|Dale Ellis |
- Led the NBA in 1997-98 with a .464 three-point shooting percentage
- Closed the 1997-98 season as the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers made (1,588) and attempted (3,949)
- Finished third in the AT&T Shootout during the 1998 NBA All-Star Weekend in New York
- Scored 14 points, hitting the 1,500th three-pointer of his career, against the Golden St. Warriors on 12/20/97
- Led the Nuggets in 1996-97 in three-pointers made (192) and attempted (528), establishing career-highs in both categories
- Scored his 17,000th career point against the Toronto Raptors on 2/25/97
- Named NBA Player of the Week for week ending 11/17/96, averaging 30.4 ppg and shooting .525 (21-of-40) from three-point range
- Registered a 1996-97 season-high 37 points against the Toronto Raptors on 11/11/96
- Scored 33 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds against the Houston Rockets on 11/7/96
- Led the Sonics in scoring for four straight seasons from 1986-87 to 1989-90
- Earned All-NBA Third Team honors in 1988-89, averaging a career-best 27.5 ppg and 4.2 rpg
- Won the NBA Long Distance Shootout during the 1989 All-Star Weekend in Houston, also participating in 1986-1988, 1994 and 1997
- Scored 27 points (12-16 FG) in the 1989 NBA All-Star Game
- Scored a career-high 53 points, for Seattle, against the Milwaukee Bucks on 11/9/89
- Earned the NBA Most Improved Player Award in 1986-87, averaging 24.9 ppg, 8th in the NBA
Arguably the premier three-point shooter in the history of the league, Dale Ellis has evolved from a first-rate scorer into an offensive spark off the bench in his long tenure in the NBA. He possesses a picture-perfect release that he can trigger in a flash. In his prime Ellis was as dangerous as any gunner around, and he has remained one of the league leaders in three-point shooting, topping the NBA with a .464 mark for Seattle in 1997-98 at the age of 38. He ranked fifth with a .433 mark in 1998-99.
Ellis, who played his college ball at Tennessee, was chosen by the Dallas Mavericks with the ninth overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft. Ellis put up a .595 field goal percentage in 118 games with the Tennessee Volunteers, and as a senior he averaged 22.6 points and 6.5 rebounds.
In 1983-84 the Mavericks posted the first winning season in franchise history, and Ellis played 15.8 minutes per game and averaged 8.2 points. He sank only 12 three-pointers all season. Used sparingly over the next two years with Dallas, Ellis scored under 10 points per game while upping his three-point attempts each year.
An offseason trade sent the slender, 6-7 swingman to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1986, and he made the most of the opportunity by becoming a runaway choice as the league's Most Improved Player in 1986-87. Ellis played in all 82 games that season and averaged 24.9 points to lead the Sonics. He shot .516 from the floor, posted a .358 three-point field goal percentage, and finished second to Larry Bird in the NBA long distance shootout during All-Star Weekend.
For three seasons Ellis was Seattle's main man, averaging at least 23.5 points and leading the Sonics to the playoffs in two of those years. The best season of his career came in 1988-89, when he finished third in the league in scoring (27.5 ppg) and second in three-point shooting (.478). In the only All-Star Game appearance of his career, Ellis scored 27 points in 26 minutes in the 1989 midseason classic. He won the long distance shootout and earned a spot on the All-NBA Third Team.
Seattle failed to make the playoffs in 1989-90, and Ellis missed 27 games after an automobile accident in January. He did put up an NBA record that may never be broken, playing 69 minutes in a five-overtime marathon against the Milwaukee Bucks on November 9, 1989. On February 15, 1991, Ellis was traded to Milwaukee for Ricky Pierce, and he spent one full season with the Bucks before being traded to the San Antonio Spurs for the draft rights to Tracy Murray in July 1992.
Settling comfortably into a sixth-man role, Ellis averaged 16.0 points over two seasons for the Spurs before joining the Denver Nuggets for the 1994-95 season. He continued to be a productive scorer, averaging 11.3 ppg in his first season with Denver and improving that to 14.9 ppg in 1995-96 and 16.6 ppg in 1996-97.
