10 Most Underrated NBA Players Of The Decade

Jeff AxelContributor IJuly 25, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 14:  Paul Pierce #34 of the Boston Celtics drives past Hedo Turkoglu #15 of the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 14, 2009 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Now that this decade is about to be over I thought I would just come up with a group of players in the NBA that dont get the recognition they deserve, or are overshadowed by other talented players in the league. This is just 10 players that come to mind for me in no numerical order.

10. Chauncey Billups: Once known as a journeyman before finding a home in Detroit in 2002 Billups has been one of the most consistant point guards of this decade. He has been finals MVP, a 4 time all star, on the All-NBA team 3 times, and the all defensive team twice. While his 15.1 career ppg average and 5.6 assist career average aren't blaring he was the heart and soul of the pistons powerhouse of the 2000's, and to me is a borderline hall of famer. He doesn't get the credit he deserves because it's a point guard driven league with flashier guards like chris paul, deron williams, tony parker, etc.

9. Andre Miller: In my opinion the most underrated point guard in the league Miller is as consistant as they come. He comes in night in and night out only missing 5 games in his career and he gets the job done. While not having a great jumper Miller has lead the league in assist with 10.9 in 01-02 in cleveland. I think the reason he doesn't get a lot of recognition is because he's never made a deep playoff run. But that will change now that he's on the blazers.

8. Ron Artest: Known as a nutcase on the court Artest is a quality player. He has some of the best defense in the league as he's been named to the NBA all defensive team 4 times. But Artest has offensive ability one year averaging 24.6 ppg for the pacers. He has career averages of 16 ppg, 5 rpg, and 2 spg one of 3 players in NBA history to do that. The reason why he doesn't get more recognition is because of all his on court antics.

7. Antawn Jamison: One of the players who came out of the 1998 draft Jamison is one of the most versatile power forwards in the league. Boasting career averages of 20 points and 8 rebounds, Jamison is overlooked because he's not really known as a first option but I think he can be because of his scoring ability most noted his 50 point game against Kobe Bryant in 2000, and when Butler, and Arenas were hurt in the 06-07 playoffs how he averaged 32 ppg in a series against the cavs. He's more of a finesse player but he can score.

6. Stephen Jackson: Entering the league in 2000 Jackson didn't automatically become a star. Not until 2002 when he won a ring with the spurs did his numbers increase. The next year he wound up in Atlanta and his numbers increased again. Then he was shipped to the Pacers where he was a quality player. Jackson averaged a career high 21 ppg last year and his numbers increase every year. He is a point forward and team leader for the warriors. The reason why he doesn't get more shine is because of his involvement in the famous pacers pistons brawl of 2004 and his bad reputation in indy.

5. Vince Carter: Known only as a dunker carter is much more than that. While he has problems with motivation he's an extrememly talented player who's more than an athlete. Boasting career averages of 24 ppg, 6 rpg, and 4 apg Carter is a highly versatile player who people think is one-dimensional but that's false. I think why he is underrated is because of how he gave up on toronto and that wasn't a good look around the league but Carter can still score with the best of them.

4. Michael Redd: Being a second round draft pick in the 2000 draft ( worst in NBA history) Redd proved all the teams that passed on him wrong. His first couple years he didnt have that much of an impact backing up ray allen but 2003 was a breakthrough year as he averaged 22 ppg and never looked back. I think the reason why he's so underrated is because he's not as flashy as other wing players, and he hasn't played for a winner in Milluakee. He has a career average of 21 ppg.

3. Tony Parker: Passed on by 27 teams in the 2001 draft (one of the weakest ever) Parker came in as a French player who couldn't shoot but that didnt stop him. He shoots around 50% every year which is astonishing for a point guard. Now his jumper is improving so it's almost impossible to stop him. He's known as one of the quickest guards in the league and last year due to injury with his teammates averaged a career high 22 ppg. He's a 3 time all-star, a 3 time champion, and a finals MVP. Why i think he's underrated is because he plays with Tim Duncan who's the greatest Power forward of all time.

2. Tim Duncan: Now I used to same the same as almost every other young person. "His game is boring" but we really take Tim Duncan for granted. Coming in as a rookie in 1997 Duncan has averaged 20 ppg every year in his career. He has career averages of 21 ppg, 11 rpg, and 2 bpg. He's a 3 time finals MVP, 4 Time champion, 12 time all NBA, 12 time all defensive team, and 11 time all-star. The reason why he's underrated is because his game isn't considered exciting but he's the greatest power forward of all time.

1. Paul Pierce: The truth and the captain of the Celtics to me is the most underrated player in the league hell even David Stern said that. Ever since coming to Boston in 98 Pierce has had an ability to score. But because he's not as flashy or athletic as Lebron, kobe, or d wade he doesn't get as much love from the media. Boasting career averages of 23 ppg, 6rpg, and 2 spg Pierce to me is a first ballot hall of famer. He's an 8 time all-star, 4 time all-nba, and finals mvp. He's 3rd all-time on the Celtics scoring list with 18,603 points, 1st alltime in 3 point makes in Celtics history, averaged 34 ppg in 1 month which is a celtics record, scored 46 points in a half against the Nets is 2002, scored 30 or more points 12 straight games which is a celtics record and about 8 more records that I left out. A lot of people bashed him for saying he was the best but everyone feels that way and he's been getting underappreciated his whole career. He's the Celtics go to player when they want to mount a comeback and he still has a lot of game left so He might be first on the Celtics all time scoring list when it's all said and done.

Well that was just my opinion on who I felt was underrated this decade so let the debates begin.

Honorable mentions: Joe Johnson, Caron Butler, Kevin Martin, Richard Hamilton, Andre Iguodala