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Bruce Bowen Jr. (born June 14, 1971) is an American professional Basketball player. The 6'7", 200-lb. (200 cm, 91 kg) Bowen plays small forward for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is an alumnus of Edison High School (Fresno, California) and Cal State Fullerton and also a former member of the NBA's Miami Heat, the Boston Celtics, the Philadelphia 76ers and the CBA's Rockford Lightning, also having played abroad in France.

Regarded as one of the best defenders in the NBA, Bowen has been elected eight times to the NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams, and was a member of the Spurs teams that won the NBA championships in 2003, 2005 and 2007. Off the court, Bowen is an informal ambassador for Child obesity awareness.

Early yearsEdit

Bruce Bowen Jr. was born in Merced, Cal State Fullerton as son of Bruce Bowen Sr. and Dietra Campbell. Bowen had a problematic childhood growing up in Merced, because, he claims, his mother took drugs and even sold the family TV to feed her habit. After averaging 16.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2.3 Assist (basketball) in 36.6 minutes in 27 games as a senior in 1992–93, he was named to the All-Big West Conference First Team. Bowen ranks 12th on the Titans’ all-time list in career points (1,155) and is seventh all-time in rebounds (559).

Professional careerEdit

Early struggles (1993-1997)Edit

Bowen made himself eligible for the 1993 NBA Draft, but went undrafted. Instead, he seemed to be destined to become a Journeyman (sports). Between 1993 and 1997, Bowen frequently changed teams, playing for the French teams of Le Havre in 1993–94 and Evreux the following season. In 1995–96 he played in the CBA with Rockford Lightning; he spent the next season back in France with Besançon, before returning to the Lightning in February 1997. Bowen made his NBA debut when he was signed to a ten-day contract by the Miami Heat the following month. His output consisted of 1 game, 1 minute and 1 block.

In the 2002, Bowen started in all 82 regular season games for the second time in his career and averaged 7.1 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 31.3 minutes per game. Again, he was voted into the All-Defensive Second Team and was member of the Spurs team which won the 2003. At age 31, the one-time journeyman Bowen had won his first Championship ring as a starter.

Bowen was a member of the Spurs squad which was defeated 4–2 by the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Semi-Finals of the 2004. Having established himself as the premier defensive backcourt player, Bowen's effective, but hard nosed style of play came under discussion. In particular, rival guards Vince Carter and Steve Francis accused him of encroaching into their landing space during their Jump shot (basketball).

Bowen and the Spurs bounced back and won the 2005. The Spurs could not win back-to-back titles, however, and bowed out 4–3 in a seven-game series against the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Playoffs. As a testament to his controversial style of play, Bowen picked up a $10,000 NBA fine for kicking Ray Allen in the back during a March 2006 game.

In the 2007, the Spurs played against the Phoenix Suns, and Bowen became the center of controversy. His knee contacted Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash's groin, knocking Nash to the floor. Also in that series, forward-center Amare Stoudemire accused Bowen of kicking him during a game, but the NBA reviewed and dismissed the claim. ESPN columnist Bill Simmons commented that Bowen was "a cheap player who's going to seriously hurt someone someday", but claims that he "ultimately makes his team better." The Spurs went on to beat the Suns, and Bowen's defensive contributions also ensured that the Spurs won its fourth championship in the 2007.

In the 2007, the now 36 year old veteran Bowen played and started in 81 of 82 regular season games, earning his fifth straight nomination in the NBA All-Defensive First Team.[1] Ever controversial, Bowen was fined $7,000 and suspended for one game for kicking Chris Paul after Paul had fallen to the floor during a March 12, 2008 game. Bowen finished as the runner-up behind Marcus Camby for the league's defensive player of the year award. In the 2008, Bowen was unable to stop Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who averaged 28.3 points and helped L.A. beat the Spurs in five games. Since becoming a member of the Spurs, Bowen has started in every Spurs regular season and playoff game from 2001 through 2008. but was not named to the team in the end.

Player profileEdit

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Bowen (no. 12) contesting a layup in a game against the Los Angeles Lakers

The 6'7", Bowen plays the small forward position.[2] He has gained a reputation for being one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA, earning himself eight consecutive nominations for the NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams from 2001 to 2007.[1] From 2005 to 2007, he was second in voting for the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, beaten only by centers Ben Wallace (2005 and 2006)[3][4] and Marcus Camby (2007) who are both post defenders.

Bowen is not known for his offensive production. He is seldom sought on offense, having never attempted more than 251 field goals in an entire 82-game regular season, and his career averages of 6.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, and .566 Free throw are considered mediocre, never earning him nominations for NBA All-Star or All-NBA First or Second Teams.

Responding to fan e-mail in 2005, Bowen stated that defense is "a little bit of talent and a lot of work; being able to take on the challenge of going up against the top guys, even when you didn't win that battle. Being able to come back the next day and try again — I think that's the most important thing." He also stressed that the key to being a good basketball player is to "work hard and make sure you have fun with the game more than anything else." Bowen mentioned that he considers Denver Nuggets small forward Carmelo Anthony and former Seattle SuperSonics shooting guard Ray Allen (now with the Boston Celtics) to be among the most difficult players to guard.