Seattle, looking for firepower off the bench, obtained Ellis and a second-round draft choice from Denver for Greg Graham and Steve Scheffler on October 2, 1997. He went on to average 11.8 ppg in a reserve role for the Sonics, leading the league in three-point percentage at .464.
Ellis played in 48 of 50 games for the Sonics in 1998-99, averaging 10.3 ppg to finish in double figures for the 13th straight season. He ranked fifth in the NBA in three-point shooting at .433, the eighth time in his career he has surpassed .400. He finished the season ranked second in the NBA in career three-pointers made (1,682) and attempted (4,166), trailing Reggie Miller in both categories, and 34th on the all-time NBA scoring list (18,826 points).
On June 30, 1999, Draft Day, Ellis was traded to Orlando along with Billy Owens, Don MacLean and the rights to Corey Maggette, the 13th overall selection, for Horace Grant and a pair of future second-round picks. He never suited up for the Magic, however. On August 13, 1999 he was traded to Milwaukee along with Danny Manning for Chris Gatling and Armen Gilliam.
He played in 18 games for the Bucks and averaged 6.8 ppg before being traded to Charlotte for a pair of second-round draft picks on Jan. 19, 2000. He played in 24 games for the Hornets and averaged 2.3 points n 10.0 minutes per game.
1999-2000 REGULAR SEASON
Placed on the injured list with tendinitis in his right knee on 3/17
Traded by Milwaukee to the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for second-round draft picks in 2000 and 2002 on 1/19
Tallied 17 points in a 102-95 victory over Chicago on 11/24
Scored all of his 13 points in the fourth quarter of a 99-88 win over San Antonio on 11/18
1998-1999 REGULAR SEASON
Placed on the injured list on 5/5 due to a sore left Achilles tendon
Scored 22 points (9-12 FG, 4-6 3FG) against the Houston Rockets on 4/19
Scored a team-high 20 points (7-12 FG, 6-8 3FG) against the Vancouver Grizzlies on 4/9
Posted 17 points (5-9 3FG) and 5 rebounds against the Sacramento Kings on 4/6
Scored 20 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 1:07 to play, in a 104-98 win over the L.A. Clippers on 3/26
Totaled 17 points (6-8 FG, 3-4 3FG, 2-2 FT), 4 assists and 3 steals in a 108-89 victory over the L.A. Clippers on 3/14
Scored 20 points, hitting 5-of-5 three-pointers, against the L.A. Lakers on 3/5
Recorded 17 points, hitting 5-of-5 three-pointers, and 4 rebounds in a 105-92 victory over the Denver Nuggets on 2/13
1997-1998 REGULAR SEASON
Placed on the injured list on 4/17 due to a strained abdominal muscle
Matched his season-high with 23 points (9-12 FG) and grabbed 3 rebounds in a 99-80 win over the L.A. Clippers on 3/18
Scored 18 points, hitting 3-of-5 three-pointers, in a 111-93 victory over the Toronto Raptors on 3/10
Registered 19 points and 5 rebounds in a 101-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on 2/18
Finished third in the AT&T Shootout during the 1998 NBA All-Star Weekend in New York
Scored 18 points, hitting 4-of-7 three-pointers, in a 109-97 win over the Golden State Warriors on 1/29
Recorded 17 points (5-9 FG, 2-3 3FG, 5-5 FT) in a 101-95 victory over the L.A. Lakers on 1/24
Totaled 17 points, hitting 3-of-5 three-pointers, and 3 rebounds in a 99-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on 1/17
Posted 19 points (8-10 FG) and 6 rebounds in a 111-92 victory over the Boston Celtics on 1/9
Registered 21 points, hitting 4-of-5 three-pointers, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in a 101-87 win over the Golden State Warriors on 12/30
Recorded 19 points (6-7 FG, 4-5 3FG, 3-4 FT) and 5 rebounds in a 106-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns on 12/28
Totaled 19 points, hitting 5-of-5 three-pointers, and 5 rebounds in a 111-95 win over the Sacramento Kings on 12/26
Scored 22 points, hitting 4-of-5 three-pointers, against the Minnesota Timberwolves on 12/23
Scored 14 points, hitting the 1,500th three-pointer of his career, in a 108-89 win over the Golden State Warriors on 12/20
Scored a season-high 23 points (8-14 FG, 3-7 3FG, 4-4 FT) in a 109-94 victory over the L.A. Clippers on 12/16
Posted 19 points, in 25 minutes, in a 111-98 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on 12/12
1996-1997 REGULAR SEASON
At age 36, Ellis averaged 16.6 ppg to rank third on the Nuggets and led the team with a franchise-record 192 three-pointers, raising his NBA-record career total to 1,461. The old Nuggets record was 167 treys by Michael Adams in 1990-91.
