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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alex English
2009–10 Toronto Raptors coaching staff, L to R: Alex English, Marc Iavaroni, and Jay Triano
Position(s) Small forward
Jersey #(s) 23, 22, 2
Born January 5, 1954 (1954-01-05) (age 56)
Columbia, South Carolina
Career information
Year(s) 1976–1991
NBA Draft 1976 / Round: 2 / Pick: 23
College University of South Carolina
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA and/or ABA)
Points     25,613
Rebounds     6,538
Assists     4,351
Stats @
Career highlights and awards
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Alexander English (born January 5, 1954 in Columbia, South Carolina) is a retired American basketball player and current assistant coach of the Toronto Raptors of the National Basketball Association who played at the forward position. He played at the University of South Carolina and most notably with the National Basketball Association's Denver Nuggets. He averaged 21.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game during his NBA career. He was named to seven NBA All-Star teams, his #2 jersey was retired by the Nuggets, and he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame.


NBA career

English spent the majority of his career with the Nuggets, but also played briefly with the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers and Dallas Mavericks. He was drafted in 1976 by the Bucks, and was part of a rookie class that includes fellow Hall of Famer Robert Parish.

Most of his time in Milwaukee was spent as a back-up on a rebuilding team that lost Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. However, it wasn't until he was sent to Indiana in 1978 that he began his reputation as a scorer, averaging 16 points there on another subpar team before being traded to Denver.

English was traded to the Nuggets midway through the 1979–80 season for George McGinnis, a former Pacers star from their ABA days. It turned out to be one of the most one-sided trades in NBA history; McGinnis was out of the league by 1982.

English then commenced a highly low-key assault on the NBA scoring books. With the erratic, high-paced, and high-scoring Denver Nuggets he averaged 21 points when he arrived in Denver in 1980, then proceeded with averages of 24, 25, 28, 26, 28, nearly 30 (in 1985–86), 29, 25, 27, and 18 points per game during his decade-long scoring spree. That made him the highest-scoring player of the time, a period where the NBA gained national prominence; he never sought out the spotlight, however. He decided to leave Denver in 1990, signing with the Dallas Mavericks.

He also led the Nuggets to nine consecutive playoffs, and for himself was awarded with three All-NBA Second Teams (1982, 1985, 1986), 9 All-Star appearances, set 31 team records in his decade in Denver, helped Denver win 2 Midwest Division titles and get to the 1985 Western Conference Finals, and was the leading scorer in 55% of the games he played in Denver.

English's NBA career ended in 1991, with a short stint for the Dallas Mavericks, where he once again played back-up, averaging almost 10 points a game. No one cared to sign him for the next season, and after a stint in Italy, English was done. The Nuggets, realizing how poorly their treatment of English was, retired his number and issued their apology in 1992.

At the time of his retirement, he was sixth in the NBA's history in scoring.

Also, his number "2" rainbow Nuggets jersey replicas became hugely popular starting in the 1990s.

English's style has been described as smooth and elegant. Not possessing the physical strength of contemporaries such as Dominique Wilkins and James Worthy, English instead relied on technique and finesse. These skills allowed him to place 12th on the NBA all-time scoring list as of 2008 with 25,613 points. He was the first player ever to string together eight straight 2,000-point seasons. He has the distinction of being the top scorer in the 1980s.


Since June 2004, English has been the director of player development and an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors. He joined the Raptors after spending the previous two season as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks. On June 5, 2009, it was announced that English would stay with the Raptors as an assistant coach.

Acting career

Alex English has dabbled in acting. His debut came in the 1987 motion picture Amazing Grace and Chuck, playing a fictitious Boston Celtics star. He has also had roles in the television series Midnight Caller 1989 and played the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in Eddie (1996). To date, his last role was as "The Premiere" 1997's The Definite Maybe.

See also

External links

Preceded by
Junior Bridgeman
NBA Players Association President
February 1988 – October 5, 1988
Succeeded by
Isiah Thomas


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