Monday, June 15, 2009


The NBA draft of 1984 was probably one of the most talented ever. Four players from this draft would be named in the NBA's fifty greatest players of all time. In his book Tip-Off: How the 1984 Draft changed Basketball Forever Filip Bondy looks at the events that led to the draft, and how it unfolded. Bondy looks at various players taken in the draft, how they performed in college, before and during the draft, and their careers after being drafted.
The book starts with the number one pick Hakeem Olajuwon, the most talented big man in the draft who also had unlimited potential. Discovered in Nigeria, he would be drafted by Houston and would win two championships with them. Next was Sam Bowie who went to Portland at number two. Bowie was the second best big man in the draft, but unfortunately he spent most of his career injured and was never able to show off his talent. Bowie of course become more famous as a trivia question because he was drafted before Michael Jordan. Jordan went at number three to Chicago and the rest is history. little needs to be said about arguably the greatest player of all time. Pick number five was Philadelphia's and they choose Charles Barkley one of the greatest rebounders and scorers to ever play in the NBA. He only stood 6' 4" but regularly outplayed opponents who were up to a foot taller than him. A reporter described his game in college as "Porky Pig going berserk on a trampoline." Finally at pick sixteen the Jazz selected John Stockton who became one of the best pure point guards in the NBA. When he retired he had more assists and steals than any other player.
Bondy has written an interesting and readable book that explores the reasons behind the picks and the individuals that made the decisions, and the players they were deciding on. A great read for any basketball fan, I feel lucky that I was able to watch these players do what they did best.

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