Friday , Sep , 02 , 2011 J.N.

1990s NBA’s Most Underrated Players Vol. 1

Flannels. Space Jam. Pearl Jam. Super Nintendo. Genesis. The Shawshank Redemption. Pulp Fiction. 2pac. Biggie. Jordan’s Bulls. Slam Magazine. Here are some 1990s tidbits from a person who lived through that decade. Back then the internet was in its’ infancy. No one really knew how to use it before 1996 came around when college kids sold fetish sites for millions. There was plenty of lag, disconnections, and people “phishing” for accounts to get online. 28K and 56K modems were terrible. 


A 56K modem does not usually give you a true 56K connection. On a good day (which is usually at night), it was 32K. That was the best I remember reaching. People were bragging about that in forums and late night chats. When that connection occurs, you hope that no one uses the phone to knock you out. When that was happening, I disappeared from the internet for a few years. The blasted thing was not ready for me. I ended up using the school’s T1 line. 
1990s basketball was really just the big network and catching NBA games whenever they were on TNT and NBC because the speed of the internet was not ready.  Television highlighted the usual stars: Jordan, Barkley, Malone, Hakeem, The Admiral, Stockton, Payton, Shaq, Penny, etc. 
There were other guys who were putting in major work, but did not get the recognition the superstars received. It’s time to acknowledge them. 
20) Loy Vaught 
The numbers: 10.1 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.2 turnovers
The Skinny: He is the player formerly known as “Mr. Clipper” before Eric Piatkowski took the throne. He rarely turned over the ball, but he rarely went one on one. Vaught camps on the baseline waiting for someone to feed him the rock. Baseline jumper = profit. It was an easy way for Pooh Richardson to rack up assists. He quietly did work and did not receive any awards. 
19) P.J. Brown
The numbers: 9.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 1 block
The Skinny: Before P.F. Chang, there was P.J. Brown.  He is the prototypical hard hat lunch pail guy who worked quietly. We know this guy today as Taj Gibson. Then again, Taj dunked on Dwyane Wade in the playoffs and had another monstrous one handed tip in slam to become somewhat known. Brown never did anything like that. Second round draft picks barely get respect and here he gets it. He made the All Defense second team 3 times. He got a ring with Boston, but he was done. 
18) John Starks
The numbers: 12.5 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists
The Skinny: He was bagging groceries, just like NFL Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, before making the pros. Then he had to guard Michael Jordan. Then he did “The Dunk.” Later on, he went cold in game seven of the 1994 NBA Finals. After that, he played 4 games for the Chicago Bulls. That is probably his darkest moment. We give him props for his physical style that got him into the league. He made the All Star game once, 1996-1997 Sixth Man, and 1992-1993 second team all Defense. 
17) Clifford Robinson
The numbers: 14.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block
The Skinny: He is best known for the head band before LeBron James made it vogue. He’ll be forever linked to Jordan because he couldn’t stop him from making his 6th three pointer in the first half. Robinson made the 2nd team all defense 2 times, 1994 All Star, and 1992-1993 Sixth Man. He is real good on defense despite Jordan’s outburst. 
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