Walter Ray Allen Jr. is an American former professional basketball player. He played 18 seasons in the National Basketball Association and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2018. Allen began his basketball career as a collegiate athlete for the Connecticut Huskies, where he played for three seasons, gaining a reputation as an efficient and deadly long-range shooter, he entered the NBA in 1996 as the fifth overall selection. In the NBA, he developed into a prolific scorer for the Milwaukee Bucks, featuring alongside Glenn Robinson and Sam Cassell as the team achieved playoff success. However, the trio were unable to capture a championship, Allen was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics. In Seattle, Allen's reputation as a scorer was solidified. Despite this, a title still eluded Allen, he was traded to the Boston Celtics in 2007. In Boston and new teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce formed a "Big Three" and had immediate success, winning an NBA championship in 2008.
He remained with the franchise for five seasons, before departing in free agency to join the Miami Heat for two seasons. In Miami, Allen accepted a reserve role, emphasizing spot-up and clutch shooting, which allowed him to capture another championship in 2013, his clutch three-pointer to tie Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals with 5.2 seconds remaining is regarded as one of the most memorable plays in NBA history. Allen's list of individual accolades are extensive, he is considered one of the best shooters of all-time. In September 2018, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. During his NBA career, Allen acted during some offseasons, he is best known for his role. Allen's performance as Shuttlesworth was praised by critics, the name was borrowed as Allen's basketball nickname; the third of five children, Allen was born at Castle Air Force Base near Merced, the son of Walter Sr. and Flora Allen. A military child, he spent time growing up in Saxmundham, England, in Altus, Oklahoma, at Edwards Air Force Base in California, in Germany.
After years of traveling and continual moving, his family settled in Dalzell, South Carolina for the next four years, where he would attend high school. When he first arrived, the young Allen was made the odd-man-out, whom kids picked on, due to the accent acquired during his formative years in Britain. Although never fitting in with the other kids, Allen's natural athletic gifts, his obsession with hard work, allowed him to excel in every sport he played; when a growth spurt left him with a natural advantage in basketball, he decided to dedicate his free time to becoming the best basketball player he could. Fueled by his desire to become the top player on the military base where he lived, Allen practiced at length daily, so long as it didn't interfere with his studies. By the age of fifteen, he was playing for Hillcrest High School's varsity team, would lead them to their first state championship game. In that game, Allen showed his NBA potential by posting an impressive 25 points, to go along with 12 rebounds, in a blowout victory for Hillcrest Wildcats.
Amid the resulting attention from colleges from the University of Kentucky, Allen accepted an offer from the University of Connecticut. Allen attended the University of Connecticut from 1993 to 1996 after being recruited by assistant coach Karl Hobbs. While at UConn, he was named USA Basketball's Male Athlete of the Year in 1995. In 1995–96, his final college season, Allen was a first-team All-American and won the Big East Player of the Year award. Allen finished his UConn career third on the Huskies' career scoring list with 1,922 points and set a single-season school record by connecting on 115 three-pointers in 1995–96. In 2001, Allen was named honorary captain of the 25-member UConn All-Century Basketball Team. On February 5, 2007, his name and number were honored at Connecticut's Gampel Pavilion during the "Huskies of Honor" ceremony at halftime of the men's basketball game against the Syracuse Orange. On December 7, 2018, the University of Connecticut announced that Allen would be the first player to have his number retired by the school.
The retirement ceremony took place in March 2019. Allen was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fifth pick of the 1996 NBA draft. After his selection and Andrew Lang were traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for the rights to fourth pick Stephon Marbury. Allen made his NBA debut on November 1, 1996, where he started and played 28 minutes and scored 13 points in a win against fellow rookie Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers. On January 12, 1997, Allen put in one of his strongest efforts of the season in a win against the Golden State Warriors, contributing 22 points, 6 assists, 3 steals and a new career high of 9 rebounds. In February 1997, Allen competed in the Slam Dunk Contest during All-Star Weekend, where he finished fourth. Continuing his strong rookie season, on March 25, 1997, Allen scored a new career high of 32 points in a loss to the Phoenix Suns. Allen was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. In the 1997 -- 98 season, Allen started all 82 games for the Bucks. In the season opener, he put up 29 points, including 6 three-pointers in a win against the 76ers.
