Number One NBA Draft Picks: Breaking Down Each Career
The NBA draft is always an exciting event where fans can see the future of their beloved franchise and each individual team can strive for greatness. A first overall pick can make or break any team, as it can either turn the ship around or continue to sink. Over the years, there have been great selections and terrible busts. During this slideshow, every first overall pick since 1985 will be shown.
(1985) Patrick Ewing: New York Knicks
Ewing won Rookie of the Year, was an 11-time All-Star, a two-time gold medalist, and has been elected to the NBA Hall of Fame.
(1986) Brad Daugherty: Cleveland Cavaliers
Daugherty was named to the All-Rookie team and was a strong player for the Cavs; however, after continuous back trouble, his career ended after only eight seasons. His number was retired by Cleveland, and he now is a broadcaster for NASCAR, a sport he's always had a passion for.
(1987) David Robinson: San Antonio Spurs
David Robinson won Rookie of the Year in 1990 (had to finish services to the Navy before entering the NBA), Defensive Player of the Year in 1992, the MVP in 1995, was a 10-time All-Star, and had a career high of 71 points against the Clippers in 1994.
(1988) Danny Manning: LA Clippers
Danny Manning had an above average career, but not spectacular. He was a two-tme All-Star and won the NBA's Sixth Man Award for his efforts in the 1997-1998 season.
(1989) Pervis Ellison: Sacramento Kings
Pervis Ellison, during an injury plagued career, had one standout year during the 1991-1992 season, scoring 20 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. He won the NBA's most improved player because of that performance. Ellison has bounced around from team to team and never made a consistent impact.
(1990) Derrick Coleman: New Jersey Nets
Often being known for his off the court issues, Coleman never met what most considered to be his true potential. After winning Rookie of the Year, he has had only one All-Star appearance, in 1994. During his career, Coleman seemed to struggle with alcohol and his attitude.
(1991) Larry Johnson: Charlotte Hornets
Larry Johnson received Rookie of the Year honors in 1992 and was a two time All-Star. He was a good, but not great, player throughout his career. Johnson played a total of 10 years in the NBA, with the total being split between the Charlotte Hornets and the New York Knicks.
(1992) Shaquille O'Neal: Orlando Magic
Still playing in the league as a Boston Celtic, Shaquille O'Neal is easily a future NBA Hall of Fame inductee. O'Neal won Rookie of the Year in 1993, is a 15 time All-Star, won the NBA's MVP in 2000, is a three time NBA Final's MVP, and four time NBA champion. O'Neal's career is coming to an end, but there is no doubt that he is a first ballot Hall of Famer.
(1993) Chris Webber: Orlando Magic
After being drafted by the Orlando Magic, Webber never played a single game for them, being immediately traded to the Golden State Warriors, where he won Rookie of the Year in 1994. Webber was also a five time All-Star during his career.
(1994) Genn Robinson: Milwaukee Bucks
Signing, which at the time was unbelievable, a 10-year, $68 million deal, Robinson made an immediate impact on the NBA. Robinson is a two time All-Star and played the majority of his career with the Milwaukee Bucks (1994-2002) before bouncing around his final three years before retirement.
(1995) Joe Smith: Golden State Warriors
After winning college basketball's Player of the Year award, Joe Smith was drafted first overall by the Golden State Warriors. He was named to the All-Rookie team, but has had a very par career overall, not making it to any All-Star games. Smith was involved in a salary cap tampering scandal while playing for the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he signed for a low amount of money by being promised to be reimbursed later down the line so the Timberwolves could make moves immediately.
Joe Smith has bounced around the league since, playing for a dozen NBA teams in his career. He is still making a minimal impact as a reserve for the Los Angeles Lakers.
(1996) Allen Iverson: Philadelphia 76'ers
After winning Rookie of the Year in 1997, Iverson had a stellar career. He is a four time scoring champion, 11 time all-star, and won the NBA's MVP in 2001. After having a fallout with the 76'ers in 2006, Iverson stats never seemed to go back to what they once were, spending a little over two seasons with the Denver Nuggets alongside Carmelo Anthony and eventually finishing his NBA career back in Philadelphia after short stints in Detroit and Memphis. Iverson is currently playing overseas.
(1997) Tim Duncan: San Antonio Spurs
Playing through the latter part of a Hall of Fame career, Tim Duncan is the face of the San Antonio Spurs franchise, and there are many reasons why. Duncan is a two time NBA MVP and a three time NBA Final's MVP. He has appeared in 12 All-Star games and has been named to the all-defensive first team eight times. After having a tough childhood, being hit hard by hurricane Hugo and his mother's death the day before Duncan turned 14, Duncan has made a large name for himself.
