The Most Underrated Players from the 1980s Vol. OMG
The two most underrated NBA players from the 1980s live here. They did not ask for any charity, hand outs, or anything of that nature. Some honorable shout outs to Ron Harper, Otis Birdsong, Orlando Woolridge, Sleepy Floyd, and others who did not make the cut. Volume 1, 2, and 3 are right here to check out how I arrived to the last two guys. There is so much talent that it is ridiculous. It was extremely difficult to sift through.
2) Tom Chambers
Career averages: 18.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists
4x All Star, 2x All NBA 2nd team, and 1987 All Star Game MVP. No championships. Chambers was a great scorer, but mediocre rebounder. He averaged 27.2 points in 1989-1990 and produced multiple 20+ point seasons. Chambers was the face for Phoenix (after Nance was traded, but before Barkley arrived) and Seattle earning the number two spot. It’s pretty interesting to note that he was the franchise for two teams. However, Chambers was bad at defense as shown by his defensive rating, defensive win shares, and low rebound average.
That’s fine. That’s why he is underrated as a player overall. No one here is claiming that he was the best or one of the best. He’s not. Yet during his heyday, his offense cancels out the crappiness on defense. He’s not a balanced player of course. A balanced player is good on defense and offense. Tom Chambers himself doesn’t mind. If you think about it, he is a predecessor to the power forwards of today such as Chris Bosh and Carlos Boozer.
He will always be remembered for dunking on Mark Jackson. You heard that, Mark? Hand down man down. Momma, here comes dat man! The dunk aligned the planets.
1) Mark Aguirre
Career averages: 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 3.1 assists.
1980s averages (ending at 1989-1990 season): 22.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 3.5 assists
Dallas Mavericks averages: 566 games, 24.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists
Before he won the first title with Detroit in 1989 (shadow of former self), he quietly did most of his damage when he was with the Dallas Mavericks. He only made the All Star game 3 times. This is the true pain of being unnoticed. Aguirre was the Mavericks’ franchise player performing near Dwyane Wade level. He was consistently above 20+ with his Player Efficiency Rating peaking at 23.5. He averaged 29.5 points in 1983-1984 and averaged above 25 points in three different seasons. He never made an All NBA squad with those awesome numbers. Why? The league truly robbed this man blind.
Aguirre was not just a scorer. He was a great all around player evidenced through his rebounds and assists averages. So Jim Paxson over Mark for Second Team All NBA back in 1983-1984 when Aguirre averaged 29.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. What I don’t even. What happened? This is obvious disrespect. Ouch.
Imagine him in today’s league. Yep, he would be right there next to Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. It was not just one magical season where Aguirre had a freak year. He was consistent every year for 9 seasons before getting traded to Detroit. However, he was mediocre on defense compared to his counterparts such Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, and Joe Dumars.
The entire list of underrated players goes to show that the 1980s was the Golden Age that carried over into the 1990s. The talent was stacked. Disagree or agree, that's on you. I stand by my list. We can agree that all of the guys were underrated.