This week makes 20 years since the 2003 NBA Draft, a class that many consider to be the best of all time. With two decades of hindsight, let’s take a look at this group’s legacies, great picks, bad busts, and the underrated bunch. After examining the first 10 picks, we’ll run through other notable names:

1. LeBron James

Obviously the greatest #1 overall pick of all time. Many consider LeBron to be the G.O.A.T, and although I haven’t made up my mind yet, I’m close. What else do you want me to say? 

2. Darko Miličić

This is a tough one. Is it weird to say that this was only a bad pick in hindsight? The scouting was clear: the kid could ball. Could he play in the NBA? Would anyone in the NBA give him enough rope? We will never know.

3. Carmelo Anthony

Another tough pick, but not because Carmelo wasn’t dope, he was. One of the best to never win a ring – but is that his fault? Well, Denver put all their eggs in the Carmelo basket and only ever made it out of the first round once. He went to New York, which this blockbuster trade gutted of talent. From that point on, he was the “old guy” on each team he bounced around to. A great player, but a tough pick to justify over the next two. 

4. Chris Bosh

Toronto got a franchise player for seven seasons, something they’ve rarely had. He still owns the franchise records for rebounds, blocks, double-doubles, and a zillion other stats. They couldn’t win a damn thing while he was there, but he did everything he could. 

5. Dwayne Wade

The second-best player in this draft, in retrospect. The Heat got a franchise player. Shaq wanted to play with him, so they won a Championship together. James and Bosh wanted to play with him, so they formed arguably the league’s first super-team (and ruined the league?) and two more (they should’ve won more, right?). He’s Mr. Heat, the best draft pick they ever made. 

6. Chris Kaman

Kaman was a serviceable center in the league for ten years. This was a perfectly fine pick. 

7. Kirk Hinrich

One of the great goggles-wearers in league history. The only way you could mention him in the same sentence as Kareem. 

8. T.J. Ford

Couldn’t remember a damn thing about him, and a quick Google search shows why: injuries. He could play, but neck and spine injuries called it for him. How could you know that when you drafted him? 

9. Michael Sweetney

233 career games. Yikes!

10. Jarvis Hayes

He was fine, but not a career player. Hard to justify over other guys later on this list, but that’s hindsight – he balled out in college. 

14. Luke Ridnour

Fine player, but probably best known for being traded four times in the span of six days in June 2015. He never played again after a twelve-year career. Weird way to go out. 

18. David West

Does ranking players in this draft class go: LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Carmelo…David West? It might. 

21. Boris Diaw

Best known for having the third-best name in this draft class.

27. Kendrick Perkins

The worst thing about Kendrick Perkins is that he probably doesn’t think he was the fifth-best player in that ’08 Celtics starting five. 

28. Leandro Barbosa

Best known for having the best name in this draft class.

29. Josh Howard

Small forward that could shoot and rebound. All-Star in 2007. 

32. Luke Walton

Came off the bench during those ’09 and ’10 Lakers wins. That probably makes him a solid pick in the second round, as he at least contributed for them. They screwed him years later by making him a head coach with no experience for a terrible team. Now, Lakers fans have a bad taste in their mouth, but that’s probably unfair. 

42. Zaza Pachulia

Best known for having the second-best name in this draft class.

45. Matt Bonner

Best known as The White Guy Who Came Off The Bench for the ’07 and ’14 Championship Spurs. 

49. James Jones

That guy could SHOOT. Won two rings in Miami, and LeBron liked him enough to bring him over to win another in Cleveland. In conclusion, James Jones has more rings than Carmelo Anthony, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Allen Iverson, Dirk Nowitzki, and Jerry West combined. 

51. Kyle Korver

That guy could SHOOT. One of the best pure three-shooters I’ve ever seen. I don’t think he ever got enough credit for that, so I wanted to throw it in here. 

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