Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Walker, Olowokandi on most overrated list
By Chris Forsberg
A pair of players with Celtics ties landed on a decade-end list of most overrated players as part of John Hollinger's best and worst of the 2000's (Insider Required):
Antoine Walker: Walker made All-Star teams in 2002 and 2003 while shooting 39.4 and 38.8 percent, respectively. That accomplishment alone should put him first on the list. He was invited to the league's 3-point contest in 2002 despite a career mark in the low 30s; if the goal had been quantity of attempts instead of makes, he might have had a better shot at winning. Somehow, he still got a six-year, $54 million contract in 2005. But he did help in Miami's run to the 2006 title by shooting a career-high 43.5 percent.
Michael Olowokandi: Everyone pretends this never happened, but Olowokandi is probably the most overrated free agent in history. As a restricted free agent in the summer of 2002, the Clippers offered him $50 million to stay and were roundly criticized for being too cheap to offer him more. Kandi Man took the qualifier because he was so sure he'd make more money the next summer. Remember, this was coming off a season when he shot 43.3 percent and averaged 11.1 points per game. A year later, Kevin McHale took the bait (of course) and signed him for three years, $16 million, and that was still about five times what he was worth.
Hollinger also ranked the 2007-08 Celtics as the third best Cinderella this decade:
"Boston Celtics, 2007-08: It wasn't as big a shock as the two above, but it's technically the biggest U-turn in league history. Boston traded much of its youth for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, kept just enough in reserve to help them along and rode a tenacious defense to the title.