Lou Hudson may have spent the last two seasons of his NBA career with the Lakers, but he will be forever considered a part of the Hawks organization.
The 6-foot-4 forward was drafted by the St. Louis Hawks fourth overall in 1966, soon after scouts saw him score 30 points for the University of Minnesota while playing with a broken hand. He averaged 18.4 points per game and made first-team all-rookie with the Hawks.
Hudson was the first player to score for the Hawks after they moved to Atlanta for the 1968-69 season. He was an All-Star six consecutive seasons and averaged more than 20 points for seven seasons in a row, including 27.1 in 1972-73.
In September 1977, Hudson was traded to the Lakers, with whom he averaged 11.8 points and 24.8 minutes per game. In his 13-year career, he scored 17,940 points (60th all-time) and averaged 20.2 points per game (53rd all-time). His No. 23 jersey has been retired by the Hawks.
After his playing career, Hudson became involved in high school coaching and charitable activities. He suffered a stroke at age 60 in 2006 and now spends a lot of time raising awareness for stroke prevention and working on his physical and speech therapy.
“Right now, I’m in the mode of getting my life back,” said Hudson, who walks with a cane but can get around on his own, according to the American Heart Assn. website. “I want to travel and play golf again.”