He started the final 20 games of the season at shooting guard and made a total of 51 starts, appearing in all 82 games. He also played six complete games after not playing 48 minutes in a game in his entire career.
Ellis remained one of the NBA's premier long-distance shooting threats, sinking at least four three-pointers in 19 games and at least six in five games. He scored at least 30 points three times, including a season-high 37 points in a 104-93 win at Toronto on Nov. 11. He grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds in a 110-108 overtime loss to Houston and averaged 3.6 rpg for the season.
Ellis reached several milestones during the season. He became the 41st player to play in 1,000 NBA games against the Clippers on Jan. 24 and the 51st player to score 17,000 career points against Toronto on March 25. He also surpassed 30,000 minutes for his career.
1995-1996 REGULAR SEASON
Ellis sank 150 three-pointers to bring his league-record career total to 1,269 as he ranked second on the Nuggets in scoring at 14.9 ppg. He shot .479 from the field, .760 from the line and a stellar .412 from three-point range, ranking 20th in the NBA in three-point accuracy.
He started 52 of the 81 games in which he appeared, after making only three starts the previous season, and played 2,626 minutes, an increase of 630 over a year ago. He scored in double figures a team-high 68 times, had 20 or more points 18 times and led Denver in scoring 19 times.
Ellis scored 33 points, his most since coming to the Nuggets, by shooting 13-for-21 including 5-for-7 treys in a reserve role against the Suns on March 7. He had two point-rebound double-doubles and became the 13th active player and 57th overall to score 16,000 career points.
1994-1995 REGULAR SEASON
Prior to the 1994-95 season, Ellis signed as a free agent with the Denver Nuggets, who sought to add depth and leadership to their young backcourt. Playing for his fifth team in 12 NBA seasons, Ellis had a solid year despite finishing with his lowest scoring average (11.3 ppg) since 1985-86. Playing in 81 games for Denver, the league's all-time leader in three-point field goals led Nuggets reserves in scoring and ranked third among NBA sixth men. He contributed 2.7 rebounds per game (again, his lowest average since 1986) and finished 22nd in the league in three-point field-goal percentage at .403. Ellis had shot better from beyond the arc only four times in his career.
Ellis started three games for the injured Reggie Williams and Bryant Stith. Becoming only the second player in franchise history to hit 100 or more three-pointers in a season (Michael Adams did it four times), Ellis nailed 3 or more treys in 13 games and totaled 106. His role on the team increased when Bernie Bickerstaff, Ellis's former coach with the Seattle SuperSonics, took over coaching duties at Denver. His best game of the year came in the season's final week, when he scored 20 points and drained a season-high 4 three-pointers against the Golden State Warriors on April 22.
Ellis helped the Nuggets to their second straight playoff berth, but the team was swept in the first round by the San Antonio Spurs. Ellis had 16 points and a season-high 10 rebounds in Game 2.
1993-1994 REGULAR SEASON
When Ellis hit a couple of three-point buckets against the Sacramento Kings on March 19, he became the first player in NBA history to record 1,000 career three-point field goals. The league's all-time three-point shooting king, Ellis finished the year with 1,013 treys, outdistancing his nearest competitor, Danny Ainge (924), by nearly 100. The 11-year veteran also ranked second on the all-time list for three-pointers attempted (2,520) and eighth in career three-point percentage (.402).
Ellis showed no signs of slowing in 1993-94. He appeared in 77 games and averaged 15.2 points, placing second on the San Antonio Spurs to league scoring champ David Robinson. He also shot an impressive .494 from the floor and .395 from three-point range. At midseason Ellis finished fourth in the NBA Long Distance Shootout during the All-Star Weekend in Minneapolis.
