NBA Mock Draft’s Defining Moments
The 2023 NBA Draft is in the rearview mirror and already provided an iconic moment when Victor Wembanyama was selected No. 1 overall by the San Antonio Spurs. While nothing crazy happened when he was selected, if he ends up being as good as many believe he will be, his draft moment will be replayed for decades to come.
Victor Wembanyama, selected 1st overall by the @spurs, takes in the moment.
Watch on ABC/ESPN! pic.twitter.com/8c8YwWfXTj
— NBA (@NBA) June 23, 2023
Over the decades, there have been memorable draft moments aplenty. Some of them are good and some of them are embarrassing. We’re going to start with one of the most shocking picks ever, as we may see in NBA news through the years. In 2013, many expected the Cleveland Cavaliers to go with Nerlens Noel or Alex Len as the No. 1 pick. Instead, they picked Anthony Bennett, who not many had projected to go in the top five. The pick was so surprising that Bill Simmons requested medical attention. The surprise was warranted as Bennett lasted just one season with the Cavaliers and is no longer in the NBA.
Another iconic moment featured one of the greatest college basketball players ever. Chris Weber was always going to be the No. 1 pick in 1993 but that didn’t mean the Orlando Magic, who held the pick at the time, wanted to keep him. Shortly after drafting Weber, the Magic and Golden State Warriors swapped their first-round picks with Penny Hardaway going to Orlando and Weber ending up with the Warriors. This was before the scoop business blew up in the NBA so the crowd was shocked when former NBA commissioner David Stern dropped the news.
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) June 30, 2023
When talking about memorable draft moments, who could forget the moment Steve Francis was drafted by the Vancouver Grizzlies in 1999? After clearly stating he didn’t want to play in Vancouver, the Grizzlies still selected him with the No. 2 pick. He was not able to hide his disdain and was clearly irritated going up to the podium. Luckily, he eventually got his way and was sent to the Houston Rockets.
In a more recent memorable event at the draft, former Milwaukee Bucks guard, Brandon Jennings somehow arrived late to the 2009 NBA Draft. Nothing forces players to show up in person at the draft, but he had made a commitment to be there. He later admitted that he was late because he was shopping.
Never hear people bring up the 2009 NBA DRAFT pic.twitter.com/pBy3zYgZlj
— Ben Stinar (@BenStinar) May 2, 2023
While this one is only memorable in hindsight, it still gets talked about. Two-time MVP Nikola Jokic was a second-round pick in 2012, but his selection was made during a Taco Bell commercial. Considering how good Jokic has become, that moment will live on forever in NBA lore.