The Dallas Mavericks are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the American Airlines Center, which it shares with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars. As of the 2017 season, the Mavericks have sold out 704 consecutive games since December 15, 2001, the longest running sellout streak in North American major league sports. Since their inaugural 1980–81 season, the Mavericks have won three division titles, two conference championships, one NBA championship. In 1978, Californian businessman Garn Eckardt met Dallas lawyer Doug Adkins, mentioned he was trying to raise capital to move an NBA team to the city. Asking for a possible partner, Adkins recommended him one of his clients, Home Interiors and Gifts owner Don Carter. Negotiations with Eckardt fell through, but Carter remained interested in the enterprise as a gift to his wife Linda, who played basketball while at Duncanville High School.
At the same time, Buffalo Braves president and general manager Norm Sonju developed an interest in bringing the NBA to Dallas as he studied possible new locations for the ailing franchise. While the Braves went to California as the San Diego Clippers, Sonju returned to Texas, was introduced to Carter by mayor Robert Folsom, one of the owners and team president of the last professional basketball team in the city, the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association, which moved to San Antonio in 1973 to become the San Antonio Spurs. Sonju and Carter tried purchasing both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Kansas City Kings, but disagreement on relocation stalled the negotiations, leading them to instead aim for an expansion team; the league was reluctant to expand to Dallas, given Texas had both the Spurs and Houston Rockets, the 1978–79 NBA season was proving unprofitable and unpopular. Still, during the 1979 NBA All-Star Game weekend, NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien announced the league would add two new teams in the 1980–81 season, with teams in Dallas and Minneapolis.
Once the Minnesota team backed out, only Dallas remained, through negotiations with general counselor and future commissioner David Stern, the expansion fee was settled on the $12.5 million. Carter would provide half the amount. At the 1980 NBA All-Star Game, league owners voted to admit the new team, with the team's name coming from the 1957–1962 TV western Maverick. James Garner, who played the namesake character, was a member of the ownership group; the University of Texas at Arlington, who uses the Mavericks nickname, had objections about a shared name, but did not attempt any legal action. They joined the Midwest Division of the Western Conference, where they would stay until the league went to six divisions for the 2004–05 season. Dick Motta, who had guided the Washington Bullets to the NBA Championship in 1977–78, was hired as the team's first head coach, he had a well-earned reputation of being a stern disciplinarian, but was a great teacher of the game. Kiki Vandeweghe of UCLA was drafted by the Mavs with the 11th pick of the 1980 NBA draft, but Vandeweghe refused to play for the expansion Mavericks and staged a holdout that lasted a month into the team's inaugural season.
Vandeweghe was traded to the Denver Nuggets, along with a first-round pick, in 1981, in exchange for two future first-round picks that materialized into Rolando Blackman in 1981 and Sam Perkins in 1984. In the Mavericks' debut game, taking place in the brand-new Reunion Arena, the Mavericks defeated the Spurs, 103–92, but the Mavs started the season with a 6–40 record on their way to finishing 15–67. However, the Mavericks did make a player acquisition that, while it seemed minor at the time, turned out to play a important role in the early years of their franchise. Journeyman 6 ft 3 in guard Brad Davis, who played for the Anchorage Northern Knights of the Continental Basketball Association, was tracked down and signed by the Mavs in December. At the time, there was no reason to expect that Davis would be any better than the expansion-level talent the Mavs had, but he started the Mavs' final 26 games, led the team in assists, his career soared. He spent the next twelve years with the Mavericks, his number 15 jersey was retired.
