Latrell Sprewell was drafted with the 24th pick of the 1992 NBA Draft, by the Golden State Warriors. He burst onto the scene in his Rookie season, averaging 15.4 points a game, exciting the Warriors faithful with explosive speed and power dunking. In his second season, Sprewell would play an incredible 43.1 minutes a game on average, and lifted his scoring to 21 points a game. He became an All-Star in just his second season.
Sprewell, at the Warriors was a scoring machine, with his best year coming in 1996/97 season where he averaged a career high 24.2 points per game. He would become a 3 x All-Star in his time with the Warriors, and was an extremely popular player amongst the NBA fans. Unfortunately, off the court Sprewell would have one of the most outlandish incidents between a player and coach the league has seen. In a very heated incident during in 1997, Sprewell, choked his coach P.J. Carlesimo, at a Warriors practice. Further incidents and suspensions led to the Warriors trading Sprewell, to the New York Knicks in 1998.
As it often happens with NBA players, who have trouble in their younger days, Sprewell would become a much more mature player at the Knicks. In the 1998/99 shortened season, Sprewell helped lead the Knicks to the NBA Finals, coming from the 8th seed in the East to have the Knicks fans hoping for their first Championship since 1973. Despite Sprewell’s heroics averaging 26 points a game, the Spurs would be too good for the cinderella storied Knicks. Sprewell had certainly won the hearts’ of Knicks fans after his Finals performances, and would become an All-Star the next season for the 4th time in his career, when he averaged 17.7 points per game. Sprewell had some very nice years with the Knicks, and is an iconic jersey for collectors.
2003/04, Sprewell was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he would play his last two seasons. He still put up good numbers at the Wolves, with 16.8 points a game being his best year of the two. Teams had further interest in signing Sprewell, as his numbers suggested he was still more than valuable to have on a roster, however Sprewell, would not sign for a minimum salary so he decided to retire. Sprewell will be remembered as a competitor and perhaps a villain, but the man who rocked some of the most famous NBA cornrows, is certainly an NBA icon.
Check out Sprewell’s Top 10 career plays below:
Sprewell once hit 9/9 three pointers in a game against the Clippers.
Sprewell wore two numbers in his career: #15 and #8.