6 Wannabe NBA Superstars Who Need a Harsh Reality Check
With every team in the NBA in an eternal search for superstar basketball players, there's an eternal overinflated sense of self worth with many of the guys throughout the league.
Just because a guy is handling the bulk of a scoring for his team will not make him a superstar, nor will it give him the right to a bunch of money on his next contract.
Some guys are fine players for a certain price, while others are to the point where their opinion of themselves are so puffed up that it's difficult to think that they can be a productive member of a championship team without a serious attitude adjustment.
However, there are also a few guys who are playing a role that is just too undervalued in the league for them to ever really get what they're worth.
It's time for a reality check for a handful of players in the league, and the guys who exist to drive their hometown fans crazy.
6. Andre Iguodala
It's a bit surprising to think about Andre Iguodala as a bit of an overrated player, and that's not really the case in this sense.
Rather than Iggy being overrated, the rest of the league tends to look at what he does and focus on the negative, rather than the exceptional positive that he brings to the floor.
As one of the league's premier perimeter defenders, Iggy can guard almost any position effectively, whether he be a part of a slow-paced team like the Philadelphia 76ers or a fast-paced one like the Denver Nuggets.
In reality, people tend to focus on his incredibly poor offense the further he gets away from the basket.
The only real reality check that Iguodala needs is that his contract for next season is going to be more than what he would receive on the open market.
Iguodala has an early termination option for next season, allowing him to forgo the final year in his contract and look for work elsewhere. He's poised to make over $16 million, which seems to be the most he would make in a single season on the market.
Of course, if he's simply looking for a deal with more years to be worked out, then leaving early wouldn't be a reprehensible option.
5. Andrew Bynum
It's time for Andrew Bynum to reserve himself to the fact that he is damaged goods, as everyone has been calling him for years now.
One year of stardom does not negate knee surgery after knee surgery and speculation about degenerative knee condition that has surrounded Bynum for the past few weeks.
Bynum still has the potential to be one of the best centers in the NBA, and provided he comes back completely healthy he could even challenge Dwight Howard for that top spot in the league. It just seems incredibly unlikely.
After watching Greg Oden fall apart and the Portland Trail Blazers get very little out of him, and the same story going over with Brandon Roy, Bynum's ability to draw a big paycheck is going to be entirely dependent on how his knees are holding up.
If there's any hint that he could have the same problem next year that he had this year, Bynum has to realized that he'll likely have to sign a shorter contract, for far less money than he was expecting at the beginning of this year.
Mario Chalmers is a fine point guard for the Miami Heat. He doesn't need the ball, he doesn't make a lot of trouble, and he gets hot from downtown every once in a while.
What he is not, is a top-tier point guard in the NBA.
Before the start of the season, 'Rio notoriously spoke about his belief that he was in the "front end of the top 10" as far as point guards go in the NBA.
I'll give him this over anything else, he is the best point guard born in Alaska in the NBA today. Otherwise, it's time for him to chill out.
Chalmers is a very average point guard on a very good team.
3. Monta Ellis
Contrary to the popular belief of guards in the NBA who have been in moped accidents, Monta Ellis does not have it all.
Ellis famously compared himself to Dwyane Wade in an interview in which he claimed the only difference between himself and Wade is a few championship rings.
And the only difference between myself and Ernest Hemingway is an extremely manly beard and a drinking problem.
While Ellis is a fine guard when he's not shooting too much and deferring a bit more than isolating, he's nowhere near the level of player that Wade is.
It's a mentality like this that is going to make him terminate the final year of his contract (which is $11 million, by the way), and expect to get something better elsewhere.
2. Josh Smith
Josh Smith is the perfect example of a player who should be a superstar, but his style of play and mentality is adversely affecting not only his reputation, but the amount he can contribute to a team and the amount of money he could make.
Smith is a jump shooter more often than anybody with his physical ability should, and the fact that he's a bad shooter just hurts his reputation even more.
When he should be driving to the basket and plowing over reeling defenders like LeBron James, he's settling for off-balance jump shots like he's Kobe Bryant. The only difference is that Kobe makes a handful of his ridiculous shots, Smith's go in once in a blue moon.
The soon-to-be free agent told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution as recently as this January, he truly believes that he deserves to be paid as well as the league's best players:
I feel like I’m a max player.
I feel I bring a lot to the table. I have a lot of versatility. For what I do and what I give this ball club, I feel like I’m worth it.
Atlanta made that mistake with Joe Johnson, and they're not likely to do the same with Josh Smith.
1. Brandon Jennings
Brandon Jennings is a fun young point guard who can get on hot shooting streaks. He's a good passer, plays passing lanes well and is learning to run an offense.
He also shoot a boatload of mid-range jumpers, cheats a bit too much on defense, and is frustratingly ball-dominant.
As a point guard, he's a middle-of-the-road decision maker, while he's got the ability to be a very good player. Give him some time to mature, fix his ego problem and put him in the mindset to pass first and shoot second, and he would be a fine player.
Jennings' most recent comments to Yahoo! Sports about his free agency actually sound like a decent idea, and it's really one of the first times anybody has brought it up.
If I take the qualifying offer and become an [unrestricted] free agent there is no way I am coming back.
Give Jennings another year to mature on a lesser contract, possibly learn to pass more and take better shots, and Jennings could be worth a lot more after next season than he would be after this season.
If he stays the same player, then he might as well get his long-term contract now and stay in Milwaukee.