Brandon Roy and 25 Players Whose Careers Were Cut Tragically Short

Rich FernandesCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2011

Brandon Roy and 25 Players Whose Careers Were Cut Tragically Short

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 26: Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrates with teammates Brandon Roy #7 and Jerryd Bayless #4 during their game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center January 26, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    The news of Brandon Roy of the Portland Trail Blazers electing to go under the knife yet again is not much of a surprise given his admission that he is playing with no cartilage in his knees.  He is a superstar in his own right, and his chronic knee problems are bad news for the entire NBA.  Can Roy recover enough to resume a stellar career? 

    The NBA has had it’s fair share of phenomenal talent like Roy that have not been able to have full careers for one reason or another.  The most common reason is injury and the next is drug addiction.

    In fact, the Portland Trail Blazers have been bitten the most by this awful snake and the Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets are not far behind.  This list includes players that are both active and inactive in the NBA, whom have either had a career ending predicament or have had careers interrupted because of non career threatening circumstances. 

    Some of these players certainly have gained notoriety from engaging in elicit and questionable thought processes where stupidity would be the key word to describe their actions.  Others have been the victims of very bad luck.

    In either case, these players have lost significant playing time in the NBA during their careers, and had they not lost this time, their legacies would have been far greater—that is, with the exception of the first player on the list.

Magic Johnson: PG, Los Angeles Lakers

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Earvin 'Magic' Johnson speaks from the stage after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowl
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 9"

    NBA Draft:  1978 / Round 1, Pick 1 out of Michigan by L.A. Lakers

    NBA Highlights:  5× NBA Champion, 3× NBA Most Valuable Player, 12× All-Star, 3× NBA Finals MVP, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 2× NBA All-Star Game MVP, NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team

    The Tragedy:  AIDS

    NBA Status:  Retired      

    The Expectations for Magic Johnson were high from the beginning and he fulfilled those expectations to the fullest and then some.  In fact, he is the only player on this list who has done so.  Magic is considered by many to be the third best player to ever play the game.  But it was obvious he was not ready to retire and his illness forced him out of the game after a full 13 seasons.  A couple years later, a comeback attempt failed mainly due to other NBA players having concerns about his AIDS condition.

Brandon Roy: PG, Portland Trail Blazers

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    DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 15:  Guard Brandon Roy #7 of the Portland Trail Blazers at American Airlines Center on December 15, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 6"

    NBA Draft:  2006 / Round 1, Pick 6 out of Washington by Minnesota Timberwolves

    Highlights:  NBA Rookie of the Year, Three x NBA All-Star

    The Tragedy:  Lack of knee cartilage

    NBA Status:  Out indefinitely 

    The Expectations for Brandon Roy (in the beginning) were not quite as big as they were for a number one pick per say, but he had an immediate impact in the NBA starting from his rookie season and that raised those expectations significantly.  As a rookie, Roy proved himself as the big star that came out of the 2006 draft.  He is a huge talent considered by many as a top ten NBA player and a superstar in his own right.  Certainly, Portland Trail Blazer fans were not out of line in their expectations of their star leading them to the promise land. 

    Hopefully for the sake of all NBA fans, Brandon Roy will be able to make a strong comeback.

Gilbert Arenas: PG, Orlando Magic

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 07:  Gilbert Arenas #9 of the Washington Wizards passes the ball between Derrick Caracter #45 and Steve Blake #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the second half at Staples Center on December 7, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. The
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 4"

    NBA Draft:  2001 / Round 2, Pick 31 out of Arizona by Golden State Warriors

    NBA Highlights:  3× NBA All-Star, NBA Most Improved Player

    The Tragedy:  Knee problems, stupidity

    NBA Status:  active     

    The Expectations for Arenas were not all that spectacular in the beginning.  After all, what can you expect from the 31st pick of the second round?  Arenas began to establish himself as a superstar after being traded to the Washington Wizards.  Unfortunately for the Wizards, Arenas missed two seasons because of knee injury as well as another half season due to suspension from bringing firearms into the Wizards locker room.  Arenas may very well make a huge comeback with the Magic, and he certainly is playing very well in a limited role, but he will never get back all that lost time.

Chris Anderson: C, Denver Nuggets

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05:  Eric Bledsoe #12 of the Los Angeles Clippers goes up for a shot against Chris Andersen #11 of the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center on January 5, 2011  in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers won 106-93.  NOTE TO USER: User
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 10"

    NBA Draft:  Went undrafted in 1999 (signed with Denver (2001)

    NBA Highlights:  None

    The Tragedy:  Drugs

    NBA Status:  Active

    The Expectations for Chris Anderson were minimal considering he went undrafted in 1999. When finally able to play in the NBA, he was banned for two years because of drug use.  In 2009 he led the league in blocked shots and was rewarded with a five year $28 million contract.  The Birdman has lost a lot of years that he can never get back, but seems to be on the up-and-up in Denver for the time being.

