Alexander English (born January 5, 1954) is an American retired basketball player. He was most recently an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball at the University of South Carolina.

Alex English
Alex English, Visitante Ilustre (14935074624) (cropped).jpg
English in Montevideo in 2014
Personal information
Born (1954-01-05) January 5, 1954 (age 65)
Columbia, South Carolina
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolDreher (Columbia, South Carolina)
CollegeSouth Carolina (1972–1976)
NBA draft1976 / Round: 2 / Pick: 23rd overall
Selected by the Milwaukee Bucks
Playing career1976–1992
PositionSmall forward
Number23, 22, 2
Career history
19761978Milwaukee Bucks
19781980Indiana Pacers
19801990Denver Nuggets
1990–1991Dallas Mavericks
1991–1992Basket Napoli
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points25,613 (21.5 ppg)
Rebounds6,538 (5.5 rpg)
Assists4,351 (3.6 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Upon his arrival in Denver in 1980, English commenced an assault on the NBA scoring books. With the erratic, fast-paced, and high-scoring Nuggets, he averaged 21 points through the final 24 games of the 1979-80 season, then proceeded with averages of 24, 25, 28, 26, 28, nearly 30 (in the 1985–86 season), 29, 25, 27, and 18 points per game during his decade-long scoring spree. He also led the Nuggets to nine consecutive playoff appearances, two Midwest Division titles, and the 1985 Western Conference Finals. English set 31 team records throughout his decade in Denver, and was the leading scorer in 55% of the games he played for the Nuggets.

In total, English played 15 seasons in the NBA for four teams, averaging 21.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game during his NBA career. He was named to eight NBA All-Star teams and made the All-NBA Second Team three times. His number 2 jersey was retired by the Denver Nuggets in 1992 and he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.

Early lifeEdit

English was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. For some of his childhood, he and his siblings lived with their grandmother while their parents worked in New York. During this time, English often subsisted on a single meal per day.[1]

English attended Dreher High School in Columbia.[2]

College careerEdit

English attended the University of South Carolina in Columbia from 1972 to 1976. He started every game over a four-year career and was arguably the first African-American sports star at the school. He scored a record 1,972 points and was only the third player at the school to record over 1,000 rebounds and connect on better than 50% of his field goal attempts. English was selected to two independent All-America teams in 1975 and 1976. In the academic realm, English "developed interests that he still maintains in art, sculpture, literature, and, especially poetry." He graduated with a bachelor's degree in English in 1976.[3]

Professional careerEdit

Milwaukee BucksEdit

English was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the 1976 NBA draft with the 23rd pick.[4]

Indiana PacersEdit

English signed with the Indiana Pacers as a free agent after the 1977-78 season. English became a starter in Indiana and began to establish a reputation as a scorer, averaging 16 points per game during the 1978-79 season on another rebuilding team.[4]

Denver NuggetsEdit

English was traded to the Denver Nuggets midway through the 1979–80 season for George McGinnis, a former Pacers star from their ABA days. Though coming off of an All-Star season in 1978-79, McGinnis was only a shadow of his former self and was out of the league by 1982.[5]

In his first full season with the Nuggets in 1980-81, English averaged a then-career high 23.8 points.[6]

In the 1981-82 season, English averaged 25.4 points and the team advanced to postseason play. He earned a position on the All-Star Team and All-NBA Second Team. The following year, in 1982-83, English won the league scoring title with an average of 28.4 points per game, while teammate Kiki Vandeweghe placed second averaging 26.7 points. Then in 1983-84 English placed fourth in the league in scoring.[4]

In the 1984-85 season English raised his scoring average to 27.9 points to pick up some of the slack from Kiki Vandeweghe's departure. Denver won its division and secured the second seed in the Western Conference. In the 1985 playoffs, English averaged 30.2 points as the Nuggets defeated the San Antonio Spurs and Utah Jazz to meet the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals, where they would fall to the eventual NBA-champion Lakers in five games. English suffered a right thumb injury in Game 4,[7] which required surgery and rendered him unable to play for the rest of the series.[8] With the Nuggets already dealing with injuries to other players, English's injury was thought by some[7][9][10] to have nearly ensured a Laker victory in the series. English later stated in a 2006 interview that "I think that if I had not broken my thumb [...] we had a chance to beat the Lakers."[11]

English recorded his career-best average of 29.8 points per game in the subsequent 1985-86 season, finishing third in the league behind Atlanta's Dominique Wilkins and Utah's Adrian Dantley. In the 1986 NBA All-Star Game, English set his All-Star career high by scoring 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting in 16 minutes off the bench for the West squad.[4]

