English averaged 21.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game during his NBA career and was named to eight NBA All-Star teams. His #2 jersey was retired by the Denver Nuggets and he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.
Drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2nd round with the 23rd pick. Alex's time in Milwaukee was spent as a back-up on a rebuilding team that lost Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However, it was not until he left as a free agent in 1978 for the Indiana Pacers, that he began his reputation as a scorer, averaging 16 points on a another sub-par team before being traded to Denver in mid way through the 1979-80 season for George McGinnis a former Pacers star from their ABA days and it turned out to be one of the most one-sided trades in NBA history; McGinnis was only a shadow of his former self, and was out of the league by 1982.
English then commenced a highly low-key assault on the NBA scoring books. With the erratic, high-paced, and high-scoring Nuggets he averaged 21 points when he arrived in Denver in 1980, then proceeded with averages of 24, 25, 28, 26, 28, nearly 30 (in 1985–86) season, 29, 25, 27, and 18 points per game during his decade-long scoring spree. That made him the highest-scoring player of the time, a period where the NBA gained national prominence; he never sought out the spotlight,he also led the Nuggets to nine consecutive playoffs, and for himself was awarded with three All-NBA Second Teams (1982, 1985, 1986), 8 All-Star appearances, set 31 team records in his decade in Denver, helped Denver win 2 Midwest Division titles and get to the 1985 Western Conference Finals, and was the leading scorer in 55% of the games he played in Denver.
English's NBA career ended when , with a short stint for he departed as a free agent in 1990, the Dallas Mavericks, where he once again played back-up, averaging almost 10 points a game. No other team signed him for the next season, and after a stint in Italy, English retired. The Nuggets retired his number in 1992. English retired as the Nuggets all-time leading scorer having notched 21, 654 points and his career average of 25. 9 ppg, these skills allowed him to place 17th on the NBA all-time scoring list as of 2015[update] with 25,613 points. He was the first player ever to string together eight straight 2,000-point seasons. He has the distinction of being the top scorer in the 1980s.
From June 2004 to July 2011, English was the director of player development and an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors. He joined the Raptors after spending the previous two season as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks. On June 5, 2009, it was announced that English would stay with the Raptors as an assistant coach. On July 13, 2011, with the team heading in a new direction, English was not given a new contract, and his services were not retained.
On January 13, 2012, he was added to the Sacramento Kings coaching staff under head coach Keith Smart. On June 5, 2013, new Kings coach Michael Malone announced that the 2012–13 assistant coaches would not be retained for the 2013–14 season.
It was announced that Alex English was added as a color analyst on SEC Network on November 11, 2014.