Obscure Spotlight: Danny Fortson

dannyfortsonDanny Fortson’s second NBA year was the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season, and it was arguably his best as a pro. That year, as a member of the Nuggets, he led the league in both offensive rebounds and personal fouls. He posted 10.2 points per game, and logged nearly 29 minutes on average.

I’ll always remember him for his hellish year with the Celtics, stuck behind Antoine Walker at the power forward spot. He played 55 games for Boston, with sparse playing time. They tried to trade him to the Raptors in February of that year, but the trade was cancelled after Alvin Williams, who was supposed to come to Boston,  failed his physical that would have completed the deal.

At 6’7”, Fortson was an undersized center/power forward, known for his rebounding and high number of technical fouls. He went to college at the University of Cincinatti and, as Youtube user Ousvec points out, Fortson is the best player not named Oscar Robertson to play basketball at the U of C.

Clearly Ousvec is Fortson’s biggest fan.

He was drafted 10th overall by the Bucks in 1997, but was traded to Denver on Draft Night.  Fortson played parts of ten seasons in the league, but injuries plagued his career throughout. When healthy, Fortson was a force on the defensive end, and a serviceable body off the bench.  For his career, Fortson averaged 8.2 points per game, along with an impressive 7.2 RPG. He was well-traveled, suiting up for five different teams in his day, and was party to four different trades.

His  2004-’05 campaign saw Fortson commit an amazing 23 technical fouls. Even more amazingly, that total placed him just second in the league to the prodigious Rasheed Wallace, who committed 27 that year. He last played in ’06-’07 for the Sonics, and was still under contract when the team moved to Oklahoma City two years later, despite not having played in two years. The team simply relinquished his rights that season. But Obscure Athletes will never relinquish his memory!



2 thoughts on “Obscure Spotlight: Danny Fortson

  1. Awesome article. Never understood the trade of Mercer for Fortson when Antoine was already a 4. Back then positions were more important, so going extended minutes with Fortson at the 5 wouldn’t work, since he was undersized to play center. In today’s height-challenged NBA, he’d handle center totally fine.

    Fortson’s on a list of guys I’d absolutely never fuck with, including but not limited to Ruben Paterson, Anthony Mason, David Thirdkill, and Charles Oakley. Just totally insane.

    Been trying to find Fortson’s whereabouts for WTHHT, a segment I write for celticslife.com- he’s been impossible to track down!

  2. Yes, I remember watching him play and he was a great player, just wish he did not have so many fouls during his playing days. However, as a fan he was a joy to watch on the court. This was an excellent article and post and I enjoyed reading it. It brought back thoughts of the good old days in the NBA and many great highlights in my mind of Forton’s game.

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