June 17, 2003

Draft Busts,: Hindsight is a funny thing. Who would you add to this list? Who's going to be a bust from this year's draft?

posted by corpse to basketball at 03:03 PM - 27 comments

How about "Big Country" (don't remember his name now), down in Memphis (formerly of Vancouver)? He was heavily hyped and all he's been is, well, heavy.

posted by grum@work at 03:19 PM on June 17, 2003

Bryant "Big Country" Reeves was the '95 winner of the annual BWSG Award (Big White Stiff Guy). Previous winners include Chris Mhim, Joel Przybilla, Jeff Foster, Curtis Borchardt, Eric Montross, Todd Fuller, Kirk Haston, Evan Eschmeyer, the list goes on and on. This year's nominee is Chris Kamen.

posted by corpse at 03:41 PM on June 17, 2003

Trajan Langdon as a draft bust? Compared to the ten guys picked ahead of him in the 1999 draft, yeah. But the 12th pick, Aleksandr Radojevic, managed to play in a grand total of 3 NBA games. The closest that the 15th pick, Frederic Weis, has come to the NBA is that memorable Vince Carter dunk in the Olympics.

posted by mbd1 at 04:16 PM on June 17, 2003

Corpse, I really dislike your BWSG comment. It's a little to easy to clown big white guys. There are plenty of big goofy black dudes as well. Just make it BSG. Check out DeSagana Diop, Jason Collins, Brendan Haywood, Jerome Moiso, Jonathan Bender sometime. That list goes on and on too. (And Big Country was having a solid career until he got derailed by injuries. Check his stats for his first 3 years.) Anyone want to play my favorite game 'name the best college player who was HOPELESS in the pros' a slightly more sophisticated version of 'who's the biggest bust'. I'll go with Scottie Thurmond (of Arkansas). Top dat!

posted by Mike McD at 04:24 PM on June 17, 2003

Bobby Hurley comes to mind.

posted by kloeprich at 04:38 PM on June 17, 2003

It all starts and ends with Stacy King. College Player of the Decade my butt!

posted by bivouac at 04:53 PM on June 17, 2003

name the best college player who was HOPELESS in the pros Lawrence Moten. Guys like he and Shawn Respert, tweener shooting guards who are too small for 3 and too slow for 2, are suspect picks.

posted by yerfatma at 06:36 PM on June 17, 2003

Three of the eleven were first round picks by GSWs. Who play in Oakland. *ba da bing* Who will never, ever have a winning record, much less an NBA title, as long as that doofus Cohan(sp?) owns them. (Sorry, I would like to adopt the local team to root for when I move somewhere but in this case it just isn't possible.)

posted by billsaysthis at 07:22 PM on June 17, 2003

Didn't Hurley show decent promise with the Kings and then lose out with a really bad knee injury or car crash?

posted by billsaysthis at 07:23 PM on June 17, 2003

Shaquille ONeal. All these years in the league and he still can't hit a free throw. What a waste of a draft pick :) I'm a little worried that Carmelo will be a waste if he ends up in Denver... I can't name a single Nuggets player, past or present, which can't speak well for their development skills... I'm really hoping that LeBron will head this list :) Wasn't someone picked ahead of Jordan who was terrible? Or were they just magnified by MJ's greatness...

posted by Bernreuther at 07:49 PM on June 17, 2003

Bern, the first man drafted turned out to be a pretty darn good basketball player. You know him as "The Dream" Hakeem Olajuwon. The second pick, however, was 7-1 Sam Bowie, a highly-touted center out of Kentucky. Portland desperately needed a franchise big man and so passed on MJ. Here are the next nine picks in that draft: 4. Sam Perkins 5. Charles Barkley 6. Melvin Turpin 7. Alvin Robertson 8. Lancaster Gordon 9. Otis Thorpe 10. Leon Wood 11. Kevin Willis 12. Tim McCormick Melvin Turpin? At No. 16 that year? Some guy named John Stockton. One more note about the '84 draft. Taken in the sixth round with the 131st pick by the Nets? Oscar Schmidt.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:23 PM on June 17, 2003

Walter Berry and Steve Stipanovich...

posted by vito90 at 11:41 PM on June 17, 2003

Bowie - that's it. still pretty much a bust, right? Vito, since I just scratched my head and said "who" out loud, your guys win :)

posted by Bernreuther at 12:20 AM on June 18, 2003

IMHO Walter Berry is the biggest bust ever. he was player of the year in college.

posted by jbou at 03:02 AM on June 18, 2003

I wondered about some of the 'better choice' picks raised inthe article. looking through the history of those drafts I wondered if he, for some reason, didn't suggest the best player that was selected later in the draft (a case can be made for some of my suggestions, but of course drafting takes thinks into consideration like team needs, see the Portland/MJ example cited above) 1. Chris Washburn at 3 in 1986 better choice:. Jeff Hornacek at 46 best choice: ron harper at 8? dell curry at 15? Arvidas Sabonis at 24? (kind of a blah draft year, Hornacek is not a bad suggestion) 2. Jon Koncak at 5 in 1985 better choice: Joe Dumars at 18 best choice: Karl Malone at 13 4. Randy White at 8 in 1989 better choice: Clifford Robinson at 36 best choice: (?) Shawn Kemp and a dietician at 17 (a good choice pre-donuts) 5. Bo Kimble at 8 in 1990 better choice: Antonio Davis at 45 best choice: (?) Tony Kukoc at 27 (better value for money these days) 6. Marc Macon at 8 in 1991 better choice: Rick Fox at 24 best choice: (?) Terrell Brandon at 11 9. Todd Fuller at 11 in 1996 better choice: Ben Wallace, undrafted best choice: Kobe Bryant at 13 (high schooler, risky, but a better player than Wallace), Steve Nash at 15 10 Adonal Foyle at 8 in 1997 better choice: Alvin Williams at 48 best choice: Tracy McGrady at 9 (high schooler, risky, but any team would take Mcgrady over Alvin now) 11 Trajan Langdon at 11 in 1999 better choice: Emmanuel Ginobili at 57 best choice: Ron Artest at 16 (time will tell, Ginobili is on the way up and Artest is on the way to an anger management class) Wow, trawling through old draft lists - there are loads of guys that just don't make it. For a given draft year it seems like I can only recall a handful out of two rounds of drafting that actually make the NBA. The same minefield of busts applies to the NHL draft of course. I read an interesting review of the treasures and busts in the last 15 NHL drafts (as seen at hockey pundits).

