The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won four Western Conference titles; the team was established as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team based in San Diego, in 1967. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston; the Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967. In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets, picking first overall, selected power forward Elvin Hayes, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season; the Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for center Moses Malone. Malone went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award twice and led Houston to the conference finals in his first year with the team, he led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981 where they were defeated in six games by the Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird and future Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
In the 1984 NBA draft, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would be paired with 7 feet 4 inches Ralph Sampson, forming one of the tallest front courts in the NBA. Nicknamed the "Twin Towers", they led the team to the 1986 NBA Finals—the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—where Houston was again defeated by the Boston Celtics; the Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second-round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987. Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history; the Olajuwon-led Rockets went to the 1994 NBA Finals and won the franchise's first championship against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. The following season, reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, the Rockets repeated as champions with a four-game sweep of the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway.
Houston, seeded sixth in the Western Conference during the 1995 playoffs, became the lowest-seeded team in NBA history to win the title. The Rockets acquired all-star forward Charles Barkley in 1996, but the presence of three of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all-time was not enough to propel Houston past the Western Conference Finals; each one of the aging trio had left the team by 2001, the Rockets of the early 2000s, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries. After Yao's early retirement in 2011, the Rockets entered a period of rebuilding dismantling and retooling their roster; the acquisition of franchise player James Harden in 2012 has launched the Rockets back into championship contention in the mid-2010s. Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden have been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player while playing for the Rockets, for a total of four MVP awards.
The Rockets, under general manager Daryl Morey, are notable for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics in player acquisitions and style of play. The Rockets were founded in 1967 in San Diego by Robert Breitbard, who paid an entry fee of US $1.75 million to join the NBA as an expansion team for the 1967–68 season. The NBA wanted to add more teams in the Western United States, chose San Diego based on the city's strong economic and population growth, along with the local success of an ice hockey team owned by Breitbard, the San Diego Gulls; the resulting contest to name the franchise chose the name "Rockets", which paid homage to San Diego's theme of "a city in motion" and the local arm of General Dynamics developing the Atlas missile and booster rocket program. Breitbard brought in Jack McMahon coach of the Cincinnati Royals, to serve as the Rockets' coach and general manager; the team, that would join the league along with the Seattle SuperSonics built its roster with both veteran players at an expansion draft, college players from the 1967 NBA draft, where San Diego's first draft pick was Pat Riley.
The Rockets lost 67 games in their inaugural season, an NBA record for losses in a season at the time. In 1968, after the Rockets won a coin toss against the Baltimore Bullets to determine who would have the first overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft, they selected Elvin Hayes from the University of Houston. Hayes improved the Rockets' record to 37 wins and 45 losses, enough for the franchise's first playoff appearance in 1969, but the Rockets lost in the semi-finals of the Western Division to the Atlanta Hawks, four games to two. Despite the additions of Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich and the management of Hall of Fame coach Alex Hannum, the Rockets tallied a 67–97 record in the following two seasons and did not make the playoffs in either season; because of the low performance and attendance, Breitbard looked to sell the team, in 1971, Texas Sports Investments bought the franchise for $5.6 million, moved the team to Houston. The franchise became the first NBA team in Texas, the nickname "Rockets" took on greater relevance after the move, given Houston's long connection to the space industry.
Before the start of the 1971–72 season, Hannum left for the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association – renamed Denver Nuggets, who joined the NBA in 1976 – and Tex Winter was hired in his place. However, Winter's clashes with Hayes, due to a system that contrasted with the offensive style
1979 NBA draft
The 1979 NBA draft was the 33rd annual draft of the National Basketball Association. The draft was held on June 1979, before the 1979 -- 80 season. In this draft, 22 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U. S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each conference, with the order determined by a coin flip; the Los Angeles Lakers, who obtained the New Orleans Jazz' first-round pick in a trade, won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Chicago Bulls were awarded the second pick. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated. Larry Bird would have been eligible to join this draft class because his "junior eligible" draft status from being taken by Boston in 1978 would expire the minute the 1979 draft began, but Bird and the Celtics agreed on a 5-year contract in time to avoid that.
