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  The 7-foot-1 Olowokandi averaged 22.2 points and 11.2 rebounds last season at Pacific   
(Jed Jacobsohn/Allsport)

How sweet it is!

Clippers select Olowokandi with No. 1 pick

It was widely thought the Los Angeles Clippers, with the top pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, would not gamble on a project.

Those in the know thought there was no way Elgin Baylor could pass on Arizona's Mike Bibby -- a savvy point guard with NBA bloodlin es -- and take a chance on Michael Olowokandi -- a soccer player who has been playing competitive basketball for only three years.

  • Grading the 1998 Draft
  • Winners and losers at the '98 draft

    The Celtics were delighted when Paul Pierce's draft stock slipped
    Because teams like to posture, misdirect and outright lie when fielding queries about their plans for the draft, the final 48 hours before the selection process begins are usually cluttered with disinformation. This year was no different.

    Lopez hoping for a fresh start, long career in the NBA
    The last shot of Felipe Lopez's college career was perfectly fitting. What could have lifted St. John's into the second round of the NCAA Tournament, instead served as one last reminder of four years of frustration and unfulfilled potential.

    NBA testing international waters to find legitimate centers
    The NBA has seen the future, and it has a gaping hole right through the middle. The void has nothing to do with the potential retirement of Michael Jordan; instead, substantial injuries to Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon and Alonzo Mourning this season provided a look into a world without high-profile, high-impact centers. Though the next wave of pro players arrives on June 24 via the NBA Draft, the answer to the biggest problem at hand does not.


    JUNE 18
      1997-98 NBA-All Rookie Team
    1998 NBA Draft Underclassmen

  •  1. L.A. Clippers
    Michael Olowokandi
    Pacific C
     2. Vancouver Grizzlies
    Mike Bibby
    Arizona PG
     3. Denver Nuggets
    Raef LaFrentz
    Kansas PF
     4. Golden State
    Antawn Jamison
     5. Toronto Raptors
    Vince Carter
    UNC 2G
     6. Dallas Mavericks
    Robert Traylor
    Michigan F
     7. Sacramento Kings
    Jason Williams
    Florida PG
     8. Philadelphia 76ers
    Larry Hughes
    St. Louis 2G
     9. Milwaukee Bucks
    Dirk Nowitzki
    Djk Wurzburg SF
    10. Boston Celtics
    Paul Pierce
    Kansas 2G
     •Complete 1998 draft board

     Tell us your top pick
    Check out some CNN/SI user choices
    CNN/SI user choices, part two

     Bests and worsts ofthe '90s

     An honor roll for the Class of '98

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