Peter Kelly Tripucka (born February 16, 1959), is a retired American professional basketball player who played in the NBA from 1981 to 1991. During his ten seasons in the league he played for the Detroit Pistons, Utah Jazz and Charlotte Hornets. The son of NFL Pro-Bowl (and CFL) quarterback Frank Tripucka, Kelly was a color analyst for the New York Knicks for four years, ending with the 2011–12 season.
Tripucka grew up in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and was a three-year starter from 1974 to 1977 for the Bloomfield High School boys’ basketball team. In three varsity seasons he scored 2,278 points, including 1,045 during his senior campaign, and his jersey (#42) was retired by Bloomfield High School. Tripucka also was a four-year starter at Notre Dame, and led the Irish in scoring each year. He also helped lead them to the NCAA Tournament in each of his four years.
Tripucka was selected 12th overall by the Detroit Pistons in the 1981 NBA Draft. He proved to be a prolific scorer, averaging 21.6 points per game, and made the All-Star team in his rookie year. The following season Tripucka had his best season as a professional, averaging a career-best 26.5 points and 4.1 assists per game. He played in only 58 games, however, and failed to make the All-Star team. In his third season with the Pistons, Tripucka continued to play well, averaging 21.3 points per game, and qualified for the All-Star team. He helped lead the Pistons to their first playoff appearance since the 1976–77 season, but they were eliminated in five games in the first round.
Career highlights and awards
2× NBA All-Star (1982, 1984)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1982)
2× Consensus second-team All-American (1979, 1981)
Third-team All-American – UPI (1980)