Just watched Outside The Lines on ESPN and the episode was about Greg Oden. Jeff Goodman conducted the interview, and it was the first time we really got to understand the former 1st overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft. Of course the question came up that Goodman had to ask, and that was “are you the biggest bust of all time?” Oden, without hesitation, admitted that he was. The scene then cuts to Kevin Durant, the second overall pick in that years draft, and he disagrees with the former Ohio State Buckeye. He mentions the countless injuries that Oden suffered, and asked how can you judge someone based on that.
I gotta admit, I completely agree with Durant. The injuries derailed Oden’s career, even over in China where he broke his thumb just as things were turning around. Oden was the Trailblazers solution to Shaquille O’Neal when he was with the Lakers. If only Greg stayed healthy. Two big NBA centers battling over rebounds and watching their low post moves. Is Oden a bust? Sure. But is he the biggest bust in NBA history? Nah.
That crown goes to Anthony Bennett. The former number one overall pick from the 2013 NBA draft is now playing overseas in Turkey after playing in 23 games with the Brooklyn Nets this season. It doesn’t help that the 2013 class was a weak draft class, with the best player coming off the board at number 15 in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Some could argue it was C.J. McCollum but that is besides the point. Bennett going first overall was a complete shock to 99.9% of the universe. An unproven freshman who averaged 16 points and 8 boards a game, apparently caught someones eye in the Cavaliers system. Hope that asshole was fired.
So there is my biggest bust in NBA history. Sure there are plenty of more options. Some consider Sam Bowie to be the biggest bust, but like Oden, he suffered career ending injuries. Then there is Adam Morrison, Kwame Brown, Shawn Bradley, Jay Williams. It’s a debate that can go on forever, but I am more than happy to have that conversation over some cold brews. You can find me at Checkers on Hertel Ave in Buffalo, NY. First one is on me.