Joe Dumars was never one to awe with the freakishly spectacular.
He stood 6’3″, had a matter-of-fact mustache, and a workman-like attitude. About the flashiest thing he ever did on a basketball court was hit silly bank shots and toss scoop-handed alley oops to players capable of reverse dunks like Grant Hill.
Dumars instead “awed” with a relentless, stubborn defense that was solid like a rock. Routinely giving up inches and pounds to other shooting guards, Dumars nonetheless held the advantage when it came to determination. Perhaps you would get the best of Joe, but it wasn’t going to be because he gave a flimsy effort.
And on offense, Dumars could knock out opponents with his exquisite jump shot. By the end of his career he had become one of the more ruthless three-point shooters in the NBA. He occasionally scored more than 25 points in a game, but if you slept on him, or if the motion hit his ocean, he’d unleash a deluge.
That fact was exemplified in the 1989 NBA Finals when Joe Dumars erupted for 27 points on 57.6% FG and 86.8%FT shooting against the Los Angeles Lakers. The scorching performance earned him Finals MVP honors and propelled him to NBA stardom. He’d make six All-Star Teams and five All-Defensive squads over the ensuing decade.
Although a fierce competitor – and being a member of the notorious Bad Boy Pistons- Dumars had the respect of opponents. In fact, the recipient of the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award currently receives the Joe Dumars Trophy. How’s that for leaving behind a bland legacy?
So, perhaps the flashiest thing about Joe Dumars was his celestial last name, but his earth-bound game was inspired and surely Hall of Fame.
Years Played: 1985 – 1999
2x Champion (1989-’90)
Finals MVP (1989)
4x All-Defensive 1st Team (1989-’90, 1992-’93)
All-Defensive 2nd Team (1991)
All-NBA 2nd Team (1993)
2x All-NBA 3rd Team (1990-’91)
6x All-Star (1990-’93, 1995, 1997)
All-Rookie 1st Team (1986)
NBA - 1018 Games
16.1 PPG, 4.5 APG, 2.2 RPG, 0.9 SPG, 46.0% FG, 38.2% 3PT, 84.3% FT
Contemporary NBA Ranks (1985-86 through 1998-99 season)
13th Points, 14th FGs Made
12th 3PTs Made, 16th 3PT%
19th FTs Made, 20th FT%
19th Assists, 33rd APG
11th Games Played, 7th Minutes Played