2002 NBA Playoffs
The 2002 NBA Playoffs were the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Associations 2001–02 season. This was the postseason that held a best-of-5 first-round series. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets 4 games to 0, Shaquille ONeal was named NBA Finals MVP for the third straight year. Though they eventually lost to the Nets 4–2, they did create the biggest 4th quarter playoff comeback in Game 3, the Detroit Pistons won their first playoff series since 1991. They would lose in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Celtics in five games, the playoffs marked the last appearance of the Charlotte Hornets in the playoffs until 2010. The Hornets moved the year to New Orleans, while an expansion team. The Hornets were renamed the Pelicans in 2013, after which the Bobcats reclaimed the Hornets name in 2014, the Hornets reclaimed the history and records of the 1988–2002 Charlotte teams. The Charlotte Coliseum played host to its playoff game on May 12.
The playoffs marked the last time NBC and TBS aired NBA games as regular TV partners of the league, the last TBS-aired game under its various contracts was Game 5 of the Lakers-Spurs series, while Game 4 of the NBA Finals marked the last telecast on NBC. TBS and NBC were replaced with ESPN and ABC the following season, TBS has aired some NBA basketball in the ensuing years due to conflicts on sister network TNT. Pat Riley missed the playoffs for the first time in his coaching career, the total number of playoff games was 70, including the NBA Finals. The Sacramento Kings clinched the best record in the NBA, and this was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Spurs winning the first meeting. The Lakers sweep the Blazers thanks to a series-winning 3 by Robert Horry with 2.1 seconds left in Game 3 and this was the 11th playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning eight of the first ten meetings. Dirk Nowitzki was virtually unstoppable in this series, averaging 33 points and 16 rebounds per game and this was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Timberwolves.
This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Kings, the Spurs led going into the fourth quarter of all five games, yet were able to win only one. It would be San Antonios final 2 home games in the Alamodome and this was the eighth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning five of the first seven meetings. The 2002 Western Conference Finals is widely regarded as one of the best series in NBA playoff history, two games were decided on game winning shots and Game 7 was decided in overtime. However, the series was marred by controversy and allegations of corruption, on June 10,2008, convicted NBA referee Tim Donaghys attorney filed a court document alleging that Game 6 was fixed by two referees
The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Auburn Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. The Pistons compete in the National Basketball Association as a club of the leagues Eastern Conference Central Division. The team plays its games at The Palace of Auburn Hills and was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons in 1941. The Pistons joined the Basketball Association of America in 1948, in 1949, the NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA, and the Pistons became part of the merged league. Since moving to Detroit in 1957, the Pistons have won three NBA championships in 1989,1990 and 2004. The Detroit Pistons franchise was founded as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, owners Fred Zollner and his sister Janets Zollner Corporation was a foundry, manufacturing pistons, primarily for car and locomotive engines. The Zollner Pistons were NBL champions in 1944 and 1945 and they won the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1944,1945 and 1946. In 1948, the became the Fort Wayne Pistons, competing in the Basketball Association of America.
In 1949, Fred Zollner brokered the formation of the National Basketball Association from the BAA, there are suggestions that Pistons players conspired with gamblers to shave points and throw various games during the 1953–54 and 1954–55 seasons. In particular, there are accusations that the team may have intentionally lost the 1955 NBA Finals to the Syracuse Nationals, in the decisive Game 7, the Pistons led Syracuse 41–24 early in the second quarter, the Nationals rallied to win the game. Syracuse won on a throw by George King with twelve seconds left in the game. After the 1956–57 season, Zollner decided that Fort Wayne was too small to support an NBA team, although it was the fifth largest city in the United States at the time, Detroit had not seen professional basketball in a decade. In 1947, they had lost the Detroit Gems of the NBL, Zollner decided to keep the Pistons name, believing it made sense given Detroits status as the center of the automobile industry. The new Detroit Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons, the franchise was a consistent disappointment, struggling both on the court and at the box office.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the Pistons were characterized by strong individuals. In fact, in their first 27 years in Detroit, they only had three winning seasons, some of the superstars who played for the team included Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Jimmy Walker, and Bob Lanier. At one point DeBusschere was the youngest player-coach in the history of the NBA, DeBusschere became a key player in leading the Knicks to two NBA titles. Detroit qualified for the postseason in four seasons, but never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs
The Philadelphia 76ers are an American professional basketball team based in Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association as a club of the leagues Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 and originally known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA and they have won three NBA championships, with their first coming as the Syracuse Nationals in 1955. The second title came in the 1966–67 season, a team which was led by Chamberlain, the third title came in the 1982–83 season, won by a team led by Erving and Malone. The 76ers have only been back to the NBA Finals once since then, in 2001, while in the NBL with teams largely consisting of small Midwestern towns, the Nationals put together a 21–23 record, finishing in 4th place. In the playoffs, the Nats would be beaten by the fellow upstate neighbor Rochester Royals in 4 games, in their second season, 1947–48, the Nationals would struggle, finishing in 5th place with a 24–36 record.
