Ten Worst NBA Top 10 Picks of the Last Ten…Years.

Posted: March 11, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in NBA
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was troubled early this season in college basketball by the lack of quality, and the basic lack of even a surefire team that would be the top dog. Then about a month went by & I realized why: there flat-out aren’t any great players in the NCAA this year. Each “top dog” prospect is playing more like underdog, to the point where there is no clear guy that looks to be anywhere close to a franchise cornerstone.

But wait, look around the NBA this year too….um, did the kids not come out for recess this year? Save for John Wall & DeMarcus Cousins, the 2010 draft so far is catching a big break due to Blake Griffin (who isn’t even a part of this class) has eliminated any need to look at who deserves the Rookie of the Year, because these guys aren’t doing a thing either. The All-Rookie team’s stats are going to need food bank donations from everywhere, because they are slim. Well, if you’re gonna score eight points a night, at least make them exciting, right Wes Johnson? No? Okay then.

However, in the recent history of the NBA, eight points a night would’ve been a career year for some high-profile picks. Any draft is more educated guess than anything else. You’re only going to get a Tim Duncan or LeBron James-level safe pick once every blue moon. More often than not, draft picks are calculated risks that best is hoped of. But sometimes, there’s some things done on draft day that invoke the time-tested, three-step draft day bust warning:

1) David Stern has that quick smirk like “Well, I didn’t plan on having to announce (or sometimes pronounce) this guy’s name, but here goes….”

2) That 5 seconds of quick silence while Jay Bilas & company look for some way to not cross over into being a part of step 3, which is…

3) The chorus of boos and laughs shared in live at Madison Square Garden, in bars & living rooms around the country.

There’s a great deal of these moments over the years, and sometimes we just aren’t smart enough to boo yet (see Williams, Jay & Curry, Eddy….I’m a Bulls fan. I drank the Kool-Aid briefly). In other times, it’s just too unbelievable to register. Those are the guys listed here, the ones that make you take an Aspirin on draft day, and then later on have GMs considering fonts to use for their suicide notes (unless you’re Michael Jordan, then you just play some highlights, sell some Hanes & all is forgiven).

Let’s pay these guys some homage, as they made the biggest reverse impacts of the last 10 years (11 actually, I’ll save judgement on this year crop for another year or so. But I see some familiar symptoms developing….Gordan Hayward). This is the worst player taken, per slot, since the 2000 Debacle…er, Draft. (I could have easily just taken that entire top 10 & done this list, but that would’ve been too easy. Note, don’t ever take a guy from Cincinnati with a blown out knee & attitude number one again. Also, in the top 3, avoid guys that get ACT scores that score in the negative either. But you’re the Clippers, so it’s understandable.)

I don’t know if any of the college guys this year are quite this bad, but this serve as a warning of what could be to come. Allow the misery of the Cleveland Cavaliers 2010-11 continue.

1. Kwame Brown (’01-Wizards): Here’s the thing about Kwame, he was the ultimate workout warrior. He was one of three high schoolers taken in the top five that year, AND HE WAS THE WORST OF THEM IN HIGH SCHOOL. The other two guys that were better than him? Tyson Chandler & Eddy Curry. That just screams “Franchise Cornerstone”. But he got the Jordan seal of approval, and set out quickly in kick starting Mike’s new reputation as being the “Michael Jordan of bad drafters”. Ten years, miraculously, he is still in the League and has been reclaimed by another Jordan-led team in Charlotte, and is actually having one of his most successful seasons….averaging seven points a night.

Mike should have showed him one of his old Gatorade commercials for inspiration right after this pick. It couldn't have hurt.

I think one of Jordan’s underrated achievements is that he actually Sam Bowie’d two guys in his career via his reputation. Can’t think of anybody else that could do that.

2. Darko Milicic (’03-Pistons): I’ve been down this road before. Enjoy my take on Darko and his “American Tale” from this summer.


3. Adam Morrison (’06- Bobcats): If Mike’s 63 points on the Celtics in ’86 proved for the first time he was a legit NBA force, this pick is the equivalent of that effort for him as the exact opposite in executive decisions. Morrison was a force at Gonzaga, but if there ever was a clearer red flag than Morrison’s mustache & Marty Jannetty-inspired do, I don’t know what it was.

