High Pick, Hard Luck

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The yellow brick NBA road is littered with names of should-have-been legends that never got the chance to realize their potential due to injury.

It’s a cruel-but-timeless tradition, whereby a supremely talented individual sees his career either curtailed or ended altogether due to an injury that no one planned on.

We’ve already seen Greg Oden‘s season end due to a recurring injury (knee). And then there’s yesterday’s news that Yao Ming (ankle) would join him in the street-clothes brigade for the foreseeable future (he is technically out “indefinitely,” but you don’t need a translator to know his season is over).

This Yao development generated an interesting discussion here at the hideout pertaining to high picks who have had their careers derailed by injuries. In the interest of the here and now, we’ll leave yesteryear alone and excuse elders like Bernard King, Bill Walton, Sam Bowie and Ralph Sampson and HT All-Time fave Andrew Toney, just to name a few.

We’ll even excuse more recent stars like Penny Hardaway, a legend in the making before injuries robbed him of his best years.

We’re going to go with just the top 10 injury-curtailed/derailed careers since the 2000 NBA draft, based on draft position:

66 Comments

  1. gwallan says:

    I reckon Len Bias might be the saddest instance of all time.

  2. beloy says:

    people,Oden is no bust just because he can’t play. his numbers are quite good considering his injuries and lack of trust n his own body. bust is someone like Jordan’s picks (Brown & Morrison).

  3. Dimitris Greece says:

    In my opinion the greatest busts of all time are Penny hardaway and Grant Hill but since we have to decide for the greatest bust of the decade i would say Shaun Livingston. He was about to become one of the greatest point guards ever. His understanding of the way the game is being played can’t be compared with Oden’s physical game and potentials or Ming’s size. I still hope he get a nice carreer since he is young but he’s lost a lot of his quickness, explosiveness ang agility.

  4. ANTHONIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII says:

    IT IS GREG ODEN, IF SOME OF YOU HAVE SEEN NCAA’S GAMES YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT MEANS BIG POTENTIAL ABOUT THIS GUY.

    ABOUT DARKO MILICIC HE IS DOING AND SHOWING BETTER THING THIS YEAR.

    SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO WAIT HAVE A LOOK AT MICHAEL BEASLEY;

    DID YOU FORGET MICHAEL OLOWOKANDI WITH THE CLIPPERS ??????????????? HE WAS ANNOUNCE AS ONE OF THE BEST NEW CENTER WHO SHOULD DOMINATE THE LEAGUE.

    YOU CAN DO THE INVERSE, FOR EXAMPLE WITH PEOPLE WHO WERE DRAFT AT THE END OF THE 1ST ROUND OR IN THE 2ND ROUND AS TONY PARKER, GARY NEAL, LUIS SCOLA, MO WILLIAMS AND THEY ARE BETTER THAN SOME PLAYERS OF THE TOP TEN OF THE DRAFT

    GREG POPOVICH IS ONE OF THE BEST FOR DOING IT, I THINK HE DID IT TOO WITH THIAGO SPLITTER BUT WE HAVE TO WAIT HE’S STILL LIKE A PROSPECT AT THIS TIME.

    YOU COULD DO SAME THING WITH TEAMS WHICH HAVE BIG POTENTIAL AND THEY STAY LOOSERS LIKE CLIPPERS (ONE WOULD THINK THAT LEADERS ARE THE EXPRESS, WHEN A PLAYERWAS QUIETLY GOOD, THEY GAVE HIM TO LAKERS), OR KNICKS (BUT THEY LOOK LIKE BETTER THIS YEAR), GRIZZLIES AND BUCKS LOOK LIKE THE SAME BECAUSE THEY HAVE GOT THEIR FRANCHISE PLAYER AND SOME GOOD PLAYERS.

  5. ANTHONY says:

    IT IS GREG ODEN, IF SOME OF YOU HAVE SEEN NCAA’S GAMES YOU WILL UNDERSTAND WHAT MEANS BIG POTENTIAL ABOUT THIS GUY.

    ABOUT DARKO MILICIC HE IS DOING AND SHOWING BETTER THING THIS YEAR.

    SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO WAIT HAVE A LOOK AT MICHAEL BEASLEY;

    DID YOU FORGET MICHAEL OLOWOKANDI WITH THE CLIPPERS ??????????????? HE WAS ANNOUNCE AS ONE OF THE BEST NEW CENTER WHO SHOULD DOMINATE THE LEAGUE.