Before the draft, five college underclassmen were declared eligible for selection under the "hardship" rule. These players had applied and gave evidence of financial hardship to the league, which granted them the right to start earning their living by starting their professional careers earlier. Prior to the draft, the Jazz became the Utah Jazz; the draft consisted of 10 rounds comprising the selection of 202 players. Magic Johnson from Michigan State University, one of the "hardship" players, was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Lakers. Johnson, who had just finished his sophomore season in college, became the first underclassman to be drafted first overall, he went on to win the NBA championship with the Lakers in his rookie season. He won the Finals Most Valuable Player Award, becoming the first rookie to win the award, he won five NBA championships. He won three Most Valuable Player Awards, three Finals Most Valuable Player Awards, ten consecutive All-NBA Team selections and twelve All-Star Game selections.
For his achievements, he has been inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was named to the list of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History announced at the league's 50th anniversary in 1996. After retiring as a player, Johnson went on to have a brief coaching career as an interim head coach of the Lakers in 1994. Sidney Moncrief, the fifth pick, won two Defensive Player of the Year Awards and was selected to five consecutive All-NBA Teams, five consecutive All-Defensive Teams and five consecutive All-Star Games. In "The Book of Basketball", Bill Simmons noted that then-Lakers GM Jerry West had wanted to trade down from the #1 pick and use it to get Moncrief along with more players and picks, but Jerry Buss vetoed West's plans because Buss wanted Magic to be the new face of the team he was just finishing his full purchase of. Jim Paxson, the twelfth pick, was selected to two All-Star Games. Bill Cartwright, the third pick, won three consecutive NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls from 1991 through 1993.
He had one All-Star Game selection, which occurred in his rookie season. He became the Bulls' head coach for three seasons. Bill Laimbeer, the 65th pick, won two NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990 and was selected to four All-Star Games. After retiring, he coached the Detroit Shock of the Women's National Basketball Association for eight seasons, leading them to three WNBA championships in 2003, 2006 and 2008. Mark Eaton, who had only completed one year of college basketball, was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 107th pick, he opted to return to college basketball and joined the NBA in 1982, after he was drafted again by the Utah Jazz in the 1982 draft. During his eleven-year career with the Jazz, he won two Defensive Player of the Year Awards and was selected to five consecutive All-Defensive Team and one All-Star Game. Two other players from this draft, eighth pick Calvin Natt and 73rd pick James Donaldson, were selected to one All-Star Game each. In the fourth round, the Boston Celtics selected Nick Galis from Seton Hall University with the 68th pick.
However, he suffered a serious injury in the training camp and was waived by the Celtics before the season started. Galis, born in the United States to Greek parents, opted to play in Greece, he never played in the NBA and spent all of his professional career in Greece, where he helped the country emerge as an international basketball power. He won a Eurobasket title, 8 Greek championships, 7 Greek cups as well as numerous personal honors and awards, he has been inducted into both the FIBA Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The following list includes other draft picks. A On August 5, 1976, the Los Angeles Lakers acquired 1977, 1978 and 1979 first-round picks, a 1980 second-round pick from the New Orleans Jazz in exchange for a 1978 first-round pick and a 1977 second-round pick; this trade was arranged as compensation when the Jazz signed Gail Goodrich on July 19, 1976. The Lakers used the pick to draft Magic Johnson. B 1 2 3 On February 12, 1979, the New York Knicks acquired three first-round picks from the Boston Celtics in exchange for Bob McAdoo.
The Celtics acquired a first-round pick on January 30, 1979, from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Jo Jo White. The Celtics acquired a first-round pick on January 17, 1979, from the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for Dennis Awtrey. The
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division; the Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics; the franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League. The new team began calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. A member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player Wilt Chamberlain, won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s; the 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their fast break-offense led by Magic Johnson. The team won five championships in a nine-year span, contained Hall of Famers Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, was led by Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson retired, the team struggled in the early 1990s, before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. With the duo, who were led by another Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the team won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat".