On December 20, 1997, Allen set a new career high of 35 points aga
Erik Jon Spoelstra is an American professional basketball coach, the head coach for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association. Of Filipino descent from his mother's side, he is the first Asian-American head coach in the history of the four major North American sports leagues and the first Asian-American head coach to win an NBA championship. From 2001 to 2008, Spoelstra served as assistant director of scouting for the team. Thereafter he was promoted to head coach. Prior to the 2010–11 season, team President Pat Riley assembled a superstar trio of free agents LeBron James and Chris Bosh joining Dwyane Wade. While Spoelstra was head coach, the Heat made four consecutive finals appearances including trips to the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 NBA Finals, winning the championship in both 2012 and 2013. Born in Evanston, Spoelstra spent his childhood in Buffalo, New York Portland, Oregon by the late 1970s. Spoelstra attended Jesuit High School in Beaverton, where he excelled at point guard on the basketball team.
He wore number 30 during high school and in college in honor of Trail Blazer Terry Porter, one of his favorite NBA players. Before his senior year, Spoelstra participated in Sonny Vaccaro's Nike All-Star camp in Princeton, New Jersey alongside future NBA players Alonzo Mourning, Shawn Kemp, Billy Owens, Bobby Hurley. Spoelstra received basketball scholarship offers, accepted one from the University of Portland in his hometown. In 1989, he was named West Coast Conference freshman of the year. Spoelstra was the Pilots' starting point guard for four years, averaging 9.2 points, 4.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds per game. He is a member of the school's 1,000-point club, is among the Pilots' career leaders in several statistical categories. During a 1990 WCC Basketball Tournament game against Loyola Marymount, Spoelstra was on the court standing just a couple of yards away from Hank Gathers when Gathers collapsed and died of a heart condition. Spoelstra graduated from the University of Portland in 1992 with a degree in communications.
After graduating from the University of Portland, he was hired and spent two years in Basketball Bundesliga's second division as a player–assistant coach for TuS Herten, a German professional basketball club based in Westphalia, Germany. It was in this setting where Spoelstra got his first coaching job, as coach of the club's local youth team, he began having back problems after the end of his second year with the team, contemplated having surgery. In 1995, Spoelstra was offered another two-year contract with the club, but the NBA's Miami Heat offered him a position. Although both offers held appeal, he chose to take the Heat position. Roya Vaziri the director of player personnel for the Heat, convinced general manager Dave Wohl to offer Spoelstra a position with the team. Spoelstra was hired as the Heat's video coordinator in 1995, although at first he was not promised the position past the summer of that year. Pat Riley was named the Heat's head coach not long after Spoelstra's hiring. Erik's father, Jon Spoelstra, said, "Contractually, Riley wasn’t allowed to bring in his video guy, Erik would have been out of a job right then."After two years as video coordinator, he served two years as an assistant coach/video coordinator.
Spoelstra was promoted to assistant coach/advance scout in 1999, became the Heat's assistant coach/director of scouting in 2001. Many of Spoelstra's colleagues attribute his ascent in the Heat coaching ranks to his strong work ethic; as an assistant coach, he was credited for improving Heat star shooting guard Dwyane Wade's balance and jump shot after Wade's return from the 2004 Summer Olympics. Spoelstra won his first NBA championship as an assistant coach when the Miami Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks in the 2006 NBA Finals. In April 2008, Spoelstra became the head coach of the Miami Heat after Pat Riley's decision to step down. Spoelstra was Riley's hand-picked successor. In naming Spoelstra as head coach, Riley said: "This game is now about younger coaches who are technologically skilled and bring fresh new ideas. That's. He's a man, born to coach." Spoelstra became the first Asian-American NBA head coach, the first Asian-American head coach in the history of the four major North American sports leagues.
He led the Heat to the NBA Playoffs in his first year as head coach, despite the team's league worst record of 15-67 the previous season. The Heat, were defeated in seven games by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Spoelstra's team once again reached the postseason the following season, but again lost in the first round to the Boston Celtics in five games. Expectations of the team's success were raised for the next season and beyond, after the free agent acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the summer of 2010. After the team started off the 2010–11 season with a 9–8 record, some Heat players were "frustrated" with Spoelstra, questioned if he should remain their head coach. Chris Bosh intimated that the team was being worked too hard and that the players would rather "chill". LeBron James famously bumped into Spoelstra on his way to the bench during a timeout in a game; these two issues, coupled with the poor start to the season, put Spoelstra on the coaching hot seat. The team bounced-back and made the playoffs while posting the second best record in the Eastern Conference.
