The sad tale of Sam Bowie has been told and re-told many times in the 28 years since the Portland Trail Blazers selected him second overall in the 1984 NBA draft, but for the first time in quite a while we've actually been given a new wrinkle to his story. Bowie, who constantly battled foot and leg problems throughout his star-crossed (but not star-making) career, played in only 511 out of a possible 820 games in his 10-year run. He never made an All-Star team, and never was given the chance to follow through on the potential that his long frame, smooth touch, smart instincts and good athleticism created for him.

Now, some 17 years after his last NBA game, Bowie revealed in an ESPN documentary that his NBA career began with the center needlessly keeping quiet about how much pain he was in during the days leading up to Portland's selection of the former Kentucky center. A selection that, famously, came one spot before the Chicago Bulls took Michael Jordan with the third overall pick.

From the documentary "Going Big," which airs Dec. 20 on ESPNU:

"I can still remember them taking a little mallet, and when they would hit me on my left tibia, and 'I don't feel anything' I would tell 'em. But deep down inside, it was hurting. If what I did was lying and what I did was wrong, at the end of the day, when you have loved ones that have some needs, I did what any of us would have done."