Lakers Moments: Norm Nixon, the key facilitator
A helping hand: Looking relaxed, Lakers guard Norm Nixon dribbles into the forecourt while being guarded by Mike Glenn of the Buffalo Braves at the Forum on March 25, 1978.
Nixon was drafted by the Lakers as the 22nd overall pick in 1977, and during his six-year career with the team, he helped them win NBA championships in 1979-80 and 1981-82. He was traded to the San Diego Clippers in 1983 and retired in 1989 as a two-time All-Star with 12,065 points. As of November 2010, he is the league's 24th all-time assist leader, with 6,386.
He is also known for a point he didn't score -- a faked free throw with three seconds remaining and the Lakers trailing by three points against the San Antonio Spurs in 1982. The faked shot led players from both teams to dash into the lane, the referees erroneously called a double lane violation and the Lakers went on to win in double-overtime. The result was reversed later, and the league made the teams replay the final three seconds, with the Spurs winning.
Read more about Norm Nixon and where he ranks among the Lakers for career assists per game in All Things Lakers, the L.A. Times' interactive database of all things purple and gold.
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-- Melissa Rohlin
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times