Hero to Zero
Some players grow old gracefully. Even though they decline as they get older, they still produce some reasonable numbers and just slowly go downhill season by season. Examples Duncan, Nash, Garnett, Karl Malone.
Where some players almost in a year or two go from being great, to retiring or being buried on the bench. We will call these guys "Hero to Zero".
Allen Iverson -
I don't need to explain how great he was. All-Star, All NBA teams etc. Was virtually a 20+ppg scorer all his career until he got traded to the Pistons at age 33. Almost instantly within a season or so he fell out of favour with the Pistons and his career went downhill real fast. He played only 3 games with Memphis and 25 with Philly before he would never play again in the NBA.
At age 32 with the Nuggets he played in all 82 games and led the league in minutes while putting up 22.8ppg. By age 34 he was out of the league!!
Used to be one of my favourites. His best season was at age 27 where he averaged 22.4ppg. His future looked so bright as he could still continue to improve. At age 28 he signed that huge contract with the Magic. By age 32 he was just averaging 7.8 for the Wizards. Now aged 33 he scored just 5.2 for the Heat. In 11 playoff games he got just 47mins in 11 games. This season looks like being his last i would say. There is little to no chance he will be there for the playoffs this season.
Second overall pick his peak came at about 26-27 where he was averaging around 20.5ppg and 6.5 assists. By age 30-31, with Hawks, he was a liability that got worse and worse as he bounced around for a few more years with a few more teams. I think his name got him a few more years. He stopped being decent at age 31 with the Hawks and was a major liability after that, I still can't believe teams signed him.
These are just three examples of going from "Hero to Zero". Who else do you think would qualify ? (injuries aside: Penny, Yao, Roy etc)
Gilbert Arenas was zero to hero to zero.
Peja Stojakovic is the first name that comes to mind for me. Remember when he was in the running for MVP the year Garnett won it? Remember how quickly he declined afterwards?
Gilbert Arenas also comes to mind here. I think its pretty well established that he went from being a virtually unguardable offensive force to gambling with guns in the locker room and nosediving from there.
I agree 100% with your picks.
Few others to consider:
Steve Nash (too early?)
Vin Baker (no injury but seems to be alcohol induced decline); and
I'm gonna veto Nash. He has his last 50/40/90 season at age 35. was a double/double player at age 37 and, quite frankly, if you're 38 like him, and still a starting caliber player...you've aged pretty damn gracefully... he was .03 % away on his FG% from hitting 50/40/90 at age 38!
Shawn Kemp 6 time all star and 3 time All-NBA Second Team. Most remember Kemp as one of the two anchors to the Seattle Supersonics who lost in the finals to the Chicago Bulls. Kemp averaged 15 ppg or more from the 1990-91 season to the 1999-2000 season. Over the same stretch of seasons Kemp averaged double figure rebounds in 6 of them and never averaging less than 8.4.
After Kemp was traded to the Portland Trailblazers in the 2000-2001 season his game slumped and never recovered. That season Kemp averaged 6.5 ppg and 3.8 rpg (which tied for the worst of his career). Kemp spent two more seasons in the league after that one with Portland and the other with Orlando.
Kemp was a star in 1999-2000 and out of the league at the end of 2002-2003.
I don't think guys with serious injuries should count. Just the guys who lost confidence or seemingly got old overnight. I feel like arenas was more so due to injuries then a sudden loss of skill, think he had to have 2 or 3 surgeries and never got it back.
A player I think fits the bill is steve francis, was awesome in houston and a season or two in orlando then just fell off once traded to the knicks which is surprising considering thats one of the bigger market and i believe he shouldve been in his prime age wise. did he suffer any major injuries?
Sadly, Iverson's decline was sparked by his attitude and then his body started to break down.
I lost a lot of respect for Iverson when he sat out the playoffs while he was in Detroit because he was unhappy with his role with the team. That was the beginning of the end for him, IMO.
Actually Bibby had a few injuries that took all his explosiveness and especially his first step that used to be one of his best weapons, especially when playing the pick and roll.
Josh Howard is one that really comes to my mind. He was very underrated in college, was chosen with the last pick in the first round by the Dallas Mavericks, grow up in each of his first five years in the Nba and became and all star and the second offensive option for a contender. Then he was traded to Washington and has never been the same player.
