If you think getting into the NBA is difficult, just try and wonder how hard it is to actually stay in it, as we’ve seen thousands of players go in and out of the Association without any recognition or noticeable achievements whatsoever.
Being an NBA veteran isn’t always as glamorous as you may think, as just a handful of players like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade or Dirk Nowitzki are capable of playing at the highest of levels for a very, very long time.
As some players reach the sunset of their respective careers, they get relegated to the bottom of the bench or even the bleachers, barely touching the hardwood while mentoring the young basketball players.
Today, we’re going to let you know about 10 unknown veterans, meaning 10 guys that you probably didn’t realize that have over 10 years in the National Basketball Association entering this year.
Honorable Mentions: Darrell Arthur (11 Seasons), Jason Smith (11 Seasons), Damien Wilkins (10 Seasons)
10. Jose Calderon: 13 Seasons
The veteran Spaniard hasn’t been really good at an NBA level besides his Toronto Raptors stint, and it’s pretty hard to understand why on earth he’s still in the Association considering no coach is actually willing to give him any playing time whatsoever. Still, he’s considered one of the best point guards in the history of the Spanish national team, so expect him to retire overseas as soon as the Cavs cut him or the season comes to an end.
9. Amir Johnson: 13 Seasons
It’s crazy to think Amir Johnson has been in the league that long considering he’s just 30 years old, and even though he lost a lot of playing time since he left the Toronto Raptors, it seems like he’s going to be a major piece off the bench for the young and inexperienced Philadelphia 76ers. He was never much of an offensive force and has always lacked range, but he can definitely out hustle most guys when it comes to cleaning the glass.
8. Nick Collison: 14 Seasons
Nick Collison has never been much of a basketball player, more than an instigator and a guy that can get in anybody’s nose. Nowadays, he’s true role is more mentoring than actually balling, and it’s crazy to think that he’s spent 14 years with the Association. I mean, he must be a great teammate and tell a hell of a joke to never been traded or cut by the Sonics/Thunder despite barely seeing the hardwood.
7. Devin Harris: 14 Seasons
Devin Harris is one of the most capable backup point guards in the Association right now, and even though he was never much of a shooter, his athleticism made him very tough to guard during his prime, especially during his New Jersey Nets stint. Posting averages of over 11 points, 2 boards and 4 dimes per game, he definitely won’t make the Hall of Fame, but at least he made it to 1 All-Star game.
6. Josh McRoberts: 11 Seasons
Josh McRoberts is your average tweener stretch four that isn’t really good at anything, being something like Andrea Bargnani and Spencer Hawes. He was supposed to provide some depth and help to Chris Bosh for the Miami Heat with his ability to hit the three and hold onto boards, but constant injuries have prevented him from actually making an impact at South Beach and there’s currently no timetable for his return.
5. Brandan Wright: 10 Seasons
Brandan Wright is really short to play the 5 but lacks the range to play the 4, being relegated to a substitute role throughout his entire career, being a very efficient scorer but lacking the kind of volume to actually be an important piece of any team. Averaging 7.1 points and 3.5 boards on over 60% from the floor, Wright has spent the last 3 years backing up Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in just over 15 minutes per night.
4. Aaron Brooks: 10 Seasons
Aaron Brooks is something like Nate Robinson’s bad brother, being a terrible defender that lacks a lot of sizes, but providing an instant offensive spark off the bench for any team that signs him. Brooks has always been streaky and inconsistent, but he has the ability to get hot in a heartbeat. Posting averages of 10.1 points and 3.1 assists on 41.3% from the field and 37% from beyond the arc, at least he can brag about having the 2009-10 MIP accolade under his belt.
3. DJ Augustin: 10 Seasons
Augustin has made a living out of some very good games per season, but he’s never been able to be a consistent scorer and contributor, and he’s often been careless with the rock in his hands. Still, he’s got what it takes to be any team’s backup at the point, being one of the best substitute playmakers that are still in the league. Over a 10 season span, he’s played for 8 different franchises, averaging 9.5 points and 3.8 helpers per contest in 40% from the field.
2. Kosta Koufos: 11 Seasons
Truth to be told, we don’t have a clue to why Kosta Koufos got into the league and even worse, why he’s still on it. Koufos brings absolutely nothing to the table, as he’s slow, unathletic and a complete nonfactor in the offensive end, and after being a starter at the 5 for the Sacramento Kings, it seems that he’s finally lost his spot against Willie Cauley-Stein. Over his career as a member of the Jazz, Timberwolves, Nuggets, Grizzlies and Kings, Kosta has averaged 5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds.
1. CJ Miles: 13 Seasons
CJ Miles has always been pretty much a unidimensional player, staying in the league this long due to his ability to punish from beyond the arc. Now, the veteran small forward has provided some much-needed firepower to the Toronto Raptors, being something like the bad version of Kyle Korver for them. Throughout his career, the sharpshooting specialist has averaged 9.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.7 steals per game in 41.8% from the floor and over 36% from three-point territory.