Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original
David William Cowens is an American retired professional basketball player and NBA head coach. At 6'9", he played the center and the power forward position, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991. Cowens has held numerous NBA head coaching positions. Most Cowens served as an assistant coach and as a special assistant to Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars. After starring in high school at Newport Catholic High in his hometown of Newport, Cowens played his collegiate basketball at Florida State University from 1967 to 1970, he scored 1,479 points in 78 games at Florida State, at 19.0 points per game, ranks among Florida State's top 10 all-time scoring leaders. He is the all-time Florida State leading rebounder with 1,340 rebounds, he holds the team record for best seasonal rebound average. He once grabbed 31 rebounds against LSU in the 1968–69 season, he was named The Sporting News All-America second team in 1970. His number now hangs in the rafters of the Donald L. Tucker Center.
Despite some critics who felt Cowens was too small to play center, Cowens was selected as the fourth overall pick by the Boston Celtics during the 1970 NBA draft at the recommendation of former Celtics center Bill Russell. During his rookie year, Cowens averaged 15.0 rebounds per game. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and shared the NBA's Rookie of the Year honors with Portland's Geoff Petrie, he led the league in personal fouls that same year. In 1973, Cowens averaged 20.5 ppg and 16.2 rpg while helping the Celtics to a league best 68-14 record. He was chosen the NBA MVP as well as MVP of the All-Star Game that same season. Cowens and fellow Celtic Bill Russell both have the distinction of being named MVP of the league but not being included on the All-NBA First Team. Cowens retired in 1980, however, in 1982 he was coaxed out of retirement by the Milwaukee Bucks, who were coached by his former Celtics teammate Don Nelson; the Celtics still held his rights at the time. Cowens played for the Bucks during the 1982–83 season before retiring for good.
During his NBA career, Cowens averaged 17.6 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, was selected to eight All-Star Games, was named to the All-NBA Second Team three times, was named to the All-NBA Defensive First Team in 1976 and All-NBA Defensive Second Team in 1973 and 1980. He was 1976 NBA Championship teams. Cowens' playing credo was all-out intensity at both ends of the court, a style that never wavered during his 11-year NBA career; as a testament to his all-around ability, Cowens is one of only five players to lead his team in all five major statistical categories for a season: points, assists and steals. He accomplished the feat in the 1977–78 season, he began his coaching career by serving as a player-coach for the Boston Celtics during the 1978–79 season, but he quit coaching after the season and returned as a full-time player before retiring in 1980. Cowens coached the Bay State Bombardiers of the Continental Basketball Association in 1984–85. Cowens returned to NBA coaching ranks, as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs in 1994–96 and was considered for the coaching job of the Boston Celtics during the 1995 off-season.
Cowens was head coach of the Charlotte Hornets from 1996 to 1999. He was head coach with the Golden State Warriors from 1999 to 2001, a tenure of 105 games. In 2005-2006 Cowens was head coach of the Chicago Sky of the Women's National Basketball Association. Cowens was an assistant coach of the Detroit Pistons from 2006-2009. In 1990, Cowens, a former Democrat, ran as a Republican for Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. However, because he did not register by June 5, 1989, he was unable to appear on the primary ballot. Cowens considered running a sticker campaign for the Republican nomination, however he decided to drop out of the race. In 1973, Cowens was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame. Cowens was inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame in 1977. Cowens' #13 is an Honored number at Florida State University. On February 8, 1981, the Boston Celtics retired Cowens' #18. Celtics' #18 had been worn by Jim Loscutoff, who had asked that the number not be retired for him, so future Celtics could wear it.
In 1991, Cowens was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Cowens was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. There is a street named after him in his hometown of Newport, Kentucky: "Dave Cowens Drive". List of National Basketball Association career rebounding leaders Heisler, Mark. Giants: The 25 Greatest Centers of All Time. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 1-57243-577-1. Dave Cowens at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame NBA History profile
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two more as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. NBA coach Pat Riley and players Isiah Thomas and Julius Erving have called him the greatest basketball player of all time. After winning 71 consecutive basketball games on his high school team in New York City, Alcindor was recruited by Jerry Norman, the assistant coach of UCLA, where he played for coach John Wooden on three consecutive national championship teams and was a record three-time MVP of the NCAA Tournament.
