Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon known as Akeem Olajuwon, is a Nigerian-American former professional basketball player. From 1984 to 2002, he played the center position in the National Basketball Association for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors, he led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In 2008, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, in 2016, he was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame. Listed at 7 ft 0 in, Olajuwon is considered one of the greatest centers to play the game, he was nicknamed "The Dream" during his basketball career after he dunked so effortlessly that his college coach said it "looked like a dream."Born in Lagos, Olajuwon traveled from his home country to play for the University of Houston under head coach Guy Lewis. His college career for the Cougars included three trips to the Final Four. Olajuwon was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the first overall selection of the 1984 NBA draft, a draft that included Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton.
He combined with the 7 ft 4 in Ralph Sampson to form a duo dubbed the "Twin Towers". The two led the Rockets to the 1986 NBA Finals. After Sampson was traded to the Warriors in 1988, Olajuwon became the Rockets' undisputed leader, he blocks three times. Despite nearly being traded during a bitter contract dispute before the 1992–93 season, he remained in Houston where in 1993–94, he became the only player in NBA history to win the NBA MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Finals MVP awards in the same season, his Rockets won back-to-back championships against the New York Knicks, Shaquille O'Neal's Orlando Magic. In 1996, Olajuwon was a member of the Olympic gold-medal-winning United States national team, was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, he ended his career as the league's all-time leader in blocks and is one of four NBA players to record a quadruple-double. Hakeem Olajuwon was born to Salim and Abike Olajuwon, working class Yoruba owners of a cement business in Lagos.
He was the third of eight children. He credits his parents with instilling virtues of hard work and discipline into him and his siblings. Olajuwon has expressed displeasure at his childhood in Nigeria being characterized as backward. "Lagos is a cosmopolitan city... There are many ethnic groups. I grew up in an environment at schools where there were all different types of people."During his youth, Olajuwon was a soccer goalkeeper, which helped give him the footwork and agility to balance his size and strength in basketball, contributed to his shot-blocking ability. Olajuwon did not play basketball until the age of 17, it has been said that a coach in Nigeria once asked him to dunk and demonstrated while standing on a chair. Olajuwon tried to stand on the chair himself; when redirected by staff not to use the chair, Hakeem could not dunk the basketball. Despite early struggles, Olajuwon said: "Basketball is something, so unique; that I pick up the game and, you know, realize that this is the life for me.
All the other sports just become obsolete." Olajuwon emigrated from Nigeria to play basketball at the University of Houston under Cougars coach Guy Lewis. Olajuwon was not recruited and was offered a visit to the university to work out for the coaching staff, based on a recommendation from a friend of Lewis who had seen Olajuwon play, he recalled that when he arrived at the airport in 1980 for the visit, no representative of the school was there to greet him. When he called the staff, they told him to take a taxi out to the university. After redshirting his freshman year in 1980–81 because he could not yet get clearance from the NCAA to play, Olajuwon played sparingly as a redshirt freshman in 1981–82, the Cougars were eliminated in the Final Four by the eventual NCAA champion, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Olajuwon averaged 8.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.5 blocks, shooting 60% from the field in 18 minutes per game. Olajuwon sought advice from the coaching staff about how to increase his playing time, they advised him to work out with local Houston resident and multiple NBA MVP winner, Moses Malone.
Malone, a center on the NBA's Houston Rockets, played games every off season with several NBA players at the Fonde Recreation Center. Olajuwon joined the workouts and went head to head with Malone in several games throughout the summer. Olajuwon credited this experience with improving his game: "The way Moses helped me is by being out there playing and allowing me to go against that level of competition, he was the best center in the NBA at the time, so I was trying to improve my game against the best."Olajuwon returned from that summer a different player. He and his teammates formed what was dubbed "Phi Slama Jama", the first slam-dunking "fraternity", so named because of its above-the-rim prowess. In his sophomore and junior years he helped the Cougars advance to consecutive NCAA championship games, where they lost to North Carolina State on a last second tip-in in 1983 and a Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown team in 1984, he averaged 13.9 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.1 blocks in 1982-1983 and 16.8 points, 13.5 rebounds and 5.6 blocks in 1983-1984.
