The NBA draft is a crucial moment for teams to select the future stars of the league. Over the years, there have been numerous draft picks that have gone on to achieve incredible success and leave a lasting legacy in the NBA.
In this section, we will take a closer look at some of the best NBA draft picks ever and their impact on the game of basketball. These players were carefully chosen on draft day and went on to make history with their remarkable talent and achievements.
- The NBA draft is a vital moment for teams to select future stars of the league.
- There have been numerous draft picks that have gone on to achieve incredible success in the NBA.
- Some of the best NBA draft picks ever have left a lasting legacy in the game of basketball.
- These players were selected on draft day and went on to make history with their remarkable talent and achievements.
- Join us as we explore some of the top NBA draft selections and their impact on the game of basketball.
Michael Jordan – A Draft Day Steal
When it comes to the discussion of the best NBA draft picks ever, Michael Jordan’s name is always at the top of the list. Despite being selected third overall in the 1984 NBA draft, his selection by the Chicago Bulls proved to be a steal. Jordan’s incredible talent and achievements throughout his career solidify his place as one of the all-time best NBA draft picks.
Not only did he win six NBA championships and five MVP awards, but he also revolutionized the game with his high-flying dunks and clutch performances. Jordan’s success inspired an entire generation of basketball players and fans alike, cementing his legacy as one of the most successful NBA draft picks of all time.
Michael Jordan’s incredible success on and off the court has led many to consider him not only one of the best NBA draft picks ever but also one of the greatest athletes of all time. From his incredible scoring ability to his tenacious defense, Jordan’s impact on the game of basketball has been immeasurable.
He remains an inspiration to young basketball players around the world, and his legacy will continue to live on for generations to come.
Magic Johnson and Larry Bird – A Rivalry for the Ages
When it comes to iconic NBA draft selections, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are at the top of the list. Both players were selected in the first round of the 1979 NBA draft – Johnson as the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Lakers and Bird as the second overall pick by the Boston Celtics. These picks set the stage for one of the greatest rivalries in basketball history.
Johnson and Bird were both exceptional players with different styles. Johnson was known for his playmaking abilities, while Bird was a deadly shooter and an excellent rebounder. Their contrasting skill sets, as well as their competitive nature and leadership, made them the perfect rivals.
Their battles on the court were legendary, and the two players pushed each other to new heights. They met in three NBA Finals, each winning one, before Johnson’s Lakers eventually triumphed over Bird’s Celtics in the 1985-86 season. Johnson and Bird’s rivalry captivated fans and helped popularize the NBA during a time when basketball was not as mainstream as it is today.
Both players went on to have illustrious careers, with Johnson winning five NBA championships and Bird winning three. They were both inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and are widely regarded as two of the best players in NBA history.
“I wanted to be the best player in the world, but that wasn’t enough. I wanted to be the best player in the history of the game.”
These words from Magic Johnson perfectly encapsulate the mentality of both players and their desire to be the best. Their impact on the game and their teams is legendary, making them unforgettable draft choices. Magic Johnson and Larry Bird will always be remembered as two of the greatest NBA draft picks of all time.
LeBron James – The Chosen One
When it comes to the best NBA draft picks ever, LeBron James is undoubtedly on the list. His selection as the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft marked the beginning of a historic career and solidified him as one of the greatest players in NBA history.
Known as “The Chosen One,” James proved to live up to the hype. He quickly became a dominant force on the court, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first NBA Finals appearance in 2007. Although they lost to the San Antonio Spurs, James’ performance throughout the playoffs showed his potential as a superstar.
In 2010, James made a controversial decision to leave Cleveland and join the Miami Heat, where he formed a powerhouse team with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. During his time with the Heat, James won two NBA championships and earned two NBA Finals MVP awards.
After returning to Cleveland and winning the championship for his hometown in 2016, James moved on to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he continues to play at an elite level. Over the span of his career, James has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments, including four NBA championships, four NBA MVP awards, and countless other accolades.
LeBron James’ impact on the game of basketball and his historic career make him one of the greatest draft choices in NBA history. His legacy will continue to inspire future generations of basketball players for years to come.
Shaquille O’Neal – Dominance in the Paint
Shaquille O’Neal is undoubtedly one of the most successful NBA draft picks of all time. The Orlando Magic selected O’Neal as the first overall pick in the 1992 draft, and it was a decision that paid off for both parties. O’Neal’s impact on the game was immediate, and his dominant presence in the paint made him virtually unstoppable.
Over the course of his career, O’Neal’s incredible athleticism and scoring ability made him an iconic NBA draft selection. He went on to win four NBA championships and was named an All-Star 15 times. O’Neal’s combination of size, speed, and skill made him one of the most formidable players in NBA history, and his legacy as one of the all-time best draft picks is secure.
Not only was O’Neal successful on the court, but he also made an impact off the court with his larger-than-life personality and sense of humor. He became a beloved figure in the basketball world and beyond, further solidifying his status as one of the most iconic NBA draft selections of all time.
In short, Shaquille O’Neal’s selection as the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft was a game-changer for both the Magic and the NBA as a whole. His influence on the game and his larger-than-life personality have secured his place as one of the best and most iconic draft picks ever.
