It has been nearly 40 years since a true shooting guard was the top overall pick in the NBA Draft. If the Cavaliers elect to end that streak and select Ben McLemore first overall in two weeks, hopefully it works out better than the last time it happened. The Atlanta Hawks made David Thompson the top pick of the 1975 draft, but he never played for them. Thompson was also the top pick of the ABA Draft that year and elected to play in the ABA before the two leagues merged. The list of players to go No. 1 overall is littered with point guards and big men. McLemore is well aware of that, since he used some down time after the season to research the last time a shooting guard was the top pick. “I realized I can make history,” McLemore said. “Coming from nothing and just having the opportunity to get the No. 1 spot, I’m going to work for it. It’s definitely neck and neck.” The other “neck” McLemore was referring to was Nerlens Noel, but the Cavs have seemed cool on Noel since winning the draft lottery last month. Questions about Noel’s knee and offensive game persist, while the 6-foot-5 McLemore averaged 15.9 points and shot a shade under 50 percent for the Jayhawks in a real-life rags-to-riches story. One of six children, McLemore was so poor growing up that his mother sometimes had to sell food stamps in order to pay bills and keep the electricity on in the family’s tiny St. Louis home. McLemore told USA Today he would sometimes go a couple of days without eating as a child, the only bed in his house had just three legs (the fourth corner was supported by books) and as many as 10 relatives would often sleep in his house, which was less than 600 square feet.
Cleveland Cavaliers could make Ben McLemore first shooting guard to go No. 1 in nearly 40 years
Akron Beacon Journal | Jun 13