After the 1989-90 season, in which English's scoring average dipped to 17.9 and he largely struggled to maintain his level of play compared to previous seasons,[12] English became a free agent, and the Nuggets elected not to re-sign him.[4]

Dallas Mavericks and Basket NapoliEdit

At age 36, English signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Mavericks where he once again played off the bench, this time averaging just under 10 points per game. No other NBA team signed him for the next season, and after a stint in Italy with Basket Napoli, English retired.[4]

Post-retirement and legacyEdit

When English left Denver, he was the holder of nearly every team record, including most career points (21,645), assists (3,679), games (837) and minutes (29,893) in a Nuggets uniform, along with the highest career scoring average with the team (25.9) of any player. The Nuggets retired English's number 2 jersey in 1992. As of 2019, English's career 25,613 points place him 18th on the NBA's all-time career scoring list.[13] English was the first to achieve eight straight 2,000-point seasons, and he has the distinction of being the top scorer in the 1980s.[14] He was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997.[4]

Coaching careerEdit

English began his coaching career in the National Basketball Development League (now called the NBA G League) as the head coach of the North Charleston Lowgators in the 2001-02 season. The Lowgators tied for the best record during the regular season and were eliminated in the championship series during the playoffs.[15][16]

Before the 2002-03 NBA season, English joined the coaching staff of the Atlanta Hawks. The following year, he was hired by the Philadelphia 76ers as an assistant coach.[15]

 
English (left) on the 2009–10 Toronto Raptors coaching staff

English then joined the Toronto Raptors in 2004 to serve as assistant coach and director of player development.[15][17] On June 5, 2009, it was announced that English would stay with the Raptors as an assistant coach.[18] On July 13, 2011, with the team heading in a new direction after the hiring of new head coach Dwane Casey, English was not given a new contract, and his services were not retained.[19]

On January 13, 2012, he was added to the Sacramento Kings coaching staff under head coach Keith Smart.[17] On June 5, 2013, new Kings coach Michael Malone announced that the 2012–13 assistant coaches, including English, would not be retained for the 2013–14 season.[20]

Post-coachingEdit

It was announced that Alex English was added as a color analyst on SEC Network on November 11, 2014.[21]

Since 2014, English has also been an active participant in the SportsUnited Sports Envoy program for the U.S. Department of State. In this function, he has traveled to Italy, the Republic of Korea, and Chile, where he worked with Nykesha Sales and Candace Wiggins to conduct basketball clinics and events that reached more than 1900 youth from underserved areas. In so doing, English helped contribute to SportsUnited's mission to reach out to youth populations in order to promote growth and a stable democratic government.[22][23][24]

Acting careerEdit

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[when?], his last role was as "The Premiere" in 1997's "The Definite Maybe."

NBA career statisticsEdit

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
* Led the league

Regular seasonEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1976–77 Milwaukee 60 6 10.8 .477 - .767 2.8 .4 .3 .3 3.2
1977–78 Milwaukee 82 4 18.9 .542 - .727 4.8 1.6 .5 .7 9.6
1978–79 Indiana 81 69 33.3 .511 - .752 8.1 3.3 .9 1.0 16.0
1979–80 Indiana 54 15 28.3 .504 .000 .814 7.0 2.6 .8 .6 14.9
1979–80 Denver 24 24 36.5 .485 .667 .762 9.4 3.4 1.2 1.2 21.3
1980–81 Denver 81 81 38.2 .494 .600 .850 8.0 3.6 1.3 1.2 23.8
1981–82 Denver 82 82 36.8 .551 .000 .840 6.8 5.3 1.1 1.5 25.4
1982–83 Denver 82 82 36.4 .516 .167 .829 7.3 4.8 1.4 1.5 28.4*
1983–84 Denver 82 77 35.0 .529 .143 .824 5.7 5.0 1.0 1.2 26.4
1984–85 Denver 81 81 36.1 .518 .200 .829 5.7 4.2 1.2 .6 27.9
1985–86 Denver 81 81 37.3 .504 .200 .862 5.0 4.0 .9 .4 29.8
1986–87 Denver 82 82 37.6 .503 .267 .844 4.2 5.1 .9 .3 28.6
1987–88 Denver 80 80 35.2 .495 .000 .828 4.7 4.7 .9 .3 25.0
1988–89 Denver 82 82 36.5 .491 .250 .858 4.0 4.7 .8 .1 26.5
1989–90 Denver 80 80 27.6 .491 .400 .880 3.6 2.8 .6 .3 17.9
1990–91 Dallas 79 26 22.1 .439 .000 .850 3.2 1.3 .5 .3 9.7
Career 1,193 753 31.9 .507 .217[a] .832 5.5 3.6 .9 .7 21.5
All-Star 8 4 18.5 .500 .000 .500 2.3 1.9 .8 .5 9.1
  • a The NBA adopted the three-point line in the 1979–80 season.

