The Worst NBA Players Currently Playing That Were Drafted In The 90s
Some of the NBA players that were drafted back in the 90s and are currently active in the league have managed to retain a very high level in their game. However, some others have been struck by injuries or the wear and tear that aging brings along. Let’s examine which of the players that were drafted in the 90s are currently just shadows of themselves, of the players they used to be back then.
We start our list with Steve Nash, because he is one of the greatest examples of how age affects a player’s ability to compete with the fresher and younger athletes, especially in the backcourt positions. Although Nash is still considered as one of the playmakers with the best quality and the highest basketball IQ, he is currently underperforming. His landing in LA signaled the end of a legendary era with the Phoenix Suns. It also was the beginning of a long battle against injuries. The 39-year old point guard is still trying to find his touches after one year in the City of Angels. However, this season he is expected to play even less minutes, as the Head Coach of the team, Mike D’Antoni, stated. Although he can be a factor for the Lakers this season, it’s obvious that Nash is not the player he used to be. He is not even close to the dominant point guard he once was.
Jermaine O’Neal is a player that was surging during almost a decade ago, when he was a member of the Indiana Pacers. For six consecutive seasons he averaged 19.0 points per game or more, to go along with 8.8 rebounds or more. Last season he played in just 55 games and started in four with the Phoenix Suns, while he averaged 8.3 points per contest and 5.3 rebounds. The 35-year old center has suffered a series of injuries throughout his career, which affected his performance and his ability to play at the highest level.
Chauncey Billups once was a brilliant guard for the Detroit Pistons. He won the NBA Finals MVP award in 2004, the year when he also won his first and only championship ring with Detroit. During the 2013 offseason he decided to come back to his former team and signed a two-year contract with the Pistons. Although he is still very capable when he plays, the most significant problem for him is that his health condition doesn’t often allow him to play. During the last three seasons he appeared in just 63 games combined. If he manages to sustain his health then he can be a solid player. Until he proves this can happen, he is just considered unreliable.
The cases of Vince Carter, Derek Fisher and Rashard Lewis are also noticeable. All three have seen a drastic drop in their performances in comparison to what they were able to give to their teams when they were at their best.