Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers, abbreviated by the team as the LA Clippers, are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of Pacific Division of the league's Western Conference; the Clippers play their home games at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, an arena shared with fellow NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The franchise was founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, one of three expansion teams to join the NBA that year; the Braves moved from Buffalo, New York to San Diego, California in 1978 and became known as the San Diego Clippers. In 1984, The Clippers moved to Los Angeles. Through much of its history, the franchise failed to see significant regular season or playoff success; the Clippers were seen as an example of a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the successful Lakers, with whom they have shared a market since 1984 and an arena since 1999.
The Clippers' fortunes turned in the early 2010s with the acquisition of core players Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul. In 2013, the franchise won its first division title, as the team made the playoffs for the ninth time in franchise history and the third time in the previous eight seasons, they added to their budding rivalry with the Lakers, as they finished with a better record than the Lakers for the fifth time and won the season series for the second time since moving to Los Angeles in 1984, this time in a sweep. They repeated as division champions in 2014; the franchise began in Western New York as the Buffalo Braves, one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970–71 season, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers. They played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, along with another Buffalo team that would begin play that year, the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres. After two bad seasons, the Braves' fortunes started to change under coach Jack Ramsay and star forward/center Bob McAdoo.
McAdoo led the NBA in scoring for three consecutive seasons and was named the league's MVP in the 1974–75 season. The Braves qualified for the playoffs three times in a row, losing twice to the eventual Eastern Conference champions. Despite the team's modest success in Buffalo, Braves owner Paul Snyder and the league found it impossible to schedule home games at the auditorium because of the Canisius Golden Griffins men's basketball team, which had a pre-existing lease on the arena and priority on game dates over the Braves; the Griffins saw the Braves as a threat to their own success, purposely scheduled all the best dates at the arena to prevent the Braves from succeeding. As a result, after a failed attempt to sell the team to an owner who intended to move it to South Florida, Snyder sold the team to Kentucky Colonels owner John Y. Brown, Jr. who decimated the team's roster, traded away all of its stars, drove attendance down to the point where they could break their own lease on the arena.
Brown met with Celtics owner Irv Levin in 1978 so they could trade franchise ownerships. Southern California resident Levin decided to move the Braves to San Diego, something the league would have never allowed him to do with the Celtics. In 1978, San Diego welcomed the relocation of the Buffalo Braves franchise because the city had lost their Rockets to Houston seven years earlier as well as their American Basketball Association franchise, the San Diego Sails after the 1974-1975 ABA season. San Diego team officials did not think Braves was a representative nickname for the club and a contest decided on "Clippers", because the city was known for the great sailing ships that passed through San Diego Bay; when the Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984, they kept their name. Playing at the San Diego Sports Arena, the Clippers posted a record of 43–39 in their first season in California under new head coach Gene Shue, leaving them two wins shy of the final playoff spot, it would be the Clippers' last winning season for 13 years.
It was in that first season in southern California that long-time announcer Ralph Lawler began his association with the franchise. The Clippers began pursuing star free agents, beginning with World B. Free, acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers. Free finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.9 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average. The 1979–80 season saw the Clippers begin to struggle, despite adding center Bill Walton, a San Diego native, two years removed from an NBA Championship with the Trail Blazers. Walton missed 68 games due to foot injuries. San Diego finished. Free again finishing second in league scoring, with 30.2 PPG. Paul Silas replaced Shue the following season, the Clippers finished 36–46, again missing the postseason. Walton missed the entire season again due to foot injuries, while Free was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Phil Smith; the 1981–82 season brought changes to the franchise as Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for $12.5 million.
The Clippers experienced poor play and franchise mismanagement in their final years in San Diego, much like in Buffalo, competition from other sports teams in town, namely the ascendant San Diego Chargers, sucked away attention from the Clippers. That season, the Clippers were drawing fewer fans than the Braves had
Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is the second largest city in the U. S. state of New York and the largest city in Western New York. As of 2017, the population was 258,612; the city is the county seat of Erie County and a major gateway for commerce and travel across the Canada–United States border, forming part of the bi-national Buffalo Niagara Region. The Buffalo area was inhabited before the 17th century by the Native American Iroquois tribe and by French settlers; the city grew in the 19th and 20th centuries as a result of immigration, the construction of the Erie Canal and rail transportation, its close proximity to Lake Erie. This growth provided an abundance of fresh water and an ample trade route to the Midwestern United States while grooming its economy for the grain and automobile industries that dominated the city's economy in the 20th century. Since the city's economy relied on manufacturing, deindustrialization in the latter half of the 20th century led to a steady decline in population. While some manufacturing activity remains, Buffalo's economy has transitioned to service industries with a greater emphasis on healthcare and higher education, which emerged following the Great Recession.