Drafted with the first overall pick by the one-season-old Bucks franchise in the 1969 NBA draft, Alcindor spent six seasons in Milwaukee. After leading the Bucks to its first NBA championship at age 24 in 1971, he took the Muslim name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Using his trademark "skyhook" shot, he established himself as one of the league's top scorers. In 1975, he was traded to the Lakers, with whom he played the final 14 seasons of his career and won five additional NBA championships. Abdul-Jabbar's contributions were a key component in the "Showtime" era of Lakers basketball. Over his 20-year NBA career, his teams succeeded in making the playoffs 18 times and got past the first round 14 times. At the time of his retirement at age 42 in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's all-time leader in points scored, games played, minutes played, field goals made, field goal attempts, blocked shots, defensive rebounds, career wins, personal fouls, he remains the all-time leader in points scored and career wins.
He is ranked third all-time in blocked shots. In 2007, ESPN voted him the greatest center of all time, in 2008, they named him the "greatest player in college basketball history", in 2016, they named him the second best player in NBA history. Abdul-Jabbar has been an actor, a basketball coach, a best-selling author. In 2012, he was selected by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be a U. S. global cultural ambassador. In 2016, President Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. was born in New York City, the only child of Cora Lillian, a department store price checker, Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Sr. a transit police officer and jazz musician. He grew up in the Dyckman Street projects in the Inwood neighborhood of Upper Manhattan. Alcindor was unusually tall from a young age. At birth he weighed 12 lb 11 oz and was 22 1⁄2 inches long, by the age of nine he was 5 ft 8 in tall. By the eighth grade he had grown to 6 ft 8 in tall and could slam dunk a basketball.
Alcindor began his record-breaking basketball accomplishments when he was in high school, where he led coach Jack Donahue's Power Memorial Academy team to three straight New York City Catholic championships, a 71-game winning streak, a 79–2 overall record. This earned him a nickname—"The tower from Power", his 2,067 total points were a New York City high school record. The team won the national high school boys basketball championship when Alcindor was in 10th and 11th grade and was runner-up his senior year. Alcindor had a strained relationship with his coach. In his 2017 book "Coach Wooden and Me," Abdul-Jabbar relates an incident where Donahue called him a nigger. Alcindor played on the UCLA freshman team in 1966 only because the "freshman rule" was in effect, but his prowess was well known, he received national coverage when he made his varsity debut in 1967: Sports Illustrated described him as "The New Superstar." From 1967 to 1969, he played on the varsity under head coach John Wooden. He was the main contributor to the team's three-year record of 88 wins and only two losses: one to the University of Houston in which Alcindor had an eye injury, the other to crosstown rival USC who played a "stall game".
In his first game, Alcindor scored 56 points. During his college career, Alcindor was twice named Player of the Year. In 1967 and 1968, he won USBWA College Player of the Year, which became the Oscar Robertson Trophy. Alcindor became the only player to win the Helms Foundation Player of the Year award three times; the 1965–66 UCLA Bruin team was the preseason #1. On November 27, 1965, the freshman team, led by Alcindor, defeated the varsity 75–60 in the first game in the new Pauley Pavilion. Alcindor had 21 rebounds in what was a good indication of things to come. After the game, the UCLA varsity was # 2 on campus. If the "freshman rule" had not been in effect at that time, UCLA would have had a much better chance of winning the 1966 National Championship. Alcindor had considered transferring to Michigan because of unfulfilled recruiting promises. UCLA player Willie Naul
George Gervin, nicknamed "The Iceman", is an American retired professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association for the Virginia Squires, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls. Gervin averaged at least 14 points per game in all 14 of his ABA and NBA seasons, finished with an NBA career average of 26.2 points per game. Gervin is regarded to be one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history. Gervin was raised in Detroit, Michigan, he attended Martin Luther King High School in Detroit. He was a Detroit Free Press All-State selection in 1970. Gervin attended Jr.. High School in Detroit, where he struggled on and off the court until he reached his senior year, when he had a growth spurt and averaged 31 points and 20 rebounds to lead his school to the state quarterfinals. Gervin received a scholarship to play under Coach Jerry Tarkanian at California State University, Long Beach, but he had such a culture shock that he returned home before the first semester was over.
He transferred to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti and averaged 29.5 points as a sophomore forward in 1971–72. While competing in an NCAA College Division national semifinal game in Evansville, Gervin punched a Roanoke player. Gervin was suspended for the following season and was removed from the team. Invitations to try out for the Olympic and Pan-American teams were withdrawn. Gervin played for the Pontiac Chaparrals of the Continental Basketball Association, where he was spotted by Johnny Kerr, a scout for the Virginia Squires of the ABA. Kerr signed Gervin to the Squires for a $40,000 a year contract. Gervin's time in Virginia would be short-lived, however; the Squires' finances had never been stable, they had been forced to start trading their best players to get enough money to stay alive. In the space of only four months, they traded Julius Erving and Swen Nater for cash and/or draft picks. During the 1974 ABA All-Star Weekend, rumors abounded that the Squires were in talks about dealing Gervin for cash.
