The NBA Draft
Five guys go from high school to the pros, White Chocolate leaves Sacramento and a Spanish giant named Pau gets ready to head south. Those were the storylines from the 2001 NBA draft.
Imagine one day you're flicking elastics at the nerd in history class - the next day you're getting ready to play with Michael Jordan. That was the reality for Kwame Brown, who became the first high school player to be drafted first overall, when he was selected by the Washington Wizards. Brown is a 6'11 center from Glyn Academy High School in Georgia who'll make close to two million bucks next year. Who needs college?
Two other high school players were among the top five picks in the first round. Both will be wearing Chicago Bulls' uniforms this season. Tyson Chandler was picked second overall by the LA Clippers but later traded to the Bulls for Elton Brand. Eddy Curry was taken fourth overall. Curry is a 6'll center who has already been nicknamed "Baby Shaq" because of his similarity to Shaquille O'Neal.
Pau Gasol was picked third overall by the Atlanta Hawks. That's the highest a European player has ever been selected. Gasol is a seven foot giant who can play any position.
Jason Williams is no longer a Sacramento King. He was traded on draft day to the new Memphis Grizzlies for Mike Bibby. White Chocolate is one of the flashiest and most exciting players in the NBA. But when you don't get along with the coach, get suspended for drug use, yell racist comments at the fans and choke in the playoffs - it's probably time for a change.
Shane Battier, who was the 2001 college player of the year and led Duke to the NCAA Championship, was picked 6th overall by the Grizzlies. At 22, Battier was the oldest player selected in the draft.