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Game starts now.
56 | JERRY LUCAS
Jerry Lucas is not your typical baller. For starters, he’s a memory education expert. When he was in college, Lucas breezed on his academics and laid waste on his basketball foes. As far as post-basketball fallback goes, Lucas has got it covered. Lucas once said that he never had a special desire to play basketball. And I guess this is the reason why he’s ranked this low. Lucas finished his pro career with three All-NBA First Teams, one All-Star MVP, and seven All-Star appearances… and it could have been more if he didn’t waste his time with the business side of basketball early in his career. And while yeah, Lucas won a title as part of the Knicks, his numbers were career lows.
55 | CARMELO ANTHONY
In some ways, Carmelo Anthony is a throwback to 80s scorers like Alex English, Adrian Dantley, and even Dominique Wilkins. Melo is a ten-time All-Star and a six-time All-NBA Teamer. Anthony also led the league in scoring at one point. This is not bad, considering Melo got selected after Darko Milicic in the 2003 NBA Draft. I mean I know Tayshuan Prince is integral to Detroit’s third title but just imagine if Motor City had Anthony as their starting small forward! But then you hear tales about Melo supposedly being the third man in Miami’s Big Three instead of Chris Bosh and how he would rather take care of his future finances than hunt for a NBA ring (Darko has something he has yet to obtain) and it’s ironic, considering his draft stock rose when he led Syracuse to a NCAA title prior to the NBA Draft.
54 | CLYDE DREXLER
Clyde Drexler and Michael Jordan’s career paths are intertwined. If Jordan got selected by the Blazers as the second pick overall in the 1984 NBA Draft instead of Sam Bowie, will Glide be able to claim five All-NBA Teams and ten All-Stars? As it turned out, Drexler is Jordan’s main counterpart in the West and the Blazers became perennial title hunters under his leadership. But as far as individual and team glory go, Jordan’s existence sent Drexler to this lowly rank. Sure, both had insane scoring averages and a lot of 50-win seasons… but His Airness had it better. Jordan had ten All-NBA First Teams compared to Drexler’s one. And while Drexler did win a title, he did this as part of the Houston Rockets and in a time when Jordan was at the early stages of his first comeback.
53 | DOMINIQUE WILKINS
If Michael Jordan achieved Dunk King status with his aerial acrobatics, Dominique Wilkins got his notoriety by savagely jamming the ball in the rim. Up to this day, The Human Highlight Film is considered as the greatest Atlanta Hawk in the modern era. He is a seven-time All-NBA Teamer… one of which is a First Team citation. He also had nine All-Star appearances apart from participating in five Slam Dunk Contests (winning two). Wilkins enjoyed a lengthy stint as superstar but his star began to decline when he was traded to the LA Clippers. He would then play for three other NBA teams as well as trips to Greece and Italy. It’s also important to note that Nique was already 35 when he was traded to the Clips which in some ways made sense for the Hawks… if Danny Manning didn’t leave for Phoenix after that season.
To be continued.