Olajuwon won the 1983 NCAA Tournament Player of the Year award though he played for the losing team in the final game. He is, to date, the last player from a losing side to be granted this ho
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Spurs are one of four former American Basketball Association teams to remain intact in the NBA after the 1976 ABA–NBA merger and are the only former ABA team to have won an NBA championship; the franchise has won NBA championships in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014. As of May 2015, the Spurs had the highest winning percentage among active NBA franchises; as of April 2019, the Spurs have won 22 division titles since joining the NBA and have only missed the playoffs four times. From 1999–2000 to 2016–17, the Spurs won 50 games each season, setting a record of 18 consecutive 50-win seasons. In the 2018–19 season, the Spurs matched an NBA record for most consecutive playoff appearances with 22; the team's recent success coincides with the tenure of current head coach Gregg Popovich, who has coached the team since 1996.
The Spurs are the city's only team in any of the four major U. S. professional sports leagues and the only major-league team in the city's history to have lasted more than five years. Spurs players are active members of the San Antonio community, many former Spurs are still active in San Antonio including David Robinson with the Carver Academy and George Gervin with the George Gervin Youth Center; the Spurs set several NBA attendance records while playing at the Alamodome including the largest crowd for an NBA Finals game in 1999, the Spurs continue to sell out the smaller AT&T Center on a regular basis. Since 2003, the team has been forced on an extended road trip for much of February since the AT&T Center hosts the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo; this is informally known as the "Rodeo Road Trip". The Spurs have posted winning road records during this period, including an NBA-record longest single road trip winning streak; when the Spurs have won the NBA title, the team's victory parades have been boat trips on the San Antonio River Walk.
The San Antonio Spurs started out as the Dallas Chaparrals of the original version of the American Basketball Association. Coached by player/coach Cliff Hagan the Dallas Chaparrals were one of 11 teams to take the floor in the inaugural season of the upstart ABA; the Chaps' second season was a bit of a disappointment, as the team finished in 4th place with a mediocre 41–37 record. In the playoffs the Chaparrals fell to the New Orleans Buccaneers; the team suffered from general disinterest in Dallas. In fact, during the 1970–71 season, the name "Dallas" was dropped in favor of "Texas" and an attempt was made to make the team a regional one, playing games in Fort Worth, at the Tarrant County Convention Center, as well as Lubbock, at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum, but this proved a failure and the team returned full-time to Dallas in time for the 1971–72 season, splitting their games at Moody Coliseum and Dallas Convention Center Arena. While the Chaparrals had been modestly successful on the court, they were sinking financially by their third season because the ownership group refused to spend much money on the team.
After missing the playoffs for the first time in their existence in the 1972–73 season, nearly all of the owners wanted out. A group of 36 San Antonio businessmen, led by Manager/Angelo Drossos, Chairman of the Board/John Schaefer and President/Red McCombs, worked out a "lend-lease" deal with the Dallas ownership group. Drossos and his group would lease the team for three years and move it to San Antonio, agreed to return the team to Dallas if no purchase occurred by 1975. After the deal was signed, the team was renamed the San Antonio Gunslingers. However, before they played a game the name was changed to Spurs; the team's primary colors were changed from the red and blue of the Chaparrals to the now familiar black and white motif of the Spurs. In the first game at the HemisFair Arena the Spurs lost to the San Diego Conquistadors, despite attracting a noisy crowd of 6,000 fans. A smothering defense was the team's image, as they held opponents to less than 100 points for an ABA record of 49 times.
The early Spurs were led by ABA veteran James Silas, the team would get stronger as the season went on as they twice took advantage of the Virginia Squires, acquiring Swen Nater, who would go on to win Rookie of the Year, in November, "The Iceman" George Gervin in January. The ABA tried to halt the Gervin deal, claiming it was detrimental to the league, but a judge would rule in the Spurs' favor, Gervin made his Spurs debut on February 7; the Spurs would go on to finish with a 45 -- good for 3rd place in the Western Division. In the playoffs, the Spurs would battle the Indiana Pacers to the bitter end before falling in seven games. San Antonio embraced the Spurs with open arms. Schaefer, Drossos and McCombs knew a runaway hit. After only one year, they exercised their option to tear up the lease agreement, buy the franchise outright and keep the team in San Antonio for good; the team made themselves at home at HemisFair Arena, playing to large and raucous crowds. Despite a respectable 17–10 start during the 1974–75 season, Coach Tom Nissalke was fired as owners become tired of the Spurs' slow defensive style of games.