Tim Duncan – The Big Fundamental
Tim Duncan’s selection as the first overall pick in the 1997 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs proved to be a franchise-altering decision. He quickly established himself as one of the top-rated NBA draft picks of all time, earning Rookie of the Year honors and leading the Spurs to their first NBA championship in just his second season.
Duncan’s legendary status was cemented with five more NBA championships, two NBA MVP awards, and 15 All-Star selections. He was known for his consistency, fundamental skills, and unassuming demeanor, earning him the nickname “The Big Fundamental.”
|NBA Career Achievements||Statistics|
|5x NBA Champion||19.0 PPG|
|2x NBA MVP||10.8 RPG|
|15x NBA All-Star||3.0 APG|
With his unparalleled skill set and leadership, Duncan’s legacy as one of the greatest NBA draft choices of all time will never be forgotten. His impact on the Spurs and the NBA as a whole will be remembered for generations to come.
When it comes to successful NBA draft picks, few players can match the career of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Selected first overall in the 1969 NBA draft, Abdul-Jabbar’s impact on the game of basketball is historic. His impressive accomplishments include six NBA championships, 19 All-Star game appearances, and a record six NBA MVP awards.
Abdul-Jabbar’s trademark skyhook shot was nearly unstoppable, and his longevity in the league was a testament to his consistent excellence. Throughout his 20-year career, he earned the respect of his peers and fans alike, cementing his place as one of the all-time best NBA draft picks.
Abdul-Jabbar’s legacy extends beyond his impressive basketball achievements. He was also a vocal advocate for social justice and civil rights, using his platform as a high-profile athlete to raise awareness and effect change.
“I think that my basketball playing was an expression of my commitment to try to make the world a better place.”
Abdul-Jabbar’s impact on and off the court make him a historic NBA draft choice, and his accomplishments will continue to inspire basketball fans for generations to come.
Hakeem Olajuwon – The Dream Shake
Hakeem Olajuwon, also known as “The Dream,” was selected first overall in the 1984 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets. Olajuwon revolutionized the center position with his unique playing style, which included the famous “Dream Shake” moves that left defenders bewildered.
His offensive skills were matched by his defensive prowess, earning him recognition as one of the best two-way players in NBA history. Olajuwon led the Rockets to two NBA championships and was named the Finals MVP both times.
His success on the court solidified his place as one of the greatest draft choices ever. With a combination of skill, size, and athleticism, Olajuwon dominated the game and inspired future generations of basketball players. His impact on the Rockets and the NBA as a whole makes him one of the top NBA draft selections of all time.
Karl Malone, nicknamed “The Mailman,” is known as one of the most dominant power forwards in NBA history. His selection as the 13th overall pick in the 1985 NBA draft by the Utah Jazz marked the beginning of a legendary career marked by consistent scoring and physical play.
Malone’s contributions to the Jazz, where he played for 18 seasons, are numerous. He led the team to the NBA Finals twice and is the franchise’s all-time leading scorer. He was also named an NBA All-Star 14 times and earned two Most Valuable Player awards.
Malone’s ability to score from anywhere on the court made him a nightmare for defenders, and his powerful physique allowed him to dominate in the paint. He was also an excellent rebounder and passer, making him a versatile player and a valuable asset to any team.
Despite never winning an NBA championship, Malone’s incredible career and impact on the game make him an unforgettable draft pick. He is one of the top-rated, legendary, and iconic NBA draft picks ever.
Kobe Bryant – The Black Mamba
Kobe Bryant’s selection as the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets marked the beginning of an extraordinary career. Bryant’s remarkable talent and competitive spirit made him one of the most iconic players in NBA history. With five NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, and countless other accolades, Bryant’s legacy as one of the all-time best draft picks is secure.
Bryant’s scoring ability was unmatched, and he consistently wowed fans with his fadeaway jump shot and acrobatic finishes at the rim. His relentless work ethic and dedication to the game earned him the nickname “The Black Mamba”.
Off the court, Bryant was known for his philanthropy and advocacy for various causes, including women’s basketball and youth sports. His tragic death in 2020 was a shock to the basketball world, but his impact on the game and his fans will never be forgotten.
Bryant’s selection as the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft is a testament to the unpredictable nature of the draft process. He was not initially seen as a top pick, but his talent and determination solidified his place as one of the greatest players of all time. Bryant’s career serves as an inspiration to aspiring basketball players everywhere and cements his place as one of the historic, top-rated, and all-time best NBA draft picks.
These NBA draft picks have undoubtedly left a lasting impact on the basketball world. From Michael Jordan’s steal in the 1984 draft to LeBron James’ incredible career, these players have not only achieved individual success but also transformed their teams and the NBA as a whole.
Magic Johnson and Larry Bird’s rivalry will always be remembered as one of the greatest in NBA history, while Shaquille O’Neal’s dominance in the paint and Tim Duncan’s fundamental skills solidify their place as all-time greats.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s six NBA championships and Hakeem Olajuwon’s revolutionizing of the center position are testaments to their success as draft picks. Karl Malone’s consistent scoring and physical play earned him the nickname “The Mailman,” and Kobe Bryant’s competitive spirit and championship success make him an iconic draft pick.
Overall, these NBA draft picks have set the standard for future generations of players. Their legacies and contributions to the game make them the best draft picks ever, and their impact will continue to be felt for years to come.