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Suns’ Legend Walter Davis Passes Away at Age 69

It was announced today that Phoenix Suns’ legend Walter Davis passed away. He was 69 years old. Davis was born on September 9, 1954 in Pineville, North Carolina, the youngest of 13 children. He was a very good basketball player at a young age leading South Mecklenburg High School to three state titles. He would go on to play his college basketball at the University of North Carolina.

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Where The Legend Began

The Pineville, North Carolina native played all four years at the University of North Carolina. He averaged 15.7 points per game and shot 53% from the field during his collegiate career. In his senior season, Davis was the second  leading scorer. He averaged 15.5 points per game while shooting 57% from the floor.

Davis was a major reason why the Tar Heels made it all the way to the National Championship game where they lost by eight points to Marquette University. That was North Carolina’s first loss in nearly two months as they were on a 15 game win streak heading into that game. Davis was a great college player and caught the attention of the NBA.

The Legend Continued To Grow

Walter Davis was the fifth overall pick of the Phoenix Suns in the 1977 NBA Draft. He was special right away. In his very first game against the Golden State Warriors, Davis scored 20 points, grabbed six rebounds, and had five steals. The former North Carolina Tar Heel shot 10/19 from the floor that night.

That game was no fluke as he continued to score the ball at an efficient rate. Davis had one of the best rookie seasons of all-time. He averaged 24.2 points, six rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game while shooting 52% from the floor. Davis won the Rookie of the Year award.

He would go on to play for the Phoenix Suns for 11 seasons averaging 20.5 points per game and shooting 52% from the floor. Davis’ silky smooth jump shot led to him being called, “The Man with the Velvet Touch”.

In his 11 seasons with Phoenix, Davis would be selected to six all-star teams and two All-NBA teams. He was a major part of some of the best teams in Suns’ history. The 1978-79 team made to the western conference finals and lost to the eventual NBA champion Seattle SuperSonics in seven games. The 1983-84 Suns also made it to the western conference finals and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in six games.

Davis was extremely consistent during his career which led to him scoring 15,666 points while in a Suns’ uniform. He is still the all-time leader in points scored for the Phoenix Suns. After leaving the Suns, Davis would go to play for Denver Nuggets and Portland Trailblazers before retiring after 1991-92 season.

After his playing career Davis was a broadcaster for the Denver Nuggets and a scout for the Washington Wizards. In 1994 the Phoenix Suns retired his jersey and now Davis’ number hangs in the new Suns Ring of Honor at the Footprint Center.

Walter Davis will always be remembered as a Suns’ legend and his impact will never be forgotten.

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