John Richard Motta is an American former basketball coach whose career in the National Basketball Association spanned 25 years, he continues to rank among the NBA's all-time top 10 in coaching victories. After graduating from Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, Motta started coaching at nearby rural southeastern Idaho at Grace, where he taught seventh grade and coached for two years before being drafted in the armed services returned, he once said in an interview that winning the state championship at Grace in 1959 was his greatest thrill as a coach topping the NBA championship he won two decades later. Motta coached at Weber State College in Utah in the 1960s. Under the direction of Motta and assistant coach Phil Johnson, Weber State won three Big Sky Conference championships. Motta holds the unique distinction of being one of the few coaches in the NBA who never played either high school, college, or pro basketball. Motta was hired as head coach of the Chicago Bulls in 1968 after a six-year stint at Weber State.
He replaced Johnny Kerr, who had led the team to two playoff appearances despite suppar records of 33-48 and 29-53, respectively. Motta coached the team for eight seasons, coaching 656 games, which served as nearly a third of his career games coached. From 1970 to 1974 he led the Bulls to four consecutive seasons of 50 wins or more, winning the NBA Coach of the Year Award in 1971; however this did not translate to playoff success as the Bulls won just one playoff series in that span. However, they advanced to the Conference Finals in the 1974-75 season, beating the Kansas City Kings to play the Golden State Warriors, who beat them in seven games to advance to the finals, where that team won the NBA Finals that year; the following year, the team went 24-58. He resigned on May 28, 1976. On the same day he left the Bulls, he was hired as head coach of the Washington Bullets; the previous coach had been K. C. Jones, who had led them to a 48-34 record and a loss in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In his first season, the Bullets went 48-34 while advancing to the Semifinals again after beating the Cavaliers in the First Round, although they lost to the Houston Rockets in six games. The next year was the pinnacle for Motta's career, they went 44-38, but they advanced all the way to the 1978 NBA Finals, where they beat the Seattle SuperSonics in seven games to win the NBA championship. The following year, the team went 54-28 while winning the Atlantic Division; this was not only their sixth division title in eight years, it was their last division title until 2017. The Bullets went to the 1979 NBA Finals, although they had to fight the full seven games in both the Semifinals and the Conference Finals, nearly blowing a 3-1 series lead to the Atlanta Hawks in the former and having to come back from a 3-1 series deficit from the San Antonio Spurs in the latter. In the Finals that year, they played the Seattle SuperSonics once again; the Bullets won Game 1 at home 99–97, but the SuperSonics won the following four games to win the NBA championship.
The following year, the Bullets went 39-43. They were beaten by the Philadelphia 76ers in two games, he resigned as head coach on May 27, 1980. Motta is sometimes erroneously credited with coining the celebrated phrase: The opera ain't over'til the fat lady sings. In fact, the first recorded use of the phrase was by Texas Tech sports information director Ralph Carpenter, as reported in the Dallas Morning News on 10 March 1976. During a KENS-TV broadcast of the 1978 NBA Eastern Conference semi-finals between the Washington Bullets and the San Antonio Spurs, Cook used the phrase in an attempt to encourage Spurs fans, as their team was down three games to one against the Bullets. Motta heard the broadcast and adopted his own rendition of the expression — "The'opera' isn't over'til the fat lady sings" — to warn Bullets fans against braggadocio; the odds were against the underdog Bullets, sportswriters were forecasting a grim finale, so Motta rebounded with the upbeat ostinato, "Wait for the fat lady!"
The Bullets won the Eastern Conference against the Atlantic Division Champion Philadelphia 76ers, went on to beat the Western Conference Champion Seattle SuperSonics four games to three for the 1978 NBA title. The victory gave Washington, D. C. area fans their first professional championship team in any sport since the Washington Redskins won the National Football League title in 1942. In Motta's second year as coach, the Bullets had become only the third team to win the NBA championship in a seventh game on the road; that 1978 championship remains the franchise's only NBA championship. After the climactic Game 7 victory to claim the title, Motta celebrated with his team wearing a beer-soaked The Opera Isn't Over'Til The Fat Lady Sings T-shirt. What made the championship so great was that we weren’t supposed to win it. We came a long way. Most people didn't give us a chance. I did. — Dick Motta In a Nov. 5, 2003 interview in the Utah Statesman, the student newspaper of his alma mater Utah State University, Motta said opera lovers were angry with him at first.
