Tommy Hawkins put up some decent numbers as a member of the Lakers and the Cincinnati Royals, but perhaps none as impressive as a couple he continued to compile well after his nine-year NBA career.
As of 2008, the lifelong jazz enthusiast had about 8,000 vinyl records and 3,000 CDs in his music collection. He told The Times’ Jerry Crowe that if he hadn’t grown to 6 feet 5, "I’d probably be wailing on a trumpet right now."
Still, Hawkins said, he spent more time in jazz clubs and record stores during his playing career than he did on the basketball court. Even so, he was in the NBA's top 10 in field-goal percentage in each of the three years of his second stint in L.A. (1966-69) and led the Lakers in that category in 1966-67. In six total years with the Lakers, Hawkins averaged nine points and 5.7 rebounds.
After his playing days, Hawkins became a radio and television personality in the L.A. area before spending 18 years as an executive with the Dodgers, serving as vice president of both communications and external affairs. And he always made time for jazz, hosting various radio programs and currently working as a staff announcer on KKJZ FM.