Revisiting the 1995 NBA Draft: How the hell are these guys still playing?

I was sifting through old NBA draft picks online (such is the life I lead) when I stumbled upon something rather interesting.

We all know the 2003 draft, which featured LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, was the most dominant since the Olajuwon, Jordan and Barkley draft of 1984 but let’s take a closer look at the lottery picks since 1994 and see how many of them are still playing in the league.

1994 – 2 players: Jason Kidd (2), Grant Hill (3)

1995 – 4 players: Jerry Stackhouse (3), Rasheed Wallace (4), Kevin Garnett (5), Kurt Thomas (10)

1996 – 3 players: Marcus Camby (2), Ray Allen (5), Kobe Bryant (13)

1997 – 2 players: Tim Duncan (1), Chauncey Billups (3)

1998 – 4 players: Antawn Jamison (4), Vince Carter (5), Dirk Nowitzki (9), Paul Pierce (10)

1999 – 5 players: Elton Brand (1), Lamar Odom (4), Richard Hamilton (7), Shawn Marion (9), Jason Terry (10)

2000 – 2 players: Mike Miller (5), Jamal Crawford (8)

2001 – 8 player: Tyson Chandler (2), Pau Gasol (3), Eddy Curry (4), Jason Richardson (5), Shane Battier (6), Joe Johnson (10), Vladimir Radmanovic (12), Richard Jefferson (13)

2002 – 5 players: Drew Gooden (4), Nene Hilario (7), Chis Wilcox (8), Amare Stoudemire (9), Caron Butler (10)

Again, we all know what happened in 2003 but it’s the 1995 lottery I’d like to talk about.

Does it surprise anyone that Stackhouse (38), Wallace (38), Garnett (36) and Thomas (40) are still contributing quality minutes at their ages or that all of them are on playoff teams?  All four are averaging at least ten minutes a game with Garnett, who may have the highest metabolism known to man, leading the lot with 30 MPG.

I guess what I’d like to know is, what was in the bottled water at the 1995 draft and is the fact that so many veterans are still logging minutes more a testament to their stamina or rather the lack of young talent in the league.

I get that championship teams need veteran leadership but what Sheed, KG and Stack are providing goes far beyond that.  Garnett is Boston’s emotional leader, averaging 15 and 7.  Sheed’s averaging seven points per game for the Knicks, which you know includes a timely three-pointer and some healthy trash-talking to psych out an opponent.  Stackhouse is coming off the Brooklyn bench to average seven points a game and what team chasing a championship wouldn’t want Kurt Thomas taking up invaluable space in the paint.

Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised that these four ’95 classmen are still putting in the time.  It gives hope to all of us old guys.  But can you imagine a draft class 17 years from now with four guys like these giving it their all?  For those keeping track at home, Garnett, Stack, Sheed and Thomas have combined for 66,000 points, 31,000 rebounds and over 140,000 minutes played!  Not a single one of them has averaged less than 55 games per season over their careers with KG averaging an amazing 75 games per season over his 17 year career.

I’ve written recently that this is a down year for the NBA.  Some disagreed but I stand by my opinion.  While the New York Knickerbockers remain a pleasant surprise and the Clippers holding the league’s best record, neither is a team that looks poised to win a championship.  Nor does any other team in the NBA for that matter.

Is that because of the lack of young talent in the league?  How else could we explain the overload of 35-plusses still huffing it up and down the court?

Let’s take this argument one step further.  If you include Kobe from the ’96 draft, Billups and Duncan from ’97, Pierce and Dirk from ’98 (and arguably Hamilton from ’99), no other active lottery pick has led their team to a championship, until of course 2003.  Similarly, no player after 2003 has done so either.

I ask you, sports fans, is the future of the league in good hands if seasoned vets are still schooling newbies?  I’m not saying this current generation is void of talent.  Blake, Rose, D-Will and Chris Paul are all fun to watch.  I’m just saying they might have to wait until this current batch of veterans retires before they earn a championship of their own.

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47 Replies to “Revisiting the 1995 NBA Draft: How the hell are these guys still playing?”

