Some former NBA players had success early on in their careers and then fell off due to injuries or other reasons. Jamal Mashburn was a highly-rated player coming out of college, and many thought that he would have a successful NBA career.
Mashburn dealt with injuries as an NBA player during his career, and he retired from basketball after playing 12 seasons.
Jamal Mashburn was a standout basketball player in college
Mashburn played his college basketball at the University of Kentucky. As a freshman, he started in all 28 games and averaged 12.9 points and seven rebounds. Mashburn quickly made an impact as a freshman and became one of the top players on the team. His stats improved in the next two years. During his junior year, Mashburn was one of the top players in the country.
He averaged 21 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 3.6 assists in his final year at Kentucky. Mashburn was named the SEC Player and Athlete of the Year and was a consensus first-team All-American as a junior. During his time at Kentucky, he was a three-time All-SEC selection. When Mashburn declared for the NBA draft, he was projected to be a top pick.
Jamal Mashburn made an impact during his first few seasons in the league
The Dallas Mavericks selected Mashburn with the fourth overall pick in the 1993 NBA draft. When Mashburn joined the Mavericks, he quickly became a top player on the team. He averaged 19.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.4 assists during his rookie season. Mashburn was named to the All-Rookie First Team in 1994. The forward did not have any issues adjusting to the NBA.
Mashburn had a breakout season during his second year in the NBA. He played and started in 80 games and averaged 24.1 points, which was sixth in the league. Mashburn had a 50-point performance against the Chicago Bulls, and he became the fourth-youngest player to score 50 points in an NBA game. He was off to a great start to his NBA career. Mashburn dealt with injuries during his third season in Dallas and only played in 18 games.
Jamal Mashburn dealt with injuries and made an All-Star team toward the end of his career
After his time in Dallas, Mashburn was traded to the Miami Heat. His numbers decreased because of injuries, and during his final season in Miami, he averaged 17.5 points per game. Mashburn was traded to the Charlotte Hornets after playing in Miami. He made his first and only All-Star team at the age of 30 playing with the Hornets in 2003. That season he averaged 21.6 points per game. Even though he dealt with injuries throughout his career, Mashburn continued to play at a high-level.
If it weren’t for the multiple injuries that he suffered, he would have had a longer NBA career and could have had a lot more success. The 2003-04 season was Mashburn’s final NBA season, and he averaged 20.8 points and 6.2 rebounds. Mashburn is one of six players since 1970 to average at least 20 points per game in their final NBA season. He joined Larry Bird, Jerry West, Michael Jordan, Reggie Lewis, and Drazen Petrovic.
Since retiring from basketball, Mashburn has worked for ESPN as an analyst, and he has launched a number of successful business ventures. As of 2018, he owned over 90 businesses, including Outback Steakhouse franchises, Papa John’s, and multiple car dealerships across Kentucky. During his prime, Mashburn was one of the best players in the league, and he was a big help to the teams he played for.