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 (
John Graham "Red" Kerr was an American basketball player and color commentator. He played in the NBA from 1954 to 1966 as a member of the Syracuse Nationals, he held several coaching and administrative positions before embarking on a thirty-three year career as a television color commentator for the Chicago Bulls. Although Johnny Kerr's first passion was soccer, an eight-inch growth spurt during his senior year at Tilden Technical High School, some friendly persuasion from basketball Head Coach Bill Postl, Kerr turned his attention to basketball; the 6' 9" center soon led his school's basketball team to the 1950 Chicago Public League Championship. Kerr graduated mid-year from Tilden and was all set to attend Bradley in the fall, after a visit from Illini freshman Irv Bemoras, touting the benefits of playing for Harry Combes and the Fighting Illini, Kerr made a visit to Champaign and changed his mind. After committing to Illinois in the fall of 1950, Kerr played on the freshman team for the 1950-51 season.
As he played on the freshman team, the 1950-51 Fighting Illini varsity team would not only win the Big Ten Championship, they would play in the NCAA Tournament, placing third. For Kerr, the following season would see the two leading scorers, team MVP and captain Don Sunderlage and Ted Beach, graduate. With the loss of 766 points, the Illini picked up where they had left off making Kerr's sophomore season a huge success, he was named the starting center for the 1951-52 Fighting Illini and would lead the team to a Big Ten Conference Championship with a 12-2 conference record and a 22-4 record overall and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Illinois would defeat Dayton and Duquesne to earn a berth in the Final Four, but would lose to St. Johns, 61–59, they would defeat Santa Clara in the third place game. This was Illinois’ third Big Ten Championship and 20-game winning team within a four year span and completed the season with a final AP ranking of No. 2 in the nation. Kerr would score a team high 357 points in 26 games for an average of 13.7 points per game.
Kerr joined three other starters from the previous season on the 1952-53 Illini team, the team would not enjoy the same amount of success. The team would lose four conference games during the Big Ten season and finish at 18-4 overall with a conference record of 14-4, which would give them a second-place finish to National Champion Indiana. Kerr, on the other hand, would find his successes to be just as fruitful as the previous campaign. Kerr would score a team high 386 points in 22 games for an average of 17.5 points per game while the team would finish the season with a final AP ranking of No. 11 in the nation. Kerr's senior season was the best of his three varsity seasons, the team would be the least successful during the same time-frame; the 1953-54 Illini would finish third in the Big Ten with a 10-4 record and an overall record of 17-5 and they would finish the season with a final AP ranking of No. 19 in the nation. As for Kerr, for the third year in a row he would lead the team in scoring by shattering Illinois’ single-season scoring record by tallying 556 points in just 22 games for a 25.3 points per game average.
Over his three varsity seasons, Kerr scored 1,299 points giving him an overall average of 18.6 points per game. He was elected to the University of Illinois' "All-Century Team" in 2004. In 1954, the Syracuse Nationals selected Johnny Kerr with the sixth overall pick of the NBA draft. During his first season, Kerr averaged 10.5 points and 6.6 rebounds and helped the Nationals capture their first NBA Championship. He became a three time All-Star with the Nationals, despite playing in the shadow of future Hall-of–Famer Dolph Schayes. In 1963, the Nationals became known as the 76ers. Two years Kerr was traded to the Baltimore Bullets for Wali Jones. After averaging 11.0 points and 8.3 rebounds for the Bullets during the 1965–66 season, Kerr was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 1966 NBA Expansion Draft. However, Kerr voluntarily retired so that he could become the coach of his hometown's new basketball team, he ended his career on November 4, 1965 with a 108–107 loss to New York, with respectable totals of 12,480 points and 10,092 rebounds, along with the NBA record for most consecutive games played until 1983 when he was surpassed by Randy Smith.
Kerr is credited with bringing Jerry Sloan to the Chicago Bulls. The team went 33-48 in 1966–1967 and became the first expansion team to win a playoff berth in its inaugural season. For this accomplishment, Kerr was rewarded the NBA Coach of the Year Award, he is the only coach to receive this award after his team finished with a losing record. The Bulls went 29-53 the following season. However, feuds with team owner Dick Klein forced Kerr to leave the Bulls during the summer of 1968 and sign with the Phoenix Suns, another expansion team in need of its first coach; the Suns finished with a 16-66 record in 1968–69, after starting the 1969–70 season with a 15-23 record, Kerr was forced to resign. Despite resigning as coach, Kerr stayed with the Suns franchise for the remainder of the 1969–70 season, working as a broadcaster with Hot Rod Hundley, he spent the next two seasons as a business manager with the ABA's Virginia Squires returned to the Chicago Bulls to work in their front office. In 1975, the Bulls' play-by-play announcer, Jim Durham, suggested that Kerr provide commentary during games, Kerr remained as a color commentator until the end of the 2007–08 season.
