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
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
Chuck Cooper (basketball)
Charles Henry Chuck Cooper was an American professional basketball player. He and two others, Nat Sweetwater Clifton and Earl Lloyd, became the first African-American players in the NBA in 1950. Cooper was the first African American to be drafted by a National Basketball Association team, Cooper was born and died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Daniel and Emma Cooper, Daniel was a mailman and he attended Pittsburghs Westinghouse High School and graduated in 1944. For his senior year, he averaged more than 13 points per game and he attended and played a semester basketball for West Virginia State College before being drafted to serve in the United States Navy in the final stages of World War II. Following his service, he enrolled at Duquesne University where he was an All-American, starting all four years, during his time Duquesne University had a 78–19 record, and was invited to the prestigious National Invitation Tournament twice. He was a captain for the 1949–50 team, which was the first team from that university to be nationally ranked all season, finishing with a 23-6 record and he was the first African American to participate in a college basketball game south of the Mason–Dixon line.
Coming out of college in 1950, he signed onto the Harlem Globetrotters, on April 25,1950, he became the first African American drafted into the NBA when the Boston Celtics chose him with the 14th overall pick. Cooper was drafted by Celtics owner Walter A. Brown and played for coach Red Auerbach and he made his NBA debut on November 1,1950, against the Fort Wayne Pistons. He played four years with the Celtics, was traded to the Milwaukee Hawks before ending his career as a member of the Ft. Wayne Pistons, after that he spent a year playing for the Harlem Magicians before injuring his back in a car crash and leaving basketball. As some statistics were not kept during that time, it is not known how many blocked shots, after his NBA career, Cooper graduated with a Masters in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. He was married twice, first in 1951, and in 1957 to Irva Lee, with whom he had four children. He worked to improve his hometown of Pittsburgh, serving on the Pittsburgh school board and he helped the Pittsburghs National Banks affirmative action program as an urban affairs officer until he died at the age of 57 on February 5,1984, of liver cancer at Forbes Hospice
George Harry Yardley III was an American basketball player. He was the first player in NBA history to score 2,000 points in one season, breaking the 1, Yardley was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996. The nickname was shortened to Bird. After his three-year career at Stanford, Yardley played one year of AAU basketball, during his navy stint, Yardleys amateur team won the national A. A. U. championship in 1951, with Yardley being selected the national amateur player-of-the-year. He was drafted by the NBA Fort Wayne Pistons in 1950, at 65, Yardley was a good-sized forward in 1950s basketball and was described as an offensive-minded player with a knack for scoring in his Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame biography. Described as a flamboyant and gregarious player who never did anything without flair, Yardley had a stellar 7-year career and he led the Fort Wayne Pistons to two NBA Finals before the team moved to Detroit in 1957. That year, Yardley set NBA records for most free throws attempted and most free throws made, following a sixth All-Star season in 1959–1960, in which he averaged 20.2 points per game, George Yardley retired from basketball at the age of 31.
He was the first player in NBA history to retire after averaging at least 20 PPG in his final year. Although Alex Groza had a 21.7 PPG average in his final NBA season in 1951, his career ended as a result of a lifelong ban and he made a brief comeback in the short-lived American Basketball League with the Los Angeles Jets in 1961–62. Making use of his degree from Stanford, Yardley started his own engineering company in California following his retirement from the NBA. In 1996, Yardley was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player, in a touching tribute to Yardley, Pete Newell said George Yardley embodies what the Hall of Fame is all about. A marvelous athlete who made use of his natural talents, a demeanor on the court a coach admires. Yardley died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrigs disease, George Yardley Company, industrial supply retailer Stanford University Hall-of-Fame Naismith Memorial Basketball HOF
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
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
Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award
The Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1969 NBA Finals. The award is decided by a panel of nine media members, the person with the highest votes wins the award. In at least one NBA Finals, fans balloting on NBA. com accounted for the tenth vote, the award was originally a black trophy with a gold basketball-shaped sphere at the top, similar to the Larry OBrien Trophy, until a new trophy was introduced in 2005. Since its inception, the award has given to 30 different players. Michael Jordan is a record six-time award winner, magic Johnson, Shaquille ONeal, Tim Duncan and LeBron James won the award three times in their careers. Jordan and ONeal are the players to win the award in three consecutive seasons. Johnson is the only ever to win the award, as well as the youngest at 20 years old. Andre Iguodala is the winner to have not started every game in the series. Jerry West, the first ever awardee, is the person to win the award while being on the losing team in the NBA Finals.
Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Olajuwon and James have won the award in two consecutive seasons. Abdul-Jabbar and James are the players to win the award for two different teams. Olajuwon of Nigeria, who became a naturalized U. S. citizen in 1993, Tony Parker of France, cedric Maxwell is the only Finals MVP winner eligible for the Hall of Fame who has not been voted in. NBA Most Valuable Player Award NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award General Specific
Lindsey Nelson was an American sportscaster best known for his long career calling play-by-play of college football and New York Mets baseball. Nelson spent 17 years with the Mets and three years with the San Francisco Giants, for 33 years Nelson covered college football, including 26 Cotton Bowls, five Sugar Bowls, four Rose Bowls, and 14 years announcing syndicated Notre Dame games. He is in 13 separate Halls of Fame, fans remember a talented broadcaster, an expert storyteller, and a true sports enthusiast. From his colorful jackets to his equally colorful broadcasts, Nelson established himself as one of the industrys leading sportscasters, Nelson was born on May 25,1919, in Pulaski, the third child of Jon and Asie Nelson. He graduated from Columbia Central High School in Columbia and he graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1941, taught English, and served in the U. S. Army, where he was a captain in North Africa and Europe during World War II. He served as a war correspondent and public relations specialist and he called many Army–Navy Games for CBS, including the 1963 contest in which instant replay was first introduced.
Nelson began his national baseball broadcast career as one of Gordon McLendons radio announcers for the Liberty Broadcasting System, after a stretch as an administrator with NBC Sports, he began doing the networks baseball broadcasts in 1957. He broadcast college football, NBA and college basketball, and professional golf, in 1962, he was hired as the lead broadcaster by the expansion New York Mets, and for the next 17 seasons did both radio and television with Ralph Kiner and Bob Murphy. All three were eventually honored with the Ford C, Frick Award, presented annually to an announcer for major contributions to baseball during a ceremony at the Baseball Hall of Fame. While with the Mets, Nelson made the first radio broadcast of a game from directly above the field. You couldnt tell a line drive from a pop fly, the Mets lost, 12-9, and Nelson declined to repeat the stunt. In 1979 Nelson moved on to the San Francisco Giants, for whom he worked three seasons and he worked with CBS Radio broadcasts of Major League Baseball in 1985.
He is remembered for being the announcer during the first NFL game on CBS to use instant replay, Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988, the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990, and many more. He was awarded an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1991, the Tennessee Volunteers baseball teams home field was named Lindsey Nelson Stadium after him. Television broadcasts featuring Nelson were notable for his multi-colored plaid sports jackets and he reportedly owned 335 of them at one time. During a broadcast, his jackets often clashed with the set, but he figured that if fans could see rather than just hear broadcasts, he might as well give them something interesting to talk about. He wrote a memoir entitled Hello Everybody, Im Lindsey Nelson. Nelson died of Parkinsons disease at age 76 on June 10,1995, in Atlanta and he is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery in Columbia