Shawn Bradley

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Shawn Bradley
Bradley, Shawn (2008) 2.jpg
No. 76, 45, 44
Center
Personal information
Born (1972-03-22) March 22, 1972 (age 42)
Landstuhl, West Germany
Nationality German / American
Listed height 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m)
Listed weight 275 lb (125 kg)
Career information
High school Emery (Castle Dale, Utah)
College BYU (1990–1991)
NBA draft 1993 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Pro playing career 1993–2005
Career history
19931995 Philadelphia 76ers
1995–1997 New Jersey Nets
1997–2005 Dallas Mavericks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 6,752 (8.1 ppg)
Rebounds 5,268 (6.3 rpg)
Blocks 2,119 (2.5 bpg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Shawn Paul Bradley (born March 22, 1972) is a retired American and German (dual citizen) basketball player who played center for the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Jersey Nets and the Dallas Mavericks in the National Basketball Association. At 7 ft 6 in (2.29 m) tall, Bradley was one of the tallest players in NBA history. Though born in Landstuhl, West Germany, Bradley grew up in Castle Dale, Utah.

High school career[edit]

Bradley played for Emery High School (Castle Dale, Utah) from 1987 to 1990. He was one of the most successful basketball players in Utah high school history, finishing with career averages of 20.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 5.4 blocked shots per game.[1] During his time at the school, Emery racked up a 68-4 record and won two state championships. Bradley was named All-State three times and twice earned the season MVP award. In his senior year, he averaged 25 points, 17 rebounds, and 9 blocks per contest. He was named All-American by several national publications, including Parade Magazine, Street and Smith, USA Today, and others. He turned in a strong performance at the McDonald's All-American Game (12 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 blocks), earning the Most Valuable Player award for the West team. As of 2011, Bradley still holds Utah state records for blocked shots in a single game (17), season (208), and career (506).[2]

College career[edit]

Bradley was heavily recruited by many colleges from across the country, but ultimately chose to play at Brigham Young University. During his freshman season (1990–91), he started all 34 games for BYU, averaging 14.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. But his main contribution to the team was shot-blocking: he led the entire nation in total blocks (177) and average (5.2 per game) - setting an NCAA freshman record in both categories.[3] In one game against Eastern Kentucky, Bradley blocked 14 shots, tying the NCAA single-game record set by Navy's David Robinson in 1986. In that same game, Bradley also established a new career high by scoring 29 points.[citation needed]

BYU received a bid to the NCAA Tournament that season, and Bradley continued his dominating defense. In a first round game against Virginia, he set a tournament single-game record with 10 blocked shots, leading the Cougars to a 61-48 victory.[4] However, he struggled with foul trouble in the second round, and BYU lost to Arizona, 76-61.[citation needed]

Bradley collected several awards and honors for his outstanding freshman season. He was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, in addition to All-WAC defensive team and newcomer team honors. He was also named Honorable Mention All-American by the Associated Press. After the end of the season, he left school to serve as a Mormon missionary. After finishing a two-year mission to Australia, he decided not to return to college basketball. Instead, he entered the 1993 NBA Draft.[citation needed]

Professional career[edit]

Philadelphia 76ers[edit]

Bradley entered the professional ranks as one of the most intriguing and highly debated prospects in the history of the NBA draft. Supporters claimed his tremendous size and surprising athleticism would allow him to dominate the league. Critics argued that he would struggle in the NBA due to his thin build (listed at just 235 pounds) and lack of experience (just one season of college basketball, followed by a two-year hiatus from the sport due to his church mission). Ultimately, he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the second overall pick, behind Chris Webber and ahead of Penny Hardaway. Given the novelty of a 7-foot-6 center playing for the 76ers, Bradley was issued jersey number 76.

Philadelphia's management saw Bradley as a major project with huge long-term potential. The team acquired legendary big man Moses Malone to serve as a mentor for Bradley, hoping to develop his skills in the low post.[5] Also, the franchise hired strength and conditioning consultant Pat Croce and registered dietitian Jeanie Subach to add bulk to Bradley's skinny frame.[6] His rookie season (1993–94) produced mixed results. In his first game, Bradley totaled just 6 points and 5 rebounds before he was replaced by Malone, who led the team to victory. However, Bradley managed to block 8 shots in just 25 minutes in that contest.[7]

It was a sign of things to come. For much of his career, Bradley was inconsistent in scoring and rebounding, but he always excelled at blocking shots. He averaged 10.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game in his first season - good enough to earn NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors. But he shot a dismal 40.9 percent from the floor and constantly struggled with turnovers and foul trouble. He suffered a season-ending injury in February of that year, dislocating his kneecap in a collision with Portland's Harvey Grant.[8]

Bradley returned to full strength in his second season, playing in all 82 games for the 76ers. His scoring actually declined a bit (9.5 points per game), but his rebounding and shot-blocking increased. He racked up 274 rejections, setting a franchise record for most blocks in a single season. Bradley gave Philly fans a glimpse of his potential in a contest against the Los Angeles Clippers in November, posting career highs of 28 points and 22 rebounds in a 97-83 victory. He also tied a career high with 9 blocked shots, and was credited with 9 additional "intimidations" as the Clippers were held to their lowest-ever point total against the 76ers.[9] He finished the season in strong fashion, posting 13 double-doubles in his last 17 games.

