Shawn Paul Bradley (born March 22, 1972) is a German-American former basketball player who played center for the Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, and Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). At 7 ft 6.36 in (2.30 m) tall, Bradley was one of the tallest players in NBA history. Bradley was born in Landstuhl, West Germany as his family was stationed at the U.S. Military base medical facility, and grew up in Castle Dale, Utah.[1][2] He also holds German citizenship. Bradley was featured in the ESPN 30 for 30 short documentary "Posterized" given his propensity "for being on the wrong end of a lot of great dunks." [3]

Shawn Bradley
Bradley, Shawn (2008) 2.jpg
Bradley in 2008
Personal information
Born (1972-03-22) March 22, 1972 (age 47)
Landstuhl, West Germany
NationalityGerman / American
Listed height7 ft 6.36 in (2.30 m)
Listed weight255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High schoolEmery (Castle Dale, Utah)
CollegeBYU (1990–1991)
NBA draft1993 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Playing career1993–2005
Number76, 45, 44
Career history
19931995Philadelphia 76ers
19951997New Jersey Nets
19972005Dallas Mavericks
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points6,752 (8.1 ppg)
Rebounds5,268 (6.3 rpg)
Blocks2,119 (2.5 bpg)
Stats at

High school careerEdit

Bradley played for Emery High School (Castle Dale, Utah) from 1987 to 1990. He was one of the most successful basketball players in Utah high school history, finishing with career averages of 20.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 5.4 blocked shots per game.[4] During his time at the school, Emery racked up a 68-4 record and won two state championships. Bradley was named All-State three times and twice earned the season MVP award. In his senior year, he averaged 25 points, 17 rebounds, and 9 blocks per contest. He was named All-American by several national publications, including Parade Magazine, Street and Smith, USA Today, and others. He turned in a strong performance at the McDonald's All-American Game (12 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 blocks), earning the Most Valuable Player award for the West team. As of 2015, Bradley still holds Utah state records for blocked shots in a single game (18), season (209), and career (605).[5]

College careerEdit

Bradley was heavily recruited by many colleges from across the country, but ultimately decided to play at Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. During his freshman season (1990–91), he started all 34 games for BYU, averaging 14.8 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. But his main contribution to the team was shot-blocking: he led the entire nation in total blocks (177) and average (5.2 per game)—setting an NCAA freshman record in both categories.[6] In one game against Eastern Kentucky (EKU), Bradley blocked 14 shots, tying the NCAA single-game record set by Navy's David Robinson in 1986. In that same game, Bradley also established a new career high by scoring 29 points.[7]

BYU received a bid to the NCAA tournament that season, and Bradley continued his dominating defense. In a first-round game against Virginia, he set a tournament single-game record with 10 blocked shots, leading the Cougars to a 61-48 victory.[8] However, he struggled with foul trouble in the second round, and BYU lost to Arizona, 76-61.[citation needed]

Bradley collected several awards and honors for his outstanding freshman season. He was named the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Freshman of the Year, in addition to All-WAC defensive team and newcomer team honors. He was also named Honorable Mention All-American by the Associated Press (AP)[citation needed]

Professional careerEdit

Philadelphia 76ersEdit

Bradley entered the professional ranks as one of the most intriguing and highly debated prospects in the history of the NBA draft. Supporters claimed his tremendous size and surprising athleticism would allow him to dominate the league. Critics argued that he would struggle in the NBA due to his thin build (listed at just 235 pounds) and lack of experience (just one season of college basketball, followed by a two-year hiatus from the sport due to his church mission). Ultimately, he was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers with the second overall pick, behind Chris Webber and ahead of Penny Hardaway. Given the novelty of a 7-foot-6 center playing for the 76ers, Bradley was issued jersey number 76.

