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
Clifford Ray is an American basketball coach and former professional basketball player. He played three of his ten seasons in the National Basketball Association with the Chicago Bulls from 1971 to 1974, the other seven with the Golden State Warriors from 1974 to 1981. Ray played his college basketball at the University of Oklahoma, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Selected in the third round of the 1971 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls, Ray was, from the start, a effective defender and rebounder. Ray was named to the 1972 NBA All-Rookie Team, led the NBA in rebounds per minute played in each of his first two seasons, he spent three seasons with the Bulls, his best being 1973–74 during which Ray averaged 9.3 points and 12.2 rebounds per game, the Bulls reached the NBA Western Conference Finals for the first time. Ray and $100,000 were sent to the Golden State Warriors for Nate Thurmond in an exchange of centers just prior to the 1974–75 season on September 3, 1974; the trade resulted in the Warriors receiving a quality ballplayer, eight years younger than Thurmond and additional fiscal stability.
In 1975 the Warriors, led by Rick Barry and coached by Al Attles, won the NBA championship. Ray led the team in rebounding and anchored the defense, finishing second in minutes played per game, after Barry; the Warriors defeated Ray's former team, the Chicago Bulls, in the Western Conference finals before sweeping the Washington Bullets in the NBA Finals. Ray is one of a handful of players to have played at least ten seasons in the pros and to have recorded more rebounds than points for his career. After his playing career, Ray worked as an assistant coach with the Dallas Mavericks in 1987, he coached in the Continental Basketball Association, where he landed his first head coaching job with the Fort Wayne Fury, replacing former teammate Rick Barry as head coach at the end of the season. He worked as a New Jersey Nets assistant before returning to Golden State as an assistant coach, he worked as an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic and from 2005 to 2010 was an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics, who won an NBA championship in 2008.
He was hired by the Sacramento Kings in 2012. On June 5, 2013, new Kings coach Michael Malone announced that the 2012–13 assistant coaches would not be retained for the 2013–14 season. In 2016, Coach Ray was hired by the Houston Rockets as a consultant. In 1978, Ray made headlines for saving a dolphin's life at the Marine World/Africa USA amusement park in Redwood City, California. A bottlenose dolphin named "Mr. Spock" had swallowed a bolt with a protruding sharp screw while maintenance was being performed on its holding tank; the park veterinarian was unwilling to perform a risky operation to remove the bolt from the dolphin's first stomach where the object lay just beyond his reach. His remark that he needed longer arms led Marine World president and basketball fan Mike Demetrios to ask for Ray's assistance, as his arms measured at three feet nine inches. With gloves and guidance, Ray reached into the animal's throat and retrieved the object without causing any additional harm. NBA Career stats at Basketball-Reference.com Bio from Boston Celtics official site Official Clifford Ray Radio Show
The Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference, Northwest Division. Since 1991, the team has played its home games at Vivint Smart Home Arena; the franchise began play in 1974 as an expansion team based in New Orleans. The Jazz were one of the least successful teams in the league in their early years. Although 10 seasons elapsed before the Jazz qualified for their first playoff appearance in 1984, they did not miss the playoffs again until 2004. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone arose as the franchise players for the team, formed one of the most famed point guard–power forward duos in NBA history. Led by coach Jerry Sloan, who took over from Frank Layden in 1988, they became one of the powerhouse teams of the 1990s, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan.
Both Stockton and Malone moved on in 2003. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons the Jazz returned to prominence under the on-court leadership of point guard Deron Williams. However, partway through the 2010–11 NBA season, the Jazz began restructuring after Sloan's retirement and Williams' trade to the New Jersey Nets. Quin Snyder was hired as head coach in June 2014. On June 7, 1974, the New Orleans Jazz were admitted as an expansion franchise into the National Basketball Association. Team officials selected the name because of its definition in the dictionary: collective improvisation; the team began its inaugural season in New Orleans in the 1974–75 season. The team's first major move was to trade for star player Pete Maravich from the Atlanta Hawks for two first-round draft picks, three second-round picks, one third-round pick over the next three years. Although he was considered one of the most entertaining players in the league and won the scoring championship for the 1976-77 season with 31.1 points per game, the Jazz's best record while in New Orleans was 39–43 in the 1977–78 season.