PlayoffsEdit

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1978 Milwaukee 9 - 23.1 .615 - .781 4.7 1.4 .7 .8 13.4
1982 Denver 3 - 39.3 .473 .000 .857 7.7 5.7 1.0 1.0 19.3
1983 Denver 7 - 38.6 .447 .000 .887 6.3 6.0 .6 1.0 25.9
1984 Denver 5 - 40.6 .588 .000 .893 8.0 5.6 .6 .4 29.0
1985 Denver 14 14 38.3 .536 .000 .890 6.6 4.5 1.2 .4 30.2
1986 Denver 10 10 39.4 .463 .000 .859 3.5 5.2 .4 .4 27.3
1987 Denver 3 3 25.3 .510 .000 .857 4.7 3.3 .0 .0 18.7
1988 Denver 11 11 39.8 .455 .000 .814 5.4 4.4 .6 .3 24.3
1989 Denver 3 3 36.0 .516 .000 .875 4.3 3.7 .3 .0 26.0
1990 Denver 3 3 25.3 .568 .000 .818 3.0 3.0 .7 .3 19.7
Career 68 44[b] 35.7 .503 .000[a] .862 5.5 4.3 .7 .5 24.4
  • a The NBA adopted the three-point line in the 1979–80 season.
  • b Incomplete statistics.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Anderson, Dave (February 3, 1985). "Sports of The Times; How Ethiopia Touched a Poet". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  2. ^ "Alex English". discoversouthcarolina.com. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
  3. ^ Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary, edited by David L. Porter, entry on Alex English by Peter C. Bjarkman, Westport, Connecticut, London: Greenwood Press, 2005.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "NBA.com: Alex English Bio". Nba.com. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  5. ^ Glenesk, Matthew. "Pacers at the trade deadline: A historical mixed bag". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  6. ^ "ESPN Classic - NBA All-Star Profile: Alex English". Espn.com. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Newman, Bruce. "Back In The Saddle Again". Vault. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  8. ^ Bonk, Thomas (May 21, 1985). "Alex English Is Lost to the Nuggets". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  9. ^ Bonk, Thomas (May 23, 1985). "Celtics (102-100) and Lakers (153-109) Will Play It Again : Nuggets Are Routed, Setting Up Rematch for NBA Championship". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  10. ^ McMANIS, SAM (May 20, 1985). "Nuggets Down, 3-1, and Feeling the Pain : Half the Roster Is Ailing, English Is Out and Even Ballboy Has a Cast". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  11. ^ "Alex English: A True Basketball Artist". Denver Nuggets. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  12. ^ Smith, Sam. "In Plain English: Alex Not A Happy Nugget". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  13. ^ "NBA & ABA Career Leaders and Records for Points". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  14. ^ "Who Scored The Most Points In The NBA In The 80s". StatMuse. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  15. ^ a b c "Alex English". Toronto Raptors. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  16. ^ "NBDL 2001-02 Season Summary". Basketball-Reference.com. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Alex English hired by Kings as assistant coach". ESPN. January 13, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  18. ^ "Raptors retain English, add Iavaroni to coaching staff". CBC.ca. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  19. ^ "New Raptors coach Casey fills out his staff - Sportsnet.ca". www.sportsnet.ca. Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  20. ^ "Mike Malone tells assistant Kings coaches they will not be retained". Insidehoops.com. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  21. ^ Muller, Brad. "Alex English added as color analyst on SEC Network". Secsports.com. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  22. ^ "NBA: Once a Neapolitan, Always a Neapolitan | Naples, Italy – Consulate General of the United States". naples.usconsulate.gov. Archived from the original on March 28, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  23. ^ "(Yonhap Interview) U.S. sports envoys hope to inspire underprivileged kids to succeed". english.yonhapnews.co.kr. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  24. ^ "November 14 | Santiago, Chile – Embassy of the United States". chile.usembassy.gov. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015. Retrieved May 1, 2016.

External linksEdit