16.1 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 2.9 APG, 43 FG%, 74 FT%
“Dave DeBusschere was nicknamed ‘Big D’. The ‘D’ stood for Defense. A hard-nosed, tenacious forward, DeBusschere was one of the game’s all-time best defenders. He was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team in each of the award’s first six years of existence. DeBusschere was average in size at 6-6 and 225 pounds, but he possessed a work ethic that was second to none. During his 12-year NBA career he represented the epitome of the blue-collar basketball star.
The dark-haired, rugged-looking DeBusschere roamed the hardwood with a determined grimace, a set jaw, and a jersey drenched with perspiration. Rival players knew they were in for a hard night’s work when they faced him.
‘There’s not one other guy in this league who gives the 100 percent DeBusschere does, every night, every game of the season, at both ends of the court,’ Bill Bridges of the Atlanta Hawks once told Newsday.
The ‘D’ could also stand for Detroit. DeBusschere was a folk hero in that city, where he grew up and starred at baseball as well as basketball. He attended Austin Catholic High School and led its basketball team to a state championship; was the star hurler on an Austin baseball team that won the city championship; and also pitched a local team to a national junior championship.
Upon graduation in 1962 DeBusschere was faced with a choice between baseball and basketball. In the early 1960s, basketball featured talented players and spirited competition, but it didn’t match the popularity of the diamond. Bucking tradition, DeBusschere decided to try his hand at both sports. He snagged a $75,000 signing bonus from the Chicago White Sox and received a $15,000 contract from the Detroit Pistons, who had claimed him as a territorial draft pick.” [Read]
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[Sources: NBA.com, Basketball-Reference.com]