NBA Draft

Ranking NBA Decades By No.One Draft Picks

Jabber HeadSenior Analyst IJune 29, 2009


Now that the dust has kinda settled from this year’s NBA draft, we can finally get into the debate of which decade has had the best No. One draft picks. Of course, some haven’t had the time to really make their case and we’re completely aware of this fact (so no need to bring it up), but that isn’t gonna deter us from giving our opinion on which decade has the best players. And I’m sure it won’t deter you either.

1) 1980’s

1980 - Joe Barry Carroll
1981 - Mark Aguirre
1982 - James Worthy
1983 - Ralph Sampson
1984 - Akeem Olajuwon
1985 - Patrick Ewing
1986 - Brad Daugherty
1987 - David Robinson
1988 - Danny Manning
1989 - Pervis Ellison

It’s hard to argue against Worthy, Olajuwon, Ewing, Daugherty, and Robinson. Sampson and Aguirre weren’t slouches either.

2) 1970’s

1970 - Bob Lanier
1971 - Austin Carr
1972 - LaRue Martin
1973 - Doug Collins
1974 - Bill Walton
1975 - David Thompson
1976 - John Lucas
1977 - Kent Benson
1978 - Mychal Thompson
1979 - Earvin Johnson

Magic, Lanier, and Thompson head up the 1970’s class with Walton, Lucas, and Carr not far behind.

3) 1960’s

1960 - Oscar Robertson
1961 - Walt Bellamy
1962 - Bill McGill
1963 - Art Heyman
1964 - Jim Barnes
1965 - Fred Hetzel
1966 - Cazzie Russell
1967 - Jimmy Walker
1968 - Elvin Hayes
1969 - Lew Alcindor

“The Big O” and “The Captain” anchor the 60’s. Add Elvin Hayes and Walt Bellamy and you have very strong decade that is just behind the 70’s.

4) 2000’s

2000 - Kenyon Martin
2001 - Kwame Brown
2002 - Yao Ming
2003 - LeBron James
2004 - Dwight Howard
2005 - Andrew Bogut
2006 - Andrea Bargnani
2007 - Greg Oden
2008 - Derrick Rose
2009 - Blake Griffin

This is where things get sticky. Here, we’re gonna go with the 2000’s on the strength of Yao, LeBron, D-Ho, and Rose. We know none of them have actually won anything, but this is based on what we expect them to do down the line.

5) 1990’s

1990 - Derrick Coleman
1991 - Larry Johnson
1992 - Shaquille O’Neal
1993 - Chris Webber
1994 - Glenn Robinson
1995 - Joe Smith
1996 - Allen Iverson
1997 - Tim Duncan
1998 - Michael Olowokandi
1999 - Elton Brand

The 90’s get the bottom spot because while the players of the 90’s were good, besides O’Neal, Iverson and Duncan, they underachieved in my opinion. Out of the 10 players from the 90’s, I count three Hall of Famers. Which could easily end up being the least of any decade listed..

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