Earl Watson

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Earl Watson
Earl Watson Bulls vs Pacers December 2009.jpg
Watson with the Pacers in December 2009
Phoenix Suns
Position Head coach
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1979-06-12) June 12, 1979 (age 37)
Kansas City, Kansas
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Listed weight 199 lb (90 kg)
Career information
High school Washington (Kansas City, Kansas)
College UCLA (19972001)
NBA draft 2001 / Round: 2 / Pick: 39th overall
Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics
Playing career 2001–2014
Position Point guard
Number 25, 8, 2, 11, 17
Coaching career 2014–present
Career history
As player:
2001–2002 Seattle SuperSonics
20022005 Memphis Grizzlies
2005–2006 Denver Nuggets
20062009 Seattle SuperSonics / Oklahoma City Thunder
2009–2010 Indiana Pacers
20102013 Utah Jazz
2013–2014 Portland Trail Blazers
As coach:
2014–2015 Austin Spurs (assistant)
2015–2016 Phoenix Suns (assistant)
2016 Phoenix Suns (interim)
2016–present Phoenix Suns
Career highlights and awards
  • First-team All-Pac-10 (2001)
  • Honorable-Mention All-Pac-10 (1999)
  • Pac-10 All-Freshman Team (1998)
Career statistics
Points 5,593 (6.4 ppg)
Assists 3,871 (4.4 apg)
Steals 873 (1.0 spg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

Earl Joseph Watson, Jr. (born June 12, 1979)[1] is an American former professional basketball player who is currently the head coach for the Phoenix Suns in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the UCLA Bruins, where he was a four-year starter. Watson was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in the second round of the 2001 NBA Draft with the 39th overall selection. He played 13 seasons in the NBA with seven teams before becoming a coach in 2014.

High school and college career[edit]

Watson is a graduate of Washington High School in Kansas City, Kansas. In his senior year of high school he averaged 23.4 points, 8.3 assists and 14 rebounds per game.[2]

Watson was a starter in college at UCLA, at one point playing alongside future NBA All-Star Baron Davis. They were the first two freshmen to start at UCLA since the 1979 season. A four-year starter, Watson started the most consecutive games in the history of UCLA basketball.[2] As a senior, He averaged 14.7 points (2nd on the team, 9th in the pac-10), 5.2 assists, (1st on the team, 2nd most in the Pac-10) 3.7 rebounds, 0.3 blocks, and 1.9 steals (most in the Pac-10, most on the team) per game. He earned All-Pac-10 First Team Honors.

Professional career[edit]

Watson was selected in the second round (39th overall) by the SuperSonics in the 2001 NBA draft. In the 2007–08 NBA season, Watson averaged 10.7 points and 6.8 assists with the Sonics. On February 6, 2008, Watson recorded his first-ever triple-double in a game against the Sacramento Kings. Watson logged 23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in 32 minutes.[3] It was Seattle's first triple-double since Ray Allen registered one on January 28, 2004, against the Los Angeles Lakers.[3]

On July 17, 2009, Watson was waived by the Thunder.[4] He signed a one-year deal with the Indiana Pacers on July 28, 2009.[5]

He signed with the Utah Jazz on September 26, 2010.[6]

On July 10, 2013, he signed with the Portland Trail Blazers.[7]

Watson retired as a player on October 2, 2014.

NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2001–02 Seattle 64 0 15.1 .453 .364 .639 1.3 2.0 .9 .1 3.6
2002–03 Memphis 79 2 17.3 .435 .341 .721 2.1 2.8 1.1 .2 5.5
2003–04 Memphis 81 14 20.6 .371 .245 .652 2.2 5.0 1.1 .2 5.7
2004–05 Memphis 80 14 22.6 .426 .319 .659 2.1 4.5 1.0 .2 7.7
2005–06 Denver 46 10 21.2 .429 .395 .627 1.9 3.5 .8 .2 7.5
2005–06 Seattle 24 0 25.1 .432 .420 .731 3.0 5.4 1.3 .1 11.5
2006–07 Seattle 77 25 27.9 .383 .329 .735 2.4 5.7 1.3 .3 9.4
2007–08 Seattle 78 73 29.1 .454 .371 .766 2.9 6.8 .9 .1 10.7
2008–09 Oklahoma City 68 18 26.1 .384 .235 .755 2.7 5.8 .7 .2 6.6
2009–10 Indiana 79 52 29.4 .426 .288 .710 3.0 5.1 1.3 .2 7.8
2010–11 Utah 80 13 19.6 .410 .336 .671 2.3 3.5 .8 .2 4.3
2011–12 Utah 50 2 20.7 .338 .192 .674 2.4 4.3 1.1 .4 3.0
2012–13 Utah 48 4 17.3 .308 .179 .680 1.8 4.0 .8 .2 2.0
2013–14 Portland 24 0 6.7 .273 .286 1.000 .6 1.2 .2 .0 0.5
Career 878 227 22.2 .411 .324 .703 2.3 4.4 1.0 .2 6.4

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
2004 Memphis 4 0 15.5 .533 .000 1.000 2.3 1.8 1.3 .0 4.8
2005 Memphis 4 0 18.5 .333 .111 1.000 2.5 3.8 .8 .3 4.8
2014 Portland 4 0 3.5 .000 .000 .000 .3 .3 .0 .0 0.0
Career 12 0 12.5 .400 .077 1.000 1.7 1.9 .7 .1 3.2

