7 Worst Basketball Players Ever to Have Played on the Court



How often do you hear of the worst basketball players of all time? So much focus is given to the best players that we hardly look at the other side. This article isn’t meant to talk down these players.

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They were talented, which is why they made it to the NBA in the first place but, we are looking at why they didn’t succeed at the highest level of the sport. Without further ado, here are the 7 worst basketball players ever.

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Javaris Crittenton

7 Worst Basketball Players Ever to Have Played on the Court
Javaris Critterion playing for the Washington Wizards. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-2.0

Crittenton’s story is a sad one. He came into the NBA in 2007 as a 19th overall pick and was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers, where he played for a season. The point guard, who also played as shooting guard, had brief stints at other teams as well: 

Things took a turn for the worse for Javarris in 2011 when he was convicted of manslaughter. Before that, Crittenton was involved in an altercation with Gilbert Arenas in the locker room. Arenas threatened to shoot him after he challenged home to a fight.

Initially, his sentence was 23 years but was reduced to 10. Reports show that he was released in 2023. 

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DeSagana Diop

Desagana Diop free throw. Video Credit: thehoopscene

For someone on the list of the worst basketball players of all time, it’s almost strange to say that he spent his brief professional career in the NBA and even coached a few teams. The Senegalese was the eighth overall pick for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2001 and represented the team for four years until 2005. He then played for: 

Diop’s coaching career started at the Texas Legends where he was the player development assistant. He’s since coached at: 

  • Utah Jazz (coaching associates)
  • Houston Rockets (assistant)
  • Currently at Westchester Knicks.

He played 601 games in the regular season in his entire career and registered an average of 2.0 points per game and 3.7 rebounds per game. 

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Anthony Bennett

7 Worst Basketball Players Ever to Have Played on the Court
Anthony Bennett playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-2.0

Since he joined the Long Island Nets, a Brooklyn Nets affiliate, Bennet has never played in the NBA. He currently plays in the Taiwanese basketball league for Kaohsiung 17LIVE Steelers. This player was selected as a first-overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013. 

It’s obvious that the Cavaliers highly thought of him to make such a move. However, he played for just one season and then moved to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he also spent a season, as is the case with the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets. Bennet played 151 games and averaged 4.4 points and 3.1 rebounds. 

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Hasheem Thabeet 

Hasheem Thabeet’s bad NBA record. Video Credit: A.M. Hoops

Thabeet made his NBA debut in 2009 for the Memphis Grizzlies who drafted him as a second overall pick. Throughout his NBA career in which he also played for the Houston Rockets, Portland Trailblazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder, he averaged 2.2 points per game, 2.7 total rebounds and 224 games which is why he is one of the worst basketball players of all time. Thabeet is the first Tanzania to be drafted in the NBA.

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Chris Washburn

Chris Washburn’s NBA career. Video Credit: 10TimesTV

In 1986, Chris Washburn was the third overall pick for the Golden State Warriors. It turned out to be a poor choice as he only spent a season on the team and generally, went on to have an underwhelming NBA career.

Washburn joined the Atlanta Hawks but even there, he failed to establish himself and left in 1988. He retired in 1994 without much to his name which is why he features in the list of one of the worst NBA players of all time.

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Greg Oden 

The tragic career of Greg Oden. Video Credit: Nonstop

Greg’s NBA career started in 2007 as the first overall pick for the Portland Trail Blazers. He represented the side for five years before he joined the Miami Heat for a season. In his seven-year stint in the NBA, Greg played 105 games in the regular season and nine in the playoffs.

He scored a total of 840 points and averaged 8.0 points per game, which is why he makes it into the list of the worst basketball players of all time. 

Michael Olowokandi

Michael Olowokandi underwhelming career. Video Credit: J got it

Michael made it into the NBA rookie team of the season in his first year in the league with the Los Angeles Clippers, making him their first overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. Despite this, his Clippers career was hampered by multiple knee surgeries. When his contract was about to end, he suffered another knee injury and the Clippers opted not to extend his contract. 

Olowokandi moved to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics. In his career, he scored 4,135 points and averaged 8.3 points per game.

Featuring in the worst basketball players list isn’t something anyone wants. Some NBA players’ careers get derailed by injuries and no matter how cautious they are, their bodies keep failing them. Others can’t handle the pressure at the highest level so they find it difficult to cope.

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