Unlikely NBA All-Star Picks: A player’s selection as an NBA All-Star showcases their abilities and effect on the court and is a distinguished recognition of their exceptional accomplishments. Although the NBA has seen times when surprising players have stepped up to the plate and cemented their spot among basketball’s best, perennial All-Stars frequently steal the show.
These surprising choices for unlikely NBA All-Star picks highlight the variety of routes players can take to be acknowledged for their abilities and offer an exciting new perspective to the story of individual achievement and team dynamics.
Most Unlikely NBA All-Star Picks Over the Past 20 Years
Check out the most unlikely NBA all-star picks over the past 20 years below:
1. Andrew Wiggins – 2022 NBA All-Star Game
Throughout the NBA season of 2021–2022, Andrew Wiggins distinguished himself as a versatile player. With 73 games played, Wiggins averaged 17.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. He was selected for the All-Star Game and was a key player in the Golden State Warriors’ first NBA title win.
Wiggins’ selection to the All-Star team was a turning point in his career and demonstrated his growth from his rookie campaign. He finished the game with 10 points and 1 assist, illustrating the process of development and progress that eventually resulted in his outstanding performances in the 2021–22 campaign.
As a result of his effort and commitment, Wiggins was selected for the All-Star Game, demonstrating to the NBA community that even unlikely players can step up to the plate and leave a lasting impression. An interesting story within the larger context of improbable All-Star selections is his path from a promising rookie to a pivotal player on a championship-winning squad.
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2. Goran Dragic – 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Goran Dragic’s surprise career turnabout came in the 2017–18 NBA All-Star Game selection. Throughout 75 games, Dragic averaged 17.3 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.1 rebounds. While his statistical contributions were impressive, they did not immediately lead to an All-Star selection.
Because Dragic was not a consistent All-Star contender, his selection as an All-Star seemed improbable. His participation was unexpected because of his play style, which is defined by consistent contributions rather than spectacular displays. The guard’s leadership and reliable performance were essential to the Miami Heat, and their effect extended beyond the scoreboard.
Dragic’s selection to the All-Star Game demonstrated the enthusiasm for his season-long play even though his stats may not have been particularly noteworthy. The surprising selection demonstrated how players with unconventional All-Star careers may still be honoured for their dependable and significant contributions to their clubs.
3. Deandre Jordan – 2017 NBA All-Star Game
In contrast to previous All-Star choices, DeAndre Jordan was selected for the 2017 NBA All-Star Game. During the 2016–17 campaign, he averaged 12.7 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 81 games, which was respectable but not historically All-Star-level performance.
The emphasis on statistical categories not usually connected with All-Star honours made Jordan’s selection as an All-Star doubtful. Jordan’s effect went beyond only his scoring, as he was also well-known for his ability to rebound and block shots. His outstanding rebounding and defensive presence were vital to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Even though Jordan only had modest All-Star Game numbers (6 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists), his selection demonstrated the value of well-rounded contributions and the unusual route some players take to be recognised as All-Stars. His choice served as evidence of the importance of a player’s whole influence on the floor, which goes beyond traditional scoring calculations.
4. Jeff Teague – 2015 NBA All-Star Game
Jeff Teague’s inclusion in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game was directly related to his crucial contribution to the Atlanta Hawks’ incredible campaign in 2014–15. With 73 games played, Teague averaged 15.9 points, 7.0 assists, and 2.5 rebounds. His playmaking skills were crucial to the Hawks’ Eastern Conference title as the top seed.
Under head coach Mike Budenholzer, the Hawks shocked the league with their selfless, team-oriented style of play. Teague’s services as a floor general, which were emphasised by his remarkable assist totals, were vital to the team’s victory. A guy like Teague may not have been on the usual All-Star radar, but his sudden ascent to the top seed made him known.
Teague displayed his abilities with 14 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, and 1 steal in the All-Star Game. His choice placed a strong emphasis on appreciating both individual achievement and the contribution a player can make to taking his team to new heights. Teague’s selection as an All-Star was a testament to the team’s success that season as well as his own individual accomplishments.
5. Kyle Korver – 2015 NBA All-Star Game
Kyle Korver’s remarkable three-point shooting and significant contributions to the Atlanta Hawks in the 2014–15 season were acknowledged with his participation in the 2015 NBA All-Star Game. Even though Korver only averaged 12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.6 assists per game, his influence went beyond the numbers.
His outstanding performance in the All-Star Game, when he scored 21 points, pulled down one rebound, distributed two assists, and drained seven three-pointers, served as justification for his selection. Korver’s ability to stretch the floor and shoot with accuracy was a major factor in the Hawks winning the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
His All-Star Game performance and selection demonstrated the NBA’s recognition of specialised abilities and their importance for team success, even though his regular-season numbers may not have screamed All-Star. Korver’s honour showed that the league valued players who excelled in their specialised fields and acknowledged the variety of player responsibilities.
