Hello guy! Guapo is back with another edition of Infinite Wisdom. Tonight we are talking about the NBA Draft, something I really used to care about when the Warriors were habitual lottery pickers. (Those days are over.) But I'm still interested in seeing where these draftees will land. Sure, this isn't a very strong draft class. I don't see a lot of these players making it big in the NBA. So it got me thinking about some of the best classes. So I decided to make a list ranking the 10 best draft classes. These draft classes will be judged on the success of the draftees in the NBA. I will take into account the Hall of Famers and and all-stars. For the more recent draft classes I will do my best to project which players could potentially bes Hall of Famers. Here we go.
10. 1970 (Best Pick: Pete Maravich)
I did some actual research for this post and I came up with 1970 for #10. The first pick was Bob Lanier by Detroit. Pistol Pete was taken third. We also have Nate Archibald and Dave Cowens being drafted in 1970. Maybe this isn't a draft full off the most popular and well known players to ever play but it does include five Hall of Famers. Don't worry the list gets better. (Not by much.)
9. 1998 (Best Pick: Dirk Nowitzki)
This draft featured possibly the best foreign player to ever play the game in Dirk Nowitzki He's a former NBA MVP and a Finals MVP. There's another Finals MVP in this draft in Paul Pierce was was taken 9th immediately after Dirk. That's two definite future Hall of Famers. And although I don't agree, I have heard Hall of Fame arguments for Vince Carter who was also taken in this draft. He's an 8 time all-star and an All NBA Second Team selection. Again, I don't agree with it, but I wouldn't be that shocked if it somehow happened.
8. 1992 (Best Pick: Shaquille O' Neal)
In 1992 two of the greatest centers the league has ever seen were picked first and second. Shaquille O' Neal is an obvious future Hall Of Famer. He was four rings under his belt including three Finals MVPs. He was league MVP in 2000 and is one of the most dominant players to ever play the game. Alonzo Mourning was the second pick and would eventually win a title playing alongside Shaq with the Heat. His many accolades give him a deserving spot on the Hall of Fame. And who knows, if Christian Laettner had actually panned out like people thought he would this draft would be higher up the list.
7. 1960 (Best Pick: Jerry West)
Here's a draft non of my readers remember, including me. So who came out of this draft? We got Jerry West who is an NBA Champion with the Lakers and the only player to my knowledge who was the Finals MVP on the losing team. (Da fuck?) We also have Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson who was the first walking triple-double. Moving on.
6. 1989 (Best Pick: Shawn Kemp)
While this draft doesn't have any Hall of Famers, it has at least two players that should be considered. First is Shawn Kemp. He alongside Gary Payton lead the Supersonics to the NBA Finals. He was a 6 time all-star and played on the USA team during the 1994 World Championships. The next is Tim Hardaway who is famous for the UTEP Two-Step. Played for the Warriors during the Run TMC era and had some good years with the Heat. He was a 5 time all-star and made the All NBA First Team in 1997.
5. 1987 (Best Pick: David Robinson)
The 1987 draft featured three Hall of Famers and one player that should be a Hall of Famer. David Robinson was a two time NBA Champion with Tim Duncan and the Spurs. He was a member of the Dream Team. He was league MVP in 1995. His Dream Team teammate, Scottie Pippen is also a Hall of Famer. He won six championships with the Chicago Bulls and was one of the best defensive players to play the game. Reggie Miller was the best three-point shooter in the league's history until Ray Allen showed up. Mark Jackson deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. He is third all time in assists. (Is that good?) And just because, I'll throw Horace Grant's name in there as a notable draft pick.
4. 1985 (Best Pick: Patrick Ewing)
In 1985 four draft picks eventually went on to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. The first pick was Pat Ewing who was the leader of the Knicks throughout the 80s and 90s and led them to the Finals twice. He never won a ring but he was part of the Dream Team and an 11 time all-star. Chris Mullin went #7 for the Warriors and was part of that aforementioned Dream Team with Pat Ewing and Run TMC team with Tim Hardaway. Karl Malone lead the Utah Jazz to the Finals twice where he lost both times to Michael Jordan and the Bulls. He won the league MVP twice in 1997 and 1999. He was also part of the Dream Team. Joe Dumars is the only Hall of Famer in this draft class to win a championship and was even Finals MVP in 1989 with the Detroit Pistons.
3. 2003 (Best Pick: LeBron James)
This is the most recent draft class and the third best. LeBron James is obviously a future Hall of Famer. He's one of the best all around players of all time. He's a four time league MVP. He's a two time NBA Champion and Finals MVP. Dwayne Wade will be inducted in the Hall of Fame. He's a three time champion and has a Finals MVP under his belt from 2006. As much as I hate to say it Chris Bosh will probably make the Hall of Fame. He was a vital player during the two championships the Heat have won so far. Carmelo Anthony will probably also make the Hall of Fame despite not having a ring. Maybe this draft class will move down in Melo and Bosh don't end up making it.
2. 1996 (Best Pick: Kobe Bryant)
There aren't Hall of Famers in this class yet, but there will be. Obviously we have Kobe Bryant. As much as I don't like him I can't deny the truth. Five time NBA Champion, two time Finals MVP, and league MVP in 2008. There's a bunch of other shit too. The first overall pick Allen Iverson should also be inducted. He was league MVP in 2001 and lead the 76ers to the Finals. Ray Allen is the greatest three-point shooter of all time and is a two time champion. Steve Nash is a two time league MVP. That's four potential Hall of Famers.
1. 1984 (Best Pick: Michael Jordan)
Even if Mike was the only good player out of this draft class I'd probably still put this class as number one. But there's a bunch of other great players from this class too, so there's some cushion between 1984 and 1996. But let's get through this draft class. Michael Jordan is a six time champion, six time Finals MVP, five time league MVP, blah, blah, blah, greatest player of all time. The #1 draft pick was Hakeem Olajuwon who lead the Houston Rockets to two championships and was MVP in 1994. Charles Barkely never won a ring but was league MVP once and lead the Suns to the Finals. John Stockton is one of the best point guards of all time and lead the Jazz to the Finals twice. In summation this draft class was alright.
Okay folks, that's my time. I hope you enjoyed this post. Did you guys watch the NBA draft? (No.) I don't blame you, but I did and I don't think it will ever make this list. Follow me on Twitter @ELGUAPO3 and Instagram CAPTAINCRUNCHTIME. I'm out of here. Stay tuned for more posts. Stay Guapo out there!