When you think of the top NBA foreign players, one name that should come up is Detlef Schrempf. Schrempf played 16 seasons in the league for four different teams. He was a three-time NBA All-Star and was a member of the All-NBA Third Team.
He made an impact during his time in the league as a player. Schrempf also played in the 1996 NBA Finals.
Detlef Schrempf’s NBA career
The Dallas Mavericks drafted Schrempf in the 1985 NBA draft. He spent four years playing in Dallas, where he started to get adjusted and familiar with the pace of the NBA. During the 1988-89 season, he was traded to the Indiana Pacers.
When he arrived in Indiana, he started seeing more time on the court. In his first stint with the Pacers, his numbers improved. He averaged 14.8 points playing in 32 games. His numbers continued to improve during his time with the Pacers. He made his first All-Star appearance with the Pacers in 1993. He also won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in 1991 and 1992. During the 1990-91 season, he averaged 16.1 points, and during the 1991-92 season, he averaged 17.3 points, both seasons he only started a total of seven games.
At this point in his career, Schrempf was becoming a player who was making an impact for his team. His time in Indiana boosted his career, and his game improved a lot from his rookie season.
Making the NBA Finals with the Seattle SuperSonics
Though the SuperSonics are no longer an NBA team, they had some success early on in the league. Schrempf was part of a successful team. After playing in Indiana he was traded to Seattle.
Much like his time in Indiana, Schrempf had success out on the West Coast. During the 1994-95 season, he ranked second in the NBA in 3-point accuracy with a 51.4 3-point field goal percentage. He also became the leader in the league in offensive rating the same season with 127 points per 100 possessions.
The next season Schrempf was on a loaded SuperSonics team that featured Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, and Sam Perkins. The team made the NBA Finals and ended up losing to Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls in six games. That season Schrempf averaged 17.1 points per game while shooting 40 percent from behind the arc. He made his two final All-Star appearances as a member of the SuperSonics.
Finishing his career in Portland
In 1999, Schrempf was released by Seattle and signed with the Portland Trail Blazers. He would play two seasons with the Trail Blazers, and in his final season playing in the NBA, he averaged 4.0 points playing in only 26 games.
During his career, Schrempf made the playoffs 14 times, and he did have the opportunity to play in an NBA Finals. He played on some outstanding teams throughout his career, and he had his success as well. He finished his NBA career averaging 13.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.
After his playing career was over, he started coaching. On January 24, 2006, the SuperSonics hired Schrempf as an assistant coach under Bob Hill, who coached him during his playing career in Indiana. Schrempf had a successful NBA career, and he will go down as one of the top foreign players to play in the NBA.