The point guard called the one or point, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. A point guard has the most specialized role of any position. Point guards are expected to run the team's offense by controlling the ball and making sure that it gets to the right player at the right time. Above all, the point guard must understand and accept their coach's game plan. While the point guard must understand and accept the coach's gameplan, they must be able to adapt to what the defense is allowing, they must control the pace of the game. A point guard, like other player positions in basketball, specializes in certain skills. A point guard's primary job is to facilitate scoring opportunities for his/her team, or sometimes for themselves. Lee Rose has described a point guard as a coach on the floor, who can handle and distribute the ball to teammates; this involves setting up plays on the court, getting the ball to the teammate in the best position to score, controlling the tempo of the game.
A point guard should know when and how to instigate a fast break and when and how to initiate the more deliberate sets. Point guards are expected to be vocal floor leaders. A point guard needs always to have in mind the times on the shot clock and the game clock, the score, the numbers of remaining timeouts for both teams, etc. Among the taller players who have enjoyed success at the position is Ben Simmons, who at 6’ 10” won the 2018 National Basketball Association Rookie of the Year Award. Behind him is Magic Johnson, who at 6’ 9” won the National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award three times in his career. Other point guards who have been named NBA MVP include Russell Westbrook, Bob Cousy, Oscar Robertson, Allen Iverson, Derrick Rose and two-time winners Steve Nash and Stephen Curry. In the NBA, point guards are about 6' 4" or shorter, average about 6' 2" whereas in the WNBA, point guards are 5' 9" or shorter. Having above-average size is considered advantageous, although size is secondary to situational awareness, speed and ball handling skills.
Shorter players tend to be better dribblers since they are closer to the floor, thus have better control of the ball while dribbling. After an opponent scores, it is the point guard who brings the ball down court to begin an offensive play. Passing skills, ball handling, court vision are crucial. Speed is important. Point guards are valued more for their assist totals than for their scoring. Another major evaluation factor is assist-to-turnover ratio, which reflects the decision-making skills of the player. Still, a first-rate point guard should have a reasonably effective jump shot; the point guard is positioned on the perimeter of the play, so as to have the best view of the action. This is a necessity because of the point guard's many leadership obligations. Many times, the point guard is referred to by announcers as a "coach on the floor" or a "floor general". In the past, this was true, as several point guards such as Lenny Wilkens served their teams as player-coaches; this is not so common anymore, as most coaches are now specialized in coaching and are non-players.
Some point guards are still given a great deal of leeway in the offense. Point guards who are not given this much freedom, are still extensions of their coach on the floor and must display good leadership skills. Along with leadership and a general basketball acumen, ball-handling is a skill of great importance to a point guard. Speaking, the point guard is the player in possession of the ball for the most time during a game and is responsible for maintaining possession of the ball for his team in the face of any pressure from the opponents. Point guards must be able to maintain possession of the ball in crowded spaces and in traffic and be able to advance the ball quickly. A point guard that has enough ball-handling skill and quickness to be able to drive to the basket in a half-court set is very valuable and considered by some to be a must for a successful offense. After ball-handling and scoring are the most important areas of the game for a point guard; as the primary decision-maker for a team, a point guard's passing ability determines how well a point guard is able to put his decision into play.
It is one thing to be able to recognize the player, in a tactically advantageous position, but it is another thing to be able to deliver the ball to that player. For this reason, a point guard is but not always, more skilled and focused on passing than shooting. However, a good jump shot and the ability to score off a drive to the basket are still valuable skills. A point guard will use his ability to score in order to augment his effectiveness as a decision maker and play maker. In addition to the traditional role of the point guard, modern teams have found new ways to utilize the position. Notably, several modern point guards have used a successful style of post play, a tactic practiced by much larger centers and forwards. Working off of the fact that the opposing point guard is in all probability an undersized player with limited strength, several modern point guards have developed games close to the basket that include being able to utilize the drop step, spin move, fade away jump shot. In recent years, the sport's shift from a fundamental style of play to a more athletic, scoring-oriented game resulted in the proliferation of so-called combo guards at the po
Robert Joseph Cremins Jr. is an American retired college basketball coach, having served as a head coach at Appalachian State, Georgia Tech, most the College of Charleston. Cremins attended All Hallows High School in the Bronx, New York, where he was born to Irish immigrants. In 1966, he entered the University of South Carolina on a basketball scholarship, where he played under coach Frank McGuire. While Cremins was there, the South Carolina team won 61 games, with 17 losses, while Cremins was the starting point guard for three years for the Gamecocks. Cremins, known as "Cakes", was the captain of South Carolina's 1969-70 team which went 25–3, he graduated from South Carolina in 1970 with a B. S. degree before playing professional basketball for one year in Ecuador. Cremins started his coaching career in 1971 as an assistant coach at Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he next returned to South Carolina to become McGuire's assistant coach and to earn a M. S. degree in guidance and counseling in 1972.
