The streets run ripe with ball players that had the talent but never played in the NBA. Some ballers opted not to enter the league back in the days when most NBA players only had five-figure salaries while others didn't make it because of fate. ESPN aired a 30 for 30 documentary entitled, Benji, a few weeks ago and it got us thinking about the guys that never made it to the L for various reasons.
Benjamin Wilson was a kid out of Chicago that was on his way to superstardom until a senseless act of violence ended his life. Untimely deaths have caused a few hoop dreams to turn into nightmares over the years. Len Bias and Hank Gathers were poised to become the NBA's next stars when they suddenly passed. Other ballers like "Hook" Mitchell and Pee Wee Kirkland missed making the league because they had a desire to become hustlers rather than full-time ballers. However, for all the negative reasons there are a few stories about players like Brazilian legend Oscar Schmidt who chose not to venture off to the States for fame and fortune; instead choosing to live like a god while balling out in his home country. Check out The 20 Greatest Basketball Players to Never Play in the NBA.