New Jersey Nets[edit]

However, despite these highlights, Bradley continued to baffle and frustrate Philadelphia with his inconsistent play. Just 12 games into his third season (1995–96), the 76ers ended the "Shawn Bradley Experiment", trading him to the New Jersey Nets for Derrick Coleman. He played the final 67 games of the year with the Nets, and tantalized New Jersey fans with some strong play in the second half of the season. In February, he dominated a match-up against fellow giant Gheorghe Muresan, leading the Nets to a 99-81 victory against the Washington Bullets. Bradley scored a season-high 27 points over the 7-foot-7 Muresan, and also added 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.[10]

Bradley lifted his game to new levels in March 1996. He posted a career-high 32 points and added 15 rebounds against Dallas early in the month,[11] and set another career high a week later with 10 blocked shots against the Phoenix Suns. He recorded his first career triple-double in the very next game, tallying 19 points, 17 rebounds, and a career-best 11 blocked shots in another match-up against Muresan and the Bullets. In April, Bradley posted back-to-back triple-doubles (against Boston and Toronto); in the process, he became the first player in NBA history to record consecutive games of double-figure blocked shots twice in a single season.[12] His season averages for 1995-96 were 11.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game - all career highs.

The Nets began the 1996-97 season under new management: John Calipari was named head coach in the off-season, and John Nash replaced Willis Reed as general manager. Reed had been a big believer in Bradley, but Calipari and Nash weren't nearly as excited about the 7-foot-6 enigma. In an effort to save some cash against the salary cap, the Nets traded their big center (and his big contract) to the Dallas Mavericks in a blockbuster mid-season deal that involved nine players.[13]

Dallas Mavericks[edit]

Bradley embraced yet another "fresh start" with a new franchise. With increased playing time in Dallas, Bradley posted some of the best numbers of his career. In a game against the Clippers, he tied his career high by scoring 32 points - the most ever by a center in the history of the Mavericks franchise. He also added a season-high 16 rebounds in that same contest. He finished the year with averages of 13.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game - breaking career highs set during the previous season. But most importantly, Bradley provided strong defense in the paint that Dallas had been lacking before his arrival. In fact, Bradley finished the year as the top shot-blocker in the entire league, averaging 3.4 swats per contest. It was the first time any Mavericks player had ever led the NBA in any statistical category.

And yet, Bradley continued to be plagued by maddening inconsistency that defined his entire professional career. During the 1997-98 season, Dallas coach Jim Cleamons experimented by bringing Bradley off the bench in several games (instead of his usual role as starter). In one particular game, it paid off in a major way: Bradley totaled 22 points, 22 rebounds, and a career-high 13 blocked shots in an April contest against the Trail Blazers. Bradley became the fifth NBA player to record at least 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 blocks in a single game, and the first to do so off the bench.[14] The previous players to record a 20-20-10 game with points, rebounds, and blocks were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O'Neal. Bradley finished the year with a team-record 214 blocked shots; his average of 3.3 per game ranked third in the NBA.

Bradley played 7 more seasons in the league, remaining with the Mavericks until his retirement in 2005. Over that span, his playing time slowly declined, mainly due to some injuries and constant juggling of the team's lineups and rotations by coach Don Nelson. In particular, Bradley's offensive role became very limited, but he remained an imposing defensive presence. In fact, in the 2000-01 season, he broke his own team record by blocking 228 shots for Dallas - the highest total in the NBA that year. The Mavericks emerged as a perennial playoff contender, mostly due to the rise of star players such as Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash, but Bradley's defense made a significant contribution. He finished his career with averages of 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in 23.5 minutes of action per game.

International career[edit]

Bradley has competed internationally for Germany; he and Dallas teammate Dirk Nowitzki were members of the German national basketball team that finished in fourth place at the EuroBasket 2001 in Turkey. In order to participate in this tournament, Bradley made use of his German birth to obtain German citizenship.[15]

Post-basketball career[edit]

After his retirement as a player, Bradley became involved with West Ridge Academy, a coeducational private school for at-risk youths in West Jordan, Utah. Bradley's role with the school involves some of the functions of a vice principal, counselor, and coach. Describing Bradley, school executive director Ken Allen said, "Shawn has a great presence—due to his size—and has immediate credibility with the kids. His instant credibility when he's talking to kids makes him an incredible mentor. He is a great example of someone who has worked hard and been very successful. Being so tall wasn't always easy for him. He knows about being the 'odd kid' and dealing with that."[16]

On March 19, 2010, Bradley filed papers to run as a Republican against incumbent Democratic Rep. Tim Cosgrove for the 44th District seat in the Utah House of Representatives.[17][18] On November 2, 2010, Bradley lost the election to Cosgrove, earning 46.49% of the vote against Cosgrove's 51.13%.[19]

Personal life[edit]

As of 2006, Bradley and his wife Annette have six children: daughters Cheyenne, Ciera, Chelsea, and Charity and sons Chance and Chase. He lives in Murray, Utah,[20] and enjoys baseball, water skiing, horseback riding, and listening to country music.[21][22]

Bradley is a devout Mormon. When he was 19, he served for two years as a Mormon missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New South Wales, Australia.[23]

Bradley has participated in many charitable endeavors. In the 2000-01 season he donated $25 for each blocked shot to Bryan's House, a managed facility for children affected by HIV and AIDS. He is a national spokesman for the Children's Miracle Network.[21][22] Bradley has also participated in the "Basketball Without Borders" program with other NBA players like Dikembe Mutombo, DeSagana Diop and Malik Rose and found his experiences with children in Africa uplifting.[24] He and his family have also participated in treating leprosy colonies in India through the Rising Star Outreach.[25]

TV and movie appearances[edit]

Bradley had a role in the film Space Jam in 1996,[26] depicted as one of the NBA stars who lose their talent alongside Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing. He also appeared as himself in an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger,[26] and had a cameo appearance as an auto mechanic in The Singles Ward movie.[26] In 2011, he appeared in a music video tribute to Jimmer Fredette, along with former BYU football star Chad Lewis and legendary coach LaVell Edwards.[27] He has also appeared in an episode of Studio C.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ BYU Men's Basketball Athlete Profile - Shawn Bradley
  2. ^ Utah High School State Records
  3. ^ NBA.com: Shawn Bradley Bio
  4. ^ 1991 Bradley Blocks Out Virginia
  5. ^ Moses Malone - 11.08.93 - SI Vault
  6. ^ 7,000-calorie diet just wasn't right for Bradley
  7. ^ New York Times Sports - Pro Basketball
  8. ^ 76er Bradley begins light rehabilitation
  9. ^ Bradley comes up big
  10. ^ Bradley Comes Up Big For Nets
  11. ^ Shawn Bradley, the butt of jokes in Philly, may get the last laugh now that he's standing tall for New Jersey
  12. ^ Shawn Bradley Printable Player File
  13. ^ Nets and Mavericks Clean House and Start Over
  14. ^ NBA.com Shawn Bradley Bio
  15. ^ http://www.berlinonline.de/berliner-zeitung/archiv/.bin/dump.fcgi/2001/0808/sport/0137/index.html
  16. ^ Luhm, Steve (February 7, 2007). "Shawn Bradley: A big man on campus". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Ex-NBA, BYU star Bradley seeks political office", Associated Press/LocalNews8.com, published March 20, 2010, accessed March 24, 2010.
  18. ^ "Shawn Bradley's Campaign Web Site", accessed September 26, 2010.
  19. ^ "2010 Utah General Election", DeseretNews.com, published November 3, 2010, accessed November 4, 2010.
  20. ^ http://cnnsi.printthis.clickability.com/pt/cpt?expire=&title=FOR+THE+7-FOOT+SET,+PROFESSIONAL+BASKETBALL+PROVIDES+MORE+-+07.04.11+-+SI+Vault&urlID=455649447&action=cpt&partnerID=289881&fb=Y&url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1187806/1/index.htm
  21. ^ a b NBA.com: Shawn Bradley Printable Stats
  22. ^ a b Honolulu Star-Bulletin Sports
  23. ^ "7-6 Bradley Opts for N.B.A.". The New York Times. April 3, 1993. 
  24. ^ NBA.com "We Are Blessed By Visitors"
  25. ^ Former NBA player Shawn Bradley shares experience volunteering at leprosy colonies
  26. ^ a b c Shawn Bradley profile, Internet Movie Database
  27. ^ Former BYU stars say "You've been Jimmer'd"
  28. ^ http://byutv.org/watch/e195c844-c39d-423b-b22a-2196fd53a1b8/studio-c-season-1-episode-10

External links[edit]