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…
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…
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.
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.