The National Basketball Association’s first overall pick is that the participant who’s selected first among all qualified draftees by a group during the yearly National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. The first select is given in most circumstances, that group had a losing record in the season. The staff with the first pick attracts significant media attention, as does the participant who’s selected with that selection.
Eleven first selections have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award: Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (album six-time winner), Bill Walton, Magic Johnson (three-time winner), Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan (two-time winner), LeBron James (four-time winner), and Derrick Rose (youngest winner).
Since the coming of the draft lottery in 1985, seven number one picks have won an NBA title. They are LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Glenn Robinson, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Andrew Bogut, and Kyrie Irving.
China’s Yao Ming (2002) and Italy’s Andrea Bargnani (2006) are the only two players with no aggressive experience from the United States to be drafted first overall. Eleven other international players with U.S. college experience happen to be drafted first overall–Mychal Thompson (Bahamas) in 1978, Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) in 1984, Patrick Ewing (Jamaica) in 1985, Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands) in 1997, Michael Olowokandi (Nigeria) in 1998, Andrew Bogut (Australia) at 2005, Kyrie Irving (Australia) in 2011, Anthony Bennett (Canada) at 2013, Andrew Wiggins (Canada) in 2014, Ben Simmons (Australia) in 2016, and Deandre Ayton (Bahamas) at 2018. Duncan is an American citizen, but is considered an”international” participant by the NBA since he wasn’t born in one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. Ewing had dual Jamaican-American citizenship when he was drafted and Irving and Simmons had double citizenship if they were drafted.
Note that the drafts between 1947 and 1949 were held by the Basketball Association of America (BAA). After absorbing teams from the National Basketball League in the fall of 1949 the Basketball Association of America became the National Basketball Association. Official NBA publications include the BAA Drafts as part of the NBA’s draft background.
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