"My wife said they were going to kill me when I said that." But that as time passed, Motta said, he was extended friendly invitations to a variety of events with "operatic" themes ranging from the Metropolitan Opera in New York to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Motta was the first head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, hired
George Matthew Karl is an American former professional basketball coach and former player. He is one of 9 coaches in NBA history to have won 1,000 NBA games, though he never won a championship. Karl was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills, where he starred at Penn Hills High School, he played collegiately at the University of North Carolina for three years. Drafted in the fourth round of 1973 NBA draft by the New York Knicks, Karl opted instead to sign with the ABA's San Antonio Spurs, he spent three years as the team's starting point guard. After the Spurs joined the NBA in 1976, Karl played limited minutes over the next two years, retiring as a player in 1978. After his playing career, Karl spent two years with the Spurs coaching staff as an assistant coach, he was named head coach of the Montana Golden Nuggets of the Continental Basketball Association. As coach of the Golden Nuggets, Karl guided the team to the CBA Finals in 1981 and 1983, winning Coach of the Year both seasons. In 1984, Karl returned to the NBA.
In his first season he took them back to the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. He was dismissed by the Cavaliers after a disappointing 25–42 start in his second season with the team, though Cleveland would finish just 29–53 on the season. For the remainder of the 1985–86 season and early portion of the offseason, Karl worked as a scout and adviser to the Milwaukee Bucks. Karl was named head coach of the Golden State Warriors in 1986. In the first round of the playoffs, they faced the Utah Jazz in a best–of–five series; each team won two close games at home setting up a decisive game 5 in Utah that the Warriors won to advance to the playoff semifinals. Matched up in the semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers, who had won three championships in the past seven seasons, Karl's team was expected to be swept by the much more experienced Lakers, promptly lost the first three games. Facing elimination in game 4, the Warriors overcame a 12–point fourth quarter deficit and won 129–121. Game 4 was the only game the Lakers lost in the Western Conference playoffs that year, en route to the first of their back–to–back championships.
During the 1987–88 season, the Warriors got off to a rough start, team management decided to trade Purvis Short, Sleepy Floyd and Joe Barry Carroll in order to save money and get younger. With Chris Mullin going through alcohol rehabilitation, Karl was now without his top four scorers from the 1987 playoff team. Frustrated with the team's direction, he resigned from the Warriors with 18 games left in the season. Though he resigned, there has been speculation Karl was fired, as he signed a non-disclosure agreement and received a buyout of his contract. On September 5, 1988, Karl was named head coach of the Albany Patroons of the CBA, leading them to a 36–18 record. In 1989, Karl coached Real Madrid of Liga ACB. Madrid finished 69–17, though they dealt with the death of their best player, Fernando Martín Espina. Real Madrid came third in the Spanish league, were Spanish cup semifinalists, lost the final of the Saporta Cup, Europe's second most important cup competition. Karl returned to coach the Patroons in 1990, leading them to a 50–6 season, while winning all 28 home games.
For his efforts, Karl was named CBA Coach of the Year for the third time. Karl returned to Real Madrid for the 1991–92 season, until he left to return to the NBA. Real Madrid won the Saporta Cup, came second in the Spanish league, lost in the quarterfinals of the Spanish cup. On January 23, 1992, Karl was named head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics. Karl led a late season surge going 27–15, entering the playoffs as the sixth seed. In the first round, they upset the Golden State Warriors in four games, they lost in the second round to the Utah Jazz. In his second season as the SuperSonics coach, the team improved their 47–35 record to 55–27, qualified for the playoffs as the #3 seed in the Western Conference, they defeated the Utah Jazz 3–2 in the first round, defeated the Houston Rockets 4–3 in the semifinals. Seattle lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Charles Barkley–led Phoenix Suns in a full seven game series, falling just one game short of the NBA Finals; the following season, Seattle won 63 games and its first Pacific Division title since their 1979 championship season.
