History of the National Hockey League on United States television
The National Hockey League has never fared as well on American television in comparison to the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, or the National Football League, although that has begun to change, with NBC's broadcasts of the final games of the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013 Stanley Cup Finals scoring some of the best ratings enjoyed by the sport on American television. In fact, hockey broadcasting on a national scale was spotty prior to 1981. From 1971–1995, there was no exclusive coverage of games in the United States. Meanwhile, individual teams have long contracted to air their games on local channels on regional sports networks and in a few cases on broadcast channels as well. CBS first broadcast National Hockey League games for four seasons from 1956–1960. CBS aired games on Saturday afternoons with Bud Palmer and Fred Cusick handling the announcing duties, initially. Palmer served as the play-by-play man while Cusick did color commentary as well as interviews for the first three seasons.
In 1959–60, Cusick moved over to play-by-play while Brian McFarlane came in to do the color commentary and interviews. The pregame and intermission interviews were done with the interviewer on skates. No playoff games were televised during this period and all broadcasts took place in one of the four American arenas at the time; as mentioned, CBS covered the 1956–57 season on Saturday afternoons, starting January 5. For the next three years, they aired games on Saturday afternoons starting on November 2, 1957, October 18, 1958 and January 9, 1960. According to Sports Illustrated, the NHL dropped CBS because the NHL owners didn't want the fledgling Players' Association to gain a financial cut of the TV deal; this was despite the fact that CBS was at least at one point, getting better ratings than NBC's NBA package from around the same period in cities with NHL, minor-league, or major college hockey clubs. The NHL did not return to national television in the United States until the 1966 playoffs.
NBC was the first United States television network to air a national broadcast of a Stanley Cup Playoff game. They provided coverage of four Sunday afternoon playoff games during the 1966 postseason. On April 10 and April 17, NBC aired semifinal games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. On April 24 and May 1, NBC aired Games 1 and 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Montreal Canadiens and the Detroit Red Wings respectively. Win Elliot served as the play-by-play man while Bill Mazer served as the color commentator for all four games. NBC's coverage of the 1966 Stanley Cup Playoffs marked the first time that hockey games were televised on network television in color, although a handful of local game telecasts in Boston, New York, Chicago had been colorcast during the regular-season that year; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation would follow suit the following year. NBC's Stanley Cup coverage preempted a sports anthology series called NBC Sports in Action hosted by Jim Simpson and Bill Cullen, who were between-periods co-hosts for the four Stanley Cup broadcasts.
In the United States, the clinching game of the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals on the Thursday evening of May 5 aired in black and white on RKO General-owned stations. The commentators for RKO's coverage on that occasion were Bob Wolff and Emile Francis, who had called WOR-TV's coverage of New York Rangers games during the regular season. CBS had gained rights for an NHL "Game Of The Week" for the 1966–67 regular-season. In 1967, CBS carried weekend-afternoon games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. For the next five seasons, from 1968 through 1972, CBS aired a game each week between mid-January until early-mid May in each of those seasons on a Sunday afternoon, including playoffs. From 1968–69 through 1971–72, the intermission studio was called "CBS Control", as was the case with other sports coverage, including the NFL coverage. CBS started their weekly 1967–68 coverage with the opening game at the Forum in Inglewood, California on December 30. After two more Saturday afternoons, CBS switched to Sunday afternoons beginning on January 28 for the next 10 weeks.
