Darius Miles was the 3rd pick in the 2000 NBA draft, a wiry, promising, run-and-jump talent from St. Louis. Bypassing college for the NBA, Miles was part of an exciting, young Clippers team – albeit one that never made the playoffs.
Miles was 1st team All-Rookie, averaging 9.4 ppg, but he never improved his game. After two seasons he was traded to Cleveland, then he was off to Portland where he had the best year of his career (14 ppg in 40 games at age 24), but also feuded with coach Maurice Cheeks, shouting racial slurs at him, refusing to leave the team, and telling the coach, “that’s right, run to your daddy.”
Miles eventually tore up his knee, needed microfracture surgery, and was suspended for substance abuse. At the age of 27, his career was over.
Seven years later, he’s broke. After earning $61.9 million – before taxes, and paying his agent and lawyer – Miles is now 34 years old and he’s bankrupt.
This got me thinking about the 2000 NBA draft, which was one of the worst in NBA history. If you want to know why the NBA was so bad and unwatchable and TV ratings hit rock bottom in the years after Michael Jordan retired, the 2000 draft is a great place to start.
Of the 58 players drafted, only three (!) played in an All-Star game: Kenyon Martin (1st pick), Jamaal Magloire (19th) and Michael Redd (43rd). Amazingly, they all played in the same All-Star game – 2004. Nobody from the draft will sniff the Hall of Fame.
[Aside: By comparison, the 1999 draft had nine players make an All-Star game, and the 2001 draft had eight. According to Bleacher Report, from 1980-2010, only one other draft class has single digit All-Star appearances: The 2010 draft, with five.]
Redd probably gets the edge over Martin for best player to come out of this draft – in a five year window from 2004-2009, he was one of the best shooters in the league when he averaged 20+ points per game – but one could argue two guys who never made an All-Star game: Jamal Crawford (still in the NBA) and Hedo Turkoglu.