The Mavericks marked the first NBA team to have a profitable debut season, with an average of 7,789 spectators. The 1981 NBA Draft brought three players; the Mavs selected 6'6" forward Mark Aguirre with the first pick, 6'6" guard Rolando Blackman 9th, 6'7" forward Jay Vincent 24th. By the end of his seven-year Mavs career, Aguirre would average 24.6 points per game. Blackman contributed 19.2 points over his 11-year career in Dallas. But it was Jay Vincent who made the biggest difference for the Mavs in their second season, leading the team in scoring with 21.4 points per game and earning NBA All-Rookie Team honors. The Mavericks improved to 28–54, getting out of the Midwest Division cellar as they finished above the Utah Jazz. In 1982–83, the Mavericks were serious contenders for the first time. At the All-Star break, they had won 12 of their last 15 games, they could not sustain that momentum and finished seven games behind the Denver Nuggets for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
But the Mavs' 38–44 re
Greg Gumbel is an American television sportscaster. He is best known for his various assignments for CBS Sports; the older brother of news and sportscaster Bryant Gumbel, he became the first African-American announcer to call play-by-play of a major sports championship in the United States when he announced Super Bowl XXXV for the CBS network in 2001. He is of Creole ancestry. Gumbel is a play-by-play broadcaster for the NFL on CBS alongside Trent Green as well as the studio host for CBS' men's college basketball coverage. Gumbel was born in New Orleans, the first child of parents Richard Gumbel, a judge, Rhea Alice LeCesne; as a young man, Gumbel grew up on Chicago's South Side, where he attended and graduated from De La Salle Institute. Before becoming a broadcaster, Gumbel graduated with a B. A. degree in English from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa where he played on the baseball team. He has two sisters, Renee Gumbel-Farrahi and Rhonda Gumbel-Thomas. In 1973, Greg's brother Bryant Gumbel informed him that a Chicago TV station was auditioning for a sports announcer.
At the time, Greg was selling hospital supplies in Detroit. He got the job and worked there for seven years; the sportscaster he replaced, Dennis Swanson, went on to become president of ABC Sports. Prior to his rising to prominence at CBS, Gumbel worked for MSG, ESPN, WFAN radio in New York City. At ESPN, he did "play-by-play" for early NBA games. On MSG, Gumbel served as a backup announcer for Marv Albert on New York Knicks broadcasts as well as providing coverage for college basketball; when MSG signed a huge contract to broadcast New York Yankees games in 1989, Gumbel served as host of the pregame and postgame shows. In addition to his MSG duties, he was the host of the first radio morning show on radio station WFAN. Gumbel's CBS career began with part-time work as an NFL announcer in 1988. In 1989, Gumbel began announcing college basketball as well, he became host of The NFL Today for the 1990 to 1993 seasons. He anchored CBS' coverage of Major League Baseball, college football, and, in 1999, CBS' coverage for the Daytona 500.
Besides his hosting duties, Gumbel provided play-by-play for the NBA, Major League Baseball including the 1993 American League Championship Series, College World Series baseball. He was the prime time anchor for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games from Lillehammer, Norway and co-anchor for the weekday morning broadcasts of the 1992 Winter Olympics from Albertville, France. Gumbel moved to NBC in 1994 following CBS' losses of the NFL and Major League Baseball broadcasting contracts. While at NBC, Gumbel hosted NBC's coverage of the 1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, he did play-by-play for the 1995 Major League Baseball National League Division Series and National League Championship Series, did play-by-play for The NBA on NBC, hosted NBC's daytime coverage of the 1996 Summer Olympics from Atlanta, hosted the 1995 World Championships of Figure Skating, served as the studio host for The NFL on NBC. Gumbel left NBC after the network broadcast of Super Bowl XXXII to return to CBS, his first major assignment was to serve as studio host for the network's coverage of college basketball, including the NCAA men's basketball tournament, something he continues to do to this day.
As CBS had just acquired the rights to NBC's previous NFL package, Gumbel joined the broadcast team as the lead announcer with fellow NBC alumnus Phil Simms as his color man. Gumbel was the lead announcer for the NFL on CBS between 1998 and 2003, calling Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII. For the 2004 NFL season, Gumbel traded positions with Jim Nantz as host of The NFL Today with Nantz taking over as lead announcer. At the end of the 2005 NFL season, Gumbel was replaced as studio host of The NFL Today by James Brown. Gumbel returned to the broadcast booth as the #2 play-by-play man, replacing Dick Enberg, alongside color man Dan Dierdorf until Dierdorf retired after the 2013–14 NFL season. Gumbel worked alongside Trent Green in the #3 team as of 2017. Greg, his wife Marcy, brother Bryant, Greg's married daughter Michelle all reside in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area. In 1999, Gumbel refused to attend a NASCAR banquet honoring Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, on the basis that he disagreed with Thomas' positions on political issues.
He has appeared on Howard Stern's radio show. Along similar lines, Gumbel said of Rush Limbaugh, "I find him someone whose words and opinions I can do without." Gumbel is the third man to serve as both play-by-play announcer for Super Bowls. He hosted Super Bowls XXVI, XXX, XXXII before calling Super Bowls XXXV and XXXVIII. Jim Nantz became the fourth man to do so after he called Super Bowl XLI for CBS. During his tenure as the chief anchor of The NFL Today, he served alongside co-anchors Dan Marino, Shannon Sharpe, Boomer Esiason; the group was known to call him by his nickname "Gumby". 1979–1988: ESPN – Reporter, Play-by-play 1989: MSG Network New York Yankees – Play-by-play 1989–1994: College Basketball on CBS – Play-by-play 1990–1993.
The Washington Wizards are an American professional basketball team based in Washington, D. C; the Wizards compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team plays its home games at the Capital One Arena, in the Chinatown neighborhood of Washington, D. C; the franchise was established in 1961 as the Chicago Packers based in Chicago and were renamed to Chicago Zephyrs the following season. In 1963, they relocated to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking the name from a previous team of the same name. In 1973, the team changed its name to the Capital Bullets to reflect their move to the Washington metropolitan area, to Washington Bullets in the following season. In 1997, they rebranded themselves as the Wizards; the Wizards have appeared in four NBA Finals, won in 1978. They have had a total of 28 playoff appearances, won four conference titles, seven division titles, their best season came in 1975 with a record of 60–22.
Wes Unseld is the only player in franchise history to become the MVP, win the Finals MVP award. Four players have won the Rookie of the Year award; the team now known as the Wizards began playing as the Chicago Packers in 1961, as the first modern expansion team in NBA history, an expansion prompted by Abe Saperstein's American Basketball League. Rookie Walt Bellamy was the team's star, averaging 31.6 points per game, 19.0 rebounds per game, leading the NBA in field goal percentage. During the All-Star game, Bellamy represented the team while scoring 23 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Bellamy was named the league Rookie of the Year, but the team finished with the NBA's worst record at 18-62; the team's original nickname was a nod to Chicago's meatpacking industry. However, it was unpopular since it was the same nickname used by the NFL's Green Bay Packers, bitter rivals of the Chicago Bears. After only one year, the organization changed its name to the Chicago Zephyrs and played its home games at the Chicago Coliseum.
Their only season as the Zephyrs boasted former Purdue star Terry Dischinger, who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors. In 1963 the franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Bullets, taking their name from a 1940s–'50s Baltimore Bullets BAA/NBA franchise and playing home games at the Baltimore Civic Center. In their first year in Baltimore, the Bullets finished fourth in a five–team Western Division. Prior to the 1964–65 NBA season the Bullets pulled off a blockbuster trade, sending Dischinger, Rod Thorn and Don Kojis to the Detroit Pistons for Bailey Howell, Don Ohl, Bob Ferry and Wali Jones; the trade worked out well. He helped. In the 1965 NBA Playoffs, the Bullets stunned the St. Louis Hawks 3–1, advanced to the Western Conference finals. In the finals, Baltimore managed to split the first four games with the Los Angeles Lakers before losing the series 4–2. In the late 1960s, the Bullets drafted two future Hall of Fame members: Earl Monroe, in the 1967 draft, number two overall, Wes Unseld, in the 1968 draft number two overall.
The team improved from 36 wins the previous season to 57 in the 1968–69 season, Unseld received both the rookie of the year and MVP awards. The Bullets reached the playoffs with high expectations to go far, but they were eliminated by the New York Knicks in the first round; the next season the two teams met again in the first round, although this one went to seven games, the Knicks emerged victorious again. In the 1970–71 season, the 42–40 Bullets again met the 1970–71 Knicks, this time though in the Eastern Conference finals. With the Knicks team captain Willis Reed injured in the finals, the injury-free Bullets took advantage of his absence, in game seven, at New York's Madison Square Garden, the Bullets' Gus Johnson made a critical basket late in the game to lift the Bullets over the Knicks 93–91 and advance to their first NBA Finals, they were swept in four games by the powerful Milwaukee Bucks led by future Hall of Fame members Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson. After the trades of Earl Monroe and Gus Johnson, the Bullets remained a playoff contender throughout the 1970s.
