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Top 10 players who never made it to an NBA All-Star team

Byron Scott playing for the LA Lakers: Getty Images
Byron Scott playing for the LA Lakers: Getty Images

Not making an NBA All-star team is not always a case of a player's lack of pedigree or quality. Most of the time, it is often a case of bad timing. In this article, we will take a look at the Top 10 players who never made it to the NBA All-star team.

Top 10 players who never made it to an NBA All-star team

Circumstances can dictate a player's chances of making it to an NBA All-star roster in his conference.

Shooting guards in the Eastern Conference during the late 1980s and the 1990s who were not named Michael Jordan, Reggie Miller or Joe Dumars found it extremely difficult to find a place in the NBA All-star team.

Eminent power forwards during the early 2000s in the Western Conference - Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Webber and Rasheed Wallace - did not always make it to an NBA All-Star game. So one can see that an ASG selection is not always dependent on the quality of a player.

On that note, let's have a look at the top 10 players who were conspicuous by their absence in an All-Star roster.


#10 Sam Perkins

Sam Perkins with the Seattle Supersonics
Sam Perkins with the Seattle Supersonics

Though Sam Perkins ventured deep into the NBA Playoffs on numerous occasions and was part of great teams, he was never selected to an NBA All-star team, which was really unfortunate.

During his 17-year NBA career, Perkins excelled for the Dallas Mavericks and the LA Lakers but an All-Star selection remained elusive for the player.

From 1985-86, the then 24-year-old averaged 15 points and eight rebounds on 47% from the field for eight seasons. These were solid numbers, but apparently not NBA All-star worthy.

Perkins was usually the third or fifth-best option in his team. Of course, that was because he had the likes of Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Adrian Dantley, Derek Harper, Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Byron Scott as his teammates.

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#9 Marcus Camby

San Antonio Spurs vs New York Knicks
San Antonio Spurs vs New York Knicks

Marcus Camby's defensive abilities were highly renowned in the NBA as he was selected four times to the All-defensive NBA teams during his career and also won one NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. However, like the others in this list, he never made an NBA All-Star team.

Not making an NBA All-star game in 17 years did not mean that Camby's career was lackluster; it was perhaps a case of good but not good enough.

If his progression would have been a little better and he was able to build from the great rookie season he had (career-high 14.8 points), things could have been different for him. Camby never played in outstanding teams; he reached the NBA Finals in 1999, but his New York Knicks team were an eight-seed that got hot during the Playoffs.

Camby's best season was in 2006-07 with the Denver Nuggets for whom he averaged a double-double and won the Defensive Player of the Year recognition.

#8 Mike Bibby

Mike Bibby's last chance for a ring was with the Miami Heat.
Mike Bibby's last chance for a ring was with the Miami Heat.

Though Mike Bibby was the main playmaker for a thrilling and dynamic Sacramento Kings team, he had no selections in an NBA All-star game during his career; like with many others in this list, it was probably a case of bad timing instead of repeated snubs.

Bibby was a solid player in the NBA, at least from the numbers' standpoint. From his rookie year in the 1998-99 season to the 2006-07 campaign, he averaged 16.8 points and six assists per game on 44% shooting and 37% from three.

His best NBA season was in 2005-06 when he made 21 points and five assists per game. But the Western Conference All-star team that season had the likes of Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and Ray Allen in the guard position, which meant that Bibby missed out.

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#7 Arvydas Sabonis

Arvydas Sabonis
Arvydas Sabonis

Arvydas Sabonis' NBA career might have started at the wrong time as he was 31 and probably not at his physical peak at the start of the 1995-96 season.

Nevertheless, Sabonis was a solid basketball player in the NBA as was the case during his superstar career in Europe. The big Lithuanian man played seven NBA seasons and averaged 12 points and seven rebounds on 50% shooting. He had his best NBA season in 1997-98 when he averaged a double-double with 16 points and ten rebounds, numbers that were certainly worthy of being an NBA All-star player.

However, the big-man cast in the Western Conference NBA All-Star in 1998 comprised of Shaquille O'Neal, David Robinson, Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone and Tim Duncan. The only player whom Sabonis could have beaten for a spot in that All-Star team was Seattle Supersonics' Vin Baker, but Baker had better numbers than Sabonis, and Seattle was a top-2 seed in the West.

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#6 Toni Kukoc

Toni Kukoc won three NBA titles with the Bulls from 1996 to 1998.
Toni Kukoc won three NBA titles with the Bulls from 1996 to 1998.

Three-time NBA champion with the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, Toni Kukoc, who was stellar when his team needed him, was a solid NBA talent but not quite an NBA All-star.

Kukoc's career numbers in the NBA were 11.6 points, four rebounds and four assists per game; he started 259 of his 846 games in the competition.

He won the 1995-96 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award when the Bulls won 72 games, but his personal best season was in 1998-99 when he averaged 18.8 points, seven rebounds and five assists per game.

