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Norman Ellard Nixon

Birthplace: Macon, GA, USA
Immediate Family:

Son of Elmer Nixon and Mary Jo Nixon
Husband of Debbie Allen
Father of <private> Nixon; <private> Nixon and <private> Nixon

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Norm Nixon

Norman Ellard Nixon is a retired American professional basketball player for the NBA, who spent twelve seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers.

Nixon was the 22nd overall pick in the 1977 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers. He played for the Lakers for six successful seasons and helped them to win NBA championships in 1980 (4-2) and 1982 (4-2), both against the Philadelphia 76ers. The same two teams would meet in the 1983 NBA Finals, but Philadelphia won this series four games to none. In the 1978 (Seattle Supersonics), 1979 (Seattle Supersonics), and 1981 (Houston Rockets) playoffs, the Lakers were eliminated by the eventual Western Conference Champion.

He led the team in scoring in the 1982 playoffs.

In game one of the 1983 finals he had a violent collision with Andrew Toney of the 76ers early in the first quarter. As he came off the floor, coach Pat Riley asked Nixon "You need a blow?", to which Nixon replied: "No, a casket". He would continue to play in game one and game two despite a separated shoulder.

Prior to the start of the 1983-84 season he was traded to the San Diego Clippers, in exchange for the draft rights to guard Byron Scott.

In his first year with the Clippers, Nixon led the league in assists and made the All-Star team for the second time in the 1984-85 season. After the 1985-86 season, he spent much of his later career on the injured list, spending more than two full seasons on the injured list before retiring for good at the end of the 1988-89 season. During he time with the Clippers he would never make it to the playoffs again. With the Clippers he averaged 9.0 assists (13.0 assists per 48 minutes), records which still stand.

For the 1978-1979 season he tied Eddie Jordan (New Jersey Nets) for the NBA lead in steals with 201, and total games (82 regular season + 23 playoffs = 105). The next season (1979-1980) he led the league in minutes played (3,226), minutes per game (39.3), and was third in assists with 642. Led the league in assists for the 1983-84 season with 914, and regular season games played (82).

He would miss the 1986-1987 season after stepping into a hole during a softball game in New York City's Central Park during the summer of 1986 (July 23, 1986) and suffered severe damage to the tendon just above his left knee. Nixon ruptured his right achilles tendon during a pre-season practice in November 4, 1987; the injury would cause him to miss the entire 1987-1988 season.[8] Before being injured he had played in 715 of 725 games available in his first nine seasons.

During his NBA career, Nixon scored 12,065 points (15.7 points per game) and had 6,386 assists (8.3) in 768 games played. Although he had impressive statistics, he may be remembered most for faking a free throw at the end of a Lakers-San Antonio Spurs game on November 30, 1982, which caused a double lane violation. The referees erroneously ordered a jump ball, instead of requiring Nixon to re-shoot the free throw, and the end of the game was later replayed in April 1983.

After retiring from the NBA in March 1989, Nixon played for Scavolini Pesaro of the Italian major-league Serie A in April and May. In August 1989 Valerio Bianchini (who had coached Pesaro the previous season) head coach of Messaggero Roma tried to get Nixon to come play for the 1989-1990 season.

He became a sports agent (at Premier Management Group Inc. and then later Norm Nixon & Associates) representing such clients as Doug Edwards, Samaki Walker, Jalen Rose, Maurice Taylor, Teddy Dupay, Gary Grant, Gerald Fitch, the National Football League's Peter Warrick, Larry Smith, and Al Wilson. And entertainers such as LL Cool J and TLC.

Founded the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA) in Culver City, California with his wife.

In his retirement years, Nixon concentrated on several business ventures, and served one season as radio commentator for the Clippers (2004-05), as well as doing analyst work for KABC-TV's post game coverage of American Broadcasting Company (ABC) NBA telecasts from 2005 to 2007.

Subsequently, he was hired by FSN West to take over Jack Haley's position as studio color analyst for all Lakers home games, working alongside studio host Bill McDonald during pregame, halftime, and post game coverage.

Nixon has been married to actress/producer/director/dancer Debbie Allen since 1984, and they are the parents of actor DeVaughn Nixon, dancer Vivian Nichole Nixon, and basketball player Norman Ellard Nixon Jr. (Wofford College & Southern University).

Before they were married, both Nixon and Allen appeared in the 1979 film The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh (a film that also featured NBA stars Julius Erving and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar).

Nixon was arrested on suspicion of DUI by the California Highway Patrol on March 16, 2009.

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Norm Nixon's Timeline

October 11, 1955
Macon, GA, USA