John Lucas II
|No. 15, 4, 5, 10, 20|
October 31, 1953 |
Durham, North Carolina
|Listed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Listed weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
|High school||Hillside (Durham, North Carolina)|
|NBA draft||1976 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall|
|Selected by the Houston Rockets|
|Pro playing career||1976–1990|
|1978–1981||Golden State Warriors|
|1983||Lancaster Lightning (CBA)|
|1983–1984||San Antonio Spurs|
|1992||Miami Tropics (USBL)|
|1992–1993||San Antonio Spurs|
|1993||Miami Tropics (USBL)|
|1993–1994||San Antonio Spurs|
|2009||Nigeria national team|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||9,951 (10.7 ppg)|
|Assists||6,454 (7.0 apg)|
|Steals||1,273 (1.4 spg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
John Harding Lucas II (born October 31, 1953) is a retired American professional basketball player.
Basketball playing career and substance abuse
Lucas attended the University of Maryland where he was an all-American in basketball. Lucas was a Second-team All-American for the excellent Terrapins team in 1973 - 74, along with his teammates Len Elmore and Tom McMillen. The Terrapins had a record of 23 - 5 in the regular season, and 9 - 3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). However, they lost during the ACC Tournament, and they could not go to the NCAA Tournament. Elmore and McMillan graduated in 1974, but in the following 1974 - 75 season, Lucas was a First-team All-American. The Terrapins recorded a 24 - 5 regular season record, 10 - 2 in the ACC, and they won the ACC regular season crown. However, they lost to NC State in the semifinals of the ACC tournament. The NCAA tournament, however, had been expanded to include 32 teams. Also, for the first time, more than one team per conference was allowed into the tournament. Maryland gained entry and advanced to the Elite Eight before losing to Louisville.
In the in 1975 - 76 season, Lucas was a First-team All-American once again. The Terrapins recorded a 22 - 6 regular season record, 7 - 5 in the ACC, but they lost out in the ACC Tournament and did not make the NCAA Tournament. Then, following this senior season, Lucas was the first overall pick of the 1976 NBA Draft, selected by the Houston Rockets. He was also drafted by the New York Nets of the American Basketball Association.
However, the following off-season, Lucas's basketball career took a turn for the worse when longstanding problems with illegal drugs became public. Several of his teammates with the Rockets, including Mitchell Wiggins and Lewis Lloyd, were banished from the NBA due to positive tests for cocaine usage. Lucas, who was also a cocaine user (and an alcoholic), submitted voluntarily to anti-drug and anti-alcohol treatment in order to stay in the league.
Lucas played four more years in the NBA, averaging at age 33 a career-high 17.5 points in 1986-87, before settling into a reserve role the next three years.
After successfully undergoing drug rehabilitation, and starting programs of his own to help other athletes rehabilitate, Lucas returned to the NBA as a coach, eventually becoming a head coach.
He has coached the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers, each for less than two seasons, compiling a 174 - 258 overall coaching record. His most successful stint was with the Spurs. In 1992-93, he took over from Jerry Tarkanian (9-11) and went 39-22 the rest of the season, and reached the Western Conference semi-finals. The next year the Spurs finished 55-27 but lost in the first round of playoffs.
Prior to accepting the head coaching position for the Cavs, he was assistant coach for the Denver Nuggets for three seasons.
Lucas was hired for the 2009–10 NBA season as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers under head coach Mike Dunleavy.
Lucas was not only a standout basketball player, but also a standout tennis player. An All-American in the sport while at Maryland, Lucas competed in two Grand Prix tennis tournaments in 1973, another in 1979, and a challenger event in 1979. His best result was reaching the semi-finals of the challenger in Raleigh, NC, partnering Fred McNair. He won one other tour match, by default in doubles in 1973 in Merion, PA while partnering Vic Seixas. He lost all four of the singles first round matches which he contested, and in straight sets. His best singles result was a 4-6, 4-6 loss to John Austin. Lucas's career high ranking was becoming World No. 579 in singles in December 1979. (Doubles computer rankings were not officially kept until the early 1980s.)
- List of National Basketball Association career assists leaders
- List of National Basketball Association players with most assists in a game