Cities Journal

21 Worst NBA Draft Picks Of All-Time


3. Michael Olowokandi (Los Angeles Clippers, 1998 #1 overall)

“Olowocash”, as he’s referred to, lived up to his moniker. He just didn’t live up to his hype. The big man out of Pacific never got going in the NBA and is one of the many reasons the Clippers have been so mediocre for so long.

Olowokandi was born in Lagos, Nigeria but his family moved to London where he attended prestigious  Brunel University. At Brunel, Olowokandi was an athlete in track and field, cricket, and rugby union. He started playing basketball when he was eighteen years old.

Problems just followed Olowokandi throughout his entire career.Because of the 1998–99 NBA lockout, the season in which he was drafted, Olowokandi signed for Italian team Kinder Bologna. During 1998-99 season Los Angeles Clippers paid him $2,700,000 and he remained with them for five seasons.

While he was with the Clippers he started 322 games, averaging 9.9 points, 8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. His last season with them was his worst actually. In 500 regular season NBA games (399 games started), Olowokandi averaged 8.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.39 blocked shots per game. His best season was the  2001–2002 season where he averaged 11.1 points and 8.8 rebounds.

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