“King” Rex Chapman
Position: Shooting Guard
- Apollo High School (Owensboro, Kentucky)
- University of Kentucky
- Charlotte Hornets (1988–92)
- Washington Bullets (1992–95)
- Miami Heat (1995–96)
- Pheonix Suns (1996–2000)
- Mr. Basketball State of Kentucky 1986
- Parade High School All-American
- McDonald’s High School All-American
- 1986-87 All-SEC First-Team 1986-1987 (Coaches)
- 1986-87 All-SEC Freshman Team 1987
- 1986-87 All-SEC Second Team (AP & UPI)
- 1987-88 3rd Team All-American (NABC, Basketball Times)
- 1987-88 All-SEC First Team (AP, UPI & Coaches)
- 1987-88 SEC Tournament MVP
- 1987-88 Academic All-SEC
- Drafted #8 Overall in the 1st Round of the 1988 NBA Draft by Charlotte
- First player ever signed by the Charlotte Hornets in the franchise’s history
- NBA All-star Slam Dunk competition participant (Finished 6th and 2nd)
Chapman was a star at Kentucky. He was named All-SEC during his freshman and sophomore years and scoring 1,073 points in only two years (Wikipedia). He averaged 16 ppg in his first year and 19 ppg in his sophomore season with Kentucky.
Check out Big Blue History for Chapman’s complete statistics at Kentucky.
After his sophomore year, Chapman declared for the NBA Draft. Chapman said scrutiny of his private life by athletics department officials, boosters and others hastened his departure from Kentucky. He left after two seasons and entered the NBA Draft in 1988.
In 2005, Chapman told The Courier-Journal that school officials tried to stop him from dating black women or at least “hide it” rather than inflame fans when he played at Kentucky.
Once, someone took a key and scrawled a racial epithet on his car door, he said. He said he also was the subject of obscene jokes.
“It’s the climate of how things were,” he was quoted as saying. “People were bothered by the fact that sometimes I dated black girls. Most preferred that I keep it confidential and hide it.” – USA TODAY
Ex-Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton was Chapman’s coach at Kentucky.
Note that Chapman also had an awesome mullet at Kentucky:
The Starting Five even rated Rex Chapman as the 34th greatest college basketball player of all time.
In his rookie season with the expansion-Hornets, Chapman averaged 16.9 points per game. Though, the Hornets went 20-62.
Chapman finished 6th behind Dominique Wilkins during his first NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Chapman would finish second in the 1989-90 Slam Dunk Contest, losing to Dee Brown after performing a two hands-two balls dunk stunt. (Remember Dee Brown?)
Chapman is remembered by many as one of the greatest Caucasian dunkers of all time, and is one of only five whites to participate in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, the others being Tom Chambers in 1987, 1996 Champion Brent Barry, Bob Sura in 1997 and Chris Andersen in 2004 and 2005.
He was the Hornets MVP in 1990-91.
Chapman was traded to the Washington Bullets for Tom Hammonds in the middle of the 1991-92 NBA season. Chapman battled injuries with the Bullets for four straight seasons playing in limited games.
In the 1995-96 season, He had his second major injury during the latter season before being traded to the Miami Heat.
Interestling enough, he was noticibly losing his hair, and opted to shave his head completely and sport a bald look. Chapman had a what started out as a great season, and averaged 14.8 points per game that year, but he was placed on the injured list again and only participated in 56 games and eventually signed with the Phoenix Suns for the 1996-97 season.
Chapman was a fan favorite for the Suns and he hit a game tying shot in game four of the 1996-97 first round playoffs against the Supersonics. With the Suns up two games to one, they trailed the Supersonics in Game 4 by three points with seconds to go in Phoenix. Chapman saved an errant pass from going out of bounds and hit a game-tying three-pointer while falling out of bounds to send the game into overtime with 2.2 seconds left.
What the video doesn’t tell you is that the Suns ended up losing the game and eventually lost game 5.
Chapman played 68 games during the 1997-98 season for the Suns, scoring almost 16 points per game. But he would be injured again during the strike shortened 1999 season, playing 38 games.
Chapman retired from the NBA during the 1999-2000 season after being re-injured.
Chapman played a total of 666 regular season NBA games, scoring 9,731 points for an average of 14.6 points per game, with 1,798 assists for an average of 2.7 assists per game, and 1,645 rebounds, for 2.5 rebounds per game.
Once again, we’re not the only ones wondering what happened to Rex Chapman.
Rex Chapman’s house can be seen from the sky via Virtual Globetrotting.
Unfortunately no one has reviewed Chapman’s movie (Rex Chapman Teaches Basketball’s Jump Shot) on Rotten Tomatoes.
How about a tribute to Rex Chapman?
Rex was one of the original spokesmen for AND1, who gave Rex his own shoe. In a commercial, Rex stated “My opponents will get to see a lot of (the shoes)… right at eyyyye level!!!!” (Wikipedia) No word yet whether there is a Rex Chapman AND1 mixtape out there.
It’s also nice to see people still rocking Chapman’s jersey.
After retiring from active play Chapman remained with the Suns, first as a scout and later as Director of Basketball Operations. For the 2004 and 2005 NBA Playoffs, he served as a color commentator on TNT. In 2005, he became a personnel scout with the Minnesota Timberwolves. In 2006, he became the vice president of player personnel with the Denver Nuggets. Though I’m not too sure why anyone would hire him as a scout. Here’s what he said about Sebastian Telfair back when Telfair was drafted by the Blazers:
Rex Chapman in college:
Dunk on U of L:
The closest thing you will find to a Rex Chapman AND1 mixtape:
Showtime (he is also compared to Mohamed Ali)