by Colin Donohue
Here’s the premise: I surf on over to Google, type in a professional sports league acronym and skip to a deep page to see what pops up. Usually, when we Google, we stick to the first two or three pages. We rarely make it to Page 5 or, aghast, Page 15. This time around, I typed NBA in the search engine and moved immediately to Page 21 to see what interesting links and pictures I could find. Here are my results.
The Link: 1999 NBA Draft Remix from slamonline.com.
As horrible the 2000 NBA draft was (we promise this is the last time we will speak its wretched name), 1999 was its mirror opposite. Both in terms of quantity and quality, the 1999 NBA draft class should be mentioned among the best of all-time. The only thing holding this class back from an A+ grade and inclusion in debate (with 1984, 1996 and 2003) on the greatest class of all-time is its lack of a true superstar player (like Jordan, Kobe and LeBron provide in their respective draft classes).
It’s fun to hop in the Wayback Machine and look at old draft results for any professional sports league. But it’s even more intriguing to look at old NBA selections because you only have to sort through two rounds. So when I found this article, it was fun to see who was taken first (Elton Brand, Chicago Bulls), who was taken in the second round but had an impact on the league (Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs) and who the bust was among the top 10 picks (Jonathan Bender, Toronto Raptors). SLAM looks at the top 10 picks of the draft and then gives a “remixed” pick of their own. Interesting stat about the 1999 draft class: Richard Hamilton is the leading scorer among all those drafted.
The Picture: From sportsgalleryweb.com, it’s a photo of Larry Bird and Dr. J at each others’ throats.
What a fantastic photo. We all know Dr. J had some swagger and toughness on the court, but we sometimes forget that Larry Bird was quite the bad ass. Not many players played with a bigger chip on their shoulders than Bird, who could turn on you in a second. Don’t let the southern drawl confuse you. This guy’ll CHOKE YA.