Washington Wizards: 15 greatest scorers of all-time

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Bernard King, Washington Bullets
Photo by Dale Tait/NBAE via Getty Images /

Bernard King made a name for himself as a scoring machine for the New York Knicks — he averaged a league-leading 32.9 points per game on only 23.7 shots in 1984-85 — but a catastrophic leg injury not only cost him the 1985-86 season, but was possibly career-ending.

King eventually worked his way back and averaged 22.7 points per game. However, the New York Knicks, believing that King wasn’t the player he was before the injury, released him after the 1987 campaign.

The Bullets, looking to land an additional scoring punch to their mediocre offense, brought King in prior to the 1987-88 season. Initially, it looked like his decline was in full swing, as he only scored 17.2 per night with the Bullets — which was his lowest average since 1979-80.

But King would increase his numbers every year after that, culminating in a 1990-91 season where King averaged 28.4 points per game on 23.6 shots per contest, earning his fourth and final All-Star nod.

Even though King took a lot of mid-range 2’s in his prime (the 3-point shot was still seen as a novelty during King’s playing days), he had a game that would make him an effective scoring threat in today’s game.

Sure, he had as many assists as he did turnovers. Yes, he wasn’t much of a defender (career -0.9 defensive box plus/minus). However, he was an efficient slasher that could use his athleticism to shoot over opponents or get to the basket. King wasn’t afraid to draw contact to get to the line. In many ways, he would have been a favorite among “eye-test” old heads and stat geeks alike.