Being able to find consistency in the league is something not all players are capable of doing, either because defense focuses on them after they draw attention, or because injuries take a toll on their bodies, or simply because playing on a different system exposes their weaknesses.
That’s what makes guys like Duncan, Jordan, LeBron and Kobe so impressive; their ability to consistently contribute in multiple aspects of the game throughout their entire careers, even over the ladder passages.
Over the course of history, we’ve seen some players have a breakout season and make everybody think they’re bound to become stars, but wind up being just flukes and struggling ever since. Today, we’re going to let you know about the top 5 players that had breakout seasons and then completely fell off.
5. Bobby Simmons
Bobby Simmons, aka Chinese food, had a hell of a season in 2004-05 with the Los Angeles Clippers after a failed two-year stint with the Washington Wizards, starting 74 games and playing over 37 minutes a night.
Simmons won the Most Improved Player award after he averaged 16.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game, and due to his ability to play both forward spots and even as a shooting guard everybody thought he was going to be a stud. Sadly, an ankle injury took a major toll in his game and he was never able to be the same.
4. Mike James
Mike James entered his 5th season in the NBA after already having played for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks and Houston Rockets, but it was until he was 30 years old that he finally had a breakout year with the Toronto Raptors.
The tweener point guard posted averages of 20.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 0.9 steals a game on 46% shooting and 44% from downtown, but he was only able to average double-digit scoring the next season and fell off ever since.
3. Larry Sanders
Larry Sanders looked poised to become one of the league’s most dominant defensive-minded big men, but struggles with marijuana, substance abuse and depression made him leave a lot of money on the table up to the point where he retired for a full season.
Now, he’s not even a part of an NBA roster and everybody hopes he’s just healthy and happy, but it’s such a shame that all his talent went to waste after he averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks a game during the 2012-13 season.
2. Aaron Brooks
Aaron Brooks looked like he was going to be one of the league’s deadliest scorers during the 2009-10 campaign, his third in the league; when he became the Houston Rockets starting point guard at age 25, starting all 82 games and playing over 35 minutes a night.
The tweener point guard shot lights out all year long en route to career-high averages of 19.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 0.8 steals per contest on 43% shooting and 39% from three, but ever since, he’s barely a rotation player that’s more of a defensive liability than an actual offensive factor.
1. Devin Harris
Devin Harris was actually a very solid player early on, but it was until the 2008-09 campaign that he finally broke out as one of the league’s most prominent scorers, even making it to the All-Star Game due to his outstanding play for the New Jersey Nets.
Harris put career-high averages of 21.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.9 helpers and 1.7 steals a game on 43% shooting, starting all 69 games and playing over 36.1 minutes. Sadly, he was never able to live up to the expectations and his numbers would really diminish ever since.