Maravich struggled with knee injuries from that season onward. Venue issues were a continual problem for the team. In the Jazz's first season, they played in the Municipal Auditorium and Loyola Field House, where the basketball court was raised so high that the NBA Players Association made the team put a net around the court to prevent players from falling off of the court and into the stands; the Jazz played games in the cavernous Louisiana Superdome, but things were no better, because of high demand for the stadium, onerous lease terms, Maravich's constant knee problems. They faced the prospect of spending a whole month on the road each year because of New Orleans' Mardi Gras festivities, similar to the long road trip faced by the San Antonio Spurs each season during their city's rodeo. Years founding owner Sam Battistone claimed that there was no contingency plan in case the Jazz had qualified for the playoffs. However, the Superdome's manager at the time, Bill Curl, said that the stadium's management always submitted a list of potential playoff dates to the Jazz management, but these letters were never answered.
After what turned out to be their final season in New Orleans, the Jazz were dealt a further humiliation when the Los Angeles Lakers selected Magic Johnson with the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA draft. The pick would have been the Jazz's had they not traded it to acquire Gail Goodrich two years earlier; the Jazz had given up the rights to Moses Malone in order to regain one of the three first-round picks used for the Goodrich trade. Despite being competitive, the Jazz drew well during their first five years. However, by 1979 the franchise was sinking financially. Barry Mendelson, the team's executive vice president for most of the early years, said one factor in the financial trouble was an 11-percent amusement tax, highest in the U. S. at the time. The team could not attract much local corporate support—an important factor in those days—or local investors. Battistone decided to move it. After scouting several new homes, he decided on Salt Lake City though it was a smaller market. Salt Lake City had been home to the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association from 1970 to 1976.
The Stars had been popular in the city and had won an ABA title in their first season after moving from Los Angeles. However, their finances collapsed in their last two seasons, they were shut down by the league 16 games into the 1975–76 season after missing payroll. Although Salt Lake City was not known for its jazz culture, the team decided to keep the name, as there was not enough time before the start of the 1979–80 season to receive league approval for a name change; the Jazz preserved the original Mardi Gras-themed colors: green and gold. The Jazz's attendance declined after the team's move from New Orleans to Utah because of a late approval for the move and poor marketing in the Salt Lake City area; the team's management made the first of several moves in 1979, bringing high-scoring forward Adrian Dantley to Utah in exchange for Spencer Haywood. Dantley averaged 28 points per game during the 1979–80 season, allowing the team to waive Pete Maravich early in
NBA on CBS
The NBA on CBS is the branding, used for weekly broadcasts of National Basketball Association games produced by CBS Sports, the sports division of the CBS television network in the United States. CBS aired NBA games from the 1973–1974 NBA season until the 1989–90 NBA season. During CBS' first few years of covering the NBA, CBS was accused of mishandling their NBA telecasts. Among the criticisms included CBS playing too much loud music, the lack of stability with the announcers, regionalizing telecasts, billing games as being between star players instead of teams, devoting too much attention to the slam dunk in instant replays. Regular features included a pre-game show that consisted of mini-teams of celebrities, active and former NBA players competing against each other, a halftime show called Horse; the NBA took notice of the criticisms and managed to persuade CBS to eliminate its original halftime show. In its place, came human-interest shows about the players. There was a possibility that CBS would start televising a single national game on Sunday afternoons.
Other adjustments that CBS made in hopes of improving its coverage included hiring reporter Sonny Hill to cover the league on a full-time basis. CBS put microphones and cameras on team huddles to allow viewers to see and hear coaches at work. CBS introduced a halftime segment called Red Auerbach on Roundball, featuring the Hall of Fame Boston Celtics coach; the segment intended to not only educate CBS' viewers about the complexities of the pro game, but to teach young players how to improve their skills. They subtly introduced audiences to an all-star team based on Auerbach's criteria such as screening and passing. In a Red on Roundball halftime segment which appeared on CBS' NBA telecasts in the 1973–74 season and referee Mendy Rudolph discussed and demonstrated the practice of flopping with obvious disapproval. During the 1976–77 season, the NBA's first after the ABA–NBA merger brought the American Basketball Association into the league, CBS held a slam dunk contest that ran during halftime of the Game of the Week telecasts.
