2019 BIG3 DRAFT: NBA Lottery Busts Seek Do-Over

Eddie Curry, Greg Oden, and Stromile Swift are NBA underachievers seeking redemption through tonight’s Big3 draft.

The Big3 Draft for season 3 of Ice Cube’s exploding 3-on-3 pro league airs tonight at 10 pm ET, live on CBS Sports Network.

About 30 players will be selected to join one of the 12 teams representing various cities across the USA. The BIG3 Combine offered a chance for team executives and coaches to get a glimpse of the 132 players competing for a BIG3 roster spot. There will be more than a few former NBA dudes that get shown the door.

The former NBA champions, legends, characters, misfits and fan favorites currently holding down the Big3 is what makes Ice Cube’s league a growing fan attraction. From Jason “The Jet” Terry to Stephen “Stak5” Jackson to Nate Robinson and Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, as well as 90s stars like Kendall Gill, hungry for one last pro run.  It’s a cornucopia of hoops hope, nostalgia, excitement, raw emotion, bitterness and jubilation all rolled into one.

It’s a league that allows former superstars such as Baron Davis to rise again. It also allows guys who fell short as NBA players, to leave a different legacy. 

Tonight’s Draft features 3 former NBA Lottery picks who, for various reasons, never reached their projected potential in the NBA. All three went undrafted in 2018.  

Greg Oden

Oden declared for the BIG3 Draft last season and was not selected. Maybe somebody gives the 2007 NBA No. 1 overall draft pick a chance to win and play consistently at the pro level.

If not for his injury-prone nature the former Ohio State center wouldn’t be known as one of the biggest busts in NBA history. He definitely had game, especially on the defensive end at 7-feet, 250-pounds. Unfortunately, injuries limited the talented center to 105 games in three NBA season and he was out of the league by 26 years old.

The basketball world was robbed of his potential brilliance. Odom was robbed of life as an NBA superstar.

Eddie Curry

The seven-footer was once a promising NBA prospect who jumped to the league right out of high school. Curry was MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game in 2001.

The high school phenom was the fourth overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft, right out of Thornwood High School. It took the raw Curry a few seasons to adjust to the NBA game, but he was blossoming with the Bulls before a heart condition created friction between him and the organization and the Knicks grabbed Curry up.

https://youtu.be/HD42fvSuMyE

He had one season with the Knicks in which he averaged 19.5 ppg, but things eventually went downhill as tragedy struck off the court and he never recovered. 

Overall Curry spent 11 seasons in the NBA. The bulk of that time came with the Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks. He spent one year a piece with the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks before his tanked after the 2012-13 season. He basically ate his way out the league and has become one of the symbols of New York basketball futility for the last two decades. 

Stromile Swift

Swift is considered one of the all-time NBA Draft busts.

Via Ricardo Hazell of The Shadow League:

“The Vancouver Grizzlies would draft Swift, a high-flying freak of nature out of  Louisiana State University, with the second overall pick. He led the Tigers to the Sweet 16 as a sophomore and his upside was said to be through the roof, and it appeared as if the prognosticators were right. Throughout his first five seasons, he would put a highlight on the Sportscenter Top 10 on a weekly basis.

But NBA success is more than the occasional windmill dunk, which was Swift’s specialty. His best season was his second year when he averaged 12 points and 6 rebounds per game. He would never develop a consistent jump shot, despite having multiple seasons to work on it. His production would fluctuate from there before flatlining in 2005 and his career never recovered. He was out of the NBA by 2009.”

This BIG3 opportunity gives him a chance to go up against some of those same NBA ballers that got the best of him back in the days.

Should be lit. I’m pulling for all these guys.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.