Today I will be comprising my top 15 NBA bust, these are players I feels should have done more with their career, whether it was an injury or they just failed to meet their potential on the court…Here we go….
15. BILL WALTON (1974 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall, Portland Trail Blazers )
Career Stats ( GAMES. 517 / PTS. 13.3 / REBS. 10.5 / AST. 3.4 / STL. 0.8 / BLKS. 2.2 )
Bill was drafted with the #1 pick in 1974 by the Portland Trail Blazers, with hopes of taking that team to new heights. Leaving his college team UCLA after a stellar career where he won 2× NCAA Champion (1972–1973), 2× NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1972–1973), 3× Naismith College Player of the Year (1972–1974), 3× USBWA Player of the Year (1972–1974), 3× Adolph Rupp Trophy (1972–1974), 2× Helms Foundation College Player of the Year (1972–1973), 3× Sporting News College Player of the Year (1972–1974), × AP College Player of the Year (1972–1973), 3× Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1972–1974). The start to his pro career was a glimpse into what was to follow into the rest of his career, injuries. Bill only played in 35 games out of 82 his rookie year, not even his lowest # of games in his career. in the 1985-1986 season he played in 80 games his highest total for his career. His best year was in 1976-1977 where he averaged 18.6 points and 14.4 rebounds a game, but once again was robbed of a full season due to injury. Early in his career he was good when he was able to play, × NBA All-Defensive First Team (1977–1978), All-NBA Second Team (1977), All-NBA First Team (1978), 2× NBA All-Star (1976–1977), NBA Sixth Man of the Year (1986), NBA Most Valuable Player (1978), NBA Finals MVP (1977), 2× NBA champion (1977, 1986). makes you wonder what kind of career this man would have had if injuries didn’t take his career away from him. He ended up in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 10, 1993 and also was a member of the NBA 50th Anniversary Team.
Career Stats ( GAMES. 875 / PTS. 8.1 / REBS. 6.3 / AST. 0.7 / STL. 0.6 / BLKS. 2.5 )
I placed Shawn on this list because of the potential that he had, his was relatively healthy throughout his career but something was just missing with this guy when he laced them on. He had a great offensive touch around the basket, great defensive instincts but not enough heart in my opinion. I can’t say that Philadelphia made a mistake in taking him with the #2 pick simply because they needed a big man but I know they expected more from him. A player that size and with his skills should have been a double- double machine every night. Shawn should have been the american Yao Ming, simple as that.
Career Stats ( GAMES. 446/ PTS. 10.1/ AST. 1.9/ REBS. 4.9/ STL. 0.9/ BLKS. 1.1 )
Darius had the potential to be the next Scottie Pippen if he could have kept his head on straight. At the time of his draft he was the highest drafted high school player ever taken. When on the court and fully engaged you could see why he was taken 3rd overall. In transition the kid was unstoppable, good defensive player with his 6-9 frame with quick hands. The problem wasn’t his game the problem was his attitude, clashes with teammates and coaches was his downfall. In 2008 he suffered a knee injury that all but ended his career, tried a comeback with the Celtics and Grizzlies but never could regain the form that made him a household name early in his career. His ready-made rise to stardom was erased like so many other kids coming out of high school, just weren’t mature enough to master the art and lifestyle of the NBA….
Career Stats ( GAMES. 525 / PTS. 13.0 / REBS. 5.2 / AST. 0.5 / STLS. 0.3 / BLKS. 0.7 )
Curry career was promising, a well-rounded big man coming straight from high school, had the talent to come in and dominate the NBA right away. Injuries derailed his career back then and the same goes for him today. His second year in the league was his coming out party where he led the league n field goal percentage. All was going well until he was told he had an irregular heartbeat and was forced to sit. His career went on the upswing in 2006-2007 with the Knicks but got troubled by a knee injury and gained weight. He was never the same player after that year and never could get fully into playing shape and live up to those expectations. He just won a ring in Miami but did so as a benchwarmer and water boy….
Career Stats ( GAMES. 75 / PTS. 9.5 / REBS. 2.6 / AST. 4.7 / STLS. 1.1 / BLKS. 0.2 )
Jay Williams was Derrick Rose before Derrick Rose, this guy was amazing on the court, nothing he couldn’t do. The guy owned college basketball, John R. Wooden Award (2002), Oscar Robertson Trophy (2002), Naismith College Player of the Year (2002). The Bulls took him with the #2 pick knowing for sure he was going to lead their team for the next 10 years or so. Jay decided to go against his contract and jump on a motorcycle and cause multiple injures that would take him away from the NBA. All the god given talent in the world and his career is cut short because of a bone headed decision.
Career Stats ( GAMES. 270 / PTS. 3.8 / REBS. 1.1 / AST. 3.3 / STLS. 0.4 / BLKS. 0.0 )
Hurley was primed to take over where Stockton left off, great penetrator, shooter, defender and floor general. If you were looking for a real point guard he was your guy back then. After a stellar collegiate career at Duke, Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1993), NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player (1992), 2× NCAA Champion (1991–1992), he was chosen to lead the Kings on their way to respectability. His career was another one cut short because of an injury, he was involved in a car accident and never regained his prior playing form.
Career Stats ( GAMES. 108 / PTS. 5.5 / REBS. 1.5 / AST. 0.9 / STLS. 0.4 / BLKS. 0.1 )
Bo was supposed to set the league on fire with his profound scoring abilities coming out of Loyola Marymount. He could not gain his footing in the league and was soon out of the NBA after 3 seasons. Like many other top scorers in college the speed of the NBA was not a thing he was suited for and was forced to play in the CBA to further his playing career.
