The Legends’ Honorary Coach Sam Perkins

LOS ANGELES – CIRCA 1987: Sam Perkins #41 of the Dallas Mavericks stands against the Los Angeles Clippers during a game played circa 1987 at the LA Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California.
Copyright 1987 NBAE (Photo by Ron Koch/NBAE via Getty Images)


Sam is an American retired professional basketball player. He was a three-time college All-American and 1982 national champion, taken as the fourth pick of the 1984 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft by the Dallas Mavericks, and won a gold medal with the US Olympic team at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. Known by the nicknames “Sleepy Sam” and “Big Smooth”, Perkins attended Samuel J. Tilden High School and Shaker High School in New York before becoming a star at the University of North Carolina. A teammate of future Hall of Famers James Worthy and Michael Jordan on the ’82 NCAA Championship Team, he was a three-time All-American, three-time First Team All-ACC, and the 1984 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year. Taken by the Mavericks after his senior season, he went on to a successful 17-year career as a center and power forward in the NBA from 1984-2001. In 2008, Perkins was named Vice President of Players Relations for the Indiana Pacers, for whom he played from 1999-2001. In September 2008, he was inducted into the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame.