Glen Anthony Rice, Sr. (born May 28, 1967) is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A 6'8" guard/forward, Rice was a three-time NBA All-Star, and made 1,559 three-point field goals during his 15-year career. Rice won both an NCAA championship and NBA championship during his collegiate and professional career. In recent years, Rice has taken up MMA fight promotion as owner of G-Force Fights based out of Miami, Florida.
Rice played college basketball for the University of Michigan Wolverines for four seasons (1985–1989), a starter for three of those seasons. He became the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,442 points. He led Michigan to the 1989 NCAA Men's Division I basketball championship, scoring an NCAA-record 184 points in tournament play, a record that still stands. Rice was also voted the tournament's Most Outstanding Player and was part of the Associated Press All-America second-team, after averaging 25.6 points for the season, while shooting 58% from the floor and 52% from three-point range. After Rice's junior year, he was invited to try out for the 1988 United States Olympic basketball team, but was cut before reaching the group of 48. On February 20, 2005, Rice's No. 41 jersey was retired during a ceremony at Michigan's Crisler Arena. Rice made the cover of Sports Illustrated on April 10, 1989.
Rice continues to rank among Michigan's all-time leaders in several statistical categories, including:
- 1st in career points (2,442)
- 1st in single season points (949 in the 1988-89 season)
- 1st in single season field goals made (363 in the 1988-89 season)
- 1st in single season field goal attempts (629 in the 1988-89 season)
- 1st in single season three point field goal percent (51.6% in the 1988-89 season)
- 2nd in career field goals made (1,002)
- 2nd in single season three-point field goals made (99 in the 1988-89 season)
Rice started his senior season as a projected mid-first-round selection, but his stock rose due to his record-breaking performance in the NCAA Tournament, and he was selected #4 overall in the 1989 NBA draft by the Miami Heat.
The Heat were an expansion team in the NBA and were now in their second-year in need of some offensive help after finishing last in the NBA in points per game in 1988-89. Joining other young players such as Sherman Douglas and Rony Seikaly, Rice would be called upon to deliver some of the scoring load despite being a rookie. Starting in 60 games, Rice averaged 13.6 points per game his rookie season just behind Douglas and Seikaly, but the lottery bound Heat only won 18 games. The following year only saw modest improvement for the team from 18 wins to 24 wins, but Rice started in every game he played and increased his scoring load to 17.4 points a game while leading the team in three point field goals with 71.
The 1991-1992 season would prove to be a breakthrough season for Rice and the Heat, as the team improved to 38 wins and featured other young player such as Steve Smith and Brian Shaw. By now Rice had become the team's leading scorer and averaged 22.3 points a game with 155 three-point field goals (second in the league), leading Miami to its first playoff series in which the young team were swept by the defending champion Chicago Bulls led by Michael Jordan. Despite this, the Heat actually won less games the following year, while Rice's scoring average slipped to 19 as the scoring load of Seikaly and Smith increased.
Rice averaged 21.1 points a game in the 1993-1994 season and led Miami back into the playoffs and to their first ever playoff game win against the Atlanta Hawks, but the Heat were unable to win the hard fought first round series in which the Hawks prevailed 3 games to 2.
In the 1994-1995 season, Rice averaged 22.3 points a game (10th in the league) and made 185 three point shots (6th in the league). Despite not being selected to play in the annual NBA All-Star Game, Rice participated in the NBA All-Star Long Distance Shootout at the 1995 All-Star game in Phoenix, and won the contest, edging out another sharp-shooter, Reggie Miller. Later during the season in nationally-televised game against Shaquille O'Neal and the Orlando Magic he scored a career-high 56 points on 20 of 27 shots from the floor including 7 three-pointers. The 56 points were an NBA season-high for the 1994-95 season. Despite his individual success, the team was unable to make the playoffs.
Days before the start of the 1995-96 NBA season, newly hired Coach/GM Pat Riley organized a trade in which Rice was sent to the Charlotte Hornets along with Matt Geiger in exchange for disgruntled Hornets center Alonzo Mourning who had refused any contract negotiations.
