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06/10/2014

NBA documentary points out giant Mavericks draft miss

1212_largeIf you missed the documentary on NBATV about the 1984 draft, be sure to watch it.

That draft is easily the best class in the history of the NBA; it included five basketball Hall of Famers - Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and Oscar Schmidt of Brazil. 

BTW - This class also featured Alvin Harper (7th pick), Otis Thorpe (9th pick), Kevin Willis (11th pick), Michael Cage (14th pick), Vern Fleming (18th pick) and Jerome Kersey (46th pick). It also included Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle. 

The one move in this draft that is routinely killed is Portland's selection of Kentucky center Sam Bowie with the second pick over Jordan, who was taken third. The No. 1 overall pick was Olajuwon, who developed into the best center of his era.

Bowie's knees would not allow him to stay healthy and he played 511 career games.

The Dallas Mavericks selected immediately after the Bulls with the fourth overall selection, and picked North Carolina forward Sam Perkins.
But it was the guy the Mavericks could have had that stings - the 76ers selected Charles Barkley with the fifth overall pick.

Perkins played for the Mavs from 1984 to '90 and averaged 14.4 points and 8.0 rebounds. He was a vital member of the Mavs teams that went to the playoffs six times, including the '88 Western Conference Finals.

Perkins left the Mavs after the 1989-'90 season as a free agent to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Perkins career ended in 2001, and he played a total of 1,286 games. By any definition, even though he never made an All-Star team, he had one hell of a career.

But the Mavs missed. They could have had Charles Barkley.

Barkley became a league MVP and one of the most dominant power forwards in the history of the NBA.

Watching the NBA documentary was more of an indictment on the Portland Trailblazers' decision to take Bowie over Jordan, but the Mavs' selection of Perkins over Barkley hurt, too.

@MacEngelProf
tengel@star-telegram.com
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Comments

Davidmar

I suppose if we measure players by their stats then it was a big wiff on Sir Charles by the Mavs, but let's not forget this guy never won a championship despite being on some extremely talented teams. When he was drafted by Philly in 1984 the Sixers had Dr. J, Mosses Malone, Andrew Toney, and Maurice Cheeks. How does a team like that not win a ring? In Phoenix he played with a solid roster featuring Kevin Johnson, Cedric Ceballos, Dan Majerle, and Danny Ainge. In Houston he had teammates like Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Eddie Johnson, and he even played with Scottie Pippen in 1999. You can't make the argument that he didn't have great players around him throughout his career, and yet he continued to come up empty in his quest for a championship. I don't know that putting him on the Mavs roster with Aguirre, Blackman, and Harper would have made any difference in terms of playoff wins or championships. Better than Perkins? Sure, but if we're going to compare this draft mistake to Portland's Bowie over Jordan selection, then a ring has to be involved. Remember that MJ has six of them, and he was the player most responsible for bringing those accolades to Chicago. Barkley was a nice player and would have looked good in a Mavs' uniform, but you can't say that taking him over Perkins would have made that much difference in the fortunes of the Mavs.

mav's fan

Great article. I've known this fact for a lot of years. Barkley truly is 'the one' that got away.

Reggie in Arlington

The Draft Class of '84 was simply the best. Amazing bunch of players that changed the game, played great ball, and simply lit it up.

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