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5 Biggest Blunders in College and Pro Basketball History

The NBA and college basketball are filled with some of the world's greatest athletes and sports minds. At the player level, the beauty and grace of a jump shot is something to behold. In the front office, brilliant coaches, general managers and owners make decisions everyday the affect the direction of their respective teams and the spending of hundreds of millions of dollars. Unfortunately, these are still mortal men who are subject to being fallible at exactly the wrong moment in time. Here is a fun and often painful look at some of the biggest blunders in basketball history.

5. Who Knew Fred Brown was Color Blind
In 1982, the North Carolina Tar Heels made it to the NCAA Championship game for the second year is a row. After losing to the Indiana Hoosiers in 1981, they were looking to go all the way with a team consisting of NBA greats James Worthy and Michael Jordan. With less than a minute remaining in the game against the Georgetown Hoyas, the Tar Heels took the lead 63-62 as the clock was running out. The Hoyas passed on a time out and instead had guard Fred Brown bring the ball down the floor to set up a potential game-winning shot. As he crossed the mid-court line, Worthy was flailing his arms back and forth. Brown was hit with a brain cramp that made him think Worthy was wearing Hoya gray instead of Tar Heel blue. He threw the ball directly to Worthy who ran down to the other end of the court as time ran out.

4. Portland Trailblazers - Part II
History has a cruel way of repeating itself. In the 2007 draft, the Portland Trailblazers had the #1 pick in the NBA draft. After spending weeks going back and forth, they ended up selecting Center Greg Oden from Ohio State. In order to do so, they passed on a brilliant freshman out of Texas named Kevin Durant. While Durant has already earned MVP honors and been named to six all-star teams, Oden has never played a full season in the NBA and is currently playing pro ball in China.

3. You Have to Check the Merchandise
Prior to the start of the 2000 season, the Orlando Magic were still reeling from the loss of Shaquille O'Neal to the Los Angeles Lakers. In one of the most hasty moves in NBA history, the Magic signed free agent Grant Hill for 7 years, $93 million. Imagine the team's shock when he showed up at their complex on crutches. During his 7-years career in Orlando, Hill would only play 200 out of the Magic's 574 regular season schedule over the span of his contract.

2. Did Chris Webber Major in Math?
With time running out in the 1993 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Game, the North Carolina Tar Heels led the Michigan Wolverines' "FAB FIVE" 73-71. During a timeout, the Michigan coaches reminded the players they were out of timeouts. After the Tar Heels missed a free throw, freshman power forward Chris Webber grabbed the rebound, dribbled to mid-court and promptly called a timeout. Oops, no timeouts and Michigan is called for a technical foul according to the rules. North Carolina makes both technical foul shots to take the title.

1. Portland Trailblazers - Part I
The 1984 Draft was arguably one of the deepest in NBA history. With the number one pick, the Houston Rockets took the center they had long coveted in Hakeem Olajuwon who would go on to become on of the top 50 players in NBA history. With the second pick, the Portland Trailblazers took center San Bowie from Kentucky. With that pick, they passed on a guy named Michael Jordan who went to the Chicago Bulls. Throughout his career, Bowie was bothered by stress fractures in his feet. He would never average over 16 PPG or 10 RPG during his career. The worst part is he had already shown a propensity for injury while in college. All Jordan did was go on to become the greatest player in NBA history.