The Hornets paired Rice with high scoring forward Larry Johnson, and the two lead the team to 41 wins. Rice led the team in scoring with 21.6 points a game and led his team in three point field goals (171) and three point shooting percentage (42%). He was also named to play in the 1996 NBA All-Star Game, but the Hornets failed to make the playoffs.
It would be the 1996-1997 season in which Rice would earn the distinction of an elite player in the league. The Hornets had acquired veteran players Vlade Divac and Anthony Mason and no longer featured Johnson, and also hiring new head coach and NBA legend Dave Cowens. Rice would go on to average 26.8 points a game during the season, placing him third in the league in scoring, while leading the league in three-point shooting (47%) and minutes played. His play earned him his second straight All-Star game election, and at the 1997 NBA All-Star Game set an individual All-Star game records of 20 points in the third quarter and 24 points in the second half to finish with 26 points for the game. His 8-11 shooting performance including 4-5 three pointer shooting and his 20 points in the third quarter broke Philadelphia guard Hal Greer’s record (19), set in 1968. By scoring 24 in a half, Rice surpassed the previous mark of 23, owned by Wilt Chamberlain and Tom Chambers. Rice's performance is listed on the NBA's 57 Memorable All-Star Moments. His performance helped the Eastern Conference win the game, and earned him the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award. The Hornets would go on to win 54 games, and made the playoffs where they were swept 3-0 by the New York Knicks in the first round.
Rice would average 22.3 points a game (8th in the league) during the 1997-1998 season, finishing second in the league in minutes played and scoring 16 points in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game. The Hornets won 51 games, and in the first round of the playoffs they managed to win a playoff series, defeating the Atlanta Hawks in the first round before losing to the defending champion Bulls in the second round. The 1998-1999 season would start late and last only 50 games due to a league lockout, and on March 10, 1999 the Hornets traded Rice to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Los Angeles Lakers
In 1999, Rice was again traded in exchange for fan favorite, Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell. The trade didn't immediately sit well with Laker fans but Rice was considered the last piece of the puzzle for the Lakers to return to the NBA Finals. Rice was leaving a Hornets team in turmoil with many players demanding trades coming out of a 4-month lockout. Coach Cowens had resigned, Anthony Mason was out for the year, Rice was coming back from an elbow injury that he needed to have surgery on, and the owner was in legal trouble. The trade to the Lakers made Rice the third scorer behind Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, a trio that general manager and Laker legend Jerry West envisioned would bring Los Angeles another NBA championship. The Lakers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1999 NBA playoffs, but Rice averaged 18 points per game.
Prior to the 1999-2000 season the Lakers hired head coach Phil Jackson, who had won 6 NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls teams that featured Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. The team also acquired veterans such as Ron Harper, A.C. Green, John Salley and Rice's former Miami teammate Brian Shaw. Led by the play of O'Neal, who would go on to win the MVP award for the season, and the all-star play of Bryant, the Lakers won 67 games for first place in the Western Conference. Rice started in 80 games and averaged 15.9 points as the team's third option with 84 three-point shots for first on the team.
In the playoffs, averaged 12.4 points per game while shooting 41 percent from beyond the three point arc, a career best for the playoffs. The Lakers would go on to defeat the Sacramento Kings, the Phoenix Suns, and the Portland Trail Blazers before advancing to the NBA Finals to play the Indiana Pacers. In the second game of the Finals, Bryant suffered an ankle injury, and Rice would go on to score 21 points to help the Lakers take a 2-0 lead in the series. Rice would average 11.5 points a game for the series, including 16 points with 3 shots from three-point range in Game 6 as the Lakers defeated the Pacers 4 games to 2 to give Rice his first and only NBA championship.
Although the Lakers had won the championship, a lot of drama had unfolded behind the scenes between Rice, head coach Phil Jackson and GM Jerry West since the time between getting swept by the Spurs and the eventual championship. There was a report that Rice was upset when the Lakers exercised a $7-million option for 1999-2000 instead of letting him become a free agent. Shaquille O'Neal, Rice's close friend, believed that Rice was the pure shooter he needed to keep teams from double- and triple-teaming him in the playoffs, and felt partly responsible for bringing Rice to the Lakers (and trading Eddie Jones to do it). In the end, Rice wasn't able to win the hearts of Los Angeles fans after being traded for fan-favorite Eddie Jones, with many citing suspect defense and Rice's inability to perform in the triangle offense. As a result, the disgruntled Rice was eventually traded to the New York Knicks.
New York Knicks
In New York Rice would take on a sixth-man role on the team and provide the Knicks with well needed support off the bench. In the 2000-2001 season he played in 72 games, averaging 12 points-per-game. Rice made 25 starts, averaging 14.2 points and 5.2 rebounds in those games and led the Knicks in scoring 9 times. While Rice's defense is often singled out as the reason for his departure, he actually ranks 145th among all-time NBA players in career steals (958). His tenure with the Knicks lasted only one year, as he was hobbled by a foot injury (plantar fasciitis) and was unable to find a niche in New York behind Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell. He would eventually be traded to the Houston Rockets.
In Houston Rice joined a young team featuring Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley and was initially excited about returning to a starting role after be relegated to more of a third-option with both the Lakers and Knicks. Things started slow in Houston as Rice was still on the mend, rehabbing from his foot injury which limited him to just 20 games in the 2001-2002 season. The following year he would manage to play in 62 games including 26 starts to average 9 points a game for a Rockets team that now featured center Yao Ming. Following the 2003 season he would be traded to the Utah Jazz, but would then sign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
Los Angeles Clippers and Retirement
A knee injury (partially torn tendon) ultimately derailed and eventually brought Rice's career to an end. In his final season with the Clippers he became the 48th player in NBA history to score 18,000 career points. Fittingly, it was on February 18 against the Lakers, and he would retire after playing just 18 games.
On January 11, 2008, Rice was arrested in Miami, Florida on suspicion of felony battery. Police say he assaulted a man that he found hiding in his estranged wife's closet. Rice surrendered to police and was released after posting $5,000 bond. Charges were later dropped.
Rice also has five other children; G'mitri Rice (born April 22, 1992) Brianna Rice (born February 26, 1999) Giancarlo Rice (born August 28, 2001) Giovanni Rice (born February 5, 2004) and Bella Rice (born July 28, 2010).
- NBA champion (2000)
- NBA All-Star game MVP Award (1997)
- NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player (1989)
- NCAA champion (1989); University of Michigan
- 3-time All-Star
- 2-time All-NBA — 1997 second team, 1998 third team
- NBA Three-Point Shootout champion (1995)
- All-Rookie NBA — (1990)
- Retired Jerseys: #41 University of Michigan
- List of National Basketball Association players with 1000 games played
- List of National Basketball Association career 3-point scoring leaders
- "Rice claims scoring mark". The New York Times. 1989-04-04. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- "NCAA Tournament Records". Retrieved 2010-02-08.
- "Thompson makes cuts". The New York Times. 1988-05-23. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- Holman, Josh (2005-02-21). "Blue retires Rice's jersey". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 2007-02-25.
- "On the Cover: Glen Rice". CNN. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- "Men's Basketball Statistic Archive Query Page". University of Michigan.
- "1997 NBA All-Star Game". Retrieved 2007-02-15.
- "57 Memorable All-Star Moments". Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- "Ex-Hornet Rice stings his old team". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Say it ain't so: Laker transactions that broke our heart". CNN. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "SI Vault: George Shinn should sell the Hornets before he completely ruins them". CNN. 1999-03-01. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Charlotte Hornets History". Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- "The Curious Career of Glen Rice". Retrieved 2009-01-15.
- "Rice, Jackson continue war of words". CNN. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- Kawakami, Tim (1999-12-20). "Life at the Top Looks Good for Lakers...but Below Surface Rice Issue Is Simmering". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- "NBA.COM: Glen Rice Bio". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "NBA & ABA Career Leaders and Records for Steals". Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "NOTEBOOK; Trading Rice a Knicks Overreaction". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-02-04.
- "Former All-Star Glen Rice arrested on battery charge". Retrieved 2008-01-11.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Glen Rice.|
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
- Glen Rice—The Game I’ll Never Forget