Due to an AFTRA strike, CBS started their playoff coverage with a CBC tape of the previous night's Boston-Montreal game. On April 13, CBS started their three-week-long weekend afternoon Stanley Cup coverage; the last game of the series was St. Louis-Montreal on May 11. For the playoffs, Jim Gordon worked play-by-play and Stu Nahan worked color and intermission interviews. During the regular season and Nahan alternated roles each week. For instance, Gordon did the worked play-by-play on December 30 while Nahan worked play-by-play the next week. In the 1968–69 season, CBS broadcast 13 regular season afternoon games and five Stanley Cup playoff games. Dan Kelly did play-by-play while Bill Mazer did intermission interviews. Kelly had become the radio voice of the St. Louis Blues, whose games were covered by CBS-owned KMOX St. Louis; the same pattern continued through the 1971–72 season for CBS. CBS did manage to televise the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals clincher on a Tuesday night and the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals cl
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
Kenneth Albert is an American sportscaster, the son of sportscaster Marv Albert and the nephew of sportscasters Al Albert and Steve Albert. He is the only sportscaster who does play-by-play for all four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. Albert's parents gave him a tape recorder for his fifth birthday to practice his broadcasting. On his sixth birthday in 1974, his father took him along to a New York Rangers game. One of the statisticians had to leave in the middle of the game, so Albert got to do the stats for the rest of the game. At 14, he became the official statistician for the Rangers on the radio. At 16, he wrote content for the Rangers program. Aside from his father, his idol was Vancouver Canucks play-by-play broadcaster Jim Robson. From 1981 to 1986, growing up in Sands Point, covered high school sports for the Port Washington News at Paul D. Schreiber High School, an Anton Community Newspapers publication. Albert graduated from New York University in 1990 with a degree in journalism.
Albert worked in the sports department at WNYU radio. He is a frequent guest on The Cheap Seats, he has made many appearances on the popular New York sports internet radio show Sports Heaven with Mark and Evan. Albert is the radio voice of the New York Rangers, as well as a play-by-play announcer and field-level reporter for Fox's coverage of Major League Baseball, the NFL, the Sugar Bowl, he handled TV play-by-play for the Washington Capitals and Washington Bullets, was a part-time announcer on Washington Nationals telecasts in 2005. Additionally, he does TV play-by-play for Washington Redskins preseason games with Joe Theismann. Albert called the international broadcast of Super Bowl XLVI with Theismann; when Fox had the network contract for the National Hockey League in the 1990s, Albert worked on Fox NHL Saturday telecasts. Albert now does play-by-play for the NHL on NBC and with Versus. Albert called Game 1 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals for NBC, filling in for Doc Emrick, dealing with a death in the family.
He has done work for NBC's Olympics coverage, as a play-by-play announcer for men's and women's ice hockey at every Winter Olympic Games since Salt Lake City in 2002. Albert has done college basketball for ESPN Plus and is a substitute play-by-play announcer for televised New York Knicks games on MSG Network. For the 2011 playoffs, Albert broadcast for two playoff teams in the same market, doing the play-by-play for the New York Rangers on WEPN 1050 ESPN radio and filling in on MSG Network doing play-by-play for the New York Knicks. Albert is known to some Chicago sports fans as "The Kiss of Death" to their teams. Many games involving the Bears and Blackhawks with Albert announcing have ended in losses for both teams. Examples include Game 7 of the 2014 Western Conference Final between the Blackhawks and Kings, many Chicago Bears' games with Albert announcing since 2004. Albert was the lead play-by-play announcer for the 2015 American League Division Series between the Texas Rangers and the Toronto Blue Jays.
In the top of the 7th inning of Game 5, he helped explain the rule regarding the errant throw by Toronto Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin, which resulted in Texas scoring the go-ahead run. In the bottom of the inning, he called Jose Bautista's go-ahead home run. In 2016, Albert was nominated for the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play in a list that included fellow NFL on Fox announcer Kevin Burkhardt, fellow NHL announcer and eventual winner Mike Emrick, his own father. On October 25, 2009, Albert called the play-by-play of the Minnesota Vikings – Pittsburgh Steelers NFL game for Fox and hosted the New York Yankees' locker room celebration after clinching the American League Championship Series that night; the following night he broadcast a Rangers game on radio and on October 28, he called the play-by-play of the New York Knicks season opener on MSG. Kenny Albert resides in New Jersey with his wife for 20 years and their two daughters and Sydney. Albert was introduced to his wife by Baltimore sports reporter, Jerry Coleman.
