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Wednesday, April 17, 2002
Updated: April 19, 1:49 PM ET
Readers' List: Overpaid NBA players

Page 2 staff

Page 2 readers certainly have strong opinions about which NBA players are stealing money.

After Page 2 ranked its choices for the 10 most overpaid pro ballers, we asked you to submit your suggestions. Our readers came through with more than 2,100 e-mails with their nominees.

Check out the readers' list below and then vote in the poll at right to crown the current No. 1 overpaid NBA player.

Greg Ostertag
Greg Ostertag's detractors just want to see some more dedication.
1. Greg Ostertag (264 letters)
An overrated player in college and an overrated player the year he signed his current deal.

I wouldn't go so far as to say it was just a complete lack of talent -- he does show sparks of decency -- but a lack of desire. How can a guy play with Karl Malone and John Stockton -- players with iron bodies, even if not ridiculously athletic -- and have arms that look like the last time he picked up a dumbell was while he was at Kansas?
Nate Evans
Salt Lake City

This one is close to home. Ostertag at about $6 million a year (6-year deal worth more than $30 million, higher than Karl Malone at the time).

The Jazz have former VP of Player Operations Scott Layden to blame. Just look what the highly acclaimed Layden has done with the Knicks, whose entire team made the overpaid list. Knicks fans are right in their anger with Layden, who is the most overrated front office man in the NBA. Ostertag has been a bust since his breakout year ... notice how I say year, which just so happened to be the year his contract ran out.

Ostertag has become a better player, but still lacks heart, energy and even the hands to catch a low-post John Stockton pass.
Jeffrey Enquist
Sandy, Utah

Until recently, anyway. Now coach Jerry Sloan has strategically placed him at the end of the bench, a spot that has finally allowed him to lead the league in something -- the conversion of oxygen to carbon dioxide.
Jim Watson
Philadelphia

2. Shawn Bradley (211 letters)
I can't believe Shawn Bradley didn't even get mentioned on your list. Every game (well ... those in which he actually sees playing time), the Preying Mantis manages to acquire more technical fouls than points and blocks. And, obviously, further proof that height is not in direct correlation to rebounding ability.
Rick
Dallas

The Preying Mantis is as worthless as Bob Dole's right arm. He makes about $4 million a year. He averages 4.1 points per game. That is only 4.1 more then me!

He is a waste. He cries every play about fouls. I can't believe Cuban signed him to a big multiyear deal. The only thing I did not like about the trade Dallas made at the deadline was that they did not insist that Shawn Bradley be part of it.
Kip Winkler
Arlington, Texas

He's tall. He strikes fear in no one. Let's be honest, Shaq could use him as a toothpick and he still would be overpaid.
Tad Smith
Livonia, Mich.

3. Scottie Pippen (133 letters)
Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen hasn't played like one of the NBA's top 50 players lately.
He is supposed to bring points and intangibles to the Blazers and doesn't bring anything but misery. He has been a complainer his entire career. First, envious of his teammate Micahel Jordan, then refusing to enter playoff games that matter.

He was brought to the Trail Blazers to help show them how to win a championship after his run with the Bulls. Yet he is emotionally volatile, as evidenced by his double technical meltdown this past weekend. How is he supposed to guide younger hotheads Bonzi Wells and Rasheed Wallace? I think the Pip picked up more from Dennis Rodman than Jordan during his tenure with the Bulls. He never developed maturity as the greats do.

Pippen has faded in the biggest games consistently during the playoffs and especially against arch-rivals. Check his stats against his nemeses, the Lakers, this year. His playoff stats are consistently below his regular-season stats.

He makes something like $18 million a year and can no longer lock up the best guards on defense and certainly doesn't provide the positive intangibles that the Trail Blazers desperately need.
Evan "HOOPS" Pennet
San Pedro, Calif.

He has been paid like the NBA top 50 player some people thought he was, but all he did was ride Jordan's coattails to six championships. What has he done since? Not even a single Finals appearance with extremely talented teams. The Trail Blazers need his leadership? What will he show them how to do? Miss big playoff games with headaches? Pout when he (a poor shooter) doesn't get to take the shot with the game on the line?
Chris Connell
Richmond, Va.

He's made it clear that he was never among the NBA's 50 greatest players and and left us to wonder if he's even among the 50 greatest in the league right now.
Matt Newbold
Columbia, S.C.

4. Shawn Kemp (108 letters)
Shawn Kemp
Shawn Kemp hasn't lived up to his early promise, nor his fat contract.
Shawn Kemp is without a doubt the most overpaid player in NBA history. It's bad enough half of his money goes to his 3,421 illegitimate children or the impact of chemical dependency. I guess the Blazers think it's OK to shell out $12.7 million a year for six points a game.
Randall Wright
Beaverton, Ore.

For me, it is a tossup between Juwan Howard and Shawn Kemp, but I have to give the nod to Kemp because Howard still has some degree of quickness. Kemp is a pile of lard who can barely move his legs up and down the court.

