Dale Ellis (born August 6, 1960 in Marietta, Georgia) was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 1983 NBA draft. He played the first three seasons of his NBA career in Dallas.
Ellis attended the University of Tennessee and led the Vols to the NCAA tournament all four years. He was a three-time All-SEC selection and twice was SEC Player-of-the-Year.
He was selected second team Associated Press All-American his junior year when the Vols shared the SEC title with the University of Kentucky and was first team AP All-American as a senior. In Ellis' final two seasons, he missed scoring in double figures just once and left the school first all time in season field goal percentage at .654 (his junior year) and career field goal percentage at .595.
After his time at Tennessee, Ellis was selected ninth overall in the '83 draft. He split time between small forward and shooting guard during his time in Dallas playing behind Mark Aguirre and Rolando Blackman. Known for his long-range accuracy, Ellis had a streak of nine three-point field goals, at the time an NBA record, from March 1984 through November 1985.
Frustrated at not being able to crack the starting lineup with Dallas, he was traded to the Seattle Supersonics for Al Wood on July 23, 1986. His playing time increased significantly, and his scoring average reflected this as it jumped from being in single digits with the Mavs, to the mid twenties with the Sonics. He was voted the league's Most Improved Player in his first season with the Sonics.
Ellis also became an All-Star for the first and only time in his career during during the 1988-1989 season and scored 27 points in his only all-star appearance. He would spend four and a half seasons with the Sonics before once again being traded, this time to the Milwaukee Bucks for Ricky Pierce.
While he was again a bench player with the Bucks, his minutes still remained relatively high and Ellis still made large contributions to the team with his scoring ability. Following the conclusion of the 91-92 season, he found himself traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Tracy Murray. As a member of the Spurs, Ellis was once again featured in the starting lineup playing slightly more minutes than he did as a Buck. Although his production largely remained the same, he was doing it much more efficiently, shooting nearly 50% from the field as opposed to 46% with Milwaukee.
After playing with the Denver Nuggets for three years, Ellis was traded to the Sonics once again and ended his career splitting the 1999-2000 season between Milwaukee and Charlotte. The Hornets traded him to the Miami Heat after the season but he chose to retire instead of reporting to the Heat.
All in all, Ellis played in 1,209 games and had career averages of 15.7 points per game, 3.5 rebounds per game, a .479 field goal percentage, and a .403 three point field goal percentage. He is third all-time in three-point shots made with 1,719, and is 12th all-time in three point field goal percentage. He holds the NBA record for most minutes played in a single game, when he scored 53 points in 69 minutes (out of a possible 73) for the Sonics in a 155-154 loss to the Bucks in five overtimes on November 9, 1989.