Where Are They Now? NBA Draft Busts

Image credit: 

At Thursday night's NBA Draft, teams will try to reload with the best available young talent. Some of these picks will turn into superstars, some will have steady journeyman careers as role players, and of course a few will be outright busts. What becomes of the busts after their NBA careers peter out? We did some digging to find out.

1. Bo Kimble (#8 overall in 1990) wasn't very good in the NBA, but he was quite the scorer at Loyola Marymount. Although Kimble has never coached at any level, he feels that his status as one of the school's most prominent alums makes him an ideal candidate to pull his alma mater's hoops program back on track, and last year he began campaigning for their coaching job.

2. Jonathan Bender (#5 overall in 1999) couldn't hang in the NBA, but he's become a prominent businessman and philanthropist in New Orleans. His Kingdom Homes buys and restores homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina, and he offers free financial advising classes to poor local residents. As of 2008 he also owned an Italian wine importing company and was trying to get a patent on a fitness device he invented.

3. Sharone Wright (#6 overall in 1993) had a quiet career before getting injured in a car accident and leaving the league altogether. Wright the bounced around Europe, and as of an October 2008 interview with Slam, he was coaching a team called the Eiffel Towers in a Dutch league.

4. Kelvin Ransey (#4 overall in 1980) was out of the NBA after the 1985-86 season, but he traded in his jersey for the cloth. Ransey returned to his hometown of Toledo to become a minister and later moved to Tupelo, Mississippi, to continue his ministry.

bradley

5. Shawn Bradley (#2 overall in 1993) never quite lived up to his lofty draft status, but he apparently found his niche after retirement when he got a job as an administrator, counselor, and coach at a Utah school for at-risk youths.

6. Chris Washburn (#3 overall in 1986) went just behind doomed draft pick Len Bias, and Washburn had some drug problems of his own. After the NBA banned him for life in 1989 following his third positive drug test, Washburn's been laying pretty low. However, as of 2002 he was working "in the mortgage business."

7. Former NCAA champion Ed O'Bannon (#9 overall in 1995) didn't quite have the size or quickness to hang in the NBA, but he found his calling in a different game: car sales. In 2006, O'Bannon told the Los Angeles Times, "People see me and remember me and I'm proud to tell them — 'No, I don't play. No, I don't coach. Yes, I sell cars.'"

8. Todd Fuller (#11 overall in the stacked 1996 draft) went ahead of Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Jermaine O'Neal, and other stars-in waiting. Fuller, who declined a Rhodes Scholarship to go to the NBA, is now back in North Carolina, where he sponsors the annual Todd Fuller Math Competition for high schoolers and sits on the Airport Advisory Committee for Charlotte's Douglas International Airport.

9. Robert Traylor (#6 overall in 1998) is probably best remembered as being traded for Dirk Nowitzki on draft day. Now the rotund big man is tearing things up for the mighty Antalya Kepez Belediyesi of the Turkish Basketball League.

10. Dennis Hopson (#3 overall in 1987) was supposed to be the next Michael Jordan. Whoops. After playing in Europe, Israel, and the Philippines, the former Nets draft pick is now an assistant coach under Rollie Massimino at Florida's Northwood University.

11. Steve Stipanovich (#2 overall in 1983) once accidentally shot himself in the foot, and his NBA career ended when a degenerative knee condition made playing too painful. He's had some luck after hoops, though, as according to the Pacers' website, he owns and operates a coal mine in his native Missouri.

laettner12. Christian Laettner (#3 overall in 1992) has become quite an investor following his solid-but-not-spectacular NBA career. He formed Blue Devil Ventures with his old Duke teammate Brian Davis and has been working on a mixed-used real estate development in Durham, N.C. Although his bid to buy the Memphis Grizzlies fell through when he couldn't wrangle $250 million, Laettner is a minority owner of Major League Soccer's D.C. United.

13. Jon Koncak (#5 overall in 1985) had a disappointing career that was mostly highlighted by the Hawks giving him a giant six-year contract extension despite the fact that he never really played all that well. According to a 2008 report, the man dubbed "Jon Contract" is now splitting his time between Wyoming and Atlanta and working as a full-time dad.

14. LaSalle Thompson (#5 overall in 1982) was never a star, but he hung around the NBA for 15 years. Now, he's the proprietor of Prime Time Auto, a Sacramento-based used car wholesaler.

More from mental_floss...

June 24, 2009 - 10:54am
webby
submit to reddit