Jamal Mashburn: SF, Dallas Mavericks

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    LOS ANGELES - MARCH 3:  Jamal Mashburn #24 of the New Orleans Hornets moves upcourt during the NBA game against the Los Angeles Clippers on March 3, 2003 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.  The Hornets won 111-108.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly
    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 8"

    NBA Draft:  1993 / Round 1, Pick 4 out of Kentucky by Dallas Mavericks

    NBA Highlights:  1x NBA All-Star, NBA All-Rookie First Team

    The Tragedy:  Knee problems

    NBA Status:  Retired      

    The Expectations for Jamal Mashburn were big and for the most part he did deliver when he was healthy averaging 19 points for his career.  After 12 seasons and putting up monster numbers in 2002-03 (21.6 points, 6.1 rebounds and 5.6 assists) he required micro-fracture surgery on his knees and retired soon after. 

Bernard King: SF, New York Knicks

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    Height:  6' 6"

    NBA Draft:  1977 / Round 1, Pick 7 out of Tennessee by New Jersey Nets

    NBA Highlights:  4x NBA All-Star, NBA All-Rookie First Team, 3x All-NBA All-Star, Sporting News NBA MVP , 1× NBA Scoring Champion

    The Tragedy:  Broken leg

    NBA Status:  Retired    

    The Expectations were fairly high for this incredibly explosive leaper who didn’t actually start to dominate till 1984, after several years in the league.  Unfortunately for King, his game really began to come on line at the same time that Michael Jordan entered the league, which resulted in him being cast in Jordan’s shadow.  In fact his back to back 50 plus point games went relatively unnoticed.  King was such an efficient scorer that in 1984 he led the league with 32.9 PPG and in his rookie year he scored 24.2 PPG.  He is also one of the few players in NBA history to score at least 60 points in a single game (60 vs. the NJ Nets).  After King broke his leg, he lost that explosiveness and was never the same.   

Antonio McDyess: SF, San Antonio Spurs

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    BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 05:  Antonio McDyess #34 of the San Antonio Spurs grabs the rebound in the first half against the Boston Celtics on January 5, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 9"

    NBA Draft:  1994 / Round 1, Pick 2 out of Alabama by L.A Clippers

    NBA Highlights:  Sydney 2000 Olympic Gold medalist, 1 x NBA All-Star, NBA All-Rookie First Team

    The Tragedy:  Knee issues

    NBA Status:  Active      

    The Expectations for McDyess as a 6' 9" skilled forward taken second in the draft were high and while he has had a good career (most notably with the championship Detroit Pistons) he has fallen short of those expectations.  He is one of those players you can look at and wonder what if he had been healthy and not missed those seasons and all those games?  McDyess has had very good overall stats on both ends of the court during his career and might have been one of the all-time greats had he been healthier.    

Andrew Toney: SG, Philadelphia 76ers

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    Height:  6' 3"

    NBA Draft:  1977 / Round 1, Pick 8 out of Southwestern Louisiana by Philadelphia 76ers

    NBA Highlights:  2x NBA All-Star, 1 x NBA Champion

    The Tragedy:  Leg injury

    NBA Status:  Retired     

    The Expectations of Andrew Toney only increased as he consistently exhibited solid play for the Philadelphia 76ers.  In fact Pat Riley (then coach of the L.A. Lakers) had said he had never seen a clutch performer like Toney.  He played alongside Hall of Famers Julius Erving and Moses Malone on the Philadelphia 76ers and was dubbed "the Boston Strangler" when he scored 34 points in the Boston Garden in game seven of the Eastern Conference Finals, leading Philadelphia to a 120-106 win.  Unfortunately, Toney was injured for four of his eight years in the league.

Grant Hill: SF, Phoenix Suns

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    PHOENIX - JANUARY 05: Grant Hill #33 of the Phoenix Suns puts up a shot against the Los Angeles Lakers during the NBA game at US Airways Center on January 5, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadi
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 8"

    NBA Draft:  1994 / Round 1, Pick 3 out of Duke by Detroit Pistons

    NBA Highlights:  NBA co-Rookie of the Year, 7× NBA All-Star, 4× All-NBA Second Team, NBA All-Rookie First Team

    The Tragedy:  Nagging foot injuries

    NBA Status:  Active      

    The Expectations for Grant Hill as the third pick out of the draft were big, but he certainly increased those expectations by establishing himself as an NBA superstar.  Hill had some amazing years while still in Detroit and was being billed as the next Michael Jordan.  In 1996, Hill averaged 21.4 points, 7.3 assists and 9.0 rebounds per game making him the first player since Larry Bird to do it, and those combined numbers have not been duplicated since. 

