Chris Dudley (born February 22, 1965) is a former NBA basketball player, who spent sixteen years playing for different teams. The oft-injured center was known as a good rebounder and shot blocker but also for his limited offensive game and poor free throw shooting. Once, in a game on April 14, 1990, he went 0-13 from the line, an NBA record. However, his immaculate work ethic and his ability to play 886 NBA games during his career while being a diabetic earned him much respect.
Dudley is the grandson of Guilford Dudley, who was U.S. ambassador to Denmark under the Nixon and Ford presidential administrations.
A star high school basketball player, Dudley was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1981, at the age of sixteen. He began daily insulin injection treatment immediately. He attended Yale University, where he played NCAA basketball from 1983 to 1987 and earned degrees in Political Science and Economics. Dudley began playing with the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 1987-1988 NBA season. He was the only active diabetic in the league during his career.
Dudley, a 6'11" (83 inches) center, was nagged by injuries most of his career. During his rookie season, he played in 55 of 82 games, averaging three points per game. During the 1989-1990 season, he was traded to the New Jersey Nets. He played three years with the Nets, including the 1990-1991 season, in which he enjoyed his best scoring average: 7.1 points per game in 61 contests. In the 1991-1992 season, he was available for all 82 games, one of only two such years in his career. In the 1992-1993 season, he and teammates Derrick Coleman and Drazen Petrovic helped the Nets to their first playoff spot in years. The summer after that season, Petrovic died in a car accident in Germany, and Dudley went to the Portland Trail Blazers. During his first season and a half as a Trail Blazer, he played with Clyde Drexler, and later, with Damon Stoudamire.
An injury kept Dudley out of all but six games during his first season in Portland. Drexler was shipped to the Houston Rockets in the middle of the next season. Still, Dudley and the Blazers made it to the playoffs. After playing 161 games for the Blazers between 1995 and 1997, Dudley went to the New York Knicks, where he backed up Patrick Ewing for three seasons. He kept a home in Oregon, and in 1998, he opened the Chris Dudley Organization, an Oregon-based group intended to improve the lives of diabetic children. He received an NBA award for opening the organization. In 1999, he reached the NBA Finals for the only time in his career, but the Knicks were eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs, four games to one. Also in 1999, he grabbed his 5,000th NBA rebound during a game between the Knicks and the Detroit Pistons.
After his stint with the Knicks, Dudley went on to play with the Phoenix Suns, participating in 53 games in the 2000-2001 season. He returned to the Trail Blazers in 2002, and retired after playing three games during the 2002-2003 season.
In a career total of 886 NBA games, Dudley scored 3,476 points (3.9 points per game), 375 assists (0.4 assists per game), and 5,457 rebounds (6.2 rebounds per game).