Fat Lever

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Lafayette Lever
Fat lever.jpg
Fat Lever
Position: Guard
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 175
Nationality: American
Born: 8/18/1960
Birthplace: Pine Bluff, AK
Draft: Eleventh overall
Drafted By: Portland
College: Arizona State '82
NBA Career: 1982-1994
Mavs Tenure: 1990-1994

Lafayette "Fat" Lever (born August 18, 1960 in Pine Bluff, Arkansas) was obtained by the Dallas Mavericks on June 21, 1990 in a trade, for two first round draft choices, from the Denver Nuggets

Lever attended Arizona State where his scoring average climbed in each of his four seasons from 3.6 points per game his freshman year to 16.3 ppg as a senior. He was a teammate of future Maverick Kurt Nimphius in his first two seasons and led the Sun Devils to the NCAA tournament in both 1980 and 1981.

As a senior Lever was voted the team's most valuable player and was named Honorable Mention All-American by both the Associated Press and Street and Smith's. He finished his career as a member of Arizona State's 1000-point club notching 1,137 points.

Originally selected by the Portland Trail Blazers as the 11th pick in the 1982 NBA Draft, he was traded to Denver in June of 1984 after two seasons. It was with the Nuggets that Lever would make his mark in the NBA.

Just as it had in college, his scoring average climbed in each of his first five pro seasons to 18.9 ppg in 1986-1987 when he was named second team All-NBA. The next season Lever was named to the league's second team All-Defensive squad and made his first of two All-Star game appearances. His best year statistically was 1988-1989 when he averaged 19.8ppg along with 7.9 assists per game.

He led Denver to the playoffs in all six of his seasons there and became one of only three players, the others being Wilt Chamberlain and Jason Kidd, to have 15+ points, rebounds and assists in a single playoff game.

Lever was traded by the Nuggets to the Dallas Mavericks in 1990 for the Mavs' #9 pick in the 1990 NBA Draft and the Mavs' first round pick in the 1991 NBA Draft. He appeared in only four games his first season in Dallas due to right knee problems. The next season he appeared in 31 games, averaging 11.2 ppg, before undergoing surgery on February 11,1992 to smooth out rough cartilage on his other (left) knee.

As he did not play in the NBA during the 1992-93 season due to injury, Lever finished his career as a member of the Mavericks after twelve years and eleven seasons in the league in 1994. He played in 81 games his final year, averaging 6.9 ppg and 2.6 apg. He holds a career average of 13.9 points, six rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.22 steals per game. He is also the Nuggets' franchise leader in all-time steals and second in career Assists.

The 6'3 former point guard was honored by his alma mater in 1988 with election to the Arizona State Sports Hall of Fame. Today, Lever is the Director of Player Development for the NBA's Sacramento Kings and also owns a construction business in the Phoenix area.