Who is Norm Nixon?
Norm is a former professional basketball player best known for his career in the NBA. playing as a point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Diego/Los Angeles Clippers during the 1970s and 1980s. Nixon was a two-time NBA All-Star, and had a significant role in the Lakers’ championship victories in 1980 and 1982.
Wiki: Age, Childhood, and Education
Norman Ellard Nixon was born on 11 October 1955, in Macon, Georgia, USA. He is the youngest son of Elmer Nixon and his wife, Mary Jo, and has two older brothers, Ken and Ron. Norm’s mother was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, a rare neuromuscular disease that results in skeletal muscle weakness, most commonly affecting muscles of the eyes, face, and swallowing. His parents divorced when he was still a baby, and the three boys were raised by their single mother, maternal grandmother, and great-aunt.
Norm excelled in basketball and football during his time at Southwest High School in Macon. As a defensive back and tailback, he showcased his skills on the football field, and received free-agent tryout offers from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. Additionally, he was named to the all-state team in both sports, and was the starting guard on the Georgia All-State team in 1973. Nixon’s contributions were not limited to sports; he was elected senior class president and played a pivotal role in leading Southwest to the 1973 state high school basketball championship under the guidance of coach Donald “Duck” Richardson. Furthermore, Nixon displayed his versatility by participating in track and field, winning a regional title in the high jump. Alongside his athletic endeavors, he demonstrated his musical talents as a trumpet player, and contributed to the yearbook.
After matriculation, Norm enrolled at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During his college years, he played four full seasons of basketball for the Duquesne Dukes. Nixon made significant contributions to the team, proving his skills as a point guard. Throughout his college career, he maintained an impressive average of 17.2 points, 5.5 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game, and in a total of 104 games, he scored 1,805 points and provided 577 assists, leaving a lasting impact on the Duquesne basketball program. Nixon’s exceptional performance earned him the recognition of being named first-team All-Eastern Eight Conference. Notably, he departed Duquesne University as the record holder for career assists, further highlighting his impact and influence on the team.
In January 2001, during halftime of a game against Xavier University, the university retired the jerseys of its all-time greatest players. Among the esteemed group, Nixon’s #10 jersey was retired, solidifying his status as one of the university’s basketball legends.
Professional Career Beginnings
After being chosen as the 22nd overall pick in the 1977 NBA draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, Norm Nixon embarked on a prosperous six-season tenure with the team. During the 1978-79 season, Nixon equaled Eddie Jordan to lead the NBA in steals with 201, participating in 105 games (82 regular season and 23 playoffs). In the subsequent 1979-80 season, Nixon topped the league in both total minutes played (3,226) and average minutes per game (39.3) while securing third position in assists with 642. However, with the arrival of 6ft 9in rookie Magic Johnson, the team’s dynamics shifted, with Johnson assuming the point guard role and Nixon retaining his standing as one of the league’s premier players in that position. Throughout their four years of shared play-making responsibilities, Nixon consistently maintained a seven-assist average per season.
While the Lakers faced elimination from the playoffs at the hands of the eventual Western Conference champions in 1978, 1979, and 1981, Nixon played a pivotal role in the team’s triumph during the 1980 and 1982 NBA championships, both of which were won against the Philadelphia 76ers. Notably, Nixon emerged as the leading scorer for the Lakers during the 1982 playoffs, boasting an average of 20.4 points per game. Unfortunately, the team experienced defeat in the 1983 NBA Final, when they were swept 4-0 by the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite enduring a severe collision with Andrew Toney in the first game of the finals, Nixon showcased remarkable resilience by persevering through a separated shoulder, playing in both games one and two. Despite the setback, Nixon’s unwavering contributions and determination proved instrumental in the Lakers’ championship victories and their competitive performances throughout the playoffs.
San Diego Clippers Trade
Before the start of the 1983–84 season, Norm was traded by the Lakers to the San Diego Clippers. The Lakers general manager, Jerry West, orchestrated the deal to allow Magic Johnson to have sole control of the ball without sharing play-making duties with Nixon. Nixon excelled in his initial season with the Clippers, leading the league in total assists with 914 and regular season games played (82). He achieved All-Star status for the second time during the 1984–85 season.
However, as his career progressed, Nixon faced a series of challenges. Following the conclusion of the 1985–86 season, he spent a significant portion of his remaining years on the injured list, enduring more than two full seasons of injuries before ultimately retiring at the conclusion of the 1988–89 season. Despite Nixon’s efforts, the Clippers were unable to secure a playoff berth during his tenure with the team.
DeVaughn Nixon is Norm Nixon pic.twitter.com/Q8eudXXEjl
— Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (@winningtimehbo) February 9, 2022
In a tragic incident, Nixon missed the entire 1986–87 season after sustaining a severe tendon injury above his left knee while playing a softball game in Central Park on 23 July 1986. Additionally, he ruptured his right Achilles tendon during a pre-season practice on 4 November 1987, resulting in his absence throughout the entire 1987–88 season. Before these injuries, Nixon exhibited remarkable durability, participating in 715 out of 725 games available in his first nine seasons.
Norm Nixon made a comeback for the 1988–89 season with the Los Angeles Clippers. However, his performance during that season was not up to his former standard. In 53 games played, he had an average playing time of 24.9 minutes per game. His shooting percentages were .414 from the field, .276 from beyond the arc, and .738 from the free-throw line – his scoring output was limited, averaging just 6.8 points per game He contributed 1.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 0.9 steals per game.
Before retiring from professional basketball, Norm played in Italy for the Scavolini Pesaro.
Other Interests and Projects
After concluding his basketball career, Norm Nixon explored various endeavors. He participated in the NBA’s Legends Classic games, which occurred during All-Star Weekend in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s – unfortunately, a leg injury eventually forced him to withdraw from one of the games. Eventually, the league decided to discontinue these games, due to concerns about potential injuries among veteran players.
Nixon transitioned into sports representation, joining Premier Management Group Inc. as a sports agent. Subsequently, he established his own firm, Norm Nixon & Associates, representing a diverse array of clients, including athletes such as Doug Edwards, Samaki Walker, Jalen Rose, Maurice Taylor, Teddy Dupay, Gary Grant, Gerald Fitch, Peter Warrick, and Larry Smith and Al Wilson from the NFL, as well as entertainers including TLC and LL Cool J.
In collaboration with his wife, Nixon played a significant role in founding the Debbie Allen Dance Academy (DADA), situated in Culver City, California.
Throughout his retirement years, Nixon focused on various business ventures. He served as a radio commentator for the Clippers during the 2004–05 season, and worked as an analyst for KABC-TV’s NBA post-game shows in the mid-2000s.
Subsequently, Nixon was employed by Fox Sports West to assume the studio color analyst position previously held by Jack Haley for all Lakers home games. Working alongside studio host Bill McDonald, Nixon contributed to pre-game, half-time, and post-game coverage.
According to authoritative sources, Norm Nixon’s net worth is estimated at $10 million, as of mid-2023.
Personal Life, Marriage, Wife, Children
Norm Nixon has been married to Debbie Allen, an American actress, dancer, singer-songwriter, and director, since 1984. The couple has two children together, Vivian Nichole Nixon, a dancer, and Norman Ellard Nixon Jr, a basketball player. Moreover, Norm has a son, DeVaughn Nixon, from a previous relationship,.
Appearance and Body Measurements
Norm Nixon has black hair and brown eyes. He stands at a height of 6ft 2ins (1.88m), while he weighs approximately 170lbs (77kgs). His vital statistics are unknown, but he has an athletic figure.