The man we chose instead of Larry Bird: Rick Robey
You read that right, the Pacers had the chance to draft Larry Bird with the 3rd pick in the 1978 draft but instead drafted Rick Robey. Sounds like a great tradeoff right? You would be wrong. Here is the long list of accomplishments that Robey achieved in his time in the NBA with the Pacers:
43 games. 8.6 points. 5.9 rebounds. 1.2 assists.
That’s right, the Pacers passed on a hometown hero, that would go on to be an All-Time great, to get 43 games out of a below-average center. He didn’t even make it one season in Indiana! Now to Robey’s credit he did have a decent career, playing alongside of Larry Bird in Boston who he was traded to midway through his first season.
This was just an unmitigated disaster by the Pacers that should have never happened. However, Robey doesn’t stand alone as there are four other players that must round out the starting lineup of the biggest draft busts in Pacers history.