Following a less than spectacular 1971–72 season, Baltimore acquired Elvin Hayes from the Houston Rockets and drafted Kevin Porter in the third round, out of St. Francis in Pennsylvania. After a slow start in 1972–73, Baltimore made their charge in December, posting a 10–4 record on the way to capturing the Central Division title for the third straight year; the Bullets again faced the Knicks in the 1973 NBA Playoffs, losing for the fourth time in five series against New York. In February 1973, the team announced its pending move 30 miles southwest to the Capital Centre in Landover, a Washington, D. C. suburb, became the Capital Bullets. After that 1973–74 season, they changed their name to the Washington Bullets. During November 1973, while waiting for the completion of their new arena in Landover, the Bullets played their home games at Cole Field House on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park; the Capital Centre opened on December 2, 1973, with the Bullets defeating the SuperSonic
Earl "Yogi" Strom was an American professional basketball referee for 29 years in the National Basketball Association and for three years in the American Basketball Association. Strom is credited as one of the greatest referees in the history of the NBA and was known for his flamboyant style and ability to control the game. Nicknamed "The Pied Piper", the assertive Strom made foul calls with his whistle by using a "tweet-pause-tweet-tweet" tune and pointing at the offending player. In addition to calling fouls with flair, he was known for ejecting players from games with style and he sometimes supported his rulings with physical force. Over the course of his career, he officiated 2,400 professional basketball regular season games, 295 playoff games, 7 All-Star games, 29 NBA and ABA Finals. For his extensive contributions to the game, Strom was posthumously elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995. Strom was born December 1927 in Pottstown, Pennsylvania to Max and Bessie Strom.
Earl's father, was a foreman at a bakery, Earl grew up in the household as the youngest of seven children comprising five boys and two girls. As a child, he became interested in athletics and competing in sports, this interest lasted throughout his childhood and into high school. At Pottstown High School, Strom played football and basketball. After finishing high school in 1945, he joined the United States Coast Guard towards the end of World War II. Returning from service, Strom attended Pierce Junior College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he graduated in 1951. Following school, the young Strom continued participating in sports and played for a local semi-professional basketball team in his early 20s. During a basketball game, he had an argument with a referee and the referee said "Look, you're not much of a player, you've got a pretty good mouth on you, so why don't you think about taking up refereeing?" Following the advice of the referee, Strom decided to get into officiating. He officiated high school games for nine years as well as college games in the East Coast Athletic Conference for three years.
In 1952, he married Yvonne Trollinger, the couple went on to have five children. Outside of officiating, Strom worked at General Electric in customer relations starting in 1956 and continued in this role through his first stint in the NBA, he felt this "day job" provided security to his family since officiating in the NBA did not at the time. Strom became an NBA referee with the start of the 1957–58 NBA season after accepting an invitation to join the league from Jocko Collins, supervisor of officials, he further developed his skills in the league by learning from other officials such as Mendy Rudolph, Norm Drucker, Sid Borgia. Strom ascended to the top of the officiating ladder by the end of his third season in the league as he was assigned playoff games, uncommon for lesser experienced referees at the time; the following year and Rudolph made NBA history when they officiated the 1961 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks; this was the only time in NBA history that the same two officials worked an entire series, the result of the two teams not agreeing on any other officials to use in the series.
Six years into his NBA career, Strom had worked every playoff game in the semi-finals and finals along with Rudolph. In fact, the former was assigned to any deciding game in a series during this time, he was involved in one of the most memorable moments in NBA history during the 1965 Eastern Conference finals between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers. In the seventh and final game, the 76ers trailed the Celtics 110–109 with five seconds left; the 76ers had possession of the ball and attempted to inbound the pass as the Celtics' John Havlicek tipped the pass thrown by Hal Greer and preserved the Celtics victory. Celtics' radio announcer Johnny Most made his most fabled call: "Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!" And all this while, Strom had officiated the game in a cast as he had broken his hand while punching a fan during an altercation at a game the previous night. In another significant moment in his officiating career, Strom was saved from an angry mob by legendary center Wilt Chamberlain during a game played in Memphis, Tennessee in the mid-1960s.
