July 12, 1972|
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Listed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Listed weight||182 lb (83 kg)|
|College||Georgia Tech (1991–1995)|
|NBA draft||1995 / Round: 1 / Pick: 23rd overall|
|Selected by the Indiana Pacers|
|Number||4, 7, 1, 3|
|2004–2005||New Jersey Nets|
|2007||Asseco Prokom Gdynia|
|2007–2008||La Fortezza Bologna|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||5,736 (7.6 ppg)|
|Rebounds||1,249 (1.8 rpg)|
|Assists||2,444 (3.5 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
High school career
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Best attended Springfield Central High School, starring on teams that amassed a 69-4 record in his three varsity seasons. He was awarded the Lahovich Award, symbolic of the top player in Western Massachusetts, after his senior year. Best scored a state-record 81 points in a single game during that season. With then-sophomore teammate Edgar Padilla, a future UMass standout, Best led his 25-0 team to the 1991 Division I state championship and a No. 15 ranking in the final USA Today Top 25. After considering both UConn and the University of Virginia, Best chose Georgia Tech.
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At Georgia Tech, Best teamed with fellow McDonald's All-American James Forrest for four years. The duo lead the Yellow Jackets to the 1993 ACC Tournament Championship, their first since 1990. Best was named to the All-ACC third-team as a sophomore, earning second-team honors as a junior and as a senior. Best led the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio and free-throw percentage as a senior, while capturing ACC Player of the Week honors a league-record five times.
Best ranked in the top six in Tech history in points, assists, minutes, 3-point field goals made and steals at the conclusion of his collegiate career. He was one of only three ACC players to score 2,000 points with 600 assists (UNC's Phil Ford and Maryland's Greivis Vasquez are the other two). He earned honorable-mention All-America honors from The Associated Press and was a nominee for the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award, given to the best player in the nation under 6 feet (1.8 m).
Best was drafted 23rd in the 1995 NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He played for the Pacers, the Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks and the New Jersey Nets, averaging 7.6 points and 3.5 assists per game.
Best was a vital backup at point guard on the 1999-2000 Indiana team that went to the 2000 NBA Finals. Best hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the decisive fifth game against the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs. During that season, he requested a trade and was granted one to the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls traded Ron Artest, Brad Miller, Ron Mercer and Kevin Ollie to the Pacers for Best, Jalen Rose and Norman Richardson, adding a future second-round pick.