Luc Longley

 

Lucien James “Luc” Longley (born 19 January 1969) is an Australian retired professional basketball player. He was the first  Australian to play in the NBA, where he played for 10 seasons.

Longley was drafted 7th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1991. He made his NBA debut on 30 November 1991. In 1992 he again represented Australia at the Barcelona Olympics. After two plus mediocre seasons with the struggling franchise, the 7’2″ (218 cm) center was traded to the Chicago Bulls for Stacey King late in the 1993–94 season.

Longley, playing alongside Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc and Dennis Rodman, was the starting center during the Chicago Bulls’ second “three-peat” championship seasons from 1996–1998, including the Bulls’ 1995–96 season, in which they set what was at the time an NBA record by going 72–10 during the regular season.

Following the breakup of the team after the 1997-98 season, Chicago did a sign-and-trade deal with Longley, sending him to the Phoenix Suns for Mark Bryant, Martin Müürsepp, Bubba Wells, and a conditional first-round draft pick.

He was traded to the New York Knicks prior to the 2000–01 NBA season in what was only the second four-team trade in NBA history. The Suns acquired Chris Dudley as part of the deal together with a first-round draft pick from New York and an undisclosed amount of cash, while New York received Longley, Glen Rice, Travis Knight, Vladimir Stepania, Lazaro Borrell, Vernon Maxwell, two first-round draft picks (from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Seattle SuperSonics) and two second-round draft picks from Seattle. Seattle received Patrick Ewing and the Lakers received Horace Grant, Greg Foster, Chuck Person and Emanual Davis. Longley spent one year with New York before retiring, due to a degenerative condition in his left ankle.

Longley represented Australia at the 1988, 1992 and 2000 Summer Olympics.

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Career highlights and awards
3× NBA champion (1996–1998)
2× SBL champion (1989, 1990)
Gaze Medal winner (1989)
Australian Basketball Hall of Fame (2006)
Australian Sport Hall of Fame (2009)
2× First-team All-WAC (1990, 1991)
Career NBA statistics
Points 4,090 (7.2 ppg)
Rebounds 2,794 (4.9 rpg)
Blocks 549 (1.0 bpg)

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