However, Ellis was one of many Spurs who experienced scoring troubles during the playoffs. San Antonio averaged only 88.0 points in a first-round series loss to the Utah Jazz, and Ellis managed just 10.5 points per contest on .395 shooting from the field.
1992-1993 REGULAR SEASON
Milwaukee decided to rebuild with youth beginning in 1992-93, so in the offseason the Bucks traded Ellis to the San Antonio Spurs for the draft rights to Tracy Murray. (Milwaukee then traded Murray's rights to the Portland Trail Blazers for Alaa Abdelnaby.)
Ellis made the most of his new surroundings, starting 76 times in 82 games and averaging 16.7 points. He shot .499 from the field and .797 from the free-throw line, but he did most of his damage from three-point range, hitting 119 of 297 attempts for a franchise-record .401 percentage.
Ellis hit at least one three-pointer in each of 63 games and tied a Spurs mark with 4 treys in one quarter on February 18. He tuned up for the postseason with an average of 20.8 points per contest in the last five regular-season games, hitting 9-of-15 from the three-point arc. Ellis struggled in the playoffs, however, averaging only 12.5 points in 10 games as the Spurs advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals before losing to the Phoenix Suns in six games.
1991-1992 REGULAR SEASON
Ellis led the Bucks in scoring as the team's sixth man, averaging 15.7 points while coming off the bench in 70 of his 81 appearances. He scored a club season-high 31 points against the Cavaliers in Cleveland on November 12, and he notched his 11,000th career point on February 25 against the Hornets in Charlotte.
The nine-year veteran set a franchise record with 138 three-pointers for the season, breaking Craig Hodges's previous mark of 85 set in 1986-87. Ellis ranked fifth in the league in three-point percentage (.419) and scored 20 or more points a team-high 24 times. Milwaukee struggled through a difficult season, however, finishing at 31-51 and out of the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 1979.
1990-1991 REGULAR SEASON
Ellis had a frustrating season for the second straight year. Splitting time between Seattle and Milwaukee, he missed the Sonics' first 17 games with tarsal tunnel syndrome of his right foot, then sat out the last 10 games of the year with a herniated disk in his back.
The SuperSonics made wholesale changes to their roster in 1990-91, one of which involved shipping Ellis to Milwaukee on February 15 in exchange for Ricky Pierce. In 30 games with Seattle, Ellis averaged 15.0 points. After the trade, he made 21 appearances with the Bucks and scored 19.3 points per game before suffering the season-ending back injury; he underwent surgery on July 2 and did not make the Bucks' playoff roster. Overall, Ellis averaged 16.8 points in 51 games.
1989-1990 REGULAR SEASON
Ellis had a checkered season, marred by a late-night automobile accident on January 29 that forced him to miss 27 games. But he also established two remarkable NBA records during the year, one of which still remains in the books. Seattle's November 9 game in Milwaukee proceeded routinely until the final minutes, when it went into overtime, then another overtime, then another. The game finally ended after five extra periods. Ellis played an NBA-record 69 minutes in the Bucks' 155-154 victory and scored a career-high 53 points.
As the season wound to a close, Ellis set another record when he hit 9 three-pointers in an April 20 game against the Los Angeles Clippers. (The mark was later broken when the Miami Heat's Brian Shaw hit 10 treys on April 8, 1993.)
Ellis appeared in 55 games for the season and averaged 23.5 points. He saw his double-figure scoring streak end at 255 games when he was ejected in the second quarter of a January 8 game against the Mavericks in Dallas after having scored only 6 points.
1988-1989 REGULAR SEASON
The former Tennessee star's credits for the 1988-89 season would fill a decent-sized notebook. Ellis did everything but fill water bottles for his teammates in a season that included his first NBA All-Star Game appearance, a berth on the All-NBA Third Team, and the NBA Long Distance Shootout title.
Ellis finished third in the league in scoring with a career-high 27.5 points per game. Only Michael Jordan (32.5 ppg) and Karl Malone (29.1) scored more points during the season. Ellis also ranked second among all NBA players in three-point shooting, hitting 162 of 339 attempts for a remarkable .478 clip.
