These NBA players have been called lazy for some reason. While some fell victim to media narratives, some never quite reached their full potential because they lacked the discipline or the will to put in the extra work.
Andray Blatche was drafted into the NBA in 2005 at the age of 19. He played for the Washington Wizards for seven seasons and recorded a career high in points in the 2010-11 season, averaging 16.8 points per game. Blatche was a big stretch who could also run the floor. If he had the discipline to be fit every season, he could be one of the greatest of all time.
Instead of always looking to attack the basket, Andray would just hoist 3-point shots. He had all the resources in the world to improve but chose not to. On the other hand, his skills made the Philippines national team acquire his services as a naturalized player. The big guys who can run on the court and shoot from the outside will always have a place in international basketball. However, he wasn’t as effective in Team Gilas as he was always out of form.
Labeling Dwight Howard a lazy player might be a work of the media, but he could have been so much more had he been more serious about improving. D12 has been blessed with all the attributes an NBA big man needs to succeed: height, jumping abilities, strong defensive presence, and excellent rebounding. However, his poor free throw shooting hurt his teams in some crucial games and might have cost the Orlando Magic a championship or two.
Howard was often seen making fun of his teammates or having a carefree attitude. Kobe Bryant calling it soft didn’t help either. Experts believe Dwight could have been an all-time great if he had been more disciplined to improve on his weaknesses.
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Andrea Bargnani was the typical European player: a tall man who knew how to shoot. However, he offered little or nothing outside of his shooting skills. Andrea once averaged 17.2 points and 38.5% of the rainbow territory. Like others on this list, his inability to develop his game has hurt his image and his career.
Michael Beasley averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds per game in college, prompting the Miami Heat to select him 2nd overall in the 2008 draft. In terms of offensive arsenal, Beasley had it all. He had post-up moves, perimeter jumpers and 3-point shots. However, the Miami lifestyle got to him. The lack of desire to always attack the basket and settle for pull-ups doomed his career.
James Harden plays lazy defense. As seen on countless videos, he doesn’t just go out of his way to stop fastbreaks or defend his opponents. As a result, teams targeted him defensively.
Harden’s logic could be that he does everything from rebounding to making plays for his teammates in addition to scoring, so he could reserve his energy in those areas. Beard’s fans claim he won MVP and nearly averaged a triple-double in one season, so he’s not a lazy player. But if being lazy is different from not putting in any effort at all, then we’re not sure.
Why some players aren’t as motivated as others
Are there really lazy NBA players? Why don’t some of them try as hard as others? The question is that not all players are born the same.
Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant are considered GOATs for a reason: they just kept getting better. It’s not fun, but it’s what drives them to succeed and be consistent in what they do. Some players already possess the biological gifts to dominate the NBA, but without the proper mindset and drive, it would all become a waste.
One thing is certain: a player is different when it comes to a contract year. So expect them to do everything they can to get a deal done in the coming season, lazy player or not.