Coaching career[edit]

On October 2, 2014, Watson was hired as an assistant coach by the Austin Spurs of the NBA D-League, effectively ending his 13-year playing career.[8] He joined the Phoenix Suns as their new assistant coach on July 30, 2015.[9][10] However, after a poor start to the 2015-16 season, the Suns fired coach Jeff Hornacek and replaced him with Watson as the interim head coach for the rest of the season.[11] While Watson would make his coaching debut on February 2, 2016 at home against the Toronto Raptors, it wouldn't be until February 27, almost a month later, where he'd record his first win with the Suns against the Memphis Grizzlies, a team he had previously played under. He would then get his first two-game winning streak on the road as a coach with victories on March 4 against the Orlando Magic and March 6 against the Grizzlies respectively. After starting out the season with only one victory in ten games for February, he'd end the season with an 8–15 record the rest of the way, including ending the season with a 3–1 stint. On April 19, the Suns announced that they had agreed to a three-year deal with Earl Watson due to the positive nature he had that was instilled upon the team after he was first hired, making him the full-time head coach of the team. With his promotion to permanent head coach, Earl Watson is currently the second-youngest head coach in the NBA (behind only Luke Walton), being 36 when he first started coaching.[12] Watson also became the first former UCLA Bruins player to become a head coach in the NBA, as well as the first NBA head coach of Hispanic decent.[13]

Head coaching record[edit]

Legend
Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win-loss %
Post season PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win-loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Phoenix 2015–16 33 9 24 .273 4th in Pacific Missed Playoffs
Career 33 9 24 .273 0 0 0

Personal[edit]

Watson's father, Earl, is African American and his mother, Estella, is Mexican American. Because his maternal grandparents were born in Mexico, Watson was eligible to play for the Mexico national basketball team.[14][15] Watson has four brothers and one sister.[1] He is also involved with the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Arizona.[13] One of his brothers, Dwayne, was a retired police officer who died due to blood clots in his legs that were dislodged during an altercation. The assailant, Tremaine Quinn, was sentenced to 36 months of probation for the action.[16] That incident would be a major driving force for Earl to take up coaching in basketball.[17] Watson founded the organization "Emagine" to positively impact the youth of his hometown Kansas City, Kansas.[18]

On 16 May 2009 he married [19] actress Jennifer Freeman [20] and they have a daughter, Isabella Amora (October 16, 2009).[21]

In August 2010 they separated after Freeman physically attacked him; briefly reconciled,[22] but as of March 2015 are divorcing.[23]

During his coaching tenure in the NBA, Watson has stated he takes inspiration from UCLA all-time great John Wooden.[13]

Watson is also considered a supporter of the Amateur Athletic Union programs, saying that the right program and right people involved can lead towards more positive experiences for the people involved. He also claims that he likely would have never gotten a scholarship for UCLA if he didn't have the AAU around.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Earl Watson Stats, Video, Bio, Profile". NBA.com. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Player Bio: Earl Watson
  3. ^ a b "Watson gets first career triple-double to help Sonics finish off Kings". ESPN.com. February 6, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Oklahoma City Thunder waive Earl Watson". InsideHoops.com. July 17, 2009. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Indiana Pacers sign Earl Watson". InsideHoops.com. July 28, 2009. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Utah Jazz Signs Guard Earl Watson". NBA.com. September 26, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2013. 
  7. ^ TRAIL BLAZERS SIGN EARL WATSON
  8. ^ "Austin Toros Announce Coaching Staff Additions". NBA.com. October 2, 2014. Archived from the original on October 14, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Suns Announce Basketball Operations Staff Changes". NBA.com. July 30, 2015. 
  10. ^ Coro, Paul (May 29, 2015). "Suns make coaching staff changes, drop Kenny Gattison". azcentral.com. 
  11. ^ "Suns Name Earl Watson Interim Head Coach". NBA.com. February 1, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Suns Name Earl Watson Head Coach". NBA.com. April 19, 2016. Retrieved April 20, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b c "Suns coach Watson has plans to win over skeptics". AZCentral.com. May 11, 2016. Retrieved May 11, 2016. 
  14. ^ Chris Perkins. "NBA Extra". Palm Beach Post. January 15, 2006. 7B.
  15. ^ Garcia, Marlen (June 14, 2007). "Richardson exporting his deep basketball knowledge". USAToday.com. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  16. ^ http://theundefeated.com/features/earl-watson-goes-after-a-victory-close-to-his-heart/
  17. ^ Phoenix Suns' Earl Watson found great motivation to coach
  18. ^ Spotlight. Vol. 13, No. 3, April 2007[dead link]
  19. ^ http://celebritybrideguide.com/jennifer-freeman-earl-watson-wedding-photos/
  20. ^ "About". jenniferfreeman.com. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  21. ^ "2012-13 Utah Jazz media guide" (PDF). p. 71. Retrieved May 20, 2013. 
  22. ^ http://www.cbsnews.com/news/jennifer-freeman-attacked-nba-player-earl-watson-divorce-papers-say
  23. ^ http://www.centrictv.com/entertainment/articles/2015/03/03/jennifer-freeman-earl-watson-s-child-support-battle-gets-ugly.html
  24. ^ http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2016/8/22/12573540/aau-culture-ruining-basketball-suns-coach-earl-watson-would-argue-the-opposite

External links[edit]