Buffalo is on the eastern shore of Lake Erie, at the head of the Niagara River, 16 miles south of Niagara Falls. Its early embrace of electric power led to the nickname "The City of Light"; the city is famous for its urban planning and layout by Joseph Ellicott, an extensive system of parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, as well as significant architectural works. Its culture blends Northeastern and Midwestern traditions, with annual festivals including Taste of Buffalo and Allentown Art Festival, two professional sports teams, a music and arts scene; the city of Buffalo received its name from a nearby creek called Buffalo Creek. British military engineer Captain John Montresor made reference to "Buffalo Creek" in his 1764 journal, which may be the earliest recorded appearance of the name. There are several theories regarding. While it is possible its name originated from French fur traders and Native Americans calling the creek Beau Fleuve, it is possible Buffalo Creek was named after the American buffalo, whose historical range may have extended into western New York.
The first inhabitants of the State of New York are believed to have been nomadic Paleo-Indians, who migrated after the disappearance of Pleistocene glaciers during or before 7000 BCE. Around 1000 CE, 1,000 years ago, the Woodland period began, marked by the rise of the Iroquois Confederacy and its tribes throughout the state. During French exploration of the region in 1620, the region was occupied by the agrarian Erie people, a tribe outside of the Five Nations of the Iroquois southwest of Buffalo Creek, the Wenro people or Wenrohronon, an Iroquoian-speaking tribal offshoot of the large Neutral Nation who lived along the inland south shore of Lake Ontario and at the east end of Lake Erie and a bit of its northern shore. For trading, the Neutral people made a living by growing tobacco and hemp to trade with the Iroquois, utilizing animal paths or warpaths to travel and move goods across the state; these paths were paved, now function as major roads. During the Beaver Wars of the 1640s-1650s, the combined warriors of the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy conquered the populous Neutrals and their peninsular territory, while the Senecas alone took out the Wenro and their territory, c.
1651–1653. Soon after, the Erie nation and territory was destroyed by the Iroquois over their assistance to Huron people during the Beaver Wars, it was Louis Hennepin and Sieur de La Salle who made the earliest European discoveries of the upper Niagara and Ontario regions in the late 1600s. On August 7, 1679, La Salle launched a vessel, Le Griffon, that became the first full-sized ship to sail across the Great Lakes disappearing in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After the American Revolution, the colony of New York—now a state—began westward expansion, looking for habitable land by following trends of the Iroquois. Land near fresh water was of considerable importance. New York and Massachusetts were fighting for the territory Buffalo lies on, Massachusetts had the right to purchase all but a one-mile wide portion of land; the rights to the Massachusetts' territories were sold to Robert Morris in 1791, two years to the Holland Land Company. As a result of the war, in which the Iroquois tribe sided with the British Army, Iroquois territory was whittled away in the mid-to-late-1700s by white settlers through successive treaties statewide, such as the Treaty of Fort Stanwix, the First Treaty of Buffalo Creek, the Treaty of Geneseo.
