Spencer Haywood is a retired professional basketball player from the United States of America. He played in the National Basketball Association from 1969 to 1983, with teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Washington Bullets, and Seattle SuperSonics. In 2015, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Player Profile and Personal Life

Spencer Haywood was born on April 22, 1949, in Silver City, Mississippi in the United States of America. He stands 203 cm tall and his weight was last listed at 102 kg. He is right-handed and he plays power forward and center.

He was once married to model Iman and they had a daughter together. He later remarried to his wife Linda and had three more kids.

Position Power Forward
Height / weight 2.03 m / 102 kg
Born 22 Apr 1949
Nationality United States United States
Playing Style Right Handed
Nickname wOODY
Team History
Washington Bullets Washington Bullets 1981 - 1983
Reyer Venezia 1980 - 1981
27 los angeles lakers Los Angeles 1979 - 1980
204 new york knicks New York 1975 - 1979
New Orleans Jazz New Orleans Jazz 1979
Seattle SuperSonics Seattle SuperSonics 1970 - 1975
Denver Rockets Denver Rockets 1969 - 1970

High School and College Career

He attended Pershing High School in Detroit, Michigan where he was named 1967 Mr. Basketball USA. Later, he committed to play for Trinidad State JC and was there from 1967 to 1968 before going on to attend Detroit Mercy from 1968 to 1969.

In 1969, he led the NCAA in rebounds. Detroit Mercy later retired jersey number 45 in his honor.

Professional Career

Haywood joined the ABA in 1969 with the Denver Rockets and had an amazing ABA career where he earned the Rookie of the Year as well as the MVP.

However, controversy struck when he left the Rockets to sign with the NBA’s Seattle SuperSonics as, then, the NBA prohibited the drafting or signing of any undergraduate player. The NBA league office and other NBA teams disputed and took them to court.

The Supreme Court however ruled in favor of Haywood whose argument was that he was the sole wage earner in his struggling family and was a hardship case and so had a right to begin earning his living.

With the Sonics, Haywood averaged 29.2 ppg in the 1972-73 season and 13.4 rebounds per game in 1973-74, still the single-season record averages for the Sonics. Haywood also starred in 4 NBA All-Star Games and averaged 24.9 ppg and 12.1 rpg during his 5 seasons with the Sonics.

In 1975, he joined the New York Knicks and also played for the New Orleans Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers, and Washington Bullets, and won his first championship ring with the Lakers.

In 1983, Haywood retired from the NBA with 14,592 career points and 7,038 rebounds and ventured into real estate development in Detroit and also wrote an autobiography titled Spencer Haywood: The Rise, the Fall, the Recovery.

In 1969-70, Haywood led the ABA in scoring as well as rebounding and earned the ABA’s Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year.

In the NBA he averaged over 20 points for 5 consecutive seasons, including 29.2 ppg in 1972-73, and was also named the All-NBA First Team twice.

He is also an Olympic Gold medalist in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.

Career Highlights

  • 1980 - NBA champion
  • 1970 - ABA Most Valuable Player
  • 1972–1975 - NBA All-Star
  • 1970 - ABA All-Star
  • 1970 - ABA All-Star Game MVP
  • 1972, 1973 - All-NBA First Team
  • 1970 - All-ABA First Team
  • 1974, 1975 - All-NBA Second Team
  • 1970 - ABA Rookie of the Year
  • 1970 - ABA All-Rookie First Team
  • 1970 - ABA scoring champion
  • 1970 - ABA rebounding leader
  • ABA All-Time Team
  • No. 24 retired by Seattle SuperSonics

  • 1969 - Consensus first-team All-American
  • No. 45 retired by Detroit Mercy Titans

  • 1969 - NCAA rebounding leader
  • 1967 - Mr. Basketball USA

Career ABA and NBA Statistics

  • Points - 17,111 (20.3 ppg)
  • Rebounds - 8,675 (10.3 rpg)
  • Assists - 1,541 (1.8 apg)

  • Basketball Hall of Fame as Player, 2015

Medals, Men’s Basketball, Representing the United States

  • Gold - 1968 Olympic Games Mexico City

Spencer Haywood FAQ

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