NBA Draft Lottery 2024 live updates: Hawks win top pick with just 3% chance

The last time the Wizards won the lottery and got the first overall pick, they had an easy pick, taking Kentucky’s John Wall, the consensus top prospect, in 2010. The only other time they won at lottery, a decade before, they had a similar area of ​​potential picks in discussions ahead of this year’s prospect pool. In 2001, after Michael Jordan’s first season in DC, but before he decided and officially declared his return to playing for the Wizards, Washington went from having the third-best chance at the first pick to securing the first selection . (Oh, Lord, the conspiracy theories that came out that night!)

But there was little consensus among experts on who Washington should choose first. That year’s draft was the pinnacle of the Straight Outta High School pipeline to the NBA. Once Kevin Garnett began the modern era of high schoolers going straight to the draft in 1995, the floodgates opened wide. By 2001, the league had completely moved from thinking that high school kids couldn’t handle the physical and emotional pressure of the pros to not wanting to stand at the altar while other teams cut out 18-year-olds. capable of playing 3-4. more years of basketball than college seniors. And 2001 was the high point: three of the first four picks in the draft, and four of the first eight, were high school players.

There was strong sentiment within the Wizards organization in favor of Duke senior forward Shane Battier. But Jordan ultimately gambled on Kwame Brown, a 6-10 power forward from Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia. Brown had a raw physique and good footwork, but he would clearly need time and patience. With Jordan at the end of his career and a tough veteran head coach in Doug Collins, patience was at a minimum for Brown. He struggled to live up to expectations in Washington, D.C., even though he had more good times than people now want to believe. Brown lasted only four seasons with the Wizards before being traded to the Lakers in 2004 as part of the trade that brought Caron Butler to Washington.

Ultimately, however, Brown became a solid rotation player in the league and carved out a 12-year career. He could always bounce back and ended up playing over 600 games. And he also had his say a few years ago, in a series of steamy YouTube appearances in which he settled scores with players, coaches and teams who he claimed had done him wrong. wrong and had publicly slandered him when he was young and could not clap. back. Man, Kwame did he respond.