The Lakers won two more championships in 2009 and 2010, but failed to regain their former glory in the following decade. The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. 21 Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles. Four Lakers—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O'Neal, Bryant—have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards; the Lakers' franchise began in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen of Minnesota purchased the disbanded Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League for $15,000 from Gems owner Maury Winston. Minneapolis sportswriter Sid Hartman played a key behind the scenes role in helping put together the deal and the team. Inspired by Minnesota's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the team christened themselves the Lakers. Hartman helped them hire John Kundla from College of St. Thomas, to be their first head coach, by meeting with him and selling him on the team; the Lakers had a solid roster, which featured forward Jim Pollard, playmaker Herm Schaefer, center George Mikan, who became the most dominant player in the NBL.
In their first season, they led the league with a 43–17 record winning the NBL Championship that season. In 1948, the Lakers moved from the NBL to the Basketball Association of America, Mikan's 28.3 point per game scoring average set a BAA record. In the 1949 BAA Finals they won the championship; the following season, the team improved to 51–17, repeating as champions. In the 1950–51 season, Mikan won his third straight scoring title at 28.4 ppg and the Lakers went 44–24 to win their second straight division title. One of those games, a 19–18 loss against the Fort Wayne Pistons, became infamous as the lowest scoring game in NBA history. In the playoffs, they defeated the Indianapolis Olympians in three games but lost to the Rochester Royals in the next round. During the 1951 -- 52 season, the Lakers won 40 games, they faced the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. In the 1952–53 season, Mikan led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 14.4 rebounds per game, was named MVP of the 1953 NBA All-Star Game.
After a 48–22 regular season, the Lakers defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in the Western playoffs to advance to the NBA Finals. They defeated the New York Knicks to win their second straight championship. Though Lakers star George Mikan suffered from knee problems throughout the 1953–54 season, he was still able to average 18 ppg. Clyde Lovellette, drafted in 1952, helped the team win the Western Division; the team won its third straight championship in the 1950s and fifth in six seasons when it defeated the Syracuse Nationals in seven games. Following Mikan's retirement in the 1954 off-season, the Lakers struggled but still managed to win 40 games. Although they defeated the Rochester Royals in the first round of the playoffs, they were defeated by the Fort Wayne Pistons in the semifinals. Although they had losing records the next two seasons, they made the playoffs each year. Mikan came back for the last half of the 1955–56 season, but struggled and retired for good after the season. Led by Lovellette's 20.6 points and 13.5 rebounds, they advanced to the Conference Finals in 1956–57.
The Lakers had one of the worst seasons in team history in 1957–58 when they won a league-low 19 games. They had hired Mikan, the team's general manager for the previous two seasons, as head coach to replace Kundla. Mikan was fired in January when
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous municipality of the U. S. state of Utah. With an estimated population of 190,884 in 2014, the city is the core of the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a population of 1,153,340. Salt Lake City is further situated within a larger metropolis known as the Salt Lake City–Ogden–Provo Combined Statistical Area, a corridor of contiguous urban and suburban development stretched along a 120-mile segment of the Wasatch Front, comprising a population of 2,423,912, it is one of only two major urban areas in the Great Basin. The world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is located in Salt Lake City; the city was founded in 1847 by followers of the church, led by Brigham Young, who were seeking to escape persecution that they had experienced while living farther east. The Mormon pioneers, as they would come to be known, at first encountered an arid, inhospitable valley that they extensively irrigated and cultivated, thereby establishing the foundation to sustain the area's present population.
Salt Lake City's street grid system is based on the north-south east-west grid plan developed by early church leaders, with the Salt Lake Temple constructed at the grid's starting point. Due to its proximity to the Great Salt Lake, the city was named Great Salt Lake City. In 1868, the 17th Utah Territorial Legislature dropped the word "Great" from the city's name. Immigration of international members of the church, mining booms, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad brought economic growth, the city was nicknamed the Crossroads of the West, it was traversed by the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway, in 1913. Two major cross-country freeways, I-15 and I-80, now intersect in the city. Salt Lake City has developed a strong outdoor recreation tourist industry based on skiing, the city hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, it is the industrial banking center of the United States. Before settlement by members of the LDS Church, the Shoshone and Paiute had dwelt in the Salt Lake Valley for thousands of years.