The rumors turned out to be true. The ABA tried to block the trade, claiming that by trading their last legitimate star, the Squires were holding a fire sale. However, a court sided with the Spurs. Within two years, the Squires were no more. After two seasons in the ABA, Gervin became NBA eligible in time for the 1974 NBA draft; the Phoenix Suns selected Gervin in the third round with the 40th pick, however Gervin elected to stay in the ABA and kept playing for the Spurs. With Gervin as the centerpiece, the Spurs transformed from a defense-oriented team into an exciting fast-breaking team that played what coach Bob Bass called "schoolyard basketball". Although the Spurs never won an ABA playoff series during Gervin's first three years there, their high-powered offense made them attractive to the NBA, the Spurs joined the more established league as part of the 1976 ABA–NBA merger. Right before the final ABA season, the Spurs had acquired star power forward Larry Kenon via trade, forming an offensively dominant one-two punch of both him and Gervin in order to strengthen their lineup and compete for a championship.
That season they were one win away from advancing to the 1976 ABA Finals without competing in the first round, as they had lost 4-3 to the Julius Erving-led New York Nets, who would win the championship. Gervin's first NBA scoring crown came in the 1977–78 season, when he narrowly edged David Thompson for the scoring title by seven hundredths of a point. Although Thompson came up with a memorable performance for the last game of the regular season, scoring 73 points, Gervin maintained his slight lead by scoring 63 points in a loss during the last game of the regular season. With the scoring crown in hand, he sat out some of the third, all of the fourth quarter. In the 1978–79 NBA season, the Spurs finished 48-34 with the second seed in the Eastern Conference, they had made it past Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers in the second round, beating them in seven games as Gervin led the league in playoff scoring with 28.6 ppg. They were one win away from making it to the 1979 NBA Finals as they were up 3-1 against the Washington Bullets in the Conference Finals but collapsed by losing three straight to lose the series.
Kenon would sign with the Bulls after the following season. Despite disappointing playoff eliminations and not making it to the finals, Gervin was committed to the Spurs, showing no frustration towards his teammates, thus living up to his nickname and went on to lead the NBA in scoring average three years in a row from 1978 to 1980, again in 1982. Prior to Michael Jordan, Gervin had the most scoring titles of any guard in league history. In 1981, while sitting out three games due to injury, Gervin's replacement, Ron Brewer, averaged over 30 ppg; when Gervin returned, he scored 40+ points. When asked if he was sending a message, Gervin said, "Just the way the Lord planned it" and added, "Ice be cool". In the 1981–82 season, the Spurs would once again compete for a championship, by the Spurs had just become a Western Conference franchise, finishing second in the conference with a 48-34 record. Gervin carried the team in scoring by leading the league with 29.4 ppg, they had made it back to the Conference Finals but got swept by the number one seeded Los Angeles Lakers who would end up winning the championship that year.
In the 1982 offseason, the Spurs drafted high scoring guard
Kermit Alan Washington is an American former professional basketball player. Washington is best remembered for punching opposing player Rudy Tomjanovich during an on-court fight in 1977, his punch nearly killed Tomjanovich, resulted in severe medical problems that ended Tomjanovich's playing career. Washington was not a coveted player coming out of high school and got into college on an athletic scholarship, he averaged a mere four points per game during his senior season of high school. He improved once at American University, became one of only seven players in NCAA history to average 20 points and 20 rebounds throughout the course of their career. A big defensive forward, Washington was known for his ability to gather rebounds, he averaged 9.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in ten National Basketball Association seasons and played in the All-Star Game once. Washington was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the fifth overall pick in the 1973 NBA draft, he played sparingly his first three seasons, sought the help of retired basketball coach Pete Newell before his fourth season.
Under Newell's tutelage, Washington's game improved and he became a starter for several teams. He played for the Lakers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors. Kermit Washington's mother Barbara graduated from Miner's Teacher's College, where she was an excellent student. Washington had a rough childhood; when he was three years old, his parents had a fight in which his maternal uncle became involved and in which someone violently attacked his uncle with an iron. His parents soon divorced, with his father awarded custody of the children, his mother, who suffered from bipolar disorder took him and his older brother Eric from their father on an ill-advised sojourn for which they were poorly prepared. Struggling to find money to feed the children, she called their father, who came and took them back, his stay with his father did not last long, he and his brother were passed around to various relatives on both sides of the family. The effect of being shuttled into and out of the homes of family members led to a feeling of not being wanted, which made Washington shy as a youth.
