Mavs From the Past: Bill Wennington


Bill Wennington was selected by the Dallas Mavericks 16th overall in the 1985 NBA Draft. In his first season in Dallas, the center averaged 3.4 points per game (PPG), 2.4 rebounds per game (RPG), and 0.4 assists per game (APG). He played in 56 games in his rookie season while starting in three of them. His main role was being a big man that would help off the bench, a role that he would have all five years while on the Mavericks. 

Wennington’s next two seasons were steps down from his rookie season. In his second season, he averaged 2.7 PPG, 2.2 RPG, and 0.4 APG, while playing and coming off the bench in 58 games. The following year wasn’t any better for him as he averaged 2.1 PPG, 1.3 RPG, and 0.1 APG, in 30 games played, all off the bench. Wennington’s lack of production came from the amount of time he played in each game, 7.8 minutes per game (MPG)in those two seasons. He was also prone to injuries which affected how many games he was able to play in. 

Wennnington’s production went up his next two years in Dallas. In his fourth year in the league, he averaged 4.6 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 0.7 APG, while playing in 65 games and starting in nine of them. The next year he was able to put up similar stats as he averaged 4.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, and 0.7 APG, in 60 games played and two in which he was starting center. He was given the chance to play in more games in his fourth and fifth seasons due to a raise in minutes, 15.1 MPG in the two seasons combined. Wennington also had fewer injuries which helped to raise the number of games he played throughout the season, along with his abilities on the court.

During the 1990 offseason, Wennington was traded to the Sacramento Kings where he played for a year before going to play overseas in the Italian league for Virtus Bologna. While playing in Italy his team won the Italian League Championship in 1993. The following year he returned to playing in the NBA when he signed with the Chicago Bulls. Wennington played backup center for the Chicago Bull’s second three-peat. He then signed during the 1999 offseason with the Sacramento Kings where he spent his final year in the league.

While part of the Mavericks Wennington averaged 3.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 0.5 APG. He spent the majority of his Mavericks tenure and his career in general as a backup center. Injuries and playing time limited how much damage he could do on the court.

Once retired, Wennington became a mentor to the young Bulls players and taught them how to adapt to the NBA level style of play along with how to act when they’re off the court. He then was an on-air announcer for Comcast Sportsnet Chicago from 2002 to 2003. Wennington also participated in the Bulls docu-series, The Last Dance. Since 2003, he has been the radio broadcast analyst for the Chicago Bulls. In 2011, Wennington was inducted into the Quebec Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was inducted into the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame.

During Wennington’s career, he was a helpful big man off the bench. Injuries, unfortunately, hampered his career. He was able to win three rings, however, when he was part of the Bulls’ second three-peat. He used his knowledge and experience to help future players and still gives insight as an analyst for the Bulls. His career didn’t reach the full potential that it could have, but he still was rewarded for his hard work with three rings and two Basketball Hall of Fame inductions.

Categories: Mavs Fans For Life, Mavs From the Past

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