At the time of Salt Lake City's founding, the valley was within the territory of the Northwestern Shoshone. One local Shoshone tribe, the Western Goshute tribe, referred to the Great Salt Lake as Pi'a-pa, meaning "big water", or Ti'tsa-pa, meaning "bad water"; the land was treated by the United States as public domain. The first American explorer in the Salt Lake area was Jim Bridger in 1825, although others had been in Utah earlier, some as far north as the nearby Utah Valley. US Army officer John C. Frémont surveyed the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Valley in 1843 and 1845; the Donner Party, a group of ill-fated pioneers, had traveled through the Great Salt Lake Valley in August 1846. The valley's first permanent settlements date to the arrival of the Latter-day Saints in July 1847, they had traveled beyond the boundaries of the United States into Mexican Territory seeking a secluded area to safely practice their religion away from the violence and the persecution they experienced in the Eastern United States.
Upon arrival at the Salt Lake Valley, president of the church Brigham Young is recorded as stating, "This is the right place, drive on." Brigham Young claimed to have seen the area in a vision prior to the wagon train's arrival. They found. Four days after arriving in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young designated the building site for the Salt Lake Temple; the Salt Lake Temple, constructed on the block called Temple Square, took 40 years to complete. Construction started in 1853, the temple was dedicated on April 6, 1893; the temple serves as its centerpiece. In fact, the southeast corner of Temple Square is the initial point of reference for the Salt Lake meridian, for all addresses in the Salt Lake Valley; the pioneers organized a state called State of Deseret, petitioned for its recognition in 1849. The United States Congress rebuffed the settlers in 1850 and established the Utah Territory, vastly reducing its size, designated Fillmore as its capital city. Great Salt Lake City replaced Fillmore as the territorial capital in 1856, the name was shortened to Salt Lake City.
The city's population continued to swell with an influx of converts to the LDS Church and Gold Rush gold seekers, making it one of the most populous cities in the American Old West. Explorer and author Richard Francis Burton traveled by coach in the summer of 1860 to document life in Great Salt Lake City, he was granted unprecedented access during his three-week visit, including audiences with Brigham Young and other contemporaries of Joseph Smith. The records of his visit include sketches of early city buildings, a description of local geography and agriculture, commentary on its politics and social order, essays and sermons from Young, Isaac Morley, George Washington Bradley and other leaders, snippets of everyday life such as newspaper clippings and the menu from a high-society ball. Disputes with the federal government ensued over the church's practice of polygamy. A climax occurred in 1857 when President James Buchanan declared the area in rebellion after Brigham Young refused to step down as governor, beginning the Utah War.
A division of the United States Army, comman
1988–89 NBA season
The 1988–89 NBA season was the 43rd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons winning the NBA Championship, sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers; this was the first season of the Miami Charlotte Hornets. The NBA adopts the three-official system used in college basketball permanently; the league experimented with three officials per game in 1978–79, but went back to two officials per game for the next nine seasons, although they have three with the inclusion of an alternate referee for all playoff games and selected regular season games. The Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets become the league's 25th franchises; the Heat plays its inaugural season in the Midwest Division. As a result, the Sacramento Kings move to the Pacific Division; the 1989 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Astrodome in Houston, with the West defeating the East 143–134. Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz takes home the game's MVP award. New Arenas: The Milwaukee Bucks move from the MECCA Arena to the then-Bradley Center, the Sacramento Kings move from ARCO Arena I to the then-ARCO Arena, the Detroit Pistons move from the Pontiac Silverdome to The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Michael Jordan records ten triple-doubles in eleven games near the end of the season. Prior to the season, the first-year Hornets announce that they choose teal as their primary color, which gave them immediate attention. In the next decade, expansion teams in the other professional sports leagues further popularized the use of the color; the Hornets popularized the use of pinstripes on the uniforms, which were adopted by the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and the current Charlotte Hornets' predecessor franchise, the Bobcats. The Chicago Bulls started a playoff tradition by wearing black sneakers. Prior to that, the Boston Celtics were the only team to wear black sneakers. Following the Bulls' unlikely playoff run, other teams began adopting the style, beginning with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1990; this was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's last season. The Los Angeles Lakers became the first team to sweep two consecutive best-of-seven series; the Celtics, who had won no fewer than 57 games over the previous 9 seasons, slump to 42 as Larry Bird played only six games due to injuries.