Personal lifeEdit

Bowen is the son of Bruce Bowen Sr. and Dietra Campbell. He told a reporter of having a problematic childhood, plagued by his mother's drug addiction and his father's alcohol problems.[5] Today, Bowen is estranged from his parents and several relatives, instead looking up to his childhood friend Quinn Crozier and to Robert and Sandra Thrash, a Los Angeles couple whom he regards as his adoptive parents.[5] Bowen is married to Yardley Barbon, and the couple has two sons, Ojani (born September 7, 2005) and Ozmel (born June 9, 2007).[2] He often speaks out against child obesity and runs his own "Get fit with Bruce and Buddy" program for children's healthy nutrition and daily sports activities. He is a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, whom his nephew, Stephen Bowen plays for, and the University of Texas Longhorns football team. He runs the Bruce Bowen Foundation (charity), an organization set up to provide scholarships and bursaries. In addition, he is working on his college degree in communications from Cal State Fullerton, taking classes at nearby University of Texas at San Antonio, and has stated that he wants to become a teacher after his NBA career.[2]

NBA career statisticsEdit

Correct as of 14 June 2008

Regular season Edit

|- | align="left" | 1996–97 | align="left" | Miami | 1 || 0 || 1.0 || .000 || .000 || .000 || .0 || .0 || .0 || 1.0 || .0 |- | align="left" | 1997–98 | align="left" | Boston Celtics | 61 || 9 || 21.4 || .409 || .339 || .623 || 2.9 || 1.3 || 1.4 || .5 || 5.6 |- | align="left" | 1998–99 | align="left" | Boston | 30 || 1 || 16.5 || .280 || .269 || .458 || 1.7 || .9 || .7 || .3 || 2.3 |- | align="left" | 1999–00 | align="left" | Philadelphia | 42 || 0 || 7.4 || .356 || .500 || .500 || .9 || .4 || .2 || .1 || 1.4 |- | align="left" | 1999–00 | align="left" | Miami | 27 || 2 || 21.0 || .380 || .464 || .613 || 2.2 || .7 || .5 || .4 || 5.1 |- | align="left" | 2000–01 | align="left" | Miami | 82 || 72 || 32.7 || .363 || .336 || .609 || 3.0 || 1.6 || 1.0 || .6 || 7.6 |- | align="left" | 2001–02 | align="left" | San Antonio | 59 || 59 || 28.8 || .389 || .378 || .479 || 2.7 || 1.5 || 1.0 || .4 || 7.0 |- | align="left" | 2002 | align="left" | San Antonio | 82 || 82 || 31.3 || .466 || .441 || .404 || 2.9 || 1.4 || .8 || .5 || 7.1 |- | align="left" | 2003–04 | align="left" | San Antonio | 82 || 82 || 32.0 || .420 || .363 || .579 || 3.1 || 1.4 || 1.0 || .4 || 6.9 |- | align="left" | 2004 | align="left" | San Antonio | 82 || 82 || 32.0 || .420 || .403 || .634 || 3.5 || 1.5 || .7 || .5 || 8.2 |- | align="left" | 2005–06 | align="left" | San Antonio | 82 || 82 || 33.6 || .433 || .424 || .607 || 3.9 || 1.5 || 1.0 || .4 || 7.5 |- | align="left" | 2006–07 | align="left" | San Antonio | 82 || 82 || 30.0 || .405 || .384 || .589 || 2.7 || 1.4 || .8 || .3 || 6.2 |- | align="left" | 2007 | align="left" | San Antonio | 81 || 81 || 30.2 || .407 || .419 || .652 || 2.9 || 1.1 || .7 || .3 || 6.0 |- | align="left" | Career | align="left" | | 793 || 634 || 28.4 || .408 || .391 || .575 || 2.9 || 1.3 || .9 || .4 || 6.4


Playoffs Edit

|- | align="left" | 1999–00 | align="left" | Miami | 10 || 0 || 15.7 || .370 || .227 || .625 || 1.0 || .8 || .7 || .4 || 3.5 |- | align="left" | 2000–01 | align="left" | Miami | 3 || 3 || 19.3 || .313 || .250 || .000 || .7 || .7 || .7 || .7 || 4.0 |- | align="left" | 2002 | align="left" | San Antonio | 10 || 10 || 34.5 || .410 || .440 || .500 || 3.3 || 1.4 || 1.1 || .7 || 6.8 |- | align="left" | 2002–03 | align="left" | San Antonio | 24 || 24 || 31.3 || .372 || .438 || .548 || 2.9 || 1.6 || .8 || .7 || 6.9 |- | align="left" | 2004 | align="left" | San Antonio | 10 || 10 || 29.8 || .365 || .379 || .231 || 2.9 || 1.0 || .4 || .3 || 6.0 |- | align="left" | 2004–05 | align="left" | San Antonio | 23 || 23 || 35.4 || .359 || .433 || .647 || 2.9 || 1.6 || .5 || .6 || 5.7 |- | align="left" | 2006 NBA Playoffs | align="left" | San Antonio | 13 || 13 || 34.0 || .525 || .500 || .500 || 2.2 || 1.2 || .9 || .6 || 6.2 |- | align="left" | 2007 | align="left" | San Antonio | 20 || 20 || 34.5 || .395 || .446 || .500 || 4.1 || 1.3 || 1.4 || .2 || 6.5 |- | align="left" | 2008 | align="left" | San Antonio | 17 || 17 || 29.9 || .398 || .407 || .727 || 1.9 || 1.4 || .6 || .3 || 6.1 |- | align="left" | Career | align="left" | | 130 || 120 || 31.2 || .391 || .419 || .545 || 2.7 || 1.3 || .8 || .5 || 6.1


NotesEdit

External linksEdit















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