False facts about the NBA you always thought were true

The Trail Blazers screwed up on Michael Jordan draft

On paper, it looks like one of the dumbest decision in the history of professional sports. In the 1984 NBA Draft, the Portland Trail Blazers had the #2 pick. The Blazers nabbed University of Kentucky center Sam Bowie. Bowie’s stats were impressive: he’d averaged 17.4 points a game his sophomore season, though that fell to 10.5 by his final year, with his college career plagued by injuries.

The Blazers didn’t care — they needed a center, and Bowie seemed to be among the best available. However, the Blazers missed out on the player that was selected immediately after Bowie. With the #3 pick, the Chicago Bulls took University of North Carolina shooting guard Michael Jordan. The rest, of course, was history. But did the Blazers actually choose wrong?

No one could predict that Jordan would become the best basketball player who ever lived. Besides, the Blazers already had a young, promising shooting guard by the name of Clyde Drexler. Like Jordan, he appeared on the 1992 Olympic “Dream Team” and is in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1990, the Blazers reached the NBA Finals thanks to big numbers from Drexler and the guy who’d eventually become the solid center Portland needed, Kevin Duckworth. That means Drexler and the Blazers beat Jordan and the Bulls to the NBA finals by a year. Not such a bad choice after all.