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NBA / Dec 1, 2008 / 1:30 pm

The Top Ten Good-Bad NBA Players

J.R. SmithJ.R. Buckets

Last Wednesday, J.R. Smith was late for practice, so he was benched against the Clippers. On Thursday, he dropped 32 against the Hornets. Two days later, he played seven minutes against the T-Wolves without scoring. And then last night against the Rockets, Smith sunk five three’s and tallied 19 points off the bench. That way-up, and then way-down trend got George Karl talking.

“J.R. is a good-bad player, and we’re trying to take the bad out and magnify the good. . . . And consistency, defense and a positive, good attitude would keep him on the court,” Karl said. “But I don’t think he gives us always those three every night we play. Some nights I’ll tolerate his bad and some nights I’m probably going to go someplace else.”


That’s a perfect way to describe J.R. – he’s a good-bad player. His shot selection can be atrocious. But he can also spark the team’s offense with deadly three-point shooting and explosive drives to the cup.

In fact, this opens up an entire category of players who are generally too elusive to put into the “I’d Like to Have Him on My Team” or “I’d Absolutely Hate to Have Him on My Team” boxes.

For all of these guys, there’s a reason that they’re not good basketball players. (J.R.’s fatal flaw is that he is Capt. Jack Sparrow.) But at the same time, there’s something that you like about their game, so much so, that you actually can be convinced that they’re someone you actually want to play for your squad.

* J.R. Smith
* John Salmons
* Louis Williams
* Damien Wilkins
* Al Harrington
* Eddie House
* Emeka Okafor
* Tim Thomas
* Ray Felton
* Stromile Swift

What’s your list of the top ten Good-Bad NBA Players?

Source: Rocky Mountain News

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  • http://jumpman23.com Rubber Burner

    JR is the man. Karl has the nerve to talk about D. Aint nan of his teams ever play Defense.

  • justice

    Lamar Odom, Daniel Gibson,Derrick Fisher

  • http://dimemag.com sanstm

    I would love to have JR in a Cavs uni; Louis, Salmons (off the bench of course), Eddie House, Ray Felton, Meka (under a different contract), Ray Felton (if he didn’t jack so many shots), are all on the good side. I would rather accidentally shoot myself in the leg while doing the Wop then watch Tim Thomas fake his way through millions of my squad’s cash; and Al needs to toughen up, and no, his mohawk does not make him tougher.

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    How long before Tyrus Thomas takes Stro’s spot on this list?

  • pffft … Knicks

    Skip to my Lou

  • Lakeshow

    When has Stro been good?

  • kowtz

    Where the hell is Lamar?

  • Don Mega

    Andrea Bargnani – plays like the #1 draft pick one night , plays like an italian meat oaf the next

  • http://allthatjazzbasketball.blogspot.com/ Amar

    how about a “bad” bad player list – – – I nominate Felton Spencer.

  • D.Phoenix

    In my opinion, a lot of stars make this list:

    1) Yao – so skilled, but so soft
    2) Dirk – see above, but add “unnecessarily calls out his teammates like a douche for their supposed lack of toughness”
    3) Vince – if only he played all 82 games against the Raptors, then we’d always see him at his best.
    4) Zach Randolph – dude is a beast who’s almost a lock for 20 and 10, but he’s also a lock for grounding his team’s offense to a halt, jacking up horrible perimeter shot attempts, and letting the man he’s guarding carve him up. He almost nullifies his own numbers
    5) Marbury – how have his great career stats always failed to translate to anything positive for his team? As a Knicks fan, watching his tenure has been incredibly frustrating. So much talent, wasted.
    6) T-Mac – maybe this isn’t fair, since he has no killer flaws in his game. Still, he takes after his cousin, half-man/half-a-season

    Honorable mention: Jamal Crawford, Stephen Jackson

  • jjankechu

    Eddie Griffin, RIP.

  • mavid

    Flip Murray

  • Ric Hardwood

    Ricky Buckets…

  • Jah

    None of them. I only want that good-good.

  • Chaos

    Zach Randolph, Ricky Buckets, Lamar Odom, andray blatche, Tim thomas, Jamal Crawford

  • DPGC

    Kevin Durant, Gerald Green, Leandro Barbosa, Sebastian Telfair, Nick Young, Flip Murray, Steve Francis (when he played), T.J. Ford….

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @mavid — Good call on Flip Murray.

  • Brown

    @Don Mega

    When has Bargnani ever played like a #1 pick? Lottery pick? Yes. First overall? No.

  • Max

    The Bulls have an entire roster of good-bad (or bad-good) players surrounding Rose.

    I wouldn’t put players like Z-Bo and Jamal on the list. Those guys are consistent offensive threats (with an off night here and there) who simply have no interest in defense.

    Players like JR Smith and Al Harrington are more maddening because there seems to be some weird character flaw that’s keeping them from being all world talents. They’ll go on amazing streaks or make some highlight reel play, then completely stink it up for no good reason.

  • FrannyDavis

    Stephen Jackson would be the perfect canidate

  • MoxWestCoastRep

    This is gonna piss some people off…
    1. Sheed-Soft. Big man doesnt like to bang. Has an attitude
    2. AI- Great heart but too selfish.
    Clearly these guys arent BAD, but wouldnt want either on my team

  • Shogun

    Ricky Buckets, Gerald Green, Rashad McCants. All former or current Timberwolves.

  • doc

    Ed Griff shoutout rip dog,but the whole sixers squad should be on here.

  • James

    Ricky Davis should be on there

  • northern lights

    yea, but ricky buckets isn’t someone you want on your squad… hes a black hole… has he ever been on a team with a winning record in the league?

  • isotope

    Right now? Marbury. Steve Francis. They still have skill bur for other reasons cant get on the court.

  • isotope

    truth is: most good players have some bad in them. The “good” is just good enough for us to forget about the bad.

  • bruce

    zach randolph
    jamal crawford
    andre ig howeva u spell it..

  • rell

    lamar odom
    t-mac

  • http://www.dimemag.com A-Slam

    boris diaw

  • JCARR

    IGGY. he gets paid to suck at basketball. Where do I apply???
    E-House is good???? guy cant even dribble

  • kowtz

    This article should have been tittled Space Jam Syndrome…

  • http://heardonmystoop.wordpress.com Drew Ricketts

    Jamal Crawford, Eddy Curry’s always been bad save that one season so…no on 2nd thought, Peja Stojakovic, Hedo Turkoglu (I know about last year but really…), good call on Daniel Gibson but Damon Jones fathered him.

  • jay

    hey andrew,

    i can’t still get over with your impression of walter herrmann as “soft”.. lol.. get your facts straight..

    with that alone, im also losing credibility on this article..

    peace..