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Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday…Kevin Porter

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Welcome back to this week’s Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday as we go back in time and spotlight some of the best players from the past. This week we spotlight among others…Kevin Porter.

Porter was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets in the 3rd round as the 39th pick of the 1972 NBA draft. In his second year, he led the league in personal fouls with 319. While he would receive 320 the next year, he won his first of four assist titles (with 8.0 per game) in 1975. That season was one in which the Bullets reached the NBA Finals before losing to the Golden State Warriors. Not soon after, he was traded to the Detroit Pistons for Dave Bing and a 1977 1st round draft pick, which was used to select Tree Rollins. He would suffer a knee injury in his second season with the team that limited him to 19 games.

In the early start of his third season with the Pistons, he was traded with Howard Porter and cash to the New Jersey Nets for Al Skinner, a 1978 2nd round draft pick (used to select Terry Tyler) and a 1979 2nd round draft pick (used to select Tony Price). On February 24, 1978, Porter had 29 assists in a game against the Rockets while with the Nets. He also had 14 points and 5 rebounds in a season the led to his 2nd assist title, with 10.2 per game. The record would stand until Scott Skiles tallied 30 assists on December 30, 1990.

After the season, he was traded back to the Pistons for Eric Money. In that season, he won his third assist title, with 13.4 per game. He had a 30 point-25 assist game, on March 9, 1979.Additionally he was the first player to record over 1,000 assists in a single season. It would be five years before another player would record over 1,000 assists.

After that season, he signed as a veteran free agent with the Washington Bullets. The Detroit Pistons would receive a 1980 1st round draft pick (which ended up with Golden State, who selected Rickey Brown with that pick) and a 1982 1st round draft pick (Used to select John Bagley) as compensation for his departure. Porter would play 2 games in the playoffs that year and garnered 9 assists as the Bullets fell in the First Round. The following year, he had 9.1 assists per game, which was enough to win his final assist title. However, during training camp before the 1981 season, he snapped his Achilles tendon, missing all of that season. He only played 11 games of the next season, having only 4.2 assists per game. On January 18, 1983, he was waived by the Bullets. When he retired in 1983, he had accumulated 5,314 career assists (good for 49th all time) and 7,645 career points, while also being 14th all time in career assists per game and 13th in assist percentage at 37.5. Notably, of the top 50 in career assist leaders, he played the fewest games (659). Despite leading the league in assists per game four times, he was never selected to an All Star Game. Only five players have won more assists titles than Porter, and three of them are in the Hall of Fame (Stockton, Cousy, and Robertson) while two aren’t eligible yet (Nash and Kidd).

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights Kevin Porter.

Career history
19721975 Baltimore / Capital / Washington Bullets
19751977 Detroit Pistons
1977–1978 New Jersey Nets
1978–1979 Detroit Pistons
19791983 Washington Bullets
1983 Toyota Super Corollas
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 7,645 (11.6 ppg)
Rebounds 1,179 (1.8 rpg)
Assists 5,314 (8.1 apg)
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