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
Christopher Eugene Chris Schenkel was an American sportscaster. Over the course of five decades he called play-by-play for numerous sports on television and radio, becoming known for his smooth delivery, Schenkel was born on August 21,1923 to second-generation immigrant parents on their farm in Bippus, Indiana. He was one of six children and he began his broadcasting career at radio station WBAA while studying for a premedical degree at Purdue University where he was a member of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. He served in the military during World War II and the Korean War and he worked in radio for a time at WLBC in Muncie, Indiana. And moved to television, in Providence, Rhode Island, for six years he did local radio and called the Thoroughbred horse races at Narragansett Park. In 1952, Schenkel was hired by the DuMont Television Network, for which he broadcast New York Giants football and hosted DuMonts Boxing From Eastern Parkway and Boxing From St. Nicholas Arena. In 1956, he moved to CBS Sports, where he continued to call Giants games, along with boxing, Triple Crown horse racing and The Masters golf tournament, along with Chuck Thompson, Schenkel called the 1958 NFL Championship Game for NBC.
He was the talent for the first NFL Films production ever made. He became widely known for covering professional bowling, mainly for the Professional Bowlers Association and he covered bowling from the early 1960s until 1997, as it became one of ABCs signature sports for Saturday afternoons. From the late 1960s to the early 1980s, Pro Bowlers Tour typically outdrew college football, many viewers considered it a weekly tradition to watch bowling on Saturday afternoons, which was a lead-in to ABCs Wide World of Sports. During his 36 years on The Professional Bowlers Tour, there were occasions when ABC sent Schenkel away to other assignments. Strangely, he was away on assignment for the first three of the PBAs televised 300 games and he would eventually call a televised 300 game on January 31,1987 when Houstonian Pete McCordic bowled one in the first match of the Greater Los Angeles Open. Schenkel told McCordic it was a moment for him, since he was away all the other times. Schenkel would be in the ABC booth for five more televised 300 games, Schenkel had attended named Georgia Teachers College while in the service near Statesboro during WW II.
There are a few books in the Schools library today with Schenkels signed name listed as the one checking out the library book. The Schenkel Tournament ended after the 1989 event when it was discovered that the club hosting the tournament was all-white. This college event is regarded as one of golfs premier intercollegiate events in the East, Chris Schenkel did play-by-play for the legendary 1969 Texas vs. Arkansas football game, known as the Game of the Century, culminating the first 100 years of College Football in 1969. The game, known as the Big Shootout, garnered a share of 52.1, years later, Schenkel said it was the most exciting, most important college football game I ever televised
William Walton Bill Sharman was an American professional basketball player and coach. He is mostly known for his time with the Boston Celtics in the 1950s, as a coach, Sharman won titles in the ABL, ABA, and NBA, and is credited with introducing the now ubiquitous morning shootaround. He was the first North American sports figure to win a championship as a player, coach and he was a 10-time NBA champion, and a 12-time World Champion in basketball overall counting his ABL and ABA titles. Sharman is a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, having been being inducted in 1976 as a player, only John Wooden, Lenny Wilkens and Tommy Heinsohn share this double honor. Sharman completed high school in the Central California city of Porterville and he served during World War II from 1944 to 1946 in the US Navy, and was a graduate of the University of Southern California. He played 1st base on the 1948 USC Trojans College World Series championship team, following his senior year, Sharman was selected as one of the 1950 NCAA Mens Basketball All-Americans.
From 1950 to 1955 Sharman played professional baseball in the Brooklyn Dodgers minor league system and he was called up to the Dodgers late in the 1951 season but did not appear in a game. He was part of a September 27 game in which the entire Brooklyn bench was cleared from the dugout for arguing with the plate umpire over a ruling at the plate. This has led to the legend that Sharman holds the distinction of being the player in baseball history to have ever been ejected from a major league game without ever appearing in one. However, although Sharman was among the Dodger bench players that had to go to the clubhouse, in fact, in the top of the ninth, one of the other dismissed players, Wayne Terwilliger, was used as a pinch-hitter in the game. Sharman was drafted by the Washington Capitols in the 2nd round of the 1950 NBA draft, Sharman played a total of ten seasons for the Celtics, leading the team in scoring between the 1955–56 and 1958–59 seasons and averaging over 20 points per game during three of them.
