The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division; the team was founded as the Denver Larks in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association, but changed its name to Rockets before the first season. It changed its name again to the Nuggets in 1974. After the name change, the Nuggets played for the final ABA Championship title in 1976, losing to the New York Nets; the team has had some periods of success, qualifying for the ABA Playoffs for all seasons from 1967 to the 1976 ABA playoffs where it lost in the finals. The team joined the NBA in 1976 after the ABA–NBA merger and qualified for the NBA playoffs in nine consecutive seasons in the 1980s and ten consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2013. However, it has not made an appearance in a championship round since its last year in the ABA; the Nuggets play their home games at Pepsi Center, which they share with the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League.
The original Denver Nuggets was founded in the National Basketball League prior to the 1948–49 season. Following that season, the NBL was absorbed into the BAA, renamed to the NBA; the Denver Nuggets played the 1949–50 season as one of the charter NBA teams before folding. In 1967, one of the ABA's charter franchises was awarded to a group in Kansas City, headed by Southern Californian businessman James Trindle. However, Trindle was unable to find a suitable arena in the Kansas City area. League commissioner George Mikan suggested moving the team to Denver. After agreeing to name Denver resident and former NBA player Vince Boryla as general manager, Trindle moved his team to Denver as the Denver Larks, named after Colorado's state bird; the Trindle group was undercapitalized, leading Mikan to order the Larks to post a $100,000 performance bond or lose the franchise. Hours before the deadline, Trindle sold a ⅔ controlling interest to Denver trucking magnate Bill Ringsby for $350,000. Ringsby renamed the team the Rockets, after his company's long-haul trucks.
Playing at the Denver Auditorium Arena, the Rockets had early successes on the court, developing a solid fan base along the way. However, the team had a history of early playoff exits and failed to play in an ABA championship series. Early, they had a solid lineup led by Byron Beck and Larry Jones later by Beck and Ralph Simpson. Lonnie Wright of the American Football League's Denver Broncos signed with the Rockets during that first season and became the first player to play professional football and basketball in the same season. Wright played four seasons with Denver. Controversial rookie Spencer Haywood joined the team for the 1969–70 season. Haywood was one of the first players to turn pro before graduating from college, the NBA refused to let him play in the league. Haywood averaged nearly 30 points and 19.5 rebounds per game in his only ABA season, being named ABA MVP, ABA rookie of the year, as well as the All-Star Game MVP. The team finished 51–33, winning their division, before exiting the playoffs in the 2nd round.
Just before the start of the 1970–71 season, Haywood signed with the Seattle SuperSonics, jumping to the NBA. The team tumbled to a 30–54 record and attendance suffered. Ringsby sold the team to San Diego businessmen Frank Goldberg and Bud Fischer in 1972. In 1974, in anticipation of moving into the NBA, the new McNichols Arena, the franchise held a contest to choose a new team nickname, as "Rockets" was in use by the Houston Rockets; the winning choice was "Nuggets", in honor of the original Nuggets team in Denver from 1948–50, the last year as a charter member of the NBA. Their new logo was a miner "discovering" an ABA ball. Goldberg and Fischer in turn sold the team to a local investment group in 1976. With the drafting and signing of future hall of fame player David Thompson out of North Carolina State, Marvin Webster and the acquisitions of Dan Issel and Bobby Jones and with Larry Brown coaching, they had their best seasons in team history in their first two seasons as the Nuggets. Playing in the Denver Auditorium Arena for the last season the 1974–75 team went 65–16, including a 40–2 record at home.
However, a quick playoff exit followed. In 1975–76, playing at their new arena, the Nuggets edged the reigning champion Kentucky Colonels four games to three to make the 1976 ABA finals for the first time, they lost to the New York Nets and Julius Erving. They did not get a second chance to win an ABA league championship, as the ABA–NBA merger took place after the 1975–76 season; the Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs were merged into the NBA. The Spirits of St. Louis and Kentucky Colonels were disbanded; the Nuggets and Nets had applied to join the NBA in 1975, but were forced to stay in the ABA by a court order. The Nuggets continued their strong play early on in the NBA, as they won division titles in their first two seasons in the league, missed a third by a single game. However, neither of these teams were successful in the postseason. To the other new NBA teams, the Nuggets were given many financial issues including a $2 million entry fee. Red McCombs bought the team in 1978. In 1979, Brown left the team.
