NBA: 5 Tragically Lost Careers

Grant TaylorCorrespondent IIJune 23, 2011

NBA: 5 Tragically Lost Careers

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    In the last decade, the basketball world has been blessed with players such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. These superstars often lead us to forget about the talented players that never quite pushed past the barrier to become an NBA great.

    These players were often injured, ignored or involved in the off-court drama that is poison to any athlete in any league.

    Their talent was undeniable, but their passion never did catch up. When it is all said and done, people will remember them and think, "Man, what happened?"

5. Vince Carter

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    "Vincanity" never got over the hump. He will go down as an electrifying and athletic scorer. That's it. He never got to the point where people were saying, "He'll get that ring this year. I know it." This is almost a perfect case of style over substance. He always seemed to lack the drive that carried players such as Kobe to to a championship filled career.

    Vince Carter's name will have a tough time enduring the test of time. As stated earlier, he was as talented as they come, but the motivation never came to him. By the end of his career, Carter will be old, rickety and ringless.

4. Michael Redd

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    The picture tells it all. What happened? Michael Redd's career as one of the NBA's elite ended as soon as it began. Known for his shooting, Redd made his mark during the 2003-04 NBA season, averaging 21.7 points per game. This was good enough to give him his first and only all-star appearance.

    During the summer of 2008, Redd was included on the USA Olympic team roster. During the tournament he averaged and dismal 3.6 points and played as the third-string shooting guard. In 2009, Redd tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee. This left his career in shambles.

    Redd never did fully recover from it.

    Redd has not been a factor in the Milwaukee Bucks' franchise since. With a new, young talent (Brandon Jennings), the Bucks are yet to find a hole in their roster where Redd fits.

3. Gilbert Arenas

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    Gilbert went through it all. He endured both injuries and trouble off the court. Like Carter, he never got to the point where his legacy will forever be remembered for its greatness. Instead, "Agent Zero" will forever been recognized for the injuries, and, oh yeah, bringing a gun to a card game.

    Arenas has personally ruined his NBA career.

2. Tracy McGrady

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    An NBA superstar, a talented and athletic swing man and a future NBA legend. For McGrady, the sky was the limit. Until he got injured that is. Along with his knee, down came T-Mac's reputation, dependability and value.

    With multiple seasons as leading scorer and All-Star appearances, McGrady was ready to become a legend. But no, instead he has played for three teams in the last three years, and is a bench player on the lowly Pistons good for eight points a night.

    McGrady makes you wonder what could have been.

1. Steve Francis

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    How could his legacy end up like this? He had all the athleticism, potential and talent to make the leap into NBA stardom. Unfortunately though, he has been forgotten. I think the last I heard any news of Francis, was as a Rockets reserve on NBA Live '08.

    Is this really what it has come to?

    Generations to come will be lost when asked the question, "Have you ever heard of Steve Francis?"

    "Wasn't he that guy on the Rockets?" "No, no. I think he played for the Magic or Knicks or something." These are both highly probable answers, and unfortunately for Francis, all we can hope for.