Slater Nelson "Dugie" Martin Jr. was an American professional basketball player and coach, a playmaking guard for 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association. He was born in Elmina, Walker County and played in seven NBA All-Star Games. Martin was one of the NBA's best defensive players in the 1950s, playing for the George Mikan-led Minneapolis Lakers that won four NBA championships between 1950 and 1954. In 1956, he joined Bob Pettit's St. Louis Hawks and won another NBA title in 1958. Martin was an alumnus of Jefferson Davis High School in Houston, where he led his school to two state basketball championships in 1942 and 1943, he is a graduate of University of Texas at Austin, where he set a scoring record in 1949 with 49 points in a game for the Longhorns against Texas Christian University. Throughout his career with the Longhorns, he averaged 12.7 points per game. His former high school now holds an annual fund raiser in his name, the "Slater Martin Golf Tournament", which raises tens of thousands of dollars each year for high school student clubs and athletic teams.
He was head coach of the Houston Mavericks of the American Basketball Association in the 1967–68 season and part of 1968–69, led the Mavericks into the 1968 ABA Playoffs. Martin was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on May 3, 1982 in Springfield, Massachusetts, he is the only Longhorn to be so honored. His jersey number 15 was retired by the University of Texas on January 31, 2009, making him only the second Longhorn basketball player to have his number retired, he died of a brief illness on October 18, 2012, in Houston, aged 86, is survived by sons Slater Jr and Jim. List of NBA players with most championships Slater Martin at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame NBA.com profile Slater Martin player statistics at Basketball-Reference.com Slater Martin coach statistics at Basketball-Reference.com
George Lawrence Mikan Jr. nicknamed Mr. Basketball, was an American professional basketball player for the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League and the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBL, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball Association. Invariably playing with thick, round spectacles, the 6 ft 10 in, 245 pounds Mikan is seen as one of the pioneers of professional basketball, redefining it as a game of so-called big men with his prolific rebounding, shot blocking, his talent to shoot over smaller defenders with his ambidextrous hook shot, the result of his namesake Mikan Drill, he utilized the underhanded free-throw shooting technique long before Rick Barry made it his signature shot. Mikan had a successful playing career, winning seven NBL, BAA, NBA championships, an NBA All-Star Game MVP trophy, three scoring titles, he was a member of the first four NBA All-Star games, the first six All-BAA and All-NBA Teams. Mikan was so dominant that he caused several rule changes in the NBA: among them, the introduction of the goaltending rule, the widening of the foul lane—known as the "Mikan Rule"—and the creation of the shot clock.
After his playing career, Mikan became one of the founders of the American Basketball Association, serving as commissioner of the league. He was vital for the forming of the Minnesota Timberwolves. In his years, Mikan was involved in a long-standing legal battle against the NBA, fighting to increase the meager pensions for players who had retired before the league became lucrative. In 2005, Mikan died after a long battle with diabetes. For his accomplishments, Mikan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959, made the 25th and 35th NBA Anniversary Teams of 1970 and 1980, was elected one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1996. Since April 2001, a statue of Mikan shooting his trademark hook shot graces the entrance of the Timberwolves' Target Center. George Mikan was born in Joliet and was of Croatian descent; as a boy, he shattered one of his knees so badly that he was kept in bed for a half. In 1938, Mikan attended the Chicago Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and wanted to be a priest, but moved back home to finish at Joliet Catholic.
Mikan did not seem destined to become an athlete. When Mikan entered Chicago's DePaul University in 1942, he stood 6' 10", weighed 245 pounds, moved awkwardly because of his frame, wore thick glasses for his near-sightedness. However, Mikan met 28-year-old rookie DePaul basketball coach Ray Meyer, who saw potential in the bright and intelligent, but clumsy and shy, freshman. Put into perspective, Meyer's thoughts were revolutionary, because at the time it was believed that tall players were too awkward to play basketball well. In the following months, Meyer transformed Mikan into a confident, aggressive player who took pride in his height rather than being ashamed of it. Meyer and Mikan worked out intensively, Mikan learned how to make hook shots with either hand; this routine would become known as the Mikan Drill. In addition, Meyer made Mikan punch a speed bag, take dancing lessons, jump rope to make him a complete athlete. Mikan dominated his peers from the start of his National Collegiate Athletic Association college games at DePaul.