Despite a rift with mid-season acquisition Kendall Gill, Karl led the Sonics to the top seed in the Western Conference. Playing the eighth–seeded Denver Nuggets in the opening round of the playoffs, Seattle won their first two games at home, but lost the following three, including the closing game at home, to become the first top seed to lose to an eighth-seed in the playoffs history; the 1994–95 season had a similar result when Seattle suffered another first–round loss after finishing the season 57–25. This time, Karl's fourth-seed SuperSonics were defeated by the fifth–seeded Los Angeles Lakers led by point guard Nick Van Exel, who clashed with Karl during the 1993 NBA rookie workouts. Fans and media called for Karl's dismissal after his back-to-back first round losses, but the team instead traded the disgruntled Kendall Gill to Charlotte for Hersey Hawkins, showing a sign of confidence in Karl. Karl responded to the disappointing playoff exits with the best regular season in SuperSonics history, posting a 14–game winning streak between February and March to finish the 1995–96 season with a franchise best 64–18 record.
Led by All-Stars Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton, the named Defensive Player of the Year, the SuperSonics defeated the Sacramento Kings three games to one
1988 NBA Playoffs
The 1988 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1987–88 season. The tournament concluded with the Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers defeating the Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons 4 games to 3 in the NBA Finals. James Worthy was named NBA Finals MVP; the Lakers became the first team since the Boston Celtics in 1969 to repeat as champions, a feat that coach Pat Riley guaranteed the previous offseason. This marked the first time since 1983 that the Celtics did not represent the East in the NBA Finals, but they did win one of the most memorable games of the 1988 playoffs, beating the Hawks 118–116 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals in Boston Garden. Larry Bird scored 20 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter to help Boston overcome the 47 points scored by Dominique Wilkins; the Dallas Mavericks made their first trip to the Western Conference Finals, losing in 7 to the Lakers. They would not advance that far again until 2003, would not face the Lakers again until 2011.
The New York Knicks made the playoffs for the first time since 1984. They remained regulars until 2001, which included NBA Finals appearances in 1994 and 1999. On the other hand, the Washington Bullets did not return until 1997, would not win a playoff game again until 2005 as the Wizards. In the first round against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Michael Jordan scored 50 or more points twice—50 points in Game 1, 55 points in Game 2—becoming the first player to do so in the same series. Allen Iverson would equal that feat in the 2001 NBA playoffs against the Toronto Raptors; this was the first time in NBA history that a game other than a Finals game was played during the month of June. Game 4 of the Hawks-Bucks series was the last game played at the MECCA known as the US Cellular Arena; the Bucks moved to the Bradley Center the next season. The Bucks played there for 30 seasons. Game 5 of the NBA Finals was the last NBA game played at the Pontiac Silverdome. Champion: Los Angeles Lakers 1st Round Los Angeles Lakers vs.
San Antonio Spurs: Lakers win series 3-0 Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 122, San Antonio 110 Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 130, San Antonio 112 Game 3 @ HemisFair Arena, San Antonio: Los Angeles 109, San Antonio 107This was the fourth playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning the first three meetings. Denver Nuggets vs. Seattle SuperSonics: Nuggets win series 3-2 Game 1 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Denver 126, Seattle 123 Game 2 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Seattle 111, Denver 91 Game 3 @ Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle: Denver 124, Seattle 115 Game 4 @ Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle: Seattle 127, Denver 117 Game 5 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Denver 115, Seattle 96This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams, with the SuperSonics winning the first meeting. Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets: Mavericks win series 3-1 Game 1 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 120, Houston 110 Game 2 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Houston 119, Dallas 108 Game 3 @ The Summit, Houston: Dallas 93, Houston 92 Game 4 @ The Summit, Houston: Dallas 107, Houston 97 This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Rockets.
Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz:Jazz win series 3-1 Game 1 @ Memorial Coliseum, Portland: Portland 108, Utah 96 Game 2 @ Memorial Coliseum, Portland: Utah 114, Portland 105 Game 3 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Utah 113, Portland 108 Game 4 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Utah 111, Portland 96This was the first playoff meeting between the Trail Blazers and the Jazz. Conference Semifinals Los Angeles Lakers vs. Utah Jazz: Lakers win series 4-3 Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 110, Utah 91 Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Utah 101, Los Angeles 97 Game 3 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Utah 96, Los Angeles 89 Game 4@ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Los Angeles 113, Utah 100 Game 5 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 111, Utah 109 Game 6 @ Salt Palace, Salt Lake City: Utah 108, Los Angeles 80 Game 7 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 109, Utah 98This was the first playoff meeting between the Lakers and the Jazz. Denver Nuggets vs. Dallas Mavericks: Mavericks win series 4-2 Game 1 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Denver 126, Dallas 115 Game 2 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Dallas 112, Denver 108 Game 3 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Denver 107, Dallas 105 Game 4 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 124, Denver 103 Game 5 @ McNichols Sports Arena, Denver: Dallas 110, Denver 106 Game 6 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 108, Denver 95This was the first playoff meeting between the Mavericks and the Nuggets.