He would be replaced by Bob Bass, who stated that the Spurs would have an new playing style: "It is my belief that you cannot throw a set offense at another professional team for 48 minutes. You've got to
Shaquille Rashaun "Shaq" O'Neal, is a retired professional American basketball player, a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA on TNT. He is considered one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association history. At 7 ft 1 in tall and 325 pounds, he was one of heaviest players yet. O'Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year career. Following his time at Louisiana State University, O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft, he became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After four years with the Magic, O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers, they won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, 2002. Amid tension between O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, his fourth NBA championship followed in 2006. Midway through the 2007–2008 season he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. After a season-and-a-half with the Suns, O'Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009–10 season.
O'Neal played for the Boston Celtics in the 2010–11 season before retiring. O'Neal's individual accolades include the 1999–2000 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, three NBA All-Defensive Team selections, he is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year. He ranks 8th all-time in points scored, 6th in field goals, 15th in rebounds, 8th in blocks. Due to his ability to dunk the basketball, O'Neal ranks third all-time in field goal percentage. O'Neal was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, he was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017. In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum, he has appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq's Big Challenge and Shaq Vs..
He hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq. He is the general manager of Kings Guard Gaming of the NBA 2K League. O'Neal was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, to Lucille O'Neal and Joe Toney, who played high school basketball and was offered a basketball scholarship to play at Seton Hall. Toney struggled with drug addiction and was imprisoned for drug possession when O'Neal was an infant. Upon his release, he did not resume a place in O'Neal's life and instead agreed to relinquish his parental rights to O'Neal's Jamaican stepfather, Phillip A. Harrison, a career Army sergeant. O'Neal remained estranged from his biological father for decades. On his 1994 rap album, Shaq Fu: The Return, O'Neal voiced his feelings of disdain for Toney in the song "Biological Didn't Bother", dismissing him with the line "Phil is my father." However, O'Neal's feelings toward Toney mellowed in the years following Harrison's death in 2013, the two met for the first time in March 2016, with O'Neal telling him, "I don't hate you.
I had a good life. I had Phil."O'Neal credits the Boys and Girls Club of America in Newark with giving him a safe place to play and keeping him off the streets. "It gave me something to do," he said. "I'd just go there to shoot. I didn't play on a team." Because of his stepfather's career in the military, the family left Newark, moving to military bases in Germany and Texas. At Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas, O'Neal led his team to a 68–1 record over two years and helped the team win the state championship during his senior year, his 791 rebounds during the 1989 season remains a state record for a player in any classification. O'Neal's tendency to make hook shots earned comparisons to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, inspiring him to wear the same jersey number as Abdul-Jabbar, 33. However, his high school team did not have a 33 jersey. After graduating from high school, O'Neal studied business at Louisiana State University, he had first met Dale Brown, LSU's men's basketball coach, years earlier in Europe when O'Neal's stepfather was stationed on a U.
S. Army base at West Germany. While playing for Brown at LSU, O'Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time SEC Player of the Year, received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men's basketball player of the year in 1991. O'Neal left LSU early to pursue his NBA career, but continued his education after becoming a professional player, he was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame. A 900-pound bronze statue of O'Neal is located in front of the LSU Tigers Basketball Practice Facility; the Orlando Magic drafted O'Neal with the 1st overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. During that summer, prior to moving to Orlando, he spent a significant amount of time in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. Given Terry Catledge refused to give O'Neal the 33 jersey, he relented by going back to the 32 from his high school days. O'Neal was named the Player of the Week in his first week in the NBA, becoming the first player to do so. During his rookie season, O'Neal averaged 23.4 points on 56.2% shooting, 13.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks per game for the season.
He was named the 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year and became the first rookie to be voted an All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1985. The Magic finished 41–41, winning 20 more games than the previous season.
The Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference, Northwest Division. Since 1991, the team has played its home games at Vivint Smart Home Arena; the franchise began play in 1974 as an expansion team based in New Orleans. The Jazz were one of the least successful teams in the league in their early years. Although 10 seasons elapsed before the Jazz qualified for their first playoff appearance in 1984, they did not miss the playoffs again until 2004. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone arose as the franchise players for the team, formed one of the most famed point guard–power forward duos in NBA history. Led by coach Jerry Sloan, who took over from Frank Layden in 1988, they became one of the powerhouse teams of the 1990s, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan.
Both Stockton and Malone moved on in 2003. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons the Jazz returned to prominence under the on-court leadership of point guard Deron Williams. However, partway through the 2010–11 NBA season, the Jazz began restructuring after Sloan's retirement and Williams' trade to the New Jersey Nets. Quin Snyder was hired as head coach in June 2014. On June 7, 1974, the New Orleans Jazz were admitted as an expansion franchise into the National Basketball Association. Team officials selected the name because of its definition in the dictionary: collective improvisation; the team began its inaugural season in New Orleans in the 1974–75 season. The team's first major move was to trade for star player Pete Maravich from the Atlanta Hawks for two first-round draft picks, three second-round picks, one third-round pick over the next three years. Although he was considered one of the most entertaining players in the league and won the scoring championship for the 1976-77 season with 31.1 points per game, the Jazz's best record while in New Orleans was 39–43 in the 1977–78 season.
Maravich struggled with knee injuries from that season onward. Venue issues were a continual problem for the team. In the Jazz's first season, they played in the Municipal Auditorium and Loyola Field House, where the basketball court was raised so high that the NBA Players Association made the team put a net around the court to prevent players from falling off of the court and into the stands; the Jazz played games in the cavernous Louisiana Superdome, but things were no better, because of high demand for the stadium, onerous lease terms, Maravich's constant knee problems. They faced the prospect of spending a whole month on the road each year because of New Orleans' Mardi Gras festivities, similar to the long road trip faced by the San Antonio Spurs each season during their city's rodeo. Years founding owner Sam Battistone claimed that there was no contingency plan in case the Jazz had qualified for the playoffs. However, the Superdome's manager at the time, Bill Curl, said that the stadium's management always submitted a list of potential playoff dates to the Jazz management, but these letters were never answered.
After what turned out to be their final season in New Orleans, the Jazz were dealt a further humiliation when the Los Angeles Lakers selected Magic Johnson with the first overall pick in the 1979 NBA draft. The pick would have been the Jazz's had they not traded it to acquire Gail Goodrich two years earlier; the Jazz had given up the rights to Moses Malone in order to regain one of the three first-round picks used for the Goodrich trade. Despite being competitive, the Jazz drew well during their first five years. However, by 1979 the franchise was sinking financially. Barry Mendelson, the team's executive vice president for most of the early years, said one factor in the financial trouble was an 11-percent amusement tax, highest in the U. S. at the time. The team could not attract much local corporate support—an important factor in those days—or local investors. Battistone decided to move it. After scouting several new homes, he decided on Salt Lake City though it was a smaller market. Salt Lake City had been home to the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association from 1970 to 1976.
The Stars had been popular in the city and had won an ABA title in their first season after moving from Los Angeles. However, their finances collapsed in their last two seasons, they were shut down by the league 16 games into the 1975–76 season after missing payroll. Although Salt Lake City was not known for its jazz culture, the team decided to keep the name, as there was not enough time before the start of the 1979–80 season to receive league approval for a name change; the Jazz preserved the original Mardi Gras-themed colors: green and gold. The Jazz's attendance declined after the team's move from New Orleans to Utah because of a late approval for the move and poor marketing in the Salt Lake City area; the team's management made the first of several moves in 1979, bringing high-scoring forward Adrian Dantley to Utah in exchange for Spencer Haywood. Dantley averaged 28 points per game during the 1979–80 season, allowing the team to waive Pete Maravich early in
McNichols Sports Arena
McNichols Sports Arena was an indoor arena located in Denver, Colorado. Located adjacent to Mile High Stadium and completed in 1975, at a cost of $16 million, it seated 16,061 for hockey games, 17,171 for basketball games and contained 27 luxury suites, which were installed as part of a 1986 renovation, it was named after Denver mayor William H. McNichols, Jr. who served from 1968 to 1983. A small-scale scandal surrounded the naming; the 1986 renovations saw the original Stewart-Warner end-zone scoreboards, which each had color matrix screens, upgraded by White Way Sign with new digits and to include new color video screens. The arena closed after the Nuggets and Avalanche moved to Pepsi Center and was demolished in 2000 to make space for a parking lot surrounding Broncos Stadium at Mile High. McNichols Sports Arena was the home of the Denver Nuggets of the ABA and NBA for its entire existence from 1975 to 1999 It hosted multiple hockey teams, including the Denver Spurs of the WHA during the 1975–76 season, the Colorado Rockies of the NHL from 1976 to 1982, the Colorado Flames of the CHL from 1982 to 1984, the Denver Grizzlies of the International Hockey League from 1994 to 1995, the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL from 1995 to 1999.