It ended in 1981. Moe brought with him a "motion offense" philosophy, a style of play focusing on attempting to move the ball until someone got open. Moe was known for not paying as much attention to defense as his colleagues; the offense helped the team become competitive. During the 1980s
LeBron Raymone James Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. He is considered the best basketball player in the world and regarded by some as the greatest player of all time, his accomplishments include four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals. James has been named NBA All-Star MVP three times, he won the 2008 NBA scoring title, is the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader, is fourth in all-time career points scored. He has been voted onto the All-NBA First Team twelve times and the All-Defensive First Team five times. James played basketball for St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, where he was touted by the national media as a future NBA superstar. A prep-to-pro, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 as the first overall draft pick. Named the 2003–04 NBA Rookie of the Year, he soon established himself as one of the league's premier players. After failing to win a championship with Cleveland, James left in 2010 to sign as a free agent with the Miami Heat.
This move was announced in an ESPN special titled The Decision, is one of the most controversial free agent decisions in American sports history. James won his first two NBA championships while playing for the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, he was named NBA Finals MVP in both championship years. After his fourth season with the Heat in 2014, James opted out of his contract to re-sign with the Cavaliers. In 2016, he led the Cavaliers to victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, delivering the team's first championship and ending Cleveland's 52-year professional sports title drought. In 2018, James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers to sign with the Lakers. Off the court, James has accumulated additional fame from numerous endorsement contracts, his public life has been the subject of much scrutiny, he has been ranked as one of America's most influential and popular athletes. He has been featured in books and television commercials, he has hosted the ESPY Awards and Saturday Night Live, appeared in the 2015 film Trainwreck.
James was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio to a 16-year-old mother, Gloria Marie James, father Anthony McClelland. Anthony was not involved in their life; when James was growing up, life was a struggle for the family, as they moved from apartment to apartment in the seedier neighborhoods of Akron while Gloria struggled to find steady work. Realizing that her son would be better off in a more stable family environment, Gloria allowed him to move in with the family of Frank Walker, a local youth football coach who introduced James to basketball when he was nine years old. James started playing organized basketball in the fifth grade, he played Amateur Athletic Union basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars. The team enjoyed success on a local and national level, led by James and his friends Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, Willie McGee; the group dubbed themselves the "Fab Four" and promised each other that they would attend high school together. In a move that stirred local controversy, they chose to attend St. Vincent–St.
Mary High School, a private Catholic school with predominantly white students. As a freshman, James averaged 6 rebounds per game for the St. Vincent-St. Mary varsity basketball team; the Fighting Irish went 27–0 en route to the Division III state title, making them the only boys high school team in Ohio to finish the season undefeated. As a sophomore, James averaged 25.2 points and 7.2 rebounds with 5.8 assists and 3.8 steals per game. For some home games during the season, St. Vincent-St. Mary played at the University of Akron's 5,492-seat Rhodes Arena to satisfy ticket demand from alumni and college and NBA scouts who wanted to see James play; the Fighting Irish finished the season 26–1 and repeated as state champions. For his outstanding play, James was named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, becoming the first sophomore to do either. Prior to the start of his junior year, James was featured in Slam, an American basketball magazine, writer Ryan Jones lauded him as "the best high school basketball player in America right now".
During the season, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, becoming the first high school basketball underclassman to do so. With averages of 29 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 3.3 steals per game, he was again named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, became the first junior to be named male basketball Gatorade National Player of the Year. St. Vincent-St. Mary finished the year with a 23–4 record, ending their season with a loss in the Division II championship game. Following the loss, James unsuccessfully petitioned for a change to the NBA's draft eligibility rules in an attempt to enter the 2002 NBA draft. During this time, he used marijuana, which he said was to help cope with the stress that resulted from the constant media attention he was receiving. Throughout his senior year and the Fighting Irish traveled around the country to play a number of nationally ranked teams, including a game against Oak Hill Academy, nationally televised on ESPN2.
Time Warner Cable, looking to capitalize on James's popularity, offered St. Vincent-St. Mary's games to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis throughout the season. For the year, James averaged 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 3.4 steals per game, was named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team
Gregg Charles Popovich is an American professional basketball coach. He is President of the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association. Taking over as coach of the Spurs in 1996, Popovich is the longest tenured active coach in both the NBA and all major sports leagues in the United States, he is called "Coach Pop" or "Pop."Popovich has the third most wins among coaches in NBA history, behind Lenny Wilkens and Don Nelson. He has led the Spurs to a winning record in each of his 22 full seasons as head coach, surpassing Phil Jackson for the most consecutive winning seasons in NBA history, he has led the Spurs to all five of their NBA titles, is one of only five coaches in NBA history to win five titles—the others being Jackson, Red Auerbach, Pat Riley, John Kundla. Popovich was born in East Chicago, Indiana, on January 28, 1949, to a Serbian father and a Croatian mother, he started his basketball career playing Biddy Basketball and was on the 1960 Gary Biddy Basketball All-Star Team that finished third in the World Tournament, held at Gary's Memorial Auditorium.
