It was just a matter of time before I found time to profile the founder, ceo, and president of the NBA Busts Club…the one, the only, Kwame Brown.
The Washington Wizards, under president Michael Jordan, selected Brown with number one pick in the 2001 NBA Draft (Jordan’s first draft as president). The 6-foot 11-inch 19-year old high-school kid out of Glynn Academy in Georgia was considered a no-brainer by many NBA executives. Unfortunately for Kwame, Jordan, and the Wizards, Read more…
Sebastian Telfair was hit with as much hype as any high schooler to enter the NBA draft. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he played his high school ball at Lincoln. The 6-foot 175-pound guard had a knack for getting into the lane and was as tough as they come. He wrestled with Read more…
In what will go down in history as one of the greatest drafts in NBA history, the 2003 NBA draft will also be known for producing one of the biggest busts too. The Detroit Pistons selected 18-year old Serbian center Darko Milicic with the second overall pick right behind LeBron James. The Pistons chose Darko over players like Read more…
The 1984 NBA Draft produced four Hall of Famers, including the number one overall pick Hakeem Olajuwon, the number three pick Michael Jordan, the number five pick Charles Barkley, and the number sixteen pick John Stockton. Unfortunately for the Portland Trail Blazers, they missed out on those stars. Sandwiched at number two between NBA greats Read more…
Araujo started his basketball career at Arizona Western College. He dominated during his 2 years at the junior college before transferring to Brigham Young University (BYU) for his junior and senior seasons. Araujo earned the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year award his senior season, averaging 18 ppg and 10 rpg. Read more…
The former McDonald’s All-American went on to have a stellar four-year career at Duke. Williams was named ACC Rookie of the Year and NCAA National Freshman of the Year in his first year in Durham. The next year, Williams led his Blue Devils to a National Championship, becoming Duke’s single season scoring leader in the process. Williams had his best personal year during his final season at Duke, earning the National Player of the Year award. In 2002, Williams entered the NBA draft.
The Chicago Bulls selected the heralded senior with the second pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. Williams had a solid rookie year, averaging 9.5 ppg and close to 5 asp while starting in 54 games. In June of 2003, just a week before the NBA Draft, Williams was involved in Read more…
Shawn Bradley was one of the most hyped up and talked about players to enter the 1993 NBA Draft. Before entering the draft, the former McDonald’s All-American played at Brigham Young University. Bradley set multiple shot-blocking records while at BYU and brought home some hardware too. Bradley was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Player of the Year after his brilliant freshman season as well as being named to the All-WAC defensive team and an Honorable Mention All-American. After his stellar freshman year, Bradley decided to Read more…
Former McDonald’s High School All-American, Fizer went on to have an exceptional 3-year collegiate career at Iowa State. Fizer’s junior year was by far his best, racking up multiple awards including Big 12 Player of the Year and NCAA First Team All-American. The Chicago Bulls selected Fizer with the 4th pick of the 2000 NBA Draft. Fizer played under head coach Tim Floyd, the same coach who recruited him to Iowa State. He spent his first 4 seasons with the Bulls, compiling an average of 10 points and 5 rebounds per game during his stay. Fizer’s final season in Chicago ended earlier then expected as he Read more…
The Los Angeles Clippers once again had the first overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft and once again they made the wrong choice. The Clippers chose 7-0 footer Michael Olowokandi aka “The Kandi Man” out of the University of the Pacific. Olowokandi signed with played for Kinder Bologna of the Italian League because of the NBA lockout before eventually signing with the Clippers. Olowokandi was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team averaging 9 ppg and 7 rpg during the shortened 1998 -1999 season. Knee injuries and a hernia hindered his production during the latter half of the 2002 -2003 season raising a red flag to the Clippers and forcing them to pass up on resigning him in the off-season. The native of Nigeria, who spent his first 5 seasons with the Clippers, eventually signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves as a free agent during the 2003 off-season. During his 3 injury plagued and inconsistent seasons with the T-Wolves Olowokandi averaged a horrid 6 ppg and 5 rpg. Midway through the 2005 -2006 season The Kandi Man was traded to the Boston Celtics. Again, injuries plagued the 7-0 footer and limited him to only 40 games during his 2 year stint in Boston. Olowokandi decided to call it quits and retired after the 2006 -2007 season at the age of 31.