At age 27, Cremins became one of the youngest NCAA Division I head coaches in history when he took charge of the basketball team at Appalachian State University. He inherited a program that had only won 22 games since joining Division I five years earlier, had just come off the worst season in school history at 3-23. In his first year at Appalachian his team had a record of 13–14, but they accumulated an 87–56 record over the next five seasons, with three Southern Conference regular season championships; the Mountaineers posted a 23–6 record, received an NCAA Tournament slot in 1979 after sweeping the Southern Conference regular season and tournament titles. Cremins's performance at Appalachian State gathered him some national attention in the NCAA coaching ranks, including catching the eye of Georgia Tech athletic director Homer Rice. After Rice persuaded him to come to Atlanta, Cremins was hired as the Rambling Wreck's new head basketball coach at the close of the 1981 season, on April 14, 1981.
When Cremins arrived at Georgia Tech, he walked into a situation, as bad, if not worse, than what he'd inherited at Appalachian State. Georgia Tech had only notched one winning season in the previous 10 years, had just suffered the worst season in school history—a 4-23 overall record and a winless record in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Considering the poor state of the program he'd inherited, Cremins engineered a quick return to respectability. In only his third year in Atlanta, he led the Yellow Jackets to the 1984 National Invitation Tournament—their first postseason berth of any sort in 13 years. A year the Yellow Jackets shocked the ACC by winning a share of the regular season title winning the conference tournament, they advanced all the way to the Elite Eight, tallying an overall record of 27-8. In 1990, Cremins's team advanced all the way to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament, with an overall 28–7 record; the 28 wins are still a school record for wins in a season. Cremins was three times the ACC "Coach of the Year": In 1983 with the first Yellow Jackets' ACC tournament victory, an overall 13–15 won/loss record.
Cremins' coaching of the 1990 Yellow Jackets' team earned him the Naismith College Coach of the Year honor. Cremins had a host of players that went on to have successful National Basketball Association careers. First there was Mark Price and John Salley in the early 1980s, followed by Duane Ferrell, Tom Hammonds, Dennis Scott, Brian Oliver, Kenny Anderson, Jon Barry, Travis Best, Stephon Marbury, Jason Collier and Matt Harpring. Cremins was an assistant coach on the first-ever gold-medal-winning American World University Games team in 1986, assisting the head coach Lute Olson of the University of Arizona. Cremins assisted Olson at the 1986 FIBA World Championship winning the gold medal there. During the summer of 1989 he coached the American team that qualified for the World Championships in 1990. Cremins assisted former National Basketball Association coach Lenny Wilkens in the American basketball team's appearance in the Summer Olympic Games of 1996 in Atlanta; this team was the second of the "Dream Teams" in the Olympic Games, it featured such NBA stars as Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Reggie Miller, Shaquille O'Neil, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson and John Stockton, several of whom were returning for their second Olympic Games basketball tournament.
This "Dream Team" was undefeated in the Olympic basketball tournament, of course, it defeated the second-place Yugoslavian team 95–69 in the championship game in winning the gold medal. On March 24, 1993, Cremins agreed to coach basketball at his alma mater, the University of South Carolina, before changing his mind and deciding three days to continue at Georgia Tech. In 2003, Georgia Tech named the basketball court at the Alexander Memorial Coliseum on the Georgia Tech campus, the "Cremins Court". Paul Hewitt would take his place at Georgia Tech in 2000. Cremins announced his retirement after the 1999–2000 season with a 25-year coaching record of 452–303, with a Georgia Tech coaching record of 354-237 in 19 seasons, he is away the winningest coach in Georgia Tech history. With his platinum blond hair, Cremins was an iconic figure at Georgia Tech, it was common for fans to show up at Alexander Memorial Coliseum wearing blond wigs
Colorado Buffaloes men's basketball
The Colorado Buffaloes men's basketball team represents the University of Colorado at Boulder. The team competes in the Pac-12 Conference of NCAA Division I, they are coached by Tad Boyle. The Buffaloes have competed in fourteen NCAA Tournaments, making it to the Final Four and. Colorado has played in nine National Invitation Tournaments, winning the tournament in 1940 and making the semi-finals in 1991 and 2011; the Buffs won the Pac-12 conference tournament in their first season as a member. The Colorado Men's Basketball team was known as the Silver and Gold, began play on January 10, 1901 and beat State Prep School 34–10. While unaffiliated their first few seasons, the school joined the Rocky Mountain Conference in 1909. From 1902–1935, the school racked up a 200–151 record. In 1934, the Silver and Gold became known as the Buffaloes. CU students rented a buffalo calf to cheer the team on for the final football game that year, the nickname stuck with the school since then; the first coaching star for CU was Forrest B.
