NBA

What Happened to Eric ‘Sleepy’ Floyd After He Shocked the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers With 51 Points?

Just a little over 33 years ago, it looked like the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers were going to easily sweep the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. However, Eric “Sleepy” Floyd refused to let that happen. He gave everyone who was watching a memory that they will never forget as he carried the Warriors to a win in Game 4. So, what has Floyd been up to since that magical performance?

Eric “Sleepy” Floyd was a solid NBA player

The New Jersey Nets drafted Eric “Sleepy” Floyd with the 13th overall pick in the 1982 NBA draft. After averaging just 5.3 points per game in 43 games for the Nets during the 1982-83 season, he became a nice player for the Golden State Warriors.

In 33 games with the Warriors during that 1982-83 season, Floyd averaged 11.7 points per game. He then continued to get better in the next few seasons. He scored 16.8 points per game during his second season in 1983-84. Then in 1984-85, Floyd averaged a career-high 19.5 points per game to go with five assists.

Then over the next few seasons, Floyd became an excellent facilitator. He averaged 9.1 assists to go with 17.2 points per game in 1985-86. Then during 1986-87, he earned the only All-Star selection of his career. In that season, he scored 18.8 points per game to go with a career-high 10.3 assists.

After that season, though, his numbers began to decline. Floyd played eight more seasons with the Warriors, Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, and the New Jersey Nets. He did not average over 15 points, or more than 8.6 assists during those seasons.

Floyd last played in the 1994-95 season. He averaged 12.8 points per game and 5.4 assists for his career. 

Surprising the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers were one of the most dominant teams of all-time during the 1980s. Going into the 1986-87 season, they had been to five NBA Finals in seven seasons, winning three of them. They were then really good in 1986-87. Magic Johnson, James Worthy, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar led them to a 65-17 record that year.

After sweeping the Denver Nuggets 3-0 in the First Round, it looked like the Lakers were going to sweep the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. The Lakers were dominating that series. They had won the first three games by a combined 49 points, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, as they took a 3-0 lead. The Lakers then led the Warriors 102-88 going into the fourth quarter of Game 4.

Then, Eric “Sleepy” Floyd just went off. 

Floyd scored 29 points in the fourth quarter, which equaled 39 total points in the second half, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. His performance helped the Warriors shock the Lakers as they won 129-121. Floyd finished with 51 points, 10 assists, and four steals.

The Lakers went on to win the series in five games and then went on to win the next two NBA Finals. Floyd, for one night, though, left one of the greatest teams of all-time stunned. 

What is Floyd up to now?

Eric "Sleepy" Floyd shocked the Showtime Los Angeles Lakers with 51 points in a win during the 1987 playoffs. What is Floyd up to now?
Eric “Sleepy” Floyd of the Golden State Warriors drives to the basket in a playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers on May 10, 1987. | Reginald Pearman/Staff Archives; Digital First Media Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty Images

Floyd went to high school at Hunter Huss High School in North Carolina. He has since returned to North Carolina, where he is a corporate partnership consultant and adviser at Pappas Properties, according to South Park Magazine

He also makes sure to help others. Floyd is an assistant boys basketball coach at Charlotte Country Day School, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He also makes sure to give to charities. 

“There are so many amazing charities in Charlotte that raise money for outstanding causes,” Floyd said, according to South Park Magazine. “I get a lot of enjoyment out of it, and I try to be involved in as much of this as I can. I have done a lot with St. Jude in the past — it is an amazing organization with a great cause.”

Eric “Sleepy” Floyd

Eric “Sleepy” Floyd has not played in the NBA in over 24 years. The Lakers probably still don’t forget that one night he torched them in 1987, though. He has moved on from the NBA, but that memory will live on forever.