Ex-Suns star, UNC great Walter Davis passes away at 69
CHAPEL HILL, N.C.– Walter Davis, a five-time NBA All-Star who had his number retired by the Phoenix Suns, has actually died. He was 69.
Davis was a star in college for North Carolina where he bet the late Dean Smith. It was North Carolina, where Davis’ nephew Hubert Davis is the head basketball coach, which revealed Water Davis’ death Thursday.The school’s release stated Walter Davis died Thursday early morning of natural causes while visiting family in Charlotte, North Carolina. Previous North Carolina Tar Heel Walter Davis acknowledges the crowd as he is presented during the Celebration of a Century on Feb. 12, 2010, at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C. Robert Willett/AP
Davis was drafted fifth overall by Phoenix in 1977 and became the NBA Rookie of the Year after balancing 24.2 points a game. He played 11 of his 16 pro seasons with the Suns, who retired his No. 6.
Davis transferred to Denver for 3 seasons and Portland for one before returning to the Nuggets in 1992-93 for his final year.In college, Davis was practically unstoppable as he led one of the top programs in the game. He assisted the Tar Heels to the NCAA title game in 1977, where they lost to Marquette.Former North Carolina assistant coach and head coach Roy Williams stated Smith and assistant coach Bill Guthridge “utilized to rave about how much enjoyable it was to coach Walter. I got to enjoy him as a fan and liked being familiar with him later.”
Davis is 10th all-time in scoring in Tar Heels history. His 106 games with double-figure scoring are fourth all-time at North Carolina, tracking just Phil Ford, Sam Perkins and Tyler Hansbrough.Ford said he and Davis were buddies nearly from the time they satisfied nearly 50 years earlier.”He was the best man at my wedding event and I was the very best guy at his,”Ford stated in a statement.” He enjoyed me and
I enjoyed him,” Ford continued. “He was an excellent, fantastic, terrific guy that occurred to be a terrific basketball player.”
Davis, from Pineville, North Carolina, belongs to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Popularity. He was called to the ACC’s 50th anniversary team in 2002.