Sometimes Bo Outlaw had his goggles on, and sometimes he had them off, resting on his forehead. Either way, the guy couldn’t hit two free throws in a row to save his life. But that’s okay because Outlaw is one of the toughest basketball players I’ve ever seen. Dude was pure grit and hustle, and we love him here at OA.
Outlaw, primarily a power forward, went to the University of Houston, where his defensive tenacity and NCAA-leading .684 Field Goal percentage during his senior season earned him Southwest Conference Player of the Year honors. Despite his college performance, Outlaw went undrafted following his 1993 senior year, and had to take a less-conventional route to the NBA.
Undeterred from chasing his dream after being first shut out by the NBA, Outlaw signed on with the Grand Rapids Hoops of the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association. There he played an impressive half-season before receiving a call from the Clippers. Outlaw made his NBA debut in February of 1994.
Outlaw played 37 games that season, starting fourteen of them. He averaged 6.9 points per game while shooting 59.2 percent from the field. His rookie season established Outlaw as a viable NBA player, and he was in the league to stay.
He played parts of four seasons in total for the Clippers, before signing with the Magic as a free agent in 1997. Outlaw played 36 minutes per game for LA that season, while appearing in every game, starting all but six. His first year in LA was statistically one of his best as a pro, as he averaged a career-high 9.5 points per game.
If you want to know how durable Outlaw was, in 2001-02 he played not just in all 82 games, but 83 of them! He was traded mid-season from Orlando to Phoenix, who had played one fewer game than the Magic on the season. He finished out the year with Phoenix without missing a game. Of course Outlaw led the league in games played that year.
Outlaw ended his career in 2007, after a return to Orlando. He was fairly well-traveled in his career, having switched teams five times. He was a monstrous interior defender whose numbers don’t do justice to how much of a force he was. He was a true throwback, who carved out a lengthy career in the NBA as one of the hardest workers in the league. Charles “Bo” Outlaw is one of my favorite NBAers, and I hope you remember him as fondly as Obscure Athletes does.