Kobe was last man standing from legendary 1996 draft class
Darren Rovell

It feels like only yesterday when a scrawny 17-year-old kid out of Lower Merion High School named Kobe Bryant was selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 NBA Draft and dealt to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Twenty years later, "The Black Mamba" is considered the crown jewel of one of the most stacked classes in NBA history. Numerous All-Star appearances, Most Valuable Player honors, and championships came from a group of players who undoubtedly left a mark on the game of basketball.

Noteworthy picks from 1996 NBA Draft

Pick Player NBA team School Note
1 Allen Iverson 76ers Georgetown 2001 NBA MVP
2 Marcus Camby Raptors Massachusetts 2007 NBA Defensive Player of the Year
3 Shareef Abdur-Rahim Grizzlies California 2002 NBA All-Star
4 Stephon Marbury Bucks (traded to Wolves) Georgia Tech 2-time NBA All-Star
5 Ray Allen Wolves (traded to Bucks) Connecticut NBA's all-time leader in 3-pointers made
6 Antoine Walker Celtics Kentucky 3-time All-Star
13 Kobe Bryant Hornets (traded to Lakers) Lower Merion HS 5-time NBA champion
14 Peja Stojakovic Kings PAOK (Greece) 3-time NBA All-Star 
15 Steve Nash Suns Santa Clara 2-time NBA MVP
17 Jermaine O'Neal Trail Blazers Eau Claire HS 6-time NBA All-Star
20 Zydrunas Ilgauskas Cavaliers Atletas (Lithuania) No. 11 retired by Cavaliers

With Bryant retiring on the heels of his 60-point performance Wednesday night against the Utah Jazz, no player from the 1996 draft will enter next season as an active competitor.

In hindsight, Bryant should've gone off the board a lot earlier than he did. Although several talents picked ahead of him turned out to be above-average pros, none were better nor had more impact on the game than he did.

Kobe was last man standing from legendary 1996 draft class
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox