For basketball fans, it’s always interesting to wonder what could have been if things were different. To be honest, all of the players on this list were certainly capable of being great in their careers but just couldn’t put it all together for one reason or another.
Below is our list of former NBA players who could have been great but ultimately, were a bust.
Arvydas Sabonis was a great player in Europe, and he was pretty good in the NBA. But he could have been so much better if he’d put his head down and worked harder.
He had all the talent in the world—he could shoot, pass, and dribble, he was an amazing rebounder, he had long arms that made it difficult for defenders to block shots or steal the ball from him, he had quick feet that allowed him to get around defenders easily, but when injuries sidelined him too often (and they did), those skills faded away and all that was left were memories of what could’ve been.
It might make you wonder how all of the current NBA players who formally played in Europe have fared in their transition, and how their NBA teams have done since they joined. Look into it further and see for yourself how hard it is to transition to NBA!
In fact, some people might even consider this a factor when trying to determine a team’s odds to win a certain game or what good betting odds might be. After all, enthusiasts should consider all things when deciding who to bet on and should always look for more information.
Harold Miner was a former NBA player who played for the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Clippers. He had a good career, but he could have been great if he didn’t have such an attitude problem.
He was arrested for assault in 2001 and was later charged with domestic violence against his wife in 2002. After being suspended from basketball for two years due to these incidents, Miner decided to hang up his sneakers at age 29, instead of trying to get back into the game again as an older player who had already peaked (which is what happened).
Stackhouse was a great scorer and athlete. He had a good jump shot and was able to get to the rim at will. He was also a good defender, which made him one of the most complete players in the league during his prime years.
Stackhouse had all of these skills, but he never reached his full potential because he didn’t have the right coach or teammates around him to help take his game to another level. If Stackhouse had played with some other stars on their teams (for example, Michael Jordan), then maybe things would’ve worked out differently for him as an NBA player.
Shawn Bradley was a 7-foot-6 center who played for the Dallas Mavericks. In addition to being the tallest player in NBA history (the second tallest was Manute Bol), he had a long career and appeared in more than 1,000 games. But his numbers were underwhelming: 8 points per game and 6 rebounds. In fact, many consider him one of the biggest busts ever because he was drafted second overall after Shaquille O’Neal and before Alonzo Mourning. He certainly wasn’t a breakout player.
Greg Oden was the #1 pick in the 2007 NBA draft and a 7-foot-tall center who could jump out of the gym. Unfortunately, his career never got off the ground due to an array of injuries and surgeries on both knees. He had microfracture surgery on his right knee in 2009, then another one on his left knee in 2013. He also tore ligaments in each foot during separate incidents while trying to play through pain, as well as having arthroscopic surgery done on both shoulders (one before he even left Ohio State University).
Oden didn’t pan out as expected. He missed all but 82 games over six seasons with Portland Trail Blazers before being traded away after just two years with them.
Kwame Brown was the first overall pick of the 2001 NBA draft, but he had a very disappointing career. He was drafted by the Washington Wizards and played for seven teams in his career before retiring in 2013 with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Brown was supposed to be an elite center who could dominate on both ends of the floor. However, he never truly developed into that type of player and instead, became known as one of basketball’s biggest busts ever.
If you’re a fan of basketball, then you know that there are a lot of great players in the NBA. In fact, it’s part of the reason that the NBA is such a huge industry. However, there are also some players who could have been great but weren’t due to various reasons, such as injuries or personal issues. The truth about it is, not everyone can be one of the greats.