Career Stats ( GAMES. 984 / PTS. 7.0 / REBS. 2.8 / AST. 1.3 / STLS. 0.4 / BLKS. 0.3 )
Danny was another great college player whose game did not translate to NBA success. A star player at Duke,Naismith College Player of the Year (1989), USBWA Player of the Year (1989), UPI College Player of the Year (1989), 2× ACC Player of the Year (1988–1989), 2× ACC Athlete of the Year (1988–1989), Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1989), Consensus NCAA All-American Second Team (1988). The Clippers selected him with the #2 overall pick with hopes of a lights out scorer, not the case. He could get off his shot but nothing was falling for him. He stayed in the NBA as a career bench player and even earned a ring as a member of the Spurs. Some guys are meant for stardom but Ferry was not one of them.
Career Stats ( GAMES. 204 / PTS. 9.0 / REBS. 2.2 / AST. 1.2 / STLS. 0.4 / BLKS. 0.1 )
Many will get on me because I placed him on this list, he is here because of his nickname ( Baby Jordan), granted he didn’t give himself that name, but still. When you are tagged that name you have to deliver. he didn’t run from it, he actually embraced it. Minor was a great leaper and dunker but nothing else, .2× NBA Slam Dunk Contest Champion (1993, 1995). leaving Southern California, Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1992), Pac-12 Player of the Year (1992), the guy was a scoring machine in a Wade mold. He had his opportunities to succeed but failed every time lasting only 4 season in the NBA, another wasted talent.
Career Stats ( GAMES. 488 / PTS. 6.0 / REBS. 4.2 / AST. 0.9 / STLS. 0.4 / BLKS. 1.3 )
Darko, selected with the #2 pick by the pistons because they thought he was going to be a defensive presence, and the league is still waiting for that to happen. He is still playing right now and could quite possible have a monster career (who am I kidding). Was seen as a force on both sides of the ball coming into the league but never panned out the way others saw him. I think the games is too physical for him and he will always be no more than the player that the Pistons took instead of Carmelo.
Career Stats ( GAMES. 1092 / PTS. 10.9 / REBS. 6.4 / AST. 1.0 / STLS. 0.6 / BLKS. 0.8 )
The great Joe Smith, average name but not an average game, this guy was a terror in college for Maryland,Consensus NCAA All-American First Team (1995), ACC Player of the Year (1995), UPI College Player of the Year (1995), AP Player of the Year (1995), Adolph Rupp Trophy (1995), Naismith College Player of the Year (1995). If there was a player you know wasnt a can’t miss pick this was the guy, oh how we were wrong about him. Career started off good, NBA All-Rookie First Team (1996), was a focal point of his teams offense but that fire he played with in his 1st couple years just left his body. He had the skills to dominate anybody down low on the blocks but his well natured personality always kept him in check. Joe had a great career that lasted 16 seasons ( 12 of 30 NBA teams) but not the career he was supposed to have as the #1 pick, some people can’t take pressure I guess.
Career Stats ( GAMES. 163 / PTS. 7.5 / REBS. 2.1 / AST. 1.4 / STLS. 0.2 / BLKS. 0.1 )
Micheal Jordan had something to do with 3 of my last 4 picks on this list. Adam was chosen with the #3 pick by Jordan and the Bobcats after his stellar college career at Gonzaga. He was named Co-Player of the Year with Duke University‘s J. J. Redick by the United States Basketball Writers Association and won the 2006 Chevrolet Player of the Year award. Once in the league, the kid had stage fright, couldnt perform, defense will do that to a person. Great shooter but forgot how to once he got in the NBA, never could defend. you figured he would catch on as a Danny Ferry type player, a reserve role but he couldn’t even do that well. He still managed to steal 2 rings with the Lakers NBA champion (2009, 2010). Just a waste of a pick, Thanks Mike….
Career Stats ( GAMES. 540 / PTS. 10.9 / REBS. 7.5 / AST. 2.1 / STLS. 0.5 / BLKS. 1.8 )
Poor Sam Bowie, it’s not your fault you were taken before Jordan in the draft, but it is your fault you sucked after you were drafted. All the potential coming out of Kentucky, big body, good shooting touch, great defensive player, but forgot how to play when the NBA came calling. 10 seasons and you did nothing to shut people up about that disaster draft that Portland did, what a waste of size, on the positive note you can thank Jordan cause the only time we speak about you is concerning the draft and not the way you stunk up the court…
Career Stats ( GAMES. 603 / PTS. 6.8 / REBS. 5.6 / AST. 0.9 / STLS. 0.5 / BLKS. 0.6 )
Lets be honest here, if you had the #1 in 2001 and this kid was coming out of high school we ALL would have picked him, Jordan did (all on you Mike). He was going to dominate the low blocks for years to come in the league, looked a sure bet no matter who you asked. But the good thing about being a big man in the NBA is that if you show a little hustle you will always have a job, Brown has played 11 season, not because of talent. He knows he sucks and was a waste of a pick, suit, green room chair, handshake with Stern and everything in between. Hey at least the man stays employed..
Career Stats ( GAMES. 515 / PTS. 8.3 / REBS. 6.8 / AST. 0.7 / STLS. 0.5 / BLKS. 1.4 )
The #1 bust in NBA history is Micheal, he destroyed college players while at Pacific posting 22 points and 11 rebounds a game. He was still an unknown to basketball purist but displayed great potential. was drafted to be the cornerstone of the Clippers for years but instead became a running joke in NBA circles. Injuries took his career away as well as a few others on this list but it seems that his heart was never into the pro game. I chose him because of the tools that he had to succeed and he didn’t show up to play every night. In his days in the NBA there weren’t too many big men that could handle him on the blocks, the only person that could stop him was him and he decided to quit on the game, injuries or not, all talent and no heart.