Throughout the 1990s the NBA spawned some of the greatest stars ever to grace a basketball court, from Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal to Dennis Rodman and, of course, the incomparable Michael Jordan. Yes, undoubtedly the era featured some of the most iconic names ever to play the game. But what happened to such legends once their time in one of America’s greatest professional sporting leagues came to an end?
40. Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson spent the entirety of the 1990s playing for the Orlando Magic, where he cemented himself as one of the NBA’s finest shooting guards. After retiring as a player, the star returned to the franchise as a key member of its public relations department. And Anderson has further aligned himself with the Magic as a commentator on their games for Fox Sports Florida.
39. Glen Rice
A vital part of the Los Angeles Lakers team that lifted the NBA title at the turn of the century, Glen Rice also managed to bag a hat-trick of All-Stars appearances. Since hanging up his jersey, the former small forward has worked for G-Force Fights, a Miami firm promoting bouts in MMA – mixed martial arts. Rice’s legacy in the basketball world continued when his eponymously named son also began playing in the NBA.
38. Larry Johnson
Larry Johnson was crowned Rookie of the Year and twice achieved All-Star status during his spell with the Charlotte Hornets before enjoying further success with the New York Knicks. Sadly, the former power forward hasn’t had much luck since leaving the court. In 2015 Johnson declared bankruptcy and the Bank of America later sued him for nearly $500,000 for defaulting on a loan repayment.
37. Horace Grant
Horace Grant won three consecutive NBA titles in the early 1990s as a member of the Chicago Bulls. Unlike his teammates Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal, the ex-power forward has kept a relatively low profile since hanging up his jersey. But Grant remains an integral part of the Bulls set-up: he now works as the president’s special assistant.
36. Alonzo Mourning
Alonzo Mourning was twice named Defensive Player of the Year during his 1990s heyday. And the former center has continued to make an impression on the basketball world behind the scenes, too. In the late 2000s Mourning was appointed as the Vice President of Player Programs and Development at one of his former franchises, the Miami Heat.
35. Vin Baker
Vin Baker enjoyed spells with half a dozen different franchises before retiring from the basketball court in 2006. Sadly, the ex-power forward struggled to cope with life after the NBA, allegedly squandering over $100 million thanks to various financial and substance abuse issues. Baker has thankfully got his life back together and went on to manage a Rhode Island branch of Starbucks before landing a gig at Fox Sports Broadcasting analyzing games featuring the Milwaukee Bucks.
34. Charles Oakley
Charles Oakley enjoyed a basketball career that ran for just one year short of two decades; just over half of it with the New York Knicks, who he helped to guide to the 1994 NBA finals. After retiring in 2004 the ex-power forward briefly served as the Charlotte Bobcats’ assistant coach. A persistent back injury forced Oakley to give the position up, but he returned to the sport in 2017 as the coach of Big3 team Killer 3s.
33. Mookie Blaylock
Former point guard Mookie Blaylock achieved All-Star status during his seven-year spell with the Atlanta Hawks. Unfortunately, things took a stark turn for the worse in 2014 when he was handed a 15-year jail sentence for manslaughter. The year previously Blaylock had drifted on to the other side of the road while driving in Clayton County and subsequently caused a fatal car accident.
32. Kevin Johnson
Famous for his successful partnership with Charles Oakley, point guard Kevin Johnson was a vital member of the Phoenix Suns in the 1990s. But his career has taken a very different path in recent years. In 2008 the ex-NBA star ran a successful mayoral campaign in his Sacramento hometown. And Johnson did such a good job in office that he was re-elected four years later.
31. Dan Majerle
Dan Majerle was a pivotal member of the Phoenix Suns team that made it all the way to the NBA Finals in 1993. And the former shooting guard has remained within the sport since retiring as a player. Yes, the man nicknamed “Thunder Dan” has enjoyed coaching stints at both his former franchise and Phoenix’s Grand Canyon University team, the Antelopes.
30. Detlef Schrempf
One of the 1990s most impressive NBA players to hail from outside America, the Teutonic giant Detlef Schrempf enjoyed a 16-season career that took in stints with no fewer than four different teams. Following his retirement, the three-time All-Star returned to one of his former franchises, the Seattle SuperSonics, as an assistant coach. But for more than a decade, the German national has focused his efforts on his philanthropic efforts, raising $20 million through his children’s charity.
29. Dominique Wilkins
Dominique Wilkins enjoyed a dozen seasons with just one team, the Atlanta Hawks, before getting a little restless and playing for four further franchises in as many years. Since hanging up his boots, the star has analyzed games for the team with whom he played the most. Wilkins has also helped to launch a Hawaiian-based basketball school named 24 Hour Fitness Academy.
28. Allen Iverson
ESPN once rated Allen Iverson as the fifth-best shooting guard ever to grace the NBA. But his successful stints with the likes of the Denver Nuggets and the Detroit Pistons came at a cost. Iverson later claimed his basketball career had been a hindrance to both his marriage and parental skills. “The Answer” also later gave up his coaching gig at Big3 team 3’s Company because of scheduling conflicts.
