by Kent Jackson, Respect My Blog
There aren’t many things in professional sports that live up to the hype. The 2003 NBA draft was one of them.
Excitement was building for over a year — first among league executives and then among fans — about the new blood on its way. And boy, did the league need it.
The NBA was in a recession. With Michael Jordan retired, for good this time, and a scarcity of marketable young stars, fan interest had waned. Outside of the Los Angeles Lakers and their stars, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, the league didn’t have many national draws.
The 2003 NBA Draft remains one of the most legendary drafts in NBA history.
Though it may lack the depth of the classic 1996 Kobe Bryant draft, it was among the most top-heavy we’ve ever seen: LeBron James went first, and the top five picks were rounded out by Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. The video below is a re-draft of the 2003 NBA Draft class.