"Frosty" Cox. Cox spent 13 years on the sidelines from 1936–50. In his second season with the school, the Buffaloes joined the Mountain States Conference where they won four MSC titles. Under Cox, the Buffs had quite a bit of success -- both as a team. Cox had four All-Americans during his time with the Buffs – Jack Harvey, Jim Willcoxon, Bob Doll and Leason McCloud. Cox lead the team to three NCAA tournament bids and two NIT bids. Arguably the greatest team in CU Basketball history was the 1940 squad which not only got invited to the NCAA Tournament but to the NIT Tournament as well; the Buffs won the more prestigious at the time NIT Tournament, which leads some to claim that the 1940 team was National Champs. In 1942, the Buffs lost in the NCAA Tournament Championship game to the Stanford Cardinal, the school's all-time best finish in that tournament. In 1947, the Buffs joined the Big Seven Conference; when Cox concluded his CU career, he had the best win-loss percentage of any CU coach, there for more than one season.
After Cox left CU, Horace "Bebe" Lee took over as the Buffs head coach. He led the school to two NCAA Tournament bids, including a Third Place finish in the 1955 NCAA Tournament. However, the star of this era was Burdette "Burdie" Haldorson. Known as "The Big Burd," Haldorson was arguably the best player in Colorado Men's Basketball history. An All-American whose number is retired at CU, Haldorson was named to All-Big 7 Conference team two times and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame and the Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Honor, he won two gold medals with USA Basketball. In 1955, Haldorson led the Big 7 Conference in scoring with 23.9 points per game as he led the Buffs to the third-place finish in the 1955 NCAA Tournament. In 1956, CU named former player Russell "Sox" Walseth as their head coach. Walseth graduated from CU in 1948 as a three-time letterman in both basketball and baseball for the Buffaloes, came back to coach after stints at High School and South Dakota State.
"Sox" led the team to three NCAA tournament bids. In both the 1961–62 & 1962–63 seasons, the Buffs reached the second round of the NCAA tournament before being eliminated by Cincinnati."Sox" had two All-Americans while at CU—Ken Charlton and Cliff Meely. Along with those two, another standout from "Sox"'s time at Boulder was Scott Wedman – a sharp-shooting forward from Denver's Mullen High School. Wedman made a huge mark on the CU record books as he led the team in scoring and rebounding for two seasons, free throw percentage for one season and field goal percentage all three years he played at CU; those numbers placed him seventh in career scoring, sixth in rebounding and eighth in field goal percentage in CU history at the time he left the school. He was the highest draft pick in school history, going 2nd overall in the ABA Draft to the Memphis Sounds. Wedman went on to play 12 years in the NBA; when he retired after twenty seasons, "Sox" was the all-time winningest coach in CU history with a 261–245 record.
Four years he came back to coach the women's team to a 77–21 record, including an incredible 43–0 home record, before retiring again. In 1996, the CU Event Center basketball court was named after him, so the Buffs all play on "Sox Walseth Court" now; the star of the program under "Sox" Walseth was undoubtedly Cliff Meely. Walseth called Meely "the most complete player" he had coached, Meely set sixteen school records while playing for the Buffaloes and eight Big 8 Conference records. Meely is the school's all-time leader in points and rebounds per game, was named an All-American during the 1971 season; the list of accolades he received while in Boulder is numerous, but along with being an All-American, in 1969 he was named both Big 8 Player of the Year and Big 8 Sophomore of the Year. In fact, all three years he was at Colorado he was named to the All-Big 8 First Team; because of his dominant play, he was not only named to the 1970s Big 8 All-Decade First Team, but in 1996 he was named to the AP's All-time Big 8 Conference Basketball first team along with Wayman Tisdale, Danny Manning, Jo Jo White and Rolando Blackman.