    Hill was a total bust in Orlando spending more time off the court than actually on it because of foot injuries.  At a time when a T-Mac and Hill duo could have brought championships to Orlando, the Magic franchise suffered disappointments with the expectations placed on Hill.  Now with the Phoenix Suns, Hill is a shadow of his former self.

Tracy McGrady: SF, Detroit Pistons

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 04:  Tracy McGrady #1 of the Detroit Pistons grimaces after a foul against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center on January 4, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by
    Harry How/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 8"

    NBA Draft:  1997 / Round 1, Pick 9 out of High School by Toronto Raptors

    NBA Highlights:  NBA Most Improved Player, 7× NBA All-Star, 2× NBA Scoring Champion

    The Tragedy:  Nagging injuries

    NBA Status:  Active with Detroit Pistons   

    The Expectations for Tracy McGrady were big.  He showed signs of greatness while still a teenager with the Toronto Raptors, but his game reached superstar status with the Orlando Magic.  Orlando was expected to win championships with their two superstars that included McGrady and Grant Hill.  Unfortunately, Hill was injured and rarely ever on the court, but McGrady surprisingly carried the Magic on his back. 

    After a couple good years with the Houston Rockets, both nagging knee and back injuries have reduced McGrady to a shadow of his former self.  No one seems to remember, but T-Mac had the talent and drive to challenge the likes of Kobe Bryant and he did with an almost unmatched combination of basketball IQ, physical stature and explosive ability. 

Penny Hardaway: SG, Orlando Magic

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    MIAMI - OCTOBER 23:  Penny Hardaway #7 of the Miami Heat drives against the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Arena on October 23, 2007 in Miami, Florida. The Spurs defeated the Heat 104-87. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
    Doug Benc/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 7"

    NBA Draft:  1993 / Round 1, Pick 3 out of Memphis by Orlando Magic

    NBA Highlights:  4× NBA All-Star, NBA All-Rookie First Team

    The Tragedy:  Arthritic knees

    NBA Status:  Retired      

    The Expectations for Penny Hardaway were big from the start as he and Shaquille O’Neal became the Orlando Magic’s devastating one-two punch, but unfortunately they were never able to beat Michael Jordan’s Bulls in the playoffs.  Penny’s career started going south after being traded to the Phoenix Suns and progressively got worse because of his arthritic knees.  He bounced around from team to team and retired a shadow of his former self.

Shawn Kemp: SF, Seattle Supersonics

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    3 Feb 2001:  Shawn Kemp #40 of the Portland Trail Blazers takes a shot against Lamar Odom #7 of the Los Angeles Clippers during the game at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. The Clippers defeated the Trail Blazers 90-89.  NOTE TO USER: It is
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 10"

    NBA Draft:  1989 / Round 1, Pick 17 out of Trinity Valley by Seattle Supersonics

    NBA Highlights:  6 x NBA All-Star

    The Tragedy:  Drugs and weight control issues

    NBA Status:  Retired      

    The Expectations for Kemp increased significantly after he began showcasing his tremendous leaping ability and as he immediately became one of the leagues explosive scorers.  In 1996, Kemp’s Supersonics were defeated by Michael Jordan’s Bulls in a hard fought six games.  Kemp averaged 23 points and nine rebounds during the series.  After being traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kemp’s promising career began to spiral out of control form drug abuse and weight control issues.

Bill Walton: C, Portland Trail Blazers

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    WESTWOOD, CA - JUNE 26:  Former UCLA and NBA player Bill Walton attends the memorial for former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden June 26, 2010 at Pauley Pavilion on the University of California Los Angeles campus in Westwood, California. Wooden died June
    Pool/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 11"

    NBA Draft:  1974 / Round 1, Pick 1 out of UCLA by Portland Trail Blazers

    NBA Highlights:  2× NBA Champion, NBA Most Valuable Player, 2× NBA All-Star, NBA Finals MVP, 2× NBA All-Defensive First Team, NBA Sixth Man of the Year, NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team

    The Tragedy:  Nagging injuries

    NBA Status:  Retired      

    The Expectations for Bill Walton as a number one draft pick were typically huge and when it was all said and done, the guy had an amazing career.  When healthy, Walton was a dominating rebounder and shot blocker.  Where would this hall of famer’s place in history be had it not been for all the injuries and all the missed games?  It would certainly be much higher than it is now, probably top ten.

