John Lucas II

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John Lucas II
No. 15, 4, 5, 10, 20
Point guard
Personal information
Born (1953-10-31) October 31, 1953 (age 60)
Durham, North Carolina
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High school Hillside (Durham, North Carolina)
College Maryland (1972–1976)
NBA draft 1976 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1st overall
Selected by the Houston Rockets
Pro career 1976–1990
Career history
As player:
19761978 Houston Rockets
19781981 Golden State Warriors
19811983 Washington Bullets
1983 Lancaster Lightning (CBA)
1983–1984 San Antonio Spurs
19841986 Houston Rockets
19861988 Milwaukee Bucks
1988–1989 Seattle SuperSonics
1989–1990 Houston Rockets
As coach:
1992 Miami Tropics (USBL)
1992–1993 San Antonio Spurs
1993 Miami Tropics (USBL)
1993–1994 San Antonio Spurs
19941996 Philadelphia 76ers
20012003 Cleveland Cavaliers
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[edit]

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.[1]

Lucas played for the US national team in the 1974 FIBA World Championship, winning the bronze medal.[2]

Lucas played in the NBA for fourteen years and was a member of the 1986 Houston Rockets team that made it to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics.

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.

Coaching[edit]

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 worked with Indiana Pacers guard T.J. Ford in Houston after the guard sustained a neck injury from a hard foul from Atlanta's Al Horford.[3]

Lucas was hired for the 2009–10 NBA season as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers under head coach Mike Dunleavy.

Lucas began working with former NFL first round pick JaMarcus Russell in 2010 as a life coach, but ceased this role in April 2011.[4]

Tennis[edit]

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.[5] 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.[6] (Doubles computer rankings were not officially kept until the early 1980s.)

Lucas also played World Team Tennis with the San Francisco Golden Gaters in 1976, and the New Orleans Sun Belt Nets in 1978. He and transsexual Renée Richards had success teaming up as the Nets' regular mixed-doubles team in 1978. The 6'1" Richards was delighted to have a male partner who was taller than she.[7]

In 2005, Lucas was the head coach of the Houston Wranglers, which featured Steffi Graf and Mardy Fish.

Personal[edit]

Lucas's elder son John Lucas, played college basketball at Oklahoma State, and has been a member of several NBA teams. His younger son, Jai, played college basketball at the University of Texas.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1975 New York Nets draft page at DatabaseBasketball.com
  2. ^ SEVENTH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP -- 1974
  3. ^ Ford's biggest hurdle was all mental
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ ATP.com
  6. ^ ATP profile page
  7. ^ Richards, Renée; Ames, John (2007). No Way Renée: The Second Half of My Notorious Life. New York, New York: Simon & Schuster. ASIN 0743290143. ISBN 978-0-7432-9013-5. LCCN 2006052252. 

External links[edit]