The only time he recalls feeling a sense of self-worth was when his great-grandmother on his father's side had the pair for a while. According to Washington, she loved the boys but was strict, at times, physically abusive. After his father remarried, the children moved back in with his new wife. Washington felt a sense of optimism for the first time, saying "I thought it was our dream come true. All our lives we had seen nice families on TV. Real ones. Now we were going to be a real family." However, he again felt unwanted this time by his stepmother. As a small child, Washington said that he had no recollections of being hugged, only felt close to his younger brother, Chris. Washington was a poor student, he had to retake many of his classes in summer school to raise his grades. When he entered high school he played football so he could be around a close friend, have someone to walk home with at night as he was terrified of walking home alone; as a senior in high school, Washington weighed a mere 150 lbs.
After some rare positive feedback by his biology teacher, Barbara Thomas, he began to study and put forth a greater effort in that class. He became a solid student in biology but poor in all other subjects; when Thomas became his home room teacher and saw his grades in other classes she encouraged him to try hard in all of his courses. Washington improved his marks, making the honor roll in his senior year, his basketball performance in high school was unimpressive. He came off the bench to average four points per game, his stepmother informed him that when he graduated from high school he would be thrown out of the house. Chris had been able to leave home on a football scholarship and would play in the National Football League, but Washington himself had nowhere to go, he trained for three hours a day toward the end of his senior season, showed up uninvited at a playground game featuring top high school players from Washington and Pennsylvania, where he talked his way into the game. Tom Young, who had left his job as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland to become head coach at American University, saw him play there, although Washington did not perform well, Young was impressed by his hustle and how he ignored the poor treatment he received from the people who organized the game.
During the summer between his senior year of high school and his freshman year of college, Washington grew four inches. He began an intense regimen of weight training, ran up and down the flights of steps in his seven-story dormitory building wearing a weighted vest to improve his endurance. Washington became more extroverted in college, so much so that he said his life could be separated into two parts—his pre-college life and his life after college, he has described his college years as "the happiest time in my life." He began dating his future wife Pat. They met after she noticed him accidentally scoring four consecutive points for the opposing team in a freshman basketball game, she pursued him though he remained silent when she spent time with him. A lot of the emergence of Washington's personality is credited to Pat, who encouraged him to be more outgoing and overcome his low self-esteem. Washington spent a lot of his free time practicing in the gym. He
William Felton Russell is an American retired professional basketball player who played center for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association from 1956 to 1969. A five-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a twelve-time All-Star, he was the centerpiece of the Celtics dynasty that won eleven NBA championships during his thirteen-year career. Russell and Henri Richard of the National Hockey League are tied for the record of the most championships won by an athlete in a North American sports league. Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA championships in 1955 and 1956, he captained the gold-medal winning U. S. national basketball team at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Russell is regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, he was 6 ft 10 with a 7 ft 4 in wingspan. His shot-blocking and man-to-man defense were major reasons for the Celtics' domination of the NBA during his career. Russell was notable for his rebounding abilities, he led the NBA in rebounds four times, had a dozen consecutive seasons of 1,000 or more rebounds, remains second all-time in both total rebounds and rebounds per game.
He is one of just two NBA players to have grabbed more than 50 rebounds in a game. Russell was never the focal point of the Celtics' offense, but he did score 14,522 career points and provided effective passing. Russell played in the wake of black pioneers Earl Lloyd, Chuck Cooper, Sweetwater Clifton, he was the first black player to achieve superstar status in the NBA, he served a three-season stint as player-coach for the Celtics, becoming the first black coach in North American professional sports and the first to win a championship. In 2011, Barack Obama awarded Russell the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his accomplishments on the court and in the Civil Rights Movement. Russell is one of seven players in history to win an NCAA Championship, an NBA Championship, an Olympic gold medal, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. He was selected into the NBA 25th Anniversary Team in 1971 and the NBA 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, one of only four players to receive all three honors.
