Sam Bowie, Trailblazers (1984)
In the early-to-mid 1980’s, then Portland Trailblazers General Manager Stu Inman was considered to be something of a “basketball genius.” He was so highly thought of that other teams would validate their confidence in a player if Inman believed in that player. Yet, ironically, Inman is the man who will forever be held responsible for the greatest draft night mistake in the history of the NBA, and maybe professional sports: selecting Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft.
To make matters worse, Charles Barkley and John Stockton — two future Hall of Fame players — also went in the first round. But “Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan” will forever live in draft infamy. Bowie was a two-time All-American at the University of Kentucky, but he was plagued by injuries in college, and they only got worse in the NBA. As far as Jordan’s career arc? We doubt that needs any explanation.