It was on this day in 2001 that the Washington Wizards had the number one overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft. At this point, the Wizards only held the number one overall pick in the NBA Draft twice in 1961 and 1962.
In the 1961 NBA Draft, with their first ever draft selection in franchise history, the Wizards (then Chicago Packers) selected center Walt Bellamy out of Indiana. He went on to play four full seasons in the following season with the team putting up monster averages of 27.6 points and 16.6 rebounds although the team only made the postseason once in that span.
Bellamy won Rookie of the Year and was named an All-Star in each of his four seasons with the Wizards. He was traded to the Knicks after playing just eight games in his fifth season with the team.
Bellamy went on to play 10 more seasons in the NBA playing for the Knicks, Detroit Pistons, Atlanta Hawks and New Orleans Jazz respectively. Although he never made another All-Star team, he put up great career averages of 20.1 points and 13.7 rebounds and was inducted in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
In the 1962 NBA Draft, the Wizards (now the Chicago Zephyrs) selected another center this time Bill McGill out of Utah. McGill’s time with the Wizards was much less spectacular than Walt Bellamy’s as he spent just a season and a half with the team averaging just 7.2 points and 2.7 rebounds.
Although quicker than Bellamy, Bill McGill would also be traded to the New York Knicks. McGill ended up playing just two more seasons in the NBA before he moving to the ABA where he would play two seasons.
The 2001 NBA Draft was a chance for the Wizards to pick number one overall in the NBA Draft for the first time in almost 50 years and it did not go very well for them. With the number one overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft, the Washington Wizards selected Kwame Brown out of high school and is widely known as one of the biggest draft busts in NBA history.
The following players who would eventually become NBA All-Stars were drafted after Kwame Brown: Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph, Joe Johnson, and future Wizards All-Star Gilbert Arenas.
Kwame Brown went on to spend four uneventful seasons with the Wizards where the most notable moment from his time with the Wizards being that he was allegedly bullied so bad by Michael Jordan that he cried a story that Kwame has since denied.
As far as his play on the court goes, Kwame played four seasons with the Wizards averaging 7.7 points and 5.5 rebounds with the team. In his 12-year career, he averaged 6.6 points and 5.5 rebounds.
The thing is Kwame Brown did not have a terrible career, but the combination of him being drafted number one overall, being drafted above multiple All-Stars/possible Hall of Famers and comparing his career to previous number one overall picks before him makes him one of the biggest draft busts of all-time.