As NBA epithets go, it doesn’t get much worse than this monosyllabic basketball barb, used to denote a “can’t miss” prospect that, well, missed very badly.
Sam Bowie, Michael Olowokandi, Darko Milicic: The list of NBA busts may not be long, but every name on it will ring tragi-familiar to the jaded fans of whatever franchise was unfortunate enough to draft them.
Today, the league boasts more than a few lottery-bred disappointments in real danger of being the next to wear the scarlet B, cursed to a lifetime of tough judgment and endless top-10 lists.
At the same time, plenty of these busts-in-waiting boast enough in the way of youth, talent and untapped upside to give them a puncher’s chance of resurrecting their careers—and their legacies.
Follow along as we look at 10 current NBA players who stand the best chance of avoiding one of the league’s most mendacious monikers.
For our purposes, we’re only considering players for whom the “bust” label has already been levied. It’s a longer list than you might think.