Philadelphia's management saw Bradley as a major project with huge long-term potential. The team acquired legendary big man Moses Malone to serve as a mentor for Bradley, hoping to develop his skills in the low post.[9] Also, the franchise hired strength and conditioning consultant Pat Croce and registered dietitian Jeanie Subach to add bulk to Bradley's skinny frame.[10] His rookie season (1993–94) produced mixed results. In his first game, Bradley totaled just 6 points and 5 rebounds but he did manage to block 8 shots in 25 minutes.[11]

It was a sign of things to come. For much of his career, Bradley was inconsistent in scoring and rebounding, but he always excelled at blocking shots. He averaged 10.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks per game in his first season – good enough to earn NBA All-Rookie Second Team honors. But he shot a dismal 40.9 percent from the floor and constantly struggled with turnovers and foul trouble. He suffered a season-ending injury in February of that year, dislocating his kneecap in a collision with Portland's Harvey Grant.[12]

Bradley returned to full strength in his second season, playing in all 82 games for the 76ers. His scoring actually declined a bit (9.5 points per game), but his rebounding and shot-blocking increased. He racked up 274 rejections, setting a franchise record for most blocks in a single season. Bradley gave Philly fans a glimpse of his potential in a contest against the Los Angeles Clippers in November, posting career highs of 28 points and 22 rebounds in a 97-83 victory. He also tied a career high with 9 blocked shots, and was credited with 9 additional "intimidations" as the Clippers were held to their lowest-ever point total against the 76ers.[13] He finished the season in strong fashion, posting 13 double-doubles in his last 17 games.

New Jersey NetsEdit

However, despite these highlights, Bradley continued to baffle and frustrate Philadelphia with his inconsistent play. Just 12 games into his third season (1995–96), the 76ers traded Bradley to the New Jersey Nets for Derrick Coleman. He played the final 67 games of the year with the Nets, and tantalized Nets fans with some strong play in the second half of the season. In February, he dominated a match-up against fellow giant Gheorghe Mureșan, leading the Nets to a 99–81 victory against the Washington Bullets. Bradley scored a season-high 27 points over the 7-foot-7 Mureşan, and also added 9 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.[14]

Bradley lifted his game to new levels in March 1996. He posted a career-high 32 points and added 15 rebounds against Dallas early in the month,[15] and set another career high a week later with 10 blocked shots against the Phoenix Suns. He recorded his first career triple-double in the very next game, tallying 19 points, 17 rebounds, and a career-best 11 blocked shots in another match-up against Mureşan and the Bullets. In April, Bradley posted back-to-back triple-doubles (against Boston and Toronto); in the process, he became the first player in NBA history to record consecutive games of double-figure blocked shots twice in a single season.[16] His season averages for 1995–96 were 11.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game[17] – all career highs.

The Nets began the 1996–97 season under new management: John Calipari was named head coach in the off-season, and John Nash replaced Willis Reed as general manager. Reed had been a big believer in Bradley, but Calipari and Nash weren't nearly as excited about the 7-foot-6 enigma. In an effort to save some cash against the salary cap, the Nets traded their big center (and his big contract) to the Dallas Mavericks in a blockbuster mid-season deal that involved nine players.[18]

Dallas MavericksEdit

Bradley embraced yet another "fresh start" with a new franchise. With increased playing time in Dallas, Bradley posted some of the best numbers of his career. In a game against the Clippers, he tied his career high by scoring 32 points – the most ever by a center in the history of the Mavericks franchise. He also added a season-high 16 rebounds in that same contest. He finished the year with averages of 13.2 points and 8.4 rebounds per game – breaking career highs set during the previous season. But most importantly, Bradley provided strong defense in the paint that Dallas had been lacking before his arrival. In fact, Bradley finished the year as the top shot-blocker in the entire league, averaging 3.4 swats per contest. It was the first time any Mavericks player had ever led the NBA in any statistical category.

And yet, Bradley continued to be plagued by maddening inconsistency that defined his entire professional career. During the 1997–98 season, Dallas coach Jim Cleamons experimented by bringing Bradley off the bench in several games (instead of his usual role as starter). In one particular game, it paid off in a major way: Bradley totaled 22 points, 22 rebounds, and a career-high 13 blocked shots in an April contest against the Trail Blazers. Bradley became the fifth NBA player to record at least 20 points, 20 rebounds, and 10 blocks in a single game, and the first to do so off the bench.[6] The previous players to record a 20-20-10 game with points, rebounds, and blocks were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O'Neal. Bradley finished the year with a team-record 214 blocked shots; his average of 3.3 per game ranked third in the NBA.

