Many professional athletes have nicknames that people call them. Some nicknames have stuck with them since they were little, and others were given to them when they became a professional athlete.
Fat Lever had a pretty good NBA career
Lever played his college basketball at Arizona State University. During the 1982 NBA draft, the Portland Trail Blazers selected him with the 11th overall pick. During his rookie season, he split time in the starting lineup and coming off the bench. At the end of the 1982-83 season, he averaged 7.8 points, 5.3 assists, and 2.8 rebounds per game. The 6-foot-3 guard spent his first two NBA seasons in Portland and then played for the Denver Nuggets.
While Lever played for the Nuggets, he was considered one of the best point guards in the league during the late 1980s. In his first season with the Nuggets, he became a starter averaging 12.8 points, 7.5 assists, and five rebounds per game. He recorded his first triple-double of his career in his first season with Denver when he had 13 points, 15 assists, and 10 steals against the Indiana Pacers.
Lever recorded multiple double-doubles during the season, and at that time, he joined Magic Johnson as the only players since the ABA-NBA merger had at least two games with recorded 24 points and 18 assists. He continued to have success during his time in Denver. Lever made the All-NBA Second Team in 1987 after averaging 18.9 points, 8.9 rebounds, and eight assists. The fans loved Lever during his time in Denver, and he would go on to make two All-Star teams as a member of the Nuggets in 1988 and 1990. The 1988-89 season was arguably his best season as he averaged a career-high in points (19.8), rebounds (9.3), and steals (2.7).
Fat Lever’s career after playing with the Denver Nuggets
Lever had a career to remember in Denver. He ended his career with the Nuggets second in assists and third in rebounds. Despite his size, he knew how to rebound as a guard, and that helped his game a lot.
After the 1989-90 season, the Nuggets traded Lever to the Dallas Mavericks. In his first season with the Mavericks, he played only four games due to an injury and averaged 7.3 points. During the 1991-92 season, he only saw action in 31 games, and he was forced to miss the 1992-93 season due to a knee injury. In his final NBA season, he averaged 6.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and two steals with the Mavericks. He finished his career averaging 13.9 points, 6.2 assists, and six rebounds, and in 2017 the Nuggets retired his No. 12 jersey.
Where did Lever get his nickname from?
Lever’s real name is Lafayette Lever, and his nickname ‘Fat’ did not have anything to do with how much he weighed. Growing up, Lever’s younger brother thought that it was easier to just call him Fat instead of saying his full name, which was made since it was short for Lafayette.
So, the nickname stuck with Lever all throughout his career. One thing that people did know about Lever was that he wasn’t fat at all.