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Top 5 Worst Clippers Draft Picks
→1. 1998: C Michael Olowokandi, Pacific (No. 1 overall) →2. 2005: F Yaroslav Korolev, Russia (No. 12 overall) →3. 1986: C Joe Wolf, North Carolina (No. 13 overall) →4. 1984: G Lancaster Gordon, Louisville (No. 8 overall) →5. 1992: G Randy Woods, La Salle (No. 16 overall)
From 1947 through 1965, in an effort to build local fan support, the NBA (initially known as the Basketball Association of America) allowed teams to forfeit their first-round draft selection for a territorial pick, a player who was born, raised, or attended college within a 50-mile radius of the team drafting him: →1949: Vern Mikkelsn, Hamline (Minneapolis Lakers) →1949: Ed Macauley, Saint Louis (St. Louis Bombers) →1950: Paul Arizin, Villanova (Philadelphia Warriors) →1951: Whitey Skoog, Minnesota (Minneapolis Lakers) →1952: Bill Mlkvy, Temple (Philadelphia Warriors) →1953: Walter Dukes, Seton Hall (New York Knicks) →1953: Ernie Beck, Penn (Philadelphia Warriors) →1955: Dick Garmaker, Minnesota (Minneapolis Lakers) →1955: Tom Gola, La Salle (Philadelphia Warriors) →1956: Tom Heinsohn, Holy Cross (Boston Celtics) →1958: Guy Rodgers, Temple (Philadelphia Warriors) →1959: Wilt Chamberlain, Kansas, born in Philadelphia (Philadelphia Warriors) →1959: Bob Ferry, Saint Louis (St. Louis Hawks) →1960: Oscar Robertson, Cincinnati (Cincinnati Royals) →1962: Jerry Lucas, Ohio State, born in Middletown (Cincinnati Royals) →1962: Dave DeBusschere, Detroit (Detroit Pistons) →1963: Tom Thacker, Cincinnati (Cincinnati Royals) →1964: George Wilson, Cincinnati (Cincinnati Royals) →1964: Walt Hazzard, UCLA (Los Angeles Lakers) →1965: Bill Bradley, Princeton (New York Knicks) →1965: Gail Goodrich, UCLA (Los Angeles Lakers) →1965: Bill Buntin, Michigan (Detroit Pistons) HOME TERRITORY
If the Thunder works a trade for this year’s No. 1 pick and selects Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin, he would become only the fifth player to be taken No. 1 overall by a franchise located within 100 miles of where that player was born, or where he attended college: → 1984: Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston (Houston Rockets) →1996: Allen Iverson, Georgetown (Philadelphia 76ers) →2003: LeBron James, born in Akron (Cleveland Cavaliers) →2008: Derrick Rose, born in Chicago (Chicago Bulls)
Thumbs up & thumbs down
To the Houston Rockets. With Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutombo out with injuries (a combined 21 feet, 4 inches), you somehow extended what should have been a four-game sweep into a seven-game series against the Los Angeles Lakers. This was an extremely valiant effort by the Rockets, and some disturbing nonchalance from the Lakers, who will lose to Denver if their behavior continues. THUMBS DOWN
To the Denver Nuggets, for not having the foresight (or confidence) to block potential playoff dates at the Pepsi Center. The arena was double-booked Monday night for Game 4 of the Western Conference finals and WWE Monday Night RAW. The Nuggets won the scheduling battle, which unfortunately wasn’t settled with a cage match between Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke and WWE czar Vince McMahon.