At tonight’s 2011 NBA draft, either Duke’s Kyrie Irving or Arizona’s Derrick Williams will be taken with the top pick. Although this crop of talent in this draft is considered to—what’s the phrase—historically shitty, most experts believe Irving and Williams will be solid players at the next level. And given that neither of them come in with outsized hype, even if they bust, they’ll probably never crack this ignominious list. GQ’s Sean Fennessey plumbed that dredges and came up with this list of the 25 biggest top-slot busts in sports history. We’ve spoiled number two: that’s Kwame Brown, the guy Michael Jordan drafted and swiftly ruined. Here’s Sean on Kwame:
Oftentimes it’s about the player—injuries, luck, lack of skill, or some unforeseen force intervening. But then sometimes it’s about the person behind the player. In the case of Kwame Brown, Team President Michael Jordan was that person. Jordan, who in the following years would prove himself a deeply strange and imperfect personnel man, was at the helm of the Wizards while also mounting a somewhat ill-fated comeback to the league after three seasons away. The stories of the way Jordan browbeat the inexperienced Brown are now legend. Whether he ultimately destroyed the promising forward’s career is up for debate—what’s not is the failure of that career.