Despite their struggles, the Nats would make the playoffs, getting swept by the Anderson Duffey Packers in 3 straight games, several teams began to leave the NBL for the BAA as the foundation for an absorption was laid. The Nationals recipe for success began by recruiting Leo Ferris, in the playoffs the Nationals would make quick work of the Hammond Calumet Buccaneers, winning the series in 2 straight games. However, in the semifinals the Nats would fall to the Anderson Duffey Packers for the second season in 4 games. In 1949, the Nationals were one of seven NBL teams that were absorbed by the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA, the Nationals were an instant success in the NBA, winning the Eastern Division in the 1949–1950 season, with a league best record of 51–13. In the playoffs the Nationals continued to play basketball, beating the Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight. Moving on to the Eastern Finals, the Nationals battled the New York Knickerbockers, in the NBA Finals, the Nationals faced fellow NBL alums the Minneapolis Lakers.
In Game 1 of the Finals the Nats lost just their home game of the season 68–66. The Nats did not recover, as they fell behind 3 games to 1 before falling in 6 games, despite several teams leaving the NBA for the National Professional Basketball League before the 1950–1951 season, the Nationals decided to stay put. In their second NBA season the Nationals played mediocre basketball all season, however, in the playoffs the Nats played their best basketball of the season as they stunned the 1st place Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight, taking Game 1 on the road in overtime 91–89. In the Eastern Finals the Nationals were beaten by the New York Knickerbockers in a hard-fought 5-game series, in the playoffs the Nats knocked off the Philadelphia Warriors again in a 3-game series. However, in the Eastern Finals the Nats fell to the New York Knickerbockers again, the Nationals would finish in 2nd place in a hard fought 3-way battle for first place in the Eastern Division for the 1952–1953 season, with a record of 47–24.
In the playoffs the Nationals would face the Boston Celtics dropping Game 1 at home 87–81, the Nationals acquired Alex Groza, and Ralph Beard as the Indianapolis Olympians folded leaving the NBA with just 9 teams for the 1953–1954 season
Basketball Association of America
The Basketball Association of America was a professional basketball league in North America, founded in 1946. Following its third season, 1948–49, the BAA and the National Basketball League merged to create the National Basketball Association, the Philadelphia Warriors won the inaugural BAA championship in 1947, followed by the Baltimore Bullets and the Minneapolis Lakers in 1948 and 1949, respectively. Six teams from the BAA remain in operation in the NBA as of the 2012–13 season, the inaugural BAA season began with 11 teams, of which four dropped before the second season. One ABL team joined to provide 8 teams for 1947–48 and four NBL teams joined to provide 12 for 1948–49, the NBA generally claims the BAAs history as its own. For example, at NBA History online its table of one-line NBA Season Recaps begins 1946–47 without comment and it celebrated NBA at 50 in 1996, with announcement of its 50 Greatest Players among other things. However, most of the ABL and NBL teams played in small arenas, to put this theory into practice, the BAA was founded in New York City on June 6,1946.
Maurice Podoloff, who was serving as president of the American Hockey League, was appointed president of the BAA. The owners of the BAA, while experienced businessmen, had little practice at owning basketball teams, the league started with 11 teams, which played a 60-game regular season. This was followed by the playoffs and the series to determine the league winner. Similar to Major League Baseball, nobody expected signing or drafting black players, at its inception, the quality of play in the BAA was not significantly better than in competing leagues, or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, both the 1948 and 1949 titles were won by teams that had played in other leagues during the year, the Baltimore Bullets in 1948. The league started with 11 teams, which were divided into two divisions, the Eastern Division and the Western Division, each team played 60 or 61 regular season games. The best three teams from each advanced to the playoffs. The final series was played in a best-of-7 format.
