Taken with 11th pick of the 1982 NBA Draft, by the Portland Trail Blazers, Fat Lever made a fairly solid start to his NBA career averaging 7.8 points and 5.3 assists a game in his Rookie season. His career would take a massive turn though, when he was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 1984.
In Denver, Lever would cement himself as one of the Nuggets greatest all time players. Lever would earn himself the nickname from his teammates as the ‘Triple Double Waiting To Happen’ and he sure lived up to that nickname, in fact he exceeded the nickname by earning himself 43 career triple doubles. He had many great years playing for the Nuggets but his stretch from 1986-1990 was his most impressive. The stats in those years were the following:
1987 he averaged 18.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 2.5 steals.
1988 he averaged 18.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 2.7 steals.
1989 he averaged 19.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 7.9 assists and 2.7 steals.
1990 he averaged 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 2.1 steals.
That will go down as some of the greatest stats any point guard has put up over a stretch of 4 seasons. Fat Lever was a true icon of the game and in many ways is underrated for what he did in his time in the NBA.
George Gervin was drafted with the 40th pick of the 1974 NBA Draft, by the Phoenix Suns. The career he forged however was with the San Antonio Spurs. Gervin was a scoring machine averaging 25.1 points per game across his career.
Given the nickname ‘The Iceman’ Gervin would appear in 9 straight NBA All-Star games which is a testament to his domination and popularity across his career. To add to his resume, Gervin also featured in 3 x ABA All-Star games before he crossed over to the NBA. Gervin’s best scoring season would come in 1980 when he averaged an amazing 33.1 points per game.
Not only is George Gervin is one of the all time great Spurs, but he is also one of the all time greats to play the game of basketball. His number #44 has been retired by the Spurs and he will forever be etched in their history.
Taken with the 5th pick of the 1988 NBA Draft, by the Golden State Warriors, Mitch Richmond had an incredibly consistent NBA career. With a sensational Rookie season, Richmond averaged 23.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists which would earn him Rookie Of The Year honours. Most players would kill to put up those kind of numbers at least once in their career, yet alone their first season in the NBA.
His next two seasons in Golden State, Richmond continued to be a solid performer averaging over 22 points a game. Richmond was a part of the trio dubbed ‘RUN TMC’ along side Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway who brought flat out excitement to the Bay Area over the course of their 3 years together. In somewhat of a shock move Richmond was traded to the Sacramento Kings in 1991 after just 3 seasons at the Warriors, it would be a great move for the Kings who had just landed a legitimate superstar.
Richmond spent 7 seasons at the Kings, incredibly averaging over 20 points a game each of them. He would become a 6 x All-Star while playing in Sacramento and is arguably one of their all time greatest players. His best season scoring wise came in 1997, when he averaged 25.9 points a game. Richmond averaged over 20 points a game in his in his first 10 seasons in the NBA, a feat that not many can say they have achieved. Richmond was traded to Washington in 1998, he would spend 3 seasons there before playing his final year in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers. As a veteran, fittingly he would win a title there in his last season. Mitch Richmond is a true icon of the game and one of the most constant scorers you’d ever hope to see.
Richmond wore the numbers #23, #22 and #9 over his NBA career.
Richmond was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2014.
With the nickname ‘The Wizard’ you have to be able to do some extraordinary things on the basketball court, and Walt Williams could do just that. Taken with the 7th pick of the 1992 NBA Draft, by the Sacramento Kings, Williams was league ready and it showed in his Rookie season where he averaged 17 points in just over 28 minutes a game. Standing at 6 foot 8, Williams could stretch the defence with his 3-point shooting prowess and length. Known for his iconic look of the long white socks up to his knees, Williams began to make a name for himself at the Kings.
In his 3rd season, he was given a starting role and flourished averaging 16.4 points per game. Williams had some nice years with the Kings, however such is the nature of the NBA, he was traded to Miami during the 95-96 season, before again being traded to Toronto the very next year. There he would again put up similar stats to his earlier years scoring 16.4 points per game, then injuries hit derailing his time in Toronto.
Williams would spend time at Portland, Houston and Dallas before his career finished in 2003. Williams hit a total of 976, 3-pointers during is career at almost 38%. Walt ‘The Wizard’ Williams had a more than serviceable career in the NBA, particularly in his early years when he had some good seasons with the Kings, he also made some headlines during his career, perhaps his biggest was when he punched Shawn Bradley!
Williams wore the numbers #42 and #43 during his NBA career.
Williams participated in the 1997, 3-Point shootout at the All-Star Weekend.
One of the most consistent performers in the Milwaukee Buck’s history; Glenn Robinson was drafted with the 1st pick of the 1994 NBA Draft. His Rookie season did not disappoint with Glenn ‘Big Dog’ Robinson averaging 21.9 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists a game.