  1. Pingback: Revisiting the 1995 NBA Draft: How the hell are these guys still playing? - BallHyped Blog Network, NBA | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  2. Don’t forget about guys like JO who are still playing but were taken just outside of the lottery. I think you might be missing a few more preps-to-pros guys like that

  3. Al…

    Avery should’ve known better. That’s D-Will’s team and if he wasn’t gonna be able to keep him happy, then he was a goner.

    It’s the NBA. That shit happens.

  4. Red…

    To be perfectly honest, I’d have to consider Jermaine O’Neal a bust, if that’s the J.O. you’re talking about. Maybe that’s unfair to say as he did have some good seasons in Indy but you wouldn’t consider him a durable player, would you? A Hall of Famer?

    I was looking strictly at lottery picks. O’Neal was drafted 17th in 1996 but still, it’s not like O’Neal was an integral part of any championship teams.

    Fair argument, however. Still doesn’t have the career games played as the guys in ’95 though.

  5. Chris,

    You missed Steve Nash as a member of the 1996 Draft Class. I believe he was taken in the first round by the Suns.

  6. Chris

    Given what you’ve seen from Williams in terms of his antics would you want him anywhere near a rookie to provide them with any type of leadership ? D-Wil is a lying sack of excrement who possesses not one iota of leadership ! Much like DeMarcus Cousins , neither has any f##king credibility !

    Tophatal …….

  7. The Celtics stank up the place last night. Hopefully they’re just playing that way so they can press the bet in the second half of the season. Time to call up Fab Melo. He had his 2nd straight triple D with 32 points, 9 rebounds and 9 blocks.

  8. The ones that work hard and dedicate themselves are the ones still playing. Most of these players are in constant workouts which ables each one of them to still perform at the highest level.

    It’s great that these players are still on the court. Once they’re gone, it’s sad to see them go.

  9. Well, 9 is still close enough to 10.

    I don’t think Deron “Coach Killer” Williams will be happy until the Nets make him the coach. Then he can kill himself. That would really be taking one for the team. I saw the stats that showed that the Nets actually play better when Deron Williams isn’t on the floor.

  10. G…

    I was only going lottery picks but either way, Nash is grouped in with the gang of players who did not bring his team a championship, despite his back-to-back MVP awards.

  11. Al…

    I don’t think you can compare D-Will to Cousins.

    Look, this is the NBA. It’s a players league. Players have been getting coaches fired since Magic and Westhead.

    That’s why it’s a fine line coaches must walk, catering to their star athletes yet still getting the best out of them on and off the floor.

    If you’re Nets management, after piling out of your private jet after partying with Jay-Z all night, tell me honestly, who are you going to keep? Avery Johnson or Deron Williams?

  12. BS…

    I agree with you.

    There’s lots of things that go into a player’s longevity.

    Luck also happens to be one of them.

    None of those guys, expect for maybe Stack on occasion, succumbed to lengthy injuries.

    Again, it’s a testament to their work ethic.

  13. Snake…

    I’m not convinced.

    While I do agree with your and Al’s point that Williams should lead his team to victory consistently regardless of who his coach is, and getting your coach fired is always a bitch move, Williams is still one of the best point guards in the game.

  14. Ainge wants Fab Melo to get a lot of playing time. He only started playing BB 5 years ago. I’ve been wqtching all of his D league games and he’s getting better all the time. Problem is that if he was in the NBA now, he’d pick up 6 fouls in 10 minutes.
    D. Williams is a fine PG but the stats do show that the Nets do better when he’s not on the floor. Stats don’t lie.

  15. I can’t or you don’t believe it’s valid premise ?

    threatens his coach with physical violence merely because he (Keith Smart) questions his (Cousins’) work ethic . And D-Wil merely gets his coaches fired ,because he hasn’t the balls to lead his team when they fact real adversity .

    So you explain to me why there’s no real difference between the two players , merely because one threatens violence and the other is simply a f##king douche-bag ! The NBA remains a goddamn joke and it has been that way for years !

    Dropped this piece ……..

    Come on , you have never had it so good, we are providing you with entertainment , sports’ entertainment , so suck it up you son of a bi#ch …..


