All-Star: The most snubbed players in NBA history

Thursday’s night All-Star selections were followed by the usual hullabaloo about players being snubbed.

But why get indignant about a mere All-Star selection when you can do the same for picks throughout NBA history? That’s why we set out to find out who are the players who have been most snubbed for All-Star selections.

For this exercise, we looked up the Top 12 players in Global Rating through the All-Star break in each conference in all NBA seasons. (For years in which there were injury replacements, we expanded the list.)

We listed players regardless of position because, honestly, why should the Dale Davises or Jamaal Magloires of the world get one spot at the expense of far more productive players?

Check out the results below.

Reggie Miller

Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers
Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers

MATT CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images

Actual All-Star appearances: Five
All-Star snubs: Five (1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 2002)

According to our Global Rating metric, Reggie Miller should have been an All-Star five more times in his career, which would have taken his total to 10.

That checks out, as Miller turned out to be one of the NBA75 selections with the fewest All-Star appearances.

Miller was a victim of playing in an era with great guard play in the East, often getting squeezed out by the likes of Michael JordanIsiah Thomas and Joe Dumars, among others, though he still had a stronger All-Star case in hindsight than various players he got snubbed for.

To use 1991 as an example, Miller, who averaged 22.6 points without missing a game that season, missed out on All-Star honors for the likes of Ricky Pierce and Hershey Hawkins, who had similar numbers. Those were the only All-Star campaigns for each of those players ever.

Derek Harper

Actual All-Star appearances: Zero
All-Star snubs: Four (1987, 1988, 1989, 1990)

At least Miller got five All-Star appearances under his belt and was recognized for his great postseason moments.

Derek Harper, on the other hand, made zero All-Star teams in his career despite a seven-year peak with the Dallas Mavericks where he averaged 17.7 points and 7.0 assists.

What hurt Harper’s case was that the Mavericks weren’t great in that stretch, making the playoffs three times in those seven seasons but also posting three straight seasons with 28, 22  and 11 wins. Hard to make an All-Star roster when your team is that bad, no matter the numbers you’re putting up.

Harper was also ahead of his time in that he shot a decent amount of threes, which was somehow frowned upon back then.

Larry Nance

Actual All-Star appearances: Three
All-Star snubs: Four (1984, 1986, 1991, 1992)

For those wondering where Larry Nance Jr. got his athleticism from, look no further than at his pops, who is remembered fondly not just for his great on-court play but for being the first Slam Dunk champion in NBA history.

Nance’s case was hurt by his peak taking place when there were so many all-time greats at the forward position taking up the All-Star spots in the East. Just look at 1985-86 as an example, when Nance missed out on the All-Star Game despite averaging 20.2 points and 8.5 rebounds that year.

The names who occupied the forward spots for the East that season? Julius ErvingLarry BirdDominique WilkinsKevin McHale and Buck Williams.

Tough to argue with any of those selections.

LaMarcus Aldridge

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Actual All-Star appearances: Seven
All-Star snubs: Three (2009, 2010, 2011)

It took until his sixth season for LaMarcus Aldridge to be named an All-Star, despite him averaging 18.9 points and 8.0 rebounds from Year 2 through Year 5, twice for Portland Trail Blazer teams that won 50-plus games and a third time for a team that won 48 in those regular seasons.

Had Aldridge made his All-Star debut earlier on in his career, the 20-and-10 machine wouldn’t have made his way onto this list for most All-Star snubs ever.

In fairness to the voters, however, in that era where Aldridge missed out on All-Star honors, the West was downright loaded at the forward spots. In 2011, one of the years Global Rating feels the former Texas standout was snubbed, the Western Conference All-Star forwards were Carmelo AnthonyKevin DurantPau GasolBlake GriffinKevin Love and Dirk Nowitzki.

That’s an absolutely ridiculous group of forwards, making it clearer why Aldridge did get those snubs.

Deron Williams

Deron Williams
Deron Williams

Harry How/Getty Images

Actual All-Star appearances: Three
All-Star snubs: Three (2007, 2008, 2013)

Many may have forgotten about this by now, but for a while there was a legitimate debate between Deron Williams and Chris Paul for best point guard in the NBA. Of course, by now that debate has been dusted and settled but back then, both players had their backers.

Also notable is that despite missing out on All-Star honors in 2006-07 and 2007-08, Williams was still one of the players chosen to be part of the 2008 Olympic men’s basketball team for the United States, a huge honor considering that was the fondly-remembered Redeem Team that brought back Gold for Team USA.

Williams was also at his peak at a time with many great guards in his conference, with 2008 seeing Allen IversonKobe Bryant, Paul, Steve Nash and Brandon Roy get picked to be the All-Star guards for the West. Had Williams played for an Eastern Conference side, he might not have been snubbed as many times as he was.

Stephon Marbury

stephon marbury
stephon marbury

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Actual All-Star appearances: Two
All-Star snubs: Three (2000, 2004, 2005)

Part of the All-Star selection process has to do with the fact that at the end of the day, it’s kind of a popularity contest, with various examples of not-so-deserving players getting picked for the prestigious event simply because they were so beloved.

That was not the case for Stephon Marbury, who was not a beloved figure by coaches (or media), making it less surprising he was left off the reserves unit for a few All-Star rosters where his play indicated he would have been deserving of a selection.

When he did make it into the event, Marbury put on a show, particularly in one of the best All-Star moments ever in 2001.

