1990 NBA Draft Remix
Gary and the Hearbreakers rock the 1990 NBA Draft.
Gary and the Heartbreakers. No, not a Tom Petty tribute band, but instead a summary of the 1990 NBA Draft. Gary Payton, one of the 10 best point guards to ever play in the NBA (can you name 10 better?), is the only player keeping this draft from being a total bust. Other than ”The Glove”, and a few second round gems, this draft was full of heartbreakers.
Heartbreakers with names such as Felton Spencer, Bo Kimble, Willie Burton, Rumeal Robinson - and that is just within the top 10. Also included in the first 10 players chosen was an injury-prone Lionel Simmons, an underachieving Derrick Coleman, and so-so pros in Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, Dennis Scott and Kendall Gill. It was not a good time to be a NBA GM.
1990 NBA Draft
All-Stars: 6 (Derrick Coleman, Gary Payton, Tyrone Hill, Jayson Williams, Antonio Davis, Cedric Ceballos)
Biggest Bust: Bo Kimble, Los Angeles Clippers, pick No. 8
Second Round Steal: Toni Kukoc, Chicago, pick No. 29
Winning Team (in the long run): Seattle SuperSonics (Gary Payton)
Career Scoring Leader: Gary Payton
Career Rebounding Leader: Derrick Coleman
Career Assist Leader: Gary Payton
Pick No. 1 | New Jersey Nets
Actual Selection: Derrick Coleman
Draft 365 Remix: Gary Payton (2)
You couldn’t have picked a better nickname than “The Glove” for Gary Payton (with perhaps the exception of “The Mouth”). Payton was a lockdown defender on the perimeter, one of the few guards to ever be awarded the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award. Despite wearing numbers 2 and 20 during his NBA career, the number 9 might have been more appropriate — that’s the number of All-Star, All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams he made during his career — nine appearances on each. Now he spends most of his spare time searching for Yetis in Lego land.
Pick No. 2 | Seattle Supersonics
Actual Selection: Gary Payton
Draft 365 Remix: Derrick Coleman (2)
How talented a player was Derrick Coleman? Consider his resume — an All-Star appearance, Rookie of the Year, two-time All-NBA member, three-straight years with at least 20-11-3-2, career averages of 17, 9 and 3, top 100 all-time in free throw attempts, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, total rebounds, blocks, rebounds per game and blocks per game. Yet, this still doesn’t begin to tell you how talented he was. The fact that, despite these accolades, he is still considered an underachiever, now that shows you how talented he was.
Pick No. 3 | Denver Nuggets
Actual Selection: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf
Draft 365 Remix: Toni Kukoc (29)
His career averages of 12, 4 and 4 might not look impressive, but there is no denying that Toni Kukoc was one of the best European players to ever play in the NBA. A key member of the Bulls last three championship teams (and the Sixth Man of the Year in 1996), Kukoc proved he could be “The Man” also — in 1999, with Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan out of the picture, Kukoc led the Bulls in scoring, rebounding and assists.
Pick No. 4 | Orlando Magic
Actual Selection: Dennis Scott
Draft 365 Remix: Antonio Davis (45)
Antonio Davis is proof that if at first you don’t succeed, try again. After being exiled to Europe for three seasons at the start of his career, Davis finally made the NBA and went on to play over 900 games and suited up for the 2001 All-Star Game.
Pick No. 5 | Charlotte Hornets
Actual Selection: Kendall Gill
Draft 365 Remix: Kendall Gill (5)
Now a professional boxer, Kendall Gill is best known as a long-time NBA pro, appearing in almost 1000 games. Consistently solid, he had two standout years — 1992 with Charlotte (21-5-4) and 1997 with New Jersey (22-6-4).
Pick No. 6 | Minnesota Timberwolves
Actual Selection: Felton Spencer
Draft 365 Remix: Cedric Ceballos (48)
A certain Draft 365 writer’s favorite player growing up, Cedric Ceballos was the epitome of a “garbage scorer.” Despite rarely having plays run for him, Ceballos averaged 20 ppg twice in his career by being active and crashing the boards (he was good for five or six rebounds a game). A member of the 1995 All-Star team, he is best remembered for winning the 1992 Slam Dunk Contest.
Pick No. 7 | Sacramento Kings
Actual Selection: Lionel Simmons
Draft 365 Remix: Elden Campbell (27)
Never a star, Elden Campbell was a reliable player who lasted over 1,000 games in the League and in his prime was good for about 12 points, 7 boards and a couple of blocks a game.
Pick No. 8 | Los Angeles Clippers
Actual Selection: Bo Kimble
Draft 365 Remix: Tyrone Hill (11)
Despite being a solid double-double big man and an All-Star in 1995, Tyrone Hill is best remembered for getting Charles Oakley suspended twice. The first time was when Oakley threw a ball off his head at a shoot-around, the second time after Oakley slapped him in the face before a game. Hill’s indiscretion? Late payment of $54000 he owed Oakley from a dice game.
Pick No. 9 | Miami Heat
Actual Selection: Willie Burton
Draft 365 Remix: Dennis Scott (4)
Shaq’s buddy from their Orlando days, Dennis Scott has one of the best three-point shooters of the 1990s, hitting over 1200 long-range bombs at a 39.7% clip.
Draft 365 Remix: Pick No. 10 | Atlanta Hawks
Actual Selection: Rumeal Robinson
Draft 365 Remix: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (3)
The player formerly known as Chris Jackson was Allen Iverson before AI hit the scene, an explosive scorer despite his small stature (and despite suffering from Tourette Syndrome). Abdul-Rauf only lasted parts of nine seasons in the NBA, yet he left an indelible mark, forever remembered for refusing to stand for the U.S. national anthem and getting suspended for it. He is still playing professionally overseas.
Barely missed the Top 10 Remix: Jayson Williams, Loy Vaught, Dee Brown, Terry Mills.
Next on the Remix: Sacramento ends the 1980s on a low note.
Read more of Jeff Fox at The Hoops Manifesto.