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A talented shot blocker by way of Wisconsin, the seven foot McIlvaine became an infamous NBA story. A star as Marquette, McIlvaine was largely a one-trick pony at center, knowing well that shot blocking paid in the NBA. Drafted by the revolving door that was the Washington Bullets then, McIlvaine's talent came to the attention of the Seattle Supersonics, who were building a title contender behind Shawn Kemp, Gary Payton, and Detlef Schrempf. The Sonics then stunned the team by giving McIlvaine Seattle's biggest overall salary, which wrecked the team's salary cap and scuttle other signings. McIlvaine brought this to light with repeated injuries. Seattle made the NBA Finals with McIlvaine in street clothes. Their chances at a championship came and left. McIlvaine never even closely approached his NBA potential and was never a league factor.