5. Bob Cousy: Shooting wasn't really his thing. There was no 3-point line back then. What he loved, was layups. It didn't matter if he got them, or a teammate got them, he would do whatever shot or pass was nessessary to get them. Imagine the passing ability of Ricky Rubio and John Wall's combined with the finishing ability of Monte Ellis and the success of Michael Jordan. While there was less competition, he still was able to win a lot. He was a team player. Not only could he finish, but he was also a good FT shooter. But I never hear him as being the best assisters ever. The only names I here are John Stockton, just because he had a long lengthy career. And John Stockton, Pistol Pete, Jason Williams were great, but they were no Bob Cousy when it came to passing. He was also a pretty good defensive player and was highly respected for it. He was able to lead the league in assists 8 seasons. And while Cousy's numbers aren't really impressive, the game was played at such a slower pace due to the shot clock was just invented after Cousy has been in the league for a few years. But what people don't know is that Cousy was the league MVP one year and a 2-time All-Star MVP. Yet Bob Cousy is never talked about as a great. I never hear people talk about him.
4. George Gervin: Julius Erving is idolized for his dunks and his ability to finish around the hoop. Why isn't George Gervin? He was better than finishing around the basket than Erving was. The only real big advantage Julius Erving had over George Gervin was dunking, but Gervin could still dunk. He was still a great player. Throughout his career, he was able to average over 30 PPG twice and he lead the league in scoring 3 times. He was also a pretty good defensive player though not that great. He is 16th on the all-time scoring list for the NBA/ABA while only playing 14 seasons. He had the record of 33 points in a quarter, which was recently broken by Klay Thompson when he had 37. However, there was no 3-point line when George set it. It wasn't like George Gervin was the best player ever, but he doesn't get the recognition he deserves.
3. Willis Reed: This guy is so underrated. While he only played 10 seasons, he did some amazing things in those 10 seasons. Reed was able to average a great 18.7 PPG over his career with also 12.9 RPG. He was a walking double-double. One game, Reed was able to get 53 points. That just shows you that he was a great scorer. However, the thing about Willis Reed that is forgotten is his great defensive ablility. In the 1970 finals, he held a supreme scorer, Wilt Chamberlain to 19 PPG in the first 4 games, while Reed averaged 32. When he was injured and came back in game 7, he held Wilt to just 4 points when Reed guarded him, even though Reed was suffering from injury. Reed was a supreme defender and is very underrated from his offensive and defensive standpoint. Not to mention he was never seem as a great rebounder even though he averaged over 14 RPG multiple times. In the playoffs, Reed could just take over on the offensive end. He is a real underrated player.
2. Moses Malone: Did you know, Moses Malone is 7th on the NBA/ABA all-time scoring list? Did you know he has scored more than both Shaq, Hakeem, and Tim Duncan while also averaging 12.3 RPG through his entire career? Did you know he was NBA MVP 3 times, and finals MVP once when he won a ring? Did you know he was NBA All-Defensive twice and All-NBA 8 times while being selected to 12 all-star games? Did you know he is 2nd in FTs made, 1st in Offensive Rebounds, and 3rd in total rebounds You probably didn't.
1.Alex English: When I see LeBron James play, I think about Alex English sometimes. Alex English could finish around the rim. It didn't matter if it was a fadeaway or a floater. He would make it, through contact, around the rim. While he didn't have the explosiveness of LeBron, he made more craftiness and a better finishing ability. What really resembles them is their ability to pass the ball and the ability to rebound the ball at a great rate at the Small Forward position. He was also very proficient from the FT line. And Alex English is never talked about now, despite averaging 21.5 PPG and 24.4 PPG in the playoffs. Now, he is underrated, but Alex was very underrated in the time period that he played as well. When he lead the league in PPG (28.4) and helped the Nuggets secure a great playoff position, he only managed to get 2nd All-NBA team behind under-performing Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird who all had not even as impressive of a season compared to English. Those guys weren't even in the top 5 PPG leaders that season. That is how underrated English was and how underrated he still is today.