Olowokandi is just one of the many draft disasters of the Los Angeles Clippers. Here are some of the notable players the Clippers have chosen when they had a lottery pick and who they passed up on since 1990.
1990 – chose Bo Kimble 8th overall, Toni Kukoc was still on the board
1995 – chose Antonio McDyess 2nd overall but traded him with others for Brent Barry, could have drafted Kevin Garnett
1996 – chose Lorenzen Wright 7th overall, could have chosen Kobe Bryant
1998 – chose Michael Olowokandi 1st overall, Dirk was still available
2000 – chose Darius Miles 3rd overall and Keyon Dooling 10th overall, Hedu Turkoglu and Michael Redd were still on the board
2002 – chose Chris Wilcox 8th overall and Melvin Ely 12th overall, could have drafted Tayshaun Prince and Carlos Boozer
2004 – chose Shaun Livingston 3rd overall, Devin Harris was still on the board
2005 – chose Yaroslav Korolev 12th overall, Danny Granger was still available
One of the more unfortunate stories surrounding a professional sports career is that of former 3rd overall pick in the 2000 NBA Draft, Darius Miles. The Los Angeles Clippers selected the highly touted small forward out of high school and he delivered on all the hype in his first season as a pro. Miles was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team, posting 9 ppg and 6 rpg. The Clippers then traded Miles after the 2001 -2002 season to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played in Cleveland for a season and a half before being traded again, this time to the Portland Trail Blazers. Miles and then coach Mo Cheeks did not see eye to eye and conflicts were very common between the two. Half way through his second season with the Blazers, Miles suffered what he would soon learn to be a career-threatening injury to his knee. He underwent microfracture surgery to repair his knee a few weeks later and ended up missing the entire 2006 -2007 and 2007 – 2008 seasons. Later in 2008, Miles accepted an invite from the Boston Celtics to try to earn a spot during training camp. unfortunately for Miles, he was waived by the Celtics right before the start of the 2008 -2009 season. In December of 2008, the Memphis Grizzlies gave Miles a shot to regain his career. He played in one game for the Grizzlies before being waived. Seven days later, the Grizzlies again signed Miles to a 10-day contract. He impressed this time around and the Grizzlies decided to sign him for the rest of the 2008 -2009 season. During the summer of 2009, the Grizzlies finally decided to part ways with Miles due to salary cap restraints. Miles is now attempting another comeback, as the Charlotte Bobcats have invited him to work out in their free-agent minicamp.
Arguably one of the greatest names to ever play in the NBA, Stromile Swift was basically just that (a great name), during his brief stint in the league. Drafted out of LSU with the 2nd overall pick of the 2000 NBA Draft by the then Vancouver Grizzlies, Swift spent his first 5 seasons with the Grizzlies in which he averaged 9 ppg and 5 rpg. Hardly the stats expected of a 2nd overall selection. The 6-10 athletic freak signed as a free agent with the Houston Rockets during the 2005 off-season. Swift played one season for the Rockets before being traded back to the now Memphis Grizzlies on draft day. Midway through his second season with the Grizzlies he was again traded, this time to the New Jersey Nets. Swift finished out the 2008 season with the Nets, but saw his playing time drastically reduced during the beginning of the 2009 season. In March of 2009, the Nets released Swift making him a free agent. Three days later the Phoenix Suns signed him for the rest of the 2009 season. The Philadelphia 76ers were the next team on the Swift carousel, signing him in September of 2009 only to release him one month later. After his hard luck in the NBA Swift decided to take his game overseas, signing with Shandong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association or CBA in December of 2009. Swift played for 4 different teams during his 11 year career in the NBA, finishing with career averages of 8.4 ppg and 4.6 rpg. Stromile Swift is just yet another case of a guy who couldn’t figure out how to harness his pure, raw, athleticism into becoming a productive and consistent NBA player.