This mustache just screams "A park my van close to mall exits & playgrounds" over quality NBA swing man.


He also gets this nod for being the most laughable two-time champion of ever. I don’t think he moved in his seat once during his two years as a Laker except to receive his “winnings” on ring night at the Staples. Sigh…best of luck in your post-NBA porno career your mustache was 35 years too late for Adam.

4. Eddy Curry (’01-Bulls): Here’s a quick story about when I realized this guy would become who he is now. In ’01 just before he turned pro out of high school, he came to St. Louis to play in a showcase game that was to pit the two greatest high school centers in the land against each other, Curry vs. Chandler. By halftime of that game, the sold out Savvis Center was so disgusted by the play of both of them that I think I literally saw folks throwing up in the isles. Curry had something like 10 points, and was in tears by the end of the game on the bench. So, does everything else that has followed make sense now? Okay.

5. Nikoloz Tskitishvili (’02-Nuggets): In the early 2000’s, any European that came over carried an automatic & mysterious lure as being a potential “7’0 foot shooting force that will redefine the game”. Well that’s true if you consider being legendary busts that within 5 years would have GMs running from top 10 foreigners like they are an Isiah Thomas approved contract. Darko was the pinnacle of this, but Tskitishvili is still the worst example ever, with his 2.9 career PPG & not even that many rebounds per. Did I mention he’s seven feet tall? Alright, just wanted to be sure.

6. Yi Jianlian (’07-Bucks): Number six has actually been a good spot in most drafts, so Yi is here by default as he’s the most suitable fit. Also, because he complained about not wanting to play in Milwaukee, yet only gave them eight points a game once finally agreeing to play for them. He was subsequently traded to the Nets, which was followed by being dealt to the Wizards, which has sealed his fate as the most “punished by location” player since the NBA/ABA merger.

Dude, nobody REALLY like being in Milwaukee, but at least sell the moment.


7. DeSagana Diop (’01-Cavs): Any time you’re career highlight is providing support for Erick Dampier you know something has gone wrong along the way. But he apparently has taken some lesson from Dampier on how to turn in the least possible work for the maximum payday, as his career totals 2.1 points & 3.8 rebounds per game into a $32 million dollar contract & hopefully a role in a future “Dead Presidents” remake as well.

8. Joe Alexander (’08-Bucks): Hailed as the prototypical “athletic white guy that can shoot as well”, Alexander’s impact on Bustville can be summed up by one number: 4. That’s the number of teams he played for in 2010, with two of them being NBDL squads (Thats right. Two different ones, same year).

9. Patrick O’Bryant (’06-Warriors): Don’t draft black guy’s with Irish names unless their first name is Shaquille. Without that combination, DO NOT PASS GO. Patty O’s first NBA Coach, the immortal enigma Don Nelson, summed up his career best.

“I told him if he goes down to the D-League and isn’t a dominant player, there should be red flags all over the place, and he should be the first to notice. He’s not only not dominating, he’s not playing very well. He’s a long-term project. I really liked him the first week of training camp, but I assumed there would be great progress. […] He hasn’t gotten better one bit.”


10. Luke Jackson (’04-Cavs): Jackson was drafted simply to hit open jumpers in the corner off of LeBron James drive-and-dishes. Simple enough right? Especially for a first team All-American, right? Well, this didn’t quite workout well, and now Jackson has spent three separate tenures playing pro basketball in Idaho.

Enough said.

Follow me for more outtakes, facts & random sports blabber on Twitter at @CheapSeatFan

  1. Oates says:

    How dare you not mention Yi “The Chairman” Jianlan & not mention his ridiculous pre-draft workouts consisting of hitting post moves on a chair & dunking on a man w/ a broom. The NBA was on some strange shat for that guy to even have got that kinda hype. He dunked on a broom!!! He was showing his post skills by posting up a wooden chair!!!

    • Hahaha!!! That’s fantastic, I didn’t know that. The talk of him being a “far more athletic Yao Ming”, which was nearly impossible not to be just by walking, was hilarious enough for me.

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