With the ninth pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select...
... Andre Iguodala, from the University of Arizona.
The 2015 NBA Finals MVP was recently a guest on the "Without Fail" podcast and shared the following story about his draft experience:
"I projected anywhere from 3 to 6. So we get to 7 and I haven't got picked yet. Someone sets the expectations for you and then you don't know what to expect and it's like, 'Are you a bust?'
"I had crazy thoughts like, 'Am I not gonna get picked?' ... so then I get picked and I don't know how to feel. Did I go too late? What kind of questions am I gonna get? When you get picked, you go on stage and shake hands. And you see the draftees talking to interviewers and reporters -- right there and it's live.
"There's a live feed right there, too. So you can hear yourself. So as soon as I get done -- I do a little interview -- I hear Dick Vitale. He pops up, he goes crazy -- 'I can't believe the Sixers picked him. This guy's a bust' ... he broke down my stats ... 'just athletic, no basketball game.'
"Funny thing is, I hadn't spoken to Dick Vitale. Two years ago, I run into him. And I know he doesn't remember. He came up and apologized. That was crazy. He was like, 'Sorry I got you wrong.' I'm like, 'You remember that? That was 13 years ago.'
"I thought I was the only one who remembered it. But I didn't bring it up to him. He just approached me. That's pretty cool."
That is very cool. It's also very cool that the picture at the top of this article exists. It is from Feb. 25, 2016 -- about eight months after Iguodala captured Finals MVP -- and the Warriors played in Orlando that night (Vitale lives in Florida).
Going back to June 2004 -- shortly after the draft, Vitale wrote a blog for ESPN.com, which included this:
While I appreciate the athleticism of Andre Iguodala out of Arizona, I felt the Sixers would have been better off taking Oregon's Luke Jackson at No. 9. Iguodala couldn't dominate in the fast break and transition style at Arizona, averaging around 12 ppg. To me, Jackson, who shot 44 percent from three-point range last season, could have been the outside shooter to play off of Allen Iverson.
Luke Jackson was selected 10th overall. He played in just 73 career NBA games.
Awesome story, baby!
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller