He quickly made an impact as a rookie, and he continued to dominate in the league throughout the course of his career.
Bernard King was a top player during his first few years in the league
The New York Nets selected King with the seventh overall pick in the 1977 NBA draft. The Nets later relocated to New Jersey and became the New Jersey Nets. King wasted no time during his rookie season and averaged 24.2 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. He was named to the All-Rookie Team after a successful rookie campaign. As a rookie, King set the Nets franchise record for most points in a season with 1,909 points.
King only spent two seasons with the Nets, but during that time, he proved himself and let the league know what he was all about. After his time with the Nets, he spent one season with the Utah Jazz and two with the Golden State Warriors. He made his first All-Star team as a member of the Warriors in 1982. That season he averaged 23.2 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. He was also named to his first All-NBA team that season. At 6-foot-7, King used his length and quickness to his advantage, and defenders had a tough time trying to guard him on the offensive end.
King took his game to the next level when he joined the New York Knicks. During the 1983-84 season, he broke his scoring record as he finished with 2,027 points that season. The next season he became the NBA scoring champion averaging 32.9 points per game. King was in his prime playing the best basketball of his career. The Knicks benefitted from having a player like King on their team. After King had a successful season, leading the league in scoring, he faced a setback the next season.
Bernard King overcoming a serious injury
It seemed as though everything was going right in King’s career. He played the best basketball of his life and was playing on one of the top teams in the league. On March 23, 1985, King suffered a devastating injury to his leg during a game. He had a torn anterior cruciate ligament, torn knee cartilage, and a broken leg bone. His injury required major reconstruction to his leg, and he was forced to miss the rest of the 1985-86 season.
That injury could have ended King’s career. But he was determined to get back on that court and enjoy the game that he loved to play. He was able to recover from the injury, but the Knicks released him in 1987. He then signed with the Washington Bullets and played with them from 1987 to 1991. In his final season with the Bullets, he made the All-Star. That season he averaged 28.4 points per game. He spent his final season with the Nets and played in 32 games averaging seven points. King finished his career averaging 22.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists.
Stats for Bernard King are from basketball-reference.com.
Bernard King’s career after playing
King was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013. He continues to be involved in basketball as a part-time broadcaster for NBA TV and the MSG Network. King is still a well-known person across the NBA and especially in his home state of New York.
Some former professional athletes never want to walk away from the game they played. That’s why you see some becoming broadcasters or even working in the front office of some organizations. King always wanted to be around the game even when his playing career finished, and he’s going to do that for as long as he can.