    YOU CAN DO THE INVERSE, FOR EXAMPLE WITH PEOPLE WHO WERE DRAFT AT THE END OF THE 1ST ROUND OR IN THE 2ND ROUND AS TONY PARKER, GARY NEAL, LUIS SCOLA, MO WILLIAMS AND THEY ARE BETTER THAN SOME PLAYERS OF THE TOP TEN OF THE DRAFT

    GREG POPOVICH IS ONE OF THE BEST FOR DOING IT, I THINK HE DID IT TOO WITH THIAGO SPLITTER BUT WE HAVE TO WAIT HE’S STILL LIKE A PROSPECT AT THIS TIME.

    YOU COULD DO SAME THING WITH TEAMS WHICH HAVE BIG POTENTIAL AND THEY STAY LOOSERS LIKE CLIPPERS (ONE WOULD THINK THAT LEADERS ARE THE EXPRESS, WHEN A PLAYERWAS QUIETLY GOOD, THEY GAVE HIM TO LAKERS), OR KNICKS (BUT THEY LOOK LIKE BETTER THIS YEAR), GRIZZLIES AND BUCKS LOOK LIKE THE SAME BECAUSE THEY HAVE GOT THEIR FRANCHISE PLAYER AND SOME GOOD PLAYERS.

  6. Franck says:

    Oden up to this point is a bust but he might still have a career ahead of him…and its more injuries that have stopped him from fulfilling potential… At busts you have to look at players that no longer play in the nba and not due career ending injry thats just no fair to do that. I think anyone who is over 7ft tall and didnt make it to the nba is a bust!

  7. Marv Mav says:

    See I agree with the Soulution & Justme the most from what I’ve read………..A bust isn’t someone who gets injured & can’t play to the same level anymore. A bust is someine who gets picked in the lottery, plays without or minimal injury, and still winds up being a BUM!! I’ll give U guys my list of the biggest busts over the past 20 yrs of players who were thought to be impact players entering the NBA draft who never reached they’re “potential”.::

    Derrick Coleman,Felton Spencer, Billy Owens, Greg Anthony, Christian Laettner(surprised no one said this guy), LaPhonso Ellis, Clarence Weatherspoon, J.R. Rider, Calbert Cheaney, Glenn Robinson, Eric Montross, Yinka Dare, Joe Smith(what about this guy), Bryant Reeves, Ed O’ Bannon, Corliss Williamson, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Samaki Walker, Erick Dampier, Lorenzen Wright(R.I.P.), Keith Van Horn, Antonio Daniels, Tony Battie, Ron Mercer, Tim Thomas, Danny Fortson, Michael Olowokandi(Arguably the biggest bust EVER), Raef LaFrentz, Robert Traylor, Jonathan Bender, Stromile Swift, Marcus Fizer, Dermarr Johnson, Chris Mihm, Kwame Brown(in the argument as the biggest bust EVER), Eddy Curry, Rodney White, Nikolov Tskitishvilli, Chris Wilcox, Jared Jefferies, Marcus Haislip, Darko Milicic, Mike Sweetney, Sebastian Telfair, Ike Diogu, Sean May, Rashad McCants, Antoine Wright, Adam Morrison, Shelden Williams, Patrick O’ Bryant, Brandon Wright, Acie Law IV, Joe Alexander, Hasheem Thabeet, Jordan Hill.

    Hopefully some of these players on the list that are still active can step it up and reach they’re “Potential” sooner or later, but I can’t see it. Later I’ll give U guys a list of Sleepers, player s who were picked out of the lottery or even the 2nd round who became good NBA players or even Supertars.

    • Ruben says:

      i agreed with most of your list, but Abdur Rahim a bust?? nah, i don’t think so, he was a really good player in crap teams (Vancouver and Atlanta), he was an All Star and won a Gold Medal in the Olimpics, so i won’t call him a but.
      And about Danny Fortson, he got injured most of the time, but he was a great player too, a terrific rebounder (i remember he lead the leage in rpg once), and Corliss Williamson, a good role player, he won the Sixth Man Award
      some years ago. And there are some great role players too, like LaFrentz, good shot blocker, or Watherspoon.
      Also i remember that Ron Mercer was the scoring leader of the crapy Chicago Bulls back then.

