If you’ve been following along with us on Instagram (@dofgamesports!) this past week, you may have noticed our theme of the week: Forgotten NBA All-Stars. So far, we’ve highlighted Kevin Willis, Christian Laettner & Antonio Davis as three solid players who have made the All-Star game only once in their career.
Another forgotten/overlooked talent from the 90s was none other than Jamal Mashburn, a versatile forward hailing from the University of Kentucky. Mashburn, selected 4th overall in the 1993 NBA Draft by the Dallas Mavericks, immediately made a name for himself as a rookie.
Averaging 19.2 points/game, he formed an impressive “Triple J” tandem with teammates Jason Kidd and swingman Jimmy Jackson. (*Note* NBA 2K needs to add this “classic” team in a future version of the game!)
Mashburn was a part of the new wave of hybrid forwards entering the NBA with multi-faceted attacks. A nice ball-handler and finisher at the basket, Mash used his strong body (6’8, 240) and good athleticism to get wherever he wanted on the court. The very next season, he tallied just over 24 points/night and dished out almost 4 assists. During that time span, he became the fourth youngest player to score 50 points in a game.
Considering his incredible talent, it’s a shame he was only named an All-Star once. Injuries struck Mashburn the latter half of his Mavs career and a good portion of his tenure with the Miami Heat. However, he was able to reinvent himself as a solid three-point shooter (ended up shooting 35% for his career) and carried it over into his days with the Hornets.
Though he scored more points in Dallas, many NBA fans associate him with the Charlotte/New Orleans Hornets because he was so steady late in his career. His Hornets teams were pretty decent but not spectacular, featuring the likes of a prime Baron Davis, PJ Brown, David Wesley, Jamaal Magloire & even Courtney Alexander (remember him??).
More knee injuries forced Mash to retire after the 2003-2004 season but he stood out as an All-Star the year prior.
The 2003 Eastern Conference All-Star team was memorable since it was Michael Jordan’s last appearance but Mashburn was a monster that entire season. He had a 40-point outing v. Orlando, exploded for 50 against Memphis and looked like he could perform at a high level for years to come:
Although Jamal Mashburn’s career was “cut short” via injury, he has thrived outside of basketball in a number of business ventures, including becoming a franchise owner of 34 Outback Steakhouses & 37 Papa John’s.
Mashburn’s lone All-Star appearance may be overlooked ten-twenty years from now as the game continues to evolve. His legacy, however, should live forever. For anyone who witnessed his style of play and unique ability would proclaim him as one of the more underrated and versatile threats of his generation.