Chris Gatling (Born September 3, 1967 in Elizabeth, New Jersey) was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Mavericks on July 1, 1996.
After one year at the University of Pittsburgh, Gatling transferred to Old Dominion University where he put up impressive numbers all three seasons. His scoring averages were 22.4ppg as a sophomore, 20.5 ppg as a junior and 21.0ppg his senior year. He was an honorable mention All-American in both his junior and senior seasons and was the Sun Belt Conference Tournament MVP as a senior. After his junior year he played on the 1990 bronze medal-winning United States National team in the FIBA World Championships.
Such was his mark on ODU that today Gatling still ranks sixth all time at the school in points, ninth in rebounds, first in field goal percentage and second in number of 30-point games with 12.
He was selected in the first round of the 1991 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors. He posted rookie numbers of 5.7 ppg and 3.4 rebounds per game. The 6'10 forward spent four-and-a-half seasons in the Bay Area playing in all 82 games his third season in the league and seeing his numbers rise to 13.7 ppg and 7.6 rpg by 1994-1995 and led the NBA in field goal percentage at .633, one of the ten highest percentages in NBA history.. During the following season Golden State traded Gatling to Miami but he left the Warriors' franchise as the all-time leader in field goal percentage at .581...a distinction he still holds.
The Mavericks signed Gatling as a free agent prior to the 96-97 campaign and, playing primarily as a sixth man, he posted career-best numbers of 19.1ppg and 7.9 rpg in 44 appearances. He represented Dallas in the 1997 NBA All-Star game scoring two points in 12 minutes of action. Shortly after his All-Star appearance the Mavs sent him, along with Jim Jackson, Sam Cassell. George McCloud and Eric Montross, to the New Jersey Nets in a trade for Shawn Bradley, Robert Pack, Ed O'Bannon and Khalid Reeves.
Following the trade, an ear infection limited Gatling to only three games with the Nets that season. The next year, a stress fracture in his leg allowed him to only see action in 57 games. His time in New Jersey proved to be the last stable stop of his career. From there he split the 1998-1999 season in New Jersey and Milwaukee. The following season was split between Orlando and Denver. He did appear in 74 games with Cleveland in 2000-2001 and finished his career the next year back in Miami, seeing action in 54 games. He spent one final year in the Russian League with CSKA Moscow before retiring from basketball.
Gatling may be best known for his trademark headband which he said he wore to remind himself that he was lucky to be alive after a serious head injury suffered as a teenager.
Today he owns the Chris Gatling recreation center in Irvington, New Jersey and the "Cut Me Twice" barber shop in Oakland California.