On November 1,1946, at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers, in the opening game of the BAA, Ossie Schectman scored the opening basket for the Knickerbockers. The Eastern Division winner, the Washington Capitols, who had the best record with 49 wins, were defeated in the semifinal by the Western Division winner. The Stags advanced to the finals along with the Philadelphia Warriors who defeated the New York Knickerbockers in the other semifinal, the Warriors won the inaugural BAA championship by winning the series 4–1. The first year had many problems, in arenas shared with hockey teams, some arena owners simply put a wooden basketball floor over the ice
The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association as a club of the leagues Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 and one of eight NBA teams to survive the leagues first decade, the Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League s Boston Bruins. The franchises 17 championships are the most of any NBA franchise, as a percentage of championships won, the Celtics are the most successful franchise to date in the major four traditional North American professional sports leagues. The Celtics have played the Lakers a record 12 times in the Finals, including their most recent appearances in 2008 and 2010, four Celtics players have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Their mascot Lucky the Leprechaun is a nod to the teams Irish heritage, in 1950, the Celtics signed Chuck Cooper, becoming the first NBA franchise to draft a black player.
The Celtics struggled during their years, until the hiring of coach Red Auerbach. In the franchises early days, Auerbach had no assistants, ran all the practices, did all the scouting—both of opposing teams and college draft prospects—and scheduled all the road trips. One of the first great players to join the Celtics was Bob Cousy, Cousy eventually became the property of the Chicago Stags, but when that franchise went bankrupt, Cousy went to the Celtics in a dispersal draft. After the 1955–56 season, Auerbach made a stunning trade and he sent perennial All-Star Ed Macauley to the St. Louis Hawks along with the draft rights to Cliff Hagan in exchange for the second overall pick in the draft. Auerbach acquired Holy Cross standout, and 1957 NBA Rookie of the Year and Heinsohn worked extraordinarily well with Cousy, and they were the players around whom Auerbach would build the champion Celtics for more than a decade. With Bill Russell, the Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals and defeated the St.
Louis Hawks in seven games, Russell went on to win 11 championships, making him the most decorated player in NBA history. In 1958, the Celtics again advanced to the NBA Finals, with the acquisition of K. C. Jones that year, the Celtics began a dynasty that would last for more than a decade. In 1959, the Celtics won the NBA Championship after sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers, during that time, the Celtics met the Lakers in the Finals five times, starting an intense and often bitter rivalry that has spanned generations. In 1964, the Celtics became the first NBA team to have an all African-American starting lineup. On December 26,1964, Willie Naulls replaced an injured Tommy Heinsohn, joining Tom Satch Sanders, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, the Celtics defeated St. Louis 97–84. Boston won its next 11 games with Naulls starting in place of Heinsohn, the Celtics of the late-1950s–60s are widely considered as one of the most dominant teams of all time. Auerbach retired as coach after the 1965–66 season and Russell took over as player-coach, with his appointment, Russell became the first African-American coach in any U. S. pro sport
The NBA Finals is the championship series of the National Basketball Association played between the Western and Eastern champions of the Conference Finals. The first team to win four games in the game series is declared the league champion and is awarded the Larry OBrien Championship Trophy. Winners from 1946 to 1983 received the Walter A. Brown Trophy redesigned in 1977 to the current form, the NBA Finals has been played at the end of every NBA and Basketball Association of America season in history, the first being held in 1947. Most NBA Finals series were played under the 2–2–1–1–1 format prior to 1985, the series was named the BAA Finals from 1947 to 1949 and changed to the NBA World Championship Series from 1950 to 1982. The following two years, the league used Showdown 83 and Showdown 84 and it returned to NBA World Championship Series in 1985, before settling on NBA Finals in 1986. During the first decade the Minneapolis Lakers had the first NBA dynasty, the team featured George Mikan, one of the greatest players in NBA history.
