Mavs From the Past: Detlef Schrempf


Detlef Schrempf was selected by the Dallas Mavericks 8th overall in the 1985 NBA Draft. He started his career averaging 6.2 points per game (PPG), 3.1 rebounds per game (RPG), 1.4 assists per game (APG), and 0.4 steals per game (SPG). He played in 64 games his rookie year, being a reliable small forward off the bench while starting in 12 games.

In his next two seasons with the Mavericks, Detlef played in 81 and 82 games respectively, while starting in a combined nine games. His reliability off the bench came in handy, as it gave the starters time to rest, while he helped the team dominate off the bench. His time in Dallas helped him to adjust to the NBA style and was the beginning of his rewarding career.

During his fourth season with the Mavericks, Schrempf was traded to the Indiana Pacers. It was in Indiana that Schrempf transitioned to Power Forward and his career took off. In the 1990-1991 season he led the league in games played at 82. He also won back-to-back Sixth Man of the Year awards in 1991 and 1992. In the 1992-1993 season, his final season with the Pacers, he became a starter for a majority of the season, starting in 60 games. That same season he became an All-Star for the first time during his career. Each year his stats climbed as part of the Pacers, he started off averaging 14.8 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 2.9 APG, and 0.9 SPG, when he got traded to the team. In his final season with the Pacers, he averaged 19.1 PPG, 9.5 RPG, 6.0 APG, and 1.0 SPG.

During the 1993 off-season, Schrempf got traded from the Pacers to the Seattle Supersonics. He continued to achieve new feats while on the Supersonics. He played and started in all 82 games during his second season on the team, leading the league in games played for a second time in his career. He also became a two-time All-Star, joining the 1995 All-Star team during that same season. Also, he earned a spot on the All-NBA Third Team in that season. Two seasons later he was an All-Star for the third and final time in his career. During the shortened 1998-1999 season, he led the league for the third time in games played, as he played in all of 50 games of that season.

In the 1999 off-season, Schrempf signed with the Portland Trail Blazers. He spent his final two seasons playing in Portland. In his second to last season, he continued to play a majority of games, playing in 77 of them that season. His final season was the least amount of games he played in a season during his NBA career, having played in 26 games.

During Schrempf’s time as a Maverick, he averaged 8.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, and 0.5 SPG. Even though he didn’t reach his accolades until later in his career, his time as a Maverick was a learning experience of how it was going to be playing in the NBA and helped him grow. He eventually did become a three-time All-Star, he was part of the All-NBA Third Team once, and won Sixth Man of the Year in back-to-back years. Even though he was never able to win the big one, he still had the honor of reaching the NBA Finals three times, once with the Pacers, once with the Supersonics, and once with the Trail Blazers. He also had the honor of becoming the first of two German-born NBA players to make the NBA Finals, the other being Dirk Nowitzki years later with the Mavericks.

Outside of the court, Schrempf has been busy. Schrempf is married to his wife, Mari, and they have two children, Alex and Michael. He established his charity along with his wife called the Detlef Schrempf Foundation, which is a non-profit organization. He also hosts his annual Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Tournament, which helps to raise money for children’s charities. For all his charity work, Schrempf was given the Paul Allen Award for Citizenship during the 2012 Seattle Sports Star of the Year banquet.

Schrempf rejoined the Supersonics in 2006 in an assistant coach role under Bob Hill. After finishing helping on the hardwood, he became the Business Development Officer at Coldstream Wealth Management, a wealth management firm in Seattle.

Post-retirement, Schrempf has made many TV appearances and has been referenced throughout pop culture. He appeared on shows such as Married… with Children, Parks and Recreation, and a German soap opera called Gute Zeiten, Schlechte Zeiten. He also appeared on a commercial for IBM. A rock band from Seattle called Band of Horses named a song after Schrempf.

Schrempf had a rewarding career, winning multiple awards along his journey. He was a helpful human being on and off the court. Schrempf set the bar for future European players and is regarded as an inspiration for for many past and present European players.

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