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Polling GSoM: Was Billy Owens a "monumental NBA bust"?

Over at Y! Sports Blog The Dagger they're counting down "the best college basketball players who went on to have disappointing NBA careers". As one would expect there's going to be at least one Warrior on the list. At #7 there's Billy Owens who is deemed a "monumental NBA bust" and is ridiculed for being out of the NBA by the age of 31.


Not the finest, but not a "monumental NBA bust". [via]

Don't get me wrong. That trade that sent Mitch Richmond up north to Sacrapmento and broke up Run TMC is not going to be making any Dubs highlight reels anytime soon. Undoubtedly Owens was a great college player who went on to have a really disappointing NBA career- he didn't live up to the hype. But I'm not so sure calling Owens a "monumnetal NBA bust" is fair. Check his numbers over at Basketball Reference and jump for some facts and more!

FACT: The Warriors won 11 more games in Owens' rookie season (win total 55) compared to the previous season with Richmond (win total 44).

FACT: In his first season at the age of 22 Billy Owens averaged 14.3 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 2.4 apg, 0.8 blk, and 1.1 stl and made the 1991-1992 All-NBA Rookie 1st team.

FACT: ZERO players this past season averaged an all-around game that equalled or surpassed Owen's career bests of 16.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg, and 4.1 apg (16-8-4). (That's of course picking and choosing numbers, but Owens was indeed a rare talent.)

FACT: The average length of an NBA career is just a shade under 5 years. Owens doubled that with a 10 year career.

FACT: After Owens (for Ronny Seikally) and Chris Webber (for Tom Gugliotta) were traded in the fall of 1994 a depressed Latrell wrote their jersey numbers on his sneakers. (Okay I'll admit back in 1994 I wanted to do the same thing, but all my sneakers were black.)


Billy Owens drawing his usual quadruple team.



Have the Warriors drafted plenty of busts over the years? YES, see Don't Bust Out! (Golden State Warriors BLOG).

Did Nellie and company screw up and make a bad trade here? YES.

Does it suck that Run TMC only lasted 2 short seasons? YES.

Does it suck that WE BELIEVE only lasted 1 short spring? YES.

Did Billy Owens fail to live up to the hype? YES.

But was Owens a "monumental bust"? I'm not so sure I buy that given the facts. Guys like Clifford Rozier, Todd Fuller, Adonal Foyle, Patrick O'Bryant, Kosta Perovic- now those are "monumental busts". Over here in Dubs land, we know a monumental bust when we see one!

Make sure to check out the rest of the ongoing bust countdown over at The Dagger. It's a great trip down memory lane right before the 2009 NBA Draft:

  • 10- Danny Ferry: It's hilarious how a guy who tried to circumvent the NBA Draft order is now a GM of a team. Another reason for LeBron to go to NY the first chance he gets!
  • 9- Adam Morrison: Let's just say he really doesn't need to do all that much to win the 2009-2010 NBA Most Improved Player.
  • 8- J.R. Reid: This is hilarious...
    It's sort of sad that Reid is probably best remembered now as the butt of a frequent joke from the Cameron Crazies. Those so-called clever fans used to hold up signs that said "J.R. Can't Reid", a practice that eventually incensed Dean Smith so much that he publicly called out the Duke students and pointed out that Reid had higher SAT scores than Danny Ferry and Christian Laettner. Unfortunately, all three had similarly disappointing NBA careers.
  • 7- Billy Owens: At least the man had low expectations...
    Owens didn't sign with Sacramento and forced his trade to Golden State
    Quite the bargaining power- not signing with Sac, but landing up in GSW. This might be the first and only time someone "forced" a trade to the Golden State Warriors. For this, Owens should never be forgotten by the "Unstoppably Baby!" people.
  • 6- Juan Dixon: Looks like his 2 seconds of fame are up.
  • 5- Lionel Simmons: The L-Train got banged up.

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