1993 NBA Draft Remix
The Curse of the 1993 NBA Draft Class.
Did the whole 1993 NBA draft class appear on a Sports Illustrated or Madden video game cover? If that isn’t the case, maybe it was a witch doctor, or a black cat or a broken mirror or something, because any way you look at it, the 1993 NBA draft class is cursed.
You had a player call a timeout in college and cost his team the championship (Webber). You had a player get robbed and shot (Penny). You had a player spend more time in police custody than on the court (J.R.). You had a player end up paralyzed (Rogers). You had knee injuries (pretty much everyone in the class). You had a player indicted by a federal grand jury (Webber again). You had a player almost killed (and his career damaged permanently) by a drunk driver (Hurley). You had a player fight a constant, losing battle with the bottle (Baker). Convinced of the curse yet? Despite all this, it’s still a pretty nice draft class!
1993 NBA Draft
All-Stars: 7 (Chris Webber, Anfernee Hardaway, Jamal Mashburn, Vin Baker, Allan Houston, Sam Cassell, Nick Van Exel)
Biggest Bust: Bobby Hurley, Sacramento, pick No. 7
Second Round Steal: Nick Van Exel, Los Angeles Lakers, pick No. 37
Winning Team (in the long run): Sacramento (Chris Webber)
Career Scoring Leader: Chris Webber
Career Rebounding Leader: Chris Webber
Career Assist Leader: Sam Cassell
Pick No. 1 | Orlando Magic
Actual Selection: Chris Webber
Draft 365 Remix: Chris Webber (1)
Despite all his accomplishments, Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III never could quite get over the hump. Two losses in the NCAA championship game while at Michigan. One win and two wins, respectively, away from the NBA Finals while with Sacramento and Detroit. Star player but never an NBA MVP. What he did accomplish is nothing to sneeze at though – career averages of 21-10-4, a Rookie of the Year award and five All-Star and All-NBA appearances. Hopefully one situation Webber doesn’t come up short in is voting for the Hall of Fame.
Pick No. 2 | Philadelphia 76ers
Actual Selection: Shawn Bradley
Draft 365 Remix: Anfernee Hardaway (3)
In the perfect world, Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway would be joining Chris Webber in the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, injuries exist in the real world and they made themselves a permanent fixture in Penny’s life. But when his body was right (mostly his early years in Orlando), Hardaway was a force, a point guard with the chance to change NBA history. Look no further than 1996, when, despite having a dominating presence in Shaquille O’Neal as a teammate, Penny came third in MVP voting behind Michael Jordan and David Robinson. He was that good.
Pick No. 3 | Golden State Warriors
Actual Selection: Anfernee Hardaway
Draft 365 Remix: Sam Cassell (24)
An absolute steal at pick No. 24 for Houston, Sam Cassell was a key reserve for the Rockets on their two championship teams in 1993 and 1994 (he went on to pick up a third ring with the Celtics in 2008). An extremely durable player (his 993 games played are the most from his draft class), Cassell surprisingly had his best season at the age of 34 in 2004, when he was an All-Star and All-NBA player for Minnesota.
Pick No. 4 | Dallas Mavericks
Actual Selection: Jamal Mashburn
Draft 365 Remix: Vin Baker (8)
This pick might surprise some people who only know of Vin Baker near the end of his career when he was battling weight and alcohol problems. But, early in his NBA life, there weren’t too many NBA power forwards better than him — he was a four-time All-Star and made two All-NBA teams.
Pick No. 5 | Minnesota Timberwolves
Actual Selection: Isaiah Rider
Draft 365 Remix: Allan Houston (11)
One of the best shooters of his era, Allan Houston was lights-out from deep (career 40 percent from three-point range) or from the charity stripe (86 percent for his career). Unfortunately, just as he was really hitting his groove for the Knicks a knee injury shortened his career (but his salary lived in, seemingly destroying the Knicks payroll for eternity).
Pick No. 6 | Washington Bullets
Actual Selection: Calbert Cheaney
Draft 365 Remix: Jamal Mashburn (4)
Constant knee problems also derailed the career of Jamal Mashburn. Bronx’s finest started and finished his career with a bang, averaging 24 and 23 ppg his second and third seasons in the League, and then averaging 20+ plus points in each of his final four seasons of his short career.
Pick No. 7 | Sacramento Kings
Actual Selection: Bobby Hurley
Draft 365 Remix: Nick Van Exel (37)
The Lakers found themselves an All-Star hidden away in the second round in 1993. Not only was Nick Van Exel a deadly three-point shooter (he is 8th all-time for threes made) but he also was a regular near the top of the assists leaderboard.
Pick No. 8 | Milwaukee Bucks
Actual Selection: Vin Baker
Draft 365 Remix: Rodney Rogers (9)
The 2002 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award winner, Rodney Rogers muscular frame belied his soft three-point touch. A horrific dirt bike accident in 2008 has left him paralyzed from the neck down.
Pick No. 9 | Denver Nuggets
Actual Selection: Rodney Rogers
Draft 365 Remix: Isaiah Rider (5)
An explosive scorer and NBA slam dunk champ, Isaiah “J.R.” Rider could have had it all. Unfortunately he had a nasty habit of getting arrested too often.
Pick No. 10 | Detroit Pistons
Actual Selection: Lindsey Hunter
Draft 365 Remix: Shawn Bradley (2)
So he didn’t revolutionize the game like Philly hoped, but Shawn Bradley did have a long career, was good for about three blocks per game and played the role of the victim on countless dunk posters on fans’ walls.
Barely missed the Top 10 Remix: Calbert Cheaney, Lindsey Hunter, Chris Mills, Bryon Russell.
Next on the Remix: The Big Men Commeth in 1992.
Read more of Jeff Fox at The Hoops Manifesto.