Being waived is one of the worst situations a player has to face throughout his career, as it’s the basketball equivalent of being fired, meaning there’s just no more use for you in the team, or maybe, the league.
Naturally, this mostly happens to subpar players that spend most of their careers wandering around teams, playing overseas and spending a lot of time in the development league, although it can literally happen to anyone.
As a matter of fact, several great ballers have been waived at least once in their career, impossible as it may seem. That’s why today, we’re going to let you know about the NBA legends that were waived at some point. Note: obviously, we will exclude Carmelo Anthony because it’s so recent.
10. Reggie Miller
Reggie Miller is considered to be the greatest player on Pacers history, even despite his lack of playoff success and the fact that he was never able to lead them as legit Championship contenders.
Even so, the sharpshooter had a hell of an 18 season career, all of them with the same teams. Obviously, all good things come to an end and when he decided to call it a day, he was waived by Indiana Pacers on August 2005 due to retirement.
9. Paul Pierce
Paul Pierce is one of the most beloved players in Boston Celtics history, a 19-year veteran that played at the Garden for 15 years before being dealt away to the Brooklyn Nets on that infamous trade.
Following some mediocre tenures at Brooklyn and Washington, the Truth was then waived by Los Angeles Clippers on June 2017 and then the Boston Celtics in July 2017, so he could, at least, retire as a member of the team he gave his heart, body and soul to.
8. Gary Payton
Gary Payton is one of the best defensive point guards in the history of the game, a guy such capable of making a huge impact in that side of the hardwood to inspire his teammates and always get the best out of them.
Nonetheless, as he was getting old, there wasn’t much use for the Glove, so the Celtics traded him to the Hawks in return for draft picks. Eventually, the Hawks waive him on March 2005, just to sign again with Boston as a free agent.
7. Steve Nash
Steve Nash was the ultimate point guard of the 2000’s, the main responsible of the most entertaining offense of the decade and a two-time MVP whose only missing accolade was the NBA Championship.
Trying to get back to their old dominant ways, the Los Angeles Lakers got Nash to play alongside Kobe and Gasol, but constant injuries kept him sidelined until they eventually waive him on April 2015
6. Vince Carter
Vince Carter is one of the best players never to win an NBA Championship, and one of the most durable veterans to ever set foot on an NBA hardwood, staying in the league for over 20 seasons already.
We all thought Vince Carter was going to retire years ago, especially when the Suns waived him on December 2011 after just one season with the team. Obviously, and gladly, we were all very wrong.
5. Kevin Garnett
Kevin Garnett is the greatest player in Minnesota Timberwolves history and it’s not even close. His hustle on both sides of the glass, hustle, hard effort and top-notch defensive awareness made him virtually unstoppable.
Sadly, he had to leave the team in order to finally win an NBA Championship, but, as all good children do, he eventually came back home. When he decided to retire, the Timberwolves waived him on September 2016.
4. Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade is one of the greatest shooting guards in the history of the game, a walking hall of famer that has always been as influential in the offensive end as he’s been with his suffocating backcourt defense.
But, when he felt disrespected by Pat Riley, he left to play for his hometown Chicago Bulls, just to rip them off a lot of money for a year before eventually being waived in September 2017 so he could join LeBron once again.
3. Allen Iverson
Allen Iverson was my favorite player during his prime. His athleticism, handles, crossover and unstoppable scoring outbursts made him just a treat to watch, even though he was never able to win a ring.
Sadly, his poor work ethic, a lack of a good support cast and no discipline at all made his career took a major downfall, being waived by the Grizzlies on November 2009 and then by the Philadelphia 76ers on March 2010.
2. Scottie Pippen
When we talk about Scottie Pippen, we’re talking about the best two-way small forward to ever play the game before LeBron’s surge. He was a defensive stud that could light it up on offense and one of the main reasons why the Bulls won all those 6 Championships.
But, following the Michael Jordan era, he was later moved to the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers, where he wouldn’t be as successful as during his Bulls years. Eventually, he’d be signed by Chicago again and then waived on November 2004, so at least he retired as a Bull.
1. Tim Duncan
For over 19 seasons, Tim Duncan helped build the great San Antonio Spurs culture. He was incredibly influential on and off the court, being a hard-working big man that could play lockdown defense and then score over 20 a night.
Duncan is, besides Gregg Popovich, the only guy to be a part of the Spurs 5 NBA Championships, being the greatest player in the history of that franchise until he was eventually waived in July 2016 after he expressed his desire to retire.