Don Criqui was the host of this particular competition. The final, which pitted Larry McNeill of the Golden State Warriors against eventual winner Darnell "Dr. Dunk" Hillman of the Indiana Pacers, took place during Game 6 of the 1977 NBA Finals. At the time of the final, Hillman's rights had been traded to the New York Nets, but he had not yet signed a contract. Since he was not a member of any NBA team, instead of wearing a jersey, he competed in a plain white tank top. For the post-competition interview, Hillman donned a shirt with the words "Bottle Shoppe" – the name of an Indianapolis liquor store, still in existence, was the sponsor of a city parks softball league team for which Hillman played left field. Other players to compete in the slam dunk tournament included Julius Erving, George Gervin, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Moses Malone. CBS, anxious for star power gave David Thompson the opportunity to be eliminated three times. During the 1977–78 season, CBS held a H-O-R-S-E competition at halftime of the Game of the Week telecasts.
Again, Don Criqui hosted with Mendy Rudolph officiating. 32 players, including Rick Barry, Pete Maravich, George Gervin, JoJo White, Doug Collins, Paul Westphal and Bob McAdoo, competed in a round-robin single-elimination tournament each week. Barry was eliminated in the first round by journeyman Earl Tatum of the Los Angeles Lakers. Maravich and Westphal made it all the way to the final, scheduled to take place at halftime of Game 2 of the 1978 NBA Finals. However, Maravich was injured and unavailable, so CBS instead had Westphal shoot a free-throw against "Bag-Man". Westphal, with a bag over his head as well, made the free throw while Barry missed, CBS awarded him the trophy. From 1975 to 1979, CBS aired. During this era, CBS aired weeknight playoff games from earlier rounds on tape delay at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time. CBS continued this practice until at least the mid-1980s. CBS did not want sportscasters to give the final score on the late-evening newscasts aired by its local affiliates; the network preferred the games to not be over by that time if they were going to be aired on tape that night.
Most CBS games were either 9:00 p.m. local starts. For instance, CBS aired Games 1–3 of the 1981 Western Conference Finals, between the Houston Rockets and Kansas City Kings. Both Western Conference teams finished the regular season with a record 40–42, instead of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. 1986 was the last year that CBS aired an NBA playoff game on tape delay. The network's final delayed playoff broadcast was Game 3 of the playoff series between the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets; the game aired at 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time after having a 9:30 p.m. tip. WCPO in Cincinnati, a CBS affiliate during the NBA on CBS era, did not carry many regular season games in the 1970s, deciding to run movies and other programming instead; the city had lost the Cincinnati Royals when they moved to Kansas City and Omaha in 1972. As an ABC affilia
Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers known as the Blazers, are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon. The Trail Blazers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team played its home games in the Memorial Coliseum before moving to Moda Center in 1995. The franchise entered the league as an expansion team in 1970, has enjoyed a strong following: from 1977 through 1995, the team sold out 814 consecutive home games, the longest such streak in American major professional sports at the time, only since surpassed by the Boston Red Sox; the Trail Blazers have been the only NBA team based in the bi-national Pacific Northwest, after the Vancouver Grizzlies relocated to Memphis and became the Memphis Grizzlies in 2001, the Seattle SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City and became the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2008. The team has advanced to the NBA Finals three times, winning the NBA championship once in 1977.
Their other NBA Finals appearances were in 1990 and 1992. The team has qualified for the playoffs in 34 seasons of their 48-season existence, including a streak of 21 straight appearances from 1983 through 2003, tied for the second longest streak in NBA history; the Trail Blazers' 34 playoff appearances rank third in the NBA only behind the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs since the team's inception in 1970. Six Hall of Fame players have played for the Trail Blazers. Bill Walton is the franchise's most decorated player. Four Blazer rookies have won the NBA Rookie of the Year award. Three players have earned the Most Improved Player award: Kevin Duckworth, Zach Randolph, CJ McCollum. Two Hall of Fame coaches, Lenny Wilkens and Jack Ramsay, have patrolled the sidelines for the Blazers, two others, Mike Schuler and Mike Dunleavy, have won the NBA Coach of the Year Award with the team. Sports promoter Harry Glickman sought a National Basketball Association franchise for Portland as far back as 1955 when he proposed two new expansion teams, the other to be located in Los Angeles.