The Iroquois were corralled onto reservations, including Buffalo Creek. By the end of the 18th century, only 338 square miles of reservation territory remained. Early settlers along the mouth of Buffalo Creek were former slave Joseph "Black Joe" Hodges, Cornelius Winney, a Dutch trader from Albany who arrived in 1789; the first white settlers along the creek were prisoners captured during the Revolutionary War. The first resident and landowner of Buffalo with a permanent presence was Captain William Johnston, a white Iroquois interpreter, present in the area since the days after the Revolutionary War and was granted creekside land by the Senecas as a gift of appreciation, his house was built at present-day Seneca streets. On July 20, 1793, the Holland Land Purchase was completed, containing the land of present-day Buffalo, brokered by Dutch investors from Holland; the Treaty of Big Tree removed Iroquois title to lan
The Pontiac Silverdome was a domed stadium in Pontiac, Michigan. It sat on 127 acres of land; when the stadium opened, it featured a fiberglass fabric roof held up by air pressure, the first use of the architectural technique in a major athletic facility. With a seating capacity of 82,000+, it was the largest stadium in the National Football League until FedExField in suburban Washington, D. C. opened in 1997. It was the home of the Detroit Lions of the NFL from 1975 to 2001 and was home to the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association from 1978 to 1988. In addition, the Silverdome served as the home venue for the Detroit Express of the North American Soccer League and the Michigan Panthers of the United States Football League, as well as two college bowl games: the Cherry Bowl and the Motor City Bowl. In 2012, the Silverdome served as the home venue of the Detroit Mechanix of the American Ultimate Disc League and hosted the league championship game that season; the stadium was a regular concert venue and hosted a number of athletic and non-athletic events, including the 1979 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XVI, WrestleMania III, early round games of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, regional games in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
After the opening of Ford Field in 2002, the stadium was left without a permanent tenant. It first closed in 2006, but after multiple attempts to solicit redevelopment plans, the city sold the stadium at auction in 2009 for only $550,000, it reopened in 2010 and hosted several events, but closed again, this time permanently, in 2013. The roof was destroyed by a winter storm. Owners auctioned the stadium's contents in 2014 with no future development through June 2015; the site of the stadium houses thousands of recalled Volkswagen vehicles. In 2017, the Silverdome was prepared for demolition by Adamo Demolition. Following the implosion, the remains of the stadium were brought down in sections with hydraulic excavators, the last free standing section was felled by late March 2018; the Silverdome hosted the Detroit Lions of the NFL, the Detroit Pistons of the NBA, the Detroit Express of the NASL, the Michigan Panthers of the USFL, college football's Cherry Bowl, the Motor City Bowl, the MHSAA football state finals and four first-round games during soccer's 1994 FIFA World Cup.
For the World Cup matches, a natural grass surface capable of growing inside the dome was developed and installed by a team from Michigan State University. This grass surface was laid upon wooden pallets atop the artificial turf, used, it was the first time. The Silverdome hosted the 1979 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XVI on January 24, 1982, the 1988 and 1991 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Midwest Regionals and NCAA Men's Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships in 1982 and 1983. On March 29, 1987, the World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania III established the record for attendance of 93,173, the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America; the record stood until February 14, 2010 when the 2010 NBA All-Star Game broke the indoor sporting event record with an attendance of 108,713 at Cowboys Stadium. The Silverdome hosted an AMA Supercross Championship round from 1976 to 2005. In 2012, the Silverdome became the home stadium of the city's professional Ultimate Frisbee team, the Detroit Mechanix, of the American Ultimate Disc League.
That year, the Silverdome hosted the AUDL championship game, as on August 11, the Philadelphia Spinners defeated the Indianapolis AlleyCats 29-22. After the roof had been collapsed and the stadium abandoned, Red Bull produced a video of BMX rider Tyler Fernengel riding inside the Silverdome in 2015; some notable tricks in the video were Fernengel's barspin to double peg to 180° spin on one of the handrails inside the stadium and an impressive "truckdriver" out of the luxury boxes onto a ramp that led down to the field. That same year, a drag racing event at the former parking lot marked the beginning of Woodward Dream Cruise; the idea of a major sports complex was part of a dream of C. Don Davidson, a Pontiac native and star high school athlete. Davidson, upon graduating from Pontiac Central High School in 1947 and completing active duty with the U. S. Marine Corps, attended North Carolina State University on a football scholarship. After earning a master's degree in urban planning and architecture, Davidson began his career as an architect and was recognized for several government and city projects throughout the south including Florida's Jacksonville International Airport.
He returned to Pontiac in 1965 and was shocked to see the deterioration of the city of Pontiac and its lack of a future plan. Davidson embarked upon what would become an obsession for him to see his beloved city succeed. In 1965-66, he was hired as a professor of architecture and urban planning at the University of Detroit under the direction of Bruno Leon; as part of an ongoing, comprehensive study by his architecture class on urban renewal for the city of Pontiac, Davidson met with various city and state authorities including William Clay Ford, owner of the Detroit Lions, to discuss the possibility of a new stadium, made it a college class project to find a suitable site for a new stadium and started his own weekly newspaper kno
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
Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U. S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, its largest city is New Orleans. Much of the state's lands were formed from sediment washed down the Mississippi River, leaving enormous deltas and vast areas of coastal marsh and swamp; these contain a rich southern biota. There are many species of tree frogs, fish such as sturgeon and paddlefish. In more elevated areas, fire is a natural process in the landscape, has produced extensive areas of longleaf pine forest and wet savannas; these support an exceptionally large number of plant species, including many species of terrestrial orchids and carnivorous plants.
