The top two prospects in this year’s NBA Draft Class, Chet Holmgren, and Paolo Banchero may go one-two on Thursday’s Selection Show. The NBA’s top players were selected in the Top 3, but not all of them. Let’s go over some of the top stars in the league’s drafted history.
Why not begin with Steph Curry. He was the most recent NBA Finals MVP and attended Davidson College for three years. Each year, his draft potential increased dramatically, and by his junior year, he was a star in the NCAA. The Golden State Warriors selected him with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, and the rest is history. Eight Finals appearances, two MVP awards, four NBA championships, and the most made three-pointers in NBA history.
In 2002, the name of the high school student from Akron, Ohio, was well known around the country. Even before being selected in the 2003 Draft, LeBron James captivated the world. He was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. And from the start of his rookie season to the end of this one, he was an overnight sensation. In his last years of play, he will only add to his historic totals while pursuing his fifth NBA Championship and fifth MVP.
From the University of North Carolina, Jordan Michael is the best NBA player in history. He spent three years as a Tar Heel before being selected by the Chicago Bulls. After Sam Bowie and Akeem Olajuwon, he was selected as the third overall choice in the 1984 Draft. Later, Jordan would become the GOAT after winning six championships, six MVP awards in finals, and five MVPs.
Kobe Bryant was a star after graduating from high school, just like LeBron. He was a highly anticipated draft pick coming out of Philadelphia, but he wasn’t even close to being the first pick in the 1996 Draft. He was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 13th pick in the draught. However, they later traded him to the Los Angeles Lakers. Kobe is in the running to be one of the best five players of all time after winning five titles, two MVP awards, and an MVP trophy.
In 1992, a player from Louisiana State University was selected, if not the most dominant player in NBA history.
After two All-American seasons, Shaq was selected by the Orlando Magic as the first overall choice in the Draft. In 2000, the year that O’Neal won his first championship with the Los Angeles Lakers, he was named MVP. In addition to being one of the all-time greatest big men in NBA history, he went on to win three more championships.
When he graduated from high school, the young man from French Lick, Indiana, didn’t travel very far. He attended Indian University for a brief period of time before returning home and enrolling at Indiana State for four years. By his senior year, he had become a household name and was selected sixth overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics. With the Celtics, Bird won three championships and was awarded MVP three times during his illustrious career.