He graduated in 1970 from the United States Air Force Academy. He played basketball for four seasons at the Academy and in his senior year was the team captain and the leading scorer, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in Soviet Studies, underwent Air Force intelligence training. He earned a master's degree in physical education and sports sciences at the University of Denver. At one point, Popovich considered a career with the Central Intelligence Agency. Popovich served five years of required active duty in the United States Air Force, during which he toured Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union with the U. S. Armed Forces Basketball Team. In 1972 he was selected as captain of the Armed Forces Team, which won the Amateur Athletic Union championship; this earned him an invitation to the 1972 U. S. Olympic Basketball Team trials. Popovich returned to the Air Force Academy as an assistant coach in 1973 under head coach Hank Egan, a position he held for six years. Egan became an assistant coach under Popovich for the San Antonio Spurs.
During his time with the coaching staff of the U. S. Air Force Academy, Popovich attended the University of Denver and earned his master's degree in physical education and sports sciences. In 1979, he was named the head basketball coach of Pomona-Pitzer's men's team. Popovich coached Pomona-Pitzer men's basketball from 1979 to 1988, leading the team to its first outright title in 68 years. During his time as head coach at Pomona-Pitzer, Popovich became a disciple and a close friend of head coach Larry Brown at the University of Kansas. Popovich took off the 1985–86 season at Pomona-Pitzer to become a volunteer assistant at Kansas, where he could study directly under Brown. Popovich resumed his duties as head coach the next season. Following the 1987–88 season, Popovich joined Brown as the lead assistant coach for the Spurs. From 1988 to 1992, Popovich was Brown's top assistant, until the entire staff, including R. C. Buford, Alvin Gentry and Ed Manning, were fired by owner Red McCombs. Popovich moved to the Golden State Warriors for a brief stint in 1992, serving as an assistant under future Hall of Famer Don Nelson and bringing with him Avery Johnson, cut by the Spurs.
In 1994, Popovich returned to San Antonio as the general manager and Vice President of Basketball Operations after Peter Holt purchased the team. Popovich's first move was to sign Avery Johnson as the team's starting point guard. Another one of Popovich's early moves in San Antonio was to trade Dennis Rodman to the Chicago Bulls for Will Perdue. Rodman was not fond of Popovich. After the Spurs had a 3–15 start in the 1996–97 season, with David Robinson sidelined with a preseason back injury, Popovich fired coach Bob Hill and named himself head coach. Robinson broke his foot after only six games and was lost for the season. Sean Elliott was limited to 39 games due to injury, Chuck Person missed the entire season. With a reduced roster that included an aging Dominique Wilkins, the Spurs struggled and won only 17 games for the remainder of the season for an overall record of 20–62; the Spurs' disastrous season allowed them the first overall pick in the NBA Lottery, which they used to draft Tim Duncan out of Wake Forest University.
The Spurs blossomed as the 6'11" Duncan teamed up with the 7'1" Robinson in a "Twin Tower" offense and defense for several years. After recovering to win 56 games in Duncan's rookie year and Popovich's first full year as coach, the Spurs came all the way back in 1999 to win their first NBA title. In 2002, Popovich relinquished his position as general manager to R. C. Buford, who had served as the team's head scout. Popovich and Buford were both given their starts in the NBA in 1988 as assistants on Brown's coaching staff with the Spurs. Popovich has won five championships with the Spurs—1999, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2014, he was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2003, 2012, 2014. Popovich earned his 500th career victory on March 2, 2006, becoming the fourth fastest coach in NBA history to reach that milestone, he led the team to a franchise season record. On April 4, 2008, Popovich returned to the U. S. Air Force Academy to receive the academy's award of Distinguished Graduate. Despite his four NBA titles at the time, Popovich said it was the most meaningful award he had received.
Popovich won his 100th playoff game on a road game against the New Orleans Hornets. The win tied him for third place in all-time playoff coaching victories with his friend and mentor Larry Brown. On May 2, 2012, Popovich won his second coach of
The center known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is the tallest player on the team, has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is 6 feet 10 inches or taller and weighs 240 pounds or more, they traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five; the center is considered a necessary component for a successful team in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA; the 6'10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career, nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the shot block. In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds. Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships, he joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes to point guard Bob Cousy.
