Walter Davis, five-time NBA All-Star with the Phoenix Suns, dies at 69

Walter Davis during his time with the Phoenix Suns in 1987.
Walter Davis during his time with the Phoenix Suns in 1987. A star at North Carolina playing under Dean Smith, Davis played 11 of his 16 pro seasons in Phoenix.
(Associated Press)
Share via

Walter Davis, a five-time NBA All-Star who had his number retired by the Phoenix Suns, has died. He was 69.

Davis was star in college for North Carolina where he played for the late Dean Smith. It was North Carolina, where Davis’ nephew Hubert Davis is the Tar Heels’ basketball coach, which announced Water Davis’ death Thursday.

The school’s release said Walter Davis died Thursday morning of natural causes while visiting family in Charlotte, N.C.


Walter Davis was drafted fifth overall by Phoenix in 1977 and became the NBA rookie of the year after averaging 24.2 points a game. He played 11 of his 16 pro seasons with the Suns, who retired his No. 6.

Some takeaways from the Lakers’ 130-125 overtime win over the Clippers, including a defensive spark from Cam Reddish.

Nov. 2, 2023

Davis moved to Denver for three seasons and Portland for one before returning to the Nuggets in 1992-1993 for his final year.

In college, Davis was practically unstoppable as he led one of the top programs in the game. He helped the Tar Heels to the NCAA title game in 1977, where they lost to Marquette.

He is 10th all-time in scoring in Tar Heels’ history. His 106 games with double-figure scoring are fourth all-time at North Carolina, trailing only Phil Ford, Sam Perkins and Tyler Hansbrough.

Walter Davis, from Pineville, N.C., is part of the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. He was named to the ACC’s 50th anniversary team in 2002.