Spoelstra led the Heat to an appearance in the 2011 NBA Finals, but lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. After Spoelstra failed to win a championship during his first season as head coach of the "big three", Heat execut
Rashard Quovon Lewis is an American former professional basketball player. Rashard entered the NBA directly from Alief Elsik High School, he rose to prominence in the NBA as a scorer with the Seattle SuperSonics, was a member of the Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards and Miami Heat. He garnered one with Seattle and another with Orlando. Lewis reached the NBA Finals three times, winning an NBA championship in 2013 as a member of the Heat. Despite being recruited by Florida State and Houston, Lewis bypassed college and opted for the 1998 NBA draft, wherein he was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics with the 32nd overall pick. At the time of his selection, he was the last player remaining in the "green room", where fifteen of the top draft prospects sit until their selection, he and teammate Ray Allen made Seattle a contender during the early 2000s. In 2001, Lewis was selected to play for the United States in the Goodwill Games, in which they won the gold medal. On October 31, 2003, Lewis scored a career-high 50 points to lead the SuperSonics to a 124–105 win over the Los Angeles Clippers to close out a two-game series in Saitama, Japan.
Lewis was named an All-Star in 2004–05. Lewis holds the SuperSonics' record for most three-pointers made, having passed Dale Ellis for second place on November 22, 2005, Gary Payton for first place on March 13, 2007, when Lewis made his 918th three-pointer in a game against the Detroit Pistons. After playing his first nine seasons for the Seattle SuperSonics, Lewis joined the Orlando Magic in July 2007, as he agreed to a six-year sign-and-trade deal worth $118 million. In his first season with the Magic, Lewis was moved from his usual small forward position to power forward; that year, he made 53 more three-pointers than his previous single-season record. During the playoffs, the Magic reached the second round, with Lewis contributing a 33-point performance against the Detroit Pistons in Orlando's only win of the series. Lewis was the Magic's top scorer in the playoffs and set personal records in points and assists. Lewis started the 2008–09 season as the team's second leading scorer, earning an appearance in the 2009 NBA All-Star Game.
In the 2009 NBA Playoffs, Lewis hit a game-winning shot in the first game of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, what he called the biggest shot of his career. The Magic won the series and advanced to the NBA Finals, where they were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. On August 6, 2009, Lewis was suspended without pay for the first ten games of the 2009–10 season after testing positive for a banned substance. On December 18, 2010, Lewis was traded to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Gilbert Arenas. In 60 games for the Wizards over two seasons, Lewis averaged 9.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. On June 20, 2012, Lewis was traded, along with the 46th pick in the 2012 NBA draft, to the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor. On June 30, 2012, the Hornets waived him. On July 11, 2012, Lewis signed a two-year deal with the Miami Heat; the move reunited him with former Seattle teammate Ray Allen. The Heat finished the 2012–13 season with a league-best 66–16 record.
Lewis won his first NBA championship with the Heat's Finals series victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Lewis earned rave reviews from Heat coach Erik Spoelstra for the way he defended in Game 3 of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers though he finished without a single point, assist or steal. Lewis worked his way into the starting lineup during the series, earning notoriety for helping the team despite a lack of impressive box score statistics in games 3 and 4. In Game 5 of the series, Lewis started again, scored 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from behind the three-point line. In Game 6, Lewis scored 13 points as the Heat advanced to the NBA Finals; the Heat went on to lose the Finals to the San Antonio Spurs in five games. On July 19, 2014, Lewis signed with the Dallas Mavericks. However, just four days his contract was voided by the Mavericks after he failed his physical when it was discovered that his right knee required surgery. In 2017, Rashard joined the 3 Headed Monsters of the BIG3 basketball league, a team that include NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton as the head coach, teammates such as Jason Williams, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Kwame Brown.
