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For the 1981 born basketball player, see Bernard King (Texas A&M Aggies). For the Australian television personality, see Bernard King (television).
Bernard King
Position(s) Small forward
Jersey #(s) 22, 30, 55
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 205 lb (93 kg)
Born December 4, 1956 (1956-12-04) (age 53)
Brooklyn, New York
Career information
Year(s) 1977–1993
NBA Draft 1977 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7

Selected by New Jersey Nets

College Tennessee
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA)
Points     19,655
Rebounds     5,060
Assists     2,863
Stats @
Career highlights and awards
  • 4x NBA All-Star (1982, 1984, 1985, 1991)
  • 1978 NBA All-Rookie First Team
  • 2x All-NBA First Team (1984, 1985)
  • 1x All-NBA Second Team (1982)
  • 1x All-NBA Third Team (1991)
  • 1984 Sporting News NBA MVP

Bernard King (born December 4, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York) is a retired American professional basketball player at the small forward position in the NBA. He played all or part of 14 seasons with the New Jersey Nets (19771979, 1992-93), Utah Jazz (1979-80), Golden State Warriors, (19811982), New York Knicks (19821987), and the Washington Bullets (19871991).


NBA career

Bernard King attended college at the University of Tennessee and was selected 7th overall in the 1977 NBA Draft by the New York Nets, who months later relocated from Uniondale, New York to New Jersey and became known as the New Jersey Nets.

At 6'7" and 205 pounds, Bernard King epitomized the NBA small forward of the 1980s. With his long arms and quick release, King was an explosive runner on the fast-break and a tremendous scorer. King led the NBA in scoring in 1985 with 32.9 points per game and was selected twice to the All-NBA First Team and three times to the NBA All-Star Game.

In 1977-78, his rookie season, he set a New Jersey Nets franchise record for most points scored in a season with 1,909, at 24.2 points per game. He would later surpass this record with his 2,027 point season in 1983-84, earning the first of his back-to-back All-NBA First Team selections.

On January 31, 1984, as a Knick, King made history by becoming the first player since 1964 to score at least 50 points in consecutive games: scoring 50 points on 20 for 23 shooting with 10 free throws in a 117-113 Knicks victory over the San Antonio Spurs on January 30, and following it up with another 50 point performance in another road victory - this time in a 105-98 win over the Dallas Mavericks - on 20 for 28 shooting and 10 free throws. The next season, on Christmas Day, 1984, King lit up the New Jersey Nets for 60 points, becoming just the tenth player in NBA history to score 60 or more points in a single game.

At the peak of his career, however, King suffered a devastating knee injury - a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, while planting his straight leg before jumping causing the knee to bend, against the then-Kansas City Kings in Kansas City, Missouri on March 23, 1985. It required major reconstruction, causing King to miss all of the 1985-86 season and denying him his once explosiveness to the basket. Despite averaging 22.7 points per game during his first six games back, it was clear that King's explosiveness was diminished, and this prompted the New York Knicks to release him at the end of the 1987 season. However, King would have a very successful comeback with the Washington Bullets, improving his scoring average each year with the squad and returning to the All-Star Game one last time in 1991, his final full season in the NBA. After a year-and-a-half hiatus and a brief 32-game stint with the New Jersey Nets at the end of the '93 season, knee problems forced Bernard King into retirement. King retired with 19,665 points in 874 games, for an average of 22.5 points per game during his career. At the time of his retirement, King ranked 16th on the all-time NBA scoring list.

Awards and recognition

On February 13, 2007, Bernard King's number 53 was retired at the halftime of the Tennessee-Kentucky men's college basketball Game at Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. His jersey number was the first jersey number retired by the Volunteers, who later retired Ernie Grunfeld's number, King's former teammate. The late 70s Tennessee men's basketball team was known as the "Ernie and Bernie Show" (in reference to Ernie Grunfeld and King) and is viewed as the golden age of UT men's basketball. During an ESPN interview after halftime, King stated he had not returned to the University of Tennessee in more than 30 years, but expressed his sincere appreciation to the University and his plans to return again. His reason for not visiting his alma mater was simply that he had not been asked. King's ceremony punctuated an 89-85 Tennessee victory over the visiting Wildcats.

During the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, a panel of basketball analysts for the TNT network selected Bernard King as one of nominees of the "Next 10", a list of 10 unofficial additions to the NBA's 50 greatest players list in honor of the NBA's 60th anniversary.[1]

In 2004, King was nominated for election into the Basketball Hall Of Fame. However, he has not yet been elected. Some say his candidacy is handicapped by the relatively small number of games he played (874) and the abundance of high-scoring small forwards of the era such as Adrian Dantley and Mark Aguirre, of whom only Dantley has been elected to the hall-of-fame.


See also


  1. ^ Legends in the Making, TNT, accessed March 9, 2008

External links



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