Creating a 1-2 punch is a must for any single team in the NBA that intends to contend, as leaving players on an island doesn’t work and hasn’t ever worked in the Championship pursuit, and you can ask Allen Iverson and Tracy McGrady that if you can’t take our word for it.
We’ve seen stars like Anthony Davis or Chris Paul struggle through their careers due to the lack of a good support cast, earning a lot of individual distinctions and hype but not being able to succeed at the postseason level.
Other guys do thrive with their teams, but just don’t get the credit they deserve because other star plays on the team, like when Wade had to be on Shaq’s and LeBron’s shadow instead of solely running the Miami Heat.
Over the course of history, we’ve seen this happen a lot of times, Stockton had Malone, Pippen had Jordan and you name it, and to this day this still happens and probably will do for life. So today, we’ll honor those top 8 players that live under the shadow of other stars in their current teams.
8. Kyle Lowry
For years, Lowry has been completely snubbed and underrated in his NBA journey, completely struggling and embarrassing himself during his first couple of seasons before finally flourishing as a very dominant point guard with the Toronto Raptors, helping them reach the postseason in 3 of the last 4 seasons.
Nevertheless, the Raptors are pretty much DeMar DeRozan’s team and they’ll probably be so for the foreseeable future, so Lowry has had to settle with the shots DeRozan doesn’t take and has seen his production take a major dip come playoff time, making him the villain in Canada despite all the effort he puts on the court.
7. Khris Middleton
Middleton arrived to the league as one of the most interesting prospects of his class due to his ability to put up points from pretty much every spot of the court while also having a very good defensive potential, making it a very good asset for the young Milwaukee Bucks team.
But, that hasn’t stopped him from living in the shadow of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and now even Malcolm Brogdon, who took his spot in the starters for most of the season while he was recovering from an injury.
6. Kyrie Irving
Irving was the go-to-guy in a very lousy and pathetic Cleveland Cavaliers team, putting incredible numbers on offense and proving to be one of the most prolific scorers in the history of the league, winning a lot of personal distinctions despite his tender age.
Still, he’s had to deal with LeBron’s presence from the very first day he decided to make his comeback, and even if he’s showed his strong temper and fierce character even against LeBron himself, he’s had to suck it up and let the King run the team, but at least it seems like it has worked quite well for everybody if you ask me.
5. Bradley Beal
Bradley Beal has grown into a very complete player and he’s not just the three point specialist he was during his NBA stint, developing a much more complete offensive game while also improving his defensive skills on a yearly basis.
However, if you have the best point guard in the Eastern Conference in your team, it’s pretty sure that you’re not getting as much attention as you’d probably get elsewhere, and with John Wall on board, it’s very unlikely that this situation changes anytime soon.
4. Eric Bledsoe
Bledsoe was yet another late bloomer when he finally had time to prove his worth in the Phoenix Suns, is the last man standing in their pursuit for their long-term point guard, defeating Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Brandon Knight for the starting gig.
Anyways, with Devin Booker’s surge over the last couple of seasons, Bledsoe has taken a step back to let the teenager be their primary scorer, even becoming expendable as a trade asset in the desert despite being a very young and talented guard.
3. Andrew Wiggins
The Canadian guard/forward seemed like he was going to be the second coming of LeBron when he was drafted 1st overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but when the King decided to go back home, he was immediately dealt to the Timberwolves as their new franchise player for the future in exchange for Kevin Love.
Sadly, that didn’t last for very long, as Karl Anthony-Towns completely overplayed him and took the league for assault since also being drafted 1st overall, showing a lot of glances of greatness and making everybody forget about Wiggins. Now, with Jimmy Butler on board, he’s going to have a much more difficult time trying to stand out for Thibodeau’s squad.
2. Kristaps Porzingis
Porzingis was pretty much unknown when Phil Jackson and the Knicks drafted him a couple of seasons ago, being a very criticized pick as an unidimensional player with few experience and a huge liability on defense, but the Latvian managed to put his detractors at ease with a breath-taking rookie season.
Still, if you’re playing side by side with Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Rose, they’re pretty much going to have much of the touches, and with all that drama surrounding Melo and the Knicks, the 7 footer isn’t getting the attention he deserves in the big apple, but hopefully that’s going to change pretty soon.
1. Klay Thompson
Thompson has been one of the most productive players on both ends of the floor since entering the league, being a lethal three-point shooter while also playing lockdown defense against a top of the notch offensive guards and wings.
Nevertheless, Stephen Curry gets most of the credit as the most impressive splash brother, while Draymond Green’s often catalogued as the mastermind behind the Warriors’ success, and adding Kevin Durant into the mix hasn’t exactly helped Thompson get more love despite being perhaps the best shooting guard not named James Harden in the league nowadays.