    The day D Wil becomes a fine PG , look for Clay Aiken to change his sexual orientation . Are you kidding ? The guy has no leadership skills or qualities . The Nets are a pi#s poor team and it’s reflected in their play and standing within their division .

    Tophatal ……………

  16. Snake…

    Well if that’s the case, I look forward to seeing what this kid can do when he’s finally called up.

    Williams is having a down year in both scoring and field goal percentage. Let’s see if PJ can get this guy back to playing at the level to which we’ve become accustomed.

  17. Al…

    Brooklyn’s still a playoff team and let’s be honest, nobody really expected them to be all that.

    We’ll see if PJ can turn things around.

    And I agree with you. I don’t know that I would have given Joe Johnson that kind of money but they did and now cap space is their problem… unless of course Jay-Z wants to cut another album and pay the luxury tax.

  18. The contract that Johnson now has in place , came by way of the Hawks when he was stealing money from the franchise while Josh Smith was the best player on the team .

    Given what you’ve seen exhibited by the Nets , do you really believe they’ll end up with 2 or three seed within the Eastern Conference ? At present they’re barely above .500 with a 16-14 record and idiots were out there trying to sell this team as one of the better franchises within the NBA . What the f#ck are they looking at , when there’s no body of work to judge by ?

    Look at where the Nets now stand (7th seed) within the conference , and in all honestly answer me this where do you see them ending up in the standings , when it’s all said and done ?

    Great win for the Bucs , but once again , it’s all too little , too late .

    So the bloodletting has began with the customary firing of NFL head coaches . They don’t cull baby seals with this sort of mendacity , and that’s meant to be done we’re to told, for ecological and conserving the ” balance of nature ” . What’s the excuse in the NFL , other than sheer ineptitude ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Crennel (Chiefs) , Lovie Smith ( Bears) , and Gailey (Bills ) are now gone . Rex Ryan has hung on by the skin of his teeth but GM Mike Tannenbaum is out . Not so luck in Tom Heckert , GM of the Browns . I hear the pathologist Dexter will be brought in to check on the DNA and blood splatter , as there’s the belief that more heads will roll .

    Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

    Tophatal ……

  19. OK. It looks like my beloved Celtics aren’t going very far this season, Its not that they are “old” but because their mindset is just not there. So for the remainder of this season I’m jumping on that exciting Clippers bandwagon. Oh, I’ll still be shouting “BEAT LA” but it will have new meaning. I want the Clippers to win it all and the Lakers to be in the draft lottery. And if Jack Nicholson has a stroke because of it, oh well, shit happens.

  20. Chris

    The Nets are barely hanging on to the lower rung of the ladder within the Eastern Conference and their play doesn’t seem to be improving at all .

    And for some reason every one seems to be under impression that Phil Jackson would be interested in the Nets’ position full time . The only job that Jackson would come out of retirement for , would be either the Lakers or Knicks .

    Prokhorov might have all the money in the world ($14 billion) but the Nets are in such disarray at present that it doesn’t bear thinking about , while fans are still trying to talk up the franchise . What the hell have they been watching when there’s been no body of work to go by ?

    Dropped these two pieces .

    Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

    Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

    So the NFL had their own form of Black Monday on New Year’s Eve ……….. seven head coaches bit the dust . Not even the seal culling that takes place on Antarctica or the North Pole has been known to be that bad .

    So the Cowgirls bow out unceremoniously , and we’re back to hearing both Romo and Jerry Jones come up with the customary excuses . When will that bull#hit stop altogether ?

    Great win for the Bucs over the Falcons but we’re now back to questioning Freeman’s abilities and his lack of consistency , especially this year .

    Tophatal ……..

  21. Al…

    I never thought the Nets were 2 to 3 seed good to begin with. In fact, the entire Eastern Conference is pretty week, not just the Nets. I mean, look at the Celtics. If the regular season ended today, they’d miss the playoffs.

    So if you ask me, which you did, how I think the Nets will fare, I think they have the potential to win a first round match-up but honestly, I don’t see anyone getting past the Heat in that conference.

    And by keeping Ryan on, are you sure it’s in the Jets best interest to actually win games or just keep their name in the news?

  22. Snake…

    Yeah, I’m not sure what the hell is going on with the Celtics but they are playing some lousy ball.

