5 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About The Underrated Player (Not Dunker) Spud Webb
I say Spud Webb and you probably think of these 3 things: Short Player, Dunk Contest Winner and Atlanta Hawk.
It was 1986 when the 5’7 Spud became a fan favorite in the league after beating teammate and dunk phenom Dominique Wilkens in the NBA dunk contest. For the past 29 years, every time a short dunker emerges on the scene, Spud and his accomplishments at the 86 All-Star weekend is brought up. For the past 29 years, every time a player wants to pay homage to Spud they will pull out his Atlanta Hawk jersey. For the past 29 years, every time I had a discussion with someone about Spud they couldn’t talk about anything but his dunk contest win which is a shame because he was an underrated player – a player who put up his best stats in another uniform.
So here’s 5 things you (probably) didn’t know about Spud so the next time (or first time) you have a conversation about Spud Webb you can say something more than he was short, played for the Hawks and won a dunk contest in 1986.
SPUD WEBB WAS IN 3 NBA DUNK CONTESTS & THE WORST DUNKER IN 88
As mentioned above, we all remember that magical night when he won the NBA dunk contest by beating his teammate Nique. What most people don’t remember is Spud getting eliminated in the 1st round of the 1988 dunk contest with the two lowest scores of the contest. He came back again the following year and was eliminated in the semi-finals.
SPUD WEBB WAS A 4TH ROUND DRAFT PICK BY THE PISTONS
Being 5’7 and winning a dunk contest sounds like a fantasy. Being 5’7, a 4th round pick and lasting 12 years in the league sounds like a bigger fantasy, but it was reality for Spud. Webb, drafted (87th pick) and waived by the Detroit Pistons, then signed to the Hawks as a free agent, lasted longer than 12 1st round picks from his draft and all but 3 in the 2nd round. The only guard from the first 2 rounds to last longer than him was the great Joe Dumars with 2 additional seasons.
SPUD’S BEST SEASONS WERE IN SACRAMENTO
You wont see too many throwback pics of Spud wearing a Kings jersey but if you saw him play in the early to mid 90s with one on, then you know he was putting up some nice numbers in Sacramento. He averaged double figure points in all 4 seasons with the Kings and put up 17 & 7 in his first season and 15 & 7 in his second. His numbers dropped a little in his 3rd but did lead the league in FT% that season (.934).
Here’s a sample of a few games Spud had during his time in Cowbell Kingdom.
- 27pts, 8asts in his 1st game with the Kings
- 29pts, 17asts vs LAC
- 34pts (14-26fg) vs GSW
- 32pts, 12asts vs LAL
- 28pts, 7asts vs LAC
- 23pts, 10asts vs SAS
SPUD WAS A COACH IN A STRIPPER LEAGUE
During the 2011 NBA lockout, everybody and I mean everybody was trying to get basketball events and leagues going and that included Ricks Cabaret. The famous gentleman’s club was in the process of creating a stripper league and they hired Spud to be a coach and consultant
“These ladies are fabulous and have obvious talents and skills. I can’t think of a better way to entertain long-suffering NBA fans,” Webb said.
Thankfully the league idea was short-lived and didn’t last more than a couple of minutes (all horrible puns were intentional).
SPUD COULD STILL DUNK AT 47 (SORT OF)!
25 years after winning the NBA dunk contest, Spud was still able to dunk – even in a suit and without stretching doe (best D’Angelo Russell voice). OK, obviously the video is fake, but is the idea of a 47 year old Spud dunking really that shocking considering everything you just read about the Pony-wearing-Arsenio Hall-appearing-NBA legend?
I don’t think so.