Because my roommate is unable to comprehend any information from TV other than sports, I was forced to watch that butchering of a draft last night. David Stern might as well have just announcing the retirements of all the draftees because we will never hear any of those names again. One thing the draft did prompt me to do was to take a look at some of the all-time monumental draft busts in the recent history of the NBA. I say recent because I really only included players of my generation. I also included at number ten of my list the player I feel will be the biggest bust of this year’s draft. Overall you should recognize most of these names mainly because they have made themselves household names for their disappointing careers. I could have made this easy and just picked every European ever drafted in the top five, but I decided against that because there is no spell check on my blog.
10. Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers (2011, #1) – Really just about anyone selected first overall this year was going to get my vote as draft bust. I could have gone first round in this year’s draft so the idea of this guy sucking isn’t hard to imagine. Anyways, Irving will follow a long list of Dukies who couldn’t cut it in the professionals. It won’t help that he will have a bunch of other draft busts playing alongside him in Cleveland. Regardless of Irving panning out or not, he will never be considered a major draft bust simply because this year’s draft should have taken place in the D-League – considering the talent commisioner Stern marched onto the stage.
Drafted ahead of: No one significant
9. Greg Oden, Portland Trailblazers (2007, #1) – Kind of unfair to put Oden on the list, but life is unfair and I could and should have put him higher. The guy hasn’t played yet. Seriously. I can’t make too much of a judgment call here because there is no body of work to judge. This might be a different story had he not gone number one overall and one pick before someone as good as Kevin Durant, but at the end of the day he is a big fat BUST. You know you’re a draft bust when a picture of your nude garbage is a bigger deal than your third injury.
Drafted ahead of: Kevin Durant
8. Adam Morrison, Charlotte Bobcats (2006, #3) – A very fun pick to make mostly because I have seen this perennial end-of-the-bencher firsthand in his days with the Lakers. Morrison was pretty much doomed from the start when he broke onto the scene with a headband and the hair similar to the homeless guy down the street. Things went even further south for Morrison when he decided to shave his head and grow a porn stache cheaper than his most recent contract with the Wizards. While in LA, along with becoming a YouTube sensation, Morrison also became the Lakers’ version of Brain Scalbrine. The only difference is people cheered when Scalabrine saw the floor; they would leave when Morrison did.
Drafted ahead of: Rudy Gay, Brandon Roy, Rajon Rondo
7. Shawn Bradley, Philadelphia 76ers (1993, #2) – Defintion of a stiff. The guy had a few good seasons in the NBA and put up some decent numbers on the occasion, but you expect more from a 7’6 beanpole that gets drafted second overall. To solidify his status as bad, Bradley remains the only player in sports history to have his own “Not Top Ten” on ESPN. In his version, Bradley is dunked on constantly by Chris Weber and Kevin Garnett among others. Weber, who ranks number six on Bradley’s “Not Top Ten” literally punches Bradley in the face with his junk during one of his dunks.
Drafted ahead of: Penny Hardaway, Allan Houston
6. Jonathan Bender, Indiana Pacers (1999, #5) – This pick was strongly influenced by the fact that I have a lot of friends who are fans of the Pacers. Injuries got to Bender early in his career and they unfortunately stayed with him. While healthy he was still nothing to boast about. He widely dissapointed and fans of the Pacers can often refer to the number of good games he played with their fingers. After a three-year haitus Bender played for the New York Knicks for a season before finally calling it quits for good. Bender’s best career accomplishment most notably is his ability to make every single draft bust list on the internet.
5. Marcus Fizer, Chicago Bulls (2000, #4) – I hold a lot of bad blood with Fizer. In his senior season at Iowa St. I picked his team to go to the Final Four as a two seed. They were upset in the first round by Hampton and my bracket was torched from there. As an 11 year- old kid you remember athletes who tormented your childhood and after that game Fizer was one of them. Eight teams in ten years was Fizer’s final tally in the pros. He’s hit countries such as Russia and Puerto Rico and has played in more second-tier American cities than a rodeo. Aside from being a walking geography lesson, Fizer’s best accomplishment came when he won the D-League MVP in 2005-2006. Take that Derrick Rose!
Drafted ahead of: The 2000 draft was just as bad as this years…
4. Michael Olowokandi, Los Angeles Clippers (1998, #1) – The friggin Kandi Man is back! But only to wear a denouncing for a few sentances. “Khandi” is actually one of the league’s all-time great guys despite his disappointing career. He has been noted for numerous charitable acts that we solute. As far as his playing career goes Khandi could not have picked a better team to dissapoint for. The Clippers couldn’t care less that Khandi didn’t pan out, they were just happy they didn’t have to offer a max deal had Khnadi been the goldmine they were hoping for… or not hoping for. Similar to Duke, I could have made a top ten biggest draft busts in Clippers history as well.
Drafted ahead of: Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce
3. Darko Milicic, Detroit Pistons (2003, #2) – Out of respect for European sports I will call him by his first name. There is not enough space on this blog to talk about Darko, but I’ll try to cram it all into a few sentances anyway. He has all the main components of a great bust. High pick – check. European – check. Multiple teams – check. Darko has seen everything both conferences have to offer after playing for five teams in only seven seasons. Aside from horrendous career numbers, Darko has also admitted to being a bad pick for the Pistons in 2003. The icing on the cake came when Darko, along with cash, was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Brian Cardinal. Was it the chump change or Darko that propelled that blockbuster to finally go down? I’m leaning towards the $43.87 that made that deal too attractive to pass up.
Drafted ahead of: Dwayne Wade, Carmello Anthony, Chris Bosh, David West
2.Sam Bowie, Portland Trail Blazers (1984, #2) – There were two players picked ahead of Michael Jordan in the 1984 draft. We will give Hakeem Olajuwon the benefit of the doubt because he is a Hall of Famer, the other is Bowie. Bowie is possibly the most famous bust of all-time simply because of the rest of the players he was drafted ahead. Even though he still had a decent career in the NBA Bowie defines bust. Multiple injuries were the main cause, but also an overall lack of consistency on the floor. Even his name “Sam Bowie” sounds like someone who would be a complete bust.
Drafted ahead of: Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton
1. Kwame Brown, Washington Wizards (2001, #1) – The King of all busts has now been crowned. This guy was and still is awful. In true bust fasion Brown has become somewhat of a journeyman, playing for five different teams in nine seasons. The highlight of his career may have come in his first game back in Washington when he played for the Lakers.The well-deserved booing of Brown came early and often and was capped when Brown got domed up with an unexpected pass. The crowd went nuts, but Brown didn’t. After the game Brown noted that the crowd should cheer that he is no longer a Wizard, not boo. Nice mentality Kwame!
Drafted ahead of: Joe Johnson, Zach Randolph, Pau Gasol
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Written by Mick Moody