Colorado has retired the # 20. The lackluster results of Walseth's latter tenure would become the norm for Colorado over the next two decades. From 1977-78
1988–89 NBA season
The 1988–89 NBA season was the 43rd season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons winning the NBA Championship, sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers; this was the first season of the Miami Charlotte Hornets. The NBA adopts the three-official system used in college basketball permanently; the league experimented with three officials per game in 1978–79, but went back to two officials per game for the next nine seasons, although they have three with the inclusion of an alternate referee for all playoff games and selected regular season games. The Miami Heat and the Charlotte Hornets become the league's 25th franchises; the Heat plays its inaugural season in the Midwest Division. As a result, the Sacramento Kings move to the Pacific Division; the 1989 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Astrodome in Houston, with the West defeating the East 143–134. Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz takes home the game's MVP award. New Arenas: The Milwaukee Bucks move from the MECCA Arena to the then-Bradley Center, the Sacramento Kings move from ARCO Arena I to the then-ARCO Arena, the Detroit Pistons move from the Pontiac Silverdome to The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Michael Jordan records ten triple-doubles in eleven games near the end of the season. Prior to the season, the first-year Hornets announce that they choose teal as their primary color, which gave them immediate attention. In the next decade, expansion teams in the other professional sports leagues further popularized the use of the color; the Hornets popularized the use of pinstripes on the uniforms, which were adopted by the Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Indiana Pacers and the current Charlotte Hornets' predecessor franchise, the Bobcats. The Chicago Bulls started a playoff tradition by wearing black sneakers. Prior to that, the Boston Celtics were the only team to wear black sneakers. Following the Bulls' unlikely playoff run, other teams began adopting the style, beginning with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1990; this was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's last season. The Los Angeles Lakers became the first team to sweep two consecutive best-of-seven series; the Celtics, who had won no fewer than 57 games over the previous 9 seasons, slump to 42 as Larry Bird played only six games due to injuries.
The Indiana Pacers had 4 different head coaches during the season, a rare occurrence that has not happened since. Seattle SuperSonics guard Dale Ellis won the All-Star game's 3-point shootout; the first cancellation of an NBA game due to a civil disturbance. In the wake of the Miami riots, the game between the Miami Heat and the Phoenix Suns on January 17, 1989, was canceled. Jerry Sloan begins the first season of 23 for the Utah Jazz, the longest tenure for any professional coach for one city and franchise. Notes z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs y – Clinched division title x – Clinched playoff spot The League expands from twenty-three to twenty-five franchises, with new expansion teams in Charlotte and Miami; the Heat began its season as a member of the Western Conference despite its geographical position, enduring its longest road trips when playing Western Conference teams. It began the season 0–17, at the time the worst start in NBA history.
The Hornets finished at 20–62. Such records are typical of expansion NBA franchises in their initial seasons, with 15–67 being the poorest record repeated by the Cavaliers, Grizzlies and Mavericks, as well as the Heat; the Sacramento Kings were belatedly moved to the Pacific Division in their fourth season after leaving Kansas City. Teams in bold advanced to the next round; the numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record. Most Valuable Player: Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers Rookie of the Year: Mitch Richmond, Golden State Warriors Defensive Player of the Year: Mark Eaton, Utah Jazz Sixth Man of the Year: Eddie Johnson, Phoenix Suns Most Improved Player: Kevin Johnson, Phoenix Suns Coach of the Year: Cotton Fitzsimmons, Phoenix Suns All-NBA First Team: F – Karl Malone, Utah Jazz F – Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers C – Akeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets G – Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls G – Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers All-NBA Second Team: F – Tom Chambers, Phoenix Suns F – Chris Mullin, Golden State Warriors C – Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks G – John Stockton, Utah Jazz G – Kevin Johnson, Phoenix Suns All-NBA Third Team: F – Dominique Wilkins, Atlanta Hawks F – Terry Cummings, Milwaukee Bucks C – Robert Parish, Boston Celtics G – Dale Ellis, Seattle SuperSonics G – Mark Price, Cleveland Cavaliers All-NBA Rookie Team: Rik Smits, Indiana Pacers Willie Anderson, San Antonio Spurs Mitch Richmond, Golden State Warriors Charles D. Smith, Los Angeles Clippers Hersey Hawkins, Philadelphia 76ers NBA All-Defensive First Team: Dennis Rodman, Detroit Pistons Larry Nance, Cleveland Cavaliers Mark Eaton, Utah Jazz Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls Joe Dumars, Detroit Pistons NBA All-Defensive Second Team: Kevin McHale, Boston Celtics A. C.
