“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
|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.
This Day In 1996: Warriors take Todd Fuller 2 picks ahead of Kobe.
Golden State Warriors GM Dave Twardzik on Kobe: “He should go to college. He’s not ready.”
Fuller’s career: 225 games, 3.7 ppg.
Kobe goes on to become 1 of the greatest.
Twardzik fired before ‘97 Draft. pic.twitter.com/BIqnUU43p2
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 26, 2022
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.
1996 NBA Draft
The Golden State Warriors select Todd Fuller
On the board at the time: Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Peja Stojakovic and Jermaine O’Neal pic.twitter.com/4ElGbb8Vt6
— #FreeBrittneyGriner (@CandlestickWill) June 23, 2022