Any casual basketball fan remembers Adam Morrison leading his Gonzaga Bulldogs to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2006 NCAA Tournament. Morrison and the Bulldogs eventually lost that Sweet Sixteen game to UCLA in the final seconds, blowing a 17 point lead in the process. Morrison broke down emotionally after the final buzzer sounded and signaled the end of the Bulldogs season and later proved to be Morrison’s final game as well. Adam Morrison was awarded at the end of the year, sharing the National Player of the Year award with J.J. Redick of Duke. Morrison decided to leave Gonzaga with that bitter taste of being ousted in the Sweet Sixteen in his mouth and entered his name into the 2006 NBA Draft.
Adam Morrison was selected with the 3rd overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Bobcats, a pick made by the then manager of basketball operations for the Bobcats, Michael Jordan. Morrison started for the Bobcats during the first half of the 2006 season but was later removed from the starting lineup largely due in part because of his poor field goal percentage and lack of ability to defend his position. Morrison’s hard luck continued into his second year with the Bobcats, tearing his ACL in the pre-season and missing the entire 2007 -2008 season. Morrison was then traded by the Bobcats to the Los Angeles Lakers early into the 2009 season. He later went on to play absolutely no part in the Lakers back-to-back NBA Championships in 2009 and 2010, riding on the coat tails of Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. It’s an absolute travesty that guys like Adam Morrison have championship rings while NBA greats like Charles Barkley and Karl Malone don’t even have one championship to their name, but that’s a rant for a different day. Anyway, Morrison signed with the Washington Wizards after his stint with the Lakers but was cut during training camp. No NBA team took a flyer on Morrison during this past season and he is currently a free agent.
The 2005 NBA Draft was a solid one. Producing All-Stars and All-NBA players such as Andrew Bogut, Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Danny Granger, and David Lee. Other above-average NBA players like Marvin Williams, Raymond Felton, Charlie Villanueva, Andrew Bynum, and Channing Frye to name a few, also came out of this draft. The 2005 Draft wasn’t without its busts, most notably the 13th overall pick, Sean May.
Sean May was a McDonald’s High School American and ended up playing his college ball for the University of North Carolina. May started at center for the Tar Heels in each of his 3 seasons in school. May’s shining moment came in the Tar Heel’s National Championship run in 2005 as he poured in 26 points on 10 of 11 from the field and adding 10 rebounds in the Championship Game win over Illinois. May’s outstanding play throughout the tournament earned him the Most Outstanding Player of the 2005 NCAA Tournament Award. May chose to go out on top and declared for the NBA Draft shortly after he and the Tar Heels won the school’s 4th National Title.
The Charlotte Bobcats took May with the 13th pick of the 2005 NBA Draft, one of 4 Tar Heels to be drafted in the lottery. The others included Marvin Williams with the 2nd pick, Raymond Felton with the 5th pick, and Rashad McCants with the 14th pick. May suffered a knee injury early into his rookie season and micro fracture surgery in the offseason held him out of the entire 2007 – 2008 season. May was never able to fully recover from surgery and the effects lingered into the following season, ultimately landing him on the inactive list due to not being physically fit to play. In 2009, the Bobcats chose not to pick up May’s 4th year option and he became an unrestricted free agent. Later in 2009, May was signed by the Sacramento Kings for the NBA’s minimum salary. The Kings did not resign May and instead the New Jersey Nets gave him a chance in 2010, but he was released in the preseason due to yet another injury. May decided to accept an offer to play overseas later on in 2010 and is currently employed by Fenerbahce Ulker of the Turkish League.
