Former NBA player Mookie Blaylock did not waste any time settling into the league. He made an immediate impact during his rookie season, and that continued throughout his career.
Mookie Blaylock’s NBA career
The New Jersey Nets selected Blaylock with the No. 12 pick in the 1989 NBA draft. As a rookie, Blaylock adjusted to the NBA style of play without any issues. He’s competitive nature served as a big help for the Nets. In his first season, he averaged 10.1 points while playing in 50 games.
Later on in his career, Blaylock started to become an impactful player in the league. He could do everything from scoring to passing to and defending. During the 1993-94 season, he made his first and only all-star appearance with the Hawks. He was also named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in 1994 and 1995. From 1996 to 1999, he was on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team, and in 1996-97, he led the league in total steals. He led the NBA in steals per game in 1996-97 and 1997-98.
Blaylock had some good seasons playing with the Hawks. He’s the Hawks’ all-time franchise leader in 3-pointers made (1,050), 3-point shots attempted (3,023), and steals (1,321). He also set the Hawks’ single-season franchise records for 3-pointers made with 231 in 1995-96. Blaylock was one of the best two-way players during his NBA career.
Blaylock ended his career playing for the Golden State Warriors during the 2001-02 season, and he left his impact on the game.
One of the best defenders in the league
Not only did opponents have to worry about Blaylock scoring on them, but they also had to figure a way to score on him. He guarded the best player on the opposing team, and he was always up for the challenge. There was a reason he made the All-Defensive team six straight seasons and led the league in steals for two consecutive seasons.
His defensive skills were at a high level. He was able to stay in front of the man he was guarding, and he had quick hands as well. If Blaylock was defending you during a game, you knew you were in for a tough night. At six feet tall, Blaylock played the point guard position, but he defended players who were taller and bigger than him. You can argue that Blaylock was one of the best defenders in Hawks’ franchise history.
Blaylock headed down the wrong path after the NBA
Blaylock struggled with alcohol even when he was playing in the league, but it became worse after his playing days were over. According to Sports Illustrated, Blaylock spent time in jail on three occasions from September 2010 to February 2012, all relating to driving offenses.
In 2013, Blaylock was in a severe head-on collision crash that put him on life support. His condition later improved, but one person ended up dying from the collision. Blaylock crashed his car into another car that a husband and wife were in. The wife, later on, passed away from her injuries suffered from the crash. In 2014, Blaylock pleaded guilty to killing the woman in the car crash, and he was sentenced to 15 years for vehicular homicide and other charges in the head-on collision, all part of a plea bargain.
Blaylock served three years in prison, and the fourth would be a suspended sentence followed by probation for eight years, according to the plea. Blaylock was suffering severely from alcoholism, and though that was not said to be the cause of the crash, his condition was not good based on all the drinking he did. Mookie Blaylock went from being guy who was once a notable name in the NBA to serving time in jail.