When we all think of Arkansas, it’s pretty unlikely that the first thing that comes to mind is basketball culture or great basketball players, as this southern state is mostly known for their Arkansas Razorbacks, their biggest college football program.
Nonetheless, over the course of history, the NBA has seen several glories come out of The Natural State to make it and have successful careers, and today we’re going to let you know about the top 10 NBA players born in Arkansas.
10. Derek Fisher
Derek Fisher was always one of the most reliable backup point guards in the league during his 18 season career, as he was a crafty defender with really quick hands despite being vastly undersized, as well as his sharp shooting from beyond the arc.
Fisher was a key element during the Lakers’ 5 Championship run and managed to post career averages of 8.3 points, 3 assists and 1.1 steals per game as a member of the Lakers, Thunder, Warriors, Jazz and Mavs.
9. Paul Silas
Paul Silas made a name for himself out of his crafty and suffocating post defense, completely locking down opposing big men near the elbows as a 5-time member of the NBA’s All-Defensive teams.
The power forward almost averaged a triple-double throughout his career with 9.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game to go along with 0.6 steals per contest, winning 3 rings and making it to a couple All-Stars as a member of the Hawks, Suns, Celtics, Nuggets, and Sonics.
8. Fat Lever
Lafayette “Fat” Lever was born and raised at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, before heading towards Arizona State University and being drafted 11th overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1982 to play the shooting guard spot.
Nonetheless, after some below the average performances, he was dealt to the Denver Nuggets, where he would go on to have the best performances of his career before retiring as a member of the Mavs. Making it to a couple All-Star games, he averaged 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6 boards per game.
7. Mike Conley
Mike Conley is by far one of the most underrated players in the league, constantly being snubbed of All-Star selections or All-NBA teams despite being a great defender an above the average playmaker on a contending team like the Grizzlies.
Thus far, Conley has posted career averages of 14.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game, and his numbers would be way better if he wasn’t playing in such a slow tempo offensive system.
6. Archie Clark
Archie Clark was an extremely prolific combo guard during the league’s early stages, but he was never able to win the Championship mostly because of how dominant the Boston Celtics were back in the day.
Still, playing for the Lakers, Sixers, Bullers, Sonics and Pistons, he was able to make it to a couple of All-Stars and even 1 All-NBA squad, posting career averages of 16.3 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.8 points on 48% shooting.
5. Sidney Moncrief
Sidney Moncrief had a hell of an 11-year career in the NBA as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks, mostly because of his dominant defensive presence, and he even made a brief 1 season comeback with the Hawks following his retirement.
Moncrief made it to 5 All-Defensive teams, 5 All-Stars and even won a couple of Defensive Player of the Year awards, but he was still able to put almost 16 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game over his career playing at both guard spots.
4. Joe Barry Carroll
Joe Barry Carroll wasn’t much of a defensive force down low as a center despite being a great shot blocker, but he was so offensively skilled that it just made up for his defensive flaws, even making it to 1 All-Star matchup due to his prolific scoring.
Playing for the Warriors, Rockets, Nets, Nuggets and Suns, “Joe Barely Cares” posted career averages of 17.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1 steal and 1.6 blocks per game on 47% shooting from the floor.
3. Glen Rice
Glen Rice lit up opposing defenders for over 15 seasons, scoring over 18 thousand career points and having the highest point per game average in Arkansas history with 18.3 units a contest.
Besides those 18 points, he also managed to record 4.4 points, 2.1 assists and 1 steal per game on 45% shooting and 40% from three. Furthermore, Rice made it to 3 All-Stars, won a Championship, made 2 All-Stars with one All-Star MVP and made the All-Rookie team.
2. Joe Johnson
“Iso Joe” has made a living in the Association out of his restless capacity of sending the ball to the bottom of the nets, being one of the most consistent and versatile scorers of the past couple of decades, recording over 20 thousand career points (the most by any Arkansas native baller).
Sadly, he was never able to single-handedly lead a team, but he’s one of the most productive role players you’ll find and a terrific second scoring option for any squad. Over his career, the journeyman has averaged 16.1 points, 4 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
1. Scottie Pippen
And obviously, Scottie Pippen is one of Arkansas’ greatest personalities, a 6 time NBA Champion and a top 3 wing defender in the history of the game despite being such an overrated two-way player because of all the time he spent playing next to Michael Jordan.
Pippen was as skilled in the offensive end of the floor as he was on offense, and his hustle and suffocating defense paved the way as the perfect complement for his royal Airness. Also playing for the Rockets and Blazers, Scottie posted career averages 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2 steals and 0.8 blocks per game of as well as making it to 7 All-Stars, 10 All-Defensive teams and 1 Steal Title.