He intimidated opponents with his size and strength, was unstoppable on offense with his hook shot, soon established a reputation as one of the hardest and grittiest players in the league playing through injuries and punishing opposing centers with hard fouls. In addition, Mikan surprised the basketball world with his unique ability of goaltending, i.e. jumping so high that he swatted the ball away before it could pass the hoop. In today's basketball, touching the ball after it reaches its apex is a violation, but in Mikan's time it was legal because people thought it was impossible anyone could reach that high. "We would set up a zone defense that had four men around the key and I guarded the basket", Mikan recalled his DePaul days. "When the other team took a shot, I'd just go up and tap it out." As a consequence, the NCAA and the NBA, outlawed goaltending. Bob Kurland, a seven-footer from Oklahoma A&M, was one of the few opposing centers to have any success against Mikan. Mikan was named the Helms NCAA College Player of the Year in 1944 and 1945 and was an All-American three times.
In 1945, he led DePaul to the NIT title. Mikan led the nation in scoring with 23.9 points per game in 1944–45 and 23.1 in 1945–46. When DePaul won the 1945 National Invitation Tournament, Mikan was named Most Valuable Player for scoring 120 points in three games, including 53 points in a 97–53 win over Rhode Island. After the end of the 1945–46 college season, Mikan signed with the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League, a predecessor of the modern NBA, he played with them for 25 games at the end of the 1946–47 NBL season, scoring 16.5 points per game as a rookie. Mikan led the Gears to the championship of the World Basketball Tournament, where he was elected Most Valuable Player after scoring 100 points in five games, voted into the All-NBL Team. However, before the start of the 1947–48 NBL season, Maurice White, the president of the American Gear Company and the owner of the American Gears NBL team, pulled the team out of the league. White planned to create a 24-team league called the Professional Basketball League of America, in which he owned all the teams and arenas.
However, the league folded after just a month, the players of White's teams were distribu
Andrew Michael "Handy Andy" Phillip was an American professional basketball player. Born in Granite City, Phillip had an 11-year career and played for the Chicago Stags of the Basketball Association of America and the Philadelphia Warriors, Fort Wayne Pistons and Boston Celtics, all of the National Basketball Association. Phillip led his high school in Granite City, Illinois, to the IHSA state championship in 1940 by defeating Herrin High School with a final score of 24-22 at Huff Gym on the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign campus, it would be that same gymnasium where he earned renown for his talents and for the Fighting Illini's success during war-interrupted, non-consecutive seasons in 1941–1943 and 1946–1947. Phillip was the untitled leader of "The Whiz Kids", a team that included Ken Menke, Gene Vance, Jack Smiley and team captain Art Mathisen. Arguably the most talented basketball team in the nation and his teammates would elect not to participate in either the NCAA or NIT tournament based on the Army's draft of Mathisen and Smiley.
The team was retroactively named the national champion by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll. Four of the five, minus Mathisen, returned to Illinois and tried to recapture the glory for one more season in 1946–47 after the war ended, but the chemistry had changed as well as their talent. Illinois went 14–6. While attending Illinois, Phillip was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. Phillip served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps in World War II at Iwo Jima. Phillip played in the first five NBA All-Star Games, was twice named to the All-NBA Second Team, he was the first player to record 500 assists in a season, led the NBA in assists during the 1950–51 and 1951–52 seasons. Phillip reached the postseason every year he was in the league, his teams made it to the NBA Finals during his final four seasons — twice with Fort Wayne and twice with Boston; the 1957 Boston team won the NBA Championship. Phillip was alleged by one of his Fort Wayne Pistons teammates, George Yardley, to have conspired with gamblers to throw the 1955 NBA Finals to the Syracuse Nationals.
