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mavsfanforever
06-28-2003, 07:52 PM
Link (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/2003/draft/news/2003/06/21/draft_busts/)

By John Hollinger, SI.com

LeBron James is The Chosen One. Darko is a can't-miss, and Carmelo's a sure thing. But we've heard these labels before, and more than a few times we've had horrifying disappointments.

So before we bask in all the hype over this year's rookies, let's take a moment to memorialize the biggest busts of the past. Before introducing the list of the 10 biggest draft busts ever, there are a few ground rules. First, the list is only from 1966, when the NBA dispensed with territorial picks at the start of the draft. Before then, a "No. 1" pick might be the fourth player taken off the board, so you won't see Hot Rod Hundley or Bill McGill on the list.

Second, I'm not considering anyone drafted after 1999. The book is still out on the Kwame Browns and Stromile Swifts of the world, so while some would like to write them off already, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt for a couple of more years.

On then, to the list of 10 guys LeBron James wants to avoid emulating:

10. Corky Calhoun
No. 4 overall, 1972, Suns
The 1972 draft was perhaps the worst in history. In addition to Calhoun, it featured such luminaries as No. 3 pick Dwight Davis, No. 5 selection Fred Boyd and No. 6 choice Russell Lee. Even the one great player from the draft -- Julius Erving -- never played a game for the team that picked him, Milwaukee. Calhoun, from Penn, lasted eight years but eclipsed the magical six-point-a-game barrier just once.

9. Kent Benson
No. 1 overall, 1977, Bucks
The top pick after leading Indiana to an undefeated national championship, Benson was a battler whose ordinary athleticism and scoring skills were quickly exposed. He managed only three double-figure scoring campaigns, and the Bucks dumped him after just 2 1/2 seasons, although he was good enough to at least stay in the league for 10 years.

8. James Ray
No. 5 overall, 1980, Nuggets
Denver took the swingman from Jacksonville ahead of Andrew Toney, and he managed to start seven games his entire career. He lasted just three years and averaged 3.2 points per game over that time. Fortunately for the Nuggets, they hardly missed him -- Kiki Vandeweghe came later in the same draft.

7. Michael Olowokandi
No. 1 overall, 1998, Clippers
Here's an idea: If you have the top overall pick, choose a guy who likes basketball. The Clippers didn't, and as a result they ended up with a lethargic, turnover-prone 7-footer instead of Paul Pierce, Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, Mike Bibby or Antawn Jamison. The Clippers have drafted well under Elgin Baylor, but this pick was a serious turkey.

6. Dennis Hopson
No. 3 overall, 1987, Nets
The Ohio State star was thought to be a can't-miss when he came out, but he turned into a can't-make. He shot 43 percent for his career and was out of the league in five seasons. Actually, you could make a stellar All-Bust team just from the Nets' picks in the mid-1980s. Hopson was part of a futile stretch that included Jeff Turner, Pearl Washington, Chris Morris and Tate George. Even their one good pick in that span, Mookie Blaylock, was traded for Rumeal Robinson within a year.

5. Bill Garnett
No. 4 overall, 1982, Mavericks
The forward from Wyoming was the second-ever pick of the expansion Mavericks and easily their worst ever. He stayed in the league for four very undistinguished NBA seasons, averaging five points and four rebounds. Garnett might rank higher but for the mediocrity of the players taken after him in the weak 1982 Draft.

4. Ken Durrett
No. 4 overall, 1971, Royals
Cincinnati drafted the forward from LaSalle, and he was as bad as any top-10 pick in memory. Durrett was so awful that he never started a game and was out of the league in four years. He had more fouls than points in his rookie year and shot 43 percent for his career.

3. Chris Washburn
No. 3 overall, 1986, Warriors
Call 1986 the "drug draft." Cocaine killed No. 2 pick Len Bias within a week of the draft (incidentally, I thought it unfair to include Bias as a "bust" given the tragic circumstances), and No. 6 pick William Bedford also had problems. But it was the No. 3 pick, Washburn, who became the poster child, playing just 72 games over two seasons with a career average of 3.1 points per game. He was on the street before his 23rd birthday.

