Sam Bowie

Cohen’s Analysis: Sam Bowie is mostly remembered for being chosen before Michael Jordan in the NBA Draft. In fact, many still criticize the Blazers for selecting an injury-prone center ahead of an eventual legend. However, because Hakeem Olajuwon was off the board, because Portland hoped to move past Bill Walton’s sudden interruption of injuries and as a result of the Blazers already having Clyde Drexler on the roster, the pick actually made sense at the time.

Bowie’s leg troubles were alarming while he starred at Kentucky, yet it didn’t prevent him from being one of the most dominant big men in college basketball. He would go on to have a solid rookie season – 10 points and 8.6 rebounds per game – before breaking both of his legs in each of the next two seasons. Bowie eventually bounced back with the Nets after months and months of rehabilitation, but he never became the star that many expected him to be.

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