A Look Back At the Top 5 1996 NBA Draft Picks
The 1996 NBA draft included some of the sports greatest players to ever grace the hardwood.
This includes the number 13th pick straight from Lower Merion high school was Kobe Bryant, who is in my mind the best player in the game today.
The Draft also included Steve Nash (15), Jermaine O'Neal (17) and Peja Stojaković (14).
Here is a look at the top five picks, and the paths there careers took.
# 1 Allen Iverson
The shooting guard and all-time leading scorer from Georgetown University was drafted with the first pick by The Philadelphia 76ers. Iverson would go on to become one of the most recognizable faces in all of sports and at only 6'0 has rivaled Isaiah Thomas as basketball's best ever little man. He claimed Rookie of the Year honors, and has been selected to 10 All-Star games, two of which he was awarded MVP (2001 & 2005). AI was also named the league's MVP for the 2000-2001 season. Today he's back playing with the 76ers after unsuccessful spells with the Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons and most recently the Memphis Grizzlies. His exciting style of play made him one of the most popular players of his generation. When he first broke into the league he had such speed, great handles and one of the best crossovers ever seen. Unfortunately due to so many injuries Iverson is now just a shell of his former self and has gained a reputation of being a coaches nightmare.
# 2 Marcus Camby
The 6f'11 Camby is the only person in the top 5 from the '96 draft class never to make an All-Star team. He was picked by the Toronto Raptors and in his first year made the NBA All-rookie team. In a heavily criticized trade he was sent to the New York Knicks for whom he had a good four-year run. He was then shipped to the Denver Nuggets and now is playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. Despite a slow start to his career and a storied injury history, Camby had resurrected his game over the past five years to become one of the NBA's preeminent shot blockers and rebounders. He won NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2007, and has been a member of the NBA All-Defensive First Team twice (2006–07, 2007–08), as well as the NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2004–05, 2005–06).
# 3 Shareef Abdur-Rahim
The power forward out of Cal was originally signed by the Vancouver Grizzlies and owns the disdainful record for "most games played without making a play-off appearance." He's made one All-Star appearance, and put up good averages in a career where he was consistently shopped around, having played for three other franchises in his career (Hawks, Trailblazers, and Kings). He was forced to retire in September 2008 and due to persistent knee injuries. 'Reef now works as an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings.
# 4 Stephon Marbury
The exciting McDonald’s All-American point guard from Georgia Tech University became a real star in the league. He was drafted by The Milwaukee Bucks but then immediately traded to the T’Wolves for the draft rights to the fifth pick Ray Allen. In his rookie season he averaged 15.8 points and 7.8 assists, but quickly earned a bad reputation around the league as a ball-hogging shoot-first point guard, which is the main reason he was shipped out of Minnesota. He would go on to play with New Jersey, Phoenix and the Knicks before ending his career on a sour note with a brief stint with the Celtics. It's unclear whether he will stay retired but he is now concentrating on his business interests which includes his Starbury clothing line.
# 5 Ray Allen
The nine-time All-Star is the only player on this list with some hardware on his fingers after winning his only championship at age 33 with the Boston Celtics. Widely known as one of the best outside shooters in the games history as well as one of it's most upstanding citizens, Allen was also awarded the NBA Sportsmanship Award in 2003. He started his career with the Milwaukee Bucks ('96-'03) and then played for the Seattle Supersonics ('03-'07). In 2007 he joined the Celtics where he still plays. Nicknamed "Jesus" after the character Jesus Shuttlesworth which he played in the 1998 film "He Got Game" starring Denzel Washington.