McNichols hosted the NCAA Final Four in 1990, won by UNLV over Duke University and the West Regional Semifinal in 1996. It was host to the 1976 ABA All-Star Game, in which the host Nuggets defeated the ABA All-Stars, games 1, 2, 5 of the 1976 ABA finals, the 1984 NBA All-Star Game, it hosted games one and two of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, where the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Florida Panthers in four games to bring Denver its first major sports championship. UFC 1, the first event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, was held there in 1993. Another notable event at McNichols took place on December 13, 1983, when the Nuggets hosted the Detroit Pistons in a regular season contest. Nugget players Kiki Vandeweghe and Alex English scored 51 and 47 points while Piston Isiah Thomas scored 47 points, with teammate John Long scoring 41 in a 186-184 triple-overtime Detroit win over the Nuggets; the game, still to date, is the highest-scoring game in NBA history, holds the record for the most players to score 40 or more points in a single game.
However, the game was attended by just over 9,300 people. This game has since been broadcast on ESPN Classic; the group Heart performed their rendition of "Unchained Melody" at the arena in 1980. "Unchained Melody" was included on their highly-successful double LP Greatest Hits/Live released November 1980. The Grateful Dead made a stop here on their Fall Southwest Tour on October 9, 1977. Elvis Presley performed a sold out concert here on April 23, 1976 Elton John performed here for two consecutive nights, October 5th and October 6, 1975 as part of the "West of the Rockies" tour. Paul McCartney and Wings performed here for one night June 7, 1976The Bee Gees played here on July 2, 1979 as part of their successful Spirits Having Flown Tour; the band KISS performed at McNichols on November 1979 as part of their Dynasty Tour. This was the last tour featuring original drummer Peter Criss until 1996. Rolling Stones guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood performed as The New Barbarians at the arena in 1979.
REO Speedwagon's concert from 1981 was performed here, as MTV's first live concert. Electric Light Orchestra performed here September 1981 during the Time album tour; the arena played host to Amnesty International's A Conspiracy of Hope Benefit Concert on June 8, 1986. The show was headlined by U2 and Sting and featured Bryan Adams, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Joan Baez and The Neville Brothers. Parts of U2's half-live rockumentary Rattle and Hum, came from two concerts filmed in the arena, on the third leg of the band's 1987 Joshua Tree Tour, including Bono's famous "Fuck the revolution!" Speech during "Sunday Bloody Sunday". Jethro Tull played the arena 1976–1980 Def Leppard recorded one of their shows here in February 1988 and released it as Live: In the Round, in Your Face. Pop star Michael Jackson performed 2 consecutive sold-out shows in front of 40,251 people during his Bad World Tour in March 23, 24 1988. Pop star Prince made a stop here on July 1986 while on his Parade Tour; the bonus tracks on Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble's album In Step, including "The House is Rockin’", "Let Me Love You Baby", "Texas Flood", "Life Without You" were recorded on November 29, 1989 at McNichols Sports Arena.