In the decisive seventh game, Phillip turned the ball over with three seconds remaining in the game, enabling Syracuse to win by one point, 92-91. After retiring from playing basketball, he coached the St. Louis Hawks for 10 games in 1958, posting a 6-4 record before he was fired. Phillip coached the Chicago Majors of the American Basketball League. Phillip was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1961, he was elected to the Illini Men's Basketball All-Century Team in 2004. In 2007, Phillip was voted one of the "100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament", recognizing his superior performance in his appearance in the tournament. Phillip died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California on April 29, 2001, aged 79. Sports writer Dan Manoyan wrote a book about Phillip and his Granite City High School basketball teammates, titled Men of Granite, in 2007. A film based on the book, directed by Dwayne Johnson-Cochran, began production in 2015. 1942, 1943, 1947 - First-team All-Big Ten1942 & 1943 First Team All-American1943 - National Player of the Year1943 - Sporting News National Player of the Year1943 - Big Ten Player of the Year1961 - Inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame1973 - Inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association's Hall of Fame as a player.2004 - Elected to the "Illini Men's Basketball All-Century Team".2006 - Inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame2007 - Named one of the 100 Legends of the IHSA Boys Basketball Tournament.
September 13, 2008 - Honored as one of the thirty-three honored jerseys which hang in the State Farm Center to show regard for being the most decorated basketball players in the University of Illinois' history. 1947 - Baseball All-American 1942, 1943 - University of Illinois Athlete of the Year2017 - Inducted into the Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame Andy Phillip at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame BasketballReference.com: Andy Phillip BasketballReference.com: Andy Phillip Andy Phillip at Find a Grave
The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Pistons compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division and plays its home games at Little Caesars Arena; the team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons in 1941, a member of the National Basketball League where it won two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945. The Pistons joined the Basketball Association of America in 1948; the NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA in 1949, 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, a National Basketball League team, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Owner Fred Zollner's Zollner Corporation was a foundry that manufactured pistons for car and locomotive engines; the Zollner Pistons were NBL champions in 1944 and 1945.
They won the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1944, 1945 and 1946. In 1948, the team became the Fort Wayne Pistons. In 1949, Fred Zollner brokered the formation of the National Basketball Association from the BAA and the NBL at his kitchen table. 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 41–24 early in the second quarter before the Nationals rallied to win the game; the Nationals won on a free throw by George King with twelve seconds left in the game. The closing moments included a palming turnover by the Pistons' George Yardley with 18 seconds left, a foul by Frank Brian with 12 seconds left that enabled King's winning free throw, a turnover by the Pistons' Andy Phillip in the final seconds which cost them a chance to attempt the game winning shot.
Though the Pistons enjoyed a solid local following, Fort Wayne's small size made it difficult for them to be profitable as other early NBA teams based in smaller cities started folding or relocating to larger markets. After the 1956–57 season, Zollner decided that Fort Wayne was too small to support an NBA team and announced the team would be playing elsewhere in the coming season, he settled on Detroit. Although it was the fifth largest city in the United States at the time, Detroit had not seen professional basketball in a decade, they lost the Detroit Eagles due to World War II, both the Detroit Gems of the NBL and the Detroit Falcons of the BAA in 1947, the Detroit Vagabond Kings in 1949. Zollner decided to keep the Pistons name, believing it made sense given Detroit's status as the center of the automobile industry; the Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons moved to Cobo Arena. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Pistons were characterized by strong individuals and weak teams.
Some of the superstars who played for the team included Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Bob Lanier. At one point, DeBusschere was the youngest player-coach in the history of the NBA. A trade during the 1968–69 season sent DeBusschere to the New York Knicks for Howard Komives and Walt Bellamy, both of whom were in the stages of their careers. DeBusschere became a key player in leading the Knicks to two NBA titles. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to glass magnate Bill Davidson, who remained the team's principal owner until his death in 2009. While the Pistons did qualify for the postseason in four straight seasons from 1974 to 1977, they never had any real sustained success. In 1978, Davidson became displeased with Cobo Arena, but opted not to follow the Red Wings to the under-construction Joe Louis Arena. Instead, he moved the team to the suburb of Pontiac, where they played in the 82,000 capacity Silverdome, a structure built for professional football; the Pistons stumbled their way out of the 1970s and into the 1980s, beginning with a 16–66 record in 1979–80 and following up with a 21–61 record in 1980–81.