Green, Los Angeles Lakers Patrick Ewing, New York Knicks John Stockton, Utah Jazz Alvin Robertson, San Antonio SpursNote: All information on this page were obtained on the History
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original
The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Pistons compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division and plays its home games at Little Caesars Arena; the team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne Pistons in 1941, a member of the National Basketball League where it won two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945. The Pistons joined the Basketball Association of America in 1948; the NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA in 1949, the Pistons became part of the merged league. Since moving to Detroit in 1957, the Pistons have won three NBA championships: in 1989, 1990 and 2004; the Detroit Pistons franchise was founded as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons, a National Basketball League team, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Owner Fred Zollner's Zollner Corporation was a foundry that manufactured pistons for car and locomotive engines; the Zollner Pistons were NBL champions in 1944 and 1945.
They won the World Professional Basketball Tournament in 1944, 1945 and 1946. In 1948, the team became the Fort Wayne Pistons. In 1949, Fred Zollner brokered the formation of the National Basketball Association from the BAA and the NBL at his kitchen table. There are suggestions that Pistons players conspired with gamblers to shave points and throw various games during the 1953–54 and 1954–55 seasons. In particular, there are accusations that the team may have intentionally lost the 1955 NBA Finals to the Syracuse Nationals. In the decisive Game 7, the Pistons led 41–24 early in the second quarter before the Nationals rallied to win the game; the Nationals won on a free throw by George King with twelve seconds left in the game. The closing moments included a palming turnover by the Pistons' George Yardley with 18 seconds left, a foul by Frank Brian with 12 seconds left that enabled King's winning free throw, a turnover by the Pistons' Andy Phillip in the final seconds which cost them a chance to attempt the game winning shot.
Though the Pistons enjoyed a solid local following, Fort Wayne's small size made it difficult for them to be profitable as other early NBA teams based in smaller cities started folding or relocating to larger markets. After the 1956–57 season, Zollner decided that Fort Wayne was too small to support an NBA team and announced the team would be playing elsewhere in the coming season, he settled on Detroit. Although it was the fifth largest city in the United States at the time, Detroit had not seen professional basketball in a decade, they lost the Detroit Eagles due to World War II, both the Detroit Gems of the NBL and the Detroit Falcons of the BAA in 1947, the Detroit Vagabond Kings in 1949. Zollner decided to keep the Pistons name, believing it made sense given Detroit's status as the center of the automobile industry; the Pistons played in Olympia Stadium for their first four seasons moved to Cobo Arena. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Pistons were characterized by strong individuals and weak teams.
Some of the superstars who played for the team included Dave DeBusschere, Dave Bing, Bob Lanier. At one point, DeBusschere was the youngest player-coach in the history of the NBA. A trade during the 1968–69 season sent DeBusschere to the New York Knicks for Howard Komives and Walt Bellamy, both of whom were in the stages of their careers. DeBusschere became a key player in leading the Knicks to two NBA titles. In 1974, Zollner sold the team to glass magnate Bill Davidson, who remained the team's principal owner until his death in 2009. While the Pistons did qualify for the postseason in four straight seasons from 1974 to 1977, they never had any real sustained success. In 1978, Davidson became displeased with Cobo Arena, but opted not to follow the Red Wings to the under-construction Joe Louis Arena. Instead, he moved the team to the suburb of Pontiac, where they played in the 82,000 capacity Silverdome, a structure built for professional football; the Pistons stumbled their way out of the 1970s and into the 1980s, beginning with a 16–66 record in 1979–80 and following up with a 21–61 record in 1980–81.
The 1979–80 team lost its last 14 games of the season which, when coupled with the seven losses at the start of the 1980–81 season, comprised a then-NBA record losing streak of 21 games. The franchise's fortunes began to turn in 1981, when they drafted point guard Isiah Thomas from Indiana University. In November 1981, the Pistons acquired Vinnie Johnson in a trade with the Seattle SuperSonics, they would acquire center Bill Laimbeer in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers in February 1982. Another key move by the Pistons was the hiring of head coach Chuck Daly in 1983; the Pistons had a tough time moving up the NBA ladder. In 1984, the Pistons lost a tough five-game series to the underdog New York Knicks, 3–2. In the 1985 playoffs, Detroit won its first-round series and faced the defending champion Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals. Though Boston would prevail in six games, Detroit's surprise performance promised that a rivalry had begun. In the 1985 NBA draft, the team selected Joe Dumars 18th overall, a selection that would prove to be wise.