When the Memorial Coliseum was opened in 1960 Glickman saw the potential it could serve as a professional basketball venue but it was not until February 6, 1970, that the NBA board of governors granted him the rights to a franchise in Portland. To raise the money for the $3.7 million admission tax, Glickman associated himself to real estate magnates Robert Schmertz of New Jersey, Larry Weinberg of Los Angeles and Herman Sarkowsky of Seattle. Two weeks on February 24, team management held a contest to select the team's name and received more than 10,000 entries; the most popular choice was "Pioneers", but that name was excluded from consideration as it was used by sports teams at Portland's Lewis & Clark College. The name "Trail Blazers" received 172 entries, was selected by the judging panel, being revealed on March 13 in the halftime of a SuperSonics game at the Memorial Coliseum. Derived from the trail blazing activity by explorers making paths through forests, Glickman considered it a name that could "reflect both the ruggedness of the Pacific Northwest and the start of a major league era in our state."
Despite initial mixed response, the Trail Blazers name shortened to just "Blazers", became popular in Oregon. Along with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Buffalo Braves, the Trail Blazers entered the NBA in 1970 as an expansion team, under coach Rolland Todd. Geoff Petrie and Sidney Wicks led the team in its early years, the team failed to qualify for the playoffs in its first six seasons of existence. During that span, the team had three head coaches; the team won the first pick in the NBA draft twice during that span. In 1972, the team drafted LaRue Martin with the number one pick. In 1974 the team selected Bill Walton from UCLA; the ABA–NBA merger of 1976 saw those two rival leagues join forces. Four ABA teams joined the NBA; the Trail Blazers selected Maurice Lucas in the dispersal draft. That summer, they hired Jack Ramsay as head coach; the two moves, coupled with the team's stellar play, led Portland to several firsts: winning record, playoff appearance, championship in 1977. Starting on April 5 of that year, the team began a sellout streak of 814 straight games—the longest in American major professional sports history—which did not end until 1995, after the team moved into a larger facility.
The team started the 1977–78 season with a 50–10 mark, some predicted a dynasty in Portland. However, Bill Walton suffered a foot injury that ended his season and would plague him over the remainder of his career, the team struggled to an 8–14 finish, going 58–24 overall. In the playoffs, Portland lost to the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1978 conference semifinals; that summer, Walton demanded to be traded to a team of his choice because he was unhappy with his medical treatment in Portland. Walton was never traded, he held out the entire 1978–79 season and left the team as a free agent thereafter; the team was further dismantled as Lucas left in 1980. During the 1980s, the team was a consistent presence in the NBA post-season, failing to qualify for the playoffs only in 1982. However, they never advanced past the conference semifinals duri
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. The Warriors compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division. Founded in 1946 in Philadelphia, the Warriors relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1962 and took the city's name, before changing its geographic moniker to Golden State in 1971, they play their home games at the Oracle Arena. The Warriors won the inaugural Basketball Association of America championship in 1947, won its second championship in 1956, led by Hall of Fame trio Paul Arizin, Tom Gola, Neil Johnston. However, the Warriors would not return to similar heights in Philadelphia, after a brief rebuilding period following the trade of star Wilt Chamberlain, the team moved to San Francisco. With star players Jamaal Wilkes and Rick Barry, the Warriors returned to title contention, won their third championship in 1975, in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in NBA history.
This would precede another period of struggle in the 1980s, before becoming playoff regulars at the turn of the decade with stars Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullin, colloquially referred to as "Run TMC". After failing to capture a championship, the team entered another rebuilding phase in the 2000s; the Warriors' fortunes changed in the 2010s. After drafting perennial All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the team returned to championship glory in 2015, before winning another two in 2017 and 2018 with the help of former league MVP Kevin Durant. Nicknamed the Dubs as a shortening of "W's", the Warriors hold several NBA records. With the combined shooting of Curry and Thompson, they are credited as one of the greatest backcourts of all time; the team's six NBA championships are tied for third-most in NBA history with the Chicago Bulls. According to Forbes, the Warriors are the seventh highest valued sports franchise in the United States, joint-tenth in the world, with an estimated value of $3.1 billion.
