Clyde Drexler, SF, Portland Trail Blazers: 1984-1989 (Six Seasons)
Clyde "the glide" Drexler barely missed the cut because the best days of his careers came well into the 1990s, when he was on his way to winning the 1995 NBA title and racking up NBA All-Star appearances like they were going out of style.
Drexler's production during the 1980s of 19.9 points and 5.9 rebounds is certainly warranting of being on this list, but his production during the 1990s was more impressive because it included helping his team win not only games, but also a championship.
Karl Malone, PF, Utah Jazz: 1986-1989 (Four Seasons)
Karl Malone didn't make the cut simply because he only played four seasons in the NBA during the 1980s.
With that being said, it needs to be noted that he accumulated averages of 23.4 points and 10.5 rebounds, which is absolutely ridiculous considering they were during his first four years in the league.
Artis Gilmore, C, San Antonio Spurs: 1980-1988 (Nine Seasons)
Artis "A-train" Gilmore was a dominant, 7'2'' center for the Spurs during the 1980s. But after the 1985-86 season, his production took a major hit.
The most productive days of his career came during the 1970s, and while he was still a solid center in the 1980s, there are just too many players who are more deserving of being on the list ahead of him.