A former number one pick in the entire draft, you may remember Never Nervous Pervis Ellison not exactly living up to his bill. He lead Louisville to a National Championship as a Freshman, than stayed all 4 years without tarnishing his draft stock (there's not a shot in hell for the rest of my lifetime that you'll ever see someone do this without leaving school early). He was drafted by the Kings in the summer of 1989 but then after one season was traded to the Bullets.
He was more than solid for the Bullets, finishing in the top 10 in blocked shots per game the next 3 seasons while averaging 15.5 ppg and 9.2 rpg. However he was injured for a lot of that time, a problem that plagued him there and throughout his career.
He came to the C's in 1995 and was there until 2000 although he never exceeded the 69 game mark for a season and only played a total of 69 games his last 3 seasons with the Celtics combined. For his career, which actually lasted 11 seasons, he only played in 474 total games (and 4 playoff games with the Celts back in 1995). He retired after 1 final season with the Sonics in 2001.
Looking back it's incredible he lasted that long. But it's the same reason a guy like Kwame Brown plays for as long as he does and will continue to play. That word "potential" carries a lot of weight. It gives guys a career (a career where he made $21,750,000- how ya like dem apples Otis Birdsong?). Pervis also is honored in one of the most heinous sports websites I've ever seen: http://pervisellison.com/. The person who designed that should have his eyesight permanently removed if he thinks that's aesthetically pleasing.
You may recall Pervis is famously remembered for dropping a table on his toe and missing extended time. This also happened to Kendrick Perkins, but didn't gather as much attention at the time probably because the Celtics weren't sucking.
Nowadays Pervis is an apsiring coach of little kids in both AAU and in the NJ area. Here's a recent Pervis interview with highlights of the munchkins interspersed throughout:
I'm fairly confident we won't see Pervis grace the sidelines of an NBA court anytime soon. But he should be commended for his charitable deeds including providing five full scholarships worth $4,800 apiece so disadvantaged youth can attend the school known as the New Beginnings Academy- affectionately known as the "NBA."
So in the grand scheme of things was he a bigger bust than Michael Olowokandi (uh oh yet another potential guy for WTTHT...)? I say no. I also think he's leaps and bounds better than Kwame Brown ever was. In his third year with the Bullets Perv averaged 20 and 11- Olowokandi can't say that and neither can Brown. Until Ellison got hurt in one of the most gruesome injuries I've ever seen (fortunately I couldn't find this on youtube) where his leg bends the wrong way while he's standing up, I think he could've amounted to a pretty decent player. Someone with a career comparable statistically to Antonio McDyess or Christian Laettner (also both top 3 picks). Unfortunately for Pervis his injuries were his plight in the NBA. The same can't be said of Olowokandi or Brown, who both just sucked.
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