Billy Knight

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Billy Knight
BKnightPitt74NCAA Owlp165.jpg
Knight (front) goes for rebound in the 1974 Elite Eight while in college at Pittsburgh
Personal information
Born (1952-06-09) June 9, 1952 (age 67)
Braddock, Pennsylvania
NationalityAmerican
Listed height6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Listed weight195 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High schoolBraddock
(Braddock, Pennsylvania)
CollegePittsburgh (1971–1974)
NBA draft1974 / Round: 2 / Pick: 21st overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career1974–1985
PositionShooting guard / Small forward
Number25, 35
Career history
19741977Indiana Pacers
1977–1978Buffalo Braves
1978–1979Boston Celtics
19791983Indiana Pacers
19831984Kansas City Kings
1984–1985San Antonio Spurs
1985–1986CSP Limoges
Career highlights and awards
Career ABA and NBA statistics
Points13,901 (16.9 ppg)
Rebounds4,377 (5.3 rpg)
Assists1,862 (2.3 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

William R. Knight (born June 9, 1952) is an American former professional basketball player and executive. Playing with the Indiana Pacers in both the American Basketball Association (ABA) and later the National Basketball Association (NBA), he was both an ABA and NBA All-Star, he played college basketball with the Pittsburgh Panthers, who retired his No. 34.

In college, Knight was a consensus second-team All-American in 1974, he began his pro career with Indiana, earning ABA All-Rookie First Team honors in 1975. He continued with the Pacers in the NBA, and he also played in the league for the Buffalo Braves, Boston Celtics, Kansas City Kings and San Antonio Spurs. Knight finished his playing career with a season in France, he became an executive with the Pacers and the Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies. He last served as the executive vice president and general manager of the Atlanta Hawks from 2003 to 2008.

Early life[edit]

Knight was born and raised in Braddock, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, where he attended General Braddock High School- He was a member of the 1970 Section High School Basketball Champions on the General Braddock Falcons.

University of Pittsburgh[edit]

A 6'6" guard/forward, he then attended the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), where he starred, and along with Mickey Martin and Kirk Bruce, Knight led the Panthers to the East Regional Finals in the 1974 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, where they lost to eventual NCAA Champion |North Carolina State], in a matchup between Knight and NCSU's David Thompson; the game was played in Raleigh, North Carolina. NCSU went on to defeat UCLA & Marquette for the National title in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Knight's performance during the 1973–1974 season, in which Pitt went 25-4 and won a school record, 22 games in a row, earned him 2nd team All-American team status, he is considered one of Pitt's best players ever and was voted to Pitt's all-time starting five.

Knight had his number 34 jersey retired by the University of Pittsburgh on February 20, 1989.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Knight spent eleven seasons, from 1974–85, in the ABA and NBA as a member of the Indiana Pacers, Buffalo Braves, Boston Celtics, Kansas City Kings, and San Antonio Spurs, he scored 13,901 points in his ABA/NBA career and appeared in two All-Star games.

Knight's best years were with the Indiana Pacers, after being selected by both the Pacers and the LA Lakers in the player draft. Knight was voted 1st team ABA All-Star for the 1975–1976 season, his second year in the league after averaging 28.1 ppg. This was the last year of the ABA before the Indiana Pacers merged into the NBA; the following year Knight maintained All-Star status, this time in the NBA after averaging 26.6 ppg — second best in the league that season. After a brief stint with the Buffalo Braves & Boston Celtics, Knight returned to the Pacers in 1978, where he continued his career with them until 1983.

Knight is the Indiana Pacers 3rd all-time leading scorer and is in several other Top 5 all-time categories for the Pacers.

Prior to joining the Hawks organization in 2002, Knight worked as a front office executive with the Pacers and the Vancouver/Memphis Grizzlies.

Knight's reign as GM of the Atlanta Hawks was marred by poor drafts [2]. In 2004, he drafted Josh Childress over future All-Stars Luol Deng and Andre Iguodala. Childress wound up leaving the Atlanta Hawks to join a Greek franchise [3]. In 2005, Billy Knight drafted UNC freshman phenom Marvin Williams over consensus top point guard and future 9-time All Star and 7-time All-NBA team point guard Chris Paul despite the roster's need for a point guard and glut of young players at the swing position between Josh Childress and Josh Smith. 2006 led to the selection of Sheldon Williams, an undersized power forward, despite glaring needs at guard and future all-star Brandon Roy available.

On May 7, 2008, Knight stepped down as Hawks GM; when announcing his resignation from the team he stated that he had left the Hawks "in much better shape than it was in when I took over."[4]

Personal life[edit]

Knight currently lives in Atlanta, and continues to play tennis, a game he enjoys and began playing around the age of 30.[5]

ABA/NBA career statistics[edit]

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1974–75 Indiana (ABA) 80 32.0 .534 .250 .799 7.9 2.1 1.4 .4 17.1
1975–76 Indiana (ABA) 70 39.6 .494 .400 .828 10.1 3.7 1.3 .3 28.1
1976–77 Indiana 78 40.0 .493 .816 7.5 3.3 1.5 .2 26.6
1977–78 Buffalo 53 40.7 .494 .809 7.2 3.0 1.5 .2 22.9
1978–79 Boston 40 28.0 .502 .808 4.3 1.7 .8 .1 13.9
1978–79 Indiana 39 25.0 .556 .873 4.5 2.2 .8 .1 14.7
1979–80 Indiana 75 25.5 .533 .267 .809 4.8 2.1 1.1 .1 13.1
1980–81 Indiana 82 29.1 .533 .158 .832 5.0 1.9 1.0 .1 17.5
1981–82 Indiana 81 19 22.3 .495 .281 .826 3.2 1.5 .8 .2 12.3
1982–83 Indiana 80 54 28.3 .520 .158 .841 4.1 2.4 .8 .1 17.1
1983–84 Kansas City 75 39 25.1 .491 .286 .859 3.4 2.1 .7 .1 12.8
1984–85 Kansas City 16 0 11.8 .449 1.000 .813 1.4 1.3 .1 .1 4.8
1984–85 San Antonio 52 1 11.8 .439 .417 .895 1.8 1.1 .3 .0 6.0
Career 821 113 28.9 .507 .284 .827 5.3 2.3 1.0 .2 16.9
All-Star 2 0 17.5 .526 .000 1.000 7.5 1.0 1.0 .0 12.0

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1975 Indiana(ABA) 18 42.4 .568 .000 .845 8.9 2.4 .9 .1 24.1
1976 Indiana(ABA) 3 47.7 .554 .000 .864 10.7 4.0 .7 .0 33.7
1981 Indiana 2 35.5 .533 .625 6.0 2.5 .5 .0 18.5
1984 Kansas City 3 12.3 .333 1.000 1.0 .7 .0 .0 6.0
1985 San Antonio 5 0 9.0 .533 .000 1.2 .6 .4 .0 3.2
Career 31 0 34.2 .550 .000 .837 6.9 2.1 .7 .0 19.5

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Panther Pride: University of Pittsburgh Men's Basketball". August 22, 2002. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  2. ^ http://www.espn.com/nba/news/story?id=3385104
  3. ^ http://www.espn.com/nba/news/story?id=3501488
  4. ^ "Knight to step down after leading Hawks out of playoff drought". ESPN.com. May 7, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2009.
  5. ^ Meyer, Craig (July 23, 2018), "Former Braddock and Pitt great Billy Knight reconnects with his roots", Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

External links[edit]