Conference Finals Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks: Lakers win series 4-3 Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 113, Dallas 98 Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 123, Dallas 101 Game 3 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 106, Los Angeles 94 Game 4 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 118, Los Angeles 104 Game 5 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 119, Dallas 102 Game 6 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas: Dallas 105, Los Angeles 103 Game 7 @ The Forum, Los Angeles: Los Angeles 117, Dallas 102This was the third playoff meeting between these two teams, with the Lakers winning the first two meetings
Donald Arvid Nelson, sometimes known as Nellie, is an American former National Basketball Association player and head coach. He coached the Milwaukee Bucks, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors. An innovator, Nelson is credited with, among other things, pioneering the concept of the point forward, a tactic, employed by teams at every level today, his unique brand of basketball is referred to as Nellie Ball. He was named one of the Top 10 coaches in NBA history. On April 7, 2010, he passed Lenny Wilkens for first place on the all-time NBA wins list with 1,333 wins, his all-time record is 1,335–1,063. Nelson was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. After a successful high school career at Rock Island High School, Nelson played for the University of Iowa as a two-time All-American averaging 21.1 points and 10.5 rebounds a game. In 1962, Nelson was selected as the 17th draft pick by the Chicago Zephyrs of the NBA, he played for the Zephyrs for one season, was acquired by the Los Angeles Lakers in 1963.
After two years with the Lakers, he was signed by the Boston Celtics. In his first season with Boston, Nelson averaged 10.2 points and 5.4 rebounds, helping the Celtics to the 1966 NBA title as one of their role players. Four more championships with Boston followed in 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976. In Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals, against his former team, the Lakers, Nelson converted one of the most famous shots in playoff history — a foul-line jumper which dropped through the basket after hitting the back rim and bouncing several feet straight up; the shot, taken with just over a minute to go in the game and the Celtics clinging to a 103–102 lead, helped secure Boston's 11th NBA title in 13 seasons. A model of consistency, Nelson would average more than 10 points per game every season between 1968–69 and 1974–75, he led the NBA in field-goal percentage in 1974–75. Nelson was coined as one of the best "sixth men" to play in the NBA, he was known for his distinctive one-handed style for shooting free throws.
He would place the ball in his shooting hand, lean in off-balance and toe the free-throw line with his right foot and his left leg trailing. He would push the ball toward the basket with his right hand while springing with his right knee and lifting the trailing foot in a sort of "hop"; this technique helped him to a career 76.5% free-throw shooting percentage. Nelson retired as a player following the 1975–76 season, his number 19 jersey was retired to the Boston Garden rafters in 1978. Nelson was named the general manager and head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1976, began to show what would become his signature style of wheeling and dealing players, he made his first trade of Swen Nater to the Buffalo Braves and turned the draft pick he received into Marques Johnson, who had a solid career with the Bucks. In 1980, he sent off an underachieving Kent Benson to the Detroit Pistons for Bob Lanier, his most publicized deal came before the 1984–85 season when he dealt Johnson, Junior Bridgeman, Harvey Catchings, cash to the San Diego Clippers for Terry Cummings, Craig Hodges, Ricky Pierce.
And, in 1986, he would deal Alton Lister to the Seattle SuperSonics for Jack Sikma. Taking over a Bucks team in the aftermath of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's departure to Los Angeles, Nelson was able to improve their win total by 14 games in his first full season as head coach, established the team as a legitimate championship contender by 1980, it was in Milwaukee where Nelson became known for his innovative basketball philosophy. He pioneered the concept of the point forward – a tactic wherein small forwards are used to direct the offense. In Nelson's tenure with the Bucks, he used 6–5 small forward Paul Pressey for the role; this enabled Nelson to field shooting guards Sidney Moncrief and Craig Hodges or Ricky Pierce at the same time without worrying about who would run the offense. In his offensive half-court sets, he would put a center who wasn't a threat on offense, like Lister or Randy Breuer, at mid-court instead of near the basket to keep a shot-blocking center like the Utah Jazz's Mark Eaton away from the basket to make him less of a threat on defense.
