1995 NBA Draft Remix
Separating The Kid from the men.
The Kid might not have been the first to do it — Darryl Dawkins and Bill Willoughby hold that honor — but Kevin Garnett was the most important prep-to-pro pick in NBA history. This is not because Garnett is the best player to ever play in the League straight from high school — Kobe Bean Bryant holds that distinction, with LeBron James fast on his heels — but instead it is because of what KG being selected in the 1995 meant to the League. Without Garnett being the trendsetter, would Kobe or Tracy McGrady skip college and enter the Draft in 1996 and 1997 respectively? Would LeBron enter the draft straight outta’ Akron a few years after that? There’s a chance that all these players would have taken that route anyhow, but they all owe Garnett thanks for paving the way for them and making it easier.
Other than The Big Ticket entering the League, the 1995 Draft was pretty average. Some solid players heard their names called his year, but Garnett is the only one destined for the Hall of Fame.
1995 NBA Draft
All-Stars: 6 (Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace, Kevin Garnett, Theo Ratliff, Michael Finley)
Biggest Bust: Shawn Respert, Portland, pick No. 9
Second Round Steal: Eric Snow, Milwaukee, pick No. 43
Winning Team (in the long run): Boston (Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace)
Career Scoring Leader: Kevin Garnett
Career Rebounding Leader: Kevin Garnett
Career Assist Leader: Damon Stoudamire
Pick No. 1 | Golden State Warriors
Actual Selection: Joe Smith
Draft 365 Remix: Kevin Garnett (5)
The greatest power forward of all-time? Not quite, but Kevin Garnett is definitely in the discussion with Duncan, Malone, Barkley, Pettit et al. A 12-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA team member, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, 10 All-Defensive team appearances, NBA champion — KG’s resume can go head-to-head with any player’s in the history of the game.
Pick No. 2 | Los Angeles Clippers
Actual Selection: Antonio McDyess
Draft 365 Remix: Rasheed Wallace (4)
Rasheed Wallace in the Hall of Fame? Probably not going to happen, but the man has had a fabulous career. Once he makes 18 more three-pointers he will join Cliff Robinson as the only members of the 1000-point, 1000-block club. He’s also proven that he can be a key contributor to a championship team. Yet, critics expect more out of him due to all the talent that he possesses. That is the cross you must bear when you are one of the most uniquely talented big men to ever play the game.
Pick No. 3 | Philadelphia 76ers
Actual Selection: Jerry Stackhouse
Draft 365 Remix: Michael Finley (21)
Michael Finley is one of those players who sort of flew under the radar during his career. Sure, he made two All-Star teams, but for five-straight years in Dallas he was good for 20-5-5, numbers that usually give a player entry into the “superstar” category.
Pick No. 4 | Washington Bullets
Actual Selection: Rasheed Wallace
Draft 365 Remix: Antonio McDyess (2)
Antonio McDyess’ career can easily be broken down into two parts: pre- and post-knee injury. Before he blew his knee out, he was an explosive, powerful player capable of 20 and 10 on the regular. After the injury, he has become a very dependable, yet pedestrian, role playing big man.
Pick No. 5 | Minnesota Timberwolves
Actual Selection: Kevin Garnett
Draft 365 Remix: Jerry Stackhouse (3)
Once dubbed “The Next Jordan,” Jerry Stackhouse never turned into much more than a high-scoring gunner. His ’00-01 season in Detroit pretty much summarized his career – he led the League in field goal attempts, free throws made, turnovers and point scored.
Pick No. 6 | Vancouver Grizzlies
Actual Selection: Bryant Reeves
Draft 365 Remix: Theo Ratliff (18)
The most amazing thing about Theo Ratliff’s career is not his All-Star appearance, or his multiple All-Defensive team selections or the fact that he led the NBA in blocks per game three times. No, the most amazing fact about Ratliff’s long career is, despite the NBA only having a 82-game schedule, Ratliff appeared in 85 regular season games in ’03-04.
Pick No. 7 | Toronto Raptors
Actual Selection: Damon Stoudamire
Draft 365 Remix: Damon Stoudamire (7)
This is the point in the 1995 Draft proceedings, which took place in Toronto, where the expansion Raptors fans filled the cavernous SkyDome with thunderous boos. The crowd wanted the Dinos to take Ed O’Bannon with pick No. 7. So when Damon Stoudemire’s name was called, they went ballistic. There’s a reason fans are fans and GMs are GMs.
Pick No. 8 | Portland Trailblazers
Actual Selection: Shawn Respert
Draft 365 Remix: Joe Smith (1)
Joe Smith actually has had a career that perfectly suits his name — plain, nothing out of the ordinary, solid. Meanwhile, Shawn Respert steals the biggest bust crown from off of Big Country Reeves head due to having a worse career, both in terms of length and quality of play.
Pick No. 9 | New Jersey Nets
Actual Selection: Ed O’Bannon
Draft 365 Remix: Kurt Thomas (10)
After leading the nation in scoring and rebounding at Texas Christian, much was expected out of Kurt Thomas in the pros. While he’s never been a star, he is still a solid, no nonsense big man with the scariest eyes in the League.
Pick No. 10 | Miami Heat
Actual Selection: Kurt Thomas
Draft 365 Remix: Brent Barry (15)
None of Rick Barry’s basketball-playing brood were able to top their dad’s accomplishments on the court, but Brent Barry came the closest. Probably best known for winning the 1996 Dunk Contest, Barry has had a solid career as a three-point bomber and dependable ball-handler.
Barely missed the Top 10 Remix: Corliss Williamson, Eric Snow, Bob Sura, Travis Best.
Next on the Remix: The best bad-shooting guard of all-time enters the League.
Read more of Jeff Fox at The Hoops Manifesto.