Philly Sports Live

10 Worst NBA Draft Picks of All Time


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post as a part of a campaign I’m doing with Verizon FiOS in Philadelphia. #FiOSPhilly

Having a bad season isn’t the world dropping your team, in fact, it’s a leeway to greater things with the solace your team may find by being in the lottery pick. Being selected may turn out as leverage to save your franchise and spring your team to greater things. However, we are all too aware that things may not always go according to the plan. So, for each LeBron James or Michael Jordan out there, there exists a lot of other guys like Chris Washburn, Kwame Brown, or Robert Swift, who all ended up in the selection dynamics. Therefore, your team could have ended up with a player like Paul Pierce rather than Eddy Curry. He, as well as many other players, are part of an extensive list of dumb decisions in the history of the league, among them we present to you, the top 10 Worst NBA Draft Picks of All Time. Also, don’t forget that tonight you can watch the NBA Draft on Verizon FiOS!

  1. Frederic Weis

The name, Frederic Weis, rings a bell right? A name probably reminiscent of a face which came too close with Vince Carter’s balls in the Summer Olympics of 2000. The mention of the French big man’s name will always conjure up his refusal to join the NBA in the mind of every American basketball fan despite the Knicks making him their draft pick in 1999.

Not to lose out on everything, the Knicks traded his draft rights to the Houston Rockets in 2008 for Patrick Ewing Jr, a disappointing and much less-talented son of Patrick Ewing Snr. He was no match for Metta World Peace, who was dropped because of him.

  1. Jonathan Bender

Jonathan Bender was number 5 draft pick in 1999, but he was nothing short of a poster boy for the long list of high school players who failed to make their mark in the NBA. A career-high 78 games and 184 appearances in seven seasons with the Indiana Pacers and the failed revival attempt with the Knicks in 2008 materialized into nothing. Due to his weak spirit and ineffectiveness, he ended up warming the bench along the pecking order with players such as Jermaine O’Neal, Brad Miller, and Metta World Peace.

  1. Robert Swift

Even though his tattoos and hairstyle seem to suggest “Birdman,” he was uninspiring and lacked the flight in most of the games during his first few seasons. He was, however, true to his last name with a quick exit out of the league. This was compounded by his knee injury woes which made him more of Robert than Swift. His Achilles heels signaled the end of his career in the league by 2009. He barely lasted two games in a subsequent attempt to play catch-up with the Bakersfield Jam, his hometown D-League team.

  1. Kate Benson

How else is a carrier supposed to start? On the right foot? For Kate Benson, it was inextricably the wrong foot. Kate Benson rough-rode his career just after 2 mins into his first league game and ring experience with Laker’s great, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Laker’s center man thumped Benson in the eye following a harsh elbow jab directly to his jaw. A simple misunderstanding turned out to be the most exciting and spectacular moment in Benson’s career.

The event turned out to overshadow his 11 years old career as he never lived up to the expectation of a first overall pick before quietly bowing out in 1988. Jack Sikma, Benson’s fellow center, who the Bucks cast off to Seattle Supersonics went on to make seven All-Star teams and win the title in 1979.

  1. Joe Alexander

The year 2008 is still very much recent, but you will be surprised that you have little or no iota of who Joe Alexander is. That will be because he played a significant 67 games in his career before bowing out in 2010. Prior to the draft pick of that year, Joe Alexander was well-known for his heroics and athleticism on the court as he almost aced every speed, jumping and strength tests of the NBA Combine.

Distastefully, his athleticism was remarkable, but it wasn’t enough to take him to the pro level. Instead, he suffered a burnout before bowing out of the league in 2010.

  1. Eddy Curry

With so much hype surrounding the caliber of a player like Eddy Curry, the expectation of amazing basketball moments was well overstated for the MVP of McDonald’s 2001 All-American Game. However, his competition and work ethic rubbished the honor. Going up against the likes of DeSagana Diop (bust), Kwame Brown (all-time bust) and Tyson Chandler as well as other bunch of players who are way out of the league or failed to make any impact during their stint.  Eddy Curry was repeatedly smeared for his loss of form and work ethic during his 11 seasons in the league. His laziness drew a curt remark from the then Bulls coach, Scott Skiles, who reacted to a question as regards ways by which Curry could stage a comeback to form and competitiveness. Skiles reply was nothing short of one word- “Jump”, which is not something a coach would have expected to say about his team’s starting center under normal circumstances.

  1. Glenn Robinson

Although Robinson had huge success in his days as a league player, both Jason Kidd and Grant Hill in their prime had a swell during their career even though they were selected after Glenn Robinson, who won the 1994 Naismith College Player of the Year. Robinson’s career matched none of the landmarks set by these guys except the record 10-year/$68M rookie deal ever recorded in the history of the league.

Milwaukee must have been under an illusion of getting more firepower out of an unsuspecting white elephant project.

  1. Jon Koncak

Even though Jon Koncak’s defensive abilities was a challenge for many players during his 11-year spell in the league, his abilities were easily surpassed by his successor, Karl Malone. His exploits were well-documented in NBA’s record books while Koncak’s heroics remain momentarily forgotten. The only thing which got him famous and rings a bell was the 6-year/$13M contract which the Atlanta Hawks signed with him in 1989 as an off-the-bench player. The contract was very sumptuous, such that his paycheck was way heavier than what the likes of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan earn then.

  1. Michael Olowokandi

Micheal’s case is a paradox of the willing body with an unwilling mind to walk in the hall of fame. There exist only a few successful NBA players who didn’t get the opportunity to play the ball in their formative years until they were admitted into college. Strike him off the list; Michael Olowokandi doesn’t belong to this mix; the Nigerian center was warmly accepted into the University of the Pacific team with an impression of a player with brimming yet untapped potential. Even though he had great spells playing for the Celtics, Clippers, and Timberwolves, each period ended being unsuccessful and worse with each successive team. To cap it, his career was plagued with consistent injuries and inconsistent rhythms of play.

  1. Kwame Brown

Michael Jordan may have been the greatest player to play on the court, but he should no more have business calling the shots at the front office as a result of his decision to draft Kwame Brown ahead of Adam Morrison. Although Kwame Brown was the first high school student to be drafted as the No. 1 overall in the league, he surprisingly went on to make himself a historical flop at all clubs he played for during his 11-year career with little or no remarkable impact. What was more surprising was the fact that he was not with a couple of teams during his career, several clubs signed him, each possibly trying to get the best out of this uneventful player.

In what was probably the high-end of his career as he assured the then Washington Wizards Coach, Doug Collins in a pre-draft workout “If you draft me, you’ll never regret it.” It seems Brown thought too much of himself at the onset, whereas his fans till today would give a penny for his thoughts at the end of his career.