1990–1992: Baltimore Skipjacks – play-by-play 1992–1995: Washington Capitals – play-by-play on Home Team Sports 1993–1994: NHL on ESPN2 – play-by-play 1994–1995, 2016–present: NHL Radio – lead play-by-play 1994–present: NFL on Fox – play-by-play 1995–1999: NHL on Fox – play-by-play 1995–present: New York Rangers – radio play-by-play 1999–2000: NTRA on Fox – host 2001–present: Major League Baseball on Fox – play-by-play 2002: Winter Olympics – hockey play-by-play 2005: Washington Nationals – fill-in television play-by-play 2005–2006: NHL on OLN – play-by-play 2006: Winter Olympics – hockey play-by-play 2007–2009: Sugar Bowl – play-by-play 2009–present: New York Knicks – fill-in television play-by-play 2010: Winter Olympics – hockey play-by-play 2010–present: Washington Redskins Broadcast Network – preseason play-by-play 2011: NHL on Versus – playoffs play-by-play 2012–present: NHL on NBC – play-by-play 2014: Winter Olympics – hockey play-by-play 2018: Winter Olympics – hockey play-by-play Troy Aikman Rod Allen Brian Baldinger Ronde Barber Brian Boucher Terry Bradshaw Sean Casey Rick Cerone Brian Engblom Cliff Floyd Walt "Clyde" Frazier Joe Girardi Mark Grace Tim Green Tim Hutchings Daryl Johnston Eric Karros Howie Long Steve Lyons Dave Maloney Tim McCarver Pierre McGuire Joe Micheletti Anthony Muñoz Chris Myers CJ Nitkowski Eddie Olczyk A.
J. Pierzynski Lou Pinella Ron Pitts Harold Reynolds Ken Rosenthal Tony Siragusa Joe Theismann Jeff Torborg Tom Verducci
Marv Albert is an American sportscaster. Honored for his work as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, he is referred to as "the voice of basketball". From 1967 to 2004, he was known as "the voice of the New York Knicks". Albert works for Turner Sports, serving as lead announcer for NBA games on TNT. In addition to calling both professional and college basketball, he has experience announcing other sports such as American football, ice hockey, horse racing and tennis. Albert has called the play-by-play of eight Super Bowls, NBA Finals, seven Stanley Cup Finals, he has called the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for TNT with Jim Courier and Mary Carillo. He worked as a co-host and reporter for two World Series Albert was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, where he went to Abraham Lincoln High School. While Albert grew up, members of his family owned a grocery store on Brighton Beach Avenue between 3rd and 4th streets known as Aufrichtig's, he attended Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications from 1960 through 1963.
In 1962, he served as the voice of the AAA Syracuse Chiefs. He graduated from New York University in 1965. Marv did his first Knicks game on January 1963 on WCBS Radio, he filled in for his mentor, Marty Glickman, away in Europe. The game was against the Celtics at the Boston Garden. For 37 years beginning in 1967, Albert was the voice of the New York Knicks on radio and television before being let go by James L. Dolan, the chairman of the MSG Network and Cablevision, after Albert criticized the Knicks' poor play on-air in 2004, it was said that Marv's high salary was a factor. His son Kenny Albert has been a part-time play-by-play announcer for the Knicks since 2009, whenever the older Albert's successor Mike Breen is unavailable. For a brief period before he resumed his normal broadcasting duties following his sexual assault arrest, Albert anchored MSG's former nightly sports news report, MSG SportsDesk. Marv Albert was the lead play-by-play broadcaster for the NBA on NBC for most of its run from 1990 to 2002, calling every NBA Finals during that timeframe except for 1998, 1999, 2000.
