John Mengelt

John P. Mengelt (born October 16, 1949) is a retired American professional basketball player.

Mengelt was drafted (21st overall) of the 1971 NBA Draft by the Cincinnati Royals.

As a rookie with the Royals, he played in 78 games, averaging 18.4 minutes per game as a backup guard and averaging 10.0 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game. By far his most productive game came on February 25, 1972 as he scored 32 points against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Prior to his second season, the Royals moved and became the Kansas City-Omaha Kings. After playing 12 games with the Kings, on November 9, 1972 he was traded to the Detroit Pistons, for whom he played another 67 games. For the season, he averraged 9.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game.

In his third season of 1973-74, he played 77 games, averaging 8.8 points and a career-high 2.7 rebounds with 1.9 assists (for the third consecutive season) per game as the Pistons posted a 52-30 record, losing the Western COnference semifinals in seven games to the Chicago Bulls. He had his second career game of 30 points or more with 30 on December 1, 1973 against the Phoenix Suns. In 1974-75, Mengelt played in 80 games with a career-high 24.9 minutes per game, averaging a then career-best 11.0 points per game to go with 2.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. On December 14, 1974 he set a career high with 33 points against the Philadelphia 76ers, and he scored 30 on March 9, 1975 against the Kings.

The 1975-76 season, his fifth in the NBA and third full season with the Pistons, he played 67 games, averaging 10.7 points, 1.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

On November 18, 1976 he was sold to the Chicago Bulls, for whom in 1976-77 he played 61 games, averaging 8.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.9 assists. On January 18, 1976 he scored a season-high 32 points against the Suns. The Bulls went 44-38 and lost the opening-round playoff series to the Portland Trailblazers.

In 1977-78, he played in a career-high 81 games, averaging 10.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and a career-high 2.9 assists per game. In 1978-79, he tied his career-best of 11.0 points per game to go with 1.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists. The 1979-80 season was his fourth and final in Chicago. Injuries limited him to 36 games and 6.1 points per game.

Mengelt played one season in Italy between his last season with the Bulls and his final NBA season with the Warriors in 1980-81, for whom he played just two games, ending his professional career.

Mengelt was a fan favorite wherever he played, earning the nickname “Crash” by Royals teammate Norm Van Lier for his willingness to dive after loose balls.

He retired with 6,218 career points.


Career NBA statistics
Points 6,218 (9.8 ppg)
Rebounds 1,221 (1.9 rpg)
Assists 1,329 (2.1 apg)