Sharman was one of the first NBA guards to better than.400 from the field. He led the NBA in free throw percentage a record seven times, Sharman still holds the record for consecutive free throws in the playoffs with 56. Sharman was named to the All-NBA First Team from 1956 through 1959, and was an All-NBA Second Team member in 1953,1955, Sharman played in eight NBA All-Star games, scoring in double figures in seven of them. He was named the 1955 NBA All-Star Game MVP after scoring ten of his fifteen points in the fourth quarter, Sharman still holds the NBA All-Star Game record for field goals attempted in a quarter with 12. Sharman ended his NBA playing career after 11 seasons in 1961, Sharman coached the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League to the league championship in 1962. He next went on to coach Los Angeles State for two seasons, in 1970–71 he coached the Utah Stars to an ABA title and was a co-recipient of the ABA Coach of the Year honors. After resigning as coach for the Utah Stars, Sharman signed a contract to coach the Los Angeles Lakers, Sharman was originally ordered to pay $250,000 in damages, but appealed the trial court decision and reversed the judgement
Richard F. Richie Powers was a professional basketball referee in the NBA from 1956 to 1979. Following his career in the NBA, Powers was a sportscaster for WABC-TV, Powers attended St. Johns University and played baseball under Frank McGuire. Before joining the NBA, Powers worked as a minor league baseball umpire, Powers officiated the triple-overtime Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals, which was notable for controversial moments involving Powers. With the score tied at 95 with three remaining in the fourth quarter, Boston stole a Suns inbound pass and the Celtics Paul Silas attempted to call a time-out by giving the T sign to Powers. Boston had no timeouts remaining, which if recognized, would have resulted in a technical foul, Powers did not acknowledge Silass request for the time-out as time expired. Mendy Rudolph and Rick Barry, color commentators for the CBS Sports telecast, were quick to note that Silas was signaling for a timeout, Boston went on to win the game in the third overtime period.
According to the Suns organization, Powers told a Phoenix golf professional that he didnt want to see the championship decided on a technicality. Angered over the incident, Al Bianchi, then-assistant coach of the Suns, ordered a ring in which the words Fuck You, the game clock expired as Havlicek made the field goal and fans at the Boston Garden stormed onto the court assuming the game was over. Powers strength among the referees was diminished considerably when he was one of two referees who did not strike during the 1977 playoffs, one sportswriter in the arena reported this to the league which resulted in Powers being suspended for three weeks and fined $2,500. This resulted in Powers being fined and suspended again, Powers retired from the NBA after the 1978–79 season. After leaving the NBA, he became sportscaster on WABC-TV in New York, after his contract expired, he became Director of Operations for the U. S. He left this position, presumably after the NBA signed most of the newly formed minor leagues talent, after selling cable television subscriptions and cars, he returned to his former position with the USBL in 1990.
Richie Powers was a member of Westchester Country Club in Rye. He died of a stroke in 1998 in Allentown, Pennsylvania at the age of 67, an uninhibited account of a referees life in the NBA. A Long Way Down Referee Magazine, July 1991
Norm Drucker was a major influence in professional basketball officiating for over 35 years. Drucker was born in New York City, New York and he was hired as a referee by the National Basketball Association in 1953. By the early 60s he was regularly officiating two to four games in the NBA Finals each season and their contracts were the first multi-year officiating contracts in pro basketball history. Such was Druckers stature and reputation, that his salary, as a referee and Supervisor of Officials. It made him, at time, the highest paid referee in the history of basketball. Within a year, all other pro basketball officials benefited, as their salaries more than doubled, as a result, officiating professional basketball evolved from a part-time second job, to a full-time career, with greatly improved working conditions and pension plans. In the ABA, Drucker officiated and served as the leagues Supervisor of Officials, with the ABA-NBA merger in 1976, Drucker was one of only a handful of ABA referees hired by the NBA to return.
When he retired after the 1976-77 NBA season to become the NBAs Supervisor of Officials and it remains the record for longest tenure for a pro referee among those whose entire career was during the era of only two referees per game. During that span he officiated 6 All-Star Games, a higher total than any official in pro basketball history other than Mendy Rudolph. When he retired, his total of 38 NBA and ABA championship round games officiated was the second highest in pro basketball history. In his 24-year officiating career, Drucker was well known for his even-handed officiating for visiting teams in an era when many officials were criticized as homers - favoring the home team. For 14 seasons, from 1963 through 1977, Drucker along with Mendy Rudolph, of the nearly 400 referees who have officiated in the NBA and ABA, only two others Mendy Rudolph and Joe Crawford have officiated in more deciding games. In the late 1950s and early 1960s he was involved in what the press called a heated feud with legendary Boston Celtic coach Red Auerbach and his second ejection of Auerbach in a one-month period led to the coachs 3-game suspension by NBA president Maurice Podoloff on November 13,1961.
