Being talented is not enough to make it in the greatest league in competitive basketball, and even some players that aren’t nearly half as talented as others wind up having an extremely successful career due to the hard work they put the night in and night out to improve their flaws.
Some players just rely on their gifts to try and make a living in the NBA but wind up seeing all the doors being shut down right in their faces, with no one willing to give them another chance due to their lack of discipline.
We will not mention players like Len Bias, Reggie Lewis or players that had problems with injuries like Jay Williams, Brandon Roy and Greg Oden.
Hard work is the only thing that’s going to grant you success in this league. Otherwise, you’re just going to be yet another what if and a fluke no one will ever remember. Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 10 NBA players that completely wasted their talent.
10. Eddy Curry
Eddy Curry entered the league out of High School and was the 4th overall pick of the draft, but his great talents down low were completely thrown to waste by the Bulls ownership constantly spoiling him.
Constant racism and sex abuse scandals, injuries and extremely poor money management decisions completely put an end to his career, and he just looked slow and overweight through the last years of his career. Nowadays, he’s trying to be a positive example for young men attempting to be NBA stars.
9. Ty Lawson
Not so long ago, Ty Lawson was always among the league leaders in assists and was one of the most important players for the Denver Nuggets with his All-Star caliber playmaking and hustle in both ends of the hardwood.
Nevertheless, he was never able to shake off his alcohol abuse habits and self-destructive nature, constantly skipping practice and being handed DIU tickets up to the point that he’s not even in the league anymore.
8. Anthony Randolph
Anthony Randolph entered the league projected to become one of the most dominant power forwards in the world, but he was never able to shake off constant injuries that to this day have kept him off the league, mostly playing overseas since being waived by the Orlando Magic.
Randolph looked poised for stardom as a two-way scoring beast with great shot-blocking abilities, but he’s yet another case of those extremely talented players whose body just doesn’t respond the way they would’ve liked to.
7. Kwame Brown
Kwame Brown is one of the few examples of something Michael Jordan isn’t good about, as when he was a part of the Wizards organization he decided to trust him with the 1st overall pick, just to completely destroy his confidence with a lot of harsh treatment and trash talking.
Brown’s game never took flight and he was just passed around from a harsh teammate to another one with Kobe always humiliating him as well, and he wasn’t able to build the kind of confidence and mindset needed to become the NBA star he was supposed to be.
6. Brandon Jennings
Brandon Jennings decided to play in Italy instead of heading to the NCAA before being drafted 10th overall as an offensive beast, even recording an absurd 55 point performance just a couple of weeks after making his debut in the Association.
Still, never being able to develop a consistent shot and following an Achilles injury, Jennings was never able to reach the ceiling everybody expected while he was growing up as one of the best talents in the world.
5. Josh Smith
Josh Smith always thought of him as way better than he actually was, and even despite being an extremely gifted player with very clear strong points, he still tried to become a stretch floor and just chug shot after shot despite being terrible at it.
At some point, the Pistons even waived him despite owing him a lot of money, as they just couldn’t stand his constant bricks and how self-centered he was. Had he known his place and learned how to use his talents, he would still be in this league playing for a contending side.
4. OJ Mayo
OJ Mayo was the most highly praised prospect and most talented player in the nation during his high school years, and some people even stated that the LeBron James era was coming to an end as soon as this crafty scorer entered the league, but boy, how wrong were them.
Mayo was just careless and undisciplined, and he’s not even in the league anymore following an undisclosed suspension due to the league’s substance abuse policy, and it’s pretty safe to assume that he’s never going to be able to make a comeback to the NBA.
3. Michael Beasley
Michael Beasley was one of the highest ranked prospects in the league when he first entered the Association, but his constant marijuana abuse and lack of discipline whatsoever even wind up making the Phoenix Suns just get rid of him as one of the most toxic players in franchise history.
Beasley is still a walking bucket and is just incredibly gifted in the offensive end of the floor, but his constant misconduct and lack of work ethic have relegated him to merely being a rotation player for a sluggish New York Knicks team after he was destined to become a perennial All-Star.
2. Andrew Bynum
Andrew Bynum was one of the most gifted big men of his prime, having a sick footwork and skill set that constantly made opposing centers and power forward make a fool of themselves while trying to contain him from the elbow all the way to the rim.
Still, he always thought so good of himself and was spoiled and effortless from time to time, and his bad attitude and lack of team spirit, as well as his constant injuries, prevented him from becoming the top-tier two-way big man everybody thought he would become.
1. Gilbert Arenas
Gilbert Arenas was the best player in Wizards history before John Wall’s surge, and he was just one of the most offensively gifted players on an NBA hardwood as a scoring machine and a very crafty playmaker as well.
Nonetheless, he was a harsh troublemaker and even had the guts to point a fire gun against a teammate in the locker room, something that completely killed his NBA career with absolutely no chance of making a comeback after being an All-Star and a fan favorite.