Stephon Marbury, he's been an all star, was traded for Steve Nash who eventually became the MVP. I remember back then many people thinking NY got the best out of the trade and I'm pretty sure that at the time most of the Nba fans, if asked which one of the two would've been an hall of famer by the end of their career, would've said Marbury without thinking twice. Instead he was out of the league at 31.
Steve Francis. Injuries played a role here, but he had 3 All Star appearances in a row, the last one at 26 and by his 30th year he was out of the league, something nobody would ever think of in his early days, when he was known as Steve Franchise.
Turkoglu, well he had many good years, but declined all of a sudden after signing one of the worst contracts in the history of the league.
Devin Harris, was one of the most promising point guards in the league with Dallas, became an all star in his first season with the Nets, then got worse and worse every year.
Both Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon. Well maybe it's too much for Hinrich, but they showed lots of promises in their first year, bringing a young Bulls team far in the playoff. At least Hinrich was able to convert into a very good role player, but has never been the same offensively. Gordon went on to became one of the most overpaid players in the league and right now comes off the bench for the useless Bobcats.
1.Austin Croshere-Pacers front office and fans thought he would become a star, after he played pretty well in the playoffs ,which included a career high 40 against the 76'ers... ..
2.Danny Ferry-Ferry went from college hero to nba dud....Cleveland traded Ron Harper for the rights to Ferry,a guy some said would be cant miss nba star.....Ferry was an outstanding college player,but became known as a 1 dimensional shooter..
3.Steve Francis-His star started to flame out after Houston traded him..Alot of people said he was emotionally crushed after the deal,but put on a happy face when he was in public........
Stephon Marbury anyone? Ben Wallace had only one or two decent seasons after dominating Detroit on defense, so that was a pretty quick decline as well.
Since the average NBA career last less than 4 years total, I don't think it's a huge surprise when players numbers decrease over a 2, 3, or 4 year span.
True, but that figure is averaging hundreds of guys like Josh Selby, Sean May, Joe Alexander and others who's caliber of play effected their tenure as NBA players more than their bodies breaking down.
Marbury wasn't traded for Nash. Marbury was in the trade to the Knicks that had Antonio McDyess going to Phoenix. Nash Signed as a free agent that summer.
yeah, you're right, I read my post and it was misleading (sorry, english isn't my native language) anyways what I meant is they traded Marbury away and replaced him with Nash, and basically it meant they were giving up on Marbury and they thought Nash was better, which sounds obvious today, but Suns got a lot of criticism back then.
It is interesting seeing how guys age. Like Grant Hill was averaging 10 ppg until he was 39 and TMac averaged 10 points a game until he was 30.
when he was averaging 65 DNPs per season Mc Grady was putting up 25+. Maybe that wore him down possibly
.Glen Rice - he vanished
Glen Rice started declining well after his 30s, was a very good 6th man for the Knicks at 33 and really started his fall after that season, but didn't vanish at all.
Two that really disappeared are Big Dog and Antoine Walker, probably because both struggled to stay in shape. Honestly I don't remember about Robinson, but he must have had some kind of career ending injury, because his stats were pretty good until his last season (I'm not counting his cameo with the Spurs) and he didn't show any kind of decline. He's always been a terrific scorer, though probably not the best teammate. I used to love the Bucks with him, Cassell and Allen, with Karl on the bench that made all the way to the EC Finals. He was able to get a ring in his last season, I remember game 1 against Detroit in the finals, when San Antonio was struggling he ironically played great defense and gave 3 blocks, something he probable had never done before in his career (not the blocks, playing D). He retired at 32.
Walker was a great point forward, nicknamed the Genius, 3 times all-star, formed a great combo with Pierce, they brought Boston to the Eastern Conference finals after many years of mediocrity, but after that he got more recognition for his questionable decision making and shooting selection than for his accomplishments. After all, he still won a championship with the Heat as a sixth man, but he had already started his decline. By the age of 32 he was out of the league, though he tried to get back, playing shortly somewhere in South America and in the NBDL. He probably ate his way out of the league.