After concluding his college career at Clemson University, Larry Nance became the 20th overall pick in the 1981 Draft when he was selected in the first round by the Phoenix Suns.
He played the better part of six seasons as a Sun prior to joining the Cavaliers for the second half of the 1987-88 campaign. He didn’t play much as a rookie, but from his second season on in Phoenix he averaged at least 17 points and over 8 rebounds per for the next five. In the 1985-86 season Nance averaged 20.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
That chapter of his career, however, is most remembered for Nance defeating Dr. J in the finals of the 1984 Slam Dunk Contest…highlights below:
via YouTubeWhile some might have forgotten those early Phoenix days for Nance around here, Cavs fans all remember his dominance on the glass, ability to change shots defensively, and propensity to finish when on the receiving end of a Mark Price dime.
As a Cavalier from 88-94, Nance never averaged less than 8.3 rebounds per game, and he averaged 9 twice. For a career he averaged 18.4 and 8.6, and helped the Cavaliers to a lot of victories. If only that one guy was more dedicated to baseball back then.
I tried to find an all-Cavs highlight reel, but ended up stumbling across this one. It’s a little blurry, mixes back in some Suns highlights also, but what are you going to do. The guy joined the Cavaliers over twenty years ago and YouTube was yet to be invented. So disregard the blurriness, and my bad YouTube joke, and check it out: