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worst draft pick in sports

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by esquire., Jul 1, 2005.

  1. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    the recent nba draft pick precipitated an argument between a friend and i over who was the single worst draft pick decision in the past 25 years in any sport.

    he's adamant that ryan leaf has to be the worst possible pick ever. even espn seems to agree with this analysis since they've selected leaf as not only the second worst draft pick in the last 25 years, but also as the biggest sports blunder in the last 25 years.

    we both closely followed the ryan leaf debacle, and watched the chargers games just to see how badly he could do. but, i think everybody is being too harsh on the guy.

    sure, his numbers stink and he retired with a QB rating of 48.8. but, everybody seems especially down on the guy cause he was the second pick the year peyton manning was the first one and peyton is a lock for the hall of fame.

    but, that's an unfair comparison. if the chargers had the first pick and selected leaf over manning, then i could understand that logic. but, the chargers had the second pick after manning was no longer available in a draft that didn't really have any other stars except randy moss who wasn't picked till almost the end of the first round.

    to me, it was all the other collateral stuff that made this pick so bad- all the draft picks the chargers traded to go up one spot higher to get leaf. and, how they were so gun shy from the ryan leaf experience that they traded away the top pick when they could selected michael vick. but, that doesn't make this the worst draft pick ever in sports.

    but, in some ways, it was better the chargers didn't select manning.

    the ironic thing is that leaf is currently enrolled in a media relations claass at his alma mater, washington state.
     
  2. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    esquire: I read that article on ESPN but don't remember who they thought was the worst pick ever. Though I do agree that Leaf was probably #2.

    As for this year's NBA draft, I think the Lakers' 2nd round pick of Turiaf may have a more immediate impact than Bynum. PJ is not used to giving rookies any PT. But, he may have no choice this year. ESPN's comments about all 3 picks were good: Bynum - "stunned" at his skills and size; Turiaf - "very solid" pick who can rebound; Wafer - may be the "sleeper" pick.
     
  3. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    Tony Mandarich.

    koji
     
  4. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    and Andre Ware.

    koji
     
  5. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    ESPN's pick was

    1. Sam Bowie
    In 1984, the Rockets took Hakeem Olajuwon with the first pick. The Trailblazers, with the No. 2 selection, passed on Michael Jordan. They passed on Charles Barkley. They passed on John Stockton. Because their scouting told them that seven-foot Kentucky center Sam Bowie was the man. He averaged 10 ppg in an injury-riddled career.

    in hindsight, that seems to have been a poor choice.
     
  6. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    Sam bowie was hurt, but he might have been a great one, actually. Heath Shuler was another horrible pick.

    koji
     
  7. Bradford

    Bradford Senior member

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    You took the words right out my mouth...

    Bradford
     
  8. Eric

    Eric Senior member

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    Shawn Bradley, or Kwame Brown.

    Sam Bowie was injured, like everyone else said, if MJ weren't picked right behind him, he wouldn't even be in the running, there have been tons of other #2 picks that didn't do anything.

    Eric
     
  9. PhiloVance

    PhiloVance Senior member

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    Well, I think no matter how you look at it (unfulfilled potential, degree of impact on the team, etc.), if you're going to pick the worst draft pick ever, I think you have pick someone from what is considered the worst draft ever in any sport: the 1986 NBA Draft. Here's a little blurb on it from about.com:

    The Darkest Day in Draft History
    Some drafts are good, many bad, but the realm of judgment is usually confined to the court. The 1986 NBA Draft changed all that - the tragedy and misfortune that struck so many of the names below would be hard for even Hollywood to hatch. From the early deaths of Len Bias and Drazen Petrovic to the drug-addicted failures of Roy Tarpley, Chris Wasburn and William Bedford, the 1986 NBA Draft will live in infamy and as a sad lesson that simply getting drafted doesn't mean you've made it.

    That being said, I think you have to nominate Len Bias, hands down. In the last of Red Auerbach's many draft day coups, he secured the #2 pick in the draft for the defending champion Boston Celtics. With Bias, the Celtics were supposed to put a stranglehold on the NBA for the next 10 years. Unfortunately, Bias went partying a few days after the draft and OD'd. So in terms of unfulfilled potential or lack of impact (although one might argue his death had a negative impact on the franchise that lingers to this day), it's got to be Bias, hands down.

    Obviously, this is pure speculation, but a front five of Bias, Bird, Parish, Reggie Lewis, and Dee Brown in 1991 would have been something to see.
     
  10. PHV

    PHV Senior member

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    Olawakandi....
     
  11. mrgoblueguy

    mrgoblueguy Senior member

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    Tony Mandarich aka The Incredible Bulk. Thats what you get for drafting a player from Michigan State.
     
  12. Eric

    Eric Senior member

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    I've heard stories of what would have been had Bias lived. Apparently he was more talented than Jordan, though we'll never know. Thats a good nomination, if Bias lived, Jordan wouldn't have any rings most likely.

    Eric
     
  13. mkk

    mkk Senior member

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    Re: Mandarich, he at least went on to have a "second coming" with the Colts as a serviceable lineman.
    Leaf was plain horrid.

    Nobody nominates Darko Milicic?
     
  14. Pink22m

    Pink22m Senior member

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    Joe Smith anybody?
     
  15. bachbeet

    bachbeet Senior member

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    Darko is still new to the NBA. He may just turn into a good player. Too early. I will say that if he does NOT turn into a good player with a lot more PT, then he will definitely be #1 in my book.
     
  16. esquire.

    esquire. Senior member

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    yeah, it was actually the lakers picking bynum which started the whole debate. not a fan of them picking bynum at all, especially since you had much better players like green and granger that were still available. bynum's lack of even high school basketball experience and that the only reason his stock even rose cause he finally lost 20 pounds doesn't give me hope.

    bynum is such a raw project that he won't be halfway decent till his contract runs out.

    who knows about bias? maybe, he wouldn't have lived up to his potential anyways or been another roy tarpley. did the celtics actually sign him to a contract, and have to pay his family for the contract?

    akili smith was #3 pick, and he played just as poorly as leaf. yet, he doesn't get the same stigma. i just think leaf gets such a poor rap simply cause he was such a jerk in san diego, but nobody else uses that as a factor for the other draft busts.

    i just find it ironic that for somebody who had so much difficulty with the media is now in a class titled media relations.

    its strange that espn would call leaf the biggest bust, but only the second worst draft pick. I would think if you're the biggest bust, that would also make you the worst draft pick.
     
  17. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    I am old enough to have witnessed Len Bias play college basketball, which he did at the flagship state university of my home state of Maryland. Â He was two inches taller than Jordan, just as athletic, and possessed a better jump shot; imagine a muscular Tracy McGrady. Â No less an authority than Duke's Coach K has said that Bias and Jordan are the two best players ever to come out of the ACC. Â Had Bias lived, he would not have become an NBA All-Star. Â In my completely subjective speculation, he would have become one of the ten best players of all time. I don't think it's fair to label Bias a bust because we don't know what he would have become. Â Ditto for players whose potential is cut short by injury, e.g., Ki-Jana Carter. Â My vote goes Ryan Leaf. Â He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in his final year, had better stats than Peyton Manning, and was a better physical specimen than Manning. Â There was quite a debate about who the Colts should select. Â Given every opportunity to succeed, Leaf turned out to be below average.
     
  18. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    Don't mean to hijack the thread but isn't the Heisman Trophy becoming irrelevant? Of the last ten winners, who has gone on to be a legitimate star in the NFL?
     
  19. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim Senior member

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    (Ambulance Chaser @ July 05 2005,13:08) My vote goes Ryan Leaf. He was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy...
    Don't mean to hijack the thread but isn't the Heisman Trophy becoming irrelevant? Of the last ten winners, who has gone on to be a legitimate star in the NFL?
    Well everyone knows Ricky Williams, maybe more for being outstanding for a few years while somehow playing for a team who never went anywhere, freaking out, quitting football, smoking alot of weed, hanging out with Lenny Kravitz, realizing that he still owes the Dolphins 8 million dollars, and then crawling back to work. (probably to be a second string RB, no less) Charles Woodson is fairly famous, and I'd say he has lived up to his trophy. Eddie George is number ten in the last ten years, but also fairly respectable. A workhorse anyways. As far as the recent QB's go, they might take a while to develop, but may soon live up to the potential. I'm thinking that Carson Palmer will be fine.
     
  20. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    Doesn't he host a talk show or something?
     

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