The Most Overrated Player in the NBA

Andrew PalumboSenior Analyst IJanuary 25, 2010

As I was writing The Most Underrated Player in the NBA, it became obvious that a sister column would be necessary.

Who is the most overrated player in the NBA?

Among today's most talked about and celebrated stars, who is the least deserving?

The answer was actually quite easy to come by. When looking for an overrated athlete, it's easiest to narrow the search to players who are famous for gimmicks and antics outside of the game of basketball.

Let's say there is a young player in the league who is pretty good but not great. Then he starts wearing Under Armor that is clearly a few sizes too small. Before long, he is making cell phone commercials and you find yourself asking, "When did he become so great?"

The answer, you realize after much internal debate, is that he didn't. He's just as good as he's always been but he's never truly touched upon greatness (or even "really goodness").

But in all seriousness, the red flag for me is when a player enters into a dunk contest and tries to simultaneously use a prop to propel himself toward fame, while also creating a nickname for himself.

In the most awkward NBA moment of the past two decades, Dwight Howard donned a Superman cape and flew into the overrated record books by simultaneously displaying everything that is wrong with the slam dunk contest, while pathetically attempting to give himself a nickname.

The icing on the cake? The nickname already belongs to a current player who actually was great during his career.

Being overrated for gimmicks and off the court antics? That's modern professional sports.

Being overrated due to costumes, tiny shirts, and self-imposed nicknames? That's Dwight Howard.