As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach. His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275 pounds, lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award.
Stronger than any player of his era, he was capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game, he holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average, rebounds in a single game, career rebounds. A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners.
At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style, he led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot, his entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, te
Roy Williams (coach)
Roy Allen Williams is an American college basketball coach for the North Carolina Tar Heels. He started his college coaching career at North Carolina as an assistant coach for Dean Smith in 1978. In 1988, Williams became the head coach of the men's basketball team at Kansas, taking them to 14 consecutive NCAA tournaments, four final four appearances, two national championship game appearances, collecting a.805 win percentage and winning nine conference titles over his fifteen-year span. In 2003, Williams left Kansas to return to his alma mater North Carolina, replacing Matt Doherty as head coach of the Tar Heels. Since returning to North Carolina, Williams has won three national championships, nine Atlantic Coast Conference conference titles, three ACC tournament championships, one AP National Coach of the Year award, two ACC Coach of the Year awards, he is third all-time for most wins at Kansas behind Phog Allen and Bill Self, second all-time for most wins at North Carolina behind Dean Smith.
Williams is ranked seventh in total victories by a men's NCAA Division I college coach, winning 871 games to date. Williams has taken his teams to nine Final Fours in his careers at North Carolina, he is the only coach in NCAA history to have led two different programs to at least four Final Fours each and the only basketball coach in NCAA history to have 400 or more victories at two NCAA Division 1 schools. He is tenth all-time in the NCAA for winning percentage among men's college basketball coaches. In 29 of his 31 seasons as a head coach, Williams has coached his teams to at least 20 or more wins; the other two seasons he coached each of those teams to 19 wins. In 41 years as an assistant or head coach, he has been on a team that reached the NCAA Tournament in every season except 1989 and 2010. Williams was an assistant coach for Dean Smith when North Carolina won the 1982 national championship; as a head coach, Williams has coached in a total of six NCAA championship games. On April 4, 2005, Williams won his first national title as his Tar Heels defeated the University of Illinois in the 2005 NCAA championship game.
He again led the Tar Heels to a national title on April 6, 2009, against the Michigan State Spartans. Williams won his third national championship on April 3, 2017 when he led the Tar Heels to victory against the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Williams is one of six NCAA Men's Division I college basketball coaches to have won at least three national championships. In 2006, Williams was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame; the following year, in 2007, Williams was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Williams was born in Marion General Hospital in Marion, North Carolina, spent his early years in the small western North Carolina towns of Marion and Spruce Pine; as a child his family relocated to nearby Asheville. Williams lettered in basketball and baseball at T. C. Roberson High School in Asheville, NC all four years. In basketball, playing for Coach Buddy Baldwin, he was named all-county and all-conference for two years, all-western North Carolina in 1968 and served as captain in the North Carolina Blue-White All-Star Game.
Williams has stated. Williams went on to play on the freshman team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and study the game under coach Dean Smith; when Williams was a sophomore at Carolina, he asked Smith if he could attend his practices and would sit in the bleachers taking notes on Smith's coaching. Williams volunteered to keep statistics for Smith at home games and worked in Smith's summer camps. Williams' first coaching job was in 1973 as a high school basketball and golf coach at Charles D. Owen High School in Black Mountain, North Carolina, he coached basketball and boys' golf for five years and ninth-grade football for four years, served as athletic director for two years. In 1978, Williams came back to the University of North Carolina and served as an assistant to Coach Dean Smith from 1978 to 1988. During his tenure as assistant coach, North Carolina went 275–61 and won the NCAA national championship in 1982, the first for Smith and the second for North Carolina. One of Williams' more notable events came as assistant coach when he became instrumental in recruiting Michael Jordan.
In 1988, Williams left North Carolina and became the head coach of the University of Kansas Jayhawks, replacing former North Carolina assistant and UCLA head coach Larry Brown, who had taken the position as head coach of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs. He was hired. Weeks after Williams took the position, KU was placed on probation for violations that took place prior to his arrival; as a result, the Jayhawks were barred from postseason play for the 1988–89 season. Williams coached 15 seasons at Kansas. During that time he had a record of 418 -- a. 805 winning percentage. At the time of his departure, he was second on Kansas' all-time wins list behind only Phog Allen. Williams' Kansas teams averaged 27.8 wins per season. Kansas won nine regular-season conference championships over his last 13 years. In seven years of Big 12 Conference play, his teams went 94–18, capturing the regular-season title in 1997, 1998, 2002 and 2003 and the postseason tournament crown in 1997, 1998 and 1999. In 2001–02, KU became the first, so far only, team to go undefeated in Big 12 play.
