Cover Image for “Kobe Bryant should go to college, he’s not ready!”: Golden State Warriors passed on the 5-time champion to pick Todd Fuller because of an incompetent GM

“Kobe Bryant should go to college, he’s not ready!”: Golden State Warriors passed on the 5-time champion to pick Todd Fuller because of an incompetent GM

Jeet Pukhrambam
|Mon Jun 27 2022

12 teams passed on Kobe Bryant and most notably among them were the Golden State Warriors who thought he was an unfinished product.   

The Golden State Warriors have defined what it looks like and feels like to draft the right players and build a dynasty. Very few teams have ever done it properly and the San Francisco franchise has been immaculate at teambuilding.

But things were not so good at one point. During the Don Nelson era, the Warriors had an opportunity to draft a certain player, a young shooting guard from Lower Merion High School.

His name was Kobe Bryant and while he had the ceiling a lot of people in the league did not think he was ready. 12 teams passed on Kobe.

The reason was simple, he was simply too raw, too unfiltered. A lot of general managers didn’t think he would transition well into the NBA.

Some thought he didn’t have the experience. The college experience to be precise. The Golden State Warriors passed on the chance to draft Kobe Bryant because they thought he was not ready. Talk about a blunder.

Also read: “Is there a number 1 player ever? There is no real answer to it”: When Kobe Bryant eloquently stated that the best player is not Michael Jordan or LeBron James, but is something else


The Golden State Warriors chose Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant because of a lack of research

The 1996 draft class remains one of the most elite NBA drafts to date. The likes of Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Ray Allen, and Steve Nash came from the 1996 draft.

Among them, however, Kobe Bryant remains the most illustrious. A career that spanned nearly two decades where he hoisted 5 championships, one MVP, and numerous all-NBA and all-star selections. It was dazzling.

But what is still remarkable is that he was picked 13th. Dave Twardzik the Golden State Warriors GM at the time said this about Bryant.

“He should go to college. He’s not ready”

Well, as it turns out that was quite a fictitious statement. Warriors drafted a center by the name of Todd Fuller. He went on to average a meager 3.7 ppg in his five-year NBA career.

While the expectations were high, he did not live up to them. Dave Twardzik was also fired before the 1997 NBA draft.

As for Kobe Bryant, we all know how that story goes.

Also read: “Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry were better than Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal!”: NBA fan makes BRAVE claim amid rumors of Nets star’s potential future

About the author
Jeet Pukhrambam

Jeet Pukhrambam

Jeet Pukhrambam is TheSportsRush's editor and creative writer. After freelancing for five years as an independent writer, Jeet has created thousands of blog posts and articles. He now covers intriguing news reports and throwback stories on all things NBA. In his free time, he enjoys techno, football, cooking, and traveling. Jeet takes pride in his critical thinking, music playlists, and his love for spaghetti.

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