Chris Washburn: C, Atlanta Hawks

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    Height:  6' 11"

    NBA Draft:  1983 / Round one, Pick 3 out of North Carolina State, Golden State Warriors

    NBA Highlights:  None

    The Tragedy:  Drugs

    NBA Status:  Suspended for life

    The Expectations for Chris Washburn were huge.  Unfortunately his addiction to cocaine cost him his career.  He was never able to get his game going because of his drug habit, and was finally suspended for life from the NBA in 1989 because of it. 

Greg Oden: C, Portland Trail Blazers

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    OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 20:  Greg Oden #52 of the Portland Trail Blazers dunks over Anthony Randolph #4 of the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game at Oracle Arena on November 20, 2009 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Height:  7'

    NBA Draft:  2007 / Round 1, Pick 1 out of Ohio State by Portland Trail Blazers

    NBA Highlights:  None

    The Tragedy:  Knee issues

    NBA Status:  Out indefinitely 

    The Expectations for Greg Oden were absolutely huge.  He was supposed to be the NBA’s next great big man.  Everyone who looked at Oden saw instant championships for whichever team was lucky enough to draft the basketball phenomenon.  Unfortunately, the glasses everybody looked at him through turned out to be rose colored.  After missing the entire 2007-2008 season due to micro fracture surgery in his knee, Oden has played only 82 games in three years. 

    The only reason this fragile player is not much higher on this list is because it can not be said for certain if Oden will actually make a comeback.

Ricky Berry: SF, Sacramento Kings

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    Height:  6' 8"

    NBA Draft:  1988 / Round 1, Pick 18 out of Oregon by Sacramento Kings

    NBA Highlights:  None

    The Tragedy:  Suicide

    NBA Status:  Dead     

    The Expectations for Ricky Berry were good and after a successful rookie season in which he scored 11 PPG, the 24 year old shot himself after a dispute with his wife.  Maybe divorce wasn’t an option.

Michael Ray Richardson: SG, New York Knicks

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    Height:  6' 5"

    NBA Draft:  1978 / Round 1, Pick 4 out of Montana by NY Knicks

    NBA Highlights:  None

    The Tragedy:  Drug abuse

    NBA Status:  Suspended for life

    The Expectations for Michael Ray Richardson were high from the beginning as he was touted as the next Walt Frazier.  He was drafted by the Knicks with the fourth pick and one Larry Bird went two picks later.  Richardson had amazing talent but wasted it on a cocaine habit that cost him many suspensions by the NBA including the final career ending suspension.  Richardson was an incredible waste of talent.

Shaun Livingston: PG, Charlotte Bobcats

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    CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 07:  Chauncey Billups #1 of the Denver Nuggets watches a shot by Shaun Livingston #2 of the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 7, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expre
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 7"

    NBA Draft:  2004 / Round 1, Pick 4 out of High School by L.A. Clippers

    NBA Highlights:  None

    The Tragedy:  Knee problems

    NBA Status:  active     

    The Expectations for Livingston were those of being a future star.  His potential was huge but his knee injuries sidelined him more often than not.  In a game versus the Bobcats (while a Clipper), Livingston literally blew his knee apart.  He is a sheer talent that has never been able to really get it going because of injuries.

Jonathan Bender: C, Indiana Pacers

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    NEW YORK - MARCH 19:  Jonathan Bender #9 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden on March 19, 2010 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Height:  7'

    NBA Draft:  1999 / Round 1, Pick 5 out of High School by Toronto Raptors

    NBA Highlights:  None

    The Tragedy:  Knee problems

    NBA Status:  Retired      

    The Expectations for Bender were more of a “bring along slowly because he’s just out of high school” from a coaching standpoint.  He had size, athleticism and a good basketball IQ that led him to become the first high school draftee to score in double figures in his NBA debut.  For the most part he was a bench warmer learning the ropes before an inevitable starting role.  The expectations were there as he signed a four year 28-million dollar extension with the Pacers in 2003.  Bender played only seven games in two years (2004-2006) and retired at the age of 25 because of bad knees.

