Throwback Thursday - Derrick Coleman
Derrick D. Coleman, born June 21, 1967, in Mobile, Alabama but grew up and attended high school in Detroit, Michigan and attended college at Syracuse University. Coleman was the #1 overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft after a successful college career by the New Jersey Nets.. He had a solid rookie season and went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1991.
Throughout his career, the left-handed Coleman was an effective low post scorer, averaging 16.5 points and 9.3 rebounds. He enjoyed his best years as a member of the New Jersey Nets, where he averaged 19.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. When Coleman entered the NBA, he was compared to elite power forwards such as Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, and expected to put up similar numbers, only with the added ability to shoot from three-point range. Instead, his career was overshadowed by numerous injuries and attitude problems. Sports Illustrated once remarked that "Coleman could have been the best power forward ever; instead he played just well enough to ensure his next paycheck."
His Syracuse jersey number, 44, was retired on March 5, 2006.
As of 2007, he was working as a developer and entrepreneur in Detroit, Michigan. He has also appeared as an occasional studio analyst for NBATV's "NBA Gametime Live" coverage.
Coleman went on to improve during the 1991–1992 season, averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. The Nets were an up-and-coming team as well, with young players like Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Chris Morris and Mookie Blaylock teaming up with solid veteran players like Sam Bowie, Chris Dudley, Terry Mills and Dražen Petrović. The addition of coach Chuck Daly, who took the Detroit Pistons to win two NBA championships, was enough to get the Nets a winning record and into the playoffs during the 1992-1993 season. The 1993–1994 season was the peak for Coleman and the Nets during his reign. The Nets made it to the playoffs for the third straight season, while Coleman averaged his second straight 20 points, 10 rebounds season and was selected to represent the Nets in the All-Star game along with teammate Kenny Anderson.
He played for the US national team in the 1994 FIBA World Championship, winning the gold medal.
During a 1995 game featuring Coleman's Nets and rival Karl Malone's Utah Jazz, Coleman went so far as to call Malone an 'Uncle Tom'.
Coleman's career ended during the 2004–2005 season, when he was cut by the Pistons during the season. He was one of 9 NBA players that faced suspension for his role in the infamous November 2004 Pacers–Pistons brawl.