How Dennis Rodman Helped Bubba Wells Make His Way Into the NBA Record Books
Bubba Wells played one season in the NBA for the Dallas Mavericks but was able to get his 15 minutes of fame. To be more specific, he was able to get his two minutes and 43 seconds of fame. Wells doesn’t own any scoring, rebounding, or assist records, but he does hold one dubious distinction in the NBA. With the help of Dennis Rodman, Wells made his way into the NBA record books.
Who is Bubba Wells?
Bubba Wells was a 6-foot-5, 230-pound shooting guard who attended Austin Peay State University. Wells was a second-round selection of the Dallas Mavericks in the 1997 NBA draft. He was taken with the sixth pick in the second round, the 34th overall selection.
In his senior year at Austin Peay, Wells averaged 31.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, catching the eyes of NBA scouts. that came off a very strong junior season when he averaged 26.3 points per game. In his four-year college career, Wells averaged 21.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per contest.
Wells’ college success, however, didn’t translate to a whole lot of success in the NBA. His professional career lasted just one season and he played in 39 games during the 1997-98 season. He started two games for the Mavericks. His best game came on Feb. 19, 1998, when he had 21 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
Bubba Wells gets into the NBA record books
On December 29, 1997, Wells and the Dallas Mavericks were in Chicago to face Michael Jordan the Bulls. Dallas Coach Don Nelson used Wells as a player to purposely foul Dennis Rodman, who was known as a poor foul shooter.
The Bulls entered the game with a record of 19-9, while the Mavericks were struggling at 5-23. Nelson was hoping to slow down the pace of the game and try to get Rodman to the foul line as often as possible. For the 1997-98 season, Rodman shot 55 percent from the free-throw line.
Nelson called upon Wells to go in and foul Rodman. Wells played his part to perfection, putting Rodman on the line 12 times. the plan, however, backfired on the Mavericks as Rodman connected on nine of his 12 free-throw attempts. Wells set an NBA record that night by being the NBA player to foul out of a game the quickest. Wells lasted just 2:43 of actual playing time as the Bulls went on to win 111-105.
What happened to Bubba Wells?
Wells was traded by the Dallas Mavericks to the Phoenix Suns and then later dealt to the Chicago Bulls. He never played a game for either the Suns or the Bulls. He had short stints in the CBA, ABA, and the USBL. He then spent some time playing professionally overseas.
During the 2004-05 season, Wells played for the Harlem Globetrotters before getting into coaching. From 2005-2015, Wells was an assistant coach back at his alma mater, Austin Peay.
Wells has kept his hand in coaching. He is now an assistant coach at South Illinois University Edwardsville. Another one of his claims to fame is that he and his wife once appeared on an episode of “Deal or No Deal.”