Andrew Wiggins sparked an interesting thought in my mind. Players who were supposed to be full blown, put your team on your back stars, fading into a more casual ‘role player’ type of contributor on your team as years went along. Wiggins was the #1 overall pick in 2014 and while he flashed some potential, the greatness you want to see from a #1 overall pick just wasn’t there in Minnesota. Now, fast forward to the present, Wiggins is 1 game away from helping his new team win a title and potentially win himself a Finals MVP for being a “star in his role”. So, who else fits the bill?
Tuesday Top 5: Players who shined once the spotlight was off of them
5- Dwight Howard- This one might be controversial, but screw Dwight, we still hate him, right? Dwight was obviously amazing with the Magic, but in terms of being a champion, he was never that until he became a role player for the 2020 LA Lakers. But, him making the list is more about what he wasn't able to do in his other stops after Orlando, in that way he fits the mold.
4- Toni Kukoc- Even though he was a 2nd round pick, this was a guy that was supposed to take the Bulls to the next generation in the late 90’s. Never happened, but he excelled in his role. 6th man of the year in 1996, 3x NBA Champ. He was a key part of the Bulls late 90’s run.
3- OBJ- Odell was on his way to a hall of fame career in New York but he could never really get out of his own way. Then, the Cleveland thing happened. Train wreck. And he goes on to be the #2 or #3 guy in LA, and was a crucial piece of their SB success.
2- Leonard Fournette- He was a flash in the pan in Jacksonville. One great season and that was it. He had attitude issues and never backed up his capital as a top 4 pick. Then he goes to Tampa, splits carries with RoJo, and becomes affectionally known as Playoff Lenny.
Number 1!- Trent Dilfer- Dilfer was the #6 overall pick in 1994, he was expected to lead the Bucs out of the doldrums of failure, but he flopped. Dilfer was bad, in 1995, he threw 4 TD’s and 18 picks. But, he later found his place in Baltimore, and played a role in their 2000 SB win.