Former Phoenix Suns star Walter Davis dies at age 69

Nov 2, 2023, 11:52 AM | Updated: 12:38 pm

Walter Davis, Phoenix Suns...

Walter Davis #6 of the Phoenix Suns dribbles against the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Powell/Getty Images)

Six-time Phoenix Suns All-Star Walter Davis died on Thursday at the age of 69 due to natural causes, according to a press release from the University of North Carolina.

Davis, the uncle of UNC head coach Hubert Davis, played for the Suns from 1977-88.

Davis won NBA Rookie of the Year in 1977-78, averaging 25.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game for Phoenix.

He is second in Phoenix franchise history with 766 games played, behind only Alvan Adams (988).

Davis, who is in the team’s Ring of Honor, is first in Suns history with 15,666 points, first in field goals made (6,497), third in steals (1,040) and fourth in assists (3,340).

“We are heartbroken by the passing of Suns legend Walter Davis, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and a member of our Ring of Honor,” the Suns said in a social media post. “‘Sweet D’ was one of the game’s best, a prolific scorer whose smooth playing style and ‘velvet touch’ endeared him to generations of our fans. He will forever be a member of our Phoenix Suns family and community. Our thoughts remain with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

The 6-foot-6 shooting guard spent a total of 15 years in the NBA, playing for the Denver Nuggets (1988-91, 1991-92) and Portland Trail Blazers (1991).

He is currently 58th on the NBA/ABA’s career scoring list, all-time.

In college, the Pineville, N.C., native played under legendary coach Dean Smith for the Tar Heels.

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