19. Mark Eaton
The 7-foot-4 Eaton stood tall as one of the league’s premier shot blockers for over a decade. In totality, Eaton wasn’t much more than a big center who could protect the rim. Having never averaged double-digits in scoring over a full season, Eaton may hold the mantle as the least impressive scorer in All-Star Game history. Playing alongside Hall of Famers Karl Malone and John Stockton certainly helped his case.
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18. Dale Davis
A crucial player in Indiana’s rotation for nine seasons, Davis elevated from his role player status in 2000 when he was selected by the coaches to represent the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game. Davis was a hard-nosed grinder who made winning plays, but hardly flashed the skill-set of a premier big man. In the ensuing offseason, the Pacers traded their All-Star for a promising power forward named Jermaine O’Neal.
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17. Tyrone Hill
1995 was a strange year for All-Star participants. Michael Jordan’s foray in the baseball world left a spot open in the East, likely filled by lifetime journeyman Dana Barros who boasts career averages of 10.5 PPG and 3.3 APG (20.6 PPG and 7.5 APG in 1995). Second-year studs Penny Hardaway and Vin Baker, and eventual 1995 Rookie of the Year Grant Hill also made their first appearances in February’s big game. The East’s fifth first-time inclusion was Cleveland’s Hill, who left plenty to be desired in the statistical department. Hill did average career highs in points and rebounds in 1995, but 13.8 points with 10.9 rebounds is nothing to write home about.
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16. Lionel Hollins
The former Grizzlies and Nets head coach was the starting point guard for the Portland Trail Blazers the year the franchise captured its lone NBA title. Playing alongside Bill Walton helped elevate the 24-year-old Hollins into the spotlight. Following the championship run, Hollins went on to make the All-Star team the very next year. Although Hollins eventually made two All-Defensive teams over his career, he enjoyed a rather pedestrian playing career which saw him traded from Portland just two years after helping them secure a championship.
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15. Kevin Willis
Willis was a serviceable NBA rotation player for a remarkable 23 seasons. Willis was drafted in the same year as Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan, and retired the year prior to Greg Oden and Kevin Durant being selected. Talk about longevity. Willis had a few good seasons mixed in his tenure, including his All-Star year which he averaged 18.3 points and 15.5 rebounds for a middling Atlanta Hawks squad. It was nice to see the career journeyman get some recognition, but Willis’ career was far from outstanding.
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14. BJ Armstrong
A three-time NBA champion, Armstrong was indisputably the most athletically-gifted point guard to play in a backcourt with Michael Jordan. That didn’t translate to on-court production. Jordan could have carried two dozen different point guards to NBA Finals appearances during his era. Armstrong scratched his only All-Star squad in 1994 during Jordan’s run with the Chicago White Sox of the MLB. With notable snubs such as Mark Price and Kenny Anderson left off the roster, Armstrong’s inclusion is even more puzzling.
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13. Brad Miller
Miller burst onto the scene in 2003 when he made his first All-Star team as a member of the Indiana Pacers. Making it as an All-Star in the East is one thing, but Miller bested himself the very next year when he made the squad yet again playing for the Sacramento Kings. Miller was a solid big who could pass the rock, though the only reason he was thrust into a starting role was due to the injury of All-NBA forward Chris Webber. When you consider Miller was playing 36 minutes a night, his 14.1 PPG and 10.3 RPG looks far less imposing.
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12. Theo Ratliff
Let’s be honest here, the only reason Ratliff ever made an All-Star team was because he played with Allen Iverson. 2001 was the peak of Iverson’s time in Philadelphia. The 76ers were the top-seed in the Eastern Conference, and eventually made it all the way to the NBA Finals where they ran into the juggernaut Los Angeles Lakers. During that season, Ratliff made the East roster as a reserve. He wasn’t much more than a shot blocker who fed Iverson on the offensive end. A key player, but hardly All-Star caliber.
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11. Antonio Davis
The All-Star Game is a polarizing event for many of the NBA’s stars. While it’s reassuring to know the fans, your peers, and the coaches respect your place among the league’s best, the weekend of festivities can be a bit tiring in the middle of the long season. Players pull out of the game all the time due to injuries, which opens up spots for guys who didn’t originally make the cut. In 2001, an astonishing four All-Stars were replaced due to injury. Davis made the cut due to his role on one of the league’s most fascinating teams (Vince Carter’s Toronto Raptors). He received the least amount of fan votes among every player who played in the All-Star Game that year.
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10. Roy Hibbert
For a brief moment, Indiana’s Hibbert appeared to be ascending the ranks of top NBA centers. It was a dark time for the position, as Dwight Howard was really the only sure-fire Hall of Famer among all centers in the league. Hibbert’s relevance stemmed from the Pacers being one of the best teams in the league, and the lone competitor to LeBron James’ Heat in the Eastern Conference. The 7-footer averaged just 6.6 RPG when he made the All-Star squad in 2014. Just three years later, he was completely out of the league.
