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Houston Rockets: Wishing Terry Teagle a happy 60th birthday

Terry Teagle (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Terry Teagle (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
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As today is the 60th birthday of former Houston Rockets guard Terry Teagle, let’s celebrate by highlighting his NBA career.

During the 1981-82 season, the Houston Rockets went 46-36, which landed them the sixth seed in the Western Conference. This drew a first round matchup with the Seattle Supersonics, who were the third seed, based on their 52-30 record.

The Rockets were ultimately defeated 2-1, which was a disappointment considering how they were coming off an appearance in the NBA Finals just one year before. The Rockets’ finish landed them the 16th pick in the 1982 draft, which they used on Terry Teagle.

Teagle had a widely successful college career at Baylor, as he was named the Southwest Conference Player of the Year during his sophomore season. Teagle was also named Second-Team All-American during his senior year, which made him a steal at pick number 16.

Unfortunately for Teagle, the Rockets went 14-68 during his rookie season, which was a major regression. In fact, this is the fewest wins the Rockets have ever had during a single season, although it wasn’t necessarily Teagle’s fault.

The 6-foot-5 rookie guard averaged 10.4 points per game, which was fifth-best on the team. Not only that, he was good enough to start 44 games during his first season in the league.

This left the Rockets quite pleased with their mid-round draft pick, and gave a reason for optimism about the 1983-84 season. After all, you can only improve after a 14-68 season right?

Yes, but the Rockets went 29-53 in Teagle’s second season in the Space City, which was that much of an improvement. Teagle didn’t get as much of an opportunity to show what he could do in year two, as he went from playing 23.4 minutes as a rookie to 9.1 minutes.

All in all, Teagle averaged only five points per game in his second season with the Rockets, and was released at the end of the season. Teagle was signed by the Detroit Pistons but was released after two games, as the Pistons were loaded.

Teagle was later signed by the Golden State Warriors and averaged 9.1 points in a reserve role in just 19 games. Teagle spent the next five seasons with the Dubs, and posted averages of 14.2 points, 11.2 points, 12.6 points, 15.2 points, and 16.1 points, as he became one of the Warriors’ more consistent scorers.

Teagle was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers at the conclusion of the 1989-90 season, and spent two seasons with the Lakers, which gave him his best chance at winning a title.

The Lakers made it to the NBA Finals during the 1990-91 season, which was Teagle’s first season with the Lake Show, but were eliminated by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls. Teagle later re-united with the Rockets, although he only appeared in two games with the Rockets.

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All in all, Teagle spent 11 years in the league and posted career averages of 11.6 points per game, while averaging 7.7 points during his time with the Houston Rockets. On this day, please join me in wishing Teagle a happy 60th birthday.

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