There was no NBA All-star game during that shortened lockout season. Besides, the Bulls were an underwhelming team and were not in the spotlight anymore after Jordan retired for the second time. So Kukoc's chances of an All-Star selection were slim anyway.

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#5 Byron Scott

Bryan Scott won three championships with the LA Lakers.
Bryan Scott won three championships with the LA Lakers.

Byron Scott was a solid player for the 1980s LA Lakers, but he could never find a spot in an NBA All-star game.

Since entering the league with Arizona State in 1983-84, Scott averaged 16 points, three rebounds and three assists per game, but an NBA All-star spot remained elusive for him.

His career-best came in the 1987-88 season when he averaged 21 points, four rebounds and four assists while playing 81 games on 52% shooting, numbers that could have merited an NBA All-star selection for most players.

However, the eventual 1988 NBA champions LA Lakers already had three NBA All-star players in Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy, making it tough for Scott to get in. Still, Scott probably should have been in the NBA All-Star team in place of Alvin Robertson, but the San Antonio Spurs' guard got in despite having stats that were arguably inferior to Scott's.

#4 Purvis Short

Purvis Short was a solid scorer in the NBA.
Purvis Short was a solid scorer in the NBA.

Purvis Short's presence in this list is not a case of the player having a better career than the likes of Toni Kukoc, Arvydas Sabonis or Byron Scott. However, his 1984-85 season with the Golden State Warriors, a struggling team back then, should have merited him an NBA All-star spot

Short averaged 28 points per game with the Warriors, with five rebounds and three assists per game. While the Warriors only won 22 games that campaign, Short's season was stunning. However, the West's small forwards in the NBA All-star that season were Adrian Dantley and Alex English, two members of the Hall of Fame.

Short career averages were not poor either; he averaged 17 points, four rebounds, and three assists on 47% shooting.

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#3 Ron Harper

Ron Harper with the Cavs
Ron Harper with the Cavs

Though Ron Harper is remembered for winning five NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls and the LA Lakers from 1996 to 2001, he was practically a 20-5-5 player in the first eight years of his career, though those years did not include team success.

With the Cleveland Cavaliers and the LA Clippers, Harper had averages of 19 points, five rebounds and five assists per game in 532 games, numbers that could have brought him an NBA All-star appearance.

His best season was in the 1989-90 campaign when he started with Cleveland and then was traded to the Clippers for Danny Ferry and Reggie Williams. During that campaign, he averaged 22.8 points, six rebounds and five assists per game.

Nevertheless, he did not appear in the NBA All-star game as the guards for the West comprised of the likes of Magic Johnson, Clyde Drexler, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Kevin Johnson and even Fat Lever and Rolando Blackman.

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#2 Rod Strickland

Rod Strickland was a great finisher close to the basket.
Rod Strickland was a great finisher close to the basket.

Rod Strickland was known for his unique finishes around the basket and for being a highly talented dribbler. However, an NBA All-star appearance never happened for the talented point guard.

Strickland's career averages - 13 points and seven assists per game - were impressive during his 16-year career, and he had tremendous seasons during his peak.

His best years were between 1990 and 1999 when he put up numbers of 16 points and nine assists per game. He even led the league in assists in the 1997-98 season with 18 points, 10 assists and five rebounds per game, but the Washington Wizards missed the NBA Playoffs by just one game.

During the 1998 NBA ASG, the guards for the East were Michael Jordan, Penny Hardaway, Reggie Miller, Tim Hardaway and Steve Smith, which meant that despite his style of play and touch, Strickland missed out.

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#1 Cedric Maxwell

Larry Bird and Cedric Maxwell
Larry Bird and Cedric Maxwell

From 1978 to 1982, Cedric Maxwell averaged 16.5 points per game in the small forward position on 58% shooting.

During that stretch, Maxwell was the 1981 NBA Finals MVP with the Boston Celtics, averaging 18 points and ten rebounds per game while leading the team in both categories. However, there was no NBA All-star game for him despite conjuring such numbers for a big team.

Maxwell had his best year in his second season in the NBA when he averaged 19 points and ten rebounds per game while leading the league in FG with 58% and in offensive rating with 121. Surely an NBA All-star appearance could have been in the cards but was not to be.

During that year, he probably deserved NBA All-star recognition, but the timing was not right for him as the two leading small forwards in the East at the time were Julius Erving and George Gervin who played in the semi-finals that year and made the NBA All-star team as well.

Most of the other small forwards during that year's NBA All-star game - Bob Dandridge or Campy Russell for example - had better numbers than Maxwell. The timing was just not right for him.

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Also read: NBA Trade Rumors: How Philadelphia 76ers can get rid of Al Horford's bad contract in exchange for Andrew Wiggins.

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Edited by Bhargav
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