Ten Head-Scratching One-Time All-Stars

This is a guest post from Jonathan Santiago of DavisSportsDeli.com.  He shares his thoughts on some interesting All-Star selections just in time for the start of All-Star Weekend!

Nine players are making their NBA All-Star debuts this Sunday. And more than likely, it won’t be the last for a couple of them.

But for a few of these guys, Sunday could be the first AND last time some don an All-Star uniform. And that got me wondering about the various one-time All-Stars in NBA history. With a little research, I discovered quite a few incomprehensible appearances and figured “What better place to share such a list than The No-Look Pass, home of the ‘We Like Obscure NBA Players’ series?”

So without further ado…

10. Hersey Hawkins – 1991 (Injury Replacement)

Based on the way Hawkins finished his career, his single All-Star appearance is surprising. But check his first five seasons. They were actually pretty good statistically.

  • Pre All-Star Game Stats: 21.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 3.8 APG, 44.5 FG%, 40 3P%, 39.2 MPG, 45 of 45 games started.

9. Jeff Hornacek – 1992

People remember the Charles-Barkley-to-Phoenix trade. But they don’t usually recall who Philly received in return. And when you tell them Jeff Hornacek was the prized possession Philly landed, they’d probably think the Sixers were robbed. But his numbers during his All-Star season were, dare I say, Derrick Rose or Tyreke Evans-like.

  • Pre All-Star Game Stats: 20.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 52 FG%, 44.9 3P%, 91 FT%, 38 MPG, 48 of 48 games started.

8. Kevin Willis – 1992

If I told you Kevin Willis had a season better than Dwight Howard’s career numbers, would you believe me? I’m sure you wouldn’t, but the record books don’t lie. In fact, Willis would’ve led the League in rebounding had it not been for Dennis Rodman, who averaged an absurd 18.7 rebounds per game that same season.

  • Pre All-Star Game Stats: 18 PPG, 16.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 0.7 BPG, 0.8 SPG, 47.9 FG%, 81.6 FT%, 36.8 MPG, 47 of 47 games started.

7. Tyrone Hill – 1995

The 1995 Cleveland Cavaliers are comparable to this year’s Houston Rockets. Much like the Rockets this season, no one guy stood head and shoulders ahead of his teammates to lead the Cavs to a 43-39 record. But unlike the Rockets, they were rewarded with an All-Star.

  • Pre All-Star Game Stats: 13.7 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 50.7 FG%, 37 out of 39 games started.

6. Anthony Mason – 2001

An All-Star Game featuring Anthony Mason? It might not make much sense in the grand scheme of Mason’s career. But, he did step up his play in the absence of Alonzo Mourning, who was only able to play in 16 total games that season.

  • Pre All-Star Game Stats: 15.5 PPG, 9.6 RPG, 3.0 APG, 45.9 FG%, 80.7% FT, 40.4 MPG, 50 of 50 games started.

5. Theo Ratliff – 2001

Solid defensive play, not gaudy statistics, earned Ratliff an All-Star bid back in 2001. Ratliff didn’t even get to play in the All-Star Game due to a season-ending wrist injury. His misfortune, however, paved the way for the Sixers to make a blockbuster deal for Dikembe Mutumbo, which helped them get to the NBA Finals.

  • Pre All-Star Game Stats: 12.4 PPG, 8.3 RPG, 1.2 APG, 3.7 BPG, 49 FG%, 76 FT%, 36 MPG, 50 of 50 games started.

4. BJ Armstrong & Horace Grant (Injury Replacement) – 1994

We have a tie for fourth on the list because they kind of come hand-in-hand. 1994 was the year of unlikely All-Stars, with BJ Armstrong & Horace Grant leading the way. Armstrong was selected to the team by the coaches, while Grant made the roster as David Stern’s injury replacement for Alonzo Mourning. Overcompensation for the Bulls’ success in light of Michael Jordan’s first retirement cost players such as Glen Rice, Steve Smith and most notably Reggie Miller All-Star appearances that year.

  • Armstrong’s Pre All-Star Game Stats: 15.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, 47.5 FG%, 39.3 3P%, 86.2 FT%, 33.7 MPG, 47 of 47 games started.
  • Grant’s Pre All-Star Game Stats: 15 PPG, 11.6 RPG, 3.5 APG, 52.5 FG%, 37 MPG, 40 of 40 games started.

3. AC Green – 1990

Much like Armstrong & Grant, Green’s All-Star appearance came as a result of a superstar teammate’s retirement. The Lakers won an NBA high 63 games in 1990 in light of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s departure. And fortunately for Green, he played forward and not guard, which might explain why Byron Scott was snubbed from that team.

  • Pre All-Star Game Stats: 13.3 PPG, 9 RPG, 1.0 APG, 35.3 MPG, 72.3 FT%, 47.5 FG%, 35.3 MPG, 46 of 46 games started.

2. Dana Barros – 1995

Talk about an aberration! Prior to the 1995 NBA season, Barros never played an entire 82-game season and never averaged more than 13.3 points, 5.2 assists and 31.1 minutes per contest. He set career highs in all four of those categories in ‘95 playing for a bad Sixers team that finished 24-58. His fluke All-Star campaign is probably why Monta Ellis isn’t packing his bags for Dallas.

  • Pre All-Star Game Stats: 20.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 7.4 APG, 50.6 FG%, 49 3P%, 89.9 FT%, 40 MPG, 48 of 48 games started

1. Chris Gatling – 1997 (Injury Replacement)

I’m sure you’re shaking your head in utter disbelief right now. Chris Gatling? Really? Like Barros, Gatling played for a terrible team but couldn’t even crack the starting lineup! However, he did post some very good numbers off the bench, most notably a 19 point average on 53.3 percent shooting in 26.8 minutes per game. Like Monta Ellis, Gatling’s strange All-Star Appearance might be why Ellis’ teammate, Corey Maggette isn’t headed to Cowboys Stadium either.

  • Pre All-Star Game Stats: 19 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 0.5 APG, 53.3 FG%, 70.7 FT%, 20 3P%, 26.8 MPG, 0 of 42 games started

Catch Jonathan Santiago every week on the Davis Sports Deli Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter, @ITSJonSantiago.

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  1. Ct Kingston

    Hot damn!

  2. vince

    most of these players were clear all star candidates. yet you fail to mention magloire….

  3. stu

    there was also a guy by the name of Michael Adams in the early 90's that played for Washington who got an all-star nod.

  4. vince

    most of these players were clear all star candidates. yet you fail to mention magloire….

  5. stu

    there was also a guy by the name of Michael Adams in the early 90's that played for Washington who got an all-star nod.


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