Sam Bowie Speaker Profile
Former NBA Center
Sam Bowie Biography
Sam Bowie was born March 17, 1961 and is a retired Americanbasketball player. A national sensation in high school and outstandingcollegian, Bowie's professional promise was undermined by repeated injury. Inspite of the setbacks, the 7'1", 235 lb center played ten seasons in theNBA.
Projected as a solid first rounder in the 1984 NBA Draft,Bowie was chosen by the Portland Trail Blazers as the second selection, aheadof Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.
The Houston Rockets selected Hakeem Olajuwon with the firstpick in the 1984 NBA draft. The Portland Trail Blazers selected Bowie next.Drafting third, the Chicago Bulls chose University of North Carolina shootingguard Michael Jordan.
At the time, the pick appeared to make some sense from theBlazers' perspective; they'd been looking for help in the post since franchiseplayer Bill Walton suffered the first of several foot injuries that wouldeventually end his career. In fact, shortly before the draft, the NBA fined theBlazers $250,000 for improper contact with Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing.Nonetheless, in 2005, ESPN, citing Bowie's injury-laden college career, namedthe Blazers' choice of Bowie as the worst draft pick in North American professionalsports history. In 2005, Sports Illustrated listed Bowie as the biggest draftbust in NBA history, arguing that teams should draft for talent and not need.
During his rookie season, Bowie played in 76 games andaveraged 10 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, earning a spot on the NBAAll-Rookie Team. However, injuries limited him to only 63 games over the nextfour seasons, including only five during the 1986-87 and none in 1987-88. OnJune 24, 1989, Bowie, who had averaged 10.5 points per game with the TrailBlazers, was traded, along with a draft pick, to the New Jersey Nets inexchange for Buck Williams. Bowie's four seasons in New Jersey were hishealthiest and most successful; he averaged 12.8 points and 8.2 rebounds pergame and never missed more than 20 games in a season. After two moreinjury-riddled years with the Los Angeles Lakers, Bowie retired from professionalbasketball in 1995.
Over his career, Bowie averaged 10.9 points, 7.5 reboundsand 1.78 blocks per game. He hit 45.2% of his attempted field goals (2,127 madeof 4,702 attempted), and 30.2% of his three-point shots (32 made of 106attempted).
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