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Chiwas
11-05-2004, 10:24 AM
Loud-mouthed Martin heads overrated list

Charley Rosen / Special to FOXSports.com

Even though elite NBA players cost about a billion dollars a dozen these days, there's no such thing as a perfect player.

Bill Russell couldn't shoot, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar couldn't shoot with his left hand, Larry Bird couldn't guard anybody one-on-one, Magic Johnson couldn't guard anybody none-on-one and Michael Jordan couldn't shoot with his left foot.

Even so, the flaws in some players' games have traditionally been ignored because of the numbers they produce, and because of their obvious talents. But numbers can be misleading, and talent is not enough to measure a player's true value.

At the heart of the matter is the very essence of what professional basketball is all about.

Are spectacular highlights and impressive numbers the goal? Or is the long season all about winning? Except for some hardcore Kobe Bryant enthusiasts, the answer should be obvious.

So, then, let's take a look at some of the NBA most celebrated players who despite what they might say when the red light is turned on and a microphone is shoved in their faces care more about accomplishing personal rather than team goals.


1. Kenyon Martin, Nuggets
It wasn't so very long ago that both the players and the referees were privately complaining that K-Mart was out of control. He was a cheap-shot artist who clobbered opponents at every opportunity, mindless of the physical (and potentially career-ending) injuries he could cause. Since the refs were the ones with the whistles, they simply began tagging flagrant fouls on Martin when his macho-fouls were borderline dangerous. Since then, he's mostly refrained from his most vicious hits but he remains out of control in other ways.

For NBA watchers in the know, it's a player's performance in the postseason that reveals his true nature. In the championship series of 2002, the Lakers had a 3-0 lead over the Nets. Martin was doing an excellent impersonation of the Invisible Man, and New Jersey was clearly overmatched and incapable of beating the Lakers. Game 4, then, was played in New Jersey and was ultimately meaningless.

That's when K-Mart busted loose for 35 points (the Lakers won 113-107, in a garbage-time game that they controlled throughout). Afterward, Martin was doing his usual puffing-and-preening routine for the media and in the flush of his own stat line, Martin accused his teammates of lacking heart.

Fast forward one year to the Nets-Spurs championship confrontation. In the closing moments of Game 3, K-Mart failed to box out Tim Duncan, allowing T.D. to snare a missed free throw by Tony Parker and the Spurs to score a bucket that iced the game. The teams had split the initial four games during which K-Mart had missed more than 58 percent of his shots and the critical Game 5 was in New Jersey. Claiming that he was sick, Martin had an abysmal game scoring two points and committing eight turnovers.

Several former players and coaches were fuming at Martin's showing. Should a player get sick in the finals, he had to dig deep within himself to find the sheer courage and will-power to compete. Was Martin any sicker than Michael Jordan was against Utah in the fifth game of the 1997 finals?

Martin is little more than an arrogant loudmouth who loses his voice under pressure.


2. Chris Webber, Kings
He's a likeable person and extremely intelligent, but Webber was spoiled by all the Fab Five hype at Michigan. He has to be the center of attention, so he gets upset whenever a play is called that doesn't go through him. And notice how he'll fondle the ball and cast longing eyes at the basket before passing. Also, whenever a crucial game is on the line, C-Web would rather shoot mid-range jumpers than battle his way hoopward and possibly get banged. That's why Webber's shooting percentage diminishes as a game proceeds.

This guy is a loser, and his affliction is contagious.


3. Baron Davis, Hornets
Another ball hog more concerned with his own accomplishments than his team's success. Sure, Davis has genuine All-Star talent, but the debit side of his ledger is overwhelming: horrible shot selection, an inferior shooting percentage, careless turnovers, unnecessary showboating, and a blissful ignorance of the general principles of five-on-five basketball.

Davis has the gall to demand a trade because the Hornets are a bad ball club. Yet he refuses to accept his own responsibility for their sad-sack status.

For many years, NBA'ers from UCLA have gained the reputation of being unbearably arrogant. From Henry Bibby to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, from the young Gail Goodrich to the young Bill Walton, Davis has been mindlessly subsumed by a long-standing Bruin tradition.

Time for Davis to point the finger at himself.


4. Allen Iverson, Sixers
He shoots too much, misses too much, dribbles too much, and is generally mesmerized by the ball. When Iverson is on the floor, his teammates are reduced to spectators. They know that they'll get the ball only when Iverson's headstrong ventures into the paint are jammed by collapsing defenders who render him shotless.

OK, so he's tough and his posse is deep. But Iverson should study the Jackson-Winter triangle offense. Instead of depending on mucho-macho players challenging the teeth of a defense, a better idea is to draw a defender by moving away from the pressure and then sending a player into the vacated space.

Both MJ and Shaq had each played six NBA seasons without winning a championship and each embarked on their multiple title trips only after being introduced to, and embracing, the necessity of playing with an unselfish mindset.

After eight years in the NBA, A.I. still doesn't get it. And it sure looks like he never will.


5. Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
The NBA's new poster-manchild, Anthony's adolescent attitude, petulant whining, inept defense, and insistence on shooting whenever the spirit moves him are all emblematic of the me-first mindset that plagues so many of the league's youngsters. But pity poor Melo because he's merely a victim of the superstar syndrome.

