It's Bowl season folks! So in honor of college football's horribly inefficient method for crowning a national champion we here at Dummy Bros. have decided to have our own bowl. We will call it the NBA Bust Bowl! This first inaugural bowl will focus only on the various lottery pick big men who were supposed to be game changers but instead turned out like most every other big around. You know - slow, plodding, fastbreak-killing klutzes with boxy heads who provide us snarky fans with endless chuckles.
In order to limit the scope of the Bust Bowl and to add to it's air of exclusivity, I've limited participation to only top ten picks for the last decade (2000-2009). No guards or swingmen, either. Only true fours or fives. Honestly, even within this limited criteria you would be surprised just how many busts there were. It seems like at least half of these guys were picked merely because they were 6'9 or bigger. The logic for GMs must have gone something like this:
Image by Colin & Sean Doyle
What is a bust? Well, put simply it is player who was thought to have the ingredients to become something special and well, didn't. For whatever reason, the player just didn't live up to his potential. Here are the contenders:
7) Nic Tskitishvili (2002, Selected #5) - Career Stats: 172 Games, 2.9 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 4 teams.
Selected ahead of Nene, Amare Stoudemire, Caron Butler, Tayshaun Prince, Nenad Krstic, Carlos Boozer, Matt Barnes, Luis Scola
Notes: Was thought to be the next Dirk Nowitzki, instead became the first Nic Tskitishvili. Perfect example of a guy getting drafted merely because he was 7 foot.
6) Stromile Swift (2000, Selected #2) - Career Stats: 547 Games, 8.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5 teams.
Selected ahead of Mike Miller, Jamal Crawford, Hedo Turkoglu, Desmond Mason, Eddie House, Michael Redd
Notes: One of the coolest names in the history of the NBA. It's a pity that he wasn't a better player because that name is damn poetic. I may even name my first kid Stromile Swift Doyle.
5) Hasheem Thabeet (2009, Selected #2) - Career Stats: 94 Games, 2.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1 team.
Selected ahead of James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, DeMar DeRozan, Jrue Holiday, Taj Gibson, Omri Casspi, Toney Douglas
Notes: For those who say a year and a half is not enough time to evaluate a player and label him a bust, I've got to two indisputable facts for you: 1) Thabeet struggled in the D-league, 2) Tyreke Evans. Memphis could have had Tyreke Evans!!!!! Instead of Tyreke, Memphis has a 2 PPG player struggling with their D-league affiliate. Awesome.
4) Eddy Curry (2001, Selected # 4) - Career Stats: 511 Games, 13.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2 teams.
Selected ahead of Jason Richardson, Joe Johnson, Richard Jefferson, Troy Murphy, Zach Randolph, Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur.
Notes: Thabeet is worse. I know. I'm a Knick fan, though. Enough said.
3) Greg Oden (2007, Selected #1) - Career Stats: 81 Games, 9.4 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1 team.
Selected ahead of Kevin Durant (Kevin Freakin' Durant!!), Al Horford, Jeff Green, Joakim Noah, Rodney Stuckey, Wilson Chandler, Rudy Fernandez, Aaron Brooks, Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Marc Gasol
Notes: Maybe he really is 5o years old? And don't get me started on those pictures.
2) Darko Milicic (2003, Selected #2) - Career Stats: 403 Games, 5.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 5 teams.
Selected ahead of Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, Chris Kaman, Kirk Hinrich, David West, Boris Diaw, Josh Howard, Mo Williams, Kyle Korver.
Notes: Perhaps the most infamous bust of all time. Nicknamed the "Human Victory Cigar" for the sad fact that he only got garbage minutes in blowout wins. Had the misfortune of being drafted directly ahead of three first ballot Hall of Famers (Anthony, Wade, Bosh). Improbably, he is now most noted for inspiring the name of the popular basketball blog FreeDarko.
And our 2010 Dummy Bros. Big Man Bust Bowl Champion is...
1) Kwame Brown (2001, Selected #1) - Career Stats: 529 Games, 6.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 5 teams.
Selected ahead of Pau Gasol, Jason Richardson, Joe Johnson, Richard Jefferson, Troy Murphy, Zach Randolph, Gerald Wallace, Tony Parker, Gilbert Arenas, Mehmet Okur.
Notes: What can one say? Kwame was selected #1 in 2001 by the number one player of all time, Michael Jordan. That alone gave him an unbelievable (and unwarranted) amount of hype. The fact that Jordan came out of retirement to play alongside him -putting Kwame on national television every single week- only made a bad situation worse. Another guy who was drafted for size instead of skill, Kwame could have benefited from a few (perhaps 10) years in college.