Give Me the Rock Top 10 Underrated Shooting Guards in Basketball History

Steven ResnickSenior Writer IAugust 17, 2010

Give Me the Rock Top 10 Underrated Shooting Guards in Basketball History

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    I've already written about the most underrated forwards in basketball history which can be found here and another one as well for the most underrated big men which can be found in this slideshow.

    Now it is time to examine the most underrated shooting guards in NBA history. Usually when it comes to shooting guards the two names that immediately come to mind are Kobe Byrant and Michael Jordan. 

    Well here's a list of 10 players in basketball history that deserve a little more attention. 

10. Jo Jo White

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    Jo Jo White played 12 seasons in the NBA a majority of his career was spent with the Boston Celtics. He was a solid scorer averaging over 18 points seven times in his career. He also contributed mostly with assists. 

    His career saw him end with 14,399 points, 4,095 assists, 3,345 rebounds, on 44.4 percent shooting, and 83.4 percent from the free throw line. His averages were 17.2 points, 4.9 assists, and 4 rebounds.

    The best season for White came in 1971-1972 when he averaged 23.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists, on 43.1 percent shooting, and 83.1 percent from the free throw line. 

    Accolades include seven all-star game selections, a Finals MVP, two championship rings, an All-Rookie First Team selection, and two Second Team All-NBA selections. 

9. Paul Westphal

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    Westphal was a tremendous scorer and was a valuable playmaker from his shooting guard position. He started his career with the Boston Celtics but didn't really pan out with them and was traded to the Phoenix Suns where his career blossomed. He also played a year in Seattle, two years in New York, and ended his career with the Suns. He had five years of averaging at least 20 points and five assists. 

    He ended his career with 12,809 points, 3591 assists, 1,580 rebounds, 1,022 steals, shot 50.2 percent from the field, and 82 percent from the free throw line. His career averages were 15.6 points, 4.4 assists, 1.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals.  

    The best season for Westphal came in 1978-1979 when he averaged 24 points, 6.5 assists, two rebounds, 1.4 steals, on 53.5 percent shooting, and 83.7 from the free throw line. 

    Accolades include five all-star game selections, three First Team All-NBA selections, a Second Team All-NBA selection, and a championship ring. 

8. Jeff Malone

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    Malone was an outstanding scorer in his career which lasted 14 seasons. He started out with the Washington Bullets, played three plus years with the Utah Jazz, parts of three seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, and spent a little bit of time with the Miami Heat. 

    Had a span of six of seven seasons where he averaged over 20 points per game. Also, had a string of 10 out of 11 seasons of averaging over 18 points per game. 

    Malone finished his career averaging 19 points per game, 2.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, .6 steals, on 48.4 percent shooting, and 87.1 percent from the free throw line. 

    Scored 17,231 points in his career, while grabbing 2,364 rebounds, collected 2,154 assists, and 577 steals. 

    His best season came in 1989-1990 when he averaged 24.3 points, 3.2 assists, 2.7 rebounds, .6 steals, on 49.1 percent shooting, and 87.7 percent shooting. 

    Accolades include two all-star games, an All-Rookie First Team selection, and ranks 20th all-time in free throw percentage at 87.1 percent. 

7. World B. Free

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    World B. Free was another tremendous scorer averaging at least 20 points in eight straight seasons. He played 13 seasons in the NBA and in his career scored 17,955 points, dished out 3,319 assists, grabbed 2,430 rebounds, and had 910 steals. 

    For his career B. Free averaged 20.3 points, 3.7 assists, 2.7 rebounds, a steal, on 45.6 percent shooting, and 75.3 percent from the free throw line. Best season came in 1979-1980 when he averaged 30.2 points, 4.2 assists, 3.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals, on 47.4 percent shooting, and 75 percent from the free throw line. 

    Accolades include one All-Star selection, a Second Team All-NBA selection, ranks 35th all-time in free throw attempts, 39th all-time in free throws made, and 60th all-time in total points. 

6. Richie Guerin

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    Guerin played 13 season in the NBA. He was a solid all-around guard who could rebound but also dish the ball to open teammates. He spent just over seven years with the New York Knicks before being sent to the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks where he finished his career. 

    In his career Guerin scored 14,676 points, grabbed 4,278 rebounds, dished out 4,211 assists, on 41.6 percent shooting, and 78 percent from the free throw line. That came out to averages of 17.3 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. 

    His best season came in 1961-1962 when he averaged 29.2 points, 6.9 assists, 6.4 rebounds, on 44.2 percent shooting, and 82 percent from the free throw line. 

    Accolades include six all-star game selections, three Second Team All-NBA selections, and ranks 49th in free throws attempted, and 56th all-time in free throws made. 

5. Latrell Sprewell

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    If anything Sprewell was his own worst enemy. He went after one of his coaches and choked him (P.J. Carlesimo) can't say that anyone blames him. Considering what a worthless coach Carlesimo was and has been. 

    The other thing that got Sprewell fame was the fact he refused a contract from the Minnesota Timberwolves and basically stated "I've got feed my family." 

    Since, that was the last year on his contract, Sprewell has never played in the NBA since that contract expired. 

    When Sprewell was playing he was a good scorer and tremendous defender. He played 13 seasons in the NBA with three teams the Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks, and the Timberwolves. 

