It has been over 20 years since the Knicks selected the Hall of Fame center from Georgetown with their first overall pick in 1985.
For some teams, having the top position in the annual NBA draft has not always panned out the way they had hope. In most cases, selecting a bust at No. 1 seems inevitable, given the pressures placed on the players and their respective teams to draft the next superstar.
This year’s draft class is full of unfamiliar names. There are no Patrick Ewings, no Hakeem Olajuwons, no Shaquille O’Neals, no Tim Duncans, no LeBron James.
Some have even ventured to say this is worst rookie class in draft history. Although a bit of a bold statement, I agree there are higher bust potentials for this year’s rookies than in previous years.
To make matters worse, the Clippers, once voted as the worst franchise in sports history, holds the golden ticket to select the top overall rookie in this year’s draft.
Blake Griffin, from Oklahoma, is this year’s consensus for the top overall pick. He’s strong, athletic, and has an incredible knack for the game.
The big question for many is whether those talents will translate into the NBA? Although Griffin is the favorite at No. 1, we all know that he’s nowhere on the same level as those previously mentioned—and even if he was, that doesn’t always equate to becoming a future All-Star or Hall-of-Fame player anyways.
As with any top pick, there’s always the possibility of the selecting the next big bust. Looking back in history, there were plenty tagged with this unfortunate label.
Many of these were predicted as busts from the first of day of training camp, while others have also made the bust list after years of plagued injuries, unfulfilled hopes, lack of determination, or just simply, bad luck.
Today, I’ll take the road down memory lane in order to find the biggest bust drafted at No. 1 since 1985. The following are the top five busts drafted as a No. 1 lottery pick.