The 2021 NBA Draft will be the 74rd annual entry draft.
A lot has happened in the 70-plus years of the draft and there's sure to be more history to be made as the years go on.
With the 2021 draft in the books, we thought it would be good to take a look at some of the most unique facts of the NBA Draft.
- The first-ever draft was held on July 1, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan by the then BAA (Basketball Association of America), which later became the NBA in August of 1949.
- Clifton McNeeley was the first-ever player selected in the draft. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Ironmen. The Ironmen went 15-45 and missed the playoffs in 1946-47, earning the first overall selection.
- The team folded before the start of the next season, however, before McNeeley could even play in the pros. He instead became a high school basketball coach, winning four state titles, amassing a record of 320-43.
- McNeeley and Gene Melchiorre - the first overall pick in the 1951 NBA Draft - remain the only two top picks to never play a pro basketball game.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers have held the most number one overall selections, getting the opportunity to pick first overall on six different occasions.
- Austin Carr (1971), Brad Daugherty (1986), LeBron James (2003), Kyrie Irving (2011), Anthony Bennett (2013) and Andrew Wiggins (2014) all heard their names called first by the Cavs.
- The Toronto Raptors, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings are the only modern-day franchises who've only had the first overall pick once.
- The Memphis Grizzlies, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets and Miami Heat have never had the first overall pick in the NBA Draft.
- The Duke Blue Devils boast the most number one overall draft picks with four. Art Heyman (1963), Elton Brand (1999), Kyrie Irving (2011) and Zion Williamson (2019) are the four Dukies who've had the honour of being selected number one overall.
- Kwame Brown was the first high schooler to be selected first overall in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Washington Wizards. LeBron James in 2003 and Dwight Howard in 2004 later joined him.
- Yao Ming in 2002 and Andrea Bargnani in 2006 are the only two international players who didn't play college ball to be selected number one.
- 11 international players have been taken with the first pick of the draft. Mychal Thompson (Bahamas) - father of Klay Thompson - was the first in 1978. Deandre Ayton became the second player from the Bahamas selected first overall in 2018.
- Canadians Anthony Bennett and Andrew Wiggins made history when they became the first pair of non-American players to go back-to-back from the same country in 2013 and 2014, respectively.
- Australia's Andrew Bogut (2005) and Italy's Andrea Bargnani (2006) were the first pair of international players to be selected first in back-to-back years.
- Hakeem Olajuwon and Yao Ming are the only two international first overall selections to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In total, 18 first overall picks have been inducted into the Hall.
Here is the complete list of first overall picks in NBA history:
|2021||Detroit Pistons||Cade Cunningham||USA||Oklahoma State|
|2020||Minnesota Timberwolves||Anthony Edwards||USA||Georgia|
|2019||New Orleans Pelicans||Zion Williamson||USA||Duke|
|2018||Phoenix Suns||Deandre Ayton||Bahamas||Arizona|
|2017||Philadelphia 76ers||Markelle Fultz||USA||Washington|
|2016||Philadelphia 76ers||Ben Simmons||Australia||LSU|
|2015||Minnesota Timberwolves||Karl-Anthony Towns||Dominican Republic||Kentucky|
|2014||Cleveland Cavaliers||Andrew Wiggins||Canada||Kansas|
|2013||Cleveland Cavaliers||Anthony Bennett||Canada||UNLV|
