NBA All-Star Snubs 4 Life: The 25 players that scored most points and never made an all-star game

Every year around the All-Star Game, there’s always talk about the players that deserved to be there, but didn’t make the team for whatever reason. We remember writing this 2015 post on Damian Lillard being one of biggest all-star snubs we’ve ever witnessed in our three decades of covering the NBA and being really bothered by his absence.

In the context of this post, Dame will be fine. What about the players that have performed season after season and never once make the All-Star team? These 25 players are the Susan Luccis of the NBA (which used to be a good analogy). Meaning that these players have spent years putting the ball in the basket; having amassed the most career points in the league without making one single solitary NBA All-Star Team. Thanks for your recognition. Not. These are your NBA All-Star Snubs 4 Life.

Why No Recognition?

When it comes to making an all-star team, it comes down to timing and position.

Here’s a good example of that. As we put this list together we noticed that a couple of these NBA All-Star snubs ended up making an All-NBA team during their career, yet obviously didn’t make the all-star game. Al Jefferson made all-NBA third team in 2014 and Rod Strickland made All-NBA second team in 1998.

In Strickland‘s case, he was technically a top ten player in the league yet wasn’t one of the top 24 players at mid-season? That doesn’t necessarily compute. What it does say is the timing of the NBA All_Star Game views a player’s numbers differently than how they (and their team) finishes the season. Or how stacked a position may have been in a particular conference. Without further delay, here’s the 25 NBA All-Star snubs that have scored the most points in their careers without making one NBA All-Star Game.

All_Star Snubs in NBA History
Player Points Highest PPG Team
Jamal Crawford 19,244 20.6 New York Knicks
Eddie Johnson 19,202 21.5 Sacramento Kings
Jason Terry 18,881 20.9 Dallas Mavericks
Andre Miller 16,278 17.0 Philadelphia 76ers
Derek Harper 16,006 19.7 Dallas Mavericks
Rudy Gay 15,184 21.4 Sacramento Kings
Sam Perkins 15,234 16.5 Los Angeles Lakers
Byron Scott 15,097 21.7 Los Angeles Lakers
Richard Jefferson 14,904 22.6 New Jersey Nets
James Edwards 14,862 16.7 Indiana Pacers
Monta Ellis 14,858 25.5 Golden State Warriors
Mike Bibby 14,698 21.1 Sacramento Kings
Jason Richardson 14,644 23.2 Golden State Warriors
Purvis Short 14,607 28.0 Golden State Warriors
Rod Strickland 14,463 18.9 Portland Trailblazers
Al Jefferson 14,343 23.1 Minnesota Timberwolves
Ron Harper 13,910 22.9 Cleveland Cavs
Chuck Person 13,858 21.6 Indiana Pacers
Orlando Woolridge 13,623 25.1 Denver Nuggets
Al Harrington 13,237 20.7 New York Knicks
Jalen Rose 13,220 22.1 Chicago Bulls
Corey Maggette 13,198 22.1 Los Angeles Clippers
Josh Smith 12,996 18.8 Atlanta Hawks
Stephen Jackson 12,976 21.1 Charlotte Hornets
Mike Conley 11,700 20.5 Memphis Grizzlies

At the top of the list is the one of four active players: Jamal Crawford.

Having taking over the top spot from Eddie Johnson this season, Crawford had an early reputation in the league as a player that takes and makes shots on bad teams, but over time his innate ability to get buckets smoothed out and that reputation improved. His case was certainly helped by his game; in particular his amazing one-on-one skills, tight ball-handling, propensity for four-point plays, and the unique ability to come in cold and instantly get hot.

It’s crazy to think that he’ll have amassed nearly 20,000 points in his NBA career and have never made one all-star game. With Crawford in the twilight of his career with the Timberwolves, he’ll remain at the top of this infamous list.

Wrong Time Wrong Place Wrong Position

I’d say a lot of the guys on this list were just unlucky to play on bad teams or play in an era or conference where their position was loaded. For every player that has scored more than 15,000 points and didn’t make an all-star game, I could name three players that wouldn’t have been an all-stars had it not been because of the team they played on, fan votes or a dearth of talent at that position.

One-time all-stars like B.J. Armstrong, Mo Williams, Kevin Willis, A.C. Green, Kyle Korver and Horace Grant benefited from the time, position and place of the league, whereas players like Crawford, Strickland, Lou Williams (who is the all-time leading bench scorer), Rudy Gay, Mike Conley, and Richard Jefferson just couldn’t get over the hump even though they’re clearly better talents.

Making the NBA All-Star team as a reserve sometimes is as much about filling a required position and timing as it is about how talented a player was/is. Take a look at this partial list of one-hit wonders (in alphabetical order)

Player Season All Star Appearances
Danny Ainge 1988 1
B. J. Armstrong 1994 1
Antonio Davis 2001 1
Dale Davis 2000 1
Mark Eaton 1989 1
Horace Grant 1994 1
A. C. Green 1990 1
Tyrone Hill 1995 1
Chris Kaman 2010 1
Kyle Korver 2015 1
Jameer Nelson 2009 1
Charles Oakley 1994 1
Theo Ratliff 2001 1
Otis Thorpe 1992 1
Mo Williams 2009 1
Kevin Willis 1992 1

No offense to Charles Oakley, Kyle Jorver, and Dale Davis, but no one would lose any sleep if they never made an all-star game. When it comes down to it, surely Crawford, Conley Jr., Lou Williams and Eddie Johnson had more of an impact on the league than a player like Mo Williams, yet Williams and players like Danny Ainge, Davis, and B.J. Armstrong all benefited from being on the right position, at the right team, in the right conference at the right time.

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