Eduardo Nájera

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Eduardo Nájera
Eduardo Najera.jpg
Personal information
Born (1976-07-11) July 11, 1976 (age 38)
Ciudad Meoqui, Chihuahua, Mexico
Nationality Mexican
Listed height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school Cornerstone Christian Academy
(San Antonio, Texas)
College Oklahoma (1996–2000)
NBA draft 2000 / Round: 2 / Pick: 38th overall
Selected by the Houston Rockets
Pro career 2000–2012
Position Power forward / Small forward
Number 14, 21
Career history
As player:
20002004 Dallas Mavericks
2004–2005 Golden State Warriors
2005–2008 Denver Nuggets
20082010 New Jersey Nets
2010 Dallas Mavericks
20102012 Charlotte Bobcats
As coach:
2012–present Texas Legends
Career highlights and awards
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Eduardo Alonso Nájera Pérez[1] (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈðwarðo ˈnaxeɾa][2]) (born July 11, 1976) is a retired Mexican professional basketball player and current head coach of the Texas Legends of the NBA D-League.

Personal information[edit]

Eduardo Nájera was only the second Mexican-born NBA player (Horacio Llamas was the first) and was the first Mexican player to be drafted. He is the son of Servando Nájera and Rosa Irene Pérez.[3]

College Basketball[edit]

Nájera played college basketball at the University of Oklahoma, in Norman, Oklahoma, United States, from 1997–2000, becoming a major star there. He helped the team to four consecutive NCAA tournament appearances during his college career, as well as finishing in the school's all-time top ten in nine statistical categories. Before being drafted into the NBA in 2000, Nájera received rave reviews from scouts, who boasted on Nájera's quick first step and extraordinary rebounding ability. He is only the second Mexican-born player to join the NBA.[2] He was the first Mexican player to be drafted into the NBA (Horacio Llamas being undrafted).[1]

Nájera played for the Mexican team in the 1997 World University Games and helped them achieve a fourth place finish in the 1999 World University Games.[1]

NBA Career[edit]

Dallas Mavericks (2000-2004)[edit]

He saw significant action as a member of the Dallas Mavericks in 2000–01 and 2001–02, but recurrent knee injuries limited his action in his last two years in Dallas.

He played at the first-ever Basketball Without Borders Americas tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the 2004 NBA Summer of Goodwill.[4]

Golden State Warriors (2004-2005)[edit]

On August 24, 2004, Nájera was traded along with Luis Flores, Christian Laettner, Mladen Sekularac, cash, a 2007 first round draft pick, and another future first round draft pick to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Erick Dampier, Dan Dickau, Evan Eschmeyer, and Steve Logan.[5] In Golden State Najera again put in modest minutes and was a solid contributor.

Denver Nuggets (2005-2008)[edit]

Najera with the Denver Nuggets

On February 24, 2005, he was then sent to the Denver Nuggets along with Luis Flores and a future first round pick in exchange for Nikoloz Tskitishvili and Rodney White, where he would have some of his most productive seasons as an NBA player.[6]

Also in 2006, an exhibition match was played in Monterrey, Mexico, between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets.

On April 27, 2006, Nájera started his first playoff game for the Nuggets in Game 3 of their first round series facing the Los Angeles Clippers. He replaced Kenyon Martin who was suspended indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the team".

He was partly involved in the December 2006 Knicks–Nuggets brawl. While not involved in the actual fighting, he did try to separate the players. He was ejected from the game for leaving the bench.[7]

New Jersey Nets (2008-2010)[edit]

On July 11, 2008, he signed a contract with the New Jersey Nets for 4 years $12 million.[8][9] He stated that he would make it a point to turn the Nets' young forwards Yi Jianlian and Ryan Anderson and center Brook Lopez into stronger, tougher players. Nájera turned down more money and a chance to return to his college state, Oklahoma City Thunder. He also turned down an offer from the New Orleans Hornets in order to take a chance to lead a young and talented New Jersey team.

Return to Dallas Mavericks (2010)[edit]

On January 11, 2010, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Kris Humphries and Shawne Williams.[10]

Charlotte Bobcats (2010-2012)[edit]

On July 13, 2010, Nájera was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats along with Erick Dampier and Matt Carroll in exchange for Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinça.[11]

Coaching Career[edit]

In 2012, after he retired as a player, Nájera became head coach of the NBA D-League's Texas Legends.[12]

Off the court[edit]

In 2000, Eduardo Nájera was named Third Team All-American by both the Associated Press and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

In 2000, Eduardo Nájera graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in sociology.

In 2000, Nájera received the Chip Hilton Player of the Year Award from the Basketball Hall of Fame, an award given to a player who has demonstrated personal character both on and off the court.[2]

In 2001, Nájera served as the United Nations Drug Control Programme Goodwill Ambassador for Sports Against Drugs. In 2004, he established the Eduardo Nájera Foundation for Latino Achievement, which provides college scholarships for outstanding Latino students facing barriers to their educations, and in 2006, he received the Chopper Travaglini Award for demonstrating outstanding charity work in the Denver community.[13]

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2000–01 Dallas 40 4 10.8 .523 .333 .424 2.4 .7 .3 .2 3.3
2001–02 Dallas 62 11 21.9 .500 .000 .676 5.5 .6 .9 .5 6.5
2002–03 Dallas 48 12 23.0 .558 .000 .681 4.6 1.0 .8 .5 6.7
2003–04 Dallas 58 7 12.4 .444 .500 .652 2.7 .4 .6 .3 3.0
2004–05 Golden State 42 4 14.5 .407 .400 .644 2.8 .9 .4 .2 4.2
2004–05 Denver 26 0 22.1 .500 .000 .630 4.8 1.1 .9 .5 6.9
2005–06 Denver 64 3 22.6 .422 .333 .781 5.1 .8 .8 .5 5.4
2006–07 Denver 75 36 22.1 .576 .083 .715 4.1 .9 1.0 .3 6.6
2007–08 Denver 78 3 21.3 .473 .361 .708 4.3 1.2 .9 .5 5.9
2008–09 New Jersey 27 0 11.8 .446 .200 .364 2.5 .7 .4 .1 2.9
2009–10 New Jersey 13 2 15.7 .377 .176 .500 2.9 1.2 .7 .2 3.8
2009–10 Dallas 33 3 14.6 .452 .340 .667 2.3 .4 .5 .4 3.3
2010–11 Charlotte 31 0 12.0 .361 .324 .545 1.4 .6 .4 .2 2.2
2011–12 Charlotte 22 0 12.3 .375 .276 .500 2.3 .5 .9 .2 2.6
Career 619 85 18.1 .481 .311 .671 3.7 .8 .7 .4 4.9

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2001 Dallas 7 0 6.3 .529 .750 .000 2.1 .1 .1 .1 3.0
2002 Dallas 8 4 15.3 .696 .000 .625 1.6 .1 .4 .0 4.6
2003 Dallas 19 5 20.7 .453 .000 .792 3.9 .8 .7 .2 6.1
2004 Dallas 5 0 11.4 .455 .000 1.000 3.4 .6 .6 .4 2.4
2005 Denver 2 0 6.5 .000 .000 .000 1.0 .5 .0 .0 .0
2006 Denver 4 3 22.3 .214 .000 .500 3.8 .5 .8 .0 2.0
2007 Denver 5 0 19.2 .235 .000 .500 5.6 .4 .4 .2 1.8
2008 Denver 4 0 19.5 .500 .400 .000 3.3 1.5 .8 .3 4.0
2010 Dallas 5 0 7.2 .250 .000 .000 1.8 .0 .4 .0 .8
Career 59 12 15.7 .443 .294 .750 3.2 .5 .5 .2 3.8

Career highs[edit]

  • Points: 19: 2 times
  • Rebounds: 15: vs. Houston 04/11/02
  • Assists: 7: @ Milwaukee 01/09/09
  • Steals: 6: 2 times
  • Blocks: 4: vs. Seattle 12/29/05

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]