27. Latrell Sprewell
Latrell Sprewell may have been instrumental in guiding the New York Knicks all the way to the NBA finals in 1999. But many felt the star overestimated his worth when he turned down a $21 million deal on the grounds of having a “family to feed.” That rejection proved to be costly. The ex-shooting guard would later suffer several financial problems which resulted in repo men seizing his yacht and the bank taking possession of his home.
26. Joe Dumars
Once described by Michael Jordan as the best defender he ever faced, Joe Dumars spent all 14 years of his NBA career with the Detroit Pistons. The former defense specialist has continued to make waves in the game since his retirement. As well as serving as the President of Basketball Operations at the Pistons, Dumars has also taken a presidential role at talent and brand agency Independent Sports and Entertainment.
25. Shawn Kemp
Famed for his prolific partnership with Gary Payton at the Seattle SuperSonics, Shawn Kemp also enjoyed spells at the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Orlando Magic. After a comeback failed to materialize, the ex-power forward took ownership of a sports bar in the Emerald City. Following the Denver watering hole’s closure in 2015, Kemp decided to open up a cannabis dispensary.
24. Mitch Richmond
Mitch Richmond achieved All-Star status for six seasons on the bounce in the mid-’90s as a key member of the Sacramento Kings. The one-time Rookie of the Year would later return to the franchise alongside coach and fellow former player Chris Mullin as a special assistant. And in 2015 he once again joined his ex-teammate in a similar role at St. John’s Red Storm, who play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
23. Clyde Drexler
Nicknamed The Glide, Clyde Drexler enjoyed spells with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Houston Rockets during his illustrious NBA career. After retiring as a shooting guard, the star coached his old university team, the Houston Cougars and later landed a TV commentary slot. Drexler now serves as the commissioner of the Big3, the league of ex-NBA icons founded by rapper Ice Cube.
22. Rod Strickland
Rod Strickland pulled on the jersey of no fewer than nine different NBA teams during his career, with his most successful spell coming with the Washington Wizards in 1997/98. After announcing his retirement, the former point guard studied for a Sports Leadership degree at Northeastern Illinois University. Strickland later put what he learned to good use with the University of Kentucky’s Wildcats and the G League.
21. Vlade Divac
Vlade Divac helped the Los Angeles Lakers reach the 1991 NBA Finals but had to wait until the turn of the millennium to receive an All-Star selection. The Serbian remained within the sport after retiring as a player, with the Sacramento Kings appointing him as Basketball and Franchise Operations Vice President in 2013. Divac progressed up to head coach but was sadly fired from the position in 2020.
20. Hersey Hawkins
Hersey Hawkins achieved an impressive 16.1 points per game average during his 1990s spells with the Charlotte Hornets, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Seattle SuperSonics. Following his retirement as a player, the ex-shooting guard covered NCAA games as an analyst. He also helped to coach his son Corey’s Arizona high-school team and currently serves as the Portland Trailblazers’ Player Programs Director.
19. Jeff Hornacek
Jeff Hornacek was one of the NBA’s highest scorers in the early ’90s as a key member of the Phoenix Suns. After hanging up his jersey at the turn of the century, the sharpshooter spent seven years away from the game. But he returned as an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz before landing head coach roles at the Suns, the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets.
18. Steve Francis
Steve Francis won Rookie of the Year for his contributions to the final NBA season of the 20th century. Sadly, the former point guard failed to build on his early success. Plagued by injury and poor form, he retired from the sport in 2010. Since then, Francis has been keeping busy with an impressively diverse series of ventures. Not content with launching an eponymous foundation, the ex-player has also founded his very own rap label and has aligned himself with everything from catering firms to construction companies.
17. Karl Malone
Karl Malone was one of the 1990s’ most consistent power forwards, guiding the Utah Jazz to two consecutive NBA finals in the process. The basketball legend returned to the franchise part-time on the coaching staff after retiring as a player. Malone has since become something of an entrepreneur, with an eatery, a fashion outlet and a cigar store just a few of the businesses in his portfolio.
16. Derrick Coleman
Derrick Coleman became just as infamous as a loose cannon on the court as for his basketball skills in the early 1990s. But since retiring in 2005, the one-time Rookie of the Year has shown a much softer side. Yes, these days Coleman is quite the good-willed public servant. For example, in 2017 he helped out in the water crisis that plagued the Michigan city of Flint.
15. Dikembe Mutombo
You probably remember Dikembe Mutombo just as much for his ostentatiously waved digit as his superlative shot-blocking ability. Yet the center, who played for the Atlanta Hawks and the Denver Nuggets during the 1990s, has since become recognized for his charitable work. Yes, Mutombo has no fewer than three honorary university doctorates thanks to his volunteering efforts providing aid in Africa.