The Boston Celtics went 11–1 in the NBA Finals during 13 seasons and they won eight straight NBA championships from 1959 through 1966. With the establishment of the Celtics dynasty in 1957, Bill Russell became the star of the league, Game 7 of the NBA Finals was decided on a Celtics basket in the final seconds of the second overtime. For most of the late 1950s and 1960s, the Celtics always seemed to have the hand on Wilt Chamberlains teams. The following season, he joined the Philadelphia 76ers, the former Syracuse Nationals team that had moved to cover the vacancy created with the departure of the Warriors, a clash between the two stars in the playoffs was in 1966 and Boston won it 4–1. Chamberlains coach told him to play a game, not an individual game. His new-found team spirit brought them to a new record of 68 wins the season, and they defeated the Celtics and advanced to, and won. In 1968, Boston overcame a 3–1 deficit against Philadelphia to once again arrive in the Finals and they went on to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers for the sixth straight time,4 games to 2.
In 1969, the Celtics overcame even longer odds, Boston was an aging team and had injuries to a number of players. They barely qualified for the playoffs, finishing fourth in the East, the Lakers, who in the offseason added Chamberlain to join West and Elgin Baylor, won the West and were prohibitive favorites to finally win it all for the first time since relocating to L. A. They won the first two games at the Los Angeles Forum, when the series shifted to Boston Garden, the Celtics won Game 3 110–105. Game 4 was the point, as the Lakers led 87–86 and had the ball with 10 seconds to play. But after a turnover, Sam Jones put up a shot hit the front of the rim, the back heel, rolled around
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the major mens professional basketball league in North America, and is widely considered to be the premier mens professional basketball league in the world. It has 30 teams, and is a member of USA Basketball. The NBA is one of the four professional sports leagues in the United States. NBA players are the worlds best paid athletes by average annual salary per player, the league was founded in New York City on June 6,1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3,1949, the leagues several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in New York City. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada. On November 1,1946, in Toronto, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, the first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers.
During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not significantly better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that leagues 1948 title, Following the 1948–49 season, the BAA took in the remainder of the NBL, Anderson, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as arenas and smaller gymnasiums. The process of contraction saw the leagues smaller-city franchises move to larger cities, the Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, and to St. Louis in 1955. The Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957, japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks. He remained the only player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships, to encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, who already featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, and went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, russells rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports. The 1960s were dominated by the Celtics, led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966
The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California. The Kings compete in the National Basketball Association as a club of the leagues Western Conference Pacific Division. The Kings are the team in the major professional North American sports leagues located in Sacramento. The team play its games at the Golden 1 Center. The Kings are the oldest franchise in the NBA, and one of the oldest continuously operating professional basketball franchises in the nation and they originated in Rochester, New York as the Rochester Seagrams in 1923 and joined the National Basketball League in 1945 as the Rochester Royals. They jumped to the Basketball Association of America, forerunner of the NBA, as the Royals, the team was often successful on the court, winning the NBA championship in 1951. However, they found it difficult to turn a profit in the comparatively small market of Rochester. In 1972, the relocated to Kansas City, Missouri. In 1975, the Kings ceased playing home games in Omaha, the team again failed to find success in that market, and moved to Sacramento in 1985.
The Royals defected to the NBLs rival, the Basketball Association of America, in 1948. In 1949, as a result of that absorption of the NBL by the BAA, the Royals became members of the newly formed NBA along with the Fort Wayne Pistons, Minneapolis Lakers. A year later, the BAA absorbed the remaining NBL teams to become the National Basketball Association, the move to the BAA took away Rochesters profitable exhibition schedule, and placed it in the same Western Division that Minneapolis was in. Of the two best teams in pro basketball, only one of them could play in the finals from 1949 to 1954. Minneapolis, with George Mikan, was almost always a little better at playoff time than the Royals, Harrison knew that the NBA was outgrowing Rochester, and spent most of the 1950s looking for a buyer for his team. The Royals won the NBA title in 1951 by defeating the New York Knicks 4 games to 3 and it is the only NBA championship in the franchises history. However, the title did not translate into profit for the Royals, the roster turned over in 1955, except for Bobby Wanzer, the team moved to the larger Rochester War Memorial.