Louisiana has more Native American tribes than any other southern state, including four that are federally recognized, ten that are state recognized, four that have not received recognition. Some Louisiana urban environments have a multicultural, multilingual heritage, being so influenced by a mixture of 18th-century French, Spanish, Native American, African cultures that they are considered to be exceptional in the US. Before the American purchase of the territory in 1803, present-day Louisiana State had been both a French colony and for a brief period a Spanish one. In addition, colonists imported numerous African people as slaves in the 18th century. Many came from peoples of the same region of West Africa. In the post-Civil War environment, Anglo-Americans increased the pressure for Anglicization, in 1921, English was for a time made the sole language of instruction in Louisiana schools before a policy of multilingualism was revived in 1974. There has never been an official language in Louisiana, the state constitution enumerates "the right of the people to preserve and promote their respective historic and cultural origins."
Louisiana was named after Louis XIV, King of France from 1643 to 1715. When René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle claimed the territory drained by the Mississippi River for France, he named it La Louisiane; the suffix -ana is a Latin suffix that can refer to "information relating to a particular individual, subject, or place." Thus Louis + ana carries the idea of "related to Louis." Once part of the French Colonial Empire, the Louisiana Territory stretched from present-day Mobile Bay to just north of the present-day Canada–United States border, including a small part of what is now the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The Gulf of Mexico did not exist 250 million years ago when there was but one supercontinent, Pangea; as Pangea split apart, the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico opened. Louisiana developed, over millions of years, from water into land, from north to south; the oldest rocks are exposed in areas such as the Kisatchie National Forest. The oldest rocks date back to the early Cenozoic Era, some 60 million years ago.
The history of the formation of these rocks can be found in D. Spearing's Roadside Geology of Louisiana; the youngest parts of the state were formed during the last 12,000 years as successive deltas of the Mississippi River: the Maringouin, Teche, St. Bernard, the modern Mississippi, now the Atchafalaya; the sediments were carried from north to south by the Mississippi River. In between the Tertiary rocks of the north, the new sediments along the coast, is a vast belt known as the Pleistocene Terraces, their age and distribution can be related to the rise and fall of sea levels during past ice ages. In general, the northern terraces have had sufficient time for rivers to cut deep channels, while the newer terraces tend to be much flatter. Salt domes are found in Louisiana, their origin can be traced back to the early Gulf of Mexico, when the shallow ocean had high rates of evaporation. There are several hundred salt domes in the state. Salt domes are important not only as a source of salt. Louisiana is bordered to the west by Texas.
The state may properly be divided into two parts, the uplands of the north, the alluvial along the coast. The alluvial region includes low swamp lands, coastal marshlands and beaches, barrier islands that cover about 20,000 square miles; this area lies principally along the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River, which traverses the state from north to south for a distance of about 600 mi ) and empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The breadth of the alluvial region along the Mississippi is from 10 to 60 miles, along the other rivers, the alluvial region averages about 10 miles across; the Mississippi River flows along a ridge formed by its own natural deposits, from which the lands decline toward a river beyond at an average fall of six feet per mile. The alluvial lands along other streams present similar features; the higher and contiguous hill lands of the north and northwestern part of the state have an area of more than 25,000 square miles. They consist of prairie and woodl
David Thompson (basketball)
David O'Neil Thompson is an American retired professional basketball player. He played with the Denver Nuggets of both the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association, as well as the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA, he was a star in college for North Carolina State, leading the Wolfpack to its first NCAA championship in 1974. Thompson is one of the six players to score 70 or more points in an NBA game. Thompson was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996. Thompson attended Crest Senior High School and he played for the school's Varsity Basketball team for four years, he starred in the North Carolina Coaches Association's East-West All-Star Basketball Game in 1971. Thompson is a first cousin of both growing up in Shelby, North Carolina. Thompson led North Carolina State University to an undefeated season in 1973, but the Wolfpack was banned from post-season play that year due to NCAA rules violations involving the recruiting of Thompson, he led the Wolfpack to a 30-1 season and the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1974.
In the semifinal game NCSU defeated the reigning national champions, the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins in double overtime. In the championship game they won over Marquette 76-64, his nickname was "Skywalker" because of his incredible vertical leap. The alley-oop pass, now a staple of today's high-flying, above-the-rim game, was "invented" by Thompson and his NC State teammate Monte Towe, first used as an integral part of the offense by NC State coach Norm Sloan to take advantage of Thompson's leaping ability. NC State's game against the nationally 4th-ranked University of Maryland Terrapins in the 1974 ACC Tournament finale, in an era in which only conference champions were invited to the NCAA Tournament, is considered one of the best college basketball games of all time. Thompson and teammate Tommy Burleson led the #1-ranked Wolfpack to a 103-100 win in overtime. Thompson and the Wolfpack would go on to win the national championship that year. Maryland's exclusion from the NCAA Tournament due to the loss, despite their high national ranking, would lead to the expansion of the NCAA Tournament the next season to include teams other than the league champions.
