Reliving The Sam Bowie Draft Pick

Here’s a sneak preview of a Talking Point for Friday’s paper about the fascinating Sam Bowie “controversy”:

In 1984, the Trail Blazers selected Sam Bowie with the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft — one spot ahead of Michael Jordan. Blazer fans may have been reminded of this once or twice over the years.

In an upcoming ESPN documentary, Bowie says he tried to fool Portland medical personnel regarding the condition of his injured leg. Some have called Bowie a liar in the wake of this revelation, while Bowie has said he was just trying to put his best foot forward. So to speak.

And then there are Harry Glickman and Jack Ramsay, a Blazers executive and the team’s coach at the time. They responded to the controversy by saying the club never considered Jordan anyway.

For that, we give the Blazers of the Past some credit; they didn’t run from their mistake. But in admitting that they weren’t even thinking about drafting the man who became the greatest player in history, they probably compounded that mistake. They moved the assessment of Portland’s actions at the time from one of “defensible, understandable mistake” to “unrepentent incompetence.”

Hopefully, this will be the last time the Blazers’ selection of Sam Bowie will be in the news. Now, we’ll just wait for the documentary about the Greg Oden pick.

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