All of us at times have wondered at one how the NBA would be different if things didn’t turn out the way they did. Right now I am going to list my top five what if’s in the NBA.

Starting at number five: What if Magic Johnson was allowed to to play basketball with HIV? Johnson first retired in 1991 following his announcement that he was HIV positive. He came back for a short return in 1996 before retiring once again. The Lakers traded Vlade Divac to the Charlotte Hornets for Kobe Bryant that year. If Johnson had not retired earlier on the year he may have had the opportunity to play with him. Who knows what would have happened! If he played until 1996 he would also have the opportunity to play alongside Shaq. They could have probably won a championship or two.

chauncey-billups-tore-his-achilles-NBA

Number four is: What if Chauncey Billups didn’t get injured during the 2011-2012 season? Chauncey was injured during a play against the Orlando Magic,  suffering a torn Achilles tendon in February of last season. He was forced to miss to rest of the season. I strongly believe if he was not injured, the Los Angles Clippers would have had a chance to go to the Western Conference Finals that year.

Number three: What if Robert Horry had missed the clutch three against the Sacramento Kings in the 2002 Western Conference Finals? If Horry had missed the three, the  Los Angles Lakers would have likely lost the series and the Sacramento Kings would have the won the NBA Championship.  Instead, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal completed their legendary three peat with a 4-0 sweep over the New Jersey Nets.

Number two is: What if Michael Jordan had continued to pursue his baseball career, and never came back? The reason why Jordan decided to play baseball because his dad always envisioned his son to be a professional baseball player. Think about how his return turned out for the Bulls, and what it would be like if he never came back.  Jordan came back and lead the Bulls to three more NBA titles, before retiring again in 1998.

Sam-Bowie

Finally number one is: What if Michael Jordan was drafted second overall by the Portland Trail Blazers? It seems ridiculous to hear now, but Jordan wasn’t the #1 player taken in his class. That was Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, who went on to have a hall of fame career in Houston. The Trail Blazers picked second, and rather then take Jordan, Portland went big, and took Sam Bowie from Kentucky with the 2nd pick. Bowie went on to have an injury plagued career that spanned just 139 games in 4 seasons for Portland. The Trail Blazers would later draft a hall of fame guard of their own, Clyde Drexler, but he was never able to lead them to the promise land.  And well, you know how the Bulls turned out with Jordan.
That is our top 5 what if’s in the NBA in recent memory. What do you guys think? What is on your list? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Stefan Abramian