My Shawn Kemp Draft Story but 1st, Shawn's Top 10 Dunks: http://bit.ly/cJSaM0 1989 was my first draft as an NBA scout. I was a part-time scout for the Chicago Bulls in 88-89 and had just been hired full time by the Bulls organization. Doug Collins was fired and Phil Jackson had been hired to coach the Bulls. The Bulls had 3 draft picks in 1989. The Bulls picked Stacy King #6, B.J. Armstrong #18, & Jeff Sanders #20: http://bit.ly/akOGGp
I want all NBA fans & Chicago Bulls fans to imagine how good the Bulls would have been if we had picked the player who went #17 Shawn Kemp. Was there serious discussion about Shawn. Yep, but Krause was uncomfortable with his background. Shawn never played college basketball. "During his senior year, Kemp signed a national letter-of-intent to play basketball at the University of Kentucky. However, he left the team in November 1988 after he was accused of pawning two gold chains that had been reported stolen from his teammate Sean Sutton, the son of then Kentucky head coach Eddie Sutton. Sean Sutton did not press charges, but Kemp transferred to Trinity Valley Community College in Texas. After a semester at TVCC, where he did not play, 19-year-old Shawn Kemp declared himself eligible for the 1989 NBA Draft."
How do I enter the picture. I was a rookie scout. Only saw a few games during the year on the west coast, but saw all of the top draft picks in the Orlando Classic with Jerry Krause and Jim Stack. I didn't have much weight in the organization at the time and I had never seen Shawn Kemp play, but I knew somebody who had coached him very well. My dad, Clarence "Big House" Gaines was the only college coach who ever coached Shawn Kemp in an organized game. My father coached Kemp in The Jones Cup: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Jones_Cup in 1988. The team went 7-0 and http://www.usabasketball.com/history/all_time_mens_coaches.html other players I remember being on the team were Greg Anthony, Billy Owens, Felton Spencer. My dad thought Shawn Kemp was the best talent on the team and communicated that information to Krause. Krause trusted my dad's opinion,but Jerry was big on seeing a kid for himself. My father was instrumental in highlighting a player in his conference when Krause first took the Bulls job. That player was Charles Oakley. Guess who my father's assistant was on the Jones Cup team. Dave Robbins, Oakley's coach at Va. Union.
Being the naive scout I was in 1989, I pushed hard for the Bulls to consider Kemp with our second draft pick. Kemp went right before B. J. Armstrong, but Krause wouldn't have picked him if he had fallen to us. In hindsight, Jerry should have picked him over Stacy. Kemp had character issues, but it would have been interesting to see how he would have developed with the Bulls.
That's my Shawn Kemp story. Hope you found it informative.