Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We're Number 1!

Being the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft is a pretty big deal. But if you get picked #1 and you CAN'T PLAY, it speaks volumes about not only you, but all the people who put their necks on the line vouching for you. Simply put, the guy who goes number one overall should be a superstar, if not immediately then at least within a year or two. Anything short of that and people start getting fired.

With the 2007/8 season a few short months away, I start wondering whether Greg Oden will become the superstar everyone (including me) expects him to be.

Or will he be the next Kwame Brown, a colossal mistake/failure/disappointment that sinks franchises and kills careers?

So I dug up the #1 overall list for the past 20 years. Check it out:

2006 Bargnani, Raptors
2005 Bogut, Bucks
2004 D Howard, Magic
2003 Lebron, Cavs
2002 Yao, Rockets
2001 Kwame, Wizards
2000 KMart, Nets
1999 Elton Brand, Bulls
1998 Kandi Man, Clips
1997 Duncan, Spurs
1996 Iverson, Sixers
1995 Joe Smith, Warriors
1994 Big Dog, Bucks
1993 CWebb, ended up at GState
1992 Shaq, Magic
1991 LJ, Charlotte
1990 Derrick Coleman, Nets
1989 Pervis Ellison, Sacto
1988 Danny Manning, Clips
1987 David Robinson, Spurs

Looking at the list, only Lebron, Duncan, Iverson, Shaq and David Robinson would qualify as superstars. Yao's OK. CWebb in his prime was pretty good and Brand's been solid for a few years running now but overall, you find a suprising lack of dominant players. Howard might get there with some polish but currently, he can barely shoot and dribble.

Bargnani and Bogut...hmmm. Too early to tell but so far, I'm not that impressed. Both are capable but hardly worth mentioning in the same breath with the elite group above. Bogut's kinda Brad Miller-ish or Vlade-esque, a good passer who 'understands' the game but 'lacks atheticism'- effective but underwhelming. In other words, not the kind of guy who wins championships. And Bargnani could either be the next Nowitzki or the next Raef Lafrentz, depending on who you ask. For a seven footer, he spends a lot of time fading away from beyond the arc.

Guys like Kenyon Martin, LJ, Derrick Coleman, Danny Manning- they got screwed by injuries and never fulfilled their potential so I give them a pass.

But Kwame, Olowokandi, Joe Smith and Pervis Ellison? THESE GUYS SUCK! How did an entire organization of experts agree to pick these bozos over players like Vince Carter, Rasheed Wallace, Nowitzki or Kevin Garnett? How did that happen? Somebody tell me, please.

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