Yao Ming's retirement is sad for many reasons, but mostly because those who watched the 30-year old Rockets center be so dominant when healthy are now forced to ponder what might have been. Then again, the same could be said for many of the same players who entered the NBA in the same draft class as Yao. Here's a pretty stunning fact from Russ Bengtson on Twitter.
The other three players are Yao (No. 1 overall), Jay Williams (No. 2 overall, suffered a career-ending motorcycle injury) and Nikoloz Tskitishvilli (No. 5 overall, genuinely not good enough). In fact, only five of the first 10 picks in the 2002 draft are still in the league, since DaJuan Wagner (No. 6 overall) also is out of the league. That matches the total of the top 10 picks in the legendarily awful 2000 draft and is much lower than the top 10 picks in a 2001 draft (eight, nine if you count Eddy Curry) that was only slightly better.
So pour one out for the 2002 NBA Draft as well.