  8. Yannis V_GREECE says:

    WE RE NOT TALKING ABOUT DRAFT BUSTS… IDIOTS. The column is called ” High Pick, HARD LUCK ” its about INJURIES and BAD LUCK generally. So my top 5 of all time: Len Bias, Sharone Wright, Jay Williams, Greg Oden, Lionel Simmons. Honorable mention: Dajuan WAgner, Brad Daugherty, Shaun Livingston, Penny Hardaway, Magic Johnson ( what if he hadn’t to deal with HIV – he could possibly the GREATEST ever no doubt… ) , Ralph Sampson… and the list gos on and on…

  9. Justme says:

    Here is my opinion of the biggest busts since 2000.Im basing my picks on how long they were in the league and the career averages while in the league. top 10 picks only
    2000 pick (2) Stromile Swift 2000-2009 8.4ppg 4.6rpg
    (4) Marcus Fizer 2000-2006 9.6ppg 4.6rpg
    (6) DerMarr Johnson 6.2ppg
    (7) Chris Mihm 7.5ppg 5.3rpg

    2001
    (4) Eddy Curry 2001-present 13.3ppg 5.3rpg
    (7) Eddie Griffin 2001-2007 7.2ppg 5.8rpg
    (8) DeSonga Diop 2001- present 2.1ppg 3.8rpg
    (9) Rodney White 2001-2005 7.1ppg

    2002
    (2) Jay Williams 2002-2003 9.5ppg 4.5apg
    (5) Nikoloz Tskitishvili 2002-2006 3.0ppg 1.8rpg
    (6) Dajuan Wagner 2002-2005 9.4ppg

    2003
    (2) Darko Millicic 2003-present 5.9ppg 4.2rpg
    (9) Michael Sweetney 2003-2007 6.5ppg 4.5rpg

    2004
    (4) Shaun Livingston 2004-present 7.0ppg 4.1apg
    (8) Rafael Araujo 2004-2007 2.8ppg 2.8rpg
    (10) Luke Jackson 2004-2008 5.6ppg

    2005
    (6) Martell Webster 2005-present 8.5ppg 3.8rpg
    (7) Charlie Villanueva 2005-present 13.1ppg 5.9rpg
    (8) Channing Frye 2005-present 9.0ppg 4.8rpg
    (9) Ike Diogu 2005-2009 6.1ppg 3.1rpg

    2006
    (3) Adam Morrison 2006-2010 7.5ppg
    (5) Sheldon Williams 2006-present 4.5ppg 4.1rpg
    (9) Patrick O’Bryant 2006-2010 2.1ppg 1.4rpg
    (10) Mouhamed Sene 2006-2009 2.2ppg 1.6rpg

    2007
    (1) Greg Oden 2007-present 9.4ppg 7.3rpg
    (6) Yi Jianlian 2007-present 9.4ppg 5.7rpg
    (7) Corey Brewer 2007-present 9.2ppg 3.5rpg
    (8) Brandon Wright 2007-present 6.1pph 3.3rpg

    2008
    (8) Joe Alexander 2008-2010 4.2ppg

    2009
    (2) Haheem Thabeet 2009-present 2.7ppg 3.1rpg
    (8) Jordan Hill 2009-present 5.8ppg 3.8rpg

    I know the verdict is still out on a few of these players. they are still young and still have time to prove themselfs but i see all these guys as busts. There were better players in all these drafts that got drafted lower, some even in the second round, all that have proved themselfs as nba players.

  10. Qutiness says:

    What about that QUITNESS. If QUITNESS didn’t quit in game 5, CAVS should have won the championship…
    Go CAVS……

  11. Justme says:

    Has everyone forgotten about eddie griffin?? Drafted at 7 in the 2001 draft and was out of the league 6 years later. was meant to be a really good player but had problems with alcohol and never really come out and pl;ayed the way everyone thought he would. now theres a bust.

  12. west water says:

    Penny Hardaway!!! Knee injuries are devastating, dude could’ve been one of the greatest.

  13. Vasil says:

    It is so dissapointing to be a fan and watch your franchise be unable to copete realistically for a big run because of injury to the teams star. I’m a bucks fan and we’ve seen Redd’s carreer pretty much end at its peak due to injury. It really SUCKS.

  14. SomeGuy says:

    What about Darko Milicic????????? No. 2 draft over Wade Bosh and Melo and hes not on here??????? Wow. he has don nothing!!!

  15. Tomik says:

    oden and yao are much bigger deals, but shaun livingston was really starting to come into his own before his knee injury. he was starting to become the man on a clippers team that was actually good compared to most years of the franchise. who knows how it would have gone if the injury never happened.