As a broadcaster, Ke
The five basketball positions employed by organized basketball teams are the point guard, the shooting guard, the small forward, the power forward, the center. The point guard is the leader of the team on the court; this position requires substantial ball handling skills and the ability to facilitate the team during a play. The shooting guard, as the name implies, is the best shooter; as well as being capable of shooting from longer distances, this position tends to be the best defender on the team. The small forward has an aggressive approach to the basket when handling the ball; the small forward is known to make cuts to the basket in efforts to get open for shots. The power forward and the center are called the "frontcourt" acting as their team's primary rebounders or shot blockers, or receiving passes to take inside shots; the center is the larger of the two. Only three positions were recognized based on where they played on the court: Guards played outside and away from the hoop and forwards played outside and near the baseline, with the center positioned in the key.
During the 1980s, as team strategy evolved. More specialized roles developed. Team strategy and available personnel, still dictate the positions used by a particular team. For example, the dribble-drive motion offense and the Princeton offense use four interchangeable guards and one center; this set is known as a "four-in and one-out" play scheme. Other combinations are prevalent. Besides the five basic positions, some teams use non-standard or hybrid positions, such as the point forward, a hybrid small forward/point guard; the point guard known as the one, is the team's best ball handler and passer. Therefore, they lead their team in assists and are able to create shots for themselves and their teammates, they are quick and are able to hit shots either outside the three-point line or "in the paint" depending on the player's skill level. Point guards are looked upon as the "floor general" or the "coach on the floor", they should study the game and game film to be able to recognize the weaknesses of the defense, the strengths of their own offense.
They are responsible for directing plays, making the position equivalent to that of quarterback in American football, playmaker in association football, center in ice hockey, or setter in volleyball. Good point guards increase team efficiency and have a high number of assists, they are referred to as dribblers or play-makers. In the NBA, point guards are the shortest players on the team and are 6 feet 4 inches or shorter; the shooting guard is known as the two or the off guard. Along with the small forward, a shooting guard is referred to as a wing because of its use in common positioning tactics; as the name suggests, most shooting guards are prolific from the three-point range. Besides being able to shoot the ball, shooting guards tend to be the best defender on the team, as well as being able to move without the ball to create open looks for themselves; some shooting guards have good ball handling skills creating their own shots off the dribble. A versatile shooting guard will have good passing skills, allowing them to assume point guard responsibilities known as combo guards.
Bigger shooting guards tend to play as small forwards. In the NBA, shooting guards range from 6 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 8 inches; the small forward known as the three, is considered to be the most versatile of the main five basketball positions. Versatility is key for small forwards because of the nature of their role, which resembles that of a shooting guard more than that of a power forward; this is why the small forward and shooting guard positions are interchangeable and referred to as wings. Small forwards have a variety such as quickness and strength inside. One common thread among all kinds of small forwards is an ability to "get to the line" and draw fouls by aggressively attempting plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks; as such, accurate foul shooting is a common skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line. Besides being able to drive to the basket, they are good shooters from long range; some small forwards have good passing skills, allowing them to assume point guard responsibilities as point forwards.
Small forwards should be able to do a little bit of everything on the court playing roles such as swingmen and defensive specialists. In the NBA, small forwards range from 6 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 9 inches; the power forward known as the four plays a role similar to that of the center, down in the "post" or "low blocks". The power forward is the team's most versatile scorer, being able to score close to the basket while being able to shoot mid-range jump shots from 12 to 18 feet from the basket; some power forwards have become known as stretch fours, since extending their shooting range to three-pointers. On defense, they are required to have the strength to guard bigger players close to the basket and to have the athleticism to guard quick players away from the basket. Most power forwards tend to be more versatile than centers since they can be part of plays and are not always in the low block. In the
The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division; the team was founded on January 16, 1966. The team plays its home games at the United Center, an arena shared with the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League; the Bulls saw their greatest success during the 1990s when they were responsible for popularizing the NBA worldwide. They are known for having one of the NBA's greatest dynasties, winning six NBA championships between 1991 and 1998 with two three-peats. All six championship teams were led by Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson; the Bulls are the only NBA franchise to win multiple championships and never lose an NBA Finals series in their history. The Bulls won 72 games during the 1995–96 NBA season, setting an NBA record that stood until the Golden State Warriors won 73 games during the 2015–16 NBA season.