2. Sam Bowie
No. 2 overall, 1984, Trail Blazers
The 1984 draft may have been the best of all time ... except for the part where the Blazers took Bowie at No. 2. It's well-known that the Blazers passed on Michael Jordan while the big man from Kentucky labored through an injury-plagued career. But what's less well-known is that Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Kevin Willis, Alvin Robertson and Otis Thorpe were all still on the board when it was Portland's turn to pick. Even Portland's second-rounder, Jerome Kersey, had a better career than Bowie.

1. LaRue Martin
No. 1 overall, 1972, Trail Blazers
Yes, there was a pick worse than Bowie. Martin was the top pick out of Loyola for the young Blazers, who were in only their third season. Despite playing for a horrid 21-61 team, Martin had trouble getting minutes. Bowie at least averaged double figures for his career; this guy was luggage. He stayed in the league only four seasons and finished with a modest scoring average of 5.3 points a game. Ironically, the Blazers passed on another North Carolina product -- three-time scoring champ Bob McAdoo -- to take him.

John Hollinger covers the NBA for SI.com and is the author of Pro Basketball Prospectus.

Drbio
06-28-2003, 09:43 PM
uuuhhh.....hello????


Leon Smith?

I saw the criteria, but he has to go on this kind of list.

Rhylan
06-28-2003, 10:09 PM
These guys are all top 4 picks. Leon was #29. He was a bust but it's just a totally different ballgame between top 4 and #29. It's not like we passed up 3 superstars to take him.

Drbio
06-28-2003, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by: Rhylan
These guys are all top 4 picks. Leon was #29. He was a bust but it's just a totally different ballgame between top 4 and #29. It's not like we passed up 3 superstars to take him.

I read that too.....but he was such a monumental first round bust that I think he goes on any list like this.

mavsfanforever
06-28-2003, 10:37 PM
Does anyone think Kwame Brown should be on this list yet?

MavKikiNYC
06-28-2003, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by: mavsfanforever
Does anyone think Kwame Brown should be on this list yet?

No way. Not yet. His meter starts ticking THIS year, with MJ gone and Dougie back in the booth.


I suppose it would be in bad taste to nominate Len Bias for this list, so I won't. But one could.

mavsfanforever
06-29-2003, 02:18 AM
I do think it is wrong to mention this right now but Jay Williams name comes to my mind.

Evilmav2
06-29-2003, 05:40 AM
9. Kent Benson
No. 1 overall, 1977, Bucks
The top pick after leading Indiana to an undefeated national championship, Benson was a battler whose ordinary athleticism and scoring skills were quickly exposed. He managed only three double-figure scoring campaigns, and the Bucks dumped him after just 2 1/2 seasons, although he was good enough to at least stay in the league for 10 years.

I used to work with Kent Benson's wife (head of the swimming instruction program) at the YMCA in Bloomington Indiana, and I have also BSed with Kent a few times in the weight room. His daughters (both about 6-2) both worked out there every day, and occasionally played pickup basketball...

Nice guy, nice family... Plus he anchored the IU Perfect Team so he will always be loved in Bloomington...

OutletPass
06-29-2003, 12:51 PM
No Uwe Blab ? (I guess mid-first round was too low for consideration)

Just a little Mavs nostalgia.

aexchange
06-29-2003, 12:58 PM
joe smith is a pretty monumental bust.

DNNF
06-29-2003, 01:08 PM
how about doug smith

mavsfanforever
06-29-2003, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by: aexchange
joe smith is a pretty monumental bust.

I actually think Joe smith would have been a great addition for the mavs.

Nash13
06-29-2003, 01:41 PM
How about Shawn Bradley and Sam Bowie?

mavsfanforever
06-29-2003, 02:03 PM
Sam Bowie's name is there at #2 on the list. Shawn Bradley could be there since he was the Second Pick in 1993. But actually Shawn does have some good # of blocked shots per game and total # of block shots.