    Sprewell scored 16,712 points, grabbed 3,724 rebounds, dished out,3664 assists, had 1,294 steals, on 42.5 percent shooting, 33.7 percent from three, and 80.4 percent from the free throw line.

    He average 18.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1.4 steals for his career. Sprewell's best season came in 1996-1997 when he averaged 24.2 points, 6.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals, on 44.9 percent shooting, 35.4 percent from three, and 84.3 percent from the free throw line. 

    Accolades include four All-Star game selections, an All-Rookie Second Team selection, a First Team All-NBA selection, a Second Team All-Defensive selection, ranks 10th all-time in minutes played per game, 36th in three point field goals attempted, 44th in three pointers made, and 57th in total steals. 

4. Joe Dumars

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    Dumars played his entire 14 year career with the Detroit Pistons. He was on the "Bad Boy" Pistons team, but doesn't get nearly enough credit as he deserves. He played alongside Isiah Thomas and proved that a small backcourt could be effective in the NBA.

    He could score, pass the ball well, and was a lockdown defender. For his career he averaged 16.1 points, 4.5 assists, 2.2 rebounds, .9 steals, on 46 percent shooting, 38.2 percent from three, and 84.3 percent from the free throw line. In total he scored 16,401 points, dished out 4,612 assists, grabbed 2,203 rebounds, and had 902 steals. 

    His best season came in 1992-1993 when he averaged 23.5 points, 4 assists, 1.9 rebounds, a steal, on 46.6 percent shooting, 37.5 percent from three, and 86.4 percent from the free throw line. 

    Accolades include six All-Star game selections, a Finals MVP, a First Team All-Rookie selection, four First Team All-Defensive selections, two Second Team All-NBA selections, two Third Team All-NBA selections, has two championship rings, ranks 58th all-time in minutes played, 62nd all-time in three point field goals made, 63rd all-time in assists, 70th all-time in three point field goals attempted, and 73rd  all-time in three point field goal percentage.

3. Walter Davis

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    Davis played 15 years in the NBA and he started out his career with three straight seasons of averaging over 20 points per game. In his career he had six seasons of averaging 20 points per game. 

    For his career he scored 19,521 points, dished out 3,878 assists, grabbed 3,073 rebounds, had 1,280 steals, shot 51.1 percent from the field, and 85.1 percent from the free throw line. His career averages were 18.9 points, 3.8 assists, three rebounds, and 1.2 steals.

    His best season came in 1977-1978 when he averaged 24.2 points, six rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.4 steals, on 52.6 percent shooting, and 83 percent from the free throw line. 

    Accolades include six All-Star game selections, Rookie of the Year award, First Team All-Rookie selection, two Second Team All-NBA selection, ranks 32nd all-time in field goals, 40th all-time in field goal attempts, 44th all-time in total points, 61st all-time in steals per game, 61st all-time in steals per game, 62nd all-time in field goal percentage, and 77th all-time in total points. 

2. Fat Lever

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    One of the truly more underappreciated players in NBA history. One of the reasons is that he only played 11 seasons in his career, so it wasn't a very long career for Lever. 

    When he was healthy and played he contributed in every area of the game from scoring to being a pest on defense. He just missed being the number one player on this list. 

    Again his problem was a shortened career. He had only four seasons that were outstanding. 

    In his career he scored 10,433 points, dished out 4,696 assists, grabbed 4,523 rebounds, had 1,666 steals, on 44.7 percent shooting, and 77.1 percent from the free throw line. He averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 assists, 6 rebounds, and 2.2 steals in his short career. 

    His best season came in 1988-1989 when he averaged 19.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.9 assists, 2.7 steals, on 45.7 percent shooting, and 78.5 percent from the free throw line. 

    Accolades include two All-Star games, a Second Team All-NBA selection, a Second Team All-Defensive selection, ranks fifth all-time in steals, 19th all-time in steals, 44th all-time in assists per game, and 60th all-time in assists. 

1. Mitch Richmond

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    Richmond excelled at scoring started out his career with 10 straight seasons averaging over 20 points per game. He was underrated defensively as well even though the numbers don't reflect it. 

    Michael Jordan considered Richmond the toughest opponent that he went up against. That's a lot of praise for a player that spent a bulk of his career on underachieving teams. 

    In his career Richmond scored 20,497 points, grabbed 3,801 rebounds, dished out 3,398 assists, had 1211 steals, shot 45.5 percent from the field, 38.8 percent from three, and 85 percent from the free throw line. 

    Career averages were 21 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.2 steals. His best season came in 1988-1989 when he averaged 22 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists, a steal, on 46.8 percent shooting, 36.7 percent from three, and 81 percent from the free throw line. 

    Accolades include six All-Star game selections, Rookie of the Year Award, First Team All-Rookie selection, three time Second Team All-NBA selection, two Third Team ALL-NBA selection, a championship ring, 20th all-time in three point field goals, 30th all-time in three point field goals attempted, 37th all-time in field goals attempted, 38th all-time in total points, 40th all-time in points per game, 42nd dall-time in free throw percentage, 46th all-time in free throws, ranks 50th all-time in field goals, 52nd in three point field goal percentage, 61st all-time in free throw attempts, 66th all-time in minutes played, and 72nd total in steals.