Jay Vincent was selected by the Dallas Mavericks’ 24th overall in the 1981 NBA Draft. As soon as he arrived in Dallas, he took the ball and ran with it. In his rookie season he averaged 21.4 points per game (PPG), 7.0 rebounds per game (RPG), 2.2 assists per game (APG), and 1.1 steals per game (SPG). He led the Mavericks in points per game. To cap off the season, he made the NBA All-Rookie Team. He surpassed his rookie season expectations, with his first-year success, after getting drafted with the first pick in the second round.
He didn’t take his foot off the gas in his second season as he played in all but one game and in a majority of the games he was the starting power forward. He averaged 18.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 2.6 APG, and 0.9 SPG. In his third season, however, he had an off-year, averaging 11.0 PPG. He also only played in 61 games while starting in five of them.
The following season, he was able to bounce back and averaged 18.2 PPG for the season. The number of games in which he played also went back up as he played in 79 games while having started in 47. His fifth season with the Mavericks was also his last with them. All of his stats went down in his fifth year as he averaged 13.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 0.8 SPG. Vincent came off the bench the majority of the season starting in three of his 80 games played.
Vincent’s time in Dallas came to an end in the off-season of 1986 when he was traded to the Washington Bullets for a 1990 first-round pick. He stayed with the Bullets for one season before getting traded to the Denver Nuggets the following off-season. He stayed with the Nuggets for a season and a half before getting traded to the San Antonio Spurs. In the following off-season, he got traded again this time to the Philadelphia 76ers. His time in Philadelphia was not long as he got waived a month and a half into the season. 10 days later on December 24, 1989, Vincent signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for the rest of the season. His time in the league then came to an end after that season.
During Vincent’s time as a Maverick, he averaged 16.9 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 2.2 APG, and 0.8 SPG. He was able to make the NBA All-Rookie Team while on the Mavericks. His career started off strong but as time went on his stats didn’t match up with his first few years in the league.
Vincent continued to play overseas in Italy. He played in Italy from 1990 to 1993. He then retired from playing Basketball.
Post-retirement Vincent’s life continued to spiral downwards as he plead guilty to fraud. The company he owned scammed over 10,000 people out of $2 million. In 2011, he was sentenced to five and a half years in prison plus three years probation once he got out. Upon being released in 2016, he lived in a halfway house for a while and worked at a burger joint in Michigan, Juicy Burger. He also wrote two books while in prison and promoted them once he got out. Vincent lives in Michigan and has three children.
Vincent had quite the NBA career, going from a star player on the Mavericks in his rookie year to a journeyman in his nine years in the league. Once his career ended, life was tough on him but he was able to grow and learn from his mistakes.
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