Best High School Players to Jump to the NBA
It is hard to deny the impact of the best high school basketball players to jump to the NBA. The argument about allowing high school basketball players to jump straight to the NBA has long been debated. The NBA currently has in place a rule that each high school player must wait one year before entering the NBA Draft but even league commissioner David Stern can't deny the impact that the best high school basketball players to jump straight to the NBA have had on the league. Here are the five best high school basketball players to jump to the NBA:
- Kobe Bryant - Perhaps the second best shooting guard in NBA history behind Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant jumped to the NBA directly after his senior year at Lower Merion High School. He was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets thirteenth overall in the 1996 NBA Draft and traded to the Lakers. With the Lakers, Bryant has won four NBA Championships, including last year's title over the Orlando Magic. Bryant won the 2007-2008 NBA MVP and has been named the All-Star Game MVP three times.
- LeBron James - With much hype and fanfare, LeBron James was selected first overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers after jumping to the NBA from high school. Having grown up in nearby Akron, Ohio, Cleveland seemed the perfect fit for James. And in his seventh NBA season, James have proven more than worthy of the hype. Last year, James won his first NBA MVP Award and has been an All-Star the last six seasons. He was the 2003-2004 Rookie of the Year and he's well on pace to his second league MVP Award.
- Kevin Garnett - Kevin Garnett was drafted fifth overall in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves out of Farragut Academy in Chicago. Garnett spent twelve seasons with the Timberwolves and will likely go down as the best player in franchise history. During the 2007 offseason, Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics and teamed up with Paul Pierce and Ray Allen to win the Celtics' seventeenth NBA Championship that season. Garnett is a thirteen-time NBA All-Star and has won an All-Star MVP Award, League MVP Award (2003-2004) and was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year in 2007-2008.
- Dwight Howard - Dwight Howard was drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic in the 2004 Draft jumping to the NBA out of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy and has dominated the front court for the Magic since. Garnett has been named to four straight All-Star games and was last year's NBA Defensive Player of the Year.
- Moses Malone - Moses Malone was one of the first high school players to jump to the NBA straight out of Petersburg High School in Virginia. He played 21 seasons with various teams and was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001. Malone won three NBA MVP Awards and was a thirteen-time NBA All-Star.