Is Artis Gilmore underappreciated and underrated?

Yes, Artis Gilmore is one of the most underrated players ever.

Here’s his accomplishments (including ABA)

  • 11x All-Star
  • 5x All-ABA
  • 5x All-Def
  • 1x Champion
  • 1x MVP
  • 1x Finals MVP
  • 1x All-Star MVP
  • ROTY
  • 4x leader in Defensive Win Shares
  • 4x Rebounding leader
  • NBA All time leader in FG% (58.2%)
  • career averages: 18.8 PPG / 12.3 RPG / 2.3 APG
  • 25,000 points
  • 16,000+ rebounds (5th all time)
  • 3,000 assists

And… this man didn’t get into the Hall of Fame until 2011. He doesn’t have his jersey retired by any team. He didn’t make the NBA 50th or 75th anniversary teams.

Why is he so underrated? He played his prime in the 1970s in the ABA, he then played for smaller market teams like the Bulls (wasn’t a big market team pre-Jordan), and Spurs. He didn’t make any All-NBA teams. His game wasn’t flashy. Although he was athletic in the ABA and a very strong player, when he came to the NBA he was much slower and more of a lumbering giant that clogged the lanes. He wasn’t memorable because his game wasn’t memorable. That’s unfortunate because he should be a top 50 player by all measures.


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