Nash13
06-29-2003, 02:21 PM
He's like 8th on the all time block list, but that's pretty much it.

madape
06-29-2003, 03:13 PM
How about waking up in the morning after the draft and learning that your new franchise cornerstone, the #2 pick overall, is DEAD of a cocaine overdose?

Len Bias should be #1 on any "bust" list.

http://espn-i.starwave.com/media/pg2/2001/0619/photo/a_bias1_i.jpg

MFFL
06-29-2003, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by: madape
How about waking up in the morning after the draft and learning that your new franchise cornerstone, the #2 pick overall, is DEAD of a cocaine overdose?

Len Bias should be #1 on any "bust" list.


totally agree. what a nightmare.

David
06-29-2003, 09:14 PM
Originally posted by: madape
How about waking up in the morning after the draft and learning that your new franchise cornerstone, the #2 pick overall, is DEAD of a cocaine overdose?

Len Bias should be #1 on any "bust" list.
There was more to what happened to Bias than meets the eye. A large amount of cocaine was found in Bias' STOMACH. Who ingests cocaine that way? There was speculation that his "buddies" had put it in the beer they were drinking to celebrate his being drafted. Bias was not known to be a drug user. He was known as a straight arrow, as far as anyone knew.

Mandyahl
06-29-2003, 09:22 PM
wow, i didn't know that side of the bias story.

FilthyFinMavs
06-29-2003, 11:32 PM
Joe Smith without a doubt has to go on that list. He is right there with Kandi in my book. He is a good player but not number 1 pick of the draft.

MFFL
06-29-2003, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by: David
Bias was not known to be a drug user. He was known as a straight arrow, as far as anyone knew.

There are questions about that. He might have been a casual user

http://www.s-t.com/daily/06-01/06-19-01/c01sp091.htm

In the whirlwind two days after the draft, Bias flew to Boston to meet with team officials and media. He, his father, James, and his agent, Lee Fentress, met with representatives of Reebok and negotiated a $325,000 endorsement deal, which on top of a rookie contract that was expected to be in the $700,000 range would have made Bias an instant millionaire.
The world was at his doorstep.
Twelve hours later, Bias decided to celebrate his newfound fame and fortune with cocaine. Around 2 a.m., Bias and three others began their party in their dormitory in College Park, Md.
Reports later would suggest that Bias tried coke for the first time that night. Those reports proved inaccurate: Bias had done it many times.
This particular time, around 3:15 a.m., one of those in the room wondered if Bias had had enough.
"I'm all right," he said. "I'm strong. I'm a horse."
About three hours later, Bias' body began to shake, as if he was having a seizure. Toxicologists who examined him later would explain that one gram of cocaine was considered a "recreational" amount. Bias, they estimated, had snorted five.
When attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, one of the men in the room, Brian Tribble, called 911 and begged for paramedics to come to Washington Hall.
The paramedics arrived and asked if Bias had taken drugs. "Beer," they were told. When the paramedics couldn't resuscitate him, they placed Bias in an ambulance and rushed him to Leland Memorial Hospital.
Leonard Kevin Bias died at 8:55 a.m. He was 22.

and

In the wake of Bias' death, Maryland launched an in-house investigation that eventually led to the firing of Driesell, an icon at the school. The probe did not blame Driesell for Bias' death, but found academic deficiencies and drug use among athletes. It was also determined that Bias skipped virtually all of his classes upon the end of the 1985-86 basketball season.

EVAN
06-29-2003, 11:52 PM
give kwame a year to see if he can improve...its much too early to call him a bust... I dont think leon should be on a bust list because we dont know if he would've succeeded or fallen as a b-ball player...

Mandyahl
06-29-2003, 11:53 PM
but that's why leon is a bust...because he never played.

MFFL
06-29-2003, 11:55 PM
I tried to find some information about Len Bias having cocaine in his stomach but was unable to find any support for that.

Mandyahl
06-29-2003, 11:59 PM
hmmm well that presents a totally different side of the story, mffl.