For most Knicks fans, transitioning your focus from the heat of the NBA Playoffs to the stillness leading up to the NBA Draft is a tough pill to swallow, especially with the team’s propensity to come up with some real oddball selections. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to highlight some of those picks, starting with the famed draft class of 2003.
The 2003 NBA Draft couldn’t have been any top heavier, featuring four of today’s automatic All-Stars (LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Bosh) in the first five picks. Considering the Detroit Pistons took Darko Milicic 2nd overall, the New York Knicks come off looking like geniuses despite managing to throw away a top-ten pick.
In their defense, the rest of the draft was pretty bereft of talent, but Michael Sweetney? Really!? The next three power forwards off the board, Nick Collison, David West, and Boris Diaw, have all been more than serviceable throughout their careers.
The 2002-03 season was one to forget for the Knicks, but they missed the playoffs for “only” the second season in a row. If we only knew how long that streak would become. To be honest, I’d take the Isiah Years over the Layden regime any day. I cringe at the thoughts of an offense directed by Howard Eisley and a salary cap owned by Allan Houston’s bad knees. Adding Sweetney certainly did not help. Despite putting up 22.8 points 10.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks in his exit season at Georgetown, he barely made it off the bench in the pros, averaging just over 15 minutes a night in two years as a Knick.
If nothing else, Sweetney was definitely one of the heaviest members of the Knicks we’ve ever seen suit up.
His NBA career was cut way short by his weight issues and after a stop in Uruguay and a couple of failed attempts at a comeback with the Celtics, he signed to play in Puerto Rico in 2011. He had some success at international ball, averaging 14.1 points and 8.6 rebounds in his last two seasons, but was waived in April.