Jay Williams: PG, Chicago Bulls

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    CHICAGO - MARCH 11:  Jay Williams #22 of the Chicago Bulls attempts to pass around Jannero Pargo #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at the United Center on March 11, 2003 in Chicago, Illinois.  The Bulls won 116-99.  NOTE TO USER: User expressl
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Height:  6' 2"

    NBA Draft:  2002 / Round 1, Pick 2 out of Duke by Chicago Bulls

    NBA Highlights:  None

    The Tragedy:  Motorcycle accident

    NBA Status:  Retired      

    The Expectations for Jay Williams were high from the beginning given his amazing career at Duke and the second overall pick in the NBA draft behind only Yao Ming.  While Williams showed promise, he was involved in a motorcycle accident that severed a major nerve in his leg in only his second season.  He was never able to fully recover from his helmetless bonehead move (no pun intended).

Reggie Lewis: SF, Boston Celtics

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    Height:  6' 7"

    NBA Draft:  1987/ Round 1, Pick 22 out of Northeastern University by Boston Celtics

    NBA Highlights:  Jersey retired by Boston Celtics

    The Tragedy:  Cardiac arrest (bad heart)

    NBA Status:  Struck down in his prime 

    The Expectations for Lewis were starting to increase significantly over the last three years of his career which lasted from 1987–1993.  Lewis was struck down in his prime from sudden cardiac-arrest at an off-season practice at the age of 27 years.  He was averaging close to 20 points on .488 percent shooting and his numbers were continuously getting better year over year.  The Celtics retired Lewis’ number as he was a core piece of the franchise.

Sam Bowie: C, Portland Trail Blazers

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    Height:  7' 1"

    NBA Draft:  1984 / Round 1, Pick 2 out of Kentucky by Portland Trail Blazers

    NBA Highlights:  NBA All-Rookie Team

    The Tragedy:  Nagging injuries

    NBA Status:  Retired    

    The Expectations for Sam Bowie (as is for any college standout) was big, but his career was undermined by nagging injuries that kept him off the floor so often, that Trail Blazer fans to this day regret that draft pick.  In fact, people can only dream about what might have been had the Trail Blazers picked Michael Jordan, who was taken after Bowie.  Despite the fact that he played ten seasons, Bowie’s career was a bust due to all the injuries.

Ralph Sampson: C, Houston Rockets

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    Height:  7' 4"

    NBA Draft:  1983 / Round 1, Pick 1 out of Virginia by Houston Rockets

    NBA Highlights:  NBA Rookie of the Year, 4 x NBA All-Star, 1 x NBA All-Star MVP

    The Tragedy:  Nagging injuries

    NBA Status:  Retired

    The Expectations for Ralph Sampson might have been the biggest of any player ever to be drafted out of college.  He was supposed to be one of the very greats when it was all said and done.  He was expected to dominate on both ends of the floor and win championships like Bill Russell.  He was extremely versatile and athletic for such a tall man.  Strangely, as good as Sampson was at the beginning of his career, he was never a dominator even when paired with a newly drafted Hakeem the Dream to form the NBA’s original twin towers.  Sampson fizzled from the spotlight and retired after bouncing from team to team.  He suffered from an assortment of long and nagging injuries including back and knee and retired at the age of 32.

Yao Ming: C, Houston Rockets

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    LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 26:  Yao Ming #11 of the Houston Rockets looks to rebound during their opening night game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on October 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Height:  7' 6"

    NBA Draft:  2002 / Round 1, Pick 1 out of China

    NBA Highlights:  NBA All-Rookie Team, 7 x All-Star

    The Tragedy:  Nagging injuries

    NBA Status:  Out indefinitely      

    The Expectations for Yao Ming were ridiculous and matched by those for one Ralph Sampson.  For a man who is so tall and versatile, how could superstardom with championships to boot not be in the cards.  One can only wonder how dominant Ming could have been and still be, if he is only able to stay injury free.  It’s also a shame that when he was paired with a healthy and capable Tracy McGrady, Ming was constantly injured hurting the Rockets chances for a championship.

Len Bias: SF, Boston Celtics

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    Height:  6' 8"

    NBA Draft:  1986/ Round 1, Pick 2 out of Maryland by Boston Celtics

    NBA Highlights:  None

    The Tragedy: Cardiac arrest (drug overdose)

    NBA Status:  Struck down before playing a single game 

    The Expectations for Lenny Bias were enormous, because he was such a dominating player.  His vertical leap was shocking and his play was being compared to Michael Jordan’s at a time when his Airness was just getting started.  In fact, Celtics great Larry Bird was extremely excited about the prospects of playing with Bias. 

    Bias was struck down in his youth after suffering a sudden cardiac-arrest caused by a cocaine overdose.  The entire state of Maryland was in shock because Lenny was a good kid whom went out of his way to avoid trouble, and he was already a state hero.   He had not played a single game in the NBA, but left Celtics fans wondering sadly about what could have been.

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