The trouble starts in junior high school, where superior hooplings are recruited (in public and on the sly) by agents, sneaker manufacturers, AAU teams, and even colleges. Adults who should know better solidify their influence over these kids by telling what great players they are, and how much greater they will become if they sign up with the right people. Should one of these pumped up youngsters have a bad game, well, then, it's always somebody else's fault his teammates, his coach, or the referees.

Hey, kid. Want a free sweatsuit, free sneakers, and a free trip to play in a tournament in Paris? Stick with me, kid, and I'll make you a multi-millionaire.

It's time for Anthony to wake up and smell the burning odor of an excellent career already headed for the incinerator.


6. Vince Carter, Raptors
He's low on the list only because he's already been outed. Carter is a billion-dollar talent with a two-bit brain. He's another one who wants to escape from a mess of his own making. Perhaps if Carter played with some backbone, if he bothered to differentiate an X from an O, if he understood that the scoreboard was more important than the stat sheet then the Raptors wouldn't be such a pitiful franchise.


7. Carlos Boozer, Jazz
Strictly a role player, Boozer is tenacious on the boards and makes swift and appropriate cuts to the basket. At the same time, his reactions on defense are so slow that he's forever battling foul trouble. He has limited range on his jumper (15-18 feet), and aside from putbacks, his only other offensive tools are turnaround jumpers over either shoulder. Attentive defensive pressure will cause him to give the ball away. In the clutch, count on Boozer to miss jumpers and free throws.

Boozer can be a useful piece on a well coached ball club, but he's not the star-power player he's too often given credit for being.


Dishonorable mention
Kobe Bryant, Elton Brand, Stephon Marbury, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Keith Van Horn, Jamal Mashburn, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Glenn Robinson, Darius Miles, and Peja Stojakovic.

In the wonderful world of the NBA, all that glitters is probably gold-plated.

seal614
11-05-2004, 10:46 AM
what a stupid article. sure these guys are overrated but so many damn nba players are.

AI is still a former MVP, overrate that.

- Brian

GP
11-05-2004, 11:52 AM
I agree with a lot of what he says about these guys with a few exceptions. I don't remember anyone ever proclaiming Boozer to be the messiah, but damned he looked like a player in that Jazz uniform against the lakers. How can you put Garnett on the Dishonorable mention category. Along with Kirilinko he may be the best defensive player in the league. Last year he averaged 24 & 13. This year he already has a 28 point 20 rebound 5 block game and last nights game he got 15 boards. Rosen can't possibly think there are more than a couple of players better than KG right now, can he? Baron Davis is just about my new least favorite player. Rosen was right on him.

poohrichardson
11-05-2004, 06:31 PM
Garnett, overrated? He's in the top 0.1% of the players on the planet.. and the only player in the league that you can make an argument for as being better is Duncan (although I personally think Garnett is the best in the league).

I agree with Martin though. He's so one-dimensional (highlight reel dunks) it's disgusting to watch.

Fidel
11-06-2004, 05:36 AM
Great list. Excellent choices. Iverson should have been ranked higher though.

sike
11-06-2004, 09:35 AM
with the exception of Martin, everyone of these guys can and do take over and win a game for his team....this list is fairly subjective and silly.

rakesh.s
11-06-2004, 09:58 AM
this list is sweet except for carlos boozer....i think he is capable of 20,15 on any given night and he shoots well over 50%.

all the other guys are whiners and losers that can't put up when it matters the most

Chiwas
11-06-2004, 12:20 PM
Dishonorable mention
Kobe Bryant, Elton Brand, Stephon Marbury, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Keith Van Horn, Jamal Mashburn, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Glenn Robinson, Darius Miles, and Peja Stojakovic.
With the exception of Garnett, this list is very accurate, in my opinion. They are good players but very overrated; Gasol and Peja above all.

rakesh.s
11-06-2004, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by: Chiwas

Dishonorable mention
Kobe Bryant, Elton Brand, Stephon Marbury, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Keith Van Horn, Jamal Mashburn, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Glenn Robinson, Darius Miles, and Peja Stojakovic.
With the exception of Garnett, this list is very accurate, in my opinion. They are good players but very overrated; Gasol and Peja above all.

I have a feeling that garnett was on this list because he is making 30 mill a year which eats up more than 50% of the cap for just one player.

dalmations202
11-06-2004, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by: rakesh.s

Originally posted by: Chiwas

Dishonorable mention
Kobe Bryant, Elton Brand, Stephon Marbury, Kevin Garnett, Pau Gasol, Keith Van Horn, Jamal Mashburn, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Glenn Robinson, Darius Miles, and Peja Stojakovic.
With the exception of Garnett, this list is very accurate, in my opinion. They are good players but very overrated; Gasol and Peja above all.

I have a feeling that garnett was on this list because he is making 30 mill a year which eats up more than 50% of the cap for just one player.

That and the fact that he doesn't make the players around him stars. TD, Shaq, even Kidd have been to the final with players that are then called stars after they get to the finals, or no names altogether. KG spends 6 years leaving the playoffs in the first round, and then spends a year with two All-Stars being added to the team, and still can't get to the finals. Yet, people say he is the MVP. Marketing, Marketing, Marketing, and some opinion of being over-rated. I can see where they are coming from.

FilthyFinMavs
11-06-2004, 03:39 PM
Originally posted by: sike
with the exception of Martin, everyone of these guys can and do take over and win a game for his team....this list is fairly subjective and silly.

You pretty much summed it up for me. I want the time I took reading this back.