Unappreciated NBA Stars

Al SileshiContributor IMarch 13, 2009

I roamed around the Internet for a while, and the obvious trend on all NBA-related stories is LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

While they are clearly the NBA's elite, a lot of great talent goes unheralded. Some of the guys on this list are stars in their own right but, in my opinion, receive less than their due.


Tony Parker

First, I do agree that Chris Paul is the best point guard in the league, but Parker is not far behind. I know Hornets' fans will call me crazy, but if Parker improved his defense and maybe looked for his teammates a little more despite all his scoring ability, I think he is on line as the best point guard in the league.

On almost every MVP candidate list, Tim Duncan ranks in the top seven or so, yet Parker often comes up short of the top 20.

Don't get me wrong, I love Duncan as much as the next guy but Parker, like Ginobili did last year, has carried this team in long stretches but still lost in Duncan's Hall of Fame shadow.


Dwyane Wade

This one was a tough one for me. I've pissed off Hornets' fans, so why not Lakers' fans too. I think Wade is the second-best player in the league, behind only James; yes I think he has surpassed Bryant.

Wade has been on a tear and has taken, a not-so-talented Heat team coming off a rough season, to the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Wade leads the NBA in points, is second in steals and free throw attempts, and despite all his scoring, is ninth in the league in assists. He is a superstar in this league, but I think his greatness sometimes gets lost in James-Bryant hype.


Kevin Durant

In only his second year in the NBA, Durant has solidified his stardom. This kid is athletic, he can shoot from anywhere, and he is clutch. Durant plays in a small market for a bad team, so he does not get the recognition he deserves.

A sure snub from the All-Star game this year—no matter how bad his team is—Durant has catapulted himself to a top 10-15 NBA player. 


David Lee

Like Durant, Lee plays for a bad team and thus loses recognition, but Lee is the real deal. A double-double machine—averaging 17 points and 12 rebounds a game—Lee is a bright spot on this Knicks' squad—more so than Nate Robinson. 


Jose Calderon

One of the most reliable and efficient point guards in the league, Calderon shoots over 50 percent from the field and averages 8.3 assists. Known for his international play, Calderon has translated his game perfectly into the NBA and continues to be a top 10 point guard in the NBA.


Honorable Mentions: Joe Johnson, Hedo Turkoglu, Kevin Martin, Andre Miller, Chris Paul, Mo Williams, Danny Granger, Al Horford, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Brandon Roy.