Bernard King was an All-American forward at the University of Tennessee teaming with teammate Ernie Grunfield to form the Ernie and Bernie show and dominate the SEC. King was named three time SEC player of the year. The New York Nets selected him 7th overall in 1977 and he quickly showed the league that he was an offensive force to be reckoned with. He averaged 24.2 points a game as a rookie with a repertoire featuring a solid low post game, the ability to run the floor like a guard and a deft shooting touch.
The versatile King starred in the movie Fastbreak in the role of Hustler with Welcome Back Kotter star Gabe Kaplan about a college basketball team right after his rookie season. The movie is now considered a cult classic. King played some time in Utah and Golden State but came into his own when traded to the Knicks. King became the dominant scorer in the league for the next two years where in 1985 he averaged a remarkable 32.9 points a game and won the second of two consecutive first team all NBA awards. Later that year, King suffered a knee injury that required major reconstruction. He missed all of the next season but when he came back in 86-87 he did not have the same kind of explosiveness he once had and the Knicks cut him. The Washington Bullets took a chance on King and he had one of the great comebacks in NBA history. His scoring average improved every season he as with the Bullets and he earned his fourth and final trip to the All-Star game in 1991.
King retired after the 93 season after more knee problems and held a 22.5 career scoring average and had a total of 19,665 total points which was good for 16th all-time when he retired. King's legacy will be that of one of the greatest scorers in league history whose career was altered by knee injuries but he showed incredible determination to come back and succeed afterwards. He also never got the opportunity to play on winning teams which is the primary reason that he has not yet been elected to the hall.
The Bullet Points:
Country of Origin:
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
New Jersey Nets
Golden State Warriors
New York Knicks
1st Round, 7th Overall in 1977
Major Accolades and Awards:
NBA All Star Teams (4) (1992, 1994, 1995 & 1991)
First Team All NBA Selection (2) (1983-84 & 1984-85)
Second Team All NBA Selection (1) (1981-82)
Third Team All NBA Selection (1) (1990-91)
Most Points Per Game (1) (1984-85)
Championship Rings: None
Other Points of Note:
Top Ten Finishes: Minutes Played (1) (1977-78)
Top Ten Finishes: Field Goals (5) (1977-78, 1980-81, 1981-82, 1983-84 & 1990-91)
Top Ten Finishes: Field Goal Percentage (3) (1980-81, 1981-82 & 1983-84)
Top Ten Finishes: Free Throws (1) (1983-84)
Top Ten Finishes: Points (4) (1977-78, 1980-81, 1981-82 & 1983-84)
Top Ten Finishes: Points Per Game (5) (1977-78, 1981-82, 1983-84, 1984-85 & 1990-91)
Notable All Time Rankings:
27. Points Per Game: 22.5
37. Field Goals: 7,830
43. Points: 19,655