October 12, 2010
The idea of underrating "overrated" players can often be enervating and, at times, way overrated. Back when Skeets took part in BDL's live blogs, his disgust any time a player's name was brought up in those terms ("Tayshaun Prince? Underrated." "No, overrated!") was palpable. As well it should be.
But this list, from Detroit Bad Boys' Kevin Sawyer, is an interesting read, and pretty sound. And this is coming from someone who has two of his favorite players heading up the backcourt on Sawyer's 2010 All-NBA Overrated Team.
Should we take a look at the list? Click the jump for more.
Kobe Bryant(notes) and Derrick Rose(notes) take the two guard spots, and I don't have a problem with that in the slightest. The fact that both of them are continually brought up in MVP discussions in 2010 is laughable.
Kobe is a competitor nonpareil and he hit a staggering amount of last-second shots last season, but oftentimes his shot selection and decision making were the biggest reasons why his Lakers were in a one-possession game in the final second with, let's say, the Kings. At home, no less. He's amazing, he really is, but he's also playing through injuries and working with a lot of tread on his tires. This is a reason to respect him, to no end, but not to overrate what he brings to the table, or look past all those bad 19-footers.
Derrick would be a college senior right now if he stayed at Memphis (just kidding; nobody stays at Memphis), but that caveat should only be used to accurately assess his contributions. What we're assessing is the way NBA observers rank his contributions, and when you factor in his putrid defense, so-so passing, and issues with getting to the line, he's consistently overrated.
And this is the part where I can tell you that even the best this league has to offer can be overrated. That "overrated" doesn't have to mean "not awesome."
The problem with typing these things is that fans usually prefer the easy way out. And the easy way out is to consistently rank Kobe as a B-level Michael Jordan, and Derrick Rose as the next great MVP-level point guard (he's "the next great MVP-level point guard," so he must be an expert passer, right?). But if you lose the fandom and bluster for a second and step back to accurately and objectively observe their games in comparison with their peers, you'd see the light if you could get over your own emotions regarding the subject.
From there, fish-in-a-barrel types like Carmelo Anthony(notes) and Rudy Gay(notes) are rightfully called out to round out the forwards. I'm not as smitten with the selection of Brendan Haywood(notes) to start at center on the All-Overrated team, or terming him "average." If 7-footers who could average a double-double in limited minutes are "average," wouldn't every team have one?
Again, these selections aren't to tell you that these players are bunko, it's just that their actual contributions don't really match the hype they receive from media and fans. So consider that before re-putting your drawers in a bunch and pointing out that Kobe has five rings.