NBA Players who appear on cards but did not get any of their own

by Billy Kingsley - 10 cards (Last updated on Jun 18, 2020)

1. 2016-17 Panini Complete #273 Stanley Johnson

Jorge Gutierrez played 47 NBA games from 2013-14 through 2015-16 with the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Charlotte Hornets. His presence as a Buck on this card, and the presence of Stanley Johnson himself, tells us that this image was taken during the 2015-16 pre-season. Johnson was a rookie during 2015-16 and Gutierrez was cut from the team during the preseason that year. He is still considered an active player and spent 2016-17 in the D-League.

2. 1975-76 Topps #287 Virginia Squires Team Leaders (Willie Wise / Red Robbins / Dave Vaughn / Dave Twardzik)

Dave Vaughn played 93 games for the Virginia Squires in 1974-75 and 75-76. He led the team in rebounds and ranked 10th in the ABA in 74-75, but his only card appearance is on the Squires' team leaders card from 75-76. His son David was an NBA player from 1995-96 through 1998-99.

3. 1992-93 Upper Deck #34 Randy White

Richard Coffey played 52 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves during 1990-91, starting one of them. He scored 68 total points, and actually grabbed more rebounds in his career (79) He played 3 games against Dallas, on 11/2/90 (his first career game), 1/2/91 and 2/26/91. however Randy White did not play in the game in November, meaning this photo was taken in either January or February 1991. There's no way to break it down further based on the stats available on

4. 1981-82 Topps #36 Mychal Thompson

Carlos Terry, #12 on the Bullets, played in 94 games for the Washington Bullets between 1980-81 and 1982-83. His final year was his best, as he played in 55 games and even started three of them. He only scored 285 total points, but almost matched that total with rebounds, of which he accumulated 227 over his career. He died at the age of only 32 in 1989, as a result of drinking and driving. (his own drinking)

5. 1957-58 Topps #7 Kenny Sears

Irv Bemoras, #26 on the St. Louis Hawks, played two seasons in the NBA- 1953-54 and 1956-57. The two seasons between his playing career saw him serve in the US Army. Between his two seasons the Hawks moved from Milwaukee to St. Louis. He played in 131 games and scored 827 points. He died in November 2007 at the age of 76.

6. 1979-80 Topps #30 Paul Westphal

Marty Byrnes, #45 on the Suns, played in the NBA from 1978-79 through 1982-83. He appeared in 263 games for the Suns, New Orleans Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Indiana Pacers. He was one of the players taken by the Mavericks in their expansion draft. He only played one season each with the teams he played for, even splitting half of 1978-79 between the Suns and Jazz. He spent 1981-82 in the CBA. He is the first player on this chart to win an NBA title, which he did with the Lakers, although he played in only 4 of their playoff games that year. In total he scored 1495 points during his NBA career.

7. 2017-18 Panini Prestige - Rain #127 Paul George

Torrey Craig, #3 on the Denver Nuggets, is in his second year with the team. Undrafted in 2014, he played professionally in Australia during the 2014-15 through 2016-17 seasons. He joined the Nuggets on a new two-way contract for 2017-18, and played well enough that he has been starting most of the games he's played this season, 20 out of 26 at the time of this writing, on Christmas Eve. He was converted to a full-time NBA player between 2017-18 and 2018-19.

UPDATE: He got cards in 2019-20.

8. 1997-98 Bowman's Best #124 Brevin Knight

Brent Scott, #55 of the Pacers, played in 16 games with the Pacers during 1996-97 and apparently made it to the Pre-Season of 1997-98.

He has college cards but those do not count.

9. 1996-97 Upper Deck #17 Luc Longley

Joe Vogel, SuperSonics player on the card back. He was drafted by the Sonics in the 2nd round in 1996, and obviously must have played in the pre-season, because he never played in an official NBA game. He went to Europe, and is still playing in Lebanon, at 45 years of age!

