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Thursday, December 15, 2011
Five Days of List-Mas: NBA players from Florida

By Lucas O'Neill

5

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Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: The five best NBA players ever to come out of Florida.

Brandon Knight has a bright future, with some people already saying he's the future of the Detroit Pistons franchise. But until he's made his mark in The League, he can't be considered one of Florida's best NBA players of all time. So who does fit the bill? Here we present our picks for the Sunshine's State top NBA players:

5. Derek Harper
Credentials: A graduate of North Shore in West Palm Beach, Harper was an All-America an Illinois before being drafted 11th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in 1983. He spent more than 10 years with the Mavs before playing for the Knicks, Magic and Lakers toward the end of his career. He tallied more than 16,000 points, 6,500 assists and nearly 2,000 steals over the course of his career.

4. Darryl Dawkins
Credentials: An above-the-rim baller who led Orlando Evans to a 1975 state championship, Dawkins was selected fifth by the Detroit Pistons in the '75 NBA Draft. In addition to career numbers of 8,733 points, 4,432 rebounds and 1,023 blocks, Dawkins also has the distinction of being tagged with one of the best nicknames ever: Chocolate Thunder.

3. Mitch Richmond
Credentials: A six-time NBA All-Star and the 1989 Rookie of the Year, Richmond is perhaps best known as playing alongside Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin (the trio was dubbed Run TMC) on Don Nelson's Golden State Warriors. He went on to have several excellent years as a guard for the Sacramento Kings, and in 2002 he won an NBA Championship as a bench player with the Lakers. Richmond scored more than 20,000 points in his career.

2. Vince Carter
Credentials: The current Maverick was a McDonald's All-American at Mainland High and starred for North Carolina before becoming the fifth overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft. Carter quickly became one of the most popular players in the league thanks to his incredible athleticism. As part of the Toronto Raptors, Carter won the 1999 Rookie of the Year award and the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest. An eight-time NBA All-Star, Carter has scored more than 20,000 points in his career.

1. Amar'e Stoudemire
Credentials: STAT was named Florida's Mr. Basketball in 2002, and since being drafted out of high school (ninth overall) that year, he's been an NBA All-Star six times. Stoudemire spent most of his career with the Phoenix Suns before signing with the New York Knicks in 2010. He has averaged 21.9 points and 8.8 rebounds in nine seasons.