10 Times the Brooklyn Nets missed on a superstar in the NBA Draft

Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Gary Payton #20 of the Seattle SuperSonics (Photo credit should read DAN LEVINE/AFP via Getty Images) /

3. Gary Payton – 1990

The Nets have gotten to use the first overall pick exactly twice in their time as an NBA franchise. In this particular year, they went with Derrick Coleman out of Syracuse.

Coleman proved to be one of the league’s best and most well-rounded power forwards early on, as he averaged 19.9 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists across 348 games in New Jersey.

While Coleman wasn’t a bad player, everyone and their mother still would’ve picked Gary Payton with the first overall pick in a re-draft, as Payton was selected just behind Coleman with the second overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics.

Payton is considered one of the best point guards of all-time, and when you look at his accomplishments, it’s not hard to see why, as the nine-time All-Star has been selected to nine All-NBA teams (two First Team, five Second Team and two Third Team selections) and has been on the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times as well including a Defensive Player of the Year award in 1996. Nine must really be his lucky number or something.

The Glove wouldn’t back down from anybody, and that includes Michael Jordan, as he made clear during the 1996 Finals between the SuperSonics and Chicago Bulls.

“You’ve got to get back at Jordan,” Payton said. ”You can’t back down on him. If you do, he’s like a wolf, he’s going to eat everything. He knew I wasn’t going to back down. I had to realize or see if he is really about being a dog, about this neighborhood stuff. I went at him. It was just me being me.”

Payton ended up sticking around for 17 years in the league, as he won a championship with the Miami Heat in the 2005-06 season.