|1977 NBA draft|
|Date(s)||June 10, 1977|
|Location||New York City, New York|
|First selection||Kent Benson, Milwaukee Bucks|
← 1976NBA draft
The 1977 NBA draft was the 31st annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on June 10, 1977, before the 1977–78 season. In this draft, 22 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each conference, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Milwaukee Bucks won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Kansas City Kings, who obtained the New York Nets first-round pick in a trade, were awarded the second pick. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. Before the draft, six college underclassmen were declared eligible for selection under the "hardship" rule. These players had applied and gave evidence of financial hardship to the league, which granted them the right to start earning their living by starting their professional careers earlier. Four former American Basketball Association (ABA) franchises who joined the NBA when both leagues merged, the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers, the New York Nets and the San Antonio Spurs, took part in the NBA Draft for the first time. Prior to the start of the season, the Nets relocated to New Jersey and became the New Jersey Nets. The draft consisted of 8 rounds comprising the selection of 170 players.
Kent Benson from Indiana University was selected first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks. Walter Davis from the University of North Carolina, who went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in his first season, was selected fifth by the Phoenix Suns. Davis was also selected to both the All-NBA Team and the All-Star Game in his first season. He collected a total of six All-NBA Team selections and two All-Star Game selections. Three other players from this draft, second pick Otis Birdsong, third pick Marques Johnson and seventh pick Bernard King, were also selected to both the All-NBA Team and the All-Star Game. Birdsong was selected to four All-NBA Teams and one All-Star Game; Johnson was selected to five All-NBA Teams and three All-Star Games; and King was selected to four All-NBA Teams and four All-Star Games. Jack Sikma, the eight pick, won the NBA championship with the Seattle SuperSonics in 1979 and was selected to seven consecutive All-Star Games. Rickey Green, the 16th pick, Norm Nixon, the 22nd pick, and Eddie Johnson, the 39th pick, are the only other players from this draft who were selected to an All-Star Game. Two players drafted went on to have coaching careers in the NBA: 33rd pick Eddie Jordan and 53rd pick John Kuester. Jordan has coached three teams in nine seasons, including five seasons with the Washington Wizards.
In the seventh round, the New Orleans Jazz selected Lusia Harris, a female college basketball star from Delta State University, with the 137th pick. She became the second woman ever drafted by an NBA team, after Denise Long, who was selected by the San Francisco Warriors in the 1969 Draft. However, the league voided the Warriors' selection, thus Harris became the first and only woman ever officially drafted. Harris did not express an interest to play in the NBA and declined to try out for the Jazz. It was later revealed that she was pregnant at the time, which made her unable to attend the Jazz's training camp, even if she had wanted to. She never played in the NBA but she later played briefly in the Women's Professional Basketball League. In 1992, she was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame and became the first women ever inducted to the Hall of Fame. She was also part of the inaugural class of inductees of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.
Also in the seventh round, the Kansas City Kings selected track and field athlete Caitlyn Jenner (then Bruce)3[›] with the 139th pick. Jenner had just won the gold medal for decathlon at the 1976 Olympic Games, but had not actually played basketball since high school; he stayed with his athletics career and never played in the NBA.
