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Reggie Wayne Theus (born October 13, 1957) is an American retired basketball player and former head coach for the NBA's Sacramento Kings.

He was born in Inglewood, Californiamarker. Prior to taking over as the Kings' coach Theus coached New Mexico State Universitymarker's men's basketball team. On March 31, 2005, NMSU hired the 13-year NBA veteran. In just his second year as head coach, Theus led NMSU to their 17th NCAA Tournament, their first tournament appearance since 1999, and coached NMSU to its 14th conference tournament title which earned them an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. He was also previously an assistant coach for the University of Louisvillemarker under Rick Pitino.

In his first season, Theus turned the Aggies from a 6-24 squad in 2004-05 to a 16-14 team in the 2005-06 season – matching the fifth best turn-around for a Division-I men's basketball team. Another achievement by Theus was the recruitment of Herb Pope for the 2007-2008 season, a 5 star recruit in the 2011 collegiate senior class. Pope is from Aliquippa, PA, and was recruited by national powerhouses such as Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and Texas. However, on the two-year anniversary of Theus' hiring at NMSU, Pope was shot four times at a party, putting a question mark on his temporary future in basketball until it became clear that Pope would be ready to play for his freshman season. Theus was briefly recruited to be the head coach at Creighton Universitymarker when coach Dana Altman left for the University of Arkansas. However, Altman decided to return to Creighton after several days at Arkansas.

Playing career


Theus played his college basketball at UNLV for head coach Jerry Tarkanian from 1976 to 1978. In three seasons with the Runnin’ Rebels, he (Reggie) averaged 12.9 points, 4.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. Theus, who became one of the best players to ever don a UNLV uniform, shot 81 percent from the free-throw line for his career while amassing 1,177 career points (21st on all-time scoring list), 401 career assists and 389 career rebounds in just 91 collegiate games.

As a sophomore, Theus helped lead UNLV into the national spotlight as the Rebels went 29-3, advancing to the school's first Final Four in Atlanta, Ga. Despite losing by a single point to University of North Carolinamarker in the semifinals, UNLV defeated UNC-Charlotte in the third-place game and set NCAA single-season records for most points in a season (3,426), most 100-point games (23) and most consecutive 100-point games (12). He averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game while shooting 81.8 percent from the charity stripe and 49.7 percent from the field as a sophomore.

As a junior, Reggie was named a second team All-American after averaging 18.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game.

In 1989, Theus was inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame and in 1997 he became one of only six players in school history to have his jersey retired by the Rebels.

Theus has twice applied for the UNLV Runnin' Rebels coaching job to no avail. It is widely believed that he covets the head coaching job at his alma mater.

Chicago Bulls

After attending UNLV and having a successful college career, Theus was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 9th pick of the 1978 NBA Draft. A 6'7" guard, Theus averaged 16.3 points per game during his first season and was the runner-up for the 1979 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He garnered the nickname "Rush Street Reggie" while playing in Chicago for owning an apartment on that street and having an active social life around that area, being frequently spotted at the city night spots. He followed his stellar rookie campaign with a strong sophomore season, in which he averaged 20.2 points and 6.3 assist for the Bulls. In 1981, Theus appeared in his first All-Star Game; he appeared again in 1983, during a season in which he averaged a career high 23.8 points per game.

Kansas City/Sacramento Kings

Inexplicably, however, newly-hired Bulls coach Kevin Loughery decided to bench Theus for the first half of the 1983-1984 season, and Theus was soon traded to the Kansas City Kings for Steve Johnson and three draft picks, a move that saddened many Chicago fans who enjoyed Theus' enthusiasm and energy. Theus continued his impressive play during his tenure with the Sacramento Kings, averaging at least 18 points per game in each full season he played for them. Theus is one of only two players in league history listed at 6 ft 6 or taller to tally more than 750 assists in an NBA season (788 in 1985-86), the other player is NBA legend Magic Johnson.

Later years

He ended his NBA career with productive one-year stints for the Atlanta Hawks (1988-89), Orlando Magic (1989-90, picked him from the Hawks in the expansion draft), and New Jersey Nets (1990-91), leaving the league in 1991 with career totals of 19,015 points and 6,453 assists. He played one season in Italy for Ranger Varese before retiring from basketball altogether in 1992. He also played along with Aris BC in the Greek Cup Final in 1992. His daughter Roqui appeared on the first season of the BET series Baldwin Hills.

Coaching career

In 2005, Reggie Theus was hired by the New Mexico State Aggies as the head coach of the men's basketball team after the retirement of legendary head coach Lou Henson. Theus brought the team back to national recognition, including an NCAA Tournament appearance.

On June 19, 2007, Theus was hired by the Maloof brothers and guaranteed three years as head coach of the Sacramento Kings. He noted his hiring as coach had brought his career to "full circle", as he once played in the NBA with the Kings.

On December 15, 2008, Theus was fired by the Kings and the team announced that their assistant coach Kenny Natt would lead the team in the interim period.

Theus is currently an assistant coach with the Minnesota Timberwolves under head coach Kurt Rambis.

Coaching record


National Basketball Association

82 38 44 .463 4th in Pacific
Missed Playoffs
24 6 18 .250 (fired)
106 44 62 .415

Acting and broadcasting career

Before signing as an assistant coach at Louisville, Theus pursued careers in both acting and broadcasting. He hosted various talk shows in Sacramentomarker, Orlandomarker, and Atlantamarker, and for several years he served as a studio analyst for Turner Sports and the Los Angeles Lakers. Theus was one of the original panelists on The Best Damn Sports Show Period. He played a high school basketball coach named Bill Fuller in the TNBC Saturday morning sitcom Hang Time for three seasons. He also provided the commentary for the video game NBA Live 2000 and made cameos in the 2002 films Book of Love, Forget Paris, and Like Mike as a sideline reporter for the fictional NBA franchise, Los Angeles Knights. His daughter Raquel "Roqui" is one of the stars on BET's Baldwin Hills.


  1. Minnesota Timberwolves roster. Retrieved on October 7, 2009.

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