Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 7/12/13
(Presented in alphabetical order)  1. Chauncey Billups (36 years old, 16 seasons) Notable NBA Accomplishments 1x NBA Champion (2004) 1x Finals MVP (2004) 5x All-Star 1 of 107 players with 1,000+ career games played (#98 with 1,024) #5 on the career playoff 3-point scorers list #6 on the career regular season 3-point scorers list #T5 on the career free throw percentage list (Tied with Ray Allen) Billups began as a McDonald’s All-American out of Denver then chose to stay local and attend the University of Colorado over Kansas, Georgia Tech, Cal, and Oklahoma State. Drafted by the Celtics in 1997, he was widely considered a bust as he bounced around multiple teams, thanks mostly to a nagging shoulder injury. He then found a home with Kevin Garnett and the Minnesota Timberwolves and had a breakout season in 2001-02. It was fairly smooth sailing from then on for Billups as he continued to play well for the Pistons, Nuggets, for a short time with the Knicks, and most recently, the Clippers. Billups recently signed with the Detroit Pistons, but he should have pulled a Sheed and became an assistant coach. 2. Derek Fisher (38 years old, 17 seasons) Notable NBA Accomplishments 5x NBA Champion 1 of 107 players with 1,000+ career games played (#28 with 1,206) #4 on the career playoff 3-point scorers list #11 on the career playoff steals list #46 on the career regular season 3-point scorers list I never liked Derek Fisher when I was growing up because I am a Kings fan, but I get the feeling that he is one of those players that you hate to play against, but love to have on your team. He’s a great defender, a trustworthy PG, and the definition of a wily veteran. Despite playing his college ball at University of Arkansas at Little Rock, the Lakers picked him with the 24th pick in the 1996 draft. During his first stint with the Lakers in Game 5 of the 2004 playoffs, he hit the famous 0.4 game-winning shot, upstaging Duncan’s near-game winner just moments before. He has played for multiple NBA teams, but only had substantial success during his years with the Los Angeles Lakers. His deadly outside shooting only seemed to thrive when defenders were forced to leave him to help defend players like Kobe and Shaq. Recently, Fisher has been used for veteran depth by the Thunder and Mavs, but hasn’t been able to earn another championship ring. 3. Manu Ginobili (35 years old, 11 seasons) Notable NBA Accomplishments 3x NBA Champion 2x All-Star (2005 and 2011) Sixth Man of the Year (2008) #7 on the career playoff 3-point scorers list #19 on the career playoff steals list I am fully aware that Manu isn’t retiring, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t. As we all saw in the most recent NBA Finals, the Ginobili that exists in 2013 is not the Ginobili of years past; he’s like a completely different player. There were small flashes of the old Manu, but the majority of his major touches ended in disaster for the Spurs because of costly, out of character mistakes. Manu is coming back for two more years with the Spurs and I’m sure he’ll have a fine regular season coming off the bench, but expect him to have a diminished role. If I’m Gregg Popovich, Ginobili has lost a lot of trust. But what do I know? After the playoff performance Tiago Splitter (Signed a 4-year, $36mil deal) had, I wouldn’t have given him a dime either. Ginobili and Splitter looked terrified in the spotlight of the playoffs. Maybe understandable for a young-ish Splitter, but for Ginobili, who’s been there multiple times before? Never saw that coming. That being said, Manu has still compiled a very impressive career and he is one of the greatest foreign players ever. Don’t forget that he is one of two basketball players ever to have won a Euroleague championship, an NBA championship, and an Olympic gold medal. He’s a great overall player, but I think he’s winding down extremely quickly. 4. Juwan Howard (40 years old, 19 seasons) Notable NBA Accomplishments 2x NBA Champion (2012 and 2013) 1x All-Star (1996) 1 of 107 players with 1,000+ career games played (#26 with 1,208) #98 on the all-time career scorers list Juwan Howard has had a pretty great 19-year career. From the Fab Five at Michigan to being the first NBA player to sign a $100 million contract to finally becoming a two-time NBA champion the last two years with the Heat. Sure, he didn’t contribute much on the court with those championship teams (63 combined points over the last two seasons), but his veteran leadership and experience was undoubtedly an invaluable locker room asset. During the playoffs this year, Howard didn’t dress, but he basically served as an assistant coach and the Heat players wisely respected his seniority. “Juwan’s voice in our locker room on the floor is as big as anyone,” James said. “As big as [Spoesltra], as big as mine, Udonis Haslem, Dwyane Wade.  That’s why we brought him back because he’s an instrumental part of our team.” Now that Howard has a second ring, he should definitely make the transition from veteran player to assistant coach now that he’s shown he definitely has a knack for being a leader. 