Strom had made a call that went against the St. Louis Hawks and at halftime was called a "gutless bastard" by Hawks general manager Irv Gack at the scorer's table; the fiery official asked Gack to repeat the comment as he reached across the table and grabbed Gack by the shirt. Fans started coming down from the seats while Chamberlain, playing for the Philadelphia 76ers at the time, saw what was going on, he picked Strom up and said, "C'mon Earl. Let's get the hell out of here." More controversies surrounded Strom when he was again involved in a historical NBA moment during the 1967 NBA All-Star Game. As one of the referees in the game, Strom was responsible for the ejection of Red Auerbach, head coach of the East All-Stars. Auerbach remains the only coach to be ejected in an All-Star Game. Strom was subsequently designated crew chief in 1967 and 1968 when the league hired Dolph Schayes as supervisor of officials for the NBA, he was put in charge of scouting crews, rating referees, developing the skills of lesser experienced referees as well as working a schedule of games.
After more than a decade's experience in the game, Strom was offered a salary contract over 82 games for $16,000 for the first time by Commissioner Walter Kennedy in August 1969. It was at this time that Strom became interested in listening to what the ABA, which started in 1967, had to offer in the bidding war that ensued between the two leagues over talent. T
Sidney Alvin Moncrief is an American retired professional basketball player. As an NCAA college basketball player from 1975 to 1979, Moncrief played for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, leading them to the 1978 Final Four and a win in the NCAA Consolation Game versus #6 Notre Dame. Nicknamed Sid the Squid, Sir Sid, El Sid, Moncrief went on to play 11 seasons in the National Basketball Association, including ten seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks, he was a five-time NBA All-Star and won the first two NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1983 and 1984. Moncrief, Marvin Delph of Conway and Ron Brewer of Fort Smith, along with head coach Eddie Sutton and assistant coach Gene Keady, resurrected the University of Arkansas basketball program in the 1970s from decades of modest success and disinterest, helped lay the foundation for what became one of the country's premier college basketball programs through the mid-1990s; the Triplets led the Razorbacks to the SWC championship, a Final Four appearance in 1978.
Moncrief's leadership on the court and electrifying play renewed interest in the Razorback program, ushered in the winning tradition in the Arkansas basketball program. His jersey was retired not long after he graduated from school and went on to the NBA, is one of only two, along with Corliss Williamson. Moncrief was the school's all-time leading scorer until Todd Day broke his record in 1992. On November 10, 2014 Moncrief was inducted into the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame. On February 7, 2015 Moncrief was honored by Arkansas when his name was put on a banner, hung in Bud Walton Arena. Although Jerry West wanted to draft him to the Los Angeles Lakers, Moncrief's NBA career started with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1979 when he was drafted 5th overall. Moncrief spent the next ten seasons with the Bucks. In Game 3 of the first round of the 1982 NBA Playoffs, Moncrief made a running bank shot at the buzzer to beat the Philadelphia 76ers. After sitting out of the NBA for one year, Moncrief played one season with the Atlanta Hawks before retiring.
The Bucks retired his no. 4 jersey in 1990, rededicated it at halftime on January 19, 2008, when the Warriors, with whom he was a shooting coach, visited the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to play the Bucks. During the 1980s, Moncrief was the leader of the Milwaukee Bucks, who had the third best winning percentage for the decade behind only the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics. Moncrief was known for his versatility on the court given his 6′3″ stature, but was most known for his tenacious defensive plays. Although he was thought of as one of the greatest shooting guards of his time, he was never able to get to the Finals, as the Bucks came up short in the Eastern Conference Finals. Moncrief was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 1982 -- 1983 -- 84 seasons, he made the All-Star team for five consecutive years and was named to the All-NBA first team for the 1982–83 season. Moncrief averaged over 20 points per game in four seasons of his career and finished his 11-season NBA career with an average of 15.6 PPG.
Moncrief still holds the Bucks records for career free throws and career free throw attempts, as well as career offensive rating. Among Moncrief's admirers was All-Star Michael Jordan who once described his on-court intensity to an L. A. Times reporter: "When you play against Moncrief, you're in for a night of all-around basketball. He'll hound you everywhere you ends of the court. You just expect it."Moncrief was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998. Moncrief was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019. Moncrief was the head coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock for one season, 1999–2000; the Trojans finished with a record of 24 losses in Moncrief's only season. In 2006, Moncrief returned to basketball as the head coach of the Fort Worth Flyers, a professional basketball team in the NBA D-League, he rejoined the NBA in October 2007. In 2011, he returned to the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant coach, it was announced in July 2013 that Moncrief would analyze and commentate Bucks games for FSN Wisconsin.