Druckers career gave him a view of key moments of the NBAs first 35 seasons. He was the last active NBA referee to have officiated in 1953-54—the last season before the NBA introduced the 24-second clock. That same season, he was selected to officiate the only game in NBA history that experimented with rims 12 feet, rather than 10 feet. He officiated the games when Bob Pettit scored his 15, 000th career point and Wilt Chamberlain scored his 25, Drucker is the link to referees whose careers span the entire history of the NBA. At the end of his career, Drucker demonstrated a commitment to improving the salary, benefits
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
Marvin Mendy Rudolph was an American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association for 22 years, from 1953 to 1975. Regarded as one of the greatest officials in NBA history, Rudolph officiated 2,112 NBA games and was the first league referee to work 2,000 games and he was selected to referee eight NBA All-Star Games and made 22 consecutive NBA Finals appearances. He was a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2007, born in Philadelphia, Rudolph was raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. His father, Harry Rudolph, was a prominent basketball referee, Mendy Rudolph played basketball as a child and eventually chose the same profession as his father. Upon graduating from James M. Coughlin High School, he began officiating basketball games at the Wilkes-Barre Jewish Community Center and worked scholastic games. At age 20, he was recruited to referee games alongside his father, at the same time, he served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.
Rudolph was married twice during his life and his first marriage was to his childhood sweetheart and together they raised three children. But the relationship became troubled and eventually ended, in 1961, Mendy Rudolph met Susan, a receptionist at the WGN office in New York City, while both worked for the station. At the time, Rudolph worked at WGN as a job outside of officiating. Mendy and Susan Rudolph were married in 1973, two years later, their first child, Jennifer Rudolph, was born. Throughout his life, Rudolph suffered from a problem and was labeled a compulsive gambler. He would often spend his leisure time placing bets at race tracks and Las Vegas, Nevada, at that time, NBA referees were allowed to gamble, but this practice has since been prohibited. As he incurred gambling losses, Rudolph was once offered by a Las Vegas gambler to erase his debt by participating in point shaving. However, he refused to accept the offer and said to his wife, I love the game too much, respect it too much.
I couldnt do it to the memory of my father, and I couldnt do it to myself, If I have to go into bankruptcy, something Id hate to do, Id do it, according to in a 1992 New York Times interview with Susan Rudolph. Rudolph had cashed in his $60,000 pension fund to pay debts, while he refused to seek professional help, Rudolph cut back on his gambling habit in his life. Rudolph was hired by the NBA in February 1953, midway through the 1952–53 NBA season, in his early years with the NBA, Rudolph quickly became an established official as he worked playoff games within his first two years in the league. Rudolph officiated the 1955 NBA Finals between the Syracuse Nationals and Fort Wayne Pistons, which was notable for its actions by fans, fights between players, and attacks on referees
Earl Yogi Strom was an American professional basketball referee for 29 years in the National Basketball Association and for three years in the American Basketball Association. Strom is credited as one of the greatest referees in the history of the NBA and was known for his flamboyant style, nicknamed The Pied Piper, the assertive Strom made foul calls with his whistle by using a tweet-pause-tweet-tweet tune and pointing at the offending player. In addition to calling fouls with flair, he was known for ejecting players from games with style, over the course of his career, he officiated 2,400 professional basketball regular season games,295 playoff games,7 All-Star games, and 29 NBA and ABA Finals. For his extensive contributions to the game, Strom was posthumously elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995, Strom was born December 15,1927 in Pottstown, Pennsylvania to Max and Bessie Strom. Earls father, was a foreman at a bakery, as a child, he became interested in athletics and competing in sports, and this interest lasted throughout his childhood and into high school.
At Pottstown High School, Strom played football, after finishing high school in 1945, he joined the United States Coast Guard towards the end of World War II. Returning from service, Strom attended Pierce Junior College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1951, following school, the young Strom continued participating in sports and played for a local semi-professional basketball team in his early 20s. Following the advice of the referee, Strom decided to get into officiating and he officiated high school games for nine years as well as college games in the East Coast Athletic Conference for three years. In 1952, he married Yvonne Trollinger, and the couple went on to have five children, outside of officiating, Strom worked at General Electric in customer relations starting in 1956 and continued in this role through his first stint in the NBA. He felt this day job provided security to his family since officiating in the NBA did not at the time, Strom became an NBA referee with the start of the 1957–58 NBA season after accepting an invitation to join the league from Jocko Collins, supervisor of officials.
He further developed his skills in the league by learning from other such as Mendy Rudolph, Norm Drucker. Strom ascended to the top of the ladder by the end of his third season in the league as he was assigned playoff games. The following year and Rudolph made NBA history when they officiated the 1961 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks. This was the time in NBA history that the same two officials worked an entire series, which was the result of the two teams not agreeing on any other officials to use in the series. Six years into his NBA career, Strom had worked every playoff game in the semi-finals and finals along with Rudolph, in fact, the former was assigned to any seventh and deciding game in a series during this time. He was involved in one of the most memorable moments in NBA history during the 1965 Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, in the seventh and final game, the 76ers trailed the Celtics 110–109 with five seconds left.
