The Florida men’s’ basketball team is on the rise once again. From missing out on March Madness altogether in 2016, but then reaching the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament the following year. Now that they’re back towards the top, many of the players should move on to the NBA correct?
According to Realgm.com, 29 Gators have played in the NBA and nine are currently on a roster. This is a list of the 5 best players from those 29.
Some of the players although, played for Florida and transferred to a different school before joining the NBA.
You Were So Close
Unfortunately, 19 other great players will be left out of my biased list. But don’t feel bad, because they still made millions and millions of dollars more than you ever will.
Donell Harvey makes it to the “‘ok’ but not forgotten” list first. Harvey was a “one and done” player for Florida and was selected by the New York Knicks as the 22nd pick in the 2000 draft. He only played in the NBA for five years and ultimately is kind of a draft bust but I enjoy saying his name.
Second, Devin Robinson makes it to the honorable mention because I actually witnessed him play. The guy was a monster on the court and you can feel his presence. The short shorts rocking dynamic layer just got signed to a two-way contract with the Washington Wizards but still has a lot to prove if he wants to stay on the roster.
Lastly, Chandler Parsons doesn’t make the top 5 because of how hard this man has fallen off the radar. From being one of the most prominent rookies the NBA has seen in a while, to coming off the bench for a mediocre Memphis Grizzlies team. The man needs to step up his game soon. I recommend that you don’t pick him up for your fantasy team, I speak out of personal experience.
No. 5 – Jason Williams
Career Stats: 10.5 pts 2.3 Reb 5.9 ast
WHITE CHOCOLATE. As they so called one of my favorite Heat players of all time. This man balled out every single game. He had and still has one of the best ball handles in the sport to this day. Williams was one of the quickest players I’ve ever seen an had she of the best passes of all time. His open court vision was remarkable, just look up his famous elbow pass. His reign with the Kings and his championship year with the Heat in ’06 was some of his best performances of his career.
No. 4 – Vernon Maxwell
Career Stats: 12.8 pts 2.6 Reb 3.4 ast
Some say he’s the GOAT of Florida basketball. Maxwell had the most potential out of everyone that has come out Florida. His shooting ability was unfathomable and he played a key role in leading the Rockets to winning their two titles in the ’90s. He’s played for great super teams like the 76ers in ’01 and the Kings in ’98.
No. 3 – Udonis Haslem
Career Stats: 7.8 pts 6.9 Reb 0.9 ast
Remember how I said Jason Williams is one of my favorite eat players of all time? This man surpasses him with flying colors. Haslem was a beast inside the paint for Florida back in their glory days of the early 2000s. He continued that stretch when he joined the Heat as an undrafted free agent and the rest was history. Haslem was one of the main reason as to why the Heat went on to defeat the Mavericks in the 2006 Finals in a crazy comeback down 2-0 in the series. Now returning for his 15th season, he comes off the bench and is taking on a role as a leader for the team. I expect him to become an assistant coach for the team in the near future.
No. 2 – Al Horford
Career Stats: 14.3 pts 8.6 Reb 3.1 ast
Furthermore, the big men that are produced out of Florida have always played well in the NBA. But Al Horford is a different kind of breed. Horford dominated in all aspects of the floor for the Gators in their championship runs back in ’06 and ’07. Once in the NBA, the Dominican native proved his hype to be real and set franchise records for the Atlanta Hawks in defensive rebounding and blocks. Horford is now playing side by side with Kyrie Irving for the Boston Celtics and still has a lot of steam left in him.
No. 1 – Bradley Beal
Career Stats: 18.2 pts 3.6 Reb 3.1 ast
The Scoring Machine. I absolutely love this guy! Listen, without a doubt his potential is through the roof right now as he shares the floor with fellow parter John Wall. Both SEC legends are making over the East sooner than we think. The Washington Wizards believe in this young man and so should all of Gator Nation. He’s put up insane stats throughout his short tenure in the NBA and still has a lot of room for improvement. His quickness and agility to dunk the ball in traffic or spotting up on catch and shoot 3-pointer is remarkable. Don’t count this kid out as a future GOAT of Florida Sports Hall of Fame.