The 3 Headed Monsters went 7-1, reaching the Championship game, where they lost to undefeated Trilogy. Lewis was awarded MVP for the season. List of National Basketball Association career games played leaders List of National Basketball Association career 3-point scoring leaders Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com Rashard Lewis at nba.com Rashard Lewis on IMDb
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
2012 NBA draft
The 2012 NBA Draft was held on June 28, 2012, at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The draft started at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association teams took turns selecting amateur U. S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. This draft marked the first time, it set a record of having six players from one school being selected in the two rounds of the draft and was the first draft to have the first three selections be college freshmen all from the same conference, the Southeastern Conference. Not only that, but it featured the oldest player to get selected in an NBA draft, with Bernard James being 27 years old at the time of the draft. Of the players drafted, 30 are forwards, 21 are guards, 9 are centers; the 2012 NBA draft marked the first appearance of the Brooklyn Nets. This draft marks the last draft appearance for the New Orleans Hornets. After the 2012–13 season, the franchise was renamed as the New Orleans Pelicans.
New Orleans made their first draft appearance as the Pelicans in 2013. These players were not selected in the 2012 NBA Draft but have played at least one game in the NBA; the draft was conducted under the eligibility rules established in the league's now-expired 2005 collective bargaining agreement with its players union. The CBA that ended the 2011 lockout instituted no immediate changes to the draft, but called for a committee of owners and players to discuss future changes; as of 2011, the basic eligibility rules for the draft are listed below. All drafted players must be at least 19 years old during the calendar year of the draft. In terms of dates, players eligible for the 2012 draft must be born on or before December 31, 1993. Any player, not an "international player", as defined in the CBA, must be at least one year removed from the graduation of his high school class; the CBA defines "international players" as players who permanently resided outside the U. S. for three years prior to the draft, did not complete high school in the U.
S. and have never enrolled at a U. S. college or university. The basic requirement for automatic eligibility for a U. S. player is the completion of his college eligibility. Players who meet the CBA definition of "international players" are automatically eligible if their 22nd birthday falls during or before the calendar year of the draft. U. S. players who were at least one year removed from their high school graduation and have played minor-league basketball with a team outside the NBA are automatically eligible. A player, not automatically eligible must declare his eligibility for the draft by notifying the NBA offices in writing no than 60 days before the draft. For the 2012 draft, this date fell on April 29. Under NCAA rules, players will only have until April 10 to withdraw from the draft and maintain their college eligibility. A player who has hired an agent will forfeit his remaining college eligibility, regardless of whether he is drafted. While the CBA allows a player to withdraw from the draft twice, the NCAA mandates that a player who has declared twice loses his college eligibility.
On May 3, 2012, the league announced a list of 67 early entry candidates which consists of 50 collegiate players and 17 international players. At the withdrawal deadline, 11 early entry candidates withdrew from the draft, leaving 49 collegiate players and 7 international players as the early entry candidates for the draft. Players who do not meet the criteria for "international" players are automatically eligible if they meet any of the following criteria: They have completed 4 years of their college eligibility. If they graduated from high school in the U. S. but did not enroll in a U. S. college or university, four years have passed. They have signed a contract with a professional basketball team outside of the NBA, anywhere in the world, have played under that contract. Players who meet the criteria for "international" players are automatically eligible if they meet any of the following criteria: They are least 22 years old during the calendar year of the draft. In terms of dates, players born on or before December 31, 1990, are automatically eligible for the 2012 draft.
They have signed a contract with a professional basketball team outside of the NBA within the United States, have played under that contract. The first 14 picks in the draft belong to teams; the lottery determined the three teams. The remaining first-round picks and the second-round picks were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win-loss record in the previous season; the lottery was held on May 2012, in the Disney/ABC Times Square Studio in New York City. The New Orleans Hornets won the rights to the first overall selection with a 13.7 % chance. The Hornets were a league-owned team at the time, leading to continued conspiracy theories about the lottery process; the Charlotte Bobcats, who had the worst record and the biggest chance to win the lottery, won the second overall pick. Below were the chances for each team to get specific picks in the 2012 draft lottery, rounded to three decimal places. ^ 1: Brooklyn Nets' pick was conveyed to the Portland Trail Blazers.^ 2: Minnesota Timberwolves' pick was conveyed to the New Orleans Hornets via the Los Angeles Clippers.