posted by gspm at 03:56 AM on June 18, 2003

There's been a Lawrence Moten sighting ... last seen toiling in the NBDL. I love it. Being a Georgetown fan I used to hate Moten. And Moten was a great college player ... he's still the all time leading scorer at Cuse. Brilliant post yerfatma.

posted by Mike McD at 07:56 AM on June 18, 2003

Sorry - I was in a bit of a hurry last night and didn't get a chance to elaborate...jbou is right, Walter Berry won the Wooden award in 1986 as top NCAA player, he was on a great St. Johns team that had Chris Mullin and Bill Wennington. In the same conference that year was Ed Pinckey and Patrick Ewing, so Berry played against some great competition. He was drafted by Portland, played for some really bad Spurs teams, and was last spotted in Europe. Bust.

posted by vito90 at 08:20 AM on June 18, 2003

It's really cool to go back and find the complete draft histories also, just to see where some of these guys played back in the day when there were eight rounds and no one came from overseas. In that 1984 draft, there were three UNLV players picked near the end. Were all those picks just courtesy picks? How many guys made it from the fifth round and down? It's not like baseball, where you kind find a gem (Piazza 62nd round) or a kid develops well after high school.

posted by wfrazerjr at 09:28 AM on June 18, 2003

Danny Manning, anybody? Check out DeSagana Diop, Jason Collins, Brendan Haywood, Jerome Moiso, Jonathan Bender sometime. Well, we certainly can't forget Kwame Brown now can we?

posted by insomnyuk at 09:39 AM on June 18, 2003

Danny Manning had two AS appearances and one Sixth-man award. Not exactly a HOF career, but not a bum, either, when you consider that he had two season-ending knee injuries.

posted by jackhererra at 09:50 AM on June 18, 2003

name the best college player who was HOPELESS in the pros. Steve Alford. NCAA Champion. NCAA 1st Team All-American. Olympic Gold Medal Winner.

posted by jacknose at 09:53 AM on June 18, 2003

Danny Manning actually suffered three knee injuries. Most by any player ever to keep playing. You should almost remove the "injury guys" from this conversation. To me a true bust is a guy that didn't live up to his potential. Chronic serious injury (ala G. Hill) strips a player of his natural ability.

posted by Harley at 09:58 AM on June 18, 2003

Alford always reminds me of most Heisman trophy winners, like Archie Griffin, who are great for college and just not suited to the pros. Of course Archie Griffin hasn't gone on to become a pretty good college coach either. And a big LMAO to gspm!

posted by billsaysthis at 12:58 PM on June 18, 2003

I'm a bit late to this slam-fest, but I must rise to the defense of Bryant Reeves. Big Country didn't look like much of a ballplayer, but he wasn't a stiff. In his rookie year, he put up 13.3 pts, 7.4 rb with 46 pct FG pct. Year two: 16.2 pts, 8.1 rbs, 49 pct. Year three: 16.3, 7.9, 52 pct. Then he got hurt and was out of the league three years later. And I would also mention Danny Ferry as a can't-miss pick who really missed (and who had a great seat at the NBA finals).

posted by bitstop at 01:46 PM on June 18, 2003

My favorite Bryant "Big Country" Reeves story (since I was high-school aged and living in Tulsa during his OSU/NBA career): I don't remember what small-town in OK he was from, but the first time he ever rode on an airplane was to go from OKC to NYC for the preseason NIT tourney. He cautiously boarded, and after a bit, looked out the window to see a whole bunch of lights. "Wow!" he said, " is that New York City?" Someone gently told him that no, that wasn't NYC, it was Tulsa. And I would also mention Danny Ferry as a can't-miss pick who really missed (and who had a great seat at the NBA finals). Not near as good as Steve Smith's (total of what, 36 seconds throughout the playoffs?) btw, very well done, gspm. much applause for your analysis.

posted by Ufez Jones at 12:19 AM on June 19, 2003

"never nervous" PERVIS ELLISON, #1 DRAFT PICK Its still hard for me to come to grips with his lack of productivity in the pros, being a huge U.of Louisville fan. Other UL busts : Can't believe Lancaster Gordon was picked #8 two years before, he had same tweener problem as Moten, etc I guess. Darrell Griffith didn't do as much as expected, (though he was Rookie of the Year in 1981??), but I guess injuries can be blamed. And what were Felton Spencer's career stats as perenial backup for the Knicks/Jazz/probably more? The only UL player representing well I can remember was Rodney McCray for the Rockets and recently Greg Minor put in some decent and unexpected years for the Celtics. Oh and Samaki Walker SUX

posted by crux at 08:04 AM on June 19, 2003

Hey don't forget DeJuan Wheat's time with the TWolves and then Lakers! Also being a UofL fan, I'm often disappointed with how they do in the pros. Cliff Rozier comes to mind as someone who was bust-ish at Louisville and then kicked around the pros a bit (although he apparently has a psychological illness of some kind - so I try not to go too hard on him). Maybe Reece will work out..?

posted by BobbyLove at 12:43 PM on June 20, 2003

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