The Bulls were the first team in NBA history to win 70 games or more in a single season, the only NBA franchise to do so until the 2015–16 Warriors. Many experts and analysts consider the 1996 Bulls to be one of the greatest teams in NBA history. Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose have both won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award while playing for the Bulls, for a total of six MVP awards; the Bulls share rivalries with the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat. The Bulls' rivalry with the Pistons was highlighted during the late 1980s and early 1990s. On January 16, 1966 Chicago was granted an NBA franchise to be called the Bulls; the Chicago Bulls became the third NBA franchise in the city, after the Chicago Stags and the Chicago Packers/Zephyrs. The Bulls' founder, Dick Klein, was the Bulls' only owner to play professional basketball, he served as the Bulls' general manager in their initial years. After the 1966 NBA Expansion Draft, the newly founded Chicago Bulls were allowed to acquire players from the established teams in the league for the upcoming 1966–67 season.
The team started in the 1966–67 NBA season, posted the best record by an expansion team in NBA history. Coached by Chicagoan and former NBA star Johnny "Red" Kerr, led by former NBA assist leader Guy Rodgers, guard Jerry Sloan and forward Bob Boozer, the Bulls qualified for the playoffs, the only NBA team to do so in their inaugural season. In their first season, the Bulls played their home games at the International Amphitheatre, before moving to Chicago Stadium. Fan interest was diminishing after four seasons, with one game in the 1968 season having an official attendance of 891 and some games being played in Kansas City. In 1969, Klein dropped out of the general manager job and hired Pat Williams, who as the Philadelphia 76ers' business manager created promotions that helped the team become third in attendance the previous season. Williams revamped the team roster, acquiring Chet Walker from his old team in exchange for Jim Washington and drafting Norm Van Lier –, traded to the Cincinnati Royals and only joined the Bulls in 1971 – while investing in promotion, with actions such as creating mascot Benny the Bull.
The Bulls under Williams and head coach Dick Motta qualified for four straight playoffs and had attendances grow to over 10,000. In 1972, the Bulls set a franchise win-loss record at 25 losses. During the 1970s, the Bulls relied on Jerry Sloan, forwards Bob Love and Chet Walker, point guard Norm Van Lier, centers Clifford Ray and Tom Boerwinkle; the team made the conference finals in 1975 but lost to the eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors, 4 games to 3. After four 50-win seasons, Williams returned to Philadelphia, Motta decided to take on the role of GM as well; the Bulls ended up winning only 24 games in the 1975 -- 1976 season. Motta was replaced by Ed Badger. Klein sold the Bulls to longtime owners of the Chicago Blackhawks. Indifferent to NBA basketball, the new ownership group infamously implemented a shoestring budget, putting little time and investment into improving the team. Artis Gilmore, acquired in the ABA dispersal draft in 1976, led a Bulls squad which included guard Reggie Theus, forward David Greenwood and forward Orlando Woolridge.
In 1979, the Bulls lost a coin flip for the right to select first in the NBA draft. Had the Bulls won the toss, they would have selected Magic Johnson; the Los Angeles Lakers selected Johnson with the pick acquired from the New Orleans Jazz, who traded the selection for Gail Goodrich. After Gilmore was traded to the San Antonio Spurs for center Dave Corzine, the Bulls employed a high-powered offense centered around Theus, which soon included guards Quintin Dailey and Ennis Whatley. However, with continued dismal results, the Bulls decided to change direction, trading Theus to the Kansas City Kings during the 1983–84 season. Attendance began to dwindle, with the Wirtz Family looking to sell to ownership groups interested in moving the team out of Chicago, before selling to local ownership. In the summer of 1984, the Bulls had the third pick of the 1984 NBA draft, after Houston and Portland; the Rockets selected Hakeem Olajuwon, the Blazers picked Sam Bowie and the Bulls chose shooting guard Michael Jordan.
