NBA

Who are the NBA's most overrated players?

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Charley Rosen

Charley Rosen is FOXSports.com's NBA analyst and author of 17 sports books, the current ones being Bullpen Diaries: Mariano Rivera, Bronx Dreams, Pinstripe Legends, and the Future of the New York Yankees and Crazy Basketball: A Life In and Out of Bounds.

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Don't be fooled by stats, fan-voted All-Star Game appearances, highlighted plays and/or media hype. While every combatant in the NBA is a truly great player, too many of them are gauged by misleading standards. Here are the most grossly over-valued, not-so superstars.

Chris Andersen

Yes, he can run, jump and dash to the ball from the weak side to dramatically block shots. And his masquerading as a tall, tattooed fowl is amusing if juvenile. But he can't shoot a lick and, most importantly, is incapable of adequately defending virtually any opponent on a man-to-man basis. What Andersen does is surely crowd-pleasing and can occasionally impact the outcome of a game, but it's mostly phony defense.

Gilbert Arenas

He's on this particular list because of his numerous forced shots, his inability to run an offense and his miserable lack of both on- and off-the-ball defense. Also, don't forget the many times he's choked in the deciding moments of playoff games. Arenas' game is less than meets the eye.

Carlos Boozer

He can score from the low post, hit mid-range jumpers and is — at best — a two-space rebounder. On the downside, Boozer either can't or won't play defense, is an erratic passer and handler, can't run, can't move laterally and just doesn't play as vigorously without the ball as he does when the rock is in his hands. Smart teams have an easy time neutralizing Boozer's effectiveness.

Chris Bosh

What does this guy do? Shoot jumpers. Grab mostly finesse rebounds. Shoot more jumpers. Register more turnovers than assists. Keep on shooting jumpers. Play inferior defense except in the sub-par competition of international play. He does enough to fill up a stat sheet, but not enough to be a bona-fide franchise player.

Marcus Camby

Like Andersen, he can block shots coming from the weak side but can be attacked with profit in straight-up defensive situations. He's also shot-happy, rarely grabs his rebounds in heavy and hostile traffic and is a terrible passer. And the fact that during his 13-year career the combined record of the teams he's played for is a dismal 459-573 suggests that Camby is a loser.

Kevin Garnett

His performance in the 2008 NBA Finals against the Lakers was a good indication of where he's really at.
  • In Boston's six-point loss in Game 3, Garnett shot 6-for-21.
  • In Boston's five-point loss in Game 5, Garnett scored only 13 points and missed several shots in the fourth quarter.
  • In Boston's championship-clinching, 39-point win in Game 6, Garnett registered his series high of 26 points. In other words, it is well-known among the league's coaches that Garnett is a frontrunner who will inevitably choke when a critical game is up for grabs.

    Al Harrington

    For the initial 36 minutes or thereabouts, Harrington is one of the most dynamic scorers in the NBA. Forget that he doesn't pass, execute or play a semblance of defense. The young man can set a scoreboard on fire. Come the clutch, however, and Harrington takes (and misses) bad shots, even misses good shots, chases the ball at both ends of the court and makes foolish mistakes. For example, how many extra fourth-quarter points did he allow the Knicks' opponents to score in tight games by foolishly hanging on the rim? Too many. As much as he wants to start, Harrington is best suited to be a designated scorer off the bench who should stay glued to the bench in the endgame.

    Stephen Jackson

    He's a streaky, low-percentage shooter with absolutely no conscience. His defense is strictly imaginary. His ball-handling skills are far below average for a backcourt player. He thinks he's a leader, but nobody wants to follow him.

    Brad Miller

    This guy could easily be the least athletic big man in the NBA. In fact, several of the league's most prominent centers have privately expressed their embarrassment whenever Miller scores double digits against them. And despite his bulky frame, he's about as tough as the Pillsbury Dough Boy. Yes, Miller can hit open shots and make nifty passes. But he survives mainly because defenders tend to ignore him.

    Chris Paul

    There's no doubt that CP3 has always been a truly great passer and has also worked diligently to become a dangerous 3-point shooter. But there are several reasons why he belongs in this dubious category.
  • In half-court offenses, he's a threat to do damage only in screen-and-roll situations, which means that doubling him virtually renders him impotent.
  • Because of his diminutive size — listed at 6-feet but closer to 5-foot-10 — he can be easily doubled.
  • His defense consists of steals. Period. Which in turn depends mostly on opponents' mistakes.
  • Many opponents simply take the ball to their favorite spot and then shoot over him.
  • Even when using a screen-and-roll, he's not nearly as effective going left as he is going right. When was the last time that a pipsqueak-sized point guard led his team to an NBA championship? Slater Martin with the St. Louis Hawks in 1958 — which means that while Paul's Hornets will be a good team, they'll never be good enough.

    Dishonorable mention

    The following multi-talented players have led their respective teams nowhere for so many years that their being overrated is no longer news. Stephon Marbury, who only last week still insisted that he's the best point guard in the NBA. Dirk Nowitzki. Baron Davis. Peja Stojakovic. Amare Stoudemire. Vince Carter. Larry Hughes. Corey Maggette. Shawn Marion. Kenyon Martin. Tracy McGrady. Jermaine O'Neal. Wally Szczerbiak. And last and least, Allen Iverson.
  • Tagged: Hawks, Pelicans, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Pistons, Rockets, Clippers, Lakers, Nets, Knicks, Raptors, Baron Davis, Dirk Nowitzki, Larry Hughes, Wally Szczerbiak, Tracy McGrady, Shawn Marion, Peja Stojakovic, Vince Carter

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