The 1979–80 team lost its last 14 games of the season which, when coupled with the seven losses at the start of the 1980–81 season, comprised a then-NBA record losing streak of 21 games. The franchise's fortunes began to turn in 1981, when they drafted point guard Isiah Thomas from Indiana University. In November 1981, the Pistons acquired Vinnie Johnson in a trade with the Seattle SuperSonics, they would acquire center Bill Laimbeer in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in February 1982. Another key move by the Pistons was the hiring of head coach Chuck Daly in 1983; the Pistons had a tough time moving up the NBA ladder. In 1984, the Pistons lost a tough five-game series to the underdog New York Knicks, 3–2. In the 1985 playoffs, Detroit won its first-round series and faced the defending champion Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals. Though Boston would prevail in six games, Detroit's surprise performance promised that a rivalry had begun. In the 1985 NBA draft, the team selected Joe Dumars 18th overall, a selection that would prove to be wise.
They acquired Rick Mahorn in a trade with the Washington Bullets. However, the team took a step backwards, losing in the first round of the 1986 playoffs to the more athletic Atlanta Hawks. After the series, changes were made in order to make the team more defensive-minded. Prior to the 1986–87 season, the Pistons acquired more key players: John Salley (
Adolph Schayes was an American professional basketball player and coach in the National Basketball Association. A top scorer and rebounder, he was a 12-time All-NBA selection. Schayes won an NBA championship with the Syracuse Nationals in 1955, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Schayes played his entire career with the Nationals and their successor, the Philadelphia 76ers, from 1948 to 1964. In his 16-year career, he led his team into the playoffs 15 times. After the Nationals moved to Philadelphia, Schayes became player-coach of the newly-minted 76ers, he retired after the 1963-64 season and stayed on as coach for two more seasons, earning NBA Coach of the Year honors in 1966. He coached with the Buffalo Braves. Schayes was born in the Bronx, New York, the son of Tina, a homemaker, Carl Schayes, a truck driver for Consolidated Laundries, his parents were Romanian-Jewish immigrants. He grew up near Jerome Avenue in University Heights, Bronx.
He attended Creston Junior High School 79 and DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, New York, where he played for the basketball team and led it to a borough championship. He played his college basketball at New York University in 1944–48. In 1945, as a 16-year-old freshman, Schayes helped NYU reach the NCAA final. Schayes earned an aeronautical engineering degree, was an All-American in basketball and won the Haggerty Award in his final year, his NYU coach, Howard Cann, said of him: "He was in the gym practicing every spare minute. We had to chase him out." Schayes was drafted by both the New York Knicks in the 1948 BAA draft, by the Tri-Cities Blackhawks in the NBL draft. The Blackhawks traded his rights to the Syracuse Nationals, who offered him a contract worth $7,500, 50% more than the Knicks, influencing his decision to go to Syracuse. Schayes was named the league's Rookie of the Year; the following season, the Nationals moved to the newly formed National Basketball Association as part of the merger between the BAA and NBL.
Although tall for his era at 6' 7", Schayes was known for his deadly, high-arcing, outside set-shot. It arced so high that his teammates referred to it as "Sputnik". Defenders who attempted to deny him the outside shot were confronted by his powerful drive to the basket; these two offensive weapons served him well as the NBA was transitioning into a league of jump-shooters. Early in Schayes' career, he broke his right arm and played an entire season in a cast. Oddly, this injury became a seminal point in his development: he learned to shoot with his off-hand, making him difficult to guard, he was one of the best—and the last—to use a two-handed set-shot with feet planted on the floor, before the game changed to one-handed jump shots. In the 1949–50 season, he was 6th in the league in assists, with 259, he led the NBA in rebounding in 1950 -- 51, with a 16.4-per-game average. He was third in the league in rebounding in 1952–53, with 920. In 1953–54, his 12.3 rebounds per game were fourth-best in the NBA.
In 1954–55, he led his team to the NBA championship. In 1956–57, he led the league in minutes-per-game and free throws, while grabbing 1,008 rebounds and averaging 22.6 points per game. In 1957, he set an NBA consecutive free throw record in a single game with 18. In 1957–58 he again led the league in minutes-per-game, averaged a career-high 24.9 points per game, second in the league, while averaging 14.2 rebounds per game. Schayes led the NBA in free throw percentage three times: in 1958, 1960 and 1962. In 1959, he scored a career-high 50 points in a game against the Celtics. In the NBA, he didn't miss a single game from February 17, 1952 to December 26, 1961, an NBA-record streak of 706 games. In 1960–61, he again led the league in free throws. In 1961, he became the first player in NBA history to amass 30,000 career total PRA, he was the first person in the NBA to surpass 15,000 points. A 12-time NBA All-Star, Schayes was a six-time All-NBA First Team honoree, was selected to the All-NBA Second Team six times.
