Not many people may remember Winston Garland, the 6’2 guard who came from Gary, Indiana but he had a solid NBA career and appeared in 511 NBA games. He was overlooked by a number of teams before being drafted in the second round of the 1987 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors but they would soon see along with the rest of the NBA, how special a player that Garland was. Let’s take a look back at his career.
Garland played in 67 games during his rookie season with the Warriors and found himself in the starting lineup for 62 of them. It was a disappointing 20-win season for the Warriors but Garland put up some impressive numbers, averaging 12.4 points and 6.4 assists per game on a team that had 9 players average in double figures.
The following season was more successful for the Warriors as they added coach Don Nelson and rookie Mitch Richmond into their mix en route to a 43-39 record and a Western Conference Semi-Final appearance. Garland’s role grew along with the team’s success as he started in 79 games and upped his scoring average to 14.5 points per game.
Garland would play half of another season with the Warriors before being dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers for two future second round draft picks. Unfortunately, Garland was relegated to a bench role behind starting guard Gary Grant but he still managed to average 8.2 points and 4.6 assists during his time with the Clippers.
Garland would be moved once again to Denver for a second round draft pick. He was a starter once again and even had a top 10 play on the highlight reel:
The stay in Denver wasn’t long and he was waived at the end of the season and would sign with the Rockets the following season. He would go on to play 66 regular season games and 12 playoff games with the Rockets before taking his game to Italy for the following year where he would go on to win the Italian Cup.
Garland would come back for one final season in the NBA with the young Minnesota Timberwolves team in the 1994-95 season and was a mentor for all the first and second year players on the team.
Even though his NBA career in the NBA was over, he continued to be an influential figure off the court. Garland would go on to be the recreation leader at the Indiana State Prison and was recently given the job as coach of the West Side Boys Hoops Program. He feels very connected to both jobs and plans on having them interact with one another and was quoted as saying, “I plan to take my team out there (to the ISP) and tell them, ‘This is not the team you want to be on in the future.”
The No-Look Pass definitely acknowledges the great work that Garland has done during and after his NBA career. We salute Winston Garland.