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History says it’s hard to get excited about pick #13

The ping pong balls have settled, the logo cards have been
pulled out of the envelopes, and the order for the 2012
NBA Draft has been determined.

The New Orleans Hornets own the first selection in the
draft, which will be held June 28. And unless they get
hit in the head by a blunt object between now and then,
they’ll take Kentucky’s Anthony Davis.

The Phoenix Suns, to nobody’s surprise, ended up where
they were expected to — with the 13th overall selection.

Unlucky number 13. You thought it was bad for the
clueless teens who spent summers at Camp Crystal Lake?
It’s been just as bad for NBA franchises with the 13th
pick in the draft.

OK, that’s a stretch. Nobody picking in that slot ever
got their head chopped off by a homicidal, goalie mask-
wearing psychopath, but the Milwaukee Bucks probably would
have preferred decapitation over watching the bust that
was Marcus Haislip out of Tennessee, whom they selected in

Haislip lasted two seasons in Milwaukee, playing
sparingly. He got into nine games with Indiana in 2004-05
and then went overseas, becoming the highest-paid foreign
player in the history of the Lebanese Basketball League.
I’m sure the Bucks didn’t envision that career trajectory
they made the pick.

I know what you’re thinking, all 13th picks can’t be
busts. You’re right. Kobe Bryant was picked 13th by the
Charlotte Hornets
back in 1996 and after he whined his way to L.A., he’s
been an All-Star 14 times and has five championship rings
in his collection.

He’s been the outlier. Don’t believe me? Guess where
Terry Dehere, Keon Clark, Courtney Alexander, Haislip,
Marcus Banks, Sean May and Julian Wright were all drafted.

Number 13.

In fact, since 1990, only two players picked in the cursed
spot have been All-Stars: Bryant and former Pacers forward
Dale Davis, who cracked that status once during his 14-

In other words Suns fans, don’t get too jazzed about the
13th name commissioner Stern will call out on draft night
28 days from now.

Phoenix will undoubtedly land a player that will make the
roster and contribute as a rookie. After all, Markieff
Morris was picked there by the Suns just a year ago, and
he had a decent rookie campaign (as long as he wasn’t in
the starting lineup).

And I don’t want this to come off as an indictment of the
Suns’ scouting department. It’s not. It’s more of an
advertisement about how little NBA superstar talent comes
into the league on a yearly basis.

History says the chances of the Suns finding their
next superstar in their current draft position are next-

Enjoy the draft, everyone!


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