Drum roll, please....
Other Notable Big 12 Players Drafted 1st: None
Best Non-Big 12 Player Drafted 1st: Tim Duncan, Wake Forest Demon Deacons, by the San Antonio Spurs in 1997.
This was a tough one. Derrick Rose was this season's MVP. John Wall is going to be great. Dwight Howard and Yao Ming are (when healthy) the two best centers in the league.
Kwame Brown and Michael Olowokandi... but the real debate that brewed in my head was between Duncan and LeBron James. And while Duncan has six more years over LBJ to compile stats, the stats that matter most are the four championship rings Duncan can slip onto his fingers. At the end of the day, you want to be the best, and to be the best you have to beat the best. Duncan beat the best four times. King James has come up short. At the point where King James is in his career, Duncan already had three rings.
In preparation for the 2011 NBA Draft, each day until June 23 we'll count down the best Big 12 player drafted with each pick. This list only takes into account players who played in the Big 12, so it starts with the 1997 draft. In total 70 Big 12 alumni have been selected, filling 43 of the 60 possible slots.