United States men's national basketball team
The USA Basketball Men's National Team known as the United States Men's National Basketball Team, is the most successful team in international competition, winning medals in all eighteen Olympic tournaments it has entered, coming away with fifteen golds. In the professional era, the team won the Olympic gold medal in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2016. Two of its gold medal-winning teams were inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in August 2010 – the 1960 team, which featured six Hall of Famers, the 1992 "Dream Team", featuring 14 Hall of Famers; the team is ranked first in the FIBA World Rankings. Traditionally composed of amateur players, the U. S. dominated the first decades of international basketball, winning a record seven consecutive Olympic gold medals. However, by the end of the 1980s, American amateurs were no longer competitive against seasoned professionals from the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. In 1989, FIBA modified its rules and allowed USA Basketball to field teams with National Basketball Association players.
The first such team, known as the "Dream Team", won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, being superior in all matches. With the introduction of NBA players, the team was able to spark a second run of dominance in the 1990s. Facing increased competition, the U. S. failed finishing sixth. The 2004 Olympic team, being depleted by a number of withdrawals, lost three games on its way to a bronze medal, a record that represented more losses in a single year than the country's Olympic teams had suffered in all previous Olympiads combined. Determined to put an end to these failures, USA Basketball initiated a long-term project aimed at creating better, more cohesive teams; the U. S. won its first seven games at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan before losing against Greece in the semi-finals. The team won gold two years – at the 2008 Summer Olympics – in a dominant fashion; this success was followed up at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, where despite fielding a roster featuring no players from the 2008 Olympic team, the U.
S. did not lose a single game en route to defeating host Turkey for the gold medal. The Americans continued this streak of dominance in the 2010s by going undefeated and capturing gold at the 2012 Summer Olympics, 2014 FIBA World Cup. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, the team, led by Mike Krzyzewski for a record third time, won its fifteenth gold medal, making him the most decorated coach in USA Basketball history; the US men were dominant from the first Olympic tournament to hold basketball, held in Berlin in 1936, going 5–0 to win the gold, joined by continental neighbors Canada and Mexico on the medal platform. Through the next six tournaments, the United States went undefeated, collecting gold while not losing a single contest in the games held in London, Melbourne, Rome and Mexico City. Participation in these tournaments were limited to amateurs, but the US teams during this period featured players who would go on to become superstars in professional basketball, including all-time greats Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Jerry Lucas.
S. roster until the formation of the 1992 Dream Team. Alex Groza and Ralph Beard, both NBA stars, made the 1948 squad as Kentucky Wildcats, with 3-time Oklahoma State All-American and 6-time AAU All-American, Hall of Famer Bob Kurland leading the way; the 1952 team included big man Clyde Lovellette of the University of Kansas, a future Hall of Famer and NBA star. Kurland once again led the team to victory; the 1956 team was led by San Francisco Dons Bill Russell and K. C. Jones; the 1960 team included nine future NBA players, including not just Robertson and West, but Bob Boozer, Adrian Smith, Jay Arnette, Terry Dischinger, Rookie of the Year in 1963, another Hall of Famer in Walt Bellamy. The 1972 Olympic men's basketball gold medal game, marking the first loss for the USA in Olympic play, is arguably the most controversial in Olympic history; the United States rode their seven consecutive gold medals and 63–0 Olympic record to Munich for the 1972 Summer Olympics. The team won its first eight games in convincing fashion, setting up a final against the Soviet Union, holding a 6–0 advantage over the Soviets in Olympic play.
With three seconds left in the gold medal game, American forward Doug Collins sank two free throws to put the Americans up 50–49. Following Collins' free throws, the Soviets inbounded the ball and failed to score. Soviet coaches claimed; the referees ordered the clock reset to three seconds and the game's final seconds replayed. The horn sounded as a length-of-the-court Soviet pass was being released from the inbounding player, the pass missed its mark, the American players began celebrating. Final three seconds were replayed for a third time; this time, the Soviets' Alexander Belov and the USA's Kevin Joyce and Jim Forbes went up for the pass, Belov caught the long pass from Ivan Edeshko near the American basket. Belov laid the ball in for the winning points as the buzzer sounded; the US players voted unanimously to refuse their silver medals, at least one team member, Kenny Davis, has directed in his will that his heirs are never to accept the medals posthumously. It was revealed that game officials might have been bribed by the Communist party.
