One of the most versatile players to ever play in the NBA, Detlef Schrempf had the ability to play nearly every position on the floor.
At 6-10, Detlef Schrempf had the size to play both forward spots, he also had the rebounding ability for the center position, the shooting that was needed at shooting guard and he could also pass better than many point guards.
Schempf was born in Leverkusen, West Germany and played in the Olympcis for West Germany in 1984. He went to high school at Centralia, Washington and then played four years for the University Of Washington.
His senior year college averages were 15.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists. The Dallas Mavericks then drafted him with pick 8 in the 1985 NBA Draft.
He got to Dallas but they didn’t play a him a lot. There was nothing wrong with his percentages or his production when he did play but Dallas had veterans that they preferred to use ahead of him. Schrempf often sat and watched as Dallas used Derek Harper, Rolando Blackman, Mark Aguirre, Roy Tarpley, Sam Perkins and James Donaldson.
A big trade turned his career around as he was traded by the Dallas Mavericks with a 1990 second round draft pick, which the Pacers would later use to draft Antonio Davis, to the Indiana Pacers for veteran center Herb Williams.
It was also a great trade for the Pacers as they sent out an older player with play that was declining for Schrempf who had his best years ahead of him.
With Indiana, Schrempf was the NBA’s 6th Man winner for 1991 and 1992 and played in the 1993 All-Star game. In 1993, he had season averages of 19.1 points and 9.5 rebounds. He shot high percentages and also passed for 6 assists per game. The Pacers were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to afford him when his contract ended and Schrepmf was sent to the Seattle SuperSonics for Derrick McKey and Gerald Paddio.
McKey was a very useful player for the Pacers, similar to Schrempf with his versatility to play many positions but he was more of a defender and didn’t score a lot.
At Seattle, Schrempf played six great seasons of basketball. He was a very good fit next to power forward Shawn Kemp and point guard Gary Payton. Schrempf could handle the ball when Payton wanted to score and Kemp didn’t have to do all the rebounding with Schrempf able to hit the glass at small forward.
Schrempf played in two more All-Star games during his time with Seattle. Detlef Schrempf was named to the All-NBA third team in 1995.
When the Seattle SuperSonics played in the 1996 NBA Finals, Detlef Schrempf was an important player along with Kemp and Payton as well as Hersey Hawkins and Sam Perkins. With Kemp going to work in the paint, he was covered by the outside shooting of Schrempf and the other players.
Detlef Schrempf would finish his NBA career with Portland. In August, 1999 Detlef Schrempf signed with them as a free agent and played two years with Portland.