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9. Kevin Duckworth
Duckworth somehow made two All-Star appearances as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. He was a solid offensive player who could score from the post, but lacked the defensive and rebounding ability to truly make him a star. Truth be told, the only reason he even made the team in 1991 was because Hakeem Olajuwon was forced out due to injury.
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8. Rickey Green
Green’s 1984 All-Star season is certainly nothing to scoff at. The savvy point guard posted solid numbers, averaging 13.2 points, 9.2 assists, and a league-leading 2.7 steals. What keeps Green on this list is everything he did for the rest of his career. Green was reduced to a bench role just four seasons after making his lone All-Star appearance, and boasts a career-high average of just 14.8 PPG. Considering the Utah Jazz didn’t start peaking until after Green left and John Stockton took over, it’s difficult to exclude him from the ranking.
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7. Jamaal Magloire
Years from now, we will have to explain to our grandchildren just how Magloire made an All-Star team in a Western Conference which featured Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Shaquille O’Neal, Karl Malone, Pau Gasol, Chris Webber, and Carmelo Anthony. Yes, Magloire enjoyed a career year in 2004, acting as a space-eater and pick-setter for a promising young star in Chris Paul. He also sports career averages of 7.2 PPG and 6.5 RPG – those are numbers Shaq, Timmy and KG could put up in a quarter.
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6. Bill Cartwright
Cartwright is the only player featured on this list to have made an All-Star team in his rookie season. The 7-foot-1 California native was a big deal coming out of the University of San Francisco. He was picked third by a reeling Knicks team – whose coach at the time was Hall of Famer Willis Reed. Cartwright played well in his first year, averaging an impressive 21.7 PPG and 8.9 RPG. That’s where the good times stopped. Cartwright would go on to feature to win three titles as a member of the Bulls, but he wasn’t much more than a decent player who put up good stats on a bad team.
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5. Christian Laettner
At one time the most hated player in basketball, the former Blue Devil was once a highly-touted prospect who featured on the 1992 Olympic ‘Dream Team’. Laettner was selected third overall in 1992, and came out of the gates strong averaging 18.2 PPG and 8.7 RPG as a rookie. In 1997, as an Atlanta Hawk, Laettner finally broke through and secured an All-Star spot. It was all downhill from there, though. He was traded to Detroit in 1999, and missed almost the entire season due to injury that year. Laettner went on to average just 9.3 PPG and 5.5 RPG over the next eight seasons until he made a quiet exit from the league. After winning two NCAA titles, it’s safe to say Laettner peaked in college.
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4. Jayson Williams
Williams’ career arc is incredibly tragic. After being selected in the first round of 1990, Williams failed to find his spot in the league. The original team who drafted him, the Philadelphia 76ers, gave up on the 7-foot center just two years into his career. It wasn’t until 1998, Williams’ age-29 season, when he finally started to put things together. Williams was second in the league in RPG that year (13.6) and helped the Nets increase their win total from the previous year by 17 games. He made the All-Star team alongside teammate Jason Kidd. Unfortunately, Williams would only play one more year in the league before being sent to prison for manslaughter. With career averages of 7.3 PPG and 7.5 RPG, it’s difficult to not include Williams on this list.
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3. Don Buse
For anybody unfamiliar with Buse, an apt comparison would be former Ohio State guard Aaron Craft being given the keys to an NBA team. Buse was an energizer on the defensive end, and really dug in on opposing guards. He averaged 4.1 steals per game in his final year in the ABA. However, he lacked the supreme talent one would expect from a professional point guard. Buse had the ball in his hands nearly every play, and still managed to score just 8.0 points per game during his All-Star season in 1977.
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2. Chris Gatling
Gatling’s career is the classic tale of a ‘flash in the pan’. After flaming out with the Warriors early in his career, Gatling landed on an awful Dallas Mavericks team where he managed to average 19.0 PPG and 7.9 RPG. Gatling was traded to New Jersey the very next year, and managed to start only 26 more games over the rest of his career. The Old Dominion product averaged just 9.8 points and 5.1 rebounds over his last five seasons.
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1. James Donaldson
Donaldson’s career in the NBA was so unremarkable, it’s a miracle he was able to even generate enough hype to be selected as an All-Star. He wasn’t a particularly bad player, but certainly boasted a skill-set unbecoming of an All-Star level talent. In 1988, the coaches picked Donaldson to represent the Western Conference with averages of 7.0 points and 9.3 rebounds. Those are backup numbers in today’s league. Sorry James, but what exactly were the coaches thinking?
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