(1998) Michael Olowokandi: LA Clippers
After enduring an injury prone career, Michael Olowokandi never turned out to be what the Clippers had hoped for when drafting him. Olowokandi, or "The Kandi Man", finished his career with the Boston Celtics in 2007.
(1999) Elton Brand: Chicago Bulls
Brand was named co-Rookie of the Year for his first of two years with the Bulls. He was eventually traded to the Clippers for Brian Skinner and Tyson Chandler. While with the Clippers, Brand made two All-Star appearances in 2002 and 2006. He now plays for the Philadelphia 76'ers.
(2000) Kenyon Martin: New Jersey Nets
Martin was named to the All Rookie First Team during his debut season. He has also been named to one All-Star team, in 2004. That was also the last year Martin played for the Nets. He has played the rest of his career with the Denver Nuggets, where he remains today.
(2001) Kwame Brown: Washington Wizards
Brown never met the expectations he had coming out of high school and straight to the NBA to join the then Michael Jordan led Washington Wizards. Brown had attitude issues that especially came out in the 2005 playoffs. He has only averaged double digit points during one season in his nine-year NBA career.
(2002) Yao Ming: Houston Rockets
The 7'6'' Yao Ming is a large reason, no pun intended, as to why the NBA has expanded well into his home country of China. He was the first foreign player taken first overall in the draft without ever attending a United States' college, although there were issues concerning whether or not China would allow him to play in the U.S. Ming is a seven time All-Star who has been struggling with injuries during the last few seasons.
(2003) LeBron James: Cleveland Cavaliers
"King James," as LeBron is often referred to as, has been the best comparison to Michael Jordan since Jordan's retirement. In just his eighth NBA season, the 26-year-old has won a Rookie of the Year award, two NBA MVP awards and has been selected to six All-Star games in his young career. The major stat held against James in comparison to Jordan is the lack of championships, as the star has not won one yet. During last summer, James infamously held a show on ESPN where he decided to leave Cleveland and join Wade and Bosh on the Miami Heat.
(2004) Dwight Howard: Orlando Magic
The two time Defensive Player of the Year, Dwight Howard has had instant success with the Orlando Magic, turning them into conference contenders. Howard has participated in four All-Star games and won the slam dunk competition in 2008. He is a fan favorite with his easy-going attitude and childlike friendliness.
(2005) Andrew Bogut: Milwaukee Bucks
This Milwaukee Buck has had a less than stellar, but decent career. Bogut won the Naismith, Wooden, and Oscar Robertson Awards coming out of college, but has only received NBA All-Rookie First Team and All-NBA Third Team honors in his young career.
(2006) Andrea Bargnani: Toronto Raptors
Before being drafted by the Raptors, Bargnani won the Euroleague Rising Star Award in 2006. Following his first NBA season, he received the honor of being included on the NBA All-Rookie First Team. During the 2010-2011 season, Bargnani has averaged over 21 points per game, which, if sustained, would be a career high.
(2007) Greg Oden: Portland Trailblazers
Oden, mostly known for only playing a total of 82 games since entering the NBA due to a cluster of injuries, has been a major disappointment for the Portland Trailblazers. Oden had season ending knee surgery during the NBA preseason in the summer of 2010, which puts his future up in the air.
(2008) Derrick Rose: Chicago Bulls
Rose has taken large steps since being drafted to his hometown Chicago Bulls. During his initial year in the NBA, Rose won the Rookie of the Year award. In his sophomore year, Rose was the first Chicago Bulls player elected to the All-Star game since Michael Jordan in 1998, where Rose also won the Skills Challenge. Now, in his third year, he is being mentioned as an MVP canidate.
(2009) Blake Griffin: LA Clippers
After suffering a stress fracture in his knee, Griffin's career was put on hold for a year, but it has been well worth the wait for Clipper fans. Griffin is a sure candidate for Rookie of the Year honors, averaging a double-double and often being listed on Sportscenter's top plays. Griffin already has a career high of 47 points, coming against the Indiana Pacers.
(2010) John Wall: Washington Wizards
Coming out of college with high expecations, John wall has overcome them, at least in his rookie year. Almost averaging a double-double on a bad Wizards team, John Wall has been a standout. Wall is the third youngest player in NBA history to get a triple double. Had it not been for Blake Griffin's rookie year being pushed back, John Wall would be making a strong push for Rookie of the Year.
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