Here are some basketball players who took a backseat to more heralded stars:
George Yardley – When it came to headline space, this oustanding Detroit Piston played second-fiddle to guys like Bob Pettit and Paul Arizin. Yardley led the NBA in scoring in 1958.
Wes Unseld – The 1969 Rookie of the Year, who played for the Baltimore Bullets, was a dependable center at both ends of the floor. Guys like Jerry West, Dave Bing, Lew Alcindor, and Elvin Hayes dominated the headlines during Unseld’s years of play.
Neil Johnston – Johnston played for Philadelphia and led the NBA in scoring for three consecutive years (1953-1955). He was overshadowed by two greats; Bob Pettit and George Mikan.
Tommy Heinsohn – 6’7″ Tommy Heinsohn, a member of the great Boston Celtic teams of the sixties, was a line-drive shooter who did not get the recognition he deserved. He was one of the league’s top scorers and offensive rebounders. Teammates Bill Russell and K.C. Jones stole the spotlight.
James Worthy – A member of the great L.A. Laker teams of the 1980s, Worthy had a quick first step, and he was a good scorer. He also played solid defense and banged the boards. Magic and Kareem, however, were the centers of attention at that time.