Terry Cummings

Terry Cummings and David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs
Terry Cummings and David Robinson, San Antonio Spurs

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Actual All-Star appearances: Two
All-Star snubs: Three (1986, 1987, 1990)

The only person to outscoreJordan in a playoff seriesTerry Cummings was a star in the ’80s, an era with many elite forwards, causing him to miss out on three All-Star appearances that he deserved, according to our Global Rating metric.

Cummings was a victim of the same thing Nance was, playing in the East as a forward when there were a bunch of eventual Hall-of-Famers manning the same positions for other teams in the conference.

However, he also did get hurt by a lack of fan popularity in 1989-90, a season that saw him average 22.4 points and 8.4 rebounds for a 56-win San Antonio Spurs team in the West. Cummings wasn’t an All-Star starter – or an All-Star at all – that year, but you know who was?

AC Green, a starting forward for the Los Angeles Lakers, who would go on to average 12.9 points that season without garnering a single other accolade on the campaign.

Andre Iguodala

Andre Iguodala staring at the ball after a shot
Andre Iguodala staring at the ball after a shot

Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

Actual All-Star appearances: One
All-Star snubs: Three (2008, 2009, 2010)

Before joining the Golden State Warriors, Andre Iguodala was a legitimate star, making one All-Star appearance but deserving three more, according to our Global Rating metric.

Iguodala’s problem is that he was more of a two-way player on just-decent teams in his prime, as his three All-Star snubs came in seasons the Philadelphia 76ers won 40, 41 and 27 games.

Without the hype surrounding his name that many of his counterparts at forward in the East had and on forgettable Philadelphia teams, it’s easy to see now why Iguodala was snubbed three times.

Sam Cassell

Sam Cassell
Sam Cassell

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Actual All-Star appearances: One
All-Star snubs: Three (2000, 2002, 2003)

A late-bloomer in the NBA, Sam Cassell finally made his well-deserved All-Star debut in his age-34 season, making him the second-oldest player to make his All-Star debut in league history, behind only Nat Clifton.

Cassell did face stiff competition to be named an All-Star in his heyday, missing out on the honor in 1999-00 despite averaging 18.6 points and 9.0 assists due to the likes of Allen IversonRay Allen and Reggie Miller, all Hall-of-Fame guards playing in the East at the same time.

Richard Jefferson

richard jefferson
richard jefferson

Al Bello/Allsport

Actual All-Star appearances: Zero
All-Star snubs: Three (2004, 2006, 2008)

Despite a six-year stretch in the mid-2000s where Richard Jefferson put up All-Star-level numbers – 19.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists – in the very weak Eastern Conference, the Arizona legend wound up receiving the distinction zero times in his career, an unfortunate fact for a very underrated swingman in his prime.

It’s partly due to the East being so poor during that time that Jefferson may have gotten overlooked for a deserving All-Star nod or two (or three, according to Global Rating), though it still doesn’t excuse the oversight.

Josh Smith

Actual All-Star appearances: Zero
All-Star snubs: Three (2010, 2011, 2012)

Josh Smith is remembered for being an absurd high-flyer with highlight-reel dunks galore, who made a huge defensive impact nightly but fell in love with shooting threes way too often, hindering his efficiency on the offensive end of the floor.

Perhaps it was due to that lack of offensive punch that Smith was snubbed from All-Star honors for his entire career, a particularly egregious offense from 2009-10 through 2011-12 when Global Rating believes he was deserving of the distinction.

It didn’t help that Smith was a forward a time when the East had a lot of all-timers at that position, including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce.

Rod Strickland

Actual All-Star appearances: Zero
All-Star snubs: Three (1994, 1996, 1998)

Lack of star power in part due to his prime taking place on smaller-brand teams, it’s still shocking Rod Strickland was never named an All-Star despite being one of the better guards the league had to offer at the time.

The most ridiculous instances of this came in 1997-98 when Strickland averaged 17.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals while leading the league in assists at 10.5. Oh, he was also 2nd Team All-NBA that year!

In fairness, that year was absolutely loaded with guards in the East, as the All-Star ball-handlers that campaign were Jordan, Penny HardawayTim Hardaway, Miller and Steve Smith. No matter what, it would have been hard for a lesser-known player like Strickland to knock any of those guys off their perch.

Paul Pressey

paul pressey
paul pressey

Brian Drake/NBAE via Getty Images

Actual All-Star appearances: Zero
All-Star snubs: Three (1985, 1986, 1988)

Paul Pressey was a versatile forward who excelled in various aspects of the game. Although he was not a high-scoring player, he had exceptional passing skills for a swingman and contributed effectively as a rebounder and defender.

It’s in that final facet where Pressey really shone, as he made three All-Defensive Teams in his career, but, unfortunately for him, zero All-Star appearances, despite Global Rating believing he deserved the honor three times.

Even so, as we discussed above, being a swingman in the East in the ’80s was a tough time if you were trying to make an All-Star squad, as the conference was loaded with Hall-of-Fame forwards at the time.

Monta Ellis

Monta Ellis, Indiana Pacers
Monta Ellis, Indiana Pacers

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Actual All-Star appearances: Zero
All-Star snubs: Three (2011, 2014, 2015)

Monta Ellis’ All-Star candidacy was hurt by a few things, primarily his prime taking place as a guard in the West at a time when the conference was stacked with elite players.

Let’s just take a look at 2015 as an example. That year, Ellis was great, putting up 18.9 points per game to go with 4.1 assists and 1.9 steals on a Mavericks team that won 50 games.

However, the All-Star guards for the West that season were Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, two of Ellis’ former teammates (awkward), as well Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Chris Paul and Damian Lillard.

All of those guys will be in the Hall of Fame one day or already are. Ellis will not.

Sometimes it’s that simple.

Story originally appeared on HoopsHype