Back in the day, NBA players were seen as thugs, as bad guys, as hip hop gang members and many other not so good things due to the Allen Iverson-like style most guys adopted, or even before during the Michael Jordan era, players were often spotted partying, smoking cigars and gambling.
On top of that, the NBA is a very loud and vocal league, with guys constantly trying to get into their rivals head with their trash talk or post-game statements, trying to be the tougher and louder player ion the court.
Nonetheless, several guys have managed to climb the NBA ladder and earn a lot of respect from their peers due to their work ethic, constant development and humble nature, being considered stars despite barely never making public statements or even appearances.
So, let’s go ahead and take a look at the most humble and relaxed guys in the league, with our top 10 best quiet superstar list.
10. Joe Johnson
Joe Johnson is one of the fiercest and more consistent scorers the league has seen over the past decade, being the leader of the Atlanta Hawks and earning a huge deal that made him a huge load of money when he went to the Brooklyn Nets afterward.
Still, the 15-year veteran, 7-time All-Star and current veteran leader of the Utah Jazz has managed to stay away from the spotlight despite being a huge scorer and great team player, earning the respect of teammates and opponents since his arrival to the association in 2002.
9. Eric Bledsoe
Bledsoe has quietly become one of the most dominant point guards in the NBA when he’s healthy, and now as a part of the Phoenix Suns he just doesn’t get the credit he deserves due to the great amount of talented and promising youngsters the desert squad has nowadays, like the league’s newest scoring sensation, Devin Booker.
Furthermore, Bledsoe could quietly even be one of the best paid guys over the next few years if a team manages to acquire him via trade during the next season, as he could definitely help their cause despite being always humble and accepting his role whenever he’s had to play, even playing in a 3 guard lineup a couple of seasons ago under Jeff Hornacek.
8. C.J. McCollum
Since being drafted 10th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers despite not playing in a great basketball program, everybody knew that this kid could really ball, although he had to patiently wait for his shot because of the presence of Batum and Matthews during his first two seasons in the NBA.
Now, he’s one of the biggest reasons why Portland managed to clinch that postseason berth, forming an incredibly dynamic backcourt alongside Dame Lillard. Still, when asked about his personal accomplishments, he doesn’t hesitate to give a lot of credit to the point guard and even the team for his success, and he’s been known to be a guy that prefers to take a nap than hit the club, disregarding the fact that he’s one of the league’s most exciting talents right now and the defending Most Improved Player of the year.
You can’t be pretentious and be Canadian, right? Well, this guy is one of the quietest, yet hard working guys in the league despite all the hype that surrounded him from the very first day he set foot on a basketball court.
Also, his quiet nature and humble personality have even put him in the spotlight a lot of times, as people tend to think that he doesn’t have what it takes to shine in the clutch and just gets scared. Let’s just give him time, as he’s set to achieve great things for the Timberwolves in the future.
6. Bradley Beal
There have been a lot of rumors surrounding Beal’s poor relationship with John Wall but if that’s the case, it just doesn’t reflect on the court, as both guys thrive next to each other while Beal knows his number and seems completely fine with it.
Even if he’s stated that they form the best backcourt in the NBA, Beal has remained as a humble hard working guy that’s improved pretty much every aspect of his game through the years, being a more aggressive and complete scorer nowadays than just a three point shooter.
5. Michael Conley
After struggling a lot during his first seasons in the league, Mike Conley Jr has managed to become one of the most underrated, yet important players in the league, with great consistency on both ends of the floor for the Memphis Grizzlies.
With his ability to play with both hands, his capable hard-nosed defense and his improved shot, Conley doesn’t get the respect he deserves from the league, being constantly snubbed in the All-Star Games despite constantly leading his team to playoff contention. Perhaps that’s all due to his quiet nature, as he prefers to sit back and let the media do their thing while he just plays his game.
4. Gordon Hayward
Just six years into the league, Hayward has managed to improve his game in almost every single aspect on a yearly basis, becoming one of the best two-way players in the association while being the ultimate leader on a very young and impressive Utah Jazz team.
Nonetheless, this guy has always remained humble despite clearly being the team’s best player, always recognizing his teammates’ efforts and stating that all the wins are due to the hard work and chemistry of the group.
3. Kevin Love
Kevin Love was a superstar and one of the most impressive players during his Minnesota Timberwolves tenure, earning some pretty impressive stat lines and winning the respect of the league despite looking like yet another white stretch four.
Now, as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, he’s really adapted to being the third scoring option in the team behind LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, being one of the main reasons for the Cavs success and the title they recently won, averaging 18.4 points, 11.5 boards and 2.5 assists through his career while keeping his mouth shut and simply doing his job, letting LeBron and Kyrie run the team’s offense and embracing his new role.
2. Giannis Antetokounmpo
This guy is just incredible, he just is. After coming into the league as a complete stranger, Giannis has completely taken the league for assault due to his great work ethic and restless nature, currently leading his team in points, blocks, rebounds, assists and steals, something completely stunning.
The astonishing youngster could even grow more and you know he’s not done developing his game, being a quiet and calmed guy off the court but carrying the Bucks on his back on a nightly basis. He’s going to be a regular name in the MVP conversation, and he’s almost a lock to win the Most Improved Player this season.
1. Kawhi Leonard
Well, Kawhi is definitely the ultimate quiet superstar, and he’s just the perfect guy for an organization like the Spurs, just balling and letting the people do the talking, working his way into the MVP consideration while also being the best defender in the NBA.
This guy came practically out of nowhere and he improved every single aspect of his offensive game while being one of the few guys that can completely shut down guys like LeBron James, as he shown during The Finals where he led the Spurs and earned the Finals MVP distinction, and something tell us that he’s yet to grab many more of them.