The 76ers had possession of the ball and attempted to inbound the pass as the Celtics John Havlicek tipped the pass thrown by Hal Greer, Celtics radio announcer Johnny Most made his most fabled call, Havlicek stole the ball. And all this while, Strom had officiated the game in a cast as he had broken his hand punching a fan during an altercation at a game the previous night
In basketball, an official is a person who has the responsibility to enforce the rules and maintain the order of the game. The title of official applies to the scorers and timekeepers, officials are usually referred to as referees, generally there is one lead referee and one or two umpires, depending on whether there is a two- or three-person crew. In the NBA, the official is called the crew chief. In FIBA-sanctioned play, two-man crews consist of a referee and an umpire, both classes of officials have equal rights to control almost all aspects of the game. In most cases, the lead official performs the jump ball to begin the contest, though NFHS, in American high school and college basketball, the officials generally wear black and white striped shirts with black side panels, black pants and black shoes. Some state high school association allow officials to wear shirts with black pin strips instead of the black. NBA officials wear shirts with black slacks and black shoes. The NBA shirt is grey with black colored shoulders and sleeves, the WNBA referee shirt is similar to the NBA referee shirt, except that its shoulder and sleeve colors are orange and the WNBA logo takes the place of the NBA logo.
FIBA officials wear a grey and black official referee shirt, black trousers, black socks, officials in competitions organized by Euroleague Basketball —the Euroleague and Eurocup—wear an orange referee shirt. Officials in the Israel Basketball Association generally wear the Euroleagues orange uniform shirt, most officials slacks are currently belt-less, while most officials shirts are collar-less, V-neck shirts. All officials wear a whistle that is used to play as a result of a foul or a violation on the court. In all instances of officiating, hand signals are used to indicate the nature of the infraction or to administer the game, in higher levels of college and professional ball, all officials wear a timing device on the belt-line called PTS. The device is used by on court officials to start and stop the clock in a timely manner, rather than waiting for the scoreboard operator to do so. The officials must ensure that the game runs smoothly, and this encompasses a variety of different responsibilities, from calling the game to player and spectator management.
They carry a duty of care to the players they officiate and to ensure that the court and all equipment used is in a safe and usable condition. Should there be an issue that inhibits the safe playing of the game, quite often, the job of an official surpasses that of the game at hand, as they must overcome unforeseen situations that may or may not have an influence on the game. There are two methods for officiating a basketball game, either two-person or three-person mechanics depending on how many officials are available to work the game. In two-person mechanics, each official works either the lead or the trail position, the lead position is normally along the baseline of the court, with the trail position having its starting point at the free throw line extended on the left side of the court facing the basket
Nathaniel Nate Thurmond was an American basketball player who spent the majority of his 14-year career in the National Basketball Association with the Golden State Warriors. He played the center and power forward positions, Thurmond was a seven-time All-Star and the first player in NBA history to record an official quadruple-double. In 1965, he grabbed 42 rebounds in a game, only Wilt Chamberlain, Thurmond was named both a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Known to fans as Nate the Great, Thurmond has had his No.42 jersey retired by both the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Thurmond starred at Akrons Central High School, where he played alongside fellow future NBA star Gus Johnson. Passing up an offer from Ohio State to avoid becoming a backup to Jerry Lucas. Thurmond led the Mid-American Conference in rebounds during all three of his varsity seasons, and was named a first-team All-American by The Sporting News in 1963.
In Thurmonds last two years with Bowling Green, he helped lead the team into the NCAA Tournament and he set a record with 31 rebounds in his final college game. Thurmond was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors in the 1963 NBA draft, as a rookie, he mainly played a supporting role alongside Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain. Thurmond averaged 7 points and 10.4 rebounds in his first NBA season and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1964, after Chamberlain was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers during the next season, Thurmond blossomed into a highly productive starting center for the Warriors. Among his many accomplishments, Thurmond set a season record for rebounds in a quarter with 18. However, even with the contributions of star teammates like Rick Barry and they reached the 1967 NBA Finals, but lost to Chamberlains 76ers. Thurmond was acquired by the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Clifford Ray, the Bulls had felt a need for one starting center rather than continue with a three-man rotation of Ray, Tom Boerwinkle and Dennis Awtrey.
The Warriors added more fiscal stability when completing the deal, thirteen games into the 1975–76 season, Thurmond was traded along with Rowland Garrett to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Steve Patterson and Eric Fernsten on November 27,1975. After retirement, Thurmond returned to San Francisco and opened a restaurant and he sold the restaurant after 20 years, while living in San Francisco with his wife, Marci. He was given the title Warriors Legend & Ambassador by the Warriors organization, Thurmond died on July 16,2016, nine days away from his 75th birthday, after a short battle with leukemia. Alvin Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson are the other players to achieve a quadruple-double. Hall of Fame profile NBA profile Carrer statistics and player informations on Basketball-Reference. com