Regardless of the fact Portland is not agonizing over the money that much, it is still getting robbed. And what is worse, Pippen, Stoudamire & Derek Anderson are right behind him committing the same crime. This is why I would love to see the end of guaranteed contracts in the NBA. That way if they are not producing after you commit big bucks to them, you can drop their lazy butts off at the next bus stop!
Gregory Callender
Fontana, Calif.

He was supposed to be an interior presence to combat the loaded frontcourts of the other Western Conference teams. But unfortunately, Shawn Kemp is no longer the high school phenom who averaged 19 points and nine rebounds for George Karl.

Instead, he is averaging a measly 3.8 rebounds per game, and with a salary of $12.8 million, that comes out to $3.36 million per rebound per night. I don't know about you, but those have got to be the most expensive rebounds I've ever seen.
Ben Zhang
Atlanta

5. Allan Houston (104 letters)
He has a $100 million deal, and just last week, against the lowly Chicago Bulls, with only seconds left, Houston (we have a problem) drove the lane and, when met by the outstretched arm of an 18-year-old "neophyte" (thank you, Clyde) he dished to Shandon ("I wish I was as good as my bro Willie") Anderson. The ball caromed out of bounds and the proud New York Knickerbockers were left to read another article on the ineptitude of the squad and the probability of Yao Ming coming out of the tunnel like Willis did.

One hundred million dollars for a player with no heart. I would rather have ex-Knick Walter McCarty because at least he has a good enough voice to sing the national anthem before the game.
Mark Newman
Long Island, N.Y.

Allan Houston is without a doubt the most overpaid player in NBA history. One of the more memorable events I've experienced was the news conference to announce Allan Houston's contract. During the entire event, Houston had this incredulous look on his face. You could tell he was thinking, "Wow, can you imagine how much money they would have given me if I actually produced in the playoffs?"

All of his comments during the conference sounded hollow and automatic, like he was only saying them because he was expected to. "Team good. Team go far. Houston-bot not compute! Houston-bot not compute!" The only positive that can be associated with this contract is it might cost the franchise-killing GM Scott "At least my daddy's smart" Layden his job.
Seth Scher
Queens, N.Y.

6. Bryant Reeves (88 letters)
Bryant Reeves
Some Vancouver fans nicknamed Bryant Reeves "Sleep Country."
The Grizzles can feel a little better knowing that he is getting about as much profit out of his restaurant as the the Grizzles did out of him.
Kevin Stiles
Fort Smith, Ark.

It's one thing to be that overpaid and that bad. It's quite another to be the lead domino that topples an entire franchise.
Paul
Toronto

7. Grant Hill (79 letters)
According to your statistics, and assuming that each NBA game lasts roughly 2.5 hours, Grant Hill has been paid roughly $483,000 per hour while a member of Orlando. That's more then the president makes in a year!! Even when he does come back, he will always be a second filler to McGrady.

One side note: Just one season after Hill rocketed out of the Motor City, the Pistons are the No. 2 seed in the East. Overrated, overhyped and overpaid, an awful combination.
Pete Cangemi
Harrisburg, Pa.

The man has made about $20 million, and he hasn't even broken in those new sneakers yet. I'm a Magic fan, and honestly, I just hope we can get a few seasons out of him. He's a role player now, at best. $10 million a year for a role player is a joke.
Matt Harper
Knoxville, Tenn.

8. Kelvin Cato (72 letters)
Kelvin Cato is the poorest excuse for a center I've ever seen. He has the size and tools to be a legitimate 10-10 and five blocks guy, but his intensity is comparable to that of a kitten. He has Manny Ramirez's work ethic, so he's out of shape and always injured. And he writes books for children. Did I mention he makes about 7 million?
Matt Gasparini
Houston

9. Juwan Howard (61 letters)
Everyone is too focused on MJ's comeback to remember the greatest triumph of his career -- unloading the contract of Juwan Howard to sucker Mark Cuban (who pulled off the unthinkable by getting rid of him again). His contract lasts forever and it only gets worse, thanks to a balloon contract created by "GM Genius" Wes Unseld. $21 million next year! If he's not the worst, then who is? Most of the players on the list once deserved big money; all Howard ever did was run Webber out of Washington and single-handedly set back the rebuilding process in DC for years!
Brett Loubert
Sunnyvale, Calif.

10. Nick Anderson (53 letters)
Perhaps you overlooked Nick Anderson of the Grizzlies, because he has been an invisible person on an invisible team. However, when he was with Sacramento he ended up becoming invisible there as well. Let me spell it out -- 15 games played. Four points per game.
Tim Prince
Los Gatos, Calif.

Others receiving votes
  • Jayson Williams
  • Jason Williams
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Charles Oakley
  • Damon Stoudamire
  • Matt Geiger
  • Penny Hardaway
  • Terrell Brandon
  • Vin Baker
  • Travis Knight
  • Chris Webber
  • Kwame Brown