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WashPost on Ralph Sampson

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by gravehunter, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I don't think too many people would debate anyone on the first two, unless there was someone who followed Moses Malone's high school career.

    The third part is debatable. It's not ridiculous to say it's LeBron any more than it's not ridiculous to say that No. 1 spot could just as easily be held by Ewing, Olajuwon, Shaq or Duncan.
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Patrick Ewing had played in three Final Fours (won one title). He was expected to make such a huge impact that people have accused the commissioner of fixing the lottery to make sure Ewing played in a major market and didn't "get stuck" in a smaller market.

    Hakeem Olajuwon had played in three Final Fours. Houston is believed to have tanked in order to get him or to have a 50-50 shot at him, which basically means that the draft lottery is in place largely because of Olajuwon and Sampson. He was drafted ahead of the player who is widely viewed as the best player of all-time and nobody has ever said, "What was Houston thinking drafting Olajuwon?" He won two titles.

    Tim Duncan would have been the No. 1 pick if he had come out as a sophomore, but he stayed all four years. Rick Pitino blames his failure in Boston largely on not getting to draft Duncan. There are some who think the Spurs intentionally didn't rush David Robinson back from his injury so they would get a shot at Duncan. The Spurs have won four titles since drafting him. I'm not sure how many times the Spurs have been in the lottery, but they've won the No. 1 pick in two of the years where there was a franchise center available. I know they got the No. 3 in 1989 as well, which led to Sean Elliott.

    Shaq - One of the most dominant physical players in recent memory. Won several titles and a MVP.
  3. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    Except the part where he was supposed to be the best basketball player ever.

    It's pretty close between LeBron, Ewing, Hakeem, etc. They all came in with outrageous expectations. And they're all going to the Hall of Fame.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I agree that LeBron has lived up to the exaggerrated speculation and expectations... That's a tough one to argue.

    I don't think it's a coincidence that everybody in this conversation, except LeBron, is a center. The league puts such a premium on centers that for every Ewing, Olajuwon, Shaq, Duncan and Robinson, there's an endless list of guys who went in the lottery, or even with the No. 1 pick, who just end up sucking.

    It's easier to have an immediate impact as a center who has spent 3-4 years in college, than a forward who is coming in straight out of high school, so obviously that right there speaks volumes about LeBron, that he's even mentioned in the same group as guys who were 3-4 years older when they entered the league.

    And yes, of the 30 guys who have been taken No. 1 overall since 1983, LeBron has had the best career and I don't think that one is even debatable.
  5. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Been reading the posts with much interest. Funniest interview ever about signing. When Sampson announced, he said I'm going to Virginia? It was as if he even questioned the move himself.
  6. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    There was a ton of hype for Sampson's college announcement considering it was 1979 and there was no social media, internet, little in the way of cable TV, etc. Kentucky, UNC and other schools had assistant coaches living in Harrisonburg trying to recruit him.

    When he made the announcement at a huge press conference that was broadcast live in Lexington the quote was "It came down to Kentucky and Virginia. So, I think I'm going with Virginia.”
  7. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Great memory Jake. Never will forget what Red Auerbach told me. He said, he should've come out sooner. He wasted a lot of money in not doing so. But Red was selfish. He wanted him badly. He also hated driving around those Virginia mountains to see Sampson. LOL
  8. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Not exactly memory, I was born a few months after it happened, but Pat Forde wrote about it recently.
  9. Twoback

    Twoback Active Member

    How could anyone on that list be considered more of an underachiever than Kwame Brown? Oden did more on two bad knees, and in a quarter of the time.
  10. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    God. Joe Smith was a top overall pick. I totally forgot about that.
  11. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Boy, that 2000 NBA draft was seriously bad. Kenyon Martin, Jamaal Magliore (No. 19 overall) and Michael Redd (2nd rounder) are the only players from that draft who have made an All-Star team, and Redd is the only one ever selected All-NBA.


    No wonder the league went into a 10-year slump between Jordan's second retirement and the emergence of LeBron.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The list was based on expectations, not the career they actually had. That's why Oden isn't near the bottom.

    It sure sounds like 2000 was the worst draft of the bunch. I always thought 1989 was pretty dreadful, but it sounds like 2000 was worse.
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