This system, known as "Nellieball", created a lot of mismatches and enabled Nelson to lead the Bucks to seven straight Central Division championships with over 50 wins in each of those seasons. He earned NBA Coach of the Year honors in 1983 and 1985. However, for seven straight years, despite finishing no worse than second best in the Eastern Conference, the Bucks would end up being eliminated in the playoffs by either the Larry Bird-led Boston Celtics or the Julius Erving-led Philadelphia 76ers. After the 1986-87 season, which included some controversy and distraction before Game 4 of the 1987 Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics where Nelson told the local sports media that he didn't expect to be back once the season concluded due to a rift with Bucks owner Herb Kohl, Nelson left the Bucks. Nelson did part-time work as a color analyst for NBA games on TBS during the 1987-88 season. During the season he was contacted by the Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks with offers to coach their teams.
Nelson decided to go with Golden State, at first buying a minority stake in the team before being named head coach and vice president after one season away from the NBA. In Golden State, he instilled a run-and-gun style of offense. Again using an unconventional lineup which featured three guards and two forwards, he coached the Warriors to a 23-game turnaround of their pre
Michael Jeffrey Jordan known by his initials, MJ, is an American former professional basketball player, the principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association. He played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, his biography on the official NBA website states: "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." He was one of the most marketed athletes of his generation and was considered instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s. Jordan played three seasons for coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina; as a freshman, he was a member of the Tar Heels' national championship team in 1982. Jordan joined the Bulls in 1984 as the third overall draft pick, he emerged as a league star and entertained crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, demonstrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames Air Jordan and His Airness.
He gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat". Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season, started a new career in Minor League Baseball, he returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, 1998, as well as a then-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season. Jordan retired for a second time in January 1999, but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Wizards. Jordan's individual accolades and accomplishments include six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards, ten scoring titles, five MVP Awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, three steals titles, the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.
He holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average and highest career playoff scoring average. In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press' list of athletes of the century. Jordan is a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, having been enshrined in 2009 for his individual career, again in 2010 as part of the group induction of the 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team, he became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015. Jordan is known for his product endorsements, he fueled the success of Nike's Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1984 and remain popular today. Jordan starred as himself in the 1996 film Space Jam. In 2006, he became part-owner and head of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats, bought a controlling interest in 2010. In 2014, Jordan became the first billionaire player in NBA history, he is the third-richest African-American, behind Robert F. Oprah Winfrey.
Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Deloris, who worked in banking, James R. Jordan Sr. an equipment supervisor. His family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. Jordan is the fourth of five children, he has two older brothers, Larry Jordan and James R. Jordan, Jr. one older sister and one younger sister, Roslyn. Jordan's brother James retired in 2006 as the Command Sergeant Major of the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the U. S. Army. Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he highlighted his athletic career by playing basketball and football, he tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year, but at 5'11", he was deemed too short to play at that level. His taller friend, Harvest Leroy Smith, was the only sophomore to make the team. Motivated to prove his worth, Jordan became the star of Laney's junior varsity team, tallied several 40-point games; the following summer, he trained rigorously. Upon earning a spot on the varsity roster, Jordan averaged more than 25 points per game over his final two seasons of high school play.
As a senior, he was selected to play in the 1981 McDonald's All-American Game and scored 30 points, after averaging 27 points, 12 rebounds and 6 assists per game for the season. Jordan was recruited by numerous college basketball programs, including Duke, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. In 1981, Jordan accepted a basketball scholarship to North Carolina, where he majored in cultural geography; as a freshman in coach Dean Smith's team-oriented system, he was named ACC Freshman of the Year after he averaged 13.4 ppg on 53.4% shooting. He made the game-winning jump shot in the 1982 NCAA Championship game against Georgetown, led by future NBA rival Patrick Ewing. Jordan described this shot as the major turning point in his basketball career. During his three seasons at North Carolina, he averaged 17.7 ppg on 54.0% shooting, added 5.0 rpg. He was selected by consensus to the NCAA All-American First Team in both his sophomore and junior seasons. After winning the Naismith and the Wooden College Player of the Year awards in 1984, Jordan left North Carolina one year before his scheduled graduation to enter the 1984 NBA draft.