Thompson is considered one of the greatest players in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, among such talents as Michael Jordan, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Christian Laettner and Len Bias. Thompson played basketball. In 1975, playing his final home game at NC State against UNC-Charlotte, late in the second half Thompson on a breakaway received a long pass from a teammate, resulting in the first and only dunk of his collegiate career, a goal, promptly disallowed by technical foul. Head coach Norm Sloan removed Thompson to thunderous applause; the ACC's most exciting player, who had performed for three years without executing the game's most exciting act, thus passed into history. Michael Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, said that Thompson was his basketball role model as a young man. At some of the basketball camps that Jordan ran, Jordan would tell the campers, "He was the guy I looked up to when I was your age." For this reason, Thompson was asked by Jordan in 2009 to introduce him to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Thompson's 44 remains the only number NC State retired in men's basketball. It was retired at his last home game. Thompson was the No. 1 draft pick of both the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association in the 1975 drafts of both leagues. He signed with the ABA's Denver Nuggets. Explaining his choice between the establishment NBA and the ABA—which offered less real money —Thompson said when he met with the Hawks, the organization had seemed uninterested, to the point of treating him to a meal at McDonald's. Thompson told the Denver Nuggets he wanted his friend and point guard at N. C. State Monte Towe to have a chance to play in the NBA, Denver drafted the 5"7"Towe and signed him to a 2-year contract. Thompson and Julius Erving were the finalists in the first Slam-Dunk Competition, held at the 1976 ABA All-Star Game at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver; the competition organizers had arranged the seedings to assure a final round pairing these two dynamic players. Erving won with the first foul-line dunk, to this day the standard for leaping and dunking prowess.
Thompson, performed more difficult dunks in warmups, but not in the competition itself—including a dunk called the "cradle the baby" whereby he cradled the ball in the crook of his arm, raised it above the rim, punched it through. Thompson won the MVP of the 1976 ABA All-Star Game, as a prize, he received a credenza television set. After the ABA–NBA merger in 1976, Thompson continued with the Nuggets through the 1981–82 season, after which he was traded on June 17, 1982 to the Seattle SuperSonics. Thompson made the NBA All-Star Game four seasons, reached his peak in 1978 season. On April 9, 1978, the last day of the regular NBA season, Thompson scored 73 points against the Detroit Pistons in an effort to win the NBA scoring title, he led the Denver Nuggets to the NBA playoffs, but they lost to the eventual Western Conference champion Seattle SuperSonics. After the 1978 season, Thompson signed a record-breaking contract for $4 million over five-years; that amount was more than any basketball play
Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award
The Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award is an annual National Basketball Association award given since the 1969 NBA Finals. The award is decided by a panel of eleven media members, who cast votes after the conclusion of the Finals; the person with the highest number of votes wins the award. The award was a black trophy with a gold basketball-shaped sphere at the top, similar to the Larry O'Brien Trophy, until a new trophy was introduced in 2005 to commemorate Bill Russell. Since its inception, the award has been given to 31 players. Michael Jordan is a record six-time award winner. Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan and LeBron James won the award three times in their careers. Jordan and O'Neal are the only players to win the award in three consecutive seasons. Johnson is the only rookie to win the award, as well as the youngest at 20 years old. Andre Iguodala is the only winner to have not started every game in the series. Jerry West, the first awardee, is the only person to win the award while being on the losing team in the NBA Finals.
Willis Reed, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant won the award twice. Olajuwon, Durant and James have won the award in two consecutive seasons. Abdul-Jabbar and James are the only players to win the award for two teams. Olajuwon of Nigeria, who became a naturalized U. S. citizen in 1993, Tony Parker of France, Dirk Nowitzki of Germany are the only international players to win the award. Duncan is an American citizen, but is considered an "international" player by the NBA because he was not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D. C. Parker and Nowitzki are the only winners to have been trained outside the U. S.. Cedric Maxwell is the only Finals MVP winner eligible for the Hall of Fame who has not been voted in. On February 14, 2009, during the 2009 NBA All-Star Weekend in Phoenix, then-NBA Commissioner David Stern announced that the award would be renamed the "Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award" in honor of 11-time NBA champion Bill Russell.
NBA Most Valuable Player Award NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award General Specific