Thanks to Dave Switzer for the ID on him.

10. 1996-97 Topps Stars - Finest Refractors #103 Paul Arizin

#13 on the original Bullets is one of four people. I do not know which of the four people it is, but NONE of them got cards. It could be: Chuck Halbert, Don Otten, Don Rehfeldt or Joe McNamee. Each played a portion of one season- 1950-51 for Halbert and Otten, 1951-52 for Rehfeldt and McNamee. There are also 19 unknown player/number combos for the Bullets so it may even be someone else. There's an extremely high likelihood that the other two players shown also belong on this list but since I cannot make out their numbers I cannot ID them.


Jun 12, 2017 - 8:15PM

Billy, love this idea and looking forward to seeing more.  Hope you can get some vintage in the mix. 

Jun 14, 2017 - 10:25AM
Billy Kingsley

Thanks! It's going to take a lot of research but eventually I'll have it a more filled out...I just remembered a vintage card that I think qualifies.

Jun 14, 2017 - 11:41AM

Great idea for a list! I'm interested to see how it turns out.

Jun 24, 2017 - 12:25AM

Fun topic Billy. I'm sure I can find some in any sport in my collection, but I don't know as much about NBA as you do. Baseball would be highly unlikely to find something similar though b/c there are SO many baseball cards. Plus, there are tons of baseball teams throughout the levels that don't even put names on the jerseys. I think about background and foreground athletes a lot when it comes to NFL and NASCAR cards though. There are lots of cards in my NFL Panthers and Packers collections that I've added but aren't the player named on the card.

Jun 24, 2017 - 9:43AM

What about Hank Gathers?

He appears in the 1990-91 Star Pics set #38/#63.  I don't count that bootleg roundball card as legit.

There is also Len Bias.

Aug 19, 2017 - 10:24AM
Aug 19, 2017 - 10:56AM
Aug 20, 2017 - 8:44AM

Your list finally got me to get off my butt and start searching for Syracuse alumni who didn't get an NBA card.

Marty Byrnes #45

Sep 27, 2017 - 3:38AM
Billy Kingsley

I just saw the comments I got...sorry guys, not trying to ignore you, I'm just really scatterbrained sometimes. And I almost never check my email so I never see the notifications.

Adam, I actually planned to just add cards as I went through my collection and recognized players who were not on cards. For the 90s and later I will (in theory) be able to recognize a face that does not appear in my collection. 80s, maybe not so much, and pre-80s I'm not as knowledgable.

H. I want to keep it to players who actually played in the NBA. Although I am sure both of them would have had things not ended the way they did, they never actually took the court in an NBA game so for the scope of my project here they don't count.

Chuck, thank you! I knew I would have to research some of the players in the backgrounds, but these links save me some work.

Mar 19, 2018 - 8:24AM

Willie "Hutch" Jones #22

San Diego Clippers, 1982-83 and 1983-84, 13 games

Dec 24, 2018 - 4:32PM
Billy Kingsley

Chuck- Hutch Jones did get a card, albeit not an NBA card. Hutch Jones

Feb 26, 2019 - 2:29PM

In my mind, Dan took the picture on that Star card, and all Star cards.

Jun 27, 2019 - 1:12PM

Wow pretty cool list. Quite the research project.

Apr 15, 2020 - 5:16PM
Billy Kingsley

Torrey Craig finally got a card in 2019-20 Hoops.

May 6, 2020 - 7:32AM

#8 is definitely not Brent Scott, it looks nothing like him.  This is particularly evident on the normal Bowman version of the Brevin Knight card.  

Jun 18, 2020 - 9:10AM

"Richard Coffey played 52 games for the Minnesota Timberwolves during 1990-91, starting one of them. He scored 68 total points, and actually grabbed more rebounds in his career (79)"

So a cup of coffee career in the big time for Coffey...

Couldn't resist...I'll show my way out ;)

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