  16. Chase L says:

    It’s kind of hard to say who’s career has been derailed the most. Yao has seem some success when healthy, besides the whole 2nd round thing. But other than him and Greg Oden none of these dudes has ever really made a significant contribution on a winning team. In fact I think only 3 or 4 of them are still on an NBA roster. I know a few are over seas. But hey at least Jay Williams is staying relevant, being an analyst.

  17. RajFTW says:

    WHERE IS KWAME BROWN?

  18. Only a slight tangent: I’d like to offer Rick Adelman as the coach most derailed by players’ injuries. Chris Webber in Sacramento was bad enough, but in Houston, he’s had Tracy McGrady and Yao. And at one point both of them plus Steve Francis were weighing down the Rockets’ payroll, and for much of that time Adelman couldn’t play any of them.

  19. Jon says:

    I voted for Andrew Bynum. As a disappointed Lakers fan, I feel Bynum has not lived up to his potential due to injury limitations throughout his career. I am not saying he did not aid in our Championship runs. It is evident that the added depth he provides in the post is crucial. Mainly indirectly because this moves Odom back to his 6th man role and gives both Odom and Gasol much needed rest. And he plugs up the key.

    • Jon says:

      FYI Bynum was drafted 10th in 2005 by the Lakers. One of very few lottery selections in Lakers franchise history

  20. could be..... says:

    I woud have to say Oden because he never had a chance to properly play a full season in the nba. ofcourse he could come back and have a productive nba career, in that case i would say Yao, but at the moment it has to be Greg,( If i was OKC i would do all i could to pick up Greg Oden next year, imagine Greg, Kevin, Russel , Oden would be a big defensive presence for them that i believe in some ways they lack in their centre at the moment,

  21. The Soulution says:

    A bust isn’t someone who gets injured and doesn’t pan out. A BUST is someone who gets picked high and plays like garbage. For example:

    Darko Milicic
    Marcus Fizer
    Stromile Swift
    Kwame Brown
    Nikoloz Tskitishvili (I hope I spelled that bum’s name right)

    THOSE are busts – high draft picks, perfectly healthy (for the most part), and epic fail as players.

  22. iLL wiL says:

    very good point sir,oden stil can make a career 4 himself n yao is done,not sure how much of a career he can have but least he stil has a chance it got 2 be yao.

  23. MR says:

    Don’t forget about Penny Hardaway. He could have great career.

  24. Emperor James says:

    Oden was destined to become a bust as soon as it was Portland that chose him. In their insane thirst of finding that rara avis, the dominant low-post Center, they have always come to draft choice crossroads, and chosen the wrong path to follow. They chose Mychal Thompson, rather than Larry Bird. They chose Sam Bowie, rather than Michael Jordan. They chose Greg Oden, rather than Kevin Durant. Their best chance at finding the dominant Center, they had under contract, and threw him into the toilet. They gave away Moses Malone against Bill Walton’s pleading otherwise, and the next year Malone exploded onto the scene, while Walton came up lane. Great job of judging basketball talent!

    Had the franchise in Portland any common sense, they should have had five or six O’Briens in their trophy case, rather than just one measly trophy. When you waste golden opportunities, this is the result.

    Portland must have stored up a notable quantity of negative karma somewhere. Some say they are afflicted by “The Curse of the Sasquatch”.

  25. Omarisgay says:

    a lot of the people here don’t even know who jay williams was supposed to be.

    just to put it this way: this nba 2k3 rating was 80 for a rookie and stoudamire was like 68; he was supposed to be big.

    obviously Oden was supposed to be huge as well, but If you really think about it, he did 14points in high school and college and you could kind of foresee the injury bug in him. Yao actually got to play like an allstar for 5-6 years and contributed a bunch, I don’t think he had it as bad as the other 2.

  26. Eric says:

    Other then the obvious choice for this poll, Greg Oden, I want to talk about another person who I thought was a huge bust: Eddy Curry. I remember reading articles back in the day when the Bulls had Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry. These two players were supposed to revive the Bulls back to the days when they had a guy named Michael Jordan. However, that didn’t turn out to be the case. The Bulls eventually traded both Chandler and Curry, and the plan fell apart. Tyson Chandler is now on the Mavs (he’s doing well), while Curry is rotting on the Knick’s bench. As for the Bulls, they have an exciting young star in Derrick Rose, and boy can I say, that guy is GOOD.

