Friday , Aug , 05 , 2011 J.N.

Most Underrated 1980s NBA Player. Vol. 1

It’s easy to discuss overrated players for some odd reason without insulting the players’ fan base. Underrated resembles a debate. What does “underrated” mean in this realm? Someone who makes the All Star game, but he doesn’t go in as a starter. These guys do not make first All NBA teams. They usually go through most of their careers without winning any championships (before getting rings late in their career) and barely get recognition. These underrated players are good putting up gaudy numbers as proof. One more thing – they’re not considered Hall of Famers.

Larry Bird. Magic Johnson. The Boston Celtics. The Los Angeles Lakers. That’s all they knew during that time. Doctor J was still relevant. Moses Malone owned the offensive glass. Akeem Olajuwon was reckless. Michael Jordan was the scariest individual in the NBA. The Bad Boys were the most violent team in the NBA. Chris Mullin and Tom Chambers were always compared to Larry Bird even though the comparisons were lame. Was it just because they’re white? Meh. Whatever. It's lockout time. There is not much current news to talk about anyway.

There are rules to be considered "underrated" in my universe (Yes I know they're arbitrary, but someone has to do it):

  • An All Star selection somewhere during the 1980s. Some exceptions can be made, but only on a "per player" case such as good averages.
  • All NBA team selections are fine, but the player cannot be a First Team All NBA selection. If he is a first team All NBA guy then he was never underrated.
  • Good notable statistics.
  • Doesn't have a league MVP.
  • Doesn't have a Finals MVP.
  • He can have titles, but only late in his career when he is no longer that good compared to what he was before.
  • The player cannot be a Laker or Celtic during the 1980s because those 2 franchises were dynasty teams. They dominated the league and every player on those championship squads got tons of acknowledgement. That's not underrated unless he is an old washed up ring chaser.
  • Not Hall of Famers currently
  • Cut off season is 1989-1990.
  • Any one drafted in the late 70s is fine as long as they did most of the production in the 1980s.

18) Michael Adams

Career averages: 14.7 points, 6.4 assists, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.7 steals.

Adams is 5-10. He’s probably shorter than that because the NBA is not 100 percent accurate and sometimes exaggerates. Adams made the list because he is 5-8 in a tall guy league averaging respectable numbers. He can pass for both 1980s and 1990s since he was drafted in 1985 and also played 6 years in the 1990s. His last 2 seasons probably should not count since he barely played.

17) Jeff Malone

Career averages: 19 points, 2.4 assists, 2.6 reboundsHe’s a shooter (

2x All Star). That is all. He does nothing else. You can argue that he is a ball hog because of the low assists average. He barely got to the line, but he is a damn good shooter with a career .484 percentage.

16) Terry Porter

His stats during the 1980s were incredible before he flamed out in the 1990s (minus rookie year since he wasn’t the starter): 15.8 points, 9.4 assists. Porter made the All Star game twice, but only in the 1990s. That does not change what he did in the 80s.

15) Mike Mitchell

Career averages: 19.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, FG .493

He made only one All Star game. He would have made many All Star games in today’s era with those numbers. Mitchell died from cancer on June 9, 2011. He was a perennial 20 points per game scorer before hitting the age of 31.

14) World B. Free

Career averages: 20.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1 steal

Free was the prototypical combo guard before Allen Iverson took it two levels higher. He was drafted in 1975, but did the majority of his work in the1980s. It’s tragic that he only made the All Star game once. He did make 2nd team All NBA. However, that was during the late 70s.

[image - Oregonian]

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