Phish performed and recorded their show, on November 17, 1997, released as a live album, entitled Live Phish Volume 11. ZZ Top performed at the venue's final concert on September 12, 1999, they were the first rock band to play the arena on August 27, 1975. The Colorado Avalanche played their final game on June 1, 1999 during the playoffs versus the Dallas Stars and the NBA's Denver Nuggets played their last game on May 5, 1999 against the Houston Rockets. Though the arena was only 24 years old when it was demolished, like most arenas of the 1970s, it was narrow and dark in the concourse level corridors. In addition, the locker rooms and shower facilities were not updated to NHL standards; the arena lacked enough luxury suites and had no club seating. Combined, these factors made McNichols Sports Arena obsolete
Colorado is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U. S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census. The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains; the Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, on August 1, 1876, U. S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners.
Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, high plains, canyons, plateaus and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, is one of the Mountain States. Denver is most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is used. Colorado is notable for its diverse geography, which includes alpine mountains, high plains, deserts with huge sand dunes, deep canyons. In 1861, the United States Congress defined the boundaries of the new Territory of Colorado by lines of latitude and longitude, stretching from 37°N to 41°N latitude, from 102°02'48"W to 109°02'48"W longitude. After 158 years of government surveys, the borders of Colorado are now defined by 697 boundary markers and 697 straight boundary lines. Colorado and Utah are the only states that have their borders defined by straight boundary lines with no natural features; the southwest corner of Colorado is the Four Corners Monument at 36°59'56"N, 109°2'43"W.
This is the only place in the United States where four states meet: Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. The summit of Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet elevation in Lake County is the highest point in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains of North America. Colorado is the only U. S. state that lies above 1,000 meters elevation. The point where the Arikaree River flows out of Yuma County and into Cheyenne County, Kansas, is the lowest point in Colorado at 3,317 feet elevation; this point, which holds the distinction of being the highest low elevation point of any state, is higher than the high elevation points of 18 states and the District of Columbia. A little less than half of Colorado is flat and rolling land. East of the Rocky Mountains are the Colorado Eastern Plains of the High Plains, the section of the Great Plains within Nebraska at elevations ranging from 3,350 to 7,500 feet; the Colorado plains are prairies but include deciduous forests and canyons. Precipitation averages 15 to 25 inches annually. Eastern Colorado is presently farmland and rangeland, along with small farming villages and towns.
Corn, hay and oats are all typical crops. Most villages and towns in this region boast both a grain elevator. Irrigation water is available from subterranean sources. Surface water sources include the South Platte, the Arkansas River, a few other streams. Subterranean water is accessed through artesian wells. Heavy use of wells for irrigation caused underground water reserves to decline. Eastern Colorado hosts considerable livestock, such as hog farms. 70% of Colorado's population resides along the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains in the Front Range Urban Corridor between Cheyenne and Pueblo, Colorado. This region is protected from prevailing storms that blow in from the Pacific Ocean region by the high Rockies in the middle of Colorado; the "Front Range" includes Denver, Fort Collins, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Pueblo and other townships and municipalities in between. On the other side of the Rockies, the significant population centers in Western Colorado are the cities of Grand Junction and Montrose.
The Continental Divide of the Americas extends along the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The area of Colorado to the west of the Continental Divide is called the Western Slope of Colorado. West of the Continental Divide, water flows to the southwest via the Colorado River and the Green River into the Gulf of California. Within the interior of the Rocky Mountains are several large parks which are high broad basins. In the north, on the east side of the Continental Divide is the North Park of Colorado; the North Park is drained by the North Platte River, which flows north into Nebraska. Just to the south of North Park, but on the western side of the Continental Divide, is the Middle Park of Colorado, drained by the Colorado River; the South Park of Colorado is the region of the headwaters of the South Platte River. In southmost Colorado is the large San Luis Valley, where the headwaters of the Rio Grande are located; the valley sits between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and San Juan Mountains, consists of large desert lands that run into the mountains.
The Rio Grande drains due south into New Mexico and Texas. Across the Sangre de Cristo Range to the east of the S
The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball team based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Pacers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division; the Pacers were first established in 1967 as a member of the American Basketball Association and became a member of the NBA in 1976 as a result of the ABA–NBA merger. They play their home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse; the team is named after Indiana's history with the Indianapolis 500's pace cars and with the harness racing industry. The Pacers have won three championships, all in the ABA; the Pacers were NBA Eastern Conference champions in 2000. The team has won nine division titles. Six Hall of Fame players – Reggie Miller, Chris Mullin, Alex English, Mel Daniels, Roger Brown, George McGinnis – played with the Pacers for multiple seasons. In early 1967, a group of six investors pooled their resources to purchase a franchise in the proposed American Basketball Association.