    P.S.-I just want to throw in something about Dajuan Wagner. What the heck happened to him? I remember when he was drafted in 2002. He was supposed to be LeBron James before LeBron James arrived. He once scored 100 points in a game, and now nobody has heard of him in years.

  27. Lunajc201 says:

    Its Yao by far. He had the chance to be one of the greatest big men to ever play. Oden is a kid who has potential to come back. Yao will never be top 3 center again.

  28. arky says:

    i define bust (derailed) as an athlete with tremendous potential to elevate his status as one of the great. between greg and yao, we already see much of his greatness in recent years and how he act and carry himself in the public view. well for greg, not much. only glimpse of its “potential”. so il go with GREG ODEN the potential “bust” in the making.

  29. Alex C says:

    I agree that oden has been a bust in the nba but you guys are all forgetting darius miles a once promising foward that dosent even play in the leauge anymore

    • Omarisgay says:

      daruis miles in averaged 14 points per game highest it took him 6 seasons of around 10 ppg to get there, then he got injured and did 3ppg the next season. He was never going to be a star with or without injury.

  30. pKone says:

    I chose Yao over Oden for owo reasons: We know Yao is good! And he knows he won’t be back.

    It may be better to have loved and lost, but try telling that to the fans in Houston. They had a taste of glory and potential before having it taken away with injuries.

    For poor Greg Oden it will always be a question of how good could he have been? Maybe he was destined for healthy mediocrity like a number of other high draft picks who dodge injuries? Maybe we will know :) He could pull a Grant Hill after all :

    But it was a close decision to pick Yoa Ming.

  31. Rondo Freak says:

    What about Darko Milicic? Going in the order of
    1. LeBron James
    2. DARKO MILICIC
    3. Carmelo Anthony
    4. Chris Bosh
    5. Dwyane Wade
    is terrible if you’re the guy whose name is in caps. Milicic is a TOTAL DRAFT BUST!!

  32. Rondo Freak says:

    What about Darko Milicic? Going in the order of
    1. LeBron James
    2. DARKO MILICIC
    3. Carmelo Anthony
    4. Chris Bosh
    5. Dwyane Wade
    is terrible if you’re the guy whose name is in caps. Milicic is a TOTAL DRAFT BUST!!

  33. horacio says:

    Jay williams was the second pick in the draft right after Yao Ming and not the 3rd. What intern messed that up.

  34. Banks says:

    Jay Will is….because Yao and Greg are having injuries they can’t control, thus its just bad luck, not a buss, can when they play they are good. Jay Will, however, cost himself his injury through bad judgement of offcourt activities which makes him a buss

  35. Biillies says:

    For Johnny…I totally conquer with you…we can never really say but len bias was supposed to be as good if not even better than mj but we will never know…wish we got to see that dudes full potential…in his college days he was beasttt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvyHXqJIxTw

  36. Biillies says:

    KC, you are a moron…this blog is for 2000 and later…if u wanna bring up names penny hardaway went busto too and tmac…wish we got to see grant hills tmacs and hardaways full potential though

  37. Luis Phillipe says:

    Don’t forget Alan Houston.

  38. jacknohara says:

    Oden would have been a bust even if he never injured his knees. Anyone that saw him in action in a NBA game knows that he’s a an improved version of Kwame Brown … Let’s say that, when healty, he’s between Kwame and Okafour.

    • AL says:

      Oden IS a beast! Watch college clips and summerleague games!

    • gary says:

      You can’t judge him based on thirty something odd games. It’s a huge loss for the league not having him to challenge other centers. By doing that it would only encourage improvement in everyone, but it’s real sad and I hope by some chance he gets to play again.

  39. gwatt says:

    people really underestimate how good yao is. I almost cry every time he gets hurt because i love seeing him play. he can shoot, block shots, pass, and he has got unbelievable post moves. Very sad indeed. It is not better to have loved and lost. I know Yao, but I have no attachment to oden. It is like he never existed. Imagine Jordan going down with a career ending injury in his prime. That is far worst than some rookie not being able to prove himself. Also, how did we leave t-mac out of this discussion?

  40. Jonny says:

    Anyone remember Len Bias? It wasent by injury but way more tragic as he tried coke celebrating his draft stutus and died soonafter. In my opinion if LB played in the NBA it would have been much different. I also dont believe that MJ and the Bulls would have won as many championships if Bias got to play.

