When Boston Celtics Hall of Fame small forward Paul Pierce was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the Kansas product made a point of thanking each and every team that passed on the Jayhawk standout who passed him over to take another prospect on draft night in 1998.
Explaining how he used the snub as motivation, Pierce said, “Coming out of college, I was a First Team All-American, a projected No. 2 pick,” continuing on by naming every franchise that doubted him. “Thank you for passing on me and adding fuel to my fire,” he explained. “I appreciate that.”
But who were those teams, and who did they go with instead? Let’s look back at the top nine picks of that draft, and whether there’s any that didn’t end up regretting their selection, in retrospect.
WATCH: Where should we rank Celtics legend Paul Pierce among the NBA’s 50 greatest players? https://t.co/TVurEjxvKU
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) September 12, 2021