In 1995–98, Kansas was a combined 123–17 – an average of 30.8 wins per season. Williams' teams went 201–17 in Allen Field
Lamar Joseph Odom is an American professional basketball player. As a member of the Los Angeles Lakers in the National Basketball Association, he won NBA championships in 2009 and 2010 and was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2011; as a high school player, Odom received national player of the year honors from Parade in 1997. He played college basketball for the University of Rhode Island, earning all-conference honors in his only season in the Atlantic 10 Conference, he was drafted in the first round of the 1999 NBA draft with the fourth overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team, but twice he violated the league's drug policy in his four seasons with the Clippers, he signed as a restricted free agent with the Miami Heat, where he played one season in 2003–04 before being traded to the Lakers. Odom spent seven seasons with the Lakers, who traded him to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. After the move, his career declined, he was traded back to the Clippers in 2012 and played in Spain in 2014.
Odom played on the United States national team, winning a bronze medal in the Olympics in 2004 and a gold medal in the FIBA World Championship in 2010. Odom was married to Khloé Kardashian from 2009 to 2016. During their marriage, Odom made several appearances on the reality television show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, he and Kardashian had their own reality series, Khloé & Lamar. In October 2015, Odom was hospitalized with life-threatening medical problems. Odom obtained drug treatment. Odom was born in South Jamaica, New York City, to Joe Odom and Cathy Mercer, his father was a heroin addict, Odom's mother died of colon cancer when he was twelve years old. At her deathbed, Odom's mom told him: "Be nice to everybody". Afterwards, he was raised by Mildred Mercer. In his first three years of high school, Odom played for Christ The King Regional High School in Middle Village, Queens, he left the school at the start of his senior year due to poor grades, transferring first to Redemption Christian Academy in Troy, New York and to the now-defunct St. Thomas Aquinas High School in New Britain, where he was coached by Jerry DeGregorio.
As a senior, Odom was recognized nationally as the Parade Player of the Year in 1997. He was named to the Parade All-American First Team for the second consecutive year, earned USA Today All-USA 1st Team honors. During his youth, Odom was teamed with future NBA players Elton Brand and Ron Artest --each of whom would become teammates with Odom in the NBA--on the same AAU team, played with future Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant at Adidas ABCD camps. Adidas executive Sonny Vaccaro commented at the time that Odom possessed a "$2 million smile". Odom contemplated entering the NBA directly out of high school, consulted with Bryant, who had made the jump a year earlier, he decided he was not ready, decided to attend the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. However, after a Sports Illustrated report questioned his unexpectedly high score of 22 out of 36 in the ACT, the school released him in July 1997 before he played a game for them; that same summer, he received a citation for soliciting prostitution following an undercover operation by the Las Vegas police.
An NCAA inquiry found Odom received payments amounting to $5,600 from booster David Chapman. Coach Bill Bayno was fired and UNLV was placed on probation for four years. Odom was forced to sit out the 1997 -- 98 season, he was admitted as a non-matriculating student, was not allowed to play intramural basketball. His room and board was paid for by his father, covered by the G. I. Bill. After two semesters and a summer session, Odom earned his eligibility to play basketball, his career at Rhode Island had been in jeopardy after the first semester, when he vanished before finals. However, Rhode Island coach Jim Harrick persuaded three of his four instructors to allow him to make up his work; the coach had Odom work with DeGregorio, who had become a Rams assistant and was the player's closest friend in college. Odom was inspired by his maternal grandmother, a nurse who had raised five children and returned to school to earn her degree in 1980 at age 56. Odom played one season for the Rams in the Atlantic 10 Conference, where he averaged 17.6 points per game and led the Rams to the conference championship in 1999.
He was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year. He was named the most valuable player of the Atlantic 10 Tournament after his three-pointer against Temple University at the buzzer gave the Rams their first A-10 Tournament title. Odom declared his eligibility for the 1999 NBA draft after his freshman year at the Rhode Island in 1999, he tried to return to college, thinking he was not ready for the NBA. Odom was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the fourth overall pick. In his first season with the Clippers, Odom averaged 16.6 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.2 assists per game, including 30 points and 12 rebounds in his NBA debut. He was named to the 2000 NBA All-Rookie First Team. In the 2000–01 season, Odom increased his scoring average to 17.2 points a game as he started in 74 games. The Clippers failed to make the playoffs again however, as the young team could not improve their positioning in the Western Conference. In March 2001, Odom was suspended for five games for violating the NBA's drug policy.