The NBA annually invites 10-15 players to sit in the so-called "green room", a special room s
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
Prudential Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena in the central business district of Newark, New Jersey, United States. It was designed with the exterior designed by Morris Adjmi Architects. Opened in 2007, it is the home of the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League and the men's basketball program of Seton Hall University, known as the Seton Hall Pirates; the arena seats 16,514 patrons for hockey games and up to 18,711 for basketball. Fans and sports writers have affectionately nicknamed the arena "The Rock" in reference to the Rock of Gibraltar, the corporate logo of Prudential Financial, a financial institution that owns the naming rights to the arena and is headquartered within walking distance of it. In December 2013, the arena ranked third nationally and ninth internationally for self-reported annual revenue; the arena was built amidst financial concerns and years of speculation that the Devils would relocate, despite the fact that the team was a perennial playoff contender and was at or near the top of the NHL's standings for nearly two decades.
The arena is located two blocks from Newark Penn Station in downtown Newark, just west of Newark's Ironbound district, which makes it accessible via New Jersey Transit, PATH, Newark Light Rail, Amtrak. At the time of its opening, Prudential Center was the first major league sports venue to be built in the New York metropolitan area since the Brendan Byrne Arena, the Devils' former home, opened in 1981. According to the Devils organization, the Prudential Center has played a major role in the revitalization of downtown Newark. For years, the New Jersey Devils had been rumored to be at least considering relocation; when the team won the Stanley Cup in 1995, it was amidst rumors that the franchise would move to Nashville. Despite playing championship-caliber hockey in the 2002–03 season culminating in a Stanley Cup that year, the Devils only averaged 14,858 fans per game at their home arena, Continental Airlines Arena at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford. A project to build a new 18,000 seat arena in Newark first received funding from Newark's city council in 2002, when the team was owned by Puck Holdings, a subsidiary of YankeeNets.
In 2004, former Lehman Brothers executive Jeffrey Vanderbeek bought the team from Puck Holdings and became a strong proponent of the proposed arena. Vanderbeek said, "The Devils need a new arena that can provide a game-day experience, equal to the best team in the National Hockey League and equal to the product, put on the ice." He stated that he believed the arena "would take downtown Newark to a whole new level." After legal battles over both eminent domain and the city's financial participation in the arena project, the final deal was approved by council and went through in October 2004. A seven-acre site for the arena in downtown Newark was selected, bordered by Edison Place on the north, Lafayette Street on the south, Mulberry Street on the east, Broad Street on the west; the site was the location of the never-completed Renaissance Mall and the tracks and train shed of the Central Railroad of New Jersey's Broad/Lafayette Street terminal whose building still stands nearby. The arena was designed with the exterior designed by Morris Adjmi Architects.
Initial designs were released in early 2005 and referred to the arena as "Newark Arena". Groundbreaking began on October 3, 2005, a workforce of 2,725 union workers was employed to construct the arena. Financial issues, threatened to halt the deal. On January 24, 2006, the Devils averted having the project canceled by submitting a guarantee in writing that the team would contribute $100 million to the arena, one day before their deadline. Though construction was well underway, in late summer 2006, Cory Booker, who had taken office as Mayor of Newark, promised to reevaluate the deal and considered backing out. In October, Booker conceded there would be "a first-class arena built in the city of Newark, whether we like it or not", soon afterwards, the Devils struck a deal including both property and monetary givebacks that appeased city officials; the city of Newark pledged to contribute $210 million to the construction of the arena, using settlement money from its lease dispute over underpaid rent for use of Newark Liberty International Airport with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The Devils paid for the remainder of the cost. Thus, no new direct taxpayer funding was required for the construction of the arena; some taxpayer dollars, were spent on infrastructure improvements. These improvements were necessary for both the new arena and proposed private development surrounding that arena. Prudential Financial purchased the naming rights to the stadium in January 2007 for $105.3 million over 20 years, reducing the city's cost for the project. The arena had been referred to as "Newark Arena" before the deal. In addition to its formal name, Prudential Center was nicknamed "The Rock" after Prudential's corporate logo. Construction on the arena was completed in October 2007; the estimated final cost of the arena's construction is $380 million. In total, more than 18,000 tons of steel were used to build the bowl area and high roof, while 62,000 linear feet of ductwork were installed throughout the arena; the Devils had to play their first nine games of the 2007–08 NHL season on the road as construction on their home arena was finished.
For the soft opening on October 20, the Newark Boys Chorus performed at Prudential Center, which became the first use of the arena. It opened on October 25, 2007, with a series of 10 concerts by the New Jersey native rock group Bon Jovi, featuring a star-studded lineup of opening acts including Big & Rich, Gretche