On the 30th anniversary of the 1984 Draft, NBA TV has released a documentary, #THE1984DRAFT to celebrate what is debated as the greatest NBA draft class ever. The effects of this draft reach beyond the now five players who have subsequently been inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame; however, as the players are credited with helping change how the game was played and enjoyed world wide! The four players who made NBA Hall of Fame careers out of their careers after being drafted include Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, and Charles Barkley.
What was Different about the 1984 NBA Draft?
1984 was the final season that there was not an NBA Draft Lottery. When you watch the reruns of the draft, you will also see that the entire setup of the event and available players are totally different than what we see today. The first major point that one notices is that the draft occurred during the day time, consisted of mostly college players, and was shown on the USA Network. This was the first draft that David Stern served as commissioner of the NBA as well. The televised portion of the draft
consisted of two rounds, with eight additional rounds of the draft occurring. By the 10th round, there were some novelty picks in the draft to include the Chicago Bulls picking Olympian Carl Lewis in the 10th round. The draft also featured now NBA coach, Rick Carlisle, who was taken with the 70th overall pick and managed to play a few seasons in the NBA before shifting over to coaching in 1989.
1984 NBA Draft Background
The 1984 NBA Draft was the 38th overall meeting of the NBA to hold their annual draft. The event took place on June 19th, 1984 and was held at the Felt Forum in Madison Square Garden located in New York, New York. During the event, the 23 NBA teams at the time took turns picking eligible college and international players in the draft. In order to determine the first team to pick during the draft, the Houston Rockets won a coin flip against the Portland Trail Blazers who had previously gotten the Indiana Pacer’s first round pick via a trade and received the second overall pick. After this, the picks were ranked from worst record to best. Additionally, the Cavs were given an extra first round pick for compensation for draft picks their previous owner traded away.
The 1984 NBA Draft would see only five college undergrads declare for the draft as compared to the higher number that we will see in the modern drafts. Also, the
Clippers relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles prior to the draft taking place.
Why was the 1984 NBA Draft so Great?
Besides producing four Hall of Famers who played in the NBA (and one International great), the class also included seven NBA All Stars. For all of the great players in the draft, Kentucky Wildcat, Sam Bowie, who was picked ahead of Michael Jordan is considered to be the greatest NBA Draft Bust ever. Bowie was picked by Portland over Jordan since they already had Clyde Drexler on their squad from the 1983 NBA Draft and NBA All Star shooting guard, Jim Paxon. Although Drexler went on to an excellent career, and Bowie playing for 10 years with a 10.9 ppg and 7.5 rebound per game average, he was only able to play in 139 total games with the Blazers over his five years with the team. Additionally, Jordan, Barkley, Stockton, and Olajuwon were named as being in the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History during the league’s 50th Anniversary Celebration that took place in 1996.
1984 NBA Draft First Round Results
|1||1||Hakeem Olajuwon||C||Nigeria/United States||Houston Rockets||Houston (Jr.)||United States|
|1||2||Sam Bowie||F/C||United States||Portland Trail Blazers (from Indiana)||Kentucky (Sr.)|
|1||3||Michael Jordan||G/F||United States||Chicago Bulls||North Carolina (Jr.)|
|1||4||Sam Perkins||F/C||United States||Dallas Mavericks (from Cleveland)||North Carolina (Sr.)|
|1||5||Charles Barkley||F||United States||Philadelphia 76ers (from L.A. Clippers)||Auburn (Jr.)|
|1||6||Melvin Turpin||C||United States||Washington Bullets (traded to Cleveland)||Kentucky (Sr.)|
|1||7||Alvin Robertson||G||United States||San Antonio Spurs||Arkansas (Sr.)|
|1||8||Lancaster Gordon||G||United States||Los Angeles Clippers (from Golden State)||Louisville (Sr.)|
|1||9||Otis Thorpe||F/C||United States||Kansas City Kings||Providence (Sr.)|
|1||10||Leon Wood||G||United States||Philadelphia 76ers (from Denver)||Cal State Fullerton (Sr.)|
|1||11||Kevin Willis||F/C||United States||Atlanta Hawks||Michigan State (Sr.)|
|1||12||Tim McCormick||C||United States||Cleveland Cavaliers (traded to Seattle)||Michigan (Sr.)|
|1||13||Jay Humphries||G||United States||Phoenix Suns||Colorado (Sr.)|
|1||14||Michael Cage||F/C||United States||Los Angeles Clippers (from Seattle)||San Diego State (Sr.)|
|1||15||Terence Stansbury||G||United States||Dallas Mavericks||Temple (Sr.)|
|1||16||John Stockton||G||United States||Utah Jazz||Gonzaga (Sr.)|
|1||17||Jeff Turner||F/C||United States||New Jersey Nets||Vanderbilt (Sr.)|
|1||18||Vern Fleming||G||United States||Indiana Pacers (from New York)||Georgia (Sr.)|
|1||19||Bernard Thompson||G/F||United States||Portland Trail Blazers||Fresno State (Sr.)|
|1||20||Tony Campbell||G/F||United States||Detroit Pistons||Ohio State (Sr.)|
|1||21||Kenny Fields||G/F||United States||Milwaukee Bucks||UCLA (Sr.)|
|1||22||Tom Sewell||G||United States||Philadelphia 76ers (traded to Washington)||Lamar (Sr.)|
|1||23||Earl Jones||C||United States||Los Angeles Lakers||UDC (Sr.)|
|1||24||Michael Young||G/F||United States||Boston Celtics||Houston (Sr.)|
Other Notable Pieces of Information About the 1984 NBA Draft
So, many NBA fans get caught when asked who the fifth hall of fame player who was selected in the 1984 NBA Draft was? Well, Brazilian star Oscar Schmidt was taken in the sixth round by the New Jersey Nets with the 131st overall pick. He would turn down this and subsequent offers to play in the NBA, and later opted to play in both Italy and Brazil, was the top scorer in three of the five Olympics he played in, and finished his career with a total of 49,703 points. FIBA honored Schmidt in 2010 with induction into the FIBA Hall of Fame and he was later inducted by the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2013.