14. Patrick Ewing
Patrick Ewing famously guided the New York Knicks to the playoffs every year of the 1990s but sadly failed to win an NBA title. The center has remained within the sport since retiring as a player, serving as an assistant coach with the likes of the Houston Rockets, the Orlando Magic and the Charlotte Hornets. Dwight Howard and Yao Ming are just a few of the stars who have thrived under his tutelage.
13. David Robinson
Nicknamed The Admiral, David Robinson spent the entirety of his NBA career – all 20 seasons – at the same team, the San Antonio Spurs. After hanging up his boots, the ten-time All-Star founded his very own private school, the George Washington Carver Academy, in San Antonio. And if that wasn’t enough, Robinson also manages an investment fund.
12. Chris Mullin
A vital part of the 1992 Olympic team who brought home gold medals for Team USA, Chris Mullin is still very much involved with the basketball world. He’s coached both the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings as well as his former university team, St. John’s. And he’s also shared his insights into the game as an analyst for ESPN.
11. Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen won half a dozen NBA titles alongside Michael Jordan as a Chicago Bull during the 1990s. And he’s continued to add to his legacy with the franchise since retiring from the court. In 2012 Pippen was appointed as a senior advisor to the Bulls’ president. The seven-time All-Star has also pivoted into acting, bagging roles in the likes of TV shows such as Chicago Fire and Fresh off the Boat.
10. John Stockton
An astonishing player in terms of both form and fitness, John Stockton played every single game for the Utah Jazz in 17 out of the 19 seasons he was with the NBA franchise. The two-time Olympic gold medal winner has perhaps understandably taken it a little easier than most of his peers since retiring from the sport. Mind you, he still has one foot in the game as a member of the Montana State University women’s coaching staff.
9. Gary Payton
No-nonsense Gary Payton spent the entirety of the 1990s playing for the Seattle SuperSonics, winning two Olympic golds as a member of Team USA, too. The former NBA star went on to share his knowledge of the sport as a TV broadcaster. And since the late 2000s he’s been busy attempting to bring his former team back to their original hometown.
8. Penny Hardaway
Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway helped to guide the Orlando Magic to their inaugural appearance in an NBA final during his six-year spell with the franchise in the ’90s. Following his retirement, the star has managed several high-school basketball teams, as well as the University of Memphis. Alongside another sporting great, Peyton Manning, Hardaway was a member of the consortium that purchased the Memphis Grizzlies in 2012.
7. Grant Hill
Although Grant Hill never won an NBA title, he did make the All-Star team on seven occasions. After retiring as a player, the former Detroit Piston served as the host of NBA TV’s Inside Stuff. But since 2015 he’s become better known as the co-owner of the Atlanta Hawks. Perhaps just as impressively, Hill can count none other than Barack and Michelle Obama as friends.
6. Hakeem Olajuwon
Also known as “The Dream,” Hakeem Olajuwon helped to steer the Houston Rockets to two NBA titles in the 1990s. Since leaving the court in 2002, the 12-time All-Star has enjoyed just as much success in the world of real estate. In fact, Olajuwon has earned over $100 million in his second career. Meanwhile the star’s daughter, WNBA player Abi, has ensured the family name remains in the game.
5. Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley may have been 6’6” tall, but believe it or not, that counts as small for an NBA power forward. Yet he still built a reputation as one of the league’s most fearsome players of the 1990s. After bidding farewell to the court at the turn of the century, the 11-time All-Star picked up a handful of Emmy Awards for his analytical work on Inside the NBA. Barkley has also served as a WeightWatchers spokesman and the host of TNT’s American Race.
4. Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman was undoubtedly the most scandalous basketball player of the 1990s. And the two-time All-Star has only doubled down on all the outrageousness since retiring from the sport. Yes, just when you thought that Rodman couldn’t get any more eccentric, he developed an unlikely friendship with North Korean dictator Kim-Jong Un. The star frequently travels to East Asia to meet up with the infamous leader.
3. Shaquille O’Neal
One of the true NBA superstars of his generation, Shaquille O’Neal began pursuing other interests while he was still at the top of his game. The multi-talented star launched both a hip-hop and movie career in the 1990s. Since hanging up his boots in 2011, the Shaq has called games for TNT and studied for an education degree.
2. Reggie Miller
Thanks to his penchant for bad-mouthing, Reggie Miller became one of the 1990s’ most divisive NBA stars. The former Indiana Pacer, who also had a long-running beef with film director Spike Lee, has continued to speak his mind since retiring from the court in 2005 too. Miller now works for the TNT network as an in-game analyst.
1. Michael Jordan
Unarguably the most iconic player ever to grace a basketball court, Michael Jordan won half a dozen NBA titles during his 15-year stint as a player. Since retiring in 2003 the 14-time All-Star has further extended his legacy as the Charlotte Hornets’ owner. Jordan has also achieved billionaire status thanks to sponsorship deals with brands such as sportswear giants Nike. And in 2020 he was the focus of Netflix hit The Last Dance.