During this time, Bob Costas had taken over the lead job and called the Finals after Marv's arrest for sexual assault had brought him national disgrace. Marv resumed his previous position for the 2000–2001 season and called Game 4 of the 2002 NBA Finals, the final NBA telecast on NBC. During his time on NBC, Albert continued as lead play-by-play man for the New York Knicks on local MSG Network telecasts and began calling national games for TNT in 1999 as well; when he regained the lead broadcaster position on NBC, he continued to call play-by-play for both networks until the end of NBC's coverage in 2002. Albert continues to be the lead play-by-play announcer for National Basketball Association games on TNT, a position he assumed in 1999. Indeed, TNT has become his primary commitment since his longtime employer NBC lost the NBA broadcasting rights in 2002, may have played a role in his departure from the Knicks' broadcast booth; the Knicks wanted Albert to accept a salary commensurate with his reduced Knicks schedule, but weren't happy about Albert making what Knicks management felt were overly critical comments about their team in spite of their losing record.
In basketball, his most famous call is his simple "Yes!" for a basket, rendered in many variations of volume and length depending on the situation. On April 17, 2002, shortly after calling a game between the Indiana Pacers and Philadelphia 76ers on TNT, both Albert and color analyst Mike Fratello were injured in a limo accident in Trenton, New Jersey. Albert sustained facial lacerations, a concussion, a sprained ankle; the 2002 NBA Playoffs were set to begin two days with Albert scheduled to call multiple games that week. Bob Costas filled in those games and Albert returned to call Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals between the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings. In 2018, Sports Broadcast Journal speculated that Albert might be the first network play-by-play broadcaster to continue into his 80s, Will Marv Albert be the first network play-by-play announcer to call games into his 80s In 2005, Albert became the lead play-by-play man for the New Jersey Nets franchise and started calling their games on the YES Network teaming with Brooklyn native and NBA veteran, Mark Jackson.
With that, the Nets employed all three Albert brothers during the franchise's history. Beginning with the 2008–09 season, Albert was paired with his TNT broadcast colleague Mike Fratello on the YES Network. However, with the Nets' struggles in the 2009–10 season, Nets management relegated Albert to secondary play-by-play, to avoid a similar incident while Albert was with the Knicks. Since Ian Eagle has taken over the broadcasts. In 2011, Albert left the YES Network to join CBS Sports for NCAA tournament coverage. Albert hosts a basketball-focused interview show on NBA TV, which airs on YES. Since 2003, Albert has been providing the play-by-play voice on the NBA Live video-game series on EA Sports, a role he fulfilled until NBA Live 10. From 2011 to 2015, Albert announced NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship tournament g
Major League Baseball on NBC
Major League Baseball on NBC is the de facto branding for weekly broadcasts of Major League Baseball games produced by NBC Sports, televised on the NBC television network. Major League Baseball games first aired on the network from 1947 to 1989, when CBS acquired the broadcast television rights. There have been several variations of the program dating back to the 1940s, including The NBC Game of the Week and Baseball Night in America. From 1947 to 1956 and again in 1965, NBC only aired World Series. From 1957 to 1989, the network aired the Saturday afternoon Game of the Week. From 1994 to 1995, NBC aired games under a joint broadcasting venture with Major League Baseball and ABC called The Baseball Network. From 1996 to 2000, the network's league coverage was reduced to postseason games, as well as the All-Star Game in even-numbered years. NBC television's relationship with Major League Baseball technically dates back to August 26, 1939, it was on that particular date that on W2XBS, the first-ever Major League Baseball game was televised.
With Red Barber announcing, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds played a doubleheader at Ebbets Field. The Reds won the first game 5–2 while the Dodgers won the second, 6–1. Barber called the game without the benefit of a monitor and with only two cameras capturing the game. One camera was on Barber and the other was behind the plate. Barber had to guess where it pointed. By 1947, television sets, most with five and seven-inch screens, were selling as fast as they could be produced; because of this, Major League teams began televising games and attracted a whole new audience into ballparks in the process. People who had only casually followed baseball began going to the games in person. In 1948, Major League Baseball's total attendance reached a record high of 21 million. 1947 saw the first televised World Series. The games were broadcast in the New York City area by NBC's WNBT, CBS's WCBS-TV and DuMont's WABD and sponsored by Gillette and Ford; the 1947 World Series brought in an estimated 3.9 million viewers, becoming television's first mass audience.