    Maybe Ray Allen knew something we didn’t and that’s why he decided to jump ship.

    Can you still blame the guy?

  23. Al…

    Phil Jackson’s name will always surface when there’s a coaching vacancy just like Bill Cowher’s, Tony Dungy’s and Jon Gruden’s. That doesn’t necessarily mean there’s any interest or truth to it.

    We both know Phil’s not just coming back unless that team is as sure as it gets and I’m not sure he’d want to coach against the Heat at this point.

    Proud final win for the Bucs and they’re on the right track but that NFC South scares me next year. If the Bucs want to make the playoffs, they’re going to have their work cut out for them.

  24. Chris

    Phil ain’t coming back, unless Jeanie Buss says he can , as she’s been putting him to good use in the bedroom , even with his weak knees (arthritis in both) as well as two hips that’ve been replaced .

    Phil’s laying the “wood ” to Jeanie as way , to get out all of his pent up hostility towards her family .

    The Nets are what they are and it’s reflected in their record . Also look deeply at the Knicks , especially when it comes to their road record , as they’re not as good as they face appear to be .

    The Bucs have drafted prudently but over the past few years but several of those players simply haven’t produced or or progressed to the point where you would take them as a serious and legitimate contender within the NFC South , much less the conference .

    What the ##ck is wrong with Norv Turner ? He’s being critical of the Spanos’ family , as he feels betrayed .LOL,LOL !! Marty Schottenheimer went 14-2 , took the team to the playoffs and they fired his @ss , yet Turner feels wronged by his firing .

    Let’s see , can I do to pi$s of my boss and still expect to keep my job ? I know there’s coaching carousel in the NFL that has essentially become an ol’ boys’ network of the same old recyclable bums . So I fully expect Turner land another gig , but this time as an offensive coordinator .

    So the Rays couldn’t afford to re-up Price’s contract , so in order to avoid arbitration they have offered him one-year $10 million deal. David Price could’ve gone elsewhere and easily got twice as much , as part of a multi-year contract . .

    So Kanye “popped “ Kim’s cherry and impregnated her ? Now he’s really going to find out , what a gold-digger is really all about .

  25. So what’s your take on the Florida vs Lousville game ? Charlie Strong against Wil Muschamp . Should make for a great game . You’d better be watching .

    The CIA and FBI will now be using game film of the Bobcats and Wixards , as part of their terrorist interrogation procedures . It is said to work far better than water-boarding .

  26. Chris

    Well I guess one man’s can of a$s whooping is just like any other”s ? Jesus what the ##ck happened to the Gators ? Louisville bi$ch slapped them up and down the field all the way through four quarters .

    Charlie Strong’s postgame comments “…….. their my bi$ch now ” !

    Dropped these as I know you’ve yet to catch up on your reading .

    Come on, you have never had it so good , we are providing you with entertainment, sports’ entertainment , so suck it up, you son of a bitch …

    Did I miss something ? Culling baby seals was meant to be compassionate , not so the case , when it comes to the NFL

    And now it seems the idiot governor Tom Corbett in PA , doesn’t know when to let a bad thing lay to rest .

    And so the idiocy continues

    Price gets a one year , $10 million deal from the Rays , in order to avoid arbitration . He’s being underpaid .

    Tophatal ………………..

  27. Al…

    At this point, I don’t know why Phil would even want to come back. He has nothing more to prove, is already commonly considered the greatest NBA coach ever, or at least the winningest, he’s in his late 60s, has more money than he knows what to do with and doesn’t want to deal with the daily grind or the physical wear and tear that comes with it.

    So now I hear that Rex Ryan wants to acquire Norv Turner as his offensive coordinator? Just when we thought that team couldn’t get any more dysfunctional.

    And re: David Price, I guess we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens.

  28. Al…

    Going into that Florida-Louisville game, I would have thought the Gators would take it but I figured Charlie Strong would have a little something for us. I definitely like them giving two touchdowns.

    As it turned out, they were the ones that could have used the two touchdowns.

    It didn’t look much like Muschamp had his boys ready to play as Louisville was gaining key yardage at will.

