Most memorable NBA Draft moments ever

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Anthony Bennett of UNLV reacts after he was drafted
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27: Anthony Bennett of UNLV reacts after he was drafted /
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9. Patrick Ewing to New York, 1985

Ewing was the prototypical franchise-saving big man prospect, so it was a big deal indeed when he was selected by the New York Knicks. Ewing was the centerpiece of the infamous frozen lottery envelope conspiracy, and while that’s not under the purview of this list he was also the first ever lottery pick. The lottery was actually created to discourage tanking, as the Rockets had shamelessly tanked the year before to grab similar can’t-miss big man prospect Hakeem Olajuwon. It was the beginning of a new era.

Patrick Ewing regularly comes up during discussions of greatest prospects in NBA history. There are only a handful of guys — Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — who have a better case than him. As a seven-foot, shot-blocking, dunking, jump shot making menace, his potential alone was theater for NBA fans. The Knicks had been mediocre for a decade, ever seen their legendary team built by Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, and Dave DeBusschere had crumbled. New York is a basketball city, so the gift of Ewing was cause for celebration.

Retrospectively, the moment is probably duller by now due to the failure of the Ewing-led teams and their collective performance in the finals versus Houston. But they were a contender for years and Patrick is a bonafide Hall-of-Famer. Other teams ended up with guys like Michael Olowokandi at number one. Ewing should be remembered fondly, just like his draft moment.

Next: 8. Jan Vesely's kiss, 2011