Jan 4, 2022 - Sports

Kyrie Irving will become NBA's first part-time player since 1960s

Picture of Terry Dischinger
Terry Dischinger poses for an action portrait in 1962. Photo: NBA Photos via Getty Images

Kyrie Irving is expected to make his season debut Wednesday night in Indiana as a part-time Nets player, suiting up only for road games where his unvaccinated status doesn't break local mandates.

Why it matters: Irving will be the NBA's first part-time player since 1962, when Chicago Zephyrs rookie Terry Dischinger balanced basketball and books — a far different situation than the one Irving is in.

  • After being drafted, Dischinger — an All-American out of Purdue and a 1960 Olympic gold medalist — had one condition: The Zephyrs had to let him complete his chemical engineering degree.
  • He spent the first semester studying in Indiana on weekdays and joining the Zephyrs — who became the Baltimore Bullets in 1963, and are now the Washington Wizards — on weekends and holidays.
  • "One time after class I left Purdue at 4 p.m., taped my ankles in a cab and played that night in San Francisco," he recalled years later.
  • The part-time gig worked out quite well for Dischinger, who averaged 25.5 points, eight rebounds and three assists en route to an All-Star berth and Rookie of the Year honors, beating out John Havlicek.

The big picture: Dischinger made two more All-Star teams in his nine-year NBA career. After retiring, he became a dentist and moved to Oregon, where he still lives today.

Screenshot of Terry Dischinger
Terry Dischinger, the dentist. Screenshot: YouTube
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