|2012||New Orleans Pelicans||Anthony Davis||USA||Kentucky|
|2011||Cleveland Cavaliers||Kyrie Irving||USA||Duke|
|2010||Washington Wizards||John Wall||USA||Kentucky|
|2009||Los Angeles Clippers||Blake Griffin||USA||Oklahoma|
|2008||Chicago Bulls||Derrick Rose||USA||Memphis|
|2007||Portland Trail Blazers||Greg Oden||USA||Ohio State|
|2006||Toronto Raptors||Andrea Bargnani||Italy||Benetton Treviso|
|2005||Milwaukee Bucks||Andrew Bogut||Australia||Utah|
|2004||Orlando Magic||Dwight Howard||USA||SACA|
|2003||Cleveland Cavaliers||LeBron James||USA||St. Vincent-St. Mary|
|2002||Houston Rockets||Yao Ming||China||Shanghai Sharks|
|2001||Washington Wizards||Kwame Brown||USA||Glynn Academy HS|
|2000||New Jersey Nets||Kenyon Martin||USA||Cincinnati|
|1999||Chicago Bulls||Elton Brand||USA||Duke|
|1998||Los Angeles Clippers||Michael Olowokandi||Nigeria||Pacific|
|1997||San Antonio Spurs||Tim Duncan||USA||Wake Forest|
|1996||Philadelphia 76ers||Allen Iverson||USA||Georgetown|
|1995||Golden State Warriors||Joe Smith||USA||Maryland|
|1994||Milwaukee Bucks||Glenn Robinson||USA||Purdue|
|1993||Orlando Magic||Chris Webber||USA||Michigan|
|1992||Orlando Magic||Shaquille O'Neal||USA||LSU|
|1991||Charlotte Hornets||Larry Johnson||USA||UNLV|
|1990||New Jersey Nets||Derrick Coleman||USA||Syracuse|
|1989||Sacramento Kings||Pervis Ellison||USA||Louisville|
|1988||Los Angeles Clippers||Danny Manning||USA||Kansas|
|1987||San Antonio Spurs||David Robinson||USA||Navy|
|1986||Cleveland Cavaliers||Brad Daugherty||USA||North Carolina|
|1985||New York Knicks||Patrick Ewing||USA||Georgetown|
|1984||Houston Rockets||Hakeem Olajuwon||Nigeria||Houston|
|1983||Houston Rockets||Ralph Sampson||USA||Virginia|
|1982||Los Angeles Lakers||James Worthy||USA||North Carolina|
|1981||Dallas Mavericks||Mark Aguirre||USA||DePaul|
|1980||Golden State Warriors||Joe Barry Carroll||USA||Purdue|
|1979||Los Angeles Lakers||Magic Johnson||USA||Michigan State|
|1978||Portland Trail Blazers||Mychal Thompson||Bahamas||Minnesota|
|1977||Milwaukee Bucks||Kent Benson||USA||Indiana|
|1976||Houston Rockets||John Lucas||USA||Maryland|
|1975||Atlanta Hawks||David Thompson||USA||NC State|
|1974||Portland Trail Blazers||Bill Walton||USA||UCLA|
|1973||Philadelphia 76ers||Doug Collins||USA||Illinois State|
|1972||Portland Trail Blazers||LaRue Martin||USA||Loyola (Illinois)|
|1971||Cleveland Cavaliers||Austin Carr||USA||Notre Dame|
|1970||Detroit Pistons||Bob Lanier||USA||St. Bonaventure|
|1969||Milwaukee Bucks||Lew Alcindor||USA||UCLA|
|1968||San Diego Rockets||Elvin Hayes||USA||Houston|
|1967||Detroit Pistons||Jimmy Walker||USA||Providence|
|1996||New York Knicks||Cazzie Russell||USA||Michigan|
|1965||San Francisco Warriors||Fred Hetzel||USA||Davidson|
|1964||New York Knicks||Jim Barnes||USA||Texas Western|
|1963||New York Knicks||Art Heyman||USA||Duke|
|1962||Chicago Zephyrs||Bill McGill||USA||Utah|
|1961||Chicago Packers||Walt Bellamy||USA||Indiana|
|1960||Cincinnati Royals||Oscar Robertson||USA||Cincinnati|
|1959||Cincinnati Royals||Bob Boozer||USA||Kansas State|
|1958||Minneapolis Lakers||Elgin Baylor||USA||Seattle|
|1957||Cincinnati Royals||Rod Hundley||USA||West Virginia|
|1956||Rochester Royals||Sihugo Green||USA||Duquesne|
|1955||Milwaukee Bucks||Dick Ricketts||USA||Duquesne|
|1954||Baltimore Bullets||Frank Selvy||USA||Furman|
|1953||Baltimore Bullets||Ray Felix||USA||Long Island|
|1952||Milwaukee Hawks||Mark Workman||USA||West Virginia|
|1951||Baltimore Bullets||Gene Melchiorre||USA||Bradley|
|1950||Boston Celtics||Charlies Share||USA||Bowling Green|
|1949||Providence Steamrollers||Howie Shannon||USA||Kansas State|
|1948||Providence Steamrollers||Andy Tonkovich||USA||Marshall|
|1947||Pittsburgh Ironmen||Clifton McNeeley||USA||Texas Wesleyan|
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