Induction into a professional sport hall of fame is one of the greatest acheivements an athlete can accomplish in his life. Being enshrined secures one’s legacy as an all-time great, and the fame and fortune that comes with the distinction are unparalled. Here at 4HT, we have put together comprehensive lists of HOFers in every major sport, who made a detour en-route to greatness, and donned a jersey that can only be described as “unfitting.” Today, we look at the NBA:
Before we start, some players on this list are not currently in the HOF, but will be at a later date
Jordan was already the GOAT before his stint in Washington, but watching one of my childhood heroes struggle in his autumn years was most disturbing. This may be why you don’t see many Wiz fans (that are sane) wearing his jersey at the Verizon Center.
The “Chief” collected a ring riding the pine during his ’96-97 season with Chicago, but don’t expect too many Celtic or Bulls fans to honor his legacy by sporting the old red and black.
Sad to watch….. At least his pal Mickey decided to destroy a franchise from above instead
‘Nique will always be remembered for his high flying dunks, and the legendary playoff duel between his Atlanta Hawks and Larry Bird’s Celtics. Seeing a Wilkins C’s jersey only cheapens this historic showdown.
The “Human Highlight Film” was hardly that in green
Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley—>Rockets
Pip could have gotten the same treatment for draping himself in Blazer garb, but his go-around with Portland at least showed flashes of that great all-around player we loved in Chicago. Being teamed up with Barkley for a season in Houston takes the cake, seeing they played there when the Rockets rocked those terrible pajama unis. As Chaz would say, “That’s terruhble.”
*Clyde Drexler is exempt for being a solid contributor on the Rockets 1995 NBA championship team
Barkley and Pippen moments before the sleepover at Rudy T’s house
Karl Malone, Gary Payton—>Lakers
These two greats both led small market teams to the NBA Finals, but unfortunately (for them) had to take on Jordan and the Bulls. Instead of retiring with grace and dignity, both jump ship, and cling onto the Showtime Lakers in hopes of a title. Their plan backfired, and Malone never got his ring, but Payton did the same thing with Miami, and cashed in.
The Mailman and Glove couldn’t deliver that year
“Chewing” could have made this list for his time on the Magic, but since he coaches them now, Seattle is a better fit in the “unwearable” department. Now that the Sonics are defunct, this jersey may experience a renaissance, unless former Sonic fans decide to wear Hersey Hawkins instead.
Should have called it a career in Knickerbocker orange and blue Pat
Not only did the Raptors have cheesy/horrible uniforms during The Dream’s one season in Toronto, the two time NBA champ should’ve known the “dream” was over.
The Dream looks more like a nightmare
The Pistol played his final season in Boston, but was a mere shell of his former self that year. Sadly, the Celtics won a championship the very next season, with Maravich no longer part of the team. Sure some fans wear this jersey for it’s sentimental appeal, but a more approriate choice would have to be purple and yellow (LSU or Jazz).
I have a sneaky suspicion there are not too many Detroit fans wearing an Answer jersey these days. The catastrophic trade that landed Iverson will go down as a blunder that rivals the drafting of Darko Milicic.
Seeing Iverson smile in Mo Town was a rare occurence
Iceman made himself a legend during his time with the Spurs, but played a final year in the NBA with the struggling Bulls. You will NOT see Gervin jerseys at the United Center, trust me.
Not a good look for The Iceman
Mullin is a tweener, but is on the list as a HOF finalist. The flat-topped shooting star enjoyed All-Star status and Dream Team immortality with the Warriors, so it was unflattering to see Mullin on the Pacers. He did play well those last few years, but the bread and butter of his career comes from out West.
You’ll always be part of “Run TMC” Chris
Dikembe Mutombo—>Take your pick
If it ain’t Nuggets, you have a jersey that NOBODY will wear.
Dikembe walks away from basketball a Nugget, Hawk, Sixer, Net, Rocket….and pseudo Knick and Bull
That’s all folks. Come back for Part 2, where we will break down the NFL’s most unwearable HOF jerseys. Feel free to comment on someone I may have missed.
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