Don Slick Watts

Donald Earl “Slick” Watts (born July 22, 1951) is an American former basketball player.

Watts was not selected by any team in the 1973 NBA Draft, but his coach at Xavier University of Louisiana was a cousin of Bill Russell, who was the coach and general manager for the Seattle SuperSonics. Russell gave Watts a tryout, and he signed with the SuperSonics as a free agent. After making the roster for the 1973–74 season as a reserve, he played more frequently the following season and became a starter for the 1975–76 season. That season, he led the NBA in total assists, assists per game, total steals, steals per game, and made NBA All-Defense First-Team.

In 1976, Watts also received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award for his outstanding service to the community.

Watts’ career declined after 1976, however, and he retired from the league after six seasons. He played 4½ years with the Sonics, half a season with the New Orleans Jazz, and one season with the Houston Rockets.

He picked up the nickname “Slick” because he was one of the first players to shave his head, unusual at the time.

After his playing career, Watts became a physical education teacher at Dearborn Park elementary school and a basketball coach at Franklin High School in the Seattle area and took up tennis. In 2001, Watts spent 22 days in a hospital with sarcoidosis, which caused his weight to drop by almost 50 pounds before his condition improved.


Career highlights and awards
NBA All-Defensive First Team (1976)
NBA assists leader (1976)
NBA steals leader (1976)
J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award (1976)