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5 of the worst NBA players to grace the court

Updated on May 30, 2013

Top 5 of the most forgettable players in recent memory

Most players can be useful when the simplest of opportunities fall on their lap. Even a strictly defensive player without an ounce of offense can accumulate some (garbage) points aka tip-ins, put-backs, and dunks. And they don't necessary have to drop in bunches in one full game. Just enough to shy away from establishing an ongoing meltdown marred by simple uncontested plays, that you ought to bury in those little offensive sequences; so a player can avoid the moniker 'miserable joke'.

That's what separates players like Felton Spencer, Mark West, Jon Koncack, and Jason Collins to players with no offense and nothing else.

Here are 5 of the worst players in modern era -

5) Mark Madsen P/F - 6'8 - 240lbs

Never particularly athletic, so being the mad dog Madsen meant he had to be aggressive. But too much aggression with little IQ shapes up as a major disaster. At least when he misses, there's a chance the ball can be re-possessed by an offensive rebound. Instead, he routinely bulldozes himself onto players, committing plenty of offensive charges. On a nightly basis, Madsen averages more fouls than scoring points; securing a severely negative ratio on the stat sheet. A massive let down to his team especially considering how poor of a scorer he is (2.2 ppg for his career).

If he's five feet away, and not knocking down players, often, the forward is whistled for travelling violation. When Madsen somehow evades those mis-haps, literally his feet has to be planted right underneath the rim, and still needing some space so he can nail it in at an average of 40%.

4) Jim Mccilvaine C - 7'1 - 260 lbs

When the easiest of scoring opportunities arose for Mccilvaine, seemingly, basketball rims either appeared compressed underneath a rock or they wildly rejected his shot attempts.

Mark Eaton had the stumbling hook shot tumble gently periodically, Mccilvaine tried to duplicate, but was forever too abysmal for the public viewers.

Surely this defiantly declares Mccilvaine to eligibly be a poorman's Mark Eaton on offense. Yikes.

3) Greg Kite C - 6'11 - 240 lbs

Kite was la suck on the offensive end in the 1980s. On put-back attempts (being his only offensive domain), far too constantly, spilling the ball to the wrong hands, implements one team is playing with four players against six.

Luckily his Celtic team never encountered more than a little disparity heading their way. Kite rode the pine as a 12th man off the bench after all, and not to be completely out done, managed to own one of the darndest pair of hands the game has seen.

2) Manute Bol C - 7'7 - 210 lbs

Averaging 3.1 ppg (37% shooting) was a career high in 1989. A 7'7 beanpole lacking serious mobility spells misery for one, yet a pleasure to behold for all around, subsequently prompted the utmost awkward shot attempts ever assembled, bricking off and around the rim in the ugliest fashion.

A given lay-in would be a high degree of difficulty, usually ending looking like a turnaround jump hook. There's no such thing as an easy field goal made for the Sudanese giant.

Being a teammate of his can be apprehensive and very frustrating. Bol had his little share of miracles in his time; under those bizarre circumstances, when the ball found it's way through the hoop, an eruption of sirens ignited the crowd into a state of euphoric frenzy.

1) Michael Ruffin P/F - 6'9 - 248 lbs

Arguably, there's no other player who committed more career personal fouls (942) than points in total (716), in his 9 year career. Staggering figures, unbelievable. That's an average of 1.7 pg and 2.3 p/f in 14 mins, equating a statistic of 4.3 ppg (40% shooting) and 5.7 fouls per 36 minutes.

In one 40 min game Ruffin posted 10 points (1 out of 5 shooting) and shot 8 out of 16 in free throws.

Obviously offense wasn't his forte, Ruffin was able to stick in the league due to his tenacity as a defensive player.


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    • RobSawyer profile image

      RobSawyer 4 years ago

      It's much easier for big men to stay in the league longer as teams usually just need players to fill those spots, but that foul/point ratio for Ruffin is incredible. It would be interesting to see if his "defense" was actually worth keeping him on the floor with all the free points he was giving away.

    • starbosa profile image

      starbosa 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      J - your jealousy must be killing you

    • Cliff Mendrez profile image

      Cliff Mendrez 4 years ago from Philippines

      Funny list! Jason Collins has been mentioned in the comments quite a few times but I don't think he should be on the list. He can't score and rebound well, yes. But he can play some pretty good defense in the post.

    • bisnar6665 profile image

      John 4 years ago from Irvine, California

      HAHAHAAHAA. Mad dog madsen. His bark was bigger than his bite....

    • starbosa profile image

      starbosa 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Maybe if it wasn't for Kidd, Jason Collins would be on my list.

    • profile image

      Jack 5 years ago

      Sorry, I meant Jason Collins. Somehow, he has managed to hang on in the NBA for 12 years. Despite being 7'0", he has averaged 3.8rpg. And 3.7ppg. It's a really tribute to Jason Kidd that he managed to lead the Nets to the Finals with this guy as his center.

    • profile image

      Jack 5 years ago

      Jared Collins.

    • profile image

      Elliott 5 years ago

      Phil Jackson. Completely uncoordinated gangle of arms whose only use was to try to block inbound passes. He sure can coach though!

      Luke Walton was really bad also at 5M per. Go figure!

    • starbosa profile image

      starbosa 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      I'm talking about the most inept and hopeless players ever offensively.

      Carlos Boozer didn't exactly pan out for the Bulls, in fact, he's been a disappointment. Boozer still averaged 16.2 ppg and nabbed 9 rpg and shot 52 percent from the floor in the past two years for the Bulls. These are respectable numbers. That's hardly a bad player in my view.

      Not one of the players that I have listed has more than a career of 6.6 points per 36 minutes. Eric Montross and Travis Knight's career average of 8.8 points and 10.1 points per 36 minutes, certainly tops the five players (listed on my article) in scoring production and proficiency.

      Montross being the defensive big and Knight being the 7'o spot-up jump shooter (43 percent career shooting), might have been lousy in the latter stages of their career, but earlier on they weren't near the worst players on the offensive end.

    • seigfried23 profile image

      seigfried23 5 years ago

      Nice effort. I don't think Manute should have been included though. He was a shot-blocking machine. Travis Knight would have been a better fit. Or Eric Montross in place of Michael Ruffin.

    • dontaytte profile image

      dontaytte 5 years ago from Palos Hills

      As a Bulls fan I have to throw Carlos Boozer out there. I mean the guy scored 2 points in a game against the Heat last season.

    • Drew Breezzy profile image

      Drew Breezzy 5 years ago from somewhere in my mind

      Manute Bol needed another 100 pounds at least to be competitive.

    • jeolmoz2 profile image

      Julio E Olmo Sr 5 years ago from Florida, USA

      How 'bout Oliver Miller, he played 9 years in the NBA and he averaged like 7 points per game throughout his career

    • ChilliWilly profile image

      ChilliWilly 6 years ago from Kaunas, Lithuania

      Interesting hub. And I agree with you on this top 5. P.S. Manute Bol was incredibly tall :O