|Coleman playing for the Nets.|
|Date of birth||June 21,1967|
|Listed height||6 ft 10 in|
|Listed weight||230 lbs|
|NBA Draft||1990; Round: 1 / Pick: 1st|
|Selected by the New Jersey Nets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Derrick Coleman at NBA.com|
Derrick D. Coleman (born June 21, 1967) is a former American professional basketball player who played at Power forward. Coleman grew up and attended high school in Detroit, Michigan and attended college at Syracuse University. He was selected first overall in the 1990 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets.
Throughout his career, the left-handed Coleman has been an effective low post scorer with a reliable perimeter shooting touch. He enjoyed his best years as a member of the New Jersey Nets. However, his career was overshadowed by his questionable attitude (lack of work ethic resulting in excessive weight gain, plus alcohol abuse and general disruptive behavior), unrealized potential, and his penchant for injury.
His Syracuse jersey, 44, was retired on March 5, 2006.
Coleman was drafted in 1990 after a successful college career that was also fueled by controversy due to his reckless behavior. However, he had a solid rookie season and went on to win the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1991.
Coleman went on to improve during the 1991-1992 season, averaging close to 20 points and 10 rebounds a game. The Nets were an up and rising team as well, with young players like Coleman, Kenny Anderson, Chris Morris and Mookie Blaylock teaming up with solid veteran players like Sam Bowie, Chris Dudley, Terry Mills and Croatian Drazen Petrovic, the Nets top player who looked to be on his way to becoming an NBA legend. The addition of coach Chuck Daly, who took the Detroit Pistons to win two NBA championships, was enough to get the Nets a winning record and into the playoffs during the 1992-1993 season. The 1993-1994 season was the peak for Coleman and the Nets during his reign. The Nets made it to the playoffs for the third straight season, while Coleman averaged his second straight 20 points, 10 rebounds season and was selected to represent the Nets in the All-Star game along with teammate Kenny Anderson. It would be the only All-Star game that Coleman would ever play in during his NBA career.
The 1994-1995 season saw the Nets luck start turning downward. Daly left the team and new coach Butch Beard replaced him. Petrovic died in a terrible car accident during the summer of 1993, leaving a huge void in the leadership and shooting guard position for the Nets to fill. Many of the veteran players that were so essential to the Nets success either were traded away, left for other teams through free agency, or retired. Instead, the team was loaded with misfits and lazy players. Coleman was not much help in this department. Expected to step up as a leader and as the new leading scorer in place of Petrovic, Coleman had another 20 points, 10 rebounds season, but seemed to be gliding by in games and not giving a full effort. He had a turbulent relationship with Beard, who criticized Coleman for his lazy work ethic in practice and his ignorance of the conduct and team rules. At the start of training camp one year with the Nets, Beard advised his players to adhere to a dress code or be fined. Coleman outraged Beard by simply handing him a blank check to cover all the fines he promised to pile up. He also had a rocky relationship with teammate Anderson, who felt he wasn't getting enough scoring opportunities because of Coleman. His behavior caused him to be traded away to the Philadelphia 76ers at the beginning of the 1995-1996 season for center Shawn Bradley.
Coleman's numbers decreased more and more after his trade from the Nets, and while being a solid role player for the 76ers, the Hornets, and the Detroit Pistons, he was known more for his weight gain, lazy attitude, conduct problems and injury proneness. His career ended during the 2004-2005 season, when he was cut by the Pistons during the season.
Coleman was arrested December 21, 1988, while in Syracuse and charged with criminal mischief in the fourth degree and harassment He later pleaded guilty to harassment and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors.
In 1995, Coleman was arrested in Detroit and charged with refusing to move his truck and swearing at a police officer. The jury failed to reach a verdict and the case ended in a mistrial.
Coleman along with several others where arrested in 1997 and charged with interfering with a police officer's duty in Detroit. Police said Coleman was released on a $100 bond on the misdemeanor charge.
In 1999, Derrick Coleman pleaded no contest to a disorderly conduct charge stemming from an incident in a Detroit restaurant. Coleman was accused of urinating in front of patrons at Intermezzo Italian Ristorante and was charged with disorderly conduct. Coleman still denies his guilt and says it was a drink that had spilled on his pants.
In 2002, Coleman was pulled over for driving over 100mph and arrested after test results showed he had a blood alcohol level of 0.13 percent when he was stopped on July of 2002. Michigan's legal limit was 0.10 percent. Coleman was taken into custody by officers who suspected that he had been drinking. Coleman was ticketed for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and refusing to take a breath test.
Also in 2002, Coleman surrendered himself to police while a member of the Charlotte Hornets on traffic-violation warrants. Coleman paid $800 and was released from the Mecklenburg County jail a few hours later.
Coleman was wanted on charges of driving with a revoked license and using an out-of-state license while his North Carolina license was revoked. Coleman had his license revoked because he refused to take a sobriety test after an accident in October of 2001. Coleman was charged after his sport utility vehicle was involved in a late-night wreck with a tractor-trailer in Charlotte. Coleman and a female passenger received facial and head lacerations, and Eldridge Recasner, a reserve shooting guard for the Hornets, almost died after sustaining a broken shoulder and a partially collapsed lung. While Recasner was still in intesive care, Coleman called the wreck a 'freak accident' and said "I'm just happy everybody's OK and that we can look at this particular point in time laugh and joke about it." Coleman refused to take a blood test after the wreck. Coleman eventually was acquitted of the drunken driving charges due to a mistrial.
Coleman later accused the media of unfairly scrutinizing him for his arrests.