    Kudos to Coach Strong for a nice win. He most definitely deserved it.

  29. Al…

    Strong was earning a pretty penny while still the DC at Florida, probably close to $1.5 mil a year.

    That’s pennies compared to the 5 he’s now making at Louisville.

    Probably got himself a nice little bonus for beating Florida too.

    The guy is a monster recruiter here in the sunshine state.

    Allegedly, Muschamp has the top recruiting class in the nation. We’ll see if that translates into any sort of consistent offense next year for the Florida Gators.

  30. Chris ,

    The game between the Florida (Gators ) and Louisville (Cardinals) , summed up in part the Gators’ season , one of missed opportunities ! .

    Beyond Tom Corbett’s idiocy with the NCAA , were you aware that Hall of Fame great , Franco Harris , verbally abused NCAA President Mark Emmert ? Like I stated in the piece , that story will not die , as there are more flies on it , like you’d witness when they’re hovering either over fecal matter or a dead carcass .

    Who do you believe, will be the # 1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft (2013) in April , 2013 ? Will it be a quarterback or a position player ?

    Ray Lewis announces his retirement , but he hopes to go out as a winner , with a second Superbowl victory under his belt . Do you think that he and the Ravens will be able to get pass the Colts ?

    The Colts have definitely been on a tear over the past few weeks .

    Tophatal ………….

  31. Why is it , that so many of Jimmy Johnson’s assistants from his heyday with the Cowboys have been such an abysmal failure as a head coach in the NFL ?

    Look at the coaching lineage under Bill Walsh , and who came out of that group ? No one has matched that , since . Not Belichick , Dungy , or Mike Shanahan , for that matter .

    The lone exception I can think of is, Chuck Noll .

    In your honest opinion , do you believe there to be any truly great coaches in the NFL at present ?

    Tophatal …………

  32. Al…

    When the Gators were good, they’re very good but they were a bit too inconsistent and certainly not disciplined enough to be considered great. A top ten finish ain’t bad and an 11-2 season is better than anyone expected but it’ll be a long off-season for Coach Muschamp as he stews over how his team played in their final game of the season.

    And I have no idea which player will emerge as the top pick. From what I understand, this year is going to be wide open.

  33. Great coaches currently in the NFL, Al?

    Aside from Belichick?

    Coughlin? Tomlin? Sean Payton?

    How many others have won Super Bowls with the teams they’re currently with?

    I think McCarthy and that’s it.

  34. I don’t know what Ray Allen was thinking. All I know is that had he stayed, he would be doing the exact same thing with the Celtics as he’s doing with the Heat, but he would be making many more millions. He would be helping the Cs as much as he’s helping the Heat.
    Who really knows? Maybe he just wanted to have more opportunities to play golf in the winter. The only thing that I’m positive of is that his #20 will never hang from the rafters of the Garden. The fans will always view him as Judas Shuttlesworth.

  35. Dude, tell me Kurt Thomas doesn’t look like the old guy down at your local YMCA league who sets dirty picks every play down.

  36. Snake…

    I really can’t hate on Ray Allen’s decision.

    At this point, the guy doesn’t need money. He wants another ring. He obviously felt his best shot to achieve that goal was in Miami.

    There was also obviously some shit going on within the organization that we kinda sorta knew about but probably didn’t know the real truth.

    Look, the guy was being shopped around and he had leverage. So he took his talents to South Beach.

    When it’s all said and done, he was still a part of a team that brought you guys your 17th championship.

    We’ll see if he’s a part of the team that brings Miami its third.

  37. Ya, I’d like to know what those guys are drinking, because I know it’s not what I’ve been throwing back. Still, I think it will be interesting to see if old guys like KG can walk later in life with all the abuse their knees have taken.

    Interesting point about the status of the league. I know of few people who have become bored with the same storylines and arguably diminishing talent.

  38. Jedly…

    My point exactly.

    Don’t get me wrong.

    There’s talent in the league.

    I’m just saying usually there’s a few, clearcut teams that we can pinpoint and say, damn, they’re really fucking good.

    Can’t do that this year.

    You can call if parity if you want. This year, I’m going to choose to call it mediocrity.

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