|*||Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game and All-NBA Team|
|+||Denotes player who has been selected for at least one All-Star Game|
|#||Denotes player who never played in the NBA regular season or playoffs|
|1||1||Benson, KentKent Benson||C||United States||Milwaukee Bucks||Indiana (Sr.)|
|1||2||Birdsong, OtisOtis Birdsong*||G||United States||Kansas City Kings (from N.Y. Nets)[a]||Houston (Sr.)|
|1||3||Johnson, MarquesMarques Johnson*||G/F||United States||Milwaukee Bucks (from Buffalo)[b]||UCLA (Sr.)|
|1||4||Ballard, GregGreg Ballard||F||United States||Washington Bullets (from Atlanta)[c]||Oregon (Sr.)|
|1||5||Davis, WalterWalter Davis*||G/F||United States||Phoenix Suns||North Carolina (Sr.)|
|1||6||Carr, KennyKenny Carr||F||United States||Los Angeles Lakers (from New Orleans)[d]||NC State (Jr.)|
|1||7||King, BernardBernard King^||F||United States||New York Nets (from Indiana)[e]||Tennessee (Jr.)|
|1||8||Sikma, JackJack Sikma+||F/C||United States||Seattle SuperSonics||Illinois Wesleyan (Sr.)|
|1||9||LaGarde, TomTom LaGarde||F/C||United States||Denver Nuggets (from Kansas City)[f]||North Carolina (Sr.)|
|1||10||Williams, RayRay Williams||G||United States||New York Knicks||Minnesota (Sr.)|
|1||11||Grunfeld, ErnieErnie Grunfeld||G/F|| Romania
|Milwaukee Bucks (from Cleveland)[g]||Tennessee (Sr.)|
|1||12||Maxwell, CedricCedric Maxwell||F||United States||Boston Celtics||UNC Charlotte (Sr.)|
|1||13||Armstrong, TateTate Armstrong||G||United States||Chicago Bulls[b]||Duke (Sr.)|
|1||14||Rollins, TreeTree Rollins||C||United States||Atlanta Hawks (from Detroit via Washington)[c]||Clemson (Sr.)|
|1||15||Davis, BradBrad Davis||G||United States||Los Angeles Lakers (from San Antonio)[h]||Maryland (Jr.)|
|1||16||Green, RickeyRickey Green+||G||United States||Golden State Warriors||Michigan (Sr.)|
|1||17||Ellis, BoBo Ellis||F||United States||Washington Bullets||Marquette (Sr.)|
|1||18||Cox, WesleyWesley Cox||F||United States||Golden State Warriors (from Houston via Buffalo)[i]||Louisville (Sr.)|
|1||19||Laurel, RichRich Laurel||G||United States||Portland Trail Blazers||Hofstra (Sr.)|
|1||20||Mosley, GlennGlenn Mosley||F||United States||Philadelphia 76ers||Seton Hall (Sr.)|
|1||21||Roberts, AnthonyAnthony Roberts||G/F||United States||Denver Nuggets||Oral Roberts (Sr.)|
|1||22||Nixon, NormNorm Nixon+||G||United States||Los Angeles Lakers||Duquesne (Sr.)|
|2||23||Glenn, MikeMike Glenn||G||United States||Chicago Bulls (from N.Y. Nets)[j]||Southern Illinois (Sr.)|
|2||24||Johnson, LarryLarry Johnson||G||United States||Buffalo Braves[b]||Kentucky (Sr.)|
|2||25||Washington, WilsonWilson Washington||F/C||United States||Philadelphia 76ers (from Milwaukee)[k]||Old Dominion (Sr.)|
|2||26||Gondrezick, GlenGlen Gondrezick||G/F||United States||New York Knicks (from Atlanta)[l]||UNLV (Sr.)|
|2||27||Williams, GlennGlenn Williams#||G||United States||Milwaukee Bucks (from Phoenix via Buffalo)[m]||St. John's (Sr.)|
|2||28||Anderson, KimKim Anderson||F||United States||Portland Trail Blazers (from New Orleans)[n]||Missouri (Sr.)|
|2||29||Bradley, AlonzoAlonzo Bradley||F||United States||Indiana Pacers||Texas Southern (Sr.)|
|2||30||Sheppard, SteveSteve Sheppard||F||United States||Chicago Bulls (from Seattle via Denver and Kansas City)[f]||Maryland (Sr.)|
|2||31||Owens, EddieEddie Owens||F||United States||Kansas City Kings||UNLV (Sr.)|
|2||32||Knight, TobyToby Knight||F||United States||New York Knicks||Notre Dame (Sr.)|
|2||33||Jordan, EddieEddie Jordan||G||United States||Cleveland Cavaliers||Rutgers (Sr.)|
|2||34||Moffett, LarryLarry Moffett||F||United States||Houston Rockets (from Boston)[o]||UNLV (Sr.)|
|2||35||Landsberger, MarkMark Landsberger||F/C||United States||Chicago Bulls||Arizona State (Sr.)|
|2||36||Poquette, BenBen Poquette||F/C||United States||Detroit Pistons||Central Michigan (Sr.)|
|2||37||Wilkins, JeffJeff Wilkins||F/C||United States||San Antonio Spurs||Illinois State (Sr.)|
|2||38||Love, RickyRicky Love#||F||United States||Golden State Warriors||Alabama-Huntsville (Sr.)|
|2||39||Walker, PhilPhil Walker||G||United States||Washington Bullets||Millersville (Sr.)|
|2||40||Reid, RobertRobert Reid||G/F||United States||Houston Rockets||St. Mary's (Texas) (Sr.)|
|2||41||Dunn, T. R.T. R. Dunn||G/F||United States||Portland Trail Blazers||Alabama (Sr.)|
|2||42||Elliott, BobBob Elliott||F/C||United States||Philadelphia 76ers||Arizona (Sr.)|
|2||43||Harris, HermHerm Harris#||F||United States||Philadelphia 76ers (from Denver)[p]||Arizona (Sr.)|
|2||44||Hollis, EssieEssie Hollis||F||United States||New Orleans (from Los Angeles)[d]||St. Bonaventure (Sr.)|
The following list includes other draft picks who have appeared in at least one NBA game.
