Skip to main content

One of the biggest draft busts in NBA history


From today's point of view, it is clear to everyone that the pick Michael Jordan would have to take was the jackpot, just because he ultimately turned out to be the best player of all time. But even before the 1984 NBA draft, there were enough reasons to prefer him and not Sam Bowie.

First was the injury history of Bowie. He had to miss two college seasons because of recurring tibial problems and a stress fracture. He was also two years older than Jordan. So the Blazers took a risk, even though they had already lost their franchise center Bill Walton five years ago for similar reasons.

On his return, Bowie also had not shone at college, with 10.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game in his final season, he put worse numbers than Mychal Thompson (16 and nine), the starting center of the Blazers the year before. The argument that Portland needed a center at the time did not work either.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

In the NBA of the 80s, there was a saying: "Never take a flea if you can take a giant." Means: When in doubt, always take the "big boys." But what about Bowie's injury vulnerability? The Big Man immediately explained in an interview on stage: "I've been to Portland, and they've given me a seven-hour medical check, they did not leave anything out and I was 100 percent successful."

What happens if Portland decided to draft MJ? With Fat Lever, Jim Paxson, Thompson, and Clyde Drexler, they were already high-caliber team (after all, it was enough for the playoffs). Drexler, however, played the same position as Jordan.

How many titles would Jordan get if he did not spend the first few years of his career with an average Bulls team? How many epic playoff battles between Magic Johnson's Lakers, Hakeem Olajuwon's Rockets and Michael Jordan's Blazers would be there in the '80s and' 90s?

Impossible to answer, of course, most of the history of the 80s and 90s would have to be rewritten. And there is an "eternal" question, what if the Blazers drafted basketball-obsessed Jordan, instead of the injury-plagued center, Sam Bowie?

How Ronny Turiaf overcame open heart surgery to get on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers

“They are gonna have to f***ing kill me” - How Ronny Turiaf overcame open heart surgery to get on the court for the Los Angeles Lakers

Turiaf’s physical showed that he needed to have open-heart surgery, and despite being told his career may be over, Turiaf battled and eventually made his way back on the court


Shawn Kemp on why he left the Sonics: 'They weren’t going to pay me $100 million'

In 1997, Shawn Kemp left the Sonics because he felt that he deserves to be paid more. He got the deal he wanted with the Cavs but he eventually lost his desire to play.


Glen Rice lauds a Filipino basketball legend: 'He’s up there...You talk about the Larry Birds, Glen Rices, Steph Currys'

Filipino basketball legend Allan Caidic nailed 14 three-pointers in a friendly game with Glen Rice in 2010. A decade later, "G Money" was still in awe of what he had witnessed from his fellow marksman


"I took it to another level!"-Shaquille O'Neal thinks he was better than Wilt and Kareem

Shaq took inspiration from the great big men and passed them over, in his opinion.

Looming NBA free agency market gave Kyrie Irving a reality check

Kyrie Irving had a reality check with the market

This all relates to the fundamental Kyrie Irving problem; he is unreliable, he doesn't seem fun to play with, and he has a history of bailing on teams. This was simply a reality check for the man operating outside reality.

Draymond Green calls out Skip Bayless in the latest "new media" rant

“People don’t wanna hear that old, dried up, tired stuff that you talking about” -- Draymond Green rips Skip Bayless

The idea of Draymond Green's "new media" movement is to lessen the power of the Steven A. Smiths and Skip Baylesses of the world

Draymond Green admits GSW wouldn’t have won in titles without Kevin Durant

Draymond Green admits GSW wouldn’t have won titles without Kevin Durant: "We would not have beat the Cavs without Kevin”

Draymond Green admits the Golden State Warriors needed Kevin Durant to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 and 2018.