NBA's Most Overrated Players
Who is overrated? Some names may shock you.
By Michael Illiano
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It is time to stir up more debates. Been doing a great deal of thinking about overrated players in the NBA and to do this i needed to define what it means to be overrated. Like most debates there is no black and white, no uniform standard of overrated or underrated. It is a case by case basis because certain players are at a different level. Please remember this as you read on. I will go on to knock some overrated guys, yet there are some overrated guys that are labeled higher because of public perception and not through any fault of their own. There is always room for improvement in players' games.
I just want to make a note that this is a current list and not an all-time list which would take forever. It consists of current players only meaning guys who are in the league right now, so you won't see the likes of Gilbert Arenas and J.R. Smith (who at the time of this article didn't sign with the Knicks yet), who I would love nothing more than to tear apart their games. Sucks for me, but I will live.
Let the debating begin.
Most Overrated NBA Players (2011-2012 Edition)
10) Kobe Bryant and LeBron James (TIE)
OK. OK. I hear you, but I have to get these two out of the way real quick. The list has already become invalid in some minds. I implore people to revert to top of article. I clearly stated that the perception of a player is what makes him overrated. Is Kobe a top 15 all time player? YES! Is he the hardest worker in the league? YES! Does he care about winning more than anyone right now? YES! Where he is overrated is in an all-time capacity. This is where me and the general public of people under the age of thirty part ways. There is a huge perception of Kobe being in that class with Jordan. Kobe is not even the greatest player in his franchise's history, let alone close to being the greatest player of all-time.
I have elaborated on this subject before on Kobe's efficiency and overvalue of his five rings, so there is no need to hash this out anymore. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Kobe. If there was anyway to be overrated than this is it. Jordan may actually be overrated in the same context. Jordan said himself he doesn't consider himself the greatest player because there are a ton of guys he never faced so it is unfair. His words not mine. It is almost respect more than a knock on him. As fans, it is easy to have short term memory and easily forget Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, etc. We forget what it was like to see those guys on a day in, day out basis and the younger generation didn't experience them the same way, so they have no frame of reference. The bright side of them is that some players will come along and challenge Kobe's achievements and they will scrutinize those players the same way.
When LeBron James asked the league to retire the no. 23 out of respect to Jordan, the response from Jordan was "there is no one great player in the NBA, the NBA has lasted a lot longer than Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Bill Russell should have their Jerseys retired too if that was the case."
LeBron is a media driven machine. The pressure LeBron sees from the media is unmatched by anyone in sports and that is because the media and fans have this expectation of him being the greatest. It seemed to be labeled on him from the get go. That label right there is what makes him overrated. We have all created the LeBron James monster we hate so much by branding him the next big thing from day one. LeBron is another amazing talent and perhaps the best player in the league, however, one title won't be enough for people.