They acquired Rick Mahorn in a trade with the Washington Bullets. However, the team took a step backwards, losing in the first round of the 1986 playoffs to the more athletic Atlanta Hawks. After the series, changes were made in order to make the team more defensive-minded. Prior to the 1986–87 season, the Pistons acquired more key players: John Salley (
David Thompson (basketball)
David O'Neil Thompson is an American retired professional basketball player. He played with the Denver Nuggets of both the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association, as well as the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA, he was a star in college for North Carolina State, leading the Wolfpack to its first NCAA championship in 1974. Thompson is one of the six players to score 70 or more points in an NBA game. Thompson was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996. Thompson attended Crest Senior High School and he played for the school's Varsity Basketball team for four years, he starred in the North Carolina Coaches Association's East-West All-Star Basketball Game in 1971. Thompson is a first cousin of both growing up in Shelby, North Carolina. Thompson led North Carolina State University to an undefeated season in 1973, but the Wolfpack was banned from post-season play that year due to NCAA rules violations involving the recruiting of Thompson, he led the Wolfpack to a 30-1 season and the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1974.
In the semifinal game NCSU defeated the reigning national champions, the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins in double overtime. In the championship game they won over Marquette 76-64, his nickname was "Skywalker" because of his incredible vertical leap. The alley-oop pass, now a staple of today's high-flying, above-the-rim game, was "invented" by Thompson and his NC State teammate Monte Towe, first used as an integral part of the offense by NC State coach Norm Sloan to take advantage of Thompson's leaping ability. NC State's game against the nationally 4th-ranked University of Maryland Terrapins in the 1974 ACC Tournament finale, in an era in which only conference champions were invited to the NCAA Tournament, is considered one of the best college basketball games of all time. Thompson and teammate Tommy Burleson led the #1-ranked Wolfpack to a 103-100 win in overtime. Thompson and the Wolfpack would go on to win the national championship that year. Maryland's exclusion from the NCAA Tournament due to the loss, despite their high national ranking, would lead to the expansion of the NCAA Tournament the next season to include teams other than the league champions.
Thompson is considered one of the greatest players in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, among such talents as Michael Jordan, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Christian Laettner and Len Bias. Thompson played basketball. In 1975, playing his final home game at NC State against UNC-Charlotte, late in the second half Thompson on a breakaway received a long pass from a teammate, resulting in the first and only dunk of his collegiate career, a goal, promptly disallowed by technical foul. Head coach Norm Sloan removed Thompson to thunderous applause; the ACC's most exciting player, who had performed for three years without executing the game's most exciting act, thus passed into history. Michael Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, said that Thompson was his basketball role model as a young man. At some of the basketball camps that Jordan ran, Jordan would tell the campers, "He was the guy I looked up to when I was your age." For this reason, Thompson was asked by Jordan in 2009 to introduce him to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Thompson's 44 remains the only number NC State retired in men's basketball. It was retired at his last home game. Thompson was the No. 1 draft pick of both the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association in the 1975 drafts of both leagues. He signed with the ABA's Denver Nuggets. Explaining his choice between the establishment NBA and the ABA—which offered less real money —Thompson said when he met with the Hawks, the organization had seemed uninterested, to the point of treating him to a meal at McDonald's. Thompson told the Denver Nuggets he wanted his friend and point guard at N. C. State Monte Towe to have a chance to play in the NBA, Denver drafted the 5"7"Towe and signed him to a 2-year contract. Thompson and Julius Erving were the finalists in the first Slam-Dunk Competition, held at the 1976 ABA All-Star Game at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver; the competition organizers had arranged the seedings to assure a final round pairing these two dynamic players. Erving won with the first foul-line dunk, to this day the standard for leaping and dunking prowess.
Thompson, performed more difficult dunks in warmups, but not in the competition itself—including a dunk called the "cradle the baby" whereby he cradled the ball in the crook of his arm, raised it above the rim, punched it through. Thompson won the MVP of the 1976 ABA All-Star Game, as a prize, he received a credenza television set. After the ABA–NBA merger in 1976, Thompson continued with the Nuggets through the 1981–82 season, after which he was traded on June 17, 1982 to the Seattle SuperSonics. Thompson made the NBA All-Star Game four seasons, reached his peak in 1978 season. On April 9, 1978, the last day of the regular NBA season, Thompson scored 73 points against the Detroit Pistons in an effort to win the NBA scoring title, he led the Denver Nuggets to the NBA playoffs, but they lost to the eventual Western Conference champion Seattle SuperSonics. After the 1978 season, Thompson signed a record-breaking contract for $4 million over five-years; that amount was more than any basketball play