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27 Jan 2019

6 Biggest Draft Busts in NBA History

 

Every team in the NBA has made a draft pick that they regret. Most of these players bust out of the league after a handful of seasons, only costing a franchise a little bit of pride and some cash along the way.

Then there are the epic draft busts in NBA history which everyone remembers for all of time. Do you agree with this list?

#1. Sam Bowie, Portland Trail Blazers

Most people don’t remember that Michael Jordan was picked third in 1984. The Houston Rockets got a good deal with Hakeem Olajuwon since they needed a center. As for the Blazers, well… they took Bowie. He was always injured, never played well, and couldn’t even put together a full season of play. He averaged 10.9 points during his career.

#2. Darko Milicic, Detroit Pistons

The number of players that came after Milicic in 2003 who went on to have Hall of Fame careers is astounding. You’ve got Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony all picked after him. LeBron James was selected right before him. Milicic could play Euro basketball well, but the physical nature of the NBA wasn’t his style. He became a valuable sixth man instead.

#3. Greg Oden, Portland Trail Blazers

Oden got bit by the injury bug after being taken as the No. 1 pick in the 2007 draft. He was dominant in college, but then he had microfracture surgery on both knees coming into the professional game. He only played in 82 games during the first five years of his career because of all the injuries.

#4. Michael Olowokandi, Los Angeles Clippers

This player was the No.1 pick in the 1998 draft. It was a pick which cemented the franchise’s reputation in a negative light, as he averaged over 10 points during a season just twice in his career. He may have been 7 feet tall, but he couldn’t shoot worth anything. Now think about who the Clippers could have picked: Paul Pierce, Vince Carter, Antwan Jamison, or Dirk Nowitzki.

#5. Shawn Bradley, Philadelphia 76ers

The 1990s ran through a series of draft picks that were all tall 7-footers. Each player was expected to dominate around the rim. Most did not. Take Bradley, for example. He played 12 seasons, by at 7’6”, he only averaged 6.3 rebounds per game over his career. Although the historic levels of talent for the 1993 draft were low (only Chris Webber, Sam Cassel, and Bruce Bowen are notable), they could have still done better.

#6. Hasheem Thabeet, Memphis Grizzlies

Even though Thabeet is 7’3” tall, his best minutes-per-game average in the NBA is 13. That means he’s spending more time riding the pine than he is grabbing boards. By 2015, he was playing in the NBA’s development league with the rookies. In September 2017, he washed out completely and went to the Yokohama B-Corsairs in Japan.

These are just some of the draft pick busts that have happened in NBA history. What are some of the picks that you wish your favorite team had never done? 

21 Jan 2019

7 Worst Playoff Mistakes in NBA History

 

The NBA playoffs provide us with some of basketball’s greatest moments. If you are a player who achieves greatness there, then your name is written in the annals of history with plenty of glories to enjoy.

If you make one of the worst playoff mistakes in NBA history, then you’ll be remembered in a much different way.

Do you remember these incidents happening on the court?

#1. Wilt’s Four

One of the best scorers in NBA history decided that he was only going to take four shorts during the 1968 playoff series against the 76ers. His team was built around what he could do around the rim, so his lack of presence cost them a chance at the title.

#2. 39 Points

The 2008 NBA finals had the Lakers looking to be the dominant force in the league. In Game 6, the fell flat for whatever reason, failing to play offense or defense in all four quarters. They wound up losing to the Boston Celtics by 39 points.

#3. Choking Charles

The New York Knicks were stomping down on the Chicago Bulls something fierce. They’d won twice, then lost the next two. That set up an epic Game 5 showdown. With 20 seconds left, Charles Smith had the ball for the Knicks right under the basket. Then he missed four consecutive shots. He didn’t even draw a foul. Chicago went on to win the game.

#4. Isiah’s Throw In

The 1987 playoffs between the Pistons and the Celtics are remembered for one specific play. Isiah Thomas attempted to throw in the ball while up by one point. There were five seconds left on the clock. Larry Bird stole the pass, made the layup, and the Celtics held on to win the series.

#5. The 1994 SuperSonics

This team, led by Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, held the best record in the NBA in 1994. They cruised through the Denver Nuggets during the first two games of the quarterfinals. Then they lost the remaining games to become the first No. 1 seed to fall to a No. 8 seed in the history of the league.

#6. Nick’s Free Throws

Nick Anderson went to the free throw line five times in game one of the 1995 NBA finals. He made just one of them. Orlando was up by four points when he started missing them. The Houston Rockets went down the court to make up the difference and win the game – even though there were only 5.6 seconds left in the game.

#7. Kobe’s Airball

Kobe Bryant came to the NBA straight out of high school. In Game 5 of the Western Conference Championship against the Utah Jazz, with the game tied at 89, he had a chance to make history. He threw up an airball instead. Then he kept doing it, throwing up a total of five terrible shots. 

These are just a few of the biggest mistakes that have happened in NBA history. What are some of your favorite “least memorable” moments? 

