Tom Chambers

12 Mar 2024

Tom Chambers

Thomas Doane Chambers, born on June 21, 1959, is a retired American professional basketball player known for his tenure as a power forward in the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played professionally from 1981 to 1997, making significant contributions to the teams he played for.
Throughout his career, Chambers achieved notable accolades, including selection to four NBA All-Star Games and being named a two-time All-NBA Second Team member. His skill and impact on the court solidified his reputation as one of the top players in the league during his era.
In December 2021, Chambers received recognition for his remarkable career when he was nominated for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. However, despite this nomination, Chambers did not advance to the list of finalists for induction into the prestigious hall of fame. Nonetheless, his contributions to the game of basketball remain noteworthy and deserving of acknowledgment.

Thomas Doane Chambers, born on June 21, 1959, in Ogden, Utah, experienced a remarkable growth spurt during his high school years that transformed him into a standout basketball player. Chambers attended Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado, where he initially played as a promising 6'2" guard. However, during his sophomore year, he experienced a significant growth spurt, adding six inches to his height in just six months.
Despite his rapid growth, Chambers managed to maintain his coordination, impressing teammates with his agility and skill on the court. A broken wrist during his senior year prompted him to develop his left-hand skills, further enhancing his overall game. Chambers's exceptional performance on the court earned him recognition as an all-Colorado high school player and attracted attention from college recruiters.
Ultimately, Chambers decided to continue his basketball career at the collegiate level and enrolled at the University of Utah, where he further honed his skills and solidified his reputation as a formidable basketball player.

During his collegiate career at the University of Utah, Chambers played alongside star forward Danny Vranes and helped lead the team to success in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). Despite initially playing center, Chambers showcased his versatility on the court, demonstrating the ability to run the floor effectively and exhibit impressive shooting range.
Upon transitioning to the NBA, Chambers shifted to the power forward position, utilizing his athleticism and skills to excel at the professional level. His contributions to the Utah Utes basketball program were significant, culminating in the retirement of his jersey number, 42, on February 5, 2022, during a game against Oregon. This honor symbolized Chambers' enduring legacy and impact on the Utes' basketball program.

After being selected by the San Diego Clippers with the 8th pick in the 1981 NBA draft, Chambers began his professional career with high expectations. Despite signing a lucrative $1.5 million four-year contract, Chambers faced the challenge of transitioning from center to forward at the NBA level.
During his rookie season with the Clippers, Chambers emerged as the team's top scorer despite the roster being plagued by injuries. He averaged an impressive 17.2 points per game while showcasing his scoring efficiency by making 52.5% of his shots. A standout performance came on April 15, 1982, when Chambers recorded a then-career-high of 39 points in a victory against the Portland Trail Blazers.

In the following season's home opener on October 29, 1982, Chambers displayed his versatility by scoring 29 points and grabbing 16 rebounds, although the Clippers suffered a loss to the Phoenix Suns. However, despite his promising start, the Clippers ultimately decided to trade Chambers, along with Al Wood, to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for a package of players and draft picks, including James Donaldson, Greg Kelser, Mark Radford, a 1984 first-round draft pick (used to select Michael Cage), and a 1985 2nd round draft pick (used to select Calvin Duncan). This trade marked a significant moment in Chambers' career, as he transitioned to a new team and continued to make his mark in the NBA.

In his third NBA season with the Seattle SuperSonics, Chambers formed a formidable trio alongside center Jack Sikma and guard Gus Williams, contributing significantly to the team's success. Chambers played in all 82 games and showcased his scoring prowess by averaging 18.1 points per game.
However, the dynamics of the team changed the following year with the departure of Gus Williams, and Gerald Henderson emerged as the primary point guard. Despite leading the team in scoring the previous season with 21.5 points per game, Chambers found himself taking fewer shot attempts and felt somewhat marginalized within the offense. Nonetheless, he still managed to lead the team in scoring once again, averaging 18.5 points per game.

The 1986–87 season proved to be a significant turning point for Chambers. With rookie Nate McMillan taking over the point guard position, Chambers became one of the key scorers for the Sonics. He elevated his game to new heights, posting impressive averages of 23.3 points per game and earning his first All-Star selection. Chambers also displayed his proficiency at the free-throw line, shooting an impressive 85% on 630 attempts for the season, while once again playing in all 82 games.
Chambers' crowning achievement came during the 1987 NBA All-Star Game, which was held in Seattle. He put on a stellar performance, scoring 34 points on 13-of-25 shooting and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Throughout the season, Chambers maintained his stellar production, averaging 20.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game, solidifying his status as one of the premier players in the league.


  1.  "Phoenix Suns to Unveil Permanent Banners and Murals as Part of Reimagined Ring of Honor During Home Opener on October 28"
  2. ^ "Phoenix Suns forward Tom Chambers nominated for Basketball Hall of Fame"KNXV. December 21, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  3. ^ Rankin, Duane (February 18, 2022). "Tom Chambers fails to make Naismith Hall of Fame 2022 finalists list as a first-time nominee"AZ Central. Retrieved February 19, 2022.
  4. ^ Clarke, Norm (February 25, 1990), "Colorado's All Time Top Prep Star? Tom Chambers – By A Spurt"The Seattle Times
  5. ^ Harris, Curtis M. (March 31, 2020). "From Double TC to Zero Hope" Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  6. a b "Portland Trail Blazers at San Diego Clippers Box Score, April 15, 1982" Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  7. a b "Tom Chambers Stats" Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  8. ^ "Tom Chambers: The First Unrestricted Free Agent" Retrieved December 11, 2022.
  9. ^ (1990) Tom Chambers scored a franchise high 60 points vs the Sonics
  12. ^ "ISRAEL BASKETBALL SUPER LEAGUE | Israel Basketball | 1995-96 Season | Maccabi Tel-Aviv | Tom Chambers" Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  13. ^ "Thomas Doane Chambers | European Championship for Men's Clubs (1996) | FIBA Europe" Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  14. ^ "Tom Chambers 1997-98 Game Log" Retrieved February 5, 2022.
  15. a b "Chambers, Tom." 2005–06 Official NBA Player Register. 2005. 338–339.

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