Top Nine NBA Draft Busts
By Lou DiPietro
The 2012 NBA Draft is upon us, and Anthony Davis of Kentucky is about a 500 percent lock as the No. 1 pick. Whether he turns out to be a stud or a dud of course remains to be seen, but if he does get taken by New Orleans first overall, hopefully it's a decision that the Hornets can stand by for years to come.
That's not the case for the General Managers who selected the nine men below and have since spent more time chugging Pepto Bismol than championship champagne. Hey, bad decisions happen…and these are the cream of the crap.
SIZE MATTERS (1993)
Shawn Bradley actually had a lengthy NBA career. But after the Sixers took him No. 2 overall in 1993, he played just two seasons in Philly before they jettisoned him to New Jersey and likely immediately regretted selecting him over Penny Hardaway or Jamal Mashburn.
THE 'KANDI MAN GOES SOUR (1998)
Coming off a 17-65 season in 97-98, the Clippers needed all the help they could get. But instead of taking Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter, or Paul Pierce, the Clips chose center Michael Olowokandi - who spent as many years in college as he did in LA (five).
EVERYONE'S A LOTTERY LOSER (1989)
Two future All-Stars (No. 3 Sean Elliott and No. 4 Glen Rice, pictured right) were selected in the 11 slots of the 1989 lottery. Future All-Stars selected between Nos. 12 and 18: five. Great scouting job, guys.
DON'T GET SKITTISH (2002)
The 2002 draft produced a record 17 international selections, the worst of which was the Nuggets' No. 5 choice of Italian League "star" Nikoloz Tskitishvili - who was back in Europe before No. 9 pick Amar'e Stoudemire would've even exhausted his college eligibility.
NOBODY WANTS KOBE (1996)
You decide which decision was more ludicrous: The Clippers passing on Kobe Bryant at No. 7 because they "didn't think people would take them seriously" if they drafted a high schooler, or the Hornets actually taking Kobe at No. 13 just so they could trade him for the immortal Vlade Divac.
A "HASH" DECISION (2009)
Everyone knew the Clippers were taking Blake Griffin No. 1 in 2009. But instead of taking James Harden (No. 3) or '09-10 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans (No. 4), Memphis took raw UConn center Hasheem Thabeet, who was so bad that they told him to tha-beat it less than two seasons later.
THEY'RE NOT SAYING BOO… (1984)
Sam Bowie had a nice NBA career, but moments after Portland took him No. 2 in 1984, Chicago snagged some guy named Jordan at No. 3. "His Airness" won six titles, but Bowie was long gone to New Jersey by the time MJ's Bulls beat the Blazers in the 1992 Finals. Whoops!
A DARKO DAY IN DETROIT (2003)
The Pistons won the NBA title in 2004, but it was more in spite of 2003 No. 2 pick Darko Milicic than because of him. Today, Darko is on his fifth NBA team and Detroit is back in the lottery, while No. 3 pick Carmelo Anthony has a wax figure and the other three guys in that year's Top 5 just had a parade.
PORTLAND'S FRESHMAN FOLLY (2007)
Portland answered the "Oden or Durant?" question in 2007 by taking the former. The Blazers got 82 games (and almost as many knee surgeries) out of Oden in five years, while the then-Sonics had to "settle" for the '07-08 Rookie of the Year and current three-time defending scoring champ.