Now a losing team filled with rookies, the Royals still did not turn a profit, the NBA was putting pressure on Harrison to sell or relocate his team to a larger city. With this in mind, the 1956–57 season was the Royals last in Rochester, in April 1957, the Harrison brothers moved the Royals to Cincinnati
WHAM is an AM clear channel station in Rochester, New York. It is owned by iHeartMedia, Inc. and airs a News/Talk format and its studios are located at Five Star Bank Plaza in downtown Rochester. WHAM is an affiliate of the Fox News Radio Network, as with most iHeartMedia News/Talk stations, WHAM carries a mix of local shows and nationally syndicated programs from Premiere Networks, a subsidiary of iHeartMedia. Local weekday programs include The WHAM Morning News and The WHAM5 OClock Hour News, Bob Lonsberry, Matthews is a former Rochester Democrat and Chronicle columnist. Matthews is usually joined every Wednesday by former NFL player Fred Smerlas, the Premiere Networks syndicated weekday lineup features Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Clyde Lewis and Coast to Coast AM with George Noory. Michael Savage from the Westwood One Network is heard weeknights from 9 am to midnight, weekend programming includes shows on money, home repair, Bill Cunningham, computer expert Leo Laporte The Tech Guy, and some brokered programming.
The station first went on the air on July 11,1922, while not the first station to be licensed to the Rochester market, it is the oldest surviving station in the area. The selection of the WHAM call letters came from a suggestion from industrialist George Eastman and he helped the University of Rochester launch the station and thought the WHAM name would prove to be a clever marketing tool. In 1927, WHAM was acquired by Stromberg-Carlson, WHAM increased its power to 25,000 watts March 4,1933. A ceremony marking the event included a three-hour broadcast from the Eastman Theatre with a galaxy of stars participating, in February 1948, WHAM and its sister station, WHFM, moved into a new facility, Rochester Radio City. The building included 24 offices and six studios, the largest of which could accommodate 400 people in the audience, WHAM has ties to two of the citys television stations. It spawned the citys first station, WHAM-TV, in 1949, that station is now WROC-TV, founded by Jordan Barney while he was working on behalf of the University of Rochester in 1922, WHAM grew to become the dominant AM station serving Rochester and the Genesee Valley.
The station was sold in the mid-1920s to Stromberg-Carlson, a maker of radio, Stromberg-Carlson expanded the stations operations and boosted its signal to 5,000 watts in 1927. It was relocated from 1080 to 1150 kHz in the overall national reorganization of the AM radio band by the Federal Radio Commission in 1928. Later, in 1933, WHAM was allowed to power first to 25,000 watts. In the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement shuffling of the AM band in March 1941, WHAM1180 Home Page Query the FCCs AM station database for WHAM Radio-Locator Information on WHAM Query Nielsen Audios AM station database for WHAM FCC History Cards for WHAM
Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy
The Larry OBrien NBA Championship Trophy is the championship trophy awarded annually by the National Basketball Association to the winner of the NBA Finals. The name of the trophy was the Walter A. Brown Trophy until 1984, before joining the NBA, OBrien was the United States Postmaster General under President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1965 to 1968. The trophy, made of 14.5 pounds of sterling silver and vermeil with a 24 karat gold overlay, valued at $13,500, the trophy is manufactured by the Tiffany & Co. The winning team maintains permanent possession of the trophy, the year and winning team names are engraved on the trophies, and are often prominently displayed in the winning teams arena. Although the Larry OBrien Trophy has been compared with the National Hockey Leagues Stanley Cup, to reduce this discrepancy, the NBA has been actively promoting the OBrien Trophy in recent years to generate more recognition and an iconic status for the trophy. After the Detroit Pistons won the NBA Finals in 2004, the trophy was toured around the state of Michigan, in 2005, the NBA Legends Tour was launched in New York City.
As part of the tour, the O’Brien Trophy was showcased in various cities—including those that were hosting the playoffs—for fans autograph and it was escorted by many former players, including Julius Erving, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Russell. In May 2007, the NBA unveiled the NBA Headquarters on Second Life, with this launch, fans could take pictures with the championship trophy in the virtual Toyota Larry OBrien Trophy Room. In August, the trophy traveled to Hong Kong for the first time as part of the NBA Madness Asia Tour