Damian Lillard might not have made the all-stars, but he is flu game sick. Yes Dame, you have been snubbed these last couple of years but hey, you’re still a two time All-Star. The same can not be said for these 8 players who had outstanding careers but never achieved that illustrious title.
To qualify, the player has to be retired because they would still have a chance to become one if they’re still playing. So let’s jump right into it.
(All stats are from basketballreference.com)
Number 8: Mike Bibby
(Career highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCB52QeX8JM)
Career Stats: 14.7 points, 5.5 assists and a career 37.9% 3PT shooter
Best season: (2004-05) 19.6 points, 6.8 assists, and 4.2 rebounds
Bibby was the forgotten player on those early 2000s Kings and never made an All-Star despite teammates Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, and Peja Stojakavic all making it.
He was a smooth point guard who for several years was near the top of the NBA in assists and 3PT FG.
Number 7: Lamar Odom
(Career Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK-8bf5B0j0)
Career Stats: 13.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists
Best Season: (2003-04) 17.1 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists
At one point in time Lamar Odom was one of the most versatile point forwards in the entire league and it’s sad that’s not what he’s remembered by. He could finish around the rim like a center and dish out assists like a point guard.
His ability to play anywhere on the floor helped the longevity of his career. In fact, he even won a Sixth Man of the Year Award in 2011 under Phil Jackson.
Number 6: Isaiah Rider
(Career Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clsduVojVCk)
Career Stats: 16.7 points and 3.8 rebounds
Best Season: (1994-95) 20.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists
The King of the Tough Shot was never a great defender or play maker, but damn he could put the ball in the bucket.
Over his first 7 years he averaged 18.1 points and 4.1 rebounds and plenty of high-flying antics to boot. He just never took that next great step to super stardom. He quickly fizzled out and was out of the league after 9 years but it was fun while it lasted.
Number 5: Cedric Maxwell
(Career Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7M_MdmBauc)
Career Stats: 12.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 54.6 FG%
Best Season: (1978-79) 19.0 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 58.4 FG%
Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell was a fantastic big man who attacked the rim relentlessly for every team he played for. During his stints with the Celtics and Clippers he had a true shooting percentage of 62.9, pretty good for a 6′ 8″ player.
I’m also willing to bet not many people know this, but he is the all time leader in true shooting percentage. Fun little trivia fact there is you ever go on Jeopardy.
Number 4: Marcus Camby
(Career Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWIuCqQdUsM)
How the hell did a 4-time block leader, 2-time First Team All-Defensive player, and DPOY not become an All-Star. In fact, only he and Michael Cooper are the only DPOY to never be an ALL-Star.
He dominated 2/3 of the game with his defense and rebounding, and even though he was defensive-minded he was a career 46% shooter. He also had an offensive rating above 100 in every one of his seasons except one.
Number 3: Ron Harper
(Career Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FJXBnJ3ns0)
Career Stats: 13.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.9 assists
Best Season: (1989-80) 22.8 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 2.3 steals
Ron Harper is most remembered for his days as Phil Jackson’s point guard with the Bulls and Lakers, but he was quite the player before this. This caused his stats to dip a bit as he was asked to play defense, initiate the offense, and stay out of Kobe, Michael, Scottie, and Shaq’s way.
Before this time though he was an excellent shooting guard who could score wit the best of them. During an 8 season stretch with the Clippers and Cavs, Harper averaged 19.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 4.9 assists.
Number 2: Jalen Rose
(Career Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aEq-V3JHK8&t=29s-terrible video but the only one I could find)
Career Stats: 14.3 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.5 rebounds
Best Season: (2002-03) 22.1 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.3 rebounds
Jalen Rose’s best seasons came with the Indiana Pacers where he led the team in scoring twice, with Reggie Miller and Jermaine O’Neal on the team. From 1999-2005 he averaged 19.3 points, 4.4 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game.
He’s most likely to be remembered as a member of the Fab Five, that annoying dude on ESPN, or that dude that Kobe dropped 81 on, but don’t let these things get in the way of the player he was. He showed up big time for the Pacers in the Finals and was a fantastic scoring point guard.
Number 1: Rod Strickland
(Career Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stS9uFZjPPk)
Career Stats: 13.2 points, 7.3 assists, and 45.4 FG%
Best Season (1997-98) 17.8 points, 10.5 assists, and 5.3 rebounds
Rod Strickland is not only one of the best point guards to never be an All-Star, but he’s one of the best point guards of all time. He is one of the most criminally underrated players in NBA history and the constant comparisons to his godson Kyrie Irving has really shown the younger generation how good he really was.
In ’96 Strickland led the league in assists but was left off the All-Star team in favor of Penny Hardaway. Mr. Hardaway only played 19 games that year.
Active NBA players who could be on this list eventually:
- Mike Conley
- Al Jefferson
- Tayshaun Prince
- Andre Miller
- Derrick Favors
- Rudy Gay
- Monta Ellis