Bradley played 7 more seasons in the league, remaining with the Mavericks until his retirement in 2005. Over that span, his playing time slowly declined, mainly due to some injuries and constant juggling of the team's lineups and rotations by coach Don Nelson. In particular, Bradley's offensive role became very limited, but he remained an imposing defensive presence. In fact, in the 2000–01 season, he broke his own team record by blocking 228 shots for Dallas – the highest total in the NBA that year. The Mavericks emerged as a perennial playoff contender, mostly due to the rise of star players such as Dirk Nowitzki and Steve Nash, but Bradley's defense made a significant contribution. He finished his career with averages of 8.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in 23.5 minutes of action per game.

National team careerEdit

Bradley has competed internationally for Germany; he and Dallas teammate Dirk Nowitzki were members of the German national basketball team that finished in fourth place at the EuroBasket 2001 in Turkey. In order to participate in this tournament, Bradley made use of his birth in Germany to obtain German citizenship.[19]

Post-basketball careerEdit

After his retirement as a player, Bradley became involved with West Ridge Academy, a coeducational private school for at-risk youths in West Jordan, Utah. Bradley's role with the school involves some of the functions of a vice principal, counselor, and coach. Describing Bradley, school executive director Ken Allen said, "Shawn has a great presence—due to his size—and has immediate credibility with the kids. His instant credibility when he's talking to kids makes him an incredible mentor. He is a great example of someone who has worked hard and been very successful. Being so tall wasn't always easy for him. He knows about being the 'odd kid' and dealing with that."[20]

On March 19, 2010, Bradley filed papers to run as a Republican against incumbent Democratic Representative Tim Cosgrove for the 44th District seat in the Utah House of Representatives.[21][22] On November 2, 2010, Bradley lost the election to Cosgrove, earning 46.49% of the vote against Cosgrove's 51.13%.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

Bradley has participated in many charitable endeavors. In the 2000–01 season he donated $25 for each blocked shot to Bryan's House, a managed facility for children affected by HIV and AIDS. He is a national spokesman for the Children's Miracle Network.[16][24] Bradley has also participated in the "Basketball Without Borders" program with other NBA players like Dikembe Mutombo, DeSagana Diop and Malik Rose and found his experiences with children in Africa uplifting.[25] He has also participated in treating leprosy colonies in India through the Rising Star Outreach.[26]

While in the NBA, he was fined for refusing to attend a mandatory meeting at a strip club, due to his beliefs.[27]

TV and movie appearancesEdit

Bradley had a role in the film Space Jam in 1996,[28] depicted as one of the NBA stars who lose their talent alongside Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing. He also appeared as himself in an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger,[28] and had a cameo appearance as an auto mechanic in The Singles Ward movie.[28] In 2011, he appeared in a music video tribute to Jimmer Fredette, along with former BYU football star Chad Lewis and legendary coach LaVell Edwards.[29] He has also appeared in an episode of Studio C.[30]