19 Oct 2018

7 Biggest Mistakes NBA Teams Made in 2018

 

The NBA saw a lot of ups and downs during the end of the 2017-and the beginning of the 2018-19 seasons. Although there were a lot of notable successes during this time, there were also some epic failures to think about during the year.

Each team committed grievous errors of some sort during this period. This list involves what we feel are the biggest mistakes of all.

#1. Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics made a mistake by not completing a trade to get Anthony Davis. Even though they almost made the NBA finals, they just didn’t have the star power to compete in the East. Trading one of their up-and-coming stars for Anthony Davis might have sealed their path to a championship.

#2. Charlotte Hornets

Michael Jordan had one job: just around the star player Kemba Walker with some additional talent. They managed to get Tony Parker to join the team. Now they’re stuck watching Walker play some of the best basketball of his career without teammates that can help him go to the next level.

#3. Cleveland Cavaliers

They let LeBron James go to Los Angeles. You can’t make a much bigger mistake than that in the modern NBA.

#4. Dallas Mavericks

During the off-season in 2018, there was a lot of trade interest in Wesley Matthews. The team decided to keep him since it seemed like he was a coveted signing across the league. Now they don’t need him, aren’t playing him, and his trade value is non-existent.

#5. Houston Rockets

Surprise! The Houston Rockets had the best record in the NBA for the 2017-18 season. They were 12 minutes away from making it to the NBA finals. Now they’re struggling to stay competitive. That’s because they let Trevor Ariza go during the summer break. You could say that another mistake the team made was signing Chris Paul to a $160 million contract.

#6. Los Angeles Clippers

This NBA team decided to take a gamble on Tobias Harris. On the surface, this player does everything one would expect. He can rebound, defend, and create off the dribble. These skills make his teammates better because he can do a little bit of everything. Now he’s having a career year with free agency coming. They’re either going to need to pay him or trade him for next to nothing.

#7. Milwaukee Bucks

The 2017-18 season for this NBA team was one of the first true breakout years they’ve had as a franchise in almost two decades. They have most of the pieces for a strong run at the trophy, especially with the way that started the 2018-19 season. That’s why their decision to absorb the $37 million contract of George Hill was a little surprising. His defensive expertise is valuable – but maybe not THAT worthwhile.

Some NBA teams focus on creating a group of stars with the hopes that they will play well together. Other franchises look to build a team environment where a superstar isn’t required for a championship. These mistakes are just a few of the issues they faced throughout 2018. 

02 Oct 2018

20 Best Players in NBA History (with Honorable Mentions)

 

Every list is subjective in some way to the author’s preferences. If we are trying to group together the 10 best players in NBA history, then specific placements might be up for debate, but the actual players on this list are something that virtually all of us can agree upon.

Let’s get started with that list first.

Who Are the 10 Best Players in NBA History? 

1. Michael Jordan

2. Larry Bird

3. Bill Russell

4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

5. Wilt Chamberlin

6. LeBron James 

7. Tim Duncan

8. Magic Johnson

9. Shaquille O’Neal

10. Julius Erving

There might be a player one day who can take Michael Jordan from his spot as being king of the mountain. That person is not in the NBA right now. Some might feel that LeBron James could take that spot one day – but they are wrong. Sorry.

Now let’s take this list of the best players in NBA history to the Top 20.

Players Ranked #11-#20 in NBA History

11. Hakeem Olajuwon

12. Oscar Robertson

13. Kobe Bryant

14. David Robinson

15. Jerry West

16. Scottie Pippen

17. Dwayne Wade

18. Karl Malone

19. John Stockton

20. Kevin Durant

Let’s not forget that the NBA is changing right now. There is a wave of three-point shooting which changes the dynamics of offense and defense within the game. Some of the players that fit into the Top 20 in NBA history would struggle in the modern game because of this structure.

That does not change their greatness. We should not judge players based on their ability to perform in the modern iteration of the sport. They should be evaluated on the basis of how they played against their peers. That’s why you’ll find a combination of different eras in this part of the list.

Honorable Mentions for the Best in NBA History

There are a handful of players who make various lists like these who we didn’t rank as one of the best of all-time. That doesn’t mean they weren’t any good. It just means that, in our opinion, they weren’t as good as the others that have numbers by their names.

Here is our grouping of honorable mentions for players that still dominated during their era.

  • Charles Barkley
  • Elgin Baylor
  • Reggie Miller
  • Steph Curry
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Kevin Garnett
  • Dennis Rodman
  • Dominique Wilkins
  • James Harden
  • Clyde Drexler

There are probably hundreds of people who could make this list and there wouldn’t be an argument for their conclusion. It is also essential to remember that this list is for NBA players only. There are incredible women who play basketball that deserve recognition as being the best of all time as well.

If a woman ever can break into the NBA, then she will certainly earn her place in history. Until then, we will continue to take a look at the history of the game to see who performed well, created great moments, and brought grace to the competition.

Who do you think should have made this list that did not?