Brad Daugherty, the former star center of the Cleveland Cavaliers, achieved a milestone over the weekend when he became the first Black owner of a car that won a Daytona 500.
“Former Cavaliers center Brad Daugherty made history on Sunday off the basketball court,” wrote Tim Bielik of Cleveland.com.
“Daugherty became the first Black owner to win a Daytona 500 when driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took the checkered flag on Sunday.”
Daugherty has been a part of the JTG Daugherty Racing team for many years, and although it had won at Watkins Glen in 2014, this was its first win in the Daytona 500.
Back in the day, he was one of the better centers in the NBA, and he helped put the Cavs on the map many years before LeBron James entered the league.
Daugherty was the first player chosen in the 1986 NBA Draft. Cleveland acquired the pick in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers in which it gave up forward Roy Hinson.
The center averaged 15.7 points on 53.8 percent shooting, 8.1 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game as a rookie, and he improved to 18.7 points per contest the next season while getting his first of five All-Star game nods.
Along with star guards Ron Harper and Mark Price, as well as high-flying forward Larry Nance, the Cavs became a force starting in the 1988-89 season, and for the next few years, they were one of the NBA’s best teams.
Unfortunately, there always seemed to be one insurmountable obstacle in their way: Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, who knocked them out of the playoffs in 1989, 1992 and 1993.
Cleveland’s fortunes started to decline during the 1993-94 campaign, which was Daugherty’s last in the NBA. He decided to retire following that season because of back problems.
He was still playing at a high level at that time, as he put up 17.0 points and 10.2 rebounds a game that year.
In addition to being involved with NASCAR, Daugherty has also been an NBA and NCAA basketball commentator for ESPN, and he has made a foray into commercial real estate while performing philanthropy to assist children in need.