He came in second in MVP voting in 1958, 5th in both 1956 and 1957. When he retired in 1964, he held the NBA records for games played, foul shots made, personal fouls and was second to Bob Pettit in scoring and third in rebounds. In 1970, he was elected to the NBA 25th Anniversary Team as one of the top 12 retired players. In 1972, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the US National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the National Jewish American Sports Hall of Fame. In 1996, he was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History; the 76ers retired his jersey on March 12, 2016 while the Syracuse Crunch retired it on March 26, 2016. When the Nationals moved to Philadelphia in 1963, Schayes was named player-coach of the Philadelphia 76ers, he stayed on as coach for three more seasons. He was named NBA Coach of the Year in 1966. From 1966 to 1970, he was the supervisor of NBA referees, he was named the first coach of the Buffalo Braves in 1970, but was fired one game into his second season.
Schayes coached the US Maccabiah Games basketball team to an upset win to take the gold medal in the 1977 Mac
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division; the Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics; the franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League. The new team began calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. A member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player Wilt Chamberlain, won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s; the 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their fast break-offense led by Magic Johnson. The team won five championships in a nine-year span, contained Hall of Famers Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, was led by Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson retired, the team struggled in the early 1990s, before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. With the duo, who were led by another Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the team won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat".
The Lakers won two more championships in 2009 and 2010, but failed to regain their former glory in the following decade. The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. 21 Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles. Four Lakers—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O'Neal, Bryant—have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards; the Lakers' franchise began in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen of Minnesota purchased the disbanded Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League for $15,000 from Gems owner Maury Winston. Minneapolis sportswriter Sid Hartman played a key behind the scenes role in helping put together the deal and the team. Inspired by Minnesota's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the team christened themselves the Lakers. Hartman helped them hire John Kundla from College of St. Thomas, to be their first head coach, by meeting with him and selling him on the team; the Lakers had a solid roster, which featured forward Jim Pollard, playmaker Herm Schaefer, center George Mikan, who became the most dominant player in the NBL.
In their first season, they led the league with a 43–17 record winning the NBL Championship that season. In 1948, the Lakers moved from the NBL to the Basketball Association of America, Mikan's 28.3 point per game scoring average set a BAA record. In the 1949 BAA Finals they won the championship; the following season, the team improved to 51–17, repeating as champions. In the 1950–51 season, Mikan won his third straight scoring title at 28.4 ppg and the Lakers went 44–24 to win their second straight division title. One of those games, a 19–18 loss against the Fort Wayne Pistons, became infamous as the lowest scoring game in NBA history. In the playoffs, they defeated the Indianapolis Olympians in three games but lost to the Rochester Royals in the next round. During the 1951 -- 52 season, the Lakers won 40 games, they faced the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. In the 1952–53 season, Mikan led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 14.4 rebounds per game, was named MVP of the 1953 NBA All-Star Game.
After a 48–22 regular season, the Lakers defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in the Western playoffs to advance to the NBA Finals. They defeated the New York Knicks to win their second straight championship. Though Lakers star George Mikan suffered from knee problems throughout the 1953–54 season, he was still able to average 18 ppg. Clyde Lovellette, drafted in 1952, helped the team win the Western Division; the team won its third straight championship in the 1950s and fifth in six seasons when it defeated the Syracuse Nationals in seven games. Following Mikan's retirement in the 1954 off-season, the Lakers struggled but still managed to win 40 games. Although they defeated the Rochester Royals in the first round of the playoffs, they were defeated by the Fort Wayne Pistons in the semifinals. Although they had losing records the next two seasons, they made the playoffs each year. Mikan came back for the last half of the 1955–56 season, but struggled and retired for good after the season. Led by Lovellette's 20.6 points and 13.5 rebounds, they advanced to the Conference Finals in 1956–57.