For their first seven years, they played in the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum. In 1974, they moved to the plush new Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis, where they played for 25 years. Early in the Pacers' second season, former Indiana Hoosiers standout Bob "Slick" Leonard became the team's head coach, replacing Larry Staverman. Leonard turned the Pacers into a juggernaut, his teams were buoyed by the great play of superstars such as Mel Daniels, George McGinnis, Bob Netolicky, Rick Mount, Freddie Lewis and Roger Brown. The Pacers were – and ended – as the most successful team in ABA history, winning three ABA Championships in four years. In all, they appeared in the ABA Finals five times in the league's nine-year history, an ABA record; the Pacers were one of four ABA teams that joined the NBA in the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. For the 1976–77 season the Pacers were joined in the merged league by the Denver Nuggets, New York Nets, San Antonio Spurs; the league charged a $3.2 million entry fee for each former ABA team.
Since the NBA would only agree to accept four ABA teams in the ABA–NBA merger, the Pacers and the three other surviving ABA teams had to compensate the two remaining ABA franchises which were not a part of the merger, the Spirits of St. Louis and Kentucky Colonels; as a result of the merger, the four teams dealt with financial troubles. Additionally, the Pacers had some financial troubles which dated back to their waning days in the ABA; the new NBA teams were barred from sharing in national TV revenues for four years. The Pacers finished their inaugural NBA season with a record of 36–46. Billy Knight and Don Buse represented Indiana in the NBA All-Star Game. However, this was one of the few bright spots of the Pacers' first 13 years in the NBA. During this time, they had only two playoff appearances. A lack of continuity became the norm for most of the next decade, as they traded away Knight and Buse before the 1977–78 season started, they acquired Adrian Dantley in exchange for Knight, but Dantley was traded in December, while the Pacers' second-leading scorer, John Williamson, was dealt in January.
The early Pacers came out on the short end of two of the most one-sided trades in NBA history. In 1980, they traded Alex English to the Nuggets in order to reacquire former ABA star George McGinnis. McGinnis was long past his prime, contributed little during his two-year return. English, in contrast, went on to become one of the greatest scorers in NBA history; the next year, they traded a 1984 draft pick to the Portland Trail Blazers for center Tom Owens, who had played for the Pacers during their last ABA season. Owens played one year for the Pacers with little impact, was out of the league altogether a year later. In 1983–84, the Pacers finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, which would have given the Pacers the second overall pick in the draft—the pick that the Blazers used to select Sam Bowie while Michael Jordan was still available; as a result of the Owens trade, they were left as bystanders in the midst of one of the deepest drafts in NBA history—including such future stars as Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Sam Perkins, Charles Barkley, John Stockton.
Clark Kellogg was drafted by the Pacers in the 1982 and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting, but the Pacers finished the 1982–83 season with their all-time worst record of 20–62, won only 26 games the following season. After winning 22 games in 1984–85 and 26 games in 1985–86, Jack Ramsay replaced George Irvine as coach and led the Pacers to a 41–41 record in 1986–87 and their second playoff appearance as an NBA team. Chuck Person, nicknamed "The Rifleman" for his renowned long-range shooting, led the team in scoring as a rookie and won NBA Rookie of the Year honors, their first playoff win in NBA franchise history was earned in Game 3 of their first-round, best-of-five series against the Atlanta Hawks, but it was their only victory in that series, as the Hawks defeated them in four games. Reggie Miller from UCLA was drafted by the Pacers in 1987, beginning his career as a backup to John Long. Many fans at the time disagreed with Miller's selection over Indiana Hoosiers' standout Steve Alford.
The Pacers missed the playoffs in 1987–88, drafted Rik Smits in the 1988 NBA draft, suffered through a disastrous 1988–89 season in which coach Jack Ramsay stepped down following an 0–7 start. Mel Daniels and George Irvine filled in on an interim basis before Dick Versace took over the 6–23 team on the way to a 28