6. Gilbert Arenas
Seasons in WAS:
Stats w/ the Wizards
25.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 5.7 APG, 2.1 Stocks, 42.2 FG%
Am I overrating Agent Zero’s contribution to the Wizards? Probably, but I loved watching this dude in the mid-2000s. Gilbert Arenas deserves all the credit for putting the Washington Wizards back on the map after being the laughing stock for a half decade, if not more. An elite scorer with a knack for taking, and often hitting, buzzer-beater threes, Arenas was a sight to behold night in and night out. In averaging 25.5, 29.3 and 28.4 from 2005-2007, Arenas was a legitimate star and was named to an All-NBA tram all three seasons. His fearless attitude and explosiveness on the offensive end put him in that rarefied air of NBA superstar guards like Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. Nevertheless, this incredible production did not last. Arenas got involved in a number of off-the-court issues that ultimately hurt his career and his image in the eyes of Wizard fans with whom he had once so closely connected. It’s easy to put Gilbert in a dark light because of the way his career end, but I like to remember the good days. With that said, I will rank him 6, and I feel comfortable with it.
5. Earl Monroe
Seasons in Baltimore:
Stats w/ the Bullets
23.7 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 4.6 APG, 44.5 FG%
Earl Monroe, who was often referred to as “The Pearl” and, in some circles, even “Black Jesus”, was one of the catalysts that made the Baltimore Bullets so great in the early 1970s. Selected No. 2 overall in 1967, Monroe won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after putting up 24.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. The dominant effort led Monroe to be an early fan favorite. Monroe was truly a once-in-a-lifetime talent, as his style of play has never been copied since. The smoothness to which he ran the fast break stands out, as does his classic spin move. Monroe had a variety of deception moves he could pull out at any time and was one of the most dynamic open-court players of all time. As Denzel Washington said in He Got Game, “They called him Jesus, ’cause he was the Truth.” Though he played in Baltimore for only four and a half years before being traded to the Knicks, the Hall of Famer had his best years in the Charm City averaging 24/5/4 with the Bullets. Easy choice for top 5 here.
4. Walt Bellamy
Seasons with the team:
Stats w/ the team
27.6 PPG, 16.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 51.6 FG%
The inaugural pick of the franchise, Bellamy went No. 1 overall in 1961 to the Chicago Packers, the team before their relocation. Right away, the Packers knew they made the right pick, to say the least. Bellamy recorded 31.6 points and 19.0 rebounds per game, perhaps the most ridiculous rookie year in NBA history. Both would be career highs, and he was rewarded with Rookie of the Year honors. His 20-year span in the NBA led him to the Hall of Fame, and while just four of those seasons were spent with the Packers, Zephyrs and Bullets, they were the best four years of his pro career, making the All-Star game each year with this franchise. He is certainly one of the more underrated players of the 1960’s, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t great. With a four year average of 28 and 17 – Walt will not soon be forgotten by those who were lucky enough to see him play.