The Lakers had one of the worst seasons in team history in 1957–58 when they won a league-low 19 games. They had hired Mikan, the team's general manager for the previous two seasons, as head coach to replace Kundla. Mikan was fired in January when
Harry Junior "The Horse" Gallatin was an American professional basketball player and coach. Gallatin played nine seasons for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association from 1948 to 1957, as well as one season with the Detroit Pistons in the 1957–58 season. Gallatin led the NBA in rebounding and was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1954; the following year, he was named to the All-NBA Second Team. For his career, Gallatin played in seven NBA All-Star Games. A member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he is a member of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, the SIU Edwardsville Athletics Hall of Fame, the Truman State University Athletics Hall of Fame, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, two Illinois Basketball Halls of Fame, the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association Hall of Fame, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame, the SIU Salukis Hall of Fame. Growing up in Roxana, Gallatin had taken interest in all sports and has been quoted as saying, "Competition has always been my cup of tea."
His drive for competition was amplified during his first year in high school as he attended Wood River High School from 1940–41. Since Roxana and some other outlying communities like Bethalto had no high school of their own at the time, all the athletes in the area attended Wood River, thus increasing the level of competition among them for varsity positions; the following year, Roxana got its own high school. He graduated from Roxana High School in 1944, was granted a basketball scholarship by Northeast Missouri State Teachers' College, but after graduating from Roxana High School, he enlisted in the United States Navy and served until the end of World War II. At Northeast Missouri, he averaged 12.9 points per game and lead his team to a 59–4 record and two appearances in the NAIA tournament. He earned his bachelor's degree from Northeast Missouri in only two years and would receive his master's degree in physical education from the University of Iowa in 1954; the New York Knicks selected Gallatin in the 1948 BAA draft.
"It was a dream come true. I didn't know what to expect. Here I am a boy from Wood River, a country boy, going to the Big Apple", Gallatin explained. "All I knew was that I loved to play basketball, the Knicks had taken me with their number one choice. So I knew that they thought I had the kind of abilities they were looking for."In his third year in the NBA, Gallatin was selected for the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951, from 1951 to 1957 was chosen for seven consecutive NBA All-Star games. It was in the NBA where he earned the nickname "The Horse", he played his entire career as an undersized center at 6'6" and 215 lbs. but made up for it with tremendous physical strength. He played nine seasons for the New York Knicks, from 1948 to 1957, his best statistical year was in 1954, when he led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 15.3 rebounds per game. That same year, he was named to the All-NBA First Team, his most dominating single-game performance was on the last regular season game of the 1952–53 season.
That night, against the Fort Wayne Pistons, Gallatin pulled down 33 rebounds, a Knicks record which still stands today. In the six seasons he played when rebounds were recorded, he was among the leaders in the league in rebounds per game. For his career, he averaged 11.9 rebounds per game. Gallatin still holds the Knick team record of consecutive games played, with 610. After nine strong years with the Knicks, Gallatin was traded to the Detroit Pistons with Richard Atha and Nathaniel Clifton for Mel Hutchins and Charlie Tyra on April 3, 1957, he played only one season for the Pistons before retiring as one of the most dominating post players of his era. In addition to basketball, Gallatin played baseball, he played two seasons of varsity baseball at Northeast Missouri. During the off-seasons between his first three seasons in the NBA, he played for the Class B Decatur, Illinois Cubs/Commodores of the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League, an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in 1949 and the Cincinnati Reds in 1950.
He appeared in 46 games in those two seasons, losing 9 and batting.227 in 75 at-bats. After the 1950 baseball season, however, he made basketball his only professional sport. After his retirement from playing in 1958, Gallatin became the head coach of the Southern Illinois University Salukis. In four seasons there, he led his teams to a 69–35 record and post-season tournament appearances every year; the 1961–62 team made it to the NCAA Small College Tournament semifinals before losing to eventual champion Mount St. Mary's College 58–57 took third place by beating Nebraska Wesleyan University 98–81, he returned to the NBA in 1962 as coach of the St. Louis Hawks. In his first season, he was named NBA Coach of the Year; the 1963–64 season saw the Hawks again advance to the division finals, but halfway through 1964–65 he returned to New York to coach the Knicks while Richie Guerin replaced him as coach of the Hawks. The Knicks were developing into a championship team, but the pieces were not yet all in place and Gallatin left the Knicks and the NBA midway through the 1965–66 season.
He became Assistant Dean of Students at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1966 the first athletic director and basketball coach in 1967. He remained at SIUE until his retirement in 1992, where he taught in the physical education department and was the SIUE Cougars's men's golf coach for 24 years, leading that team to NCAA Division II championships 19 times and finishing in the top 10 six times. After his retirement fr