Moncrief's son Brett was a wide receiver for Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Troy University. His nephew Albrey Battle played eight seasons in the Arena Football League and for the San Francisco Demons of the XFL. List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 2000 points and 1000 rebounds NBA.com: Sidney Moncrief Summary Career Statistics
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, more referred to as the Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference; the team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, an arena they share with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City. Alongside the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of two original NBA teams still located in its original city; the team, established by Ned Irish in 1946, was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America, which became the NBA after merging with the rival National Basketball League in 1949. The Knicks were successful during their early years and were constant playoff contenders under the franchise's first head coach Joe Lapchick. Beginning in 1950, the Knicks made three consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, all of which were losing efforts.
Lapchick resigned in 1956 and the team subsequently began to falter. It was not until the late 1960s when Red Holzman became head coach that the Knicks began to regain their former dominance. Holzman guided the Knicks to two NBA championships, in 1970 and 1973; the Knicks of the 1980s had mixed success. The playoff-level Knicks of the 1990s were led by future Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing. During this time, they were known for playing tough defense under head coaches Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy, making two appearances in the NBA Finals, in 1994 and 1999. However, they were unable to win an NBA championship during this era. Since 2000, the Knicks have struggled to regain their former glory, but won its first division title in 19 years in 2012–13, led by a core of forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Indiana Pacers, have failed to make the playoffs since. In 1946, basketball college basketball, was a growing and profitable sport in New York City.
Hockey generated considerable profits. Max Kase, a New York sportswriter, became the sports editor at the Boston American in the 1930s, when he met Boston Garden owner Walter A. Brown. Kase developed the idea of an organized professional league to showcase college players upon their graduation and felt it could become profitable if properly assembled. Brown, intrigued by the opportunity to attain additional income when the hockey teams were not playing or on the road, contacted several arena owners. On June 6, 1946, Kase and Brown and a group of seventeen others assembled at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, as the Basketball Association of America, where charter franchises were granted to major cities throughout the country. Ned Irish, a college basketball promoter, retired sportswriter and president of Madison Square Garden, was in attendance. Kase planned to own and operate the New York franchise himself and approached Irish with a proposal to lease the Garden. Irish explained that the rules of the Arena Managers Association of America stated that Madison Square Garden was required to own any professional teams that played in the arena.
On the day of the meeting, Kase made his proposal to the panel of owners. Irish wanted a distinct name for his franchise, representative of the city of New York, he called together members of his staff for a meeting to cast their votes in a hat. After tallying the votes, the franchise was named the Knickerbockers; the "Knickerbocker" name comes from the pseudonym used by Washington Irving in his book A History of New York, a name that became applied to the descendants of the original Dutch settlers of what became New York, by extension, to New Yorkers in general. In search of a head coach, Irish approached successful St. John's University coach Joe Lapchick in May 1946. Lapchick accepted after Irish promised to make him the highest paid coach in the league. Irish obliged, hiring former Manhattan College coach Neil Cohalan as interim coach for the first year. With no college draft in the league's initial year, there was no guarantee that the Knicks or the league itself would thrive. Teams focused on signing college players from their respective cities as a way to promote the professional league.
The Knicks held their first training camp in the Catskill Mountains at the Nevele Country Club. Twenty-five players were invited to attend the three-week session. Players worked out twice a day and the chemistry between the New York natives was instant. With a roster assembled, the Knicks faced the Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on November 1, 1946, in what would be the franchise's first game—as well as the first in league history. In a low-scoring affair presented in front of 7,090 spectators, the Knicks defeated the Huskies 68–66 with Leo Gottlieb leading the Knicks in scoring with 14 points. With Madison Square Garden's crowded schedule, the Knicks were forced to play many of their home games at the 69th Regiment Armory during the team's early years; the Knicks went on to finish their inaugural campaign with a 33–27 record and achieved a playoff berth under Cohalan despite a dismal shooting percentage of 28 perce
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