Some players change an entire outlook on what a franchise looks like. When they are drafted expectations are often high. And when they are reached there is no reason that player should leave. When you buy their jerseys you should not have to think about it being useless, instead it should instantly become a hardwood classic. Here a few players that come to mind who should have never switched teams.
It’s not much of an argument, but Dwyane Wade is the greatest player ever to wear the Miami Heat uniform. Sure the franchise has seen Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, LeBron James and many other greatest wear the black and red, but no other player represented the Heat the way Wade has. He is arguably the greatest athlete to play for the city. Yes they had Dan Marino, but Marino never won a Super Bowl. And while the Marlins have won two World Series titles, can your grandmother name anyone from those teams? Meanwhile Wade has lead the Heat to three titles and even had a county named after him. Now as he gets ready for the finale, it’s hard to believe that he once wore a Chicago Bulls or a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey. Those things should have never happened.
Say what you want about The Answer, he is arguably the greatest 76er never to win a championship with the team. Iverson displayed a tremendous amount of heart to the point that he was the only person to lead his team to a win over the Lakers in one game during the 2001 NBA playoffs. While Iverson had some success with Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets he should have been a lifelong member of the 76ers. Unfortunately his career would continue to go downhill after Denver when he was a journeyman playing for the Memphis Grizzlies and the Detroit Pistons. Those jerseys should have never existed.
Paul Pierce was a Boston Celtic through thick and thin. If you ask the causal fan to name 3 Celtics they will say, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, and Paul Pierce. That’s no disrespect to the other Celtic greats like Bob Cousy but we are talking about the casual fan. It’s hard to believe that he was a member of The Brooklyn Nets, the Washington Wizards, and even the Los Angeles Clippers. While he had important roles on that team, Paul Pierce should have only worn the green and white uniform.
Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing
This photo does not even look right.
Many people may not remember, but Hakeem Olajuwon in a Toronto Raptors uniform and Patrick Ewing in an Orlando Magic uniform. Both of these guys were two of the best centers and they matched up in the 94 NBA Finals as Olajuwon’s Houston Rockets defeat Ewing’s New York Knicks. There was never a time where we thought these two franchise players would rock another uniform.
Karl Malone is arguably the greatest player ever to wear a Utah Jazz Jersey. (I say arguably because it’s a matter of opinion). If it was not for Michael Jordan, he would be a two-time NBA Champion. Malone would join the Los Angeles Lakers with the hopes of finally getting that championship ring. He joined two young studs who passed him and won three before he could win one but unfortunately they fell in the NBA Finals to the Detroit Pistons. And after all that we are left with the ugly sight of seeing him in the purple and gold.
Of course I save the best for last. Michael Jordan’s playing career should have ended with his shot over Byron Russell to win his 6th NBA Championship. So let’s say he had a lot of basketball left in him. What should have happened was he and the Bulls should have stayed together until someone (Kobe and Shaq’s Lakers) knocked them off. While he was good in Washington, it still did not look right.
I’m sure there are many more but these guys come right to mind. Now before you say LeBron and KD, my opinions on them are the they left and learned how to win.