NBRPA Detroit Chapter President: Derrick Coleman
Derrick Coleman was born in Mobile, Alabama on June 21st, 1967 and he attended Syracuse University. His Syracuse jersey number, 44, was retired on March 5, 2006. Coleman was the #1 overall pick in the 1990 NBA draft after a successful college career. He had a solid rookie season and went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1991. Coleman went on to improve during the 1991-1992 season, averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. Throughout his career, the left-handed Coleman was an effective low post scorer, averaging 16.5 points and 9.3 rebounds. He enjoyed his best years as a member of the New Jersey Nets, where he averaged 19.8 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. When Coleman entered the NBA, he was compared to elite power forwards such as Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, and expected to put up similar numbers, only with the added ability to shoot from three-point range. Instead, his career was overshadowed by numerous injuries and attitude problems. The 1993-1994 season was the peak for Coleman and the Nets during his reign. The Nets made it to the playoffs for the third straight season, while Coleman averaged his second straight 20 points, 10 rebounds season and was selected to represent the Nets in the All-Star game along with teammate Kenny Anderson. He played for the US national team in the 1994 FIBA World Championship, winning the gold medal. Coleman's career ended during the 2004-2005 season, when the Pistons cut him during the season. He was one of 9 NBA players that faced suspension for his role in the infamous November 2004 Pacers Pistons brawl. As of 2007, he was working as a developer and entrepreneur in Detroit, Michigan. He has also appeared as an occasional studio analyst for NBATV’s "NBA Gametime Live" coverage.
A NBA All-Star in 1994, Coleman spent 15 successful seasons in the NBA. The power forward scored more than 12,500 points in his career and grabbing 7,000 rebounds.
Selected 1st overall in the 1990 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets, Coleman won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1991. Coleman led the Nets to three straight playoff seasons while averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds.
As a member of the 1994 FIBA World Championship Team for the United States, Coleman helped secure a gold medal. His #44 jersey is retired by Syracuse University, where he scored over 2,000 points in his four years.