  41. LAKERS BACK2 BACK CHAMPS says:

    I got say its Oden because there was so much hype for him coming into the NBA and portland made another mistake by not picking Kevin Durant. Imagine a Portland team with durant and roy? OKC still has more talented team though but the point is I feel as if Yao career is over but he proved he was a good center.

    • Rick says:

      you cant say that portland made a mistake by choosing oden, he was then the obvious choice, just like last year blake griffin was the obvious choice. had griffins injusy been worse and sidelined him longer or ended his career then would you say it was stupid for the clips to draft him? no he was thhe concensus number 1 and everybody sees why right now, boy is ballin. see all those guys had potential to be stars and were future stars but just had the bad luck of injury. but oden has to be number 1 just because of sheer potential and ability and everybody “knew” he would lift a franchise… too bad

      • g302g3 says:

        I agree with Rick that people should stop criticizing Oden. It is already hard enough for him to go through career altering injuries.

        From my point of view, i believe that the draft was not between Oden and Durant for Portland, but rather, Durant vs Roy. Both Durant and Roy take up overlapping spots on the court, as shooting guards and small forwards. If they would play on the court together, they wouldve potentially taken up the same spots on offense and crowded their position over to be rookie Kevin Durant (no one is ever sure how a draft pick may turn out). How were they sure that Kevin Durant would not have been injury riddled as Oden and Roy?
        Portland also lacked a true center, and they must have picked Oden to complement Aldridge. Aldridge, despite being 6’11 is not much of a rebounder, so the blazers thought Oden would make up for Aldridge’s lack of aggressiveness.

        It is just unfortunate that Portland has made bad decisions. If I were management, I would have draft Durant first and sent off Roy and Aldridge for Tim and Tony.

  42. Micah says:

    Yao has played 486 NBA games, can’t say he’s a bust really, has been very productive when on the court. A lot of these guys I didn’t expect to have stellar NBA careers anyway, it’s clearly Greg Oden to me, coming out of college I thought he was the next David Robinson, an eventual force to e reckoned with, and who knows maybe he still will be, but the knees can only go under the knife so many times, I hope from a basketball fans standpoint that he gets an opportunity….we’ll see

    • Tony says:

      Greg Oden was never compared to David Robinson…he wasn’t really expeced to be an offensive presence in the game like robison was.

  43. Sean says:

    i agree with cary P we have at least seen a few good years out of yao, oden has been a complete non factor which is really dissapointing because he was one the funnest players to watch in college, i am from canada and dont watch a lot of NCAA basketball but oden was a guy who caught my attention that i loved to watch, i hope someday he can recover and comeback to at least have a half decent NBA career

  44. Jermaine says:

    Like you guys said, Yao was a 7-time all-star a FIBA champion and a 3-time MVP in the FIBA asian cup. That makes him much of a bust since he might have been an NBA legend but his career got whacked by injuries. Since there are no “real” centers in the NBA right now, Yao is missed badly. I hope he gets healthy again.

  45. Peroul says:

    That’s exactly what I thought when I picked Oden haha

  46. Melo says:

    Oh no wait i was wrong i just looked at his stats he couldn’t have been runner up lol oops ohwel Jay Will is still a BUSS

  47. Melo says:

    i would agree Oden is the biggest bust (derail) of the decade… voting for Yao doesn’t make sense because he did have some good years in the NBA… i voted Jay Will because people forget how good he was his rookie season in Chicago, i believe he was runner up rookie of the year in ’03 to A’mare ahead of “Yao” before he was forced to retire by an off season injury… Now thats a BUST!

    • Naiym says:

      II had to vote Jay W too for the simple fact that his LIFE and NBA career was stalled becasue of a stupid incident in which he SHOULDn’t have ever been involved.

  48. KC says:

    Don’t forget Grant Hill. He looked so good back in detroit but was completely derailed by his knee injuries. Luckily for him he found his way back eventhough he will never be as effective.

  49. Cary P says:

    I think it is obvious to say Oden is the biggest bust this decade, since his first two seasons don’t even exist. With Yao, you at least got to see some of his potential on the court. 7-time all-star, those old matchups between him and Shaq as a Laker, playoffs, and the many hilarious interviews. So Yao could have been more, but we at least got to see him play on a regular basis up until the last few seasons.

    • Jaybow says:

      I’d argue that Yao is more of a bust because he could have done more for international basketball and for the league by having a full career