throw percentage, which is unheard of for a center. He also developed a three point game later as a member of the Bucks. It is embarrassing that he isn’t in the Hall of Fame.
2. Adrian Dantley
This guy had some of the worst luck in NBA history but was still one of the best. He was shipped out of numerous teams right before they were successful. Despite being successful and serviceable for a number of teams, his best time was easily with the Utah Jazz when he had three full seasons of averaging more than 30 points a game and even led the league twice in that category.
3. Bernard King
His numbers don’t lie, he really should be in the Hall of Fame and a much more respected played, but isn’t. He made numerous all-star teams and won the scoring title in 1985, but an unfortunate ACL injury in 1985 stopped him from having a career that matched the all-time greats of his time. He still bounced back to be decent, but the knee problems persisted and robbed him of the long career that he deserved.
4. Shawn Marion
This inclusion might surprise some people, but this guy really was a jack of all trades and was underappreciated big time. He is one of only five players to get more than 1,500 steals and 1,000 blocks with the others being Hakeem Olajuwon, Karl Malone, Julius Erving and Kevin Garnett, which is pretty good company if you asked me. He was the complete defender with an underrated offensive game and an absolute monster if you played fantasy basketball.
5. Sidney Moncrief
If it weren’t for a knee injury that made this man retire at the age of 33, he wouldn’t even be on this list as he would’ve been a sure-fire hall of famer with a statue outside of the arena in Milwaukee. This is because Moncrief was the leader of a Bucks team that was a perennial contender in the mid 1980’s and would’ve been the best team of the decade if it wasn’t for some guy named Larry Bird and his Celtics.