Stormin’ Norman Nixon’s Impact on the Lakers

In 1977 the Los Angeles Lakers drafted a senior guard from Duquesne University that would be a crucial player in their championship runs in 1980 and 1982. This 6’2” Duke was Norm Nixon, who averaged 17.4 points at his alma mater during his four years. Nixon was the Lakers’ 22nd pick in the first round, and would make an immediate impact on the team in his first year.

The Lakers were still feeling the loss of the retirement of Jerry West and the trade of Gail Goodrich when they drafted Nixon. After all, West and Goodrich were two of the best players in Lakers history. Nixon was a versatile guard with a high basketball IQ, impressive passing abilities, and a consistent capability to score.

At Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, he set the university’s record for career assists. On January 27, 2001, Duquesne retired his number at a halftime ceremony. The Lakers were looking for a playmaker in their backcourt, and the organization felt Norm Nixon was their answer.

The two years prior to the drafting of Magic Johnson, Nixon brought new life to the backcourt. As a reserve, he averaged 13.7 points per game and 6.8 assists per game during his rookie season.* In his second season, his averages jumped to 17.1 points per game and 9 assists per game.*

Nixon’s averages remained solid and his contributions to team wins continued throughout his tenure with the Lakers, which eventually resulted in being named a starter in his last two seasons with the Lakers (1981-1983).

Next: Performing in the Post-season

You May Also Like

Lakers News: Brandon Ingram Wows On ESPN’s ‘Sport Science’

Duke’s Brandon Ingram is the consensus favorite to be selected with the Los Angeles Lakers’ second overall pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday…

VIDEO: James Worthy Celebrates After Lakers Defeat The Raptors

Wins have been hard to come by this season for the Los…

Lakers News: Talen Horton-Tucker Considers LeBron James’ Mentorship ‘A Gift’

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James said recently the franchise was extremely lucky to draft Talen Horton-Tucker with their…

Rudy Fernandez Flop Costs Matt Barnes a Technical Foul

During last night’s win over the Denver Nuggets, Lakers forward Matt Barnes…