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Larry Nance

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Larry Nance

A photo of Larry Nance.

Larry Donnell Nance (born February 12, 1959 in Anderson, South Carolina) is a retired American professional basketball player. A 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) power forward/center from Clemson University, Nance played thirteen seasons (1981–1994) in the NBA as a member of the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers.

Nance scored 15,687 career points and grabbed 7,352 career rebounds, but he is perhaps best known as the first winner of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1984, earning him the nickname "The High-Ayatolla of Slamola".[1] Nance was a model of consistency throughout his NBA career. He averaged over 16 points and 8 rebounds per game for all eleven seasons as a starter. His best scoring average year was in the 1986–1987 NBA season, where he averaged 22.5 points per game. Always among the highest in field goal percentage, Nance was an excellent mid-range shooter as well as a talented inside player.

Nance was involved in a trade between the Suns and the Cavaliers in 1988. Nance's stint in Phoenix came to an end on Feb. 25, 1988, when, with the Suns struggling to a 16-35 mark, he was traded with Mike Sanders and Detroit's No. 1 pick in 1988 (used to pick Randolph Keys) to Cleveland for Kevin Johnson, Mark West, Tyrone Corbin and Cleveland's first (used for Dan Majerle) and second round (used for Dean Garrett) picks in 1988 and the Lakers' second round pick in 1989. [2] The trade worked out for both teams, as Nance proved to be the missing piece the Cavs needed to contend for a title in the East, while at the same time playing the role of frontcourt post partner to Cav center Brad Daugherty before a series of back injuries forced him to retire. For the Suns, Johnson and Majerle became key players in the team's late 1980s and early 1990s success.

Larry Nance was a 3-time NBA All-Star 1985, 1989, and 1993, and the NBA All-Defensive Team First Team member in 1989, and the Second Team Member in 1992 and 1993. He was also consistently one of the league's better shot blockers, averaging 2.2 blocks per game during his career. Upon his retirement, he held the league record for most blocked shots by any player other than a center.

Nance is currently a drag racer in the International Hot Rod Association, mainly in the Pro Stock series.

See Also

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