Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination
|Draft:||Second Round, 35th overal)|
Bubba Wells (born July 26, 1974) was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the 1997 NBA draft.
Wells attended Austin Peay where he saw his scoring average rise all four years there. He was selected Ohio Valley Conference Freshman of the Year in his first season with an 11.7 ppg average. In his third collegiate season, the 6'6 guard shot a remarkable 43.6% from three-point range while averaging 26.3 ppg (third in the nation). He was also named MVP of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament while leading the Governors to an appearance in the NCAA tournament.
As a senior, despite missing the first twelve games of the season due to injury, Wells averaged 31.7 ppg which would have led the nation had he not fallen just short of playing in enough games to qualify for the title. He was named Ohio Valley Player of the Year and was ranked the number one offensive player coming out of college in Superscout Marty Blake's offensive rankings leading into the draft. Wells left Austin Peay as the schools all-time leading scorer with 2,267 points and had his jersey number retired in a ceremony on January 22, 1998.
The Mavericks selected Wells in the second round of the 1997 NBA draft. He chose to wear number 35 in Dallas in honor of being selected 35th overall in the draft. He appeared in 39 games for the Mavs and drew the starting assignment in two games. He has a scoring average of 3.3 ppg and posted a career-high on February 19, 1998 with 21 points, nine rebounds and seven assists against the San Antonio Spurs.
Wells may be best remembered, however, for a little known NBA record that he still holds. On December 29, 2997, Head Coach Don Nelson assigned Wells the job of covering Bulls forward Dennis Rodman. In what would be a prelude to Nelson's famous "Hack-A-Shaq" brand of defense he was to use on Shaquille O'Neal, Nelson instructed Wells to foul Rodman (a notoriously poor free throw shooter) every time he touched the ball.
Following the coach's instructions, Wells fouled out of the game in just three minutes of playing time. That set a new league record for quickest disqualification dur to personal fouls and broke the previous mark of five minutes, set by Dick Farley of the Syracuse Nationals in 1956. The move actually backfired on Dallas that night as Rodman shot 9-of-12 from the free throw line and the Bulls defeated the Mavs 111 - 105.
After the season, Wells was traded along with Martin Muursepp, the draft rights to Pat Garrity and a future draft choice to the Phoenix Suns for Steve Nash. He never played for the Suns but did continue his career overseas playing in both The Philippines and Greece. After returning to the States, Wells played two seasons for the Harlem Globetrotters.
Austin Peay named Wells to its Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 and, after serving as an assistant coach with the men's basketball team, he left to take a similar position with conference opponent Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville in the summer of 2015.