In the following season, he was suspended in November for violating the drug policy again, his second offen
Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. is an American former professional basketball player. Wade spent the majority of his 16-year career playing for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association. After a successful college basketball career with the Marquette Golden Eagles, Wade was drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft by the Heat. In his third season, Wade led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history and was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men's basketball team known as the "Redeem Team", in scoring, helped them capture the gold medal. In the 2008 -- 09 season, Wade earned his first NBA scoring title. With LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Wade helped guide Miami to four consecutive NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. After playing for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade was traded back to Miami in February 2018. A 13-time NBA All-Star, Wade is Miami's all-time leader in points, games and steals, shots made and shots taken.
Dwyane Wade was born on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, to JoLinda and Dwyane Wade Sr, whose name's unusual spelling was decided by his own mother. In 1977, JoLinda, at the age of 18 had two children. Wade has described his upbringing in Chicago as being difficult. Wade stated that " mom was on drugs and family was in the gang environment, so it was a rough childhood." At a young age, Wade witnessed police raids and found dead bodies several times in a nearby garbage can. When he was only 4 months old, his parents separated – and would divorce. JoLinda was given custody of the two children, she moved to her mother's house with them; the family struggled financially, it was around that time when JoLinda started dealing drugs. His mom was addicted to several substances including cigarettes, alcohol and cocaine. JoLinda would get high with friends at her home in the presence of her children. In an interview with ESPN, Wade said "I've seen the needles laying around the house. I've seen my mother shoot up before.
I've seen a lot of things my mother didn't know I'd seen as a kid." At the age of 6, he recalls police – with guns drawn – raiding his home as they searched for his mother. When Wade turned 8 years old, his older sister, tricked him – by telling him they were going to the movies – into living with his father, a former Army sergeant, stepmother in a nearby neighborhood. Wade would still visit his mom. A year his father moved the family to Robbins, Illinois. After moving to Robbins, Wade did not see his mother for two years. During this time, JoLinda was able to access a free supply of drugs by volunteering to be a tester – i.e. someone who tests street drugs for impurities before the dealers try to sell them. JoLinda was hospitalized and nearly died after she mistakenly injected herself with LSD. In 1994, JoLinda was arrested for possession of crack cocaine with intent to sell and locked up in Cook County Jail. Wade, at the age of 10, reunited with his mom by talking with her at Cook County Jail through a glass panel over a telephone.
JoLinda served 23 months in prison for her crimes, but while serving her second sentence in 1997, she failed to report to prison while on work release. Wade turned to sports basketball and football, to avoid the temptations of participating in drug and gang-related activities. Wade's mom and dad would take him to the park to play basketball, he cites one of his older sisters, Tragil, as the individual most responsible for his childhood upbringing and for steering him in the proper direction. As a child growing up in the Chicago area, Wade idolized Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, has said he patterns his game after him. Wade attended Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn. Wade found success as a wide receiver on the football team, but he needed to work hard to earn playing time on the varsity basketball team during his junior year. While he did not acquire much playing time during his second year, his stepbrother, Demetris McDaniel, was the star of the team. Wade grew four inches in the summer before his junior year and saw an increase in playing time, averaging 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game.
The following year, Wade averaged 27.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while leading his team to a 24–5 record. It advanced to the title game of the Class AA Eisenhower Sectional. During this season he steals in a season. Wade has stated that his high school coach, Jack Fitzgerald, was one of the most positive influences in his life during this time. Wade was recruited by only three college basketball teams due to academic problems. During most of Wade's time at Marquette, his mother was either eluding the law or serving time in jail for selling crack cocaine. On October 14, 2001, JoLinda declared that she would change her life and get clean while attending a service at a Chicago church. Wade a sophomore at Marquette, went home for Christmas to be with his mom, who he believed was clean and sober for the first time in his life. However, JoLinda admitted to him that she was going back to prison. Wade told ESPN, "I was hurt because I felt like I was just getting my mom back, now she had to leave again."
On January 2, 2002, his mother went back to prison to serve her 14-month sentence. She says she has been clean since 2003. Wade chose to play college basketball for Tom Crean at Marquette University in Wisconsin. During Wade's freshman year at Marquette, he was ineligible to play with the men's team as he had fallen short of academic stan