When you think of how smart NBA players are, you naturally think of their basketball IQ because that's what matters in their craft. But when you talk about their general knowledge and academic success, there are more guys that have impressive records than you would think of. But quite possibly the smartest one in history that even ran for president back in 2000 is a guy may even never heard off, by the name of Bill Bradley.
Bradley was a basketball standout even before entering the NBA, dominating in high school. Some of the best teams in the country wanted Bradley to commit, but he would eventually go to Princeton, widely known as one of the best colleges in the world. That way, Bill would continue to play basketball and set himself up in case going to the NBA doesn't work.
After four years at Princeton, in which he became the best college player in the country, getting compared to Oscar Robertson, the Knicks would take him in the 1965 Draft with a Territorial Pick. Still, it took a while until Bradley debuted in New York. After graduating from Princeton with honors, Bradley would get offered a Rhodes Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford in Great Britain. He would spend a few years there, study politics and economics, even join the Air Force for six months, all while playing for Olimpia Milano before eventually going to the NBA.
Bradley would join the Knicks in the middle of the 1967-1968 season and spend his entire 10-year career in New York. Even though he never became a superstar, Bradley ended up averaging 12.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, and 3.2 apg for his career and even notched one All-Star appearance. Bradley would be a vital part of the Knicks winning two championships during that era playing alongside the likes of Willis Reed, Clyde Fraizer, Jerry Lucas, and Phil Jackson. After retiring, Bradley would even make the Hall-of-Fame, but more so thanks to his exceptional college career.
Post playing career, entering the Congress, and running for president
Immediately after retiring in 1977, Bradley would spare no time and run for a seat in the Senat. It wouldn't take him long, as he became a senator, representing the state of New Jersey and be in that role for 18 years. But the peak of his political career would happen in 2000 when he tried to run for president.
Bradley was a candidate of the Democratic Party with a really strong campaign to start things off. But with time, the attention and funding weren't enough to keep up with the bigger names, as Bradley withdrew from the race. It didn't even help that Bradley had the one and only Michael Jordan supporting him.
In the end, Bradley found himself in various roles, from politics to being a financial advisor and businessman, publishing multiple books and proving that he is immensely versatile and capable when it came to general knowledge. This guy did it all in all fields, which is pretty rare and impressive to see.