5. Antawn Jamison (37 years old, 15 seasons) Notable NBA Accomplishments 2x All-Star (2005 and 2008) Sixth Man of the Year (2004) #39 on the all-time career scorers list #47 on the career 3-point scorers list 1 of 107 players with 1,000+ career games played (#79 with 1,061) Jamison has had an astoundingly consistent basketball career. He was a McDonald’s All-American, averaged almost 20/10 in three seasons at UNC, and has been a really good NBA player who showed occasional bursts of brilliance. He scored 51 points two nights in a row back in his early years and most recently, recorded 33 points and 12 rebounds of the bench for the Lakers in 2012. He has been a great NBA player and should be very happy with his career, though I’m sure he would love a ring before it’s all over. 6. Kenyon Martin (35 years old, 13 seasons) Notable NBA Accomplishments 1x All-Star (2004) #1 overall pick in the NBA draft (2000) Though Kenyon Martin probably never lived up to the expectations that comes with that number one pick, he was a major piece of the Nets’ success in the early 2000s helping them make it to the NBA Finals in his second and third seasons. After a micro-fracture surgery on each knee, Martin’s offensive production waned during his year in Denver. He later agreed to play in the Chinese Basketball Association, but left soon after to join the Clippers. Last season he signed a few 10-day contracts with the Knicks, then signed on for the remainder of the season to help fill the void left by an injured Tyson Chandler. Martin remained a defensive presence as a rim protector even in later years when his offensive numbers began to go down. I’m sure he will regret not winning the Finals in those early years with Jason Kidd, but the East was just no match for the West in those days. 7. Tracy McGrady (34 years old, 16 seasons) Notable NBA Accomplishments 7x All-Star Most Improved Player (2001) 2x NBA Scoring Champion (2003 and 2004) 2x All-NBA First Team (2002 and 2003) #57 on the all-time career scorers list Tracy McGrady was a fan favorite when I was growing up, along with Vince Carter, Allen Iverson, Steve Francis, and many others. These extremely athletic scorers completely took over the NBA and constantly wowed us. McGrady really got his shot at stardom after leaving the Raptors and joining the Magic. Grant Hill, the team’s star, went down with an injury and the Magic turned to McGrady for their offensive firepower. At the end of that 2001 season, McGrady was voted the league’s Most Improved Player. In the 2002-03 season, he averaged 32 points per game and won the scoring title. He scored 62 points in a game against the Wizards the following season and repeated as scoring champ. McGrady then teamed up with Yao Ming in Houston and had moderate success. Most recently, the Spurs signed him late in the season after waiving Stephen Jackson and he came within one game of finally winning a championship, but it was not to be. It’s safe to say McGrady is the biggest overall “star” on this list and he should be very happy with his career when it ends. 8. Jerry Stackhouse (38 years old, 18 seasons) Notable NBA Accomplishments 2x All-Star (2000 and 2001) Sports Illustrated Player of the Year (1995) #40 on the career free throw scorers list #88 on the all-time career scorers list As I reviewed some of Stackhouse’s career highlights I was repeatedly surprised by the things he’s accomplished. For example, during the 2000-01 season with the Pistons, he played and started 80 games and he averaged 29.8 points per game! Fun fact, Stackhouse started the trend of wearing pressure leggings in 2004-05 to help with his groin and knee issues. Kobe, LeBron, and Wade wore them multiple times the following year. Since his knee issues began, Stackhouse hasn’t been much of a factor for the numerous teams he’s been a part of and now that he’s a free agent, he should probably call it quits. In his heyday, Stackhouse was thought to be the next Jordan and though he never got to that level, he has certainly been a great player for years. 9. Hedo Turkoglu (34 years old, 13 seasons) Notable NBA Accomplishmnets Most Improved Player (2008) #45 on the career 3-point scorers list Hedo was one of the players the Kings acquired during their European invasion period in the early 2000s. He is extremely agile for his 6’10” frame and has great ball handling skills. Sadly, I think the most exposure he received was when he was suspended 20 games for a banned NBA substance last season. Turkoglu is the youngest veteran player on this list, but I think if he feels the need to take PEDs in order to succeed in the NBA, his reign as the Turkish Delight (a nickname I just coined and am pretty proud of) may be over. That being said, I will always remember Hedo as the young Euro guy in a Kings jersey…with frosted tips. Hedo is currently negotiating a buyout with Orlando to join the free agent market. -Pearce
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