If NBA fans around the league hadn't already taken notice, Ellis put on a show for a national audience when he scored 27 points in 26 minutes at the 1989 NBA All-Star Game in Houston. He was named NBA Player of the Week for the first week in January, after he had scored 42 and 49 points in back-to-back games. Ellis also extended his double-figure scoring string to 226 consecutive games.
1987-1988 REGULAR SEASON
For the second straight year Seattle had three players among the league's top 20 scorers, with Ellis ranking 7th (25.8 ppg), Xavier McDaniel 14th (21.4), and Tom Chambers 18th (20.4). Ellis also ranked ninth in three-point shooting, hitting 107 of 259 attempts for a .413 percentage.
Although he missed seven games with a sore arch in his right foot, Ellis scored in double figures in all of his 75 appearances. He poured in 40 or more points five times during the season, including a season-high 47 twice. He also made NBA history as the first player ever to record two four-point plays in one game when he accomplished the feat on January 26 against the Sacramento Kings.
Ellis averaged 20.8 points in the postseason as Seattle lost to the Denver Nuggets in a five-game first-round playoff series.
1986-1987 REGULAR SEASON
Ellis went from the end of the Dallas bench to the top of Seattle's scoring chart in one remarkable season. In Dallas he had waited his turn for three seasons behind All-Stars Rolando Blackman and Mark Aguirre, but after an offseason trade sent him to the SuperSonics for Al Wood, Ellis became a starter for Seattle only seven games into the 1986-87 season.
He responded with a spectacular year, playing in all 82 games and averaging a team-high 24.9 points. He shot .516 from the floor and .787 from the free-throw line and connected on 86 of 240 three-point attempts. He ranked eighth in the NBA in scoring and was named the league's Most Improved Player at season's end.
Ellis competed in the Long Distance Shootout at the NBA All-Star Weekend and finished runner-up to Larry Bird. The Sonics advanced all the way to the Western Conference Finals, which they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in four games. Ellis led the team with 25.2 points per game in the postseason.
1985-1986 REGULAR SEASON
Ellis endured his most difficult pro season in 1985-86, posting a career-low scoring average of 7.1 points in only 15.1 minutes per game and shooting an uncharacteristic .411 from the field.
Ellis's playoff numbers also ranked at the bottom of his career chart, with 4.3 points per game on .409 field-goal shooting in 9.6 minutes per contest. The Mavericks beat the Utah Jazz in a four-game first-round series, then lost a six-game battle with the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals.
1984-1985 REGULAR SEASON
Playing time didn't come easily for Ellis in his second NBA season. He had to settle for a role as ninth man on a Dallas team that also included the likes of Mark Aguirre, Rolando Blackman, Jay Vincent, Brad Davis, and Derek Harper. Playing 18.3 minutes per game, Ellis averaged 9.3 points in 72 contests.
Ellis began to work his way up the ladder with games like the one on January 13 against the Portland Trail Blazers, when he scored 27 points in 20 minutes on the strength of 6 three-pointers. Ellis totaled 42 three-pointers for the year and became a part of NBA history when he and three Mavericks-Davis (47), Aguirre (27), and Harper (21)-became the first four teammates to hit at least 20 three-pointers in one season.
1983-1984 REGULAR SEASON
The Dallas Mavericks had their eye on a man who shot with deadeye accuracy when they snared Dale Ellis out of Tennessee with the ninth overall pick in the 1983 NBA Draft. As a Volunteers junior, Ellis ranked No. 2 in the nation with a .654 field-goal percentage. In his 118-game Tennessee career he shot .595 (832-of-1,399) from the field while averaging 17.5 points and 5.8 rebounds. He contributed 22.6 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as a senior.
Ellis didn't blaze out of the gate as a rookie, although he was on hand for the Mavericks' first winning season in the fourth year of the franchise's existence. He appeared in 67 games and averaged 8.2 points in 15.8 minutes per contest. Although he scored in double figures 22 times, with 20-plus points in three games, Ellis made only 12 three-pointers all season.
Dallas finished at 43-39 and made its first-ever postseason appearance, advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. Ellis averaged only 7.4 points on .325 shooting from the field in the playoffs.
- He and his wife Monique have one daughter, Ashley
- Enjoys playing golf and tennis
- Holds a basketball camp every summer in his hometown of Marietta, GA