Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James are certainly the greatest players of all-time, which is why the argument for the greatest Draft Class of all-time involves them. The 1984, 1996, and 2003 Drafts compete to be the best, but 1996’s 18th pick overall, John Wallace, has a convincing argument for his own draft class.
The former Knicks and Raptors player feels 1996 is arguably the best. He said, “That’s the greatest draft class ever. I know people talk about 1984 and 2003.
“But in 1984, the 2nd pick was Sam Bowie, that brings them down immediately, and the 2nd pick in 2003 was Darko Milicic, which brings them down immediately.
“Obviously, Jordan’s the greatest, but we had our Kobe, the closest guy to Jordan. And we had five rings, plus Derek Fisher had five rings in that draft so that’s 10 rings right there.
“We got more rings, more Hall of Famers, champions. You bring up any Draft, we’re going to outdo them.”
Kobe Bryant leads the charge for the 1996 Draft Class
Despite being picked #13 overall, Kobe is still the greatest player from that year. 5 rings, 1 MVP, 18 All-Stars, and a lot more achievements precede the Black Mamba.
He is the only player from that class to play for 2 decades in the league. Had it not been for recurring injuries, he might have played even more.
The #1 overall pick was Allen Iverson, another Hall of Famer. He changed the NBA, both on-court and off of it, and is one of the best guards of all time.
Falling all the way down to #15 was Steve Nash, who has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame, after a 2-time MVP winning career. Similar to Iverson, Nash also couldn’t win a ring, but he is still one of the best playmakers the game has seen.
The final Hall of Famer from this draft is Ray Allen. He retired as a 2-time champ, and also the scorer of one of the most clutch shots in the history of the league.
They might have not made the Hall of Fame, but there are many other notable players from this draft class. Peja Stojakovic, Jermaine O’Neal, Marcus Camby, Antoine Walker, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Stephon Marbury, and Derek Fisher are some of them.
This is how stacked the 1996 draft class was, and this is why John Wallace believes it is the greatest of all-time.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops