Adrian Dantley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Adrian Dantley
Personal information
Born (1955-02-28) February 28, 1955 (age 62)
Washington, D.C.
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 208 lb (94 kg)
Career information
High school DeMatha Catholic
(Hyattsville, Maryland)
College Notre Dame (1973–1976)
NBA draft 1976 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6th overall
Selected by the Buffalo Braves
Playing career 1976–1991
Position Small forward
Number 44, 4, 45, 7
Career history
1976–1977 Buffalo Braves
1977 Indiana Pacers
19771979 Los Angeles Lakers
19791986 Utah Jazz
19861989 Detroit Pistons
19891990 Dallas Mavericks
1990–1991 Milwaukee Bucks
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 23,177 (24.3 ppg)
Rebounds 5,455 (5.7 rpg)
Assists 2,830 (3.0 apg)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Adrian Delano Dantley (born February 28, 1955[1]) is an American retired basketball player who played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A forward and six-time NBA All-Star, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2010, he was appointed acting head coach of the Denver Nuggets in the absence of stricken head coach George Karl.

Playing career[edit]


Dantley attended DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland, where he played under coach Morgan Wootten.

Dantley was a forward at Notre Dame from 1973–76. He was a consensus first-team All-American in 1974–75 and 1975–76. He ranks second on the Notre Dame career scoring list with 2,223 points and holds the school record for free throws made (615) and free throws attempted (769).

Dantley had a stellar collegiate career for the Fighting Irish. As a freshman, he played an important role in one of the biggest games in college basketball history, Notre Dame's 1974 upset to end UCLA's record 88-game winning streak. That UCLA team, coached by John Wooden, featured Bill Walton, Jamaal Wilkes (then known as Keith Wilkes), and Dave Meyer.

Dantley led Notre Dame in scoring in 1974–75 (30.4 points per game) and 1975–76 (28.6 points per game), while also leading the team in rebounding those two seasons with marks of 10.2 and 10.1 rebounds per game, respectively. He was also the leading scorer on the 1976 US Olympic team that captured the gold medal in Montreal.


Buffalo Braves[edit]

In the 1976 NBA draft Dantley was drafted sixth overall by the Buffalo Braves. He became the third Buffalo player in five years to receive the NBA Rookie of the Year Award when he won it after the 1977 season.

Indiana Pacers[edit]

Buffalo traded Dantley to the Indiana Pacers before the 1977–78 NBA season, making him the first NBA Rookie of the Year to be traded following his rookie season.[citation needed] Indiana traded him after 23 games to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Los Angeles Lakers[edit]

He stayed with the Lakers through the following season before being traded again, this time to the Utah Jazz. It was the third time in two years that he had been traded; the Jazz were his fourth team in as many years in the league.

Utah Jazz[edit]

In Utah, Dantley reached his peak establishing his reputation as a prolific scorer, twice leading the league in scoring (in 1981 and 1984). He averaged over 30 points per game each season between 1981 and 1984, though he missed 60 games in 1983 after tearing ligaments in his right wrist. In his seven years with the Jazz, Dantley picked up all six of his All-Star appearances and two All-NBA second-team honors. Dantley's 1980–1984 seasons include two of the top three and four of the top seven spots in true shooting percentage for players averaging at least 30 points per game.[2]

Detroit Pistons[edit]

Utah traded Dantley to the Detroit Pistons after the 1986 season. Dantley was still an effective scorer but did not get as many shots with Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Vinnie Johnson and Bill Laimbeer all averaging at least 10 points per game. Midway through the 1989 season Detroit traded Dantley to the Dallas Mavericks for Mark Aguirre.

Final Years and Retirement[edit]

Dantley played two more seasons in the NBA before retiring after a 10-game stint with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1991.

Dantley finished his career with an average of 24.3 points per game. He scored his points with a mix of flat-footed mid-range jump shots, high-percentage opportunities close to the basket, and frequent trips to the free throw line. For his career, he shot .540 from the floor — 16th in NBA history — and .818 from the free throw line. He led the league in free throws six times and ranks ninth all-time in that category. He shares the record with Wilt Chamberlain for most free throws made in a regular-season NBA game with 28.


Utah retired Dantley's uniform number (#4) on April 11, 2007.

Dantley enjoyed outstanding success at every level of basketball, including high school, college, Olympics, and the NBA. On April 7, 2008, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame, 16 years after he retired.


Dantley later worked for the Denver Nuggets as an assistant coach for eight seasons. He briefly served as the team's head coach during the 2009–10 season, filling in for George Karl, who was fighting cancer.[3]

In addition to playing professionally, in his spare time, Dantley coaches basketball to aspiring players in Silver Spring, Maryland.[4]

Personal life[edit]

His son Cameron Dantley was the starting quarterback for the Syracuse Orange during the 2008 season.[5]

During his career, Dantley was considered frugal. During his days with the Pistons, he was given a new Chevy truck to drive by the local dealer. Upon hearing about his trade to Dallas, he drove the truck to his new city, thus avoiding the plane fare, but causing the dealer to have to send a recovery team for their truck. After his coaching career, Dantley started work as a school crossing guard in Maryland. Dantley took the job for the health benefits since the NBA does not offer health insurance to retired players.[6]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]