The team, with new management in owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Jerry Krause, decided to rebuild around Jordan. Jordan set franchise records during his rookie campaign for scoring and steals, led the Bulls back to the playoffs, where they lost in four
NBA territorial pick
A territorial pick was a type of special draft choice used in the Basketball Association of America draft in 1949 and in the National Basketball Association draft after the 1950 season, the year in which the BAA was renamed the NBA. In the draft, NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U. S. college basketball players. Territorial picks were eliminated when the draft system was revamped in 1966. In the first 20 years of the BAA/NBA, the league was still trying to gain the support of fans who lived in or near the teams' home markets. To achieve this, the league introduced the territorial pick rule to help teams acquire popular players from colleges in their area who would have strong local support. Before the draft, a team could forfeit its first-round draft pick and select any player from within a 50-mile radius of its home arena. Although the territorial picks were selected before the draft, these picks were not factored into the overall selection count of the draft. Of the 23 territorial picks, 12 players have been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Tom Heinsohn, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson and Jerry Lucas are the only four territorial picks who won the Rookie of the Year Award. Chamberlain won the Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, he went on to win the Most Valuable Player Award three more times in his career. Oscar Robertson is the only other territorial pick; the Philadelphia Warriors had the most territorial picks, having selected six who attended a total of five colleges. The University of Cincinnati had the most players taken as a territorial pick; the 1965 NBA draft, the last draft in which the rule remained in effect, had the most territorial picks in a single draft with three. The 1953 draft had three territorial picks. No territorial pick was selected in the 1957 and 1961 drafts. KHL territorial pick NBA.com: NBA Draft History
The Washington Wizards are an American professional basketball team based in Washington, D. C; the Wizards compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team plays its home games at the Capital One Arena, in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D. C; the franchise was established in 1961 as the Chicago Packers based in Chicago and were renamed to Chicago Zephyrs the following season. In 1963, they relocated to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking the name from a previous team of the same name. In 1973, the team changed its name to the Capital Bullets to reflect their move to the Washington metropolitan area, to Washington Bullets in the following season. In 1997, they rebranded themselves as the Wizards; the Wizards have appeared in four NBA Finals, won in 1978. They have had a total of 28 playoff appearances, won four conference titles, seven division titles, their best season came in 1975 with a record of 60–22.
Wes Unseld is the only player in franchise history to become the MVP, win the Finals MVP award. Four players have won the Rookie of the Year award; the team now known as the Wizards began playing as the Chicago Packers in 1961, as the first modern expansion team in NBA history, an expansion prompted by Abe Saperstein's American Basketball League. Rookie Walt Bellamy was the team's star, averaging 31.6 points per game, 19.0 rebounds per game, leading the NBA in field goal percentage. During the All-Star game, Bellamy represented the team while scoring 23 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Bellamy was named the league Rookie of the Year, but the team finished with the NBA's worst record at 18-62; the team's original nickname was a nod to Chicago's meatpacking industry. However, it was unpopular since it was the same nickname used by the NFL's Green Bay Packers, bitter rivals of the Chicago Bears. After only one year, the organization changed its name to the Chicago Zephyrs and played its home games at the Chicago Coliseum.
Their only season as the Zephyrs boasted former Purdue star Terry Dischinger, who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors. In 1963 the franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking their name from a 1940s–'50s Baltimore Bullets BAA/NBA franchise and playing home games at the Baltimore Civic Center. In their first year in Baltimore, the Bullets finished fourth in a five–team Western Division. Prior to the 1964–65 NBA season the Bullets pulled off a blockbuster trade, sending Dischinger, Rod Thorn and Don Kojis to the Detroit Pistons for Bailey Howell, Don Ohl, Bob Ferry and Wali Jones; the trade worked out well. He helped. In the 1965 NBA Playoffs, the Bullets stunned the St. Louis Hawks 3–1, advanced to the Western Conference finals. In the finals, Baltimore managed to split the first four games with the Los Angeles Lakers before losing the series 4–2. In the late 1960s, the Bullets drafted two future Hall of Fame members: Earl Monroe, in the 1967 draft, number two overall, Wes Unseld, in the 1968 draft number two overall.
The team improved from 36 wins the previous season to 57 in the 1968–69 season, Unseld received both the rookie of the year and MVP awards. The Bullets reached the playoffs with high expectations to go far, but they were eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round; the next season the two teams met again in the first round, although this one went to seven games, the Knicks emerged victorious again. In the 1970–71 season, the 42–40 Bullets again met the 1970–71 Knicks, this time though in the Eastern Conference finals. With the Knicks team captain Willis Reed injured in the finals, the injury-free Bullets took advantage of his absence, in game seven, at New York's Madison Square Garden, the Bullets' Gus Johnson made a critical basket late in the game to lift the Bullets over the Knicks 93–91 and advance to their first NBA Finals, they were swept in four games by the powerful Milwaukee Bucks led by future Hall of Fame members Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson. After the trades of Earl Monroe and Gus Johnson, the Bullets remained a playoff contender throughout the 1970s.