In 2007, he was enshrined in the FIBA Hall of Fame. In Russell's honor the NBA renamed the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy in 2009: it is now the Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award. Bill Russell was born in 1934 to Katie Russell in West Monroe, Louisiana. Like all Southern towns and cities of that time, West Monroe was a segregated place, the Russells struggled with racism in their daily lives. Russell's father was once refused service at a gas station until the staff had taken care of all the white customers; when his father attempted to leave and find a different station, the attendant stuck a shotgun in his face and threatened to kill him if he didn't stay and wait his turn. In another incident, Russell's mother was walking outside in a fancy dress when a white policeman accosted her, he told her to go home and remove the dress, which he described as "white woman's clothing". During World War II, large numbers of blacks were moving to the West to look for work there; when Russell was eight years old, his father moved the family out of Louisiana and settled in Oakland, California.
While there, the family fell into poverty, Russell spent his childhood living in a series of public housing projects. Charles Russell was described as a "stern, hard man" who worked as a janitor in a paper factory, a typical "Negro Job"—low paid and not intellectually challenging, as sports journalist John Taylor commented; when World War II broke out, the elder Russell became a truck driver. Russell was closer to his mother Katie than to his father, he received a major emotional blow when she died when he was 12 years old, his father gave up his trucking job and became a steelworker to be closer to his semi-orphaned children. Russell has stated that his father became his childhood hero followed up by Minneapolis Lakers superstar George Mikan, whom he met when he was in high school. Mikan, in turn, would say of Russell the college basketball player, "Let's face it, he's the best ever. He's so good, he scares you." In his early years, Russell struggled to develop his skills as a basketball player.
Although Russell was a good runner and jumper and had large hands, he did not understand the game and was cut from the team in junior high school. As a freshman at McClymonds High School in Oakland, Russell was cut again. However, coach George Powles saw Russell's raw athletic potential and encouraged him to work on his fundamentals. Since Russell's previous experiences with white authority figures were negative, he was delighted to receive warm words from his white coach, he worked hard and used the benefits of a growth spurt to become a decent basketball player, but it was not until his junior and senior years that he began to excel, winning back to back high school state championships. Russell soon became, he recalled, "To play good defense... it was told back that you had to stay flatfooted at all times to react quickly. When I started to jump to make defensive plays and to block shots, I was corrected, but I stuck with it, it paid off." Russell, in an autobiographical account, notes while on a California High School All-Stars tour, he became obsessed with studying and memorizing other players' moves as preparation for defending against them
NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge
The NBA Skills Challenge, is a National Basketball Association contest held on the Saturday before the annual All-Star Game as part of the All-Star Weekend. First held in 2003, it is a competition to test ball-handling and shooting ability. In the current version of the contest, two participants race against each other on identical courses by first dribbling between five obstacles while running down the court. Next, the player must throw a pass into an upright hoop; the players must dribble back the full length of the court for a lay up. Shortly after, the players must dribble back down the court and hit a three pointer from the top of the basketball key; the match ends. The champion is decided via a single elimination tournament format, with a guard and a frontcourt player guaranteed to face off in the final round; the current champion is Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics. A The time is the all-time event record. B Jameer Nelson was replaced by Mo Williams. C Derrick Rose was replaced by Russell Westbrook.
D Stephen Curry was replaced by Rajon Rondo. E For the 2013–14 season, the NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge was revamped to have 4 teams of two players compete to a two-round time relay-style course. F John Wall was replaced by Patrick Beverley due to resting purposes. G Michael Carter-Williams was replaced with his teammate Robert Covington due to injuries. Covington would be replaced by Elfrid Payton due to resting purposes. H Jimmy Butler was replaced by Dennis Schröder due to a shoulder injury. I Starting with the 2014–15 season, the NBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge was revamped to a best of 8 tournament where after 8 players competed in the first round, only 4 would go to the semi-final round and 2 would participate in the championship round. J Defending champion Patrick Beverley would be replaced by rookie Emmanuel Mudiay due to an ankle injury. K Joel Embiid was replaced by Nikola Jokić due to a knee injury. L Kristaps Porziņģis was replaced by Andre Drummond due to a torn ACL injury.
M Donovan Mitchell was replaced by Buddy Hield after Mitchell replaced Aaron Gordon for the Slam Dunk Contest. Starting with the 2015 edition of the Skills Challenge, a tournament format was adopted. 20152016201720182019 "Davis, Cousins give Taco Bell Skills Challenge new look". NBA.com. 4 February 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016. 2010 Skills Challenge 2009 Skills Challenge 2008 Skills Challenge 2007 Skills Challenge 2006 Skills Challenge 2005 Skills Challenge 2004 Skills Challenge