NBA career statisticsEdit

  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

1993–94 Philadelphia 49 45 28.3 .409 .000 .607 6.2 2.0 0.9 3.0 10.3
1994–95 Philadelphia 82 59 28.8 .455 .000 .638 8.0 0.6 0.7 3.3 9.5
1995–96 Philadelphia 12 11 27.8 .443 .000 .760 8.8 0.7 0.7 3.2 8.8
1995–96 New Jersey 67 57 29.8 .443 .250 .679 7.9 0.8 0.6 3.7 12.5
1996–97 New Jersey 40 38 30.7 .436 .000 .664 8.1 0.5 0.6 4.0* 12.0
1996–97 Dallas 33 32 32.1 .461 .000 .642 8.7 1.0 0.5 2.7 14.6
1997–98 Dallas 64 46 28.5 .422 .333 .722 8.1 0.9 0.8 3.3 11.4
1998–99 Dallas 49 33 26.4 .480 .000 .748 8.0 0.8 0.7 3.2 8.6
1999–00 Dallas 77 54 24.7 .479 .200 .765 6.5 0.8 0.9 2.5 8.4
2000–01 Dallas 82 35 24.4 .490 .167 .787 7.4 0.5 0.4 2.8 7.1
2001–02 Dallas 53 16 14.3 .479 .000 .922 3.3 0.4 0.5 1.2 4.1
2002–03 Dallas 81 39 21.4 .536 .000 .806 5.9 0.7 0.8 2.1 6.7
2003–04 Dallas 66 5 11.7 .473 .000 .837 2.6 0.3 0.5 1.1 3.3
2004–05 Dallas 77 14 11.5 .452 .000 .683 2.8 0.2 0.3 0.8 2.7
Career 832 484 23.5 .457 .103 .716 6.3 0.7 0.6 2.5 8.1


2000–01 Dallas 10 10 25.6 .529 .000 .769 7.1 0.5 0.4 3.9 6.4
2001–02 Dallas 7 0 3.6 .500 .000 .000 0.7 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.9
2002–03 Dallas 17 7 14.5 .400 .000 .750 3.8 0.3 0.2 0.8 2.9
2003–04 Dallas 2 0 1.5 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
2004–05 Dallas 7 0 3.9 .667 .000 .500 0.9 0.0 0.0 0.3 1.3
Career 43 17 13.0 .478 .000 .741 3.4 0.2 0.2 1.1 3.0

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Eric Gomez. "The Worst NBA Player Nicknames of All Time". Bleacher Report.
  2. ^ "Basketball Reference". Retrieved July 23, 2015.
  3. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "All-Time Roster – The Official Site of BYU Athletics".
  5. ^ " Utah High School Sports Records".
  6. ^ a b "".
  7. ^ "Shawn Bradley Athlete Profile – The Official Site of BYU Athletics".
  8. ^ Mike Sorensen. "#7 - 1991 — BRADLEY BLOCKS OUT VIRGINIA - Top 10 tournament performances by local players - Deseret News".
  9. ^ Moses Malone - 11.08.93 - SI Vault
  10. ^ "7,000-CALORIE DIET JUST WASN'T RIGHT FOR BRADLEY". June 4, 1994.
  11. ^ New York Times Sports - Pro Basketball
  12. ^ 76er Bradley begins light rehabilitation
  13. ^ "Bradley Comes Up Big". tribunedigital-mcall.
  14. ^ "Bradley Comes Up Big For Nets". philly-archives.
  15. ^ Shawn Bradley, the butt of jokes in Philly, may get the last laugh now that he's standing tall for New Jersey
  16. ^ a b " – Page Not Found". Archived from the original on December 18, 2007.
  17. ^ "The Lineup".
  18. ^ Nets and Mavericks Clean House and Start Over
  19. ^ "Nachrichten –".
  20. ^ Luhm, Steve (February 7, 2007). "Shawn Bradley: A big man on campus". The Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2011.
  21. ^ "Ex-NBA, BYU star Bradley seeks political office", Associated Press/, published March 20, 2010, accessed March 24, 2010.
  22. ^ "Shawn Bradley's Campaign Web Site", accessed September 26, 2010.
  23. ^ "2010 Utah General Election",, published November 3, 2010, accessed November 4, 2010.
  24. ^ "Honolulu Star-Bulletin Sports".
  25. ^ " – "We Are Blessed By Visitors"".
  26. ^ Kathy Aiken (March 12, 2011). "Former NBA player Shawn Bradley shares experience volunteering at leprosy colonies".
  27. ^
  28. ^ a b c Shawn Bradley profile, Internet Movie Database
  29. ^ ""Jimmer Jammers" group including Shawn Bradley, LaVell Edwards and Chad Lewis sings ode to Jimmer Fredette – Page 2". ESPN.
  30. ^ "BYUtv". Archived from the original on February 6, 2013.

External linksEdit