|3||46||Edwards, JamesJames Edwards||F/C||United States||Los Angeles Lakers (from Buffalo)[q]||Washington (Sr.)|
|3||48||Smith, SamSam Smith||G||United States||Atlanta Hawks||UNLV (Sr.)|
|3||49||Johnson, EddieEddie Johnson+||G||United States||Atlanta Hawks (from Phoenix)[r]||Auburn (Sr.)|
|3||52||Hassett, JoeJoe Hassett||G||United States||Seattle SuperSonics||Providence (Sr.)|
|3||53||Kuester, JohnJohn Kuester||G||United States||Kansas City Kings||North Carolina (Sr.)|
|3||60||Redmond, MarlonMarlon Redmond||G||United States||Golden State Warriors||San Francisco (Sr.)|
|3||62||Bond, PhilPhil Bond||G||United States||Houston Rockets||Louisville (Sr.)|
|3||65||Smith, RobertRobert Smith||G||United States||Denver Nuggets||UNLV (Sr.)|
|3||66||Bratz, MikeMike Bratz||G||United States||Phoenix Suns (from Los Angeles)[s]||Stanford (Sr.)|
|4||69||Brown, LewisLewis Brown||C||United States||Milwaukee Bucks||UNLV (Sr.)|
|4||71||Griffin, GregGreg Griffin||F||United States||Phoenix Suns||Idaho State (Sr.)|
|4||72||Boyd, DennisDennis Boyd||G||United States||New Orleans Jazz||Detroit (Sr.)|
|4||76||Hayes, SteveSteve Hayes||C||United States||New York Knicks||Idaho State (Sr.)|
|4||88||Robertson, TonyTony Robertson||G||United States||Los Angeles Lakers||West Virginia (Sr.)|
|5||103||Sims, ScottScott Sims||G||United States||San Antonio Spurs||Missouri (Sr.)|
|5||104||Epps, RayRay Epps||F||United States||Golden State Warriors||Norfolk State (Jr.)|
|6||111||Crow, MarkMark Crow||F||United States||New York Nets||Duke (Sr.)|
|6||115||McKinney, BillyBilly McKinney||G||United States||Phoenix Suns||Northwestern (Sr.)|
|6||117||Scheffler, TomTom Scheffler||C||United States||Indiana Pacers||Purdue (Sr.)|
|7||136||Scott, AlvinAlvin Scott||G/F||United States||Phoenix Suns||Oral Roberts (Sr.)|
|7||151||Hansen, LarsLars Hansen||C|| Denmark
|Los Angeles Lakers||Washington (Sr.)|
|8||152||Drollinger, RalphRalph Drollinger||C||United States||New York Nets||UCLA (Sr.)|
|8||165||Marsh, RickyRicky Marsh||G||United States||Golden State Warriors||Manhattan (Sr.)|
|8||168||Olive, JohnJohn Olive||F||United States||Philadelphia 76ers||Villanova (Sr.)|
^ 1: Ernie Grunfeld was born in Romania, but grew up in the United States and has represented the United States national team.
^ 2: Lars Hansen was born in Denmark, but grew up in Canada and has represented the Canadian national team.
^ 3: Jenner changed her name due to gender transition in 2015.
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