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Sam Bowie Once Revealed He Lied About His Knee Pain So The Blazers Would Pick Him Over Michael Jordan: "They Would Hit Me On My Left Tibia And 'I Don't Feel Anything', I Would Tell Em. But Deep Down Inside, It Was Hurting."

Sam Bowie Once Revealed He Lied About His Knee Pain So The Blazers Would Pick Him Over Michael Jordan: "They Would Hit Me On My Left Tibia And 'I Don't Feel Anything', I Would Tell Em. But Deep Down Inside, It Was Hurting."

The NBA draft is how the best talent enters the league, and there is a long history of teams making the wrong pick and missing out on an amazing superstar. Many teams, passed on Stephen Curry, and the Minnesota Timberwolves did it twice, but perhaps the most egregious one of all is that the GOAT Michael Jordan was chosen 3rd overall in the 1984 draft. 

The Houston Rockets get somewhat of a pass for getting Hakeem Olajuwon with the No. 1 overall pick, but the Portland Trail Blazers forever have to live with the knowledge that they chose the injury-prone Sam Bowie over MJ. But speaking in a documentary in 2012 about how exactly the pick came to be, Bowie made the revelation that he lied to the Blazers about his knee pain so they would pick him (via Yahoo Sports):

"I can still remember them taking a little mallet, and when they would hit me on my left tibia, and 'I don't feel anything' I would tell 'em. But deep down inside, it was hurting. If what I did was lying and what I did was wrong, at the end of the day, when you have loved ones that have some needs, I did what any of us would have done."

Bowie had suffered fractures to his left tibia during college, and injuries would eventually go on to ravage his career, so the fact that he wasn't entirely truthful cost the Blazers in the long run. Everyone knows the career Michael Jordan went on to have, six championships and 6 Finals MVPs to go along with some truly insane records, making this a huge 'what if?'. 

Sports science, being as advanced as it is today, means it's unlikely that this would happen in the current NBA, but drafting is always a difficult process. One thing is for sure: if Bowie had just said yes when asked about pain in his knee, NBA history could have ended up looking very different.