The Chicago Bulls selected Jordan after Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie. One of the primary reasons why Jordan was not drafted
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
The Boston Celtics are an American professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league's original eight teams, the team play their home games at TD Garden, which they share with the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins; the Celtics are one of the most successful teams in NBA history. The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, have played the Lakers a record 12 times in the NBA Finals, of which the Celtics have won nine. Four Celtics players have won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Both the nickname "Celtics" and their mascot "Lucky the Leprechaun" are a nod to Boston's large Irish population. After winning 16 championships throughout the 20th century, the Celtics, after struggling through the 1990s, rose again to win a championship in 2008 with the help of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen in what was known as the new "Big Three" era, following the original "Big Three" era that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, which combined to win the 1981, 1984, 1986 championships.
Following the win in 2008, general manager Danny Ainge began a rebuilding process with the help of head coach Brad Stevens, who led the Celtics to a return to the playoffs from 2015. During the following season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals; this prompted an aggressive rebuild in 2017, where the team acquired All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. However, the pair struggled with injuries throughout the 2017–18 season, the team was again defeated in the Eastern Conference Finals; the Boston Celtics were formed on June 6, 1946, by Boston Garden-Arena Corporation president Walter A. Brown as a team in the Basketball Association of America, became part of the National Basketball Association after the absorption of the National Basketball League by the BAA in the fall of 1949. In 1950, the Celtics signed Chuck Cooper; the Celtics struggled until the hiring of coach Red Auerbach. In the franchise's early days, Auerbach had no assistants, ran all the practices, did all the scouting—both of opposing teams and college draft prospects—and scheduled all road trips.
One of the first great players to join the Celtics was Bob Cousy, whom Auerbach refused to draft out of nearby Holy Cross because he was "too flashy." Cousy's contract became the property of the Chicago Stags, but when that franchise went bankrupt, Cousy went to the Celtics in a dispersal draft. After the 1955–56 season, Auerbach made a stunning trade, sending perennial All-Star Ed Macauley to the St. Louis Hawks along with the draft rights to Cliff Hagan for the second overall pick in the draft. After negotiating with the Rochester Royals—a negotiation that included a promise that the Celtics owner would send the sought-after Ice Capades to Rochester if the Royals would let Russell slide to #2—Auerbach used the pick to select University of San Francisco center Bill Russell. Auerbach acquired Holy Cross standout, 1957 NBA Rookie of the Year, Tommy Heinsohn. Russell and Heinsohn worked extraordinarily well with Cousy, they were the players around whom Auerbach would build the champion Celtics for more than a decade.
With Bill Russell, the Celtics advanced to the 1957 NBA Finals and defeated the St. Louis Hawks in seven games, the first of a record 17 championships. Russell went on making him the most decorated player in NBA history. In 1958, the Celtics again advanced to this time losing to the Hawks in 6 games. However, with the acquisition of K. C. Jones that year, the Celtics began a dynasty. In 1959, the Celtics won the NBA Championship after sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers, the first of their record eight consecutive championships. During that time, the Celtics met the Lakers in the Finals five times, starting an intense and bitter rivalry that has spanned generations. In 1964, the Celtics became the first NBA team to have an all African-American starting lineup. On December 26, 1964, Willie Naulls replaced an injured Tommy Heinsohn, joining Tom'Satch' Sanders, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones, Bill Russell in the starting lineup; the Celtics defeated St. Louis 97–84. Boston won its next 11 games with Naulls starting in place of Heinsohn.
The Celtics of the late 1950s–1960s are considered as one of the most dominant teams of all time. Auerbach retired as coach after the 1965–66 season and Russell took over as player-coach, Auerbach's ploy to keep Russell interested. With his appointment Russell became the first African-American coach in any U. S. pro sport. Auerbach would remain a position he would hold well into the 1980s. However, the Celtics' string of NBA titles ended when they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1966 Eastern Conference Finals; the aging team managed two more championships in 1968 and 1969, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers each time. Russell retired after the 1969 season ending a Celtics dynasty that had garnered an unrivaled 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons; the team's run of 8 consecutive is the longest championship streak in U. S. professional sports history. The 1970 season was a rebuilding year, as the Celtics had their first losing record since the 1949–50 season