The Indiana Pacers had 4 different head coaches during the season, a rare occurrence that has not happened since. Seattle SuperSonics guard Dale Ellis won the All-Star game's 3-point shootout; the first cancellation of an NBA game due to a civil disturbance. In the wake of the Miami riots, the game between the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns on January 17, 1989, was canceled. Jerry Sloan begins the first season of 23 for the Utah Jazz, the longest tenure for any professional coach for one city and franchise. Notes z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs y – Clinched division title x – Clinched playoff spot The League expands from twenty-three to twenty-five franchises, with new expansion teams in Charlotte and Miami; the Heat began its season as a member of the Western Conference despite its geographical position, enduring its longest road trips when playing Western Conference teams. It began the season 0–17, at the time the worst start in NBA history.
The Hornets finished at 20–62. Such records are typical of expansion NBA franchises in their initial seasons, with 15–67 being the poorest record repeated by the Cavaliers, Grizzlies and Mavericks, as well as the Heat; the Sacramento Kings were belatedly moved to the Pacific Division in their fourth season after leaving Kansas City. Teams in bold advanced to the next round; the numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record. Most Valuable Player: Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers Rookie of the Year: Mitch Richmond, Golden State Warriors Defensive Player of the Year: Mark Eaton, Utah Jazz Sixth Man of the Year: Eddie Johnson, Phoenix Suns Most Improved Player: Kevin Johnson, Phoenix Suns Coach of the Year: Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix Suns All-NBA First Team: F – Karl Malone, Utah Jazz F – Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers C – Akeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets G – Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls G – Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers All-NBA Second Team: F – Tom Chambers, Phoenix Suns F – Chris Mullin, Golden State Warriors C – Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks G – John Stockton, Utah Jazz G – Kevin Johnson, Phoenix Suns All-NBA Third Team: F – Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta Hawks F – Terry Cummings, Milwaukee Bucks C – Robert Parish, Boston Celtics G – Dale Ellis, Seattle SuperSonics G – Mark Price, Cleveland Cavaliers All-NBA Rookie Team: Rik Smits, Indiana Pacers Willie Anderson, San Antonio Spurs Mitch Richmond, Golden State Warriors Charles D. Smith, Los Angeles Clippers Hersey Hawkins, Philadelphia 76ers NBA All-Defensive First Team: Dennis Rodman, Detroit Pistons Larry Nance, Cleveland Cavaliers Mark Eaton, Utah Jazz Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons NBA All-Defensive Second Team: Kevin McHale, Boston Celtics A. C.
Green, Los Angeles Lakers Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks John Stockton, Utah Jazz Alvin Robertson, San Antonio SpursNote: All information on this page were obtained on the History
The Hy-Vee Arena known as Kemper Arena, is an indoor arena located in Kansas City, Missouri. Prior to conversion to a youth sports facility, Kemper Arena was a 19,500-seat professional sports arena, it has hosted NCAA Final Four basketball games, professional basketball and hockey teams, professional wrestling events, the 1976 Republican National Convention, is the ongoing host of the American Royal livestock show. It was named for R. Crosby Kemper Sr. a member of the powerful Kemper financial clan and who donated $3.2 million from his estate for the arena. In 2016, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its revolutionary design by Helmut Jahn. Kemper Arena was built in 18 months in 1973–74 on the site of the former Kansas City Stockyards just west of downtown in the West Bottoms to replace the 8,000-seat Municipal Auditorium to play host to the city's professional basketball and hockey teams; the arena was the first major project of German architect Helmut Jahn, to go on to become an important architect of his era.
