Month: April 2015

Rafael Araujo / Luke Jackson: #5 NBA Draft Bust

At this point of the countdown, there’s a toss-up between two players from the 2004 NBA Draft who equally deserve recognition as a Top 10 Bust. The contenders are:

Rafael Araujo – a 6’11” center who averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds per game as a senior at BYU, but only three points and three rebounds per game with two different teams during his 139-game NBA career; and

Luke Jackson – a 2nd Team All-American in college who recorded over 1,900 points, 700 rebounds, and 400 assists at Oregon, but fewer than 260 points, 90 rebounds, and 60 assists with four different teams in the NBA.

Take either one and you won’t be wrong.

Bo Kimble: #6 NBA Draft Bust

While playing for Loyola Marymount during the 1989-90 season, Bo Kimble led the NCAA in scoring with an average of over 35 points per game. For as memorable as that stat might seem, he is remembered mostly for shooting free throws with his off-hand as a tribute to former teammate Hank Gathers. If you like heart-warming stories, you should read my last post which highlights Kimble’s college achievements as well as LMU’s magical run to the 1990 Elite Eight. If you think fairy tales are overrated, keep reading because Kimble proved to be an overrated college basketball player with a disappointing NBA career. With such a significant discrepancy between his college and professional careers, Kimble has been named the #6 NBA Draft Bust.

Hank Gathers: Bo Kimble’s Tribute

Bo Kimble was a 2nd Team AP All-American who led the nation in scoring with a 35.3 point per game average during the 1989-90 college basketball season. Regardless, most of us remember him for the special way he paid homage to Hank Gathers, a former teammate who tragically died after collapsing on the court during a conference playoff game in March 1990. Up to that point, the teammates were inseparable. They played together on the same high school team in Philadelphia, and then enrolled at the University of Southern California before transferring to Loyola Marymount. During LMU’s magical run to the Elite Eight after Gathers’ death, Kimble shot his first free throw in each game left-handed, just like his long-time friend. This post provides the backstory behind one of the most touching moments in NCAA Tournament history.

NBA D-League: Opportunity or Bust

I predict that the NBA D-League eventually will become a legitimate system for NBA teams to develop talent. For now, it primarily caters to players who just can’t let go of their dreams or teams which need somewhere to stash marginal players for a few days. I’m not saying that the players don’t have any talent. Instead, they likely won’t have a meaningful career in the NBA. If the league intends to keep better players from going overseas, it’ll have to pay a lot more than the current salaries of approximately $20,000 per year. Until NBA owners commit to subsidizing the league properly, the D-League will be the basketball equivalent of Major League Lacrosse.

Joe Alexander: #7 NBA Draft Bust

At the conclusion of his junior season at West Virginia, Joe Alexander led the Mountaineers to better-than-expected finishes in both the Big East and NCAA tournaments. Peaking at the right time, he went from relative obscurity to a lottery pick in a matter or weeks. As the 8th overall pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2008 Draft, Alexander fulfilled his lifelong dream of playing in the NBA. Unfortunately, his dream was short-lived because he was out of the league after scoring fewer than 300 points in 67 games. In retrospect, he likely peaked too soon because his professional career might have been much different with another year to develop in college. Due to his inability to play in the NBA, Alexander has been selected as the #7 NBA Draft Bust.

NFL Draft Busts – The Countdown

This post summarizes the Top 10 Busts from the NFL Draft, as well as a group of Honorable Mentions who just missed the cut. You can refer to individual posts in which each bust is thoroughly evaluated and discussed, but here’s a ranking to whet your appetite.

#10. Brian Bosworth

#9. David Klingler

#8. Heath Shuler

#7. Jack Thompson

#6. Lawrence Phillips

#5. Akili Smith

#4. Charles Rogers

#3. JaMarcus Russell

#2. Art Schlichter

#1. Ryan Leaf

Nikoloz Tskitishvili: #8 NBA Draft Bust

As a 19-year old from Georgia (the former Soviet Republic, not the state), Nikoloz Tskitishvili was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 5th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. With six foreign players taken in the first round that year, the NBA’s evolution into an international league had hit another gear. Relative to draft position, that group included three very productive players (Yao Ming at #1, Nene Hilario at #7, and Nenad Krstic at #24), two underproductive players (Bostjan Nachbar at #15 and Jiri Welsch at #16), and one unproductive player (Nikoloz Tskitishvili). Based on a combination of horrendous shooting and abysmal production, Tskitishvili earned the title of #8 NBA Draft Bust.

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