6. Tyson Chandler – 2013 NBA All-Star Game
Tyson Chandler’s selection for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game was a reflection of his effectiveness in the 2012–13 season on both sides of the floor. Chandler was a double-double machine for the New York Knicks, averaging 10.4 points and 10.7 rebounds a game. His defensive prowess was demonstrated by 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.
Due to his effectiveness on both sides of the court in the 2012–13 season, Tyson Chandler was chosen for the 2013 NBA All-Star Game. Chandler’s defensive strength, demonstrated by 1.0 steals and 1.1 blocks per game, was important in the New York Knicks’ success. Chandler averaged a double-double with 10.4 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
Chandler’s leadership in establishing the defence was a major contributor to the Knicks’ rise to prominence in the Eastern Conference during the 2012–13 campaign. His selection as an All-Star underscored the league’s appreciation for defensive specialists and players who make important contributions to a team’s success in ways that aren’t often evident from conventional scoring statistics.
7. Chris Kaman – 2010 NBA All-Star Game
Chris Kaman’s outstanding 2009–10 season performance earned him a spot in the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. With a game average of 18.5 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks, Kaman was a vital member of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Although his 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 1 assist All-Star Game totals may not have been striking, they accurately represented his consistent and trustworthy style of play. The Clippers were in the midst of rebuilding when Kaman was selected, and his individual accomplishments gave the franchise hope.
Kaman proved to be a dependable scoring option and a force in the paint throughout the 2009–10 campaign. Even though the Clippers weren’t expected to make the playoffs, Kaman’s selection as an All-Star highlighted how the NBA recognises individual talent even on underperforming teams. The NBA recognised a wide range of abilities and contributions, which was underscored by his selection in the All-Star Game.
8. Mo Williams – 2009 NBA All-Star Game
Given the background of his individual performance during the 2008–09 season, Mo Williams’ nomination for the 2009 NBA All-Star Game was an unexpected and surprising development. Williams demonstrated both his ability to score points and his ability to create plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers, averaging 17.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game.
Although his 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 5 assist All-Star Game performance was impressive, the Eastern Conference backcourt’s competitiveness that season surprised many by making his selection unanticipated. Williams had to contend with a fierce rivalry against more seasoned and statistically superior guards.
The fact that Williams was chosen over players with higher averages and longer careers was surprising. Williams’ inclusion highlights the impact of team performance on All-Star choices, since the Cavaliers, headed by LeBron James, have been a successful team.
Williams’ surprising selection as an All-Star serves as a reminder of the ways in which the league recognises individual players based on a variety of considerations, including team success and overall effect. His selection for the 2009 All-Star Game was evidence of his crucial contribution to the Cavaliers’ championship run that campaign.
9. Jameer Nelson – 2009 NBA All-Star Game
The 2009 NBA All-Star Game selection of Jameer Nelson was a merited acknowledgement of his leadership qualities and contributions to the Orlando Magic’s outstanding campaign. With an NBA Finals average of 16.7 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game, Nelson was a key member of the Magic team.
But an important setback clouded Nelson’s All-Star experience. He was forced to skip the exhibition due to a ruptured labrum in his right shoulder, which he received just before the All-Star Game. Nelson remained an important player for the Magic during their postseason run in spite of this injury.
Nelson had an amazing comeback in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite having little impact, his on-court presence showed his commitment to the team’s success. The Magic ultimately lost the series after losing to the Lakers in five games.
10. Josh Howard – 2007 NBA All-Star Game
Given his exceptional play in the 2006–07 NBA season, Josh Howard’s selection to the 2007 NBA All-Star Game was an unexpected development. With a game average of 18.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists, Howard became an indispensable member of the Dallas Mavericks.
Howard was an odd All-Star pick because of the Western Conference’s competitiveness, which is renowned for producing a large number of great players. Howard’s statistical contributions were noteworthy in a conference full of elite players, but at first, he wasn’t thought to be a lock for an All-Star selection.
Howard’s performance in the 2007 All-Star Game—3 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists—not only demonstrated his flexibility but also signalled the start of a string of difficulties. Injuries and off-court problems would subsequently affect Howard’s career.
Perhaps though Howard’s selection for the All-Star Game demonstrated his skills on the court, his selection was perhaps more surprising given the events that followed. His career path was changed by off-court events and injuries, highlighting the unpredictable nature of being recognised for individual achievement in the NBA.
These are the most unlikely NBA All-Star picks over the past 20 years. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.