The Warriors were founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors, a charter member of the Basketball Association of America. They were owned by Peter A. Tyrrell, who owned the Philadelphia Rockets of the American Hockey League. Tyrrell hired Eddie Gottlieb, a longtime basketball promoter in the Philadelphia area, as coach and general manager; the owners named the team after the Philadelphia Warriors, an old basketball team who played in the American Basketball League in 1925. Led by early scoring sensation Joe Fulks, the team won the championship in the league's inaugural 1946–47 season by defeating the Chicago Stags, four games to one; the NBA, created by a 1949 merger recognizes that as its own first championship. Gottlieb bought the team in 1951; the Warriors won its next championship in Philadelphia in the 1955–56 season, defeating the Fort Wayne Pistons four games to one. The Warrior stars of this era were future Hall of Tom Gola and Neil Johnston. In 1959, the team signed draft pick Wilt Chamberlain.
Known as "Wilt the Stilt", he led the team in scoring six times began shattering NBA scoring records and changed the NBA style of play forever. On March 2, 1962, in a Warrior "home" game played on a neutral court in Hershey, Chamberlain scored 100 points against the New York Knicks, a single-game record the NBA ranks among its finest moments. In 1962, Franklin Mieuli purchased the majority shares of the team and relocated the franchise to the San Francisco Bay Area, renaming them the San Francisco Warriors; the Warriors played most of their home games at the Cow Palace in Daly City from 1962 to 1964 and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium from 1964 to 1966, though playing home games in nearby cities such as Oakland and San Jose. Prior to the 1963–64 NBA season, the Warriors drafted big man Nate Thurmond to go along with Chamberlain; the Warriors won the Western Division crown that season, but lost the 1964 NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics, four games to one. In the 1964–65 season, the Warriors traded Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer, Paul Neumann and $150,000 and won only 17 games.
In 1965, they drafted Rick Barry in the first round who went on to become NBA Rookie of the Year that season and led the Warriors to the NBA Finals in the 1966–67 season, losing to Chamberlain's new team that had replaced the Warriors in Philadelphia, the 76ers. Angered by management's failure to pay him certain incentive bonuses he felt were due him, Barry sat out the 1967–68 season and signed with the Oakland Oaks of the rival American Basketball Association for the following year, but after four seasons in the ABA rejoined the Warriors in 1972. During Barry's absence, the Warriors were no longer title contenders, the mantle of leadership fell to Thurmond, Jeff Mullins and Rudy LaRusso, they began scheduling more home games in Oakland with the opening of the Oakland Coliseum Arena in 1966 and the 1970–71 season would be the team's last as the San Francisco Warriors. The franchise adopted its brand name Golden State Warriors prior to the 1971–72 season, in order to suggest that the team represented the entire state of California.
All home games were played in Oakland that season. Oakland Arena became the team's exclusive home court in 1971; the Warriors made the playoffs from 1971 to 1977 except in 1974, won their first NBA championship on t
Elgin Gay Baylor is an American former basketball player and executive. He played 14 seasons as a small forward in the National Basketball Association for the Minneapolis / Los Angeles Lakers, appearing in eight NBA Finals. Baylor was a gifted shooter, strong rebounder, an accomplished passer. Renowned for his acrobatic maneuvers on the court, Baylor dazzled Lakers fans with his trademark hanging jump shots; the No. 1 draft pick in 1958, NBA Rookie of the Year in 1959, 11-time NBA All-Star, a 10-time member of the All-NBA first team, he is regarded as one of the game's all-time greatest players. In 1977, Baylor was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Baylor spent 22 years as general manager of the Los Angeles Clippers, he won the NBA Executive of the Year Award in 2006, before being relieved of his duties shortly before the 2008–09 season began. His popularity led to appearances on the television series Rowan and Martin's Laugh In in 1968, The Jackson Five's first TV special in 1971 and a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode, "Olympiad".