Robinson could just about do it all on the offensive end, with an arsenal of old school mixed with the new moves. He was so offensively gifted that he averaged over 20 points a game for the Bucks in 7 of the 8 seasons he spent at a franchise. Robinson’s best scoring season came in 1998, when he averaged 23.4 points a game. Robinson’s best years in Milwaukee however, came when he teamed up with a young Ray Allen and Sam Cassell to form the Milwaukee ‘Big 3’. They made it to the Eastern conference finals in 2001, and Robinson would become a 2 x All-Star during that stretch. Robinson perhaps went under the radar a little during his NBA career, purely because he wasn’t a flashy player, he simply went out on the court and got the job done.
His time at Milwaukee came to an end in 2002, when he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks. He once again put up numbers of 20 + points pre game, and was then traded the following season to the 76ers, before again finding himself traded to the Spurs in his final season in the NBA. Fittingly he earned himself a Championship Ring as the Spurs would become the 2005 NBA Champions. Glenn Robinson had an extremely good career in the NBA, and will go down as one of the Bucks all time greats. All you have to do is look at his career stat line to know that ‘Big Dog’ was an icon of the game.
Robinson wore the numbers #13, #31 and #3 during his career.
Taken with the 9th pick of the 1991 NBA Draft by the Atlanta Hawks, Stacey Augmon, had a very nice Rookie season, playing all 82 games averaging 13.3 points and 5.1 rebounds a game, which earned him first team All-Rookie honours. He was given the nickname ‘Plastic Man’ due to his athletic ability to stretch and dunk on people. I remember the ‘Plastic Man’ featuring regularly in the ‘Top 10, NBA Court-side Countdown’ of the early 90s.
Have a look at the ‘Plastic Man’s’ highlights below:
In his second year, Augmon lifted his scoring averages to 14 points per game, and provided a march needed spark and assistance to the Dominique led Atlanta Hawks. His career best year occurred in 1994, with a stat line of 14.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals. Augmon provided plenty at athletic highlights during his time in Atlanta, however his time there would come to an end after 5 seasons, when he was traded to the Detroit Pistons at the beginning of the 1996-97 season, and he was again traded mid-season to Portland.
From that moment on, Augmon would never see anywhere near the minutes he got in Atlanta which directly resulted in his numbers dropping significantly. To give you an idea he went from averaging 12.7 points per game in his last season with Atlanta to 4.7 points at his new destination. His stats would never recover from that moment on as Augmon was resigned to playing minimal minutes for the rest of his career. He spent some time playing for the Hornets and then the Magic before he retired in 2006. With all that being said, Augmon still had a good 5 seasons at Atlanta, providing many highlights for Hawks fans and early 90s NBA fans alike.
Augmon wore the number #2 throughout his whole NBA career.
Augmon was a participant in the 1992 Slam Dunk Contest.
It’s rare that undrafted players forge successful careers in the NBA, but a man by the name of Ben Wallace went beyond that. He is a potential future Hall Of Famer and one of the greatest defensive players the game has ever seen. It didn’t exactly go to plan at first though and here’s why. Signed as a free agent by the Washington Bullets in 1996, Wallace’s first season saw him only manage 34 games with averages of 1.1 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0.3 blocks per game. The next two seasons at Washington, Wallace started to show some promise particularly on the defensive end with rebounding averages of 4.8, 8.3 rebounds a game with limited minutes. He was traded to Orlando the for the 1999-2000 season and put up similar numbers.
Wallace’s career would change dramatically when he was traded to the Detroit Pistons for the 2000-2001 NBA season, he immediately made an impact in with his first year at the Pistons with averages of 6.4 points, 13.2 rebounds and 2.3 blocks. The Piston’s faithful began to love ‘Big Ben’ and what would transpire over the next 6 seasons, was the 2nd coming of Dennis Rodman! Wallace would become a defensive machine putting up crazy rebounding numbers, with his career high coming in 2003, when he averaged an amazing 15.4 rebounds and 3.2 blocks a game. This would earn him his first All-Star appearance. Wallace had four straight All-Star appearances, but no doubt the best moment of his career at the Pistons came in 2003-2004 season with the Pistons becoming NBA Champions, and Wallace certainly brought back memories of the ‘Bad Boys’ with his tenacious never say die style of play.
Wallace was traded to Chicago in 2008 and then to Cleveland in 2009, by this stage with an ageing body, Wallace’s numbers were well down on his glory years, but fittingly he would be traded back to the Pistons where would finish his career at a franchise that will remember him as one of the all time great defensive specialists, he retired in 2012.
Ben Wallace’s #3 Jersey has been retired by the Detroit Pistons.
Ben Wallace was a 4 x Defensive Player Of The Year.