||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
October 5, 1967 |
Bowling Green, Kentucky
|Listed height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Listed weight||185 lb (84 kg)|
|NBA Draft||1988 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8th overall|
|Selected by the Charlotte Hornets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||9,731 (14.6 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,645 (2.5 rpg)|
|Assists||1,798 (2.7 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Rex Everett Chapman (born October 5, 1967, in Bowling Green, Kentucky) is a retired American professional basketball player. Chapman was a college standout at the University of Kentucky and went on to play for four NBA teams through his 12-year career in the league. He later served as the vice president of player personnel with the Denver Nuggets.
College career 
A high school basketball star at Apollo High in Owensboro, Kentucky, Chapman was heavily recruited by many universities. He chose, however, to stay close to home when he signed with the University of Kentucky. Chapman was a star with the Kentucky Wildcats where he was named to the All-SEC Team during his freshman and sophomore years. Chapman and Wildcat teammate and future NBA journeyman Winston Bennett helped lead Kentucky to their 37th SEC title with a 27-6 record during his sophomore year. The Wildcats were ranked as the 6th college basketball team in the nation by the Associated Press and UPI and secured the number two seed in the South region of the 1988 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Kentucky's talents led the team to the tournament's Sweet Sixteen, where they suffered a defeat against Villanova. Chapman scored 30 in a losing effort. Chapman amassed a total of 1,073 points in only two years at Kentucky before opting to enter the NBA Draft. According to Chapman, pressure from the university discouraging his interracial dating influenced his decision to leave early for the NBA draft.
NBA career 
Charlotte Hornets 
Chapman was selected with the 8th overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft and became the first player ever signed by the Charlotte Hornets in the franchise's history. Chapman was popular among basketball fans in Charlotte, as he averaged 16.9 points per game his first season there. He could not help the Hornets win many games, however, as the expansion team went 20-62 that year.
Chapman finished 6th behind Dominique Wilkins during his first NBA Slam Dunk Contest but during the 1989-1990 season, Chapman, along with his teammate Kendall Gill, entered the NBA all star dunk competition for the second time. Despite performing a two hands and two balls dunk stunt, he lost to the Celtics Dee Brown, finishing tied for second in the competition.
Chapman averaged 17 points per game that year, but the Hornets were not much better than a year earlier. After one-and-a-half more seasons with the Hornets, Chapman was traded midway through the 1991–1992 season to the Washington Bullets. He was injured, however, and could only participate in the final game of the season. This would turn out to be the first of a number of injuries that gave Chapman trouble during the rest of his career.
Washington Bullets & Miami Heat 
Chapman was traded to the Washington Bullets in exchange for Tom Hammonds on February 19, 1992. Here he played 60 games during the 1993–94 season and 45 games during the 1994–95 season . He had his second major injury during the latter season, after which he was traded to the Miami Heat. Chapman had what started out as a great season, and averaged 14.8 points per game that year. On February 23, 1996, he scored 39 points (converting 9 of 10 3-point attempts) and lead an injury-plagued Miami Heat team with an 8-man roster to a 113-104 victory over the Chicago Bulls, handing the Bulls one of their 10 losses during their historic 72-10 run. Unfortunately, later in the season he found himself on the injured list again and only participated in 56 games. He eventually signed with the Phoenix Suns.
Phoenix Suns 
As with many other Suns players, Chapman became a fan favorite upon his arrival in Phoenix for the 1996-1997 season. He played in 65 games, and scored 13 points per game. His popularity in Phoenix was enhanced by a shot in game four of the 1997 First Round against the Seattle SuperSonics. Chapman is probably best known by basketball fans because of this one particular moment: the Phoenix Suns, up two games to one, were trailing the SuperSonics by three points with seconds to go at America West Arena in Phoenix. With the inbounded ball seemingly on its way out of bounds, Chapman saved it and threw up a three-pointer, making the shot with 1.9 seconds left and sending the game into overtime. Despite this miraculous play, the Suns ended up losing the game, and the deciding game 5, and were eliminated from the playoffs. Chapman has declared publicly he does not like to be reminded of the moment too much because the Suns still lost.
Chapman played 68 games during the 1997–1998 season for the Suns, scoring almost 16 points per game. But he would be injured again during the strike shortened 1999 season, playing 38 games. Chapman would play 53 games during the 1999–2000 season, but he became re-injured and decided to retire from the NBA then.
Chapman played a total of 666 regular season NBA games, scoring 9,731 points for an average of 14.6 points per game, with 1,798 assists for an average of 2.7 assists per game, and 1,645 rebounds, for 2.5 rebounds per game.
Post-playing life 
After retiring from active play Chapman remained with the Suns, first as a scout and later as Director of Basketball Operations. For the 2004 and 2005 NBA Playoffs, he served as a color commentator on TNT. In 2005, he moved from Phoenix to accept a personnel scout position with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2006, he accepted the position of vice president of player personnel with the Denver Nuggets.
In 2005, Chapman claimed in an interview that interracial dating during his college and pro days was looked down upon and discouraged. He also argued that players like Allan Houston and Derek Anderson were overlooked by Kentucky sportswriters while they were in high school because they were not white.
On February 19, 2012, in response to the New York Knicks' acquisition of J.R. Smith, Chapman tweeted, "I say JR is such a great pick-up 4 the #Lins only because he's been playing the past 6-mo's in China. So easy now 4 him to recognize his PG" (referring to Jeremy Lin). Chapman was criticized for his remarks, which were seen as racially insensitive.
- Scott, Jon. "Statistics for 1987-88". bigbluehistory.net: Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Page. Retrieved 2008-07-02.
- Scott, Jon. "Kentucky Teams of the Past". bigbluehistory.net: Kentucky Wildcats Basketball Page. Retrieved 2008-07-03.
- Associated Press (2005-05-16). "Chapman: Kentucky tried to nix interracial dating". USA Today. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
- Chapman: 'Most preferred that I keep it confidential'
- Rex Chapman tweets about Jeremy Lin, says NY Knicks J.R. Smith pickup is good due to fact he ‘played in China’