In addition to New York City, live coverage of the Series was seen on WRGB in Schenectady/Albany, WPTZ in Philadelphia, WMAR-TV in Baltimore and WTTG in Washington, D. C. In 1948 and 1949, the World Series would be carried on the aforementioned stations, as well as on WBZ-TV and WNAC-TV in Boston, WNHC-TV in New Haven and WTVR-TV in Richmond, Virginia. In 1949, the World Series was seen live in other Northeastern and Midwestern cities, hooked up to network lines over the previous year. In 1950, the Mutual Broadcasting System acquired the television as well as radio broadcast rights to the World Series and All-Star Game for the next six years. Mutual may have been reindulging in dreams of becoming a television network or taking advantage of a long-standing business relationship. NBC aired the second and third games of the 1951 National League tie-breaker series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants, necessitated by the teams' finishing the regular season in a tie for first place; the three-game pennant playoff, which featured the first baseball games televised live from coast to coast, culminated on October 3 when the Giants won the third and deciding game by the score of 5–4.
Ernie Harwell called the game for Giants television flagship WPIX – the independent station's broadcast was simulcast nationally by NBC – and his description of the home run was a simple shout of "It's gone!" At the moment Thomson's bat struck Ralph Branca's pitch. Harwell admitted he had called it "too soon", but for him, the call proved to be correct. "And then", Harwell recalled, "the pictures took over."The 1951 playoff between Brooklyn and the New York Giants and that year's World Series were the first major league baseball games telecast live from coast-to-coast. On January 31, 1953, the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox joined forces against St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck; the respective franchises tried to force the Browns to play afternoon games in an attempt to avoid having to share television revenues. A month Major League Baseball owners received a warning from Senator Edwin Johnson about nationally televising their games. Johnson's theory was that nationally televising baseball games would be a threat to the survival of minor league baseball.
The owners pretty much ignored Johnson since the games on NBC in particular, were gaining a large and loyal following. Another first for NBC during this period was the first color telecast of a World Series, the 1955 matchup between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees. By 1950, World Ser
Peter David Stemkowski is a former player in the National Hockey League. Over fifteen seasons, he played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings. Stemkowski is best remembered for his heroics in the 1970–71 Stanley Cup semifinals when he scored two overtime goals for the New York Rangers in an eventual series loss to the Chicago Black Hawks, he won the Stanley Cup in 1967 with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Pete Stemkowski, who played centre, is remembered as one of the top faceoff players of the NHL. In the 1971 semifinal against the Black Hawks, "Stemmer" or "Stem" scored the game winner in Game 1 after just 1:37 of overtime; the Rangers would lose Game 5 in overtime, only to be in the same position in Game 6. Facing elimination, the Rangers forced a deciding seventh game when Stemkowski scored at 1:29 of the third overtime – a total of 41:29 of extra time; as of May 1982, Stemkowski was a morning disc jockey for WDJZ in Connecticut. He was a freelance announcer for the Entertainment Sports Network.
He has served a stint as the television and radio colour commentator for the San Jose Sharks and now does so for the New York Rangers on a part-time basis. He was rumoured to be a candidate to become the Rangers' full-time radio analyst in 2006–07 but has retained his back-up role and makes appearances at Rangers events. Memorial Cup Championship Stanley Cup Championship Played in NHL All-Star Game “Honoured Member” of the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame. Ranked No. 54 on the all-time list of New York Rangers in the book 100 Ranger Greats. National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame - 2002 On May 7, 1982, Stemkowski pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of criminal solicitation in Nassau County, New York. Stemkowski had lent $35,000 to a business associate, which had not been repaid along with $35,000 in interest, he offered $20,000 to an undercover Nassau County police officer to fly to California and break an ankle and wrist of the business associate. By pleading guilty, Stemkowski avoided a charge of conspiracy.
Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or Legends of Hockey, or The Internet Hockey Database
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