The building was revolutionary in its simplicity and the fact it did not have interior columns obstructing views. Its roof is suspended by exterior steel trusses; the nearly windowless structure contrasts to Jahn's signature style of providing wide-open, glass-enclosed spaces. Kemper's exterior skeleton style was to be used extensively throughout Jahn's other projects; the building cost $22 million and was owned by the city of Kansas City, Missouri. Financing came from seven sources: $5.6 million from general obligation bonds $3.2 million donated by R. Crosby Kemper Sr. $575,000 from bond interest $1.5 million donated by the American Royal Association Land provided by the Kansas City Stockyards Company $10 million from revenue bonds in conjunction with the Jackson County Sports Authority $2 million in federal grants for street work The arena won architectural awards in the 1970s and had these prominent tenants: 1974–1976 – Kansas City Scouts of the NHL 1974–1985 – Kansas City Kings of the NBA 1976 Republican National Convention On June 4, 1979, at 6:45 p.m. a major storm with 70 mph winds and heavy rains caused a portion of Kemper Arena's roof to collapse.
Since the Arena was not in use at the time, no one was injured. The collapse—three years after the hall had hosted the 1976 Republican National Convention—along with another Kansas City structural failure, the 1981 Hyatt Regency walkway collapse—shocked the city and the architecture world; the American Institute of Architects had given the building an "Honor" award in 1976 and thousands of its members were at its annual national conference there less than 24 hours before the 1979 collapse. Further, the collapse coupled with the January 18, 1978, collapse of the Hartford Civic Center from heavy snow in the early morning hours just after a University of Connecticut basketball game prompted architects to reconsider computer models used to determine the safety of arenas; the arena was one of the first major projects by influential architect Helmut Jahn, to take over the Murphy/Jahn firm founded by Charles Murphy. Steel trusses. Design elements had called for compensating for winds; the exterior skeleton design had been considered revolutionary in its simplicity.
Two major factors came together on June 4. First, the roof had been designed to release rainwater as the sewers in the West Bottoms could not adequately handle the rapid runoff because of the nearby confluence of the Missouri River and Kansas River; this caused the downpour to "pond" adding to the weight. Second, there had been a miscalculation on the strength of the bolts on the hangers when subjected to the 70 mph winds while supporting the additional rainwater weight as the roof swung back and forth. Once one of the bolts gave way there was a cascading failure on the south side of the roof. Although the bolts were enormous, the media was to make much of the fact that "one broken bolt caused the collapse." One acre, or 200 ft × 215 ft of roof collapsed. The air pressure, increased by the falling roof caused some of the walls to blow out. However, the portals remained undamaged. An investigation was conducted, the issues were addressed and the arena reopened within a year. In the 1980s the arena became famed for its basketball tournaments including: NCAA Men's Final Four in 1988 NCAA Women's Final Four in 1998 NCAA Regionals – in 1983, 1986, 1992, 1995 NCAA First and Second Rounds – in 1997, 2001, 2004 NAIA basketball tournament from 1975 – 1993 Big Eight Conference Men's Basketball Tournament from 1977 to 1996 Big 12 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament from 1997 to 2002 and 2005 Guardians Classic in 2001 Mid-Continent Conference men's basketball tournament in 2003 and 2004The Kansas Jayhawks played at least one men's basketball game a year in Kemper Arena as an outreach to its fanbase in Kansas City, the last such game being against the Toledo Rockets in the 2006–07 season.
