The National Basketball Association’s first overall pick is the player who’s selected first one of all eligible draftees by a team during the annual National Basketball Association (NBA) draft. The pick is given to the team that wins the NBA draft lottery; in most cases, that group had a losing record in the season. The staff with the first pick brings significant media attention, as does the participant who is chosen with that pick.
Eleven first picks have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award: Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (album six-time winner), Bill Walton, Magic Johnson (three-time winner), Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan (two-time winner), LeBron James (four-time winner), and Derrick Rose (youngest winner).
Since the advent of the draft lottery in 1985, seven number one picks have won an NBA title. They are Shaquille O’Neal David Robinson, Glenn Robinson, Tim Duncan, LeBron James, Andrew Bogut, and Kyrie Irving.
China’s Yao Ming (2002) and Italy’s Andrea Bargnani (2006) are the only two players with no aggressive expertise in the United States to be drafted first overall. Eleven other foreign players with U.S. college experience have been hailed overall–Mychal Thompson (Bahamas) in 1978, Hakeem Olajuwon (Nigeria) in 1984, Patrick Ewing (Jamaica) in 1985, Tim Duncan (U.S. Virgin Islands) in 1997, Michael Olowokandi (Nigeria) in 1998, Andrew Bogut (Australia) in 2005, Kyrie Irving (Australia) in 2011, Anthony Bennett (Canada) in 2013, Andrew Wiggins (Canada) at 2014, Ben Simmons (Australia) in 2016, and Deandre Ayton (Bahamas) at 2018. Duncan is an American citizen, but is considered an”international” participant by the NBA because he was not born in one of the fifty states or the District of Columbia. Ewing had dual citizenship when he was drafted and Irving and Simmons had double citizenship if they were drafted.
Note that the drafts between 1947 and 1949 were held by the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The Basketball Association of America became the National Basketball Association after murdering teams in the National Basketball League in the fall of 1949. Official NBA books contain the BAA Drafts as part of the draft background of the NBA.