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Getty Images Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers in 2006

Back in ’96, SLAM Magazine was able to get rookies Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant, Stephon Marbury, Marcus Camby, Steve Nash, Antoine Walker, Jermaine O’Neal, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Kerry Kittles and Antoine Walker to pose for one of the most popular SLAM covers ever!

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#tbt @slamonline 1996 Rookie class.

Word to @russbengtson #sneakerhistory

A post shared by Sneaker History (@sneakerhistory) on Nov 19, 2015 at 9:28am PST

Only one problem, Allen Iverson was missing!

Where the heck was he?

“He probably was late man,” joked Antoine Walker on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show.

Heavy on Celtics With Ex-NBA All-Star Antoine WalkerFormer NBA All-Star and NCAA and NBA champion Antoine Walker joins host Brandon "Scoob B" Robinson to talk about the NBA playoffs, the Celtics' championship odds, and more.2020-09-07T21:10:20Z

“So what a lot of people don’t understand is that when you go to the Draft, it’s a whole week process. They take you out there a week before; you’re out there doing the photo shoot, the media…you have so many things going on and I think he just was late man, and they just got tired of waiting and it was one of those little things that he was late for; because you got all the trading card companies out there, you’re taking all these photos on the side of just being excited about being at the Draft. So all of those things played a part. So I think that’s where I think he was at.”

The 1996 NBA Draft class was special. It also included Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Peja Stojakovic, Malik Rose, Samaki Walker, Tony Delk, John Wallace and Walter McCarty.

“I’m very proud of it,” Antoine Walker tells Heavy Live With Scoop B.

“From top to bottom and we can argue if you want and people argue with me all the time – from top to bottom and even going into the second round, I think we had THE MOST impactful players in any Draft. EVER. You know, and that’s not me being biased. It’s just me looking at that Draft’s resume.”

Walker was Boston’s sixth overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft out of the University of Kentucky. A three-time NBA All-Star, he was a member of the NBA’s All-Rookie team in 1997.

Walker’s talent really shined in the eyes of many when the Celtics paired him with Paul Pierce.

“It’s an exciting and special draft class,” Walker said.

“I mean when you look at some of the individual accomplishments of just a few players of one: Kobe Bryant, two: Steve Nash; Allen Iverson, Ray Allen…Stephon Marbury is great, Kerry Kittles, Lorenzen Wright, Shareef Abdur-Rahim was a monster when he played, Marcus Camby was not shabby at all. Jermaine O’Neal was a late first round pick… so, we had so much talent in that draft. And what’s special about that ’96 Draft class, all the guys were impactful on their teams in their own way. When you think about it, at one point or another, you actually had about fifteen guys that were the franchise players. Most teams don’t get it right like that when they draft and guys turning into the franchise player so you got to put that into perspective too.”


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2021 NFL Draft stock watch: K.J. Costello, Kyle Trask have record performances in opener

It was a good day for SEC quarterbacks in the conference’s first weekend of play. Marvin Wilson’s play is a microcosm of Florida State’s season.

The SEC kicked off its season this weekend with a slate of games. In about a month, the entire Power 5 will play games. That means more NFL draft prospects adding to their tape for draft scouts to evaluate.

This weekend, the SEC provided fans with some stellar play from some future NFL stars in its first weekend. Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith proved the Alabama receiver train is still rolling, combining for 16 receptions and two touchdowns. The ACC and Big 12 had some big performances by their stars as well. D’Eriq King continues to shine in Rhett Lashlee‘s offense throwing for 267 yards and two touchdowns routing the FSU Seminoles.

Sam Ehlinger had a great day tossing five touchdown passes against Texas Tech in the Longhorns’ overtime win. Many players helped their draft stock this weekend. Here are three who shone about the rest and two who did not.

Two SEC quarterbacks had breakout performances this weekend.K.J. Costello, Mississippi State, (2nd-3rd Round) QB

K.J. Costello is everything you want in a spread Air-Raid quarterback. Costello is big at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds. The Stanford graduate transfer has an NFL-caliber arm and is mobile enough to evade defenders. Costello has to be smart; he went to Stanford. The Air-Raid is all about understanding how the defense is covering your receivers and making the right read. Costello’s debut was not only magnificent; it was record-breaking. Costello threw for 623 yards and five touchdowns, breaking an SEC record for passing yards against LSU. Numbers like this could move Costello toward the first round.

Kyle Trask, Florida, (2nd Round) QB

Had it not been for Costello’s performance against LSU, reporters would have talked more about Kyle Trask’s 410-yard and six-touchdown performance against Mississippi. Trask is playing with many expectations after coming from nowhere to become the starting quarterback at Florida last season. Trask has the measurables. What the tape has shown is an improvement in decision making and throwing the football downfield. Trask’s most impressive attribute is his learning curve. Trask did not take many snaps in high school and until last season, very few in college. Trask’s ability to learn Dan Mullen’s offense is a testament to his ability to pick up and execute an offense.

Kylin Hill. Mississippi State, (3rd Round) RB

In last season’s NFL draft, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was a first-round draft pick. The LSU standout was not the second or third running back rated on most draft boards. Edwards-Helaire went in the late first round over the likes of Jonathan Taylor because of the diversity of his game. Kylin Hill could move up draft boards if his receiving numbers come anything close to the eight-reception 158-yard performance against LSU and Hill could move up draft boards. The senior running back is a tough, dynamic playmaker with the ball. Proving himself as a receiver could draw the attention of many scouts.

Caden Sterns and the Texas secondary had a tough day against Texas Tech and their fleet of receivers.Caden Sterns, Texas, (2nd Round) DB

If Texas defensive back Caden Sterns performs like this, he’ll use that last year of eligibility. Sterns is the Longhorn’s best defensive back yet has not played like it this season. Last week against Texas Tech, the Longhorn secondary gave up 325 yards and five touchdowns to Alan Bowman. Despite having an interception, Sterns was not great covering the slot or converting deep. Sterns got beat over the top consistently against the Red Raiders. Sterns is supposed to be in the conversation with Derek Stingley, Deommodre Lenior and Kyle Hamilton. He is a step behind that group of defensive backs.

Marvin Wilson, Florida State, (2nd Round) DL

This season was not what Marvin Wilson had in mind when he decided to return to Florida State for one more season. First-year head coach Mike Norvell sold Wilson on the new Florida State direction and vision. Wilson was impressed enough to stay and help turn things around in Tallahassee. Things have not worked out so far for the Texas native. Wilson has not had the season the Seminoles thought. Florida State gave up 200 yards rushing against Miami and 161 to Georgia Tech. Wilson has not been the disruptive run plugger or pass rusher he can be. Wilson’s stock can drop; he does not show more.

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