To many, and I agree, the 2003 NBA Draft was the best NBA Draft ever. The 2003 Draft has produced 8 All-Stars and 4 All-NBA members including names like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, David West, Chris Kaman, Josh Howard, and Mo Williams. Other non-all stars but solid NBA players to come out of this draft include Kirk Hinrich, TJ Ford, Nick Collison, Luke Ridnour, Boris Diaw, Carlos Delfino, Kendrick Perkins, Leandro Barbosa, Steve Blake, Willie Green, Keith Bogans, Travis Outlaw, Dahntay Jones, Matt Bonner, Zaza Pachulia, James Jones, Kyle Korver, the list goes on and on. But every draft has its busts and the 2003 NBA Draft is no different. The 3 busts I’m going to profile are the #9 pick Michael Sweetney, the #15 selection Reece Gaines, and the #16 pick Troy Bell.
The burly 6 foot 8 inch 270 lb power forward out of Georgetown was selected 9th overall by the New York Knicks in the 2003 NBA Draft. Sweetney had a great 3 year career at Georgetown, posting a career scoring average of over 18 ppg while shooting 55% from the field. Unfortunately, his NBA career has not been very successful. After playing in only 42 regular season games for the Knicks, Sweetney was traded to the Chicago Bulls in 2005. Sweetney always had weight issues which led him to not appear in a single game during the span of 2007 – 2009. The Boston Celtics invited him to training camp in 2009 but was later waived.
The 6 foot 6 inch 205 lb former Louisville standout did not have a very smooth NBA career, bouncing around to 3 teams in 3 years. Gaines was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the 15th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He appeared in only 38 games for the Magic before being traded midway through his rookie season to the Houston Rockets. Gaines played in only 10 games for the Rockets, mostly due to injuries, and was again traded in 2005 to the Milwaukee Bucks. Gaines didn’t play a whole lot during his 1 and a half seasons with the Bucks, totaling a combined 132 minutes in 23 games. From 2006 to 2009 Gaines played overseas in Italy. He was on a different team for each of his 3 years there. In 2009, Gaines played for the Bakersfield Jam (Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers affiliate) in the NBA D-League. Most recently, Gaines decided to go back and play professionally overseas, signing with JA Vichy of the French League in 2010.
The former 2-time NCAA All-American as well as 2-time Big East Player of the Year enjoyed a sensational college career at Boston College, finishing as Boston College’s all-time leading scorer. Bell was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the 16th overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft but was immediately traded on draft night to the Memphis Grizzlies. He played in 6 games for the Grizzlies in his rookie year and was signed as a free agent in 2005 by the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. Bell was later waived by the Hornets during the 2005 preseason. Bell entered the NBA D-League Draft in 2006 and was selected with the 12th pick by the Albuquerque Thunderbirds (New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic affiliate) and later signed with the Austin Toros (San Antonio Spurs affiliate), also of the D-League. After his 2 year stint in the NBA D-League, Bell played professionally in Italy for 3 different teams from 2007 to 2010. Currently, Bell plays for Entente Orleanaise in France.
Juan Dixon played his college basketball at the University of Maryland where he racked up a ton of personal awards. Dixon was first team All-ACC in 2000, 2001, and 2002. Dixon was also named ACC Player of the Year and Athlete of the Year in 2002. That same year, Dixon was a Consensus first team All-American and led the Terrapins past Jared Jeffries and the Indiana Hoosiers to win the NCAA Championship. Dixon passed Len Bias as Maryland’s all-time leading scorer in 2002 and finished his career as the only player in NCAA history to accumulate 2,000 points, 300 steals, and 200 three-pointers. The 6 foot 3 inch 165 lb shooting guard was drafted 17th overall in the 2002 NBA Draft by the hometown Washington Wizards. He played 3 seasons for the Wizards, which included a career-high 35 points in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, before signing with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2005. Dixon was traded midway through his second season with the Blazers to the Toronto Raptors. Again, Dixon was traded midway through the 2007 – 2008 season with the Raptors to the Detroit Pistons. Dixon played in only 17 games for the Pistons before being signed as a free agent by the Wizards, the team that drafted him. NBA teams lost interest in Dixon and he decided to play professionally overseas. In 2009, he signed with Aris Thessaloniki of the Greek League. The next season, Dixon joined Unicaja Malaga in Spain. Dixon currently plays professionally in Turkey with Bandirma Banvit.