While playing alongside future NBA star point guard Chris Jackson (Ahmud Abdul-Rauf) LSU senior, 6’7’’ forward Ricky Blanton, displayed an unusual flair for the dramatics. Playing 38.5 out of the possible 40 minutes at his position this 6’7’’ forward concluded his NCAA career with an excellent senior season, averaging 20.3 points, 8.2 boards and 4.6 assists per game!
The Phoenix Suns took the chance in the 1989 NBA draft and selected Blanton with the 46 pick overall. But, Blanton was waived only two weeks into the 1989-90 regular season, on November 14th, 1989.
It would be almost two years later, in October 1992, when Blanton eventually resurrected in the uniform of the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls GM at the time Jerry Krause found an interesting new reference in Blanton’s resume.
Blanton played the 1991-92 season overseas, performing for Scaini Venezia in Italy. Playing alongside the University of Michigan alumni, power forward Mark Hughes, Blanton averaged solid 20.6 points, 6.3 boards, and 1.1 assists per game. With the team on a mission to win their third consecutive championship title, Krause didn’t hesitate to add some more ‘firepower’ onto the roster.
But Blanton, who joined the Bulls, wasn’t nearly a shadow of the player whom the NCAA or Italy saw. His first joyride with the Bulls ended on October 27th, 1992.
However, in the strange turn of fortune on February 10th, 1993, Krause again signed the 26-year old forward to a 10-day contract. Blanton eventually appeared in only two Bulls regular-season games - vs. the Sacramento Kings on February 15th, 1993, and vs. the Utah Jazz on February 17th, 1993.
After Michelangelo of Basketball, Michael Jordan, secured the Bulls win over the Kings Blanton took on the Chicago Stadium. With MJ and Pippen on the bench, Blanton was supposed to put some finishing touches on the win. But, finally being out there, the 26-year old rookie displayed what might be considered as one of the worst NBA performances ever.
Blanton widely missed several really hard to miss shots from the short-range. Moreover, he didn’t even hit the rim on a few of those! The commentators were stunned by his ineffectiveness:
“He is the worst NBA player that I had ever seen close to the basket.”
However, Blanton did score 4 points on 2-6 shooting from the field in the 101-119 Bulls win, to go along with 3 boards and 1 steal. Two days later, he concluded his stint with the Bulls scoring 2 points to go along with 1 assist and 1 steal in 5 minutes of action in a 96-114 Bulls win over the visiting Utah Jazz.