Following a less than spectacular 1971–72 season, Baltimore acquired Elvin Hayes from the Houston Rockets and drafted Kevin Porter in the third round, out of St. Francis in Pennsylvania. After a slow start in 1972–73, Baltimore made their charge in December, posting a 10–4 record on the way to capturing the Central Division title for the third straight year; the Bullets again faced the Knicks in the 1973 NBA Playoffs, losing for the fourth time in five series against New York. In February 1973, the team announced its pending move 30 miles southwest to the Capital Centre in Landover, a Washington, D. C. suburb, became the Capital Bullets. After that 1973–74 season, they changed their name to the Washington Bullets. During November 1973, while waiting for the completion of their new arena in Landover, the Bullets played their home games at Cole Field House on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park; the Capital Centre opened on December 2, 1973, with the Bullets defeating the SuperSonic
Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is the fifth most populous city in the United States, the most populous American state capital, the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents. Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is part of the Salt River Valley; the metropolitan area is the 11th largest by population in the United States, with 4.73 million people as of 2017. Phoenix is the seat of Maricopa County and the largest city in the state at 517.9 square miles, more than twice the size of Tucson and one of the largest cities in the United States. Phoenix was settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers and was incorporated as a city in 1881, it became the capital of Arizona Territory in 1889. It has a hot desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community with the original settler's crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton and hay.
Cotton, citrus and copper were known locally as the "Five C's" anchoring Phoenix's economy. These remained the driving forces of the city until after World War II, when high-tech companies began to move into the valley and air conditioning made Phoenix's hot summers more bearable; the city averaged a four percent annual population growth rate over a 40-year period from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. This growth rate slowed during the Great Recession of 2007–09, has rebounded slowly. Phoenix is the cultural center of the state of Arizona; the Hohokam people occupied the Phoenix area for 2,000 years. They created 135 miles of irrigation canals, making the desert land arable, paths of these canals were used for the Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct, they carried out extensive trade with the nearby Ancient Puebloans and Sinagua, as well as with the more distant Mesoamerican civilizations. It is believed that periods of drought and severe floods between 1300 and 1450 led to the Hohokam civilization's abandonment of the area.
After the departure of the Hohokam, groups of Akimel O'odham, Tohono O'odham, Maricopa tribes began to use the area, as well as segments of the Yavapai and Apache. The O'odham were offshoots of the Sobaipuri tribe, who in turn were thought to be the descendants of the Hohokam; the Akimel O'odham were the major group in the area and lived in small villages, with well-defined irrigation systems that spread over the entire Gila River Valley, from Florence in the east to the Estrellas in the west. Their crops included corn and squash for food, while cotton and tobacco were cultivated, they banded together with the Maricopa for protection against incursions by the Yuma and Apache tribes. The Maricopa are part of the larger Yuma people; the Tohono O'odham lived in the region, as well, but their main concentration was to the south and stretched all the way to the Mexican border. The O'odham lived in small settlements as seasonal farmers who took advantage of the rains, rather than the large-scale irrigation of the Akimel.
They grew crops such as sweet corn, tapery beans, lentils, sugar cane, melons, as well as taking advantage of native plants such as saguaro fruits, cholla buds, mesquite tree beans, mesquite candy. They hunted local game such as deer and javelina for meat; the Mexican–American War ended in 1848, Mexico ceded its northern zone to the United States, residents of that region became U. S. citizens. The Phoenix area became part of the New Mexico Territory. In 1863, the mining town of Wickenburg was the first to be established in Maricopa County, to the northwest of Phoenix. Maricopa County had not yet been incorporated; the Army created Fort McDowell on the Verde River in 1865 to forestall Indian uprisings. The fort established a camp on the south side of the Salt River by 1866, the first settlement in the valley after the decline of the Hohokam. Other nearby settlements merged to become the city of Tempe; the history of the city of Phoenix begins with Jack Swilling, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War.
He saw a potential for farming. He formed a small community that same year about four miles east of the city. Lord Darrell Duppa was one of the original settlers in Swilling's party, he suggested the name "Phoenix", as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization; the Board of Supervisors in Yavapai County recognized the new town on May 4, 1868, the first post office was established the following month with Swilling as the postmaster. On February 12, 1871, the territorial legislature created Maricopa County by dividing Yavapai County; the first election for county office was held in 1871. He ran unopposed; the town grew during the 1870s, President Ulysses S. Grant issued a land patent for the site of Phoenix on April 10, 1874. By 1875, the town had a telegraph office