Forgotten Stars: NBA players you didn’t know made an All-Star team (Pt. 2)

Being named an All-Star is one of the biggest dreams for most NBA players. And while we remember the great players who were regularly selected to the mid-year exhibition, there are also players who — for a variety of reasons — got selected only once and hardly made an imprint on our memories of the games.

Let us take a look at some more of these players whom most of you may have forgotten were actually called All-Stars at one point in their respective careers. (You can check out Part 1 here)

Jamaal Magloire (2004)

Jamaal Magloire was selected as an Eastern Conference All-Star as an injury replacement for….Theo Ratliff. It is not surprising that a forgettable selection was replaced by another generally unmemorable player.

As for Magloire, he averaged career-highs in points (13.6) and rebounds (10.3) during the 2003-2004 season as the 25-year old starting center for the New Orleans Hornets. Solid numbers, sure, but definitely not what one would expect from an All-Star. Three seasons later, Magloire averaged 6.5 points and 6.1 rebounds as a bench player for the lottery-bound Portland Trail Blazers. The 6’11 Canadian retired with career averages of 7.2 points and 6.5 rebounds while playing for eight teams in 12 seasons.

Theo Ratliff (2004)

So, yes, Theo Ratliff is on this list. The 6’10 center averaged 12.4 points, 8.3 rebounds, and a league-leading 3.7 – all career-highs – blocks during the 2003-2004 season for the Philadelphia 76ers. Unfortunately, a fractured wrist forced him to miss the mid-season festivities and the rest of the season.

Ratliff never came close to replicating those overall numbers in his career again as he bounced around the league. He has career averages of 7.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks.

Jameer Nelson (2009)

As difficult as it is to imagine that Jameer Nelson was once considered a top point guard in the league, he was actually pretty good during that lone season that he made the All-Star team. The Saint Joseph’s University alum averaged 16.7 points and 5.1 assists while shooting 50.3% from the field and 45.3% from downtown as the starting point guard for the Finals-bound Orlando Magic in the 2008-2009 season. An injury forced him to miss playing in the actual All-Star game.

After several more solid, but unspectacular, seasons with the Magic, Nelson has become a token NBA journeyman. He has played for five different teams in the last four seasons. He is currently a free agent and last played for the Detroit Pistons.

Josh Howard (2007)

After being selected by the Dallas Mavericks as the 30th overall pick in the loaded 2003 draft, Josh Howard slowly improved after every season in the league. In his fourth year, Howard averaged 18.9 points and 6.8 rebounds as the main sidekick to Dirk Nowitzki (who won the MVP that year) and helped lead the Mavericks to the first seed in the Western Conference. His performance was rewarded by being selected as an All-Star that season. Unfortunately for Howard and the Mavs (and most especially to Dirk Nowitzki), that magical season was prematurely cut short in the first round of the playoffs by the even more magical “We Believe” Warriors.

After another All-Star worthy year during the 2007-2008 season (although he wasn’t selected), Howard’s performance gradually started to dip due to injuries. He eventually called it a career after the 2012-2013 season. Howard has career averages of 14.3 points and 5.7 rebounds.

Wally Szczerbiak (2002)

I initially didn’t want to include Wally Szczerbiak on this list, not because he doesn’t belong here, but because his name is just so difficult to spell out. S-Z-C-Z-E-R-B-I-A-K.

Besides the difficult surname spelling, Szczerbiak is best remembered as a shooting specialist for the Minaesota Timberwolves. But much like Kyle Korever in 2015, it is hard to imagine niche role players deserving of being selected as an All-Star. But Szczerbiak did actually have a little bit of an all-around game in his prime, and was a more prolific scorer than Korver ever was.

During the 2001-2002 season, Szczerbiak averaged 18.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.1 assists while shooting 50.8% from the field and 45.5% from beyond the arc for the Timberwolves alongside Kevin Garnett and was selected for his first and only All-Star appearance of his career. After Minnesta, the Miami University product also played for the Boston Celtics, the Seattle Supersonics, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He retired after the 2008-2009 season with career averages of 14.1 points, 4 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.

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