1974–1976 – Kansas City Scouts, National Hockey League, team moved to Denver, as Colorado Rockies and to New Jersey, as New Jersey Devils, where they now exist. 1981–1991 – Kansas City Comets of the original Major Indoor Soccer League 1992–2005 – Kansas City Attack of the National Professional Soccer League and current Major Indoor Soccer League 1990–2001
The Seattle SuperSonics known as the Sonics, were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington. The SuperSonics played in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Pacific and Northwest divisions from 1967 until 2008. After the 2007–08 season ended, the team relocated to Oklahoma City and now plays as the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sam Schulman owned the team from its 1967 inception until 1983, it was owned by Barry Ackerley, Basketball Club of Seattle, headed by Starbucks chairman emeritus, former president and CEO Howard Schultz. On July 18, 2006, the Basketball Club of Seattle sold the SuperSonics and its Women's National Basketball Association sister franchise Seattle Storm to the Professional Basketball Club LLC, headed by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett; the sale was approved by the NBA Board of Governors on October 24, 2006, finalized on October 31, 2006, at which point the new ownership group took control. After failing to find public funding to construct a new arena in the Seattle area, the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City before the 2008–09 season, following a $45 million settlement with the city of Seattle to pay off the team's existing lease at KeyArena at Seattle Center in advance of its 2010 expiration.
Home games were played at KeyArena known as Seattle Center Coliseum, for 33 of the franchise's 41 seasons in Seattle. In 1978, the team moved to the Kingdome, shared with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, they returned to the Coliseum full-time in 1985, moving temporarily to the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, for the 1994–95 season while the Coliseum was renovated and rebranded as KeyArena. The SuperSonics won the NBA championship in 1979. Overall, the franchise won three Western Conference titles: 1978, 1979, 1996; the franchise won six divisional titles, their last being in 2005, with five in the Pacific Division and one in the Northwest Division. Settlement terms of a lawsuit between the city of Seattle and Clay Bennett's ownership group stipulated the SuperSonics' banners and retired jerseys remain in Seattle; the SuperSonics' franchise history, would be shared with the Thunder. On December 20, 1966, Los Angeles businessmen Sam Schulman and Eugene V. Klein, who both owned the AFL's San Diego Chargers at the time, a group of minority partners were awarded an NBA franchise for the city of Seattle.
Schulman would serve as the active head of team operations. He named the SuperSonics after Boeing's awarded contract for the SST project, canceled; the SuperSonics were Seattle's first major league sports franchise. Beginning play on October 13, 1967, the SuperSonics were coached by Al Bianchi and featured All-Star guard Walt Hazzard and NBA All-Rookie Team members Bob Rule and Al Tucker; the expansion team stumbled out of the gates with a 144–116 loss in their first game in San Francisco against the San Francisco Warriors. The team got their first win on October 21, their third game of the season in San Diego against the San Diego Rockets in overtime 117–110, finished the season with a 23–59 record. Hazzard was traded to the Atlanta Hawks before the start of the next season for Lenny Wilkens. Wilkens brought a strong all-around game to the SuperSonics, averaging 22.4 points, 8.2 assists, 6.2 rebounds per game for Seattle in the 1968–69 season. Rule, improved on his rookie statistics with 24.0 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game.
The SuperSonics, only won 30 games and Bianchi was replaced by Wilkens as player/coach during the offseason. Wilkens and Rule both represented Seattle in the 1970 NBA All-Star Game, Wilkens led the NBA in assists during the 1969–70 season. In June 1970 the NBA owners voted 13–4 to work toward a merger with the ABA; the Oscar Robertson suit delayed the merger, the SuperSonics remained in Seattle. Early in the 1970–71 season, Rule tore his Achilles' tendon and was lost for the rest of the year. Wilkens was named the 1971 All-Star Game MVP, but the big news of the season came when owner Sam Schulman managed to land American Basketball Association Rookie of the Year and MVP Spencer Haywood following a lengthy court battle; the following season, the SuperSonics went on to record their first winning season at 47–35. The team, led by player-coach Wilkens and First Team forward Haywood, held a 46–27 mark on March 3, but late season injuries to starters Haywood, Dick Snyder, Don Smith contributed to the team losing eight of its final nine games.
For the 1972–73 season, Wilkens was dealt to Cleveland in a unpopular trade, without his leadership the SuperSonics fell to a 26–56 record. One of the few bright spots of the season was Haywood's second consecutive All-NBA First Team selection, as he averaged a SuperSonics record 29.2 points per game and collected 12.9 rebounds per game. The legendary Bill Russell was hired as the head coach in the following year, in 1975 he coached the SuperSonics to the playoffs for the firs