Elgin "Rabbit" Baylor had two basketball-playing brothers and Kermit. After stints at Southwest Boys Club and Brown Jr. High, Baylor was a 3 time All City player in High School. Elgin played his first 2 years at Phelps Vocational High School in the 1951 and 1952 basketball seasons where he set his first area scoring record of 44 points vs Cardozo. During his 2 All City years at Phelps, he averaged 18.5 and 27.6 points per season. He did not perform well academically and dropped out of school to work in a furniture store and to play basketball in the local recreational leagues. Baylor reappeared for the 1954 season playing for the newly opened Spingarn High School and the 6'5", 190 lb senior was named 1st team All-Met and won the SSA's Livingstone Trophy as the Area's Best Basketball player for 1954, he finished with a 36.1 average for his 8 Interhigh Division II league games. On February 3, 1954, in a game against his old Phelps team, he scored 31 in the first half. Playing with 4 fouls the entire second half, Baylor scored 32 more points to establish a new DC area record with 63 points.
This broke the point record of 52 that Western's Jim Wexler had set the year before when he broke Rabbit's record of 44. An inadequate scholastic record kept him out of college until a friend arranged a scholarship at the College of Idaho, where he was expected to play basketball and football. After one season, the school dismissed the head basketball coach and restricted the scholarships. A Seattle car dealer interested Baylor in Seattle University, Baylor sat out a year to play for Westside Ford, an AAU team in Seattle, while establishing eligibility at Seattle; the Minneapolis Lakers drafted him in the 14th round of the 1956 NBA Draft but Baylor opted to stay in school instead. Baylor led the Seattle University Chieftains to the NCAA championship game in 1958, falling to the Kentucky Wildcats, Seattle's only trip to the Final Four. Following his junior season, Baylor was drafted again by the Minneapolis Lakers with the #1 pick in the 1958 NBA Draft, this time he opted to leave school to join them for the 1958–59 NBA season.
In his three collegiate seasons, one at College of Idaho and two at Seattle, Baylor averaged 31.3 points per game. He led the NCAA in rebounds during the 1956–57 season. Fifty-one years after Baylor left Seattle University, Seattle U named its basketball court in honor of him on November 19, 2009; the Redhawks now play on the Elgin Baylor Court in Seattle's KeyArena. The Redhawks host the annual Elgin Baylor Classic. College of Idaho has announced that Baylor will be one of the inaugural inductees into the school's Hall of Fame in June 2017; the Minneapolis Lakers used the No. 1 overall pick in the 1958 NBA draft to select Baylor convinced him to skip his senior year at SU and instead join the pro ranks. The team, several years removed from its glory days of George Mikan, was in trouble on the court and at the gate; the year prior to Baylor's arrival the Lakers finished 19–53 with a squad, slow and aging. Baylor, whom the Lakers signed to play for $20,000 per year, was the franchise's last shot at survival.
With his superb athletic talents and all-round game, Baylor was seen as the kind of player who could save a franchise, he did. According to Minneapolis Lakers owner Bob Short in a 1971 interview with the Los Angeles Times: "If he had turned me down I would have been out of business; the club would have gone bankrupt." As a rookie in 1958–59, Baylor finished fourth in the league in scoring, third in rebounding, eighth in assists. He registered 55 points in a single game the third-highest mark in league history behind Joe Fulks' 63 and Mikan's 61. Baylor won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and led the Lakers from last place the previous year to the NBA finals, where they lost to the Boston Celtics in the first four-game sweep in finals history, thus began the greatest rivalry in the history of the NBA. During his career, Baylor helped lead the Lakers to the NBA Finals seven more times. From the 1960–61 to the 1962–63 seasons, Baylor averaged 34.8, 38.3 and 34.0 points per game, respectively. On November 15 of the 1960–61 season, Baylor set a new NBA scoring record when he scored 71 points in a victory against the New York Knicks while grabbing 25 rebounds.
In doing so, Baylor had broken his own NBA record of 64 points that he had set in the previous season. Baylor, a United States Army Reservist, was called to active duty during the 1961–62 season, being stationed in Washington state, he could play for the Lakers only when on a weekend pass. Despit