One of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, Dantley racked up 23,177 points during his 15-year career, placing him 18th in NBA annals. Despite being labeled an “undersized” forward at 6-5, he led the league in scoring in 1980-81 and ’83-84, averaging 30.7 ppg and 30.6 ppg respectively. In fact, he averaged better than 30.0 ppg in four-straight seasons from 1980-84 and no fewer than 26.6 ppg from 1980-87. He holds the Nuggets opponent record for points in a game dropping 55 in Utah on 2/6/81.
Dantley appeared in 73 postseason games, averaging 21.3 ppg in those contests. He reached the NBA Finals in 1988, but his Pistons lost the L.A. Lakers in seven games.
The six-time All-Star shot a remarkable .540 from the field for his career. He was perhaps better than anyone at his position at drawing fouls and led the league in free-throws made five times, while shooting .818 for his career. In fact, he shares the NBA record for free-throws made in a game with 28 (vs. Houston, 1/4/84).
Dantley’s many basketball accomplishments include the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1977 and the NBA Comeback Player of the Year Award in ‘84. He earned All-NBA Second Team honors in ‘81 and ’84 and was an Olympic gold medalist in ‘76. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September, 2008.
Following a standout career at Notre Dame, where he was a First Team All-America selection in ‘75 and ’76, Dantley was drafted by the Buffalo Braves after his junior season with the sixth overall pick in the 1976 NBA Draft. He went on to play for the Pacers, Lakers, Jazz, Pistons, Mavericks and Bucks.
Born in Washington D.C., Dantley starred at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md. for legendary coach Morgan Wooten. He entered the coaching ranks as an assistant at Towson University from 1993-96. Before moving to Denver, he spent the previous two years as a studio analyst during Washington Wizards telecasts.
Dantley and his wife, Dinitri, have three children – son Cameron, a quarterback at Syracuse University and daughters Kalani and Kayla.