After the controversial loss in Munich, 1976 saw Dean Smith coach the USA to a 7–0 record and its eighth Olympic gold medal in Montreal. The success at this tou
Richard Allen Jefferson is an American former professional basketball player who played 17 seasons in the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball with the Arizona Wildcats. Jefferson was drafted in the first round of the 2001 NBA draft with the 13th overall pick, was named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team in his first season with the New Jersey Nets, he won an NBA championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016. He was a member of the United States national team that won a bronze medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Jefferson was raised in Phoenix, his parents were both Christian missionaries, he moved around growing up. He attended Moon Valley High School in West Phoenix, where he was an integral part of the varsity basketball team that won the 4A State Championship in 1998. Jefferson played college basketball at the University of Arizona, under Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson from 1998 to 2001. During his 84-game career, Jefferson averaged 5.0 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
He capped his career by being part of the Arizona team that advanced to the 2001 national championship game where the Wildcats fell to Duke. Along the way, Jefferson was an all-Midwest Regional and all-Final Four selection, he was inducted into the Pac-12 Basketball Hall of Honor during the 2012 Pac-12 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, March 10, 2012. Jefferson played seven seasons with the New Jersey Nets and was a key element of their back-to-back Eastern Conference Championship teams of 2002 and 2003. In addition, Jefferson was a member of the USA Men's Olympic basketball team in the 2004 Summer Olympics. Jefferson competed in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 2003. Jefferson began his career as a substitute small forward for Keith Van Horn and showed great defensive skills and all-around ability; because of his potential, Van Horn's conflict with power forward Kenyon Martin, the Nets traded Van Horn to the Philadelphia 76ers and trusted Jefferson as a starter. Jefferson blossomed in the role, becoming a good mid- and long-range shooter in addition to his slashing ability.
On August 13, 2004, Jefferson signed a six-year, $78,000,000 contract extension with the Nets. Jefferson missed the majority of the 2004–05 regular season after rupturing a ligament in his left wrist, an injury he claimed occurred when Detroit Pistons guard Chauncey Billups purposely undercut him on a layup attempt during a game on December 27, 2004. Jefferson ended up missing 49 games, but returned to action for the first round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat. Prior to suffering the injury, he had missed only five games in his three NBA seasons. Jefferson had been enjoying his best professional season, averaging 22.2 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists per game. Through the 2005–06 season, Jefferson continued to perform at a high level and established himself as one of the NBA's most versatile players. On January 21, 2007, Jefferson decided to have ankle surgery. After missing around six weeks, he was back in the lineup, his absence proved to be a major setback for the struggling Nets, who surged back into playoff contention once Jefferson returned.
In August 2007, Richard Jefferson pledged $3.5 million toward the University of Arizona's then-planned basketball and volleyball practice facility, named in his honor. UA officials believe it is the largest donation from a former player, he started the 2007–08 season in the best form of his NBA career. In the first 7 games, he averaged 26.9 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while notching up 1.3 steals, 97.1% in free-throws and 49.1% in field-goals. On October 31, in a game against the Chicago Bulls, Jefferson injured his right wrist thumping his chest following a clutch three-pointer; the Nets went on to win the game in overtime. On December 4 he passed Kerry Kittles to become the Nets' second all-time leading scorer. On June 26, 2008 Jefferson was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Bobby Simmons, he was not happy with the trade at first. However, he expressed enthusiasm about playing alongside Michael Redd. On June 23, 2009, Richard Jefferson was traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, Fabricio Oberto.
On June 30, 2010 Jefferson opted out of his contract with San Antonio and became an unrestricted free agent. On July 23, 2010, Jefferson re-signed with the Spurs. On March 15, 2012, the Golden State Warriors traded the newly acquired Stephen Jackson for Jefferson, along with a conditional first-round pick. On July 5, 2013, the Warriors agreed to trade Jefferson, along with teammates Brandon Rush and Andris Biedriņš, to the Utah Jazz; the trade became official on July 10. On July 21, 2014, Jefferson signed with the Dallas Mavericks. On August 5, 2015, Jefferson signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers; the Cavaliers finished the regular season with a 57–25 record and made it through to the 2016 NBA Finals with a 12–2 playoff record. Jefferson started Game 3 of the NBA Finals in place of the injured Kevin Love. Jefferson gave the Cavaliers a boost in 33 minutes, scoring nine points with eight rebounds, as the Cavaliers cut the Golden State Warriors' advantage in the series to 2–1 with a 120–90 win. Despite going down 3–1 in the series following a Game 4 loss, the Cavaliers won the series in seven games to become the first team in NBA history to win the championship after being down 3–1.
After considering retirement following the championship win, Jefferson re-signed with the Cavaliers on July 28, 2016 on a two-year, $5 million contract. The Cavaliers returned to the NBA Finals in 2017, but fell short in their quest for back-to-back titles, losing in five games
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. The Spurs compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. The Spurs are one of four former American Basketball Association teams to remain intact in the NBA after the 1976 ABA–NBA merger and are the only former ABA team to have won an NBA championship; the franchise has won NBA championships in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014. As of May 2015, the Spurs had the highest winning percentage among active NBA franchises; as of April 2019, the Spurs have won 22 division titles since joining the NBA and have only missed the playoffs four times. From 1999–2000 to 2016–17, the Spurs won 50 games each season, setting a record of 18 consecutive 50-win seasons. In the 2018–19 season, the Spurs matched an NBA record for most consecutive playoff appearances with 22; the team's recent success coincides with the tenure of current head coach Gregg Popovich, who has coached the team since 1996.
The Spurs are the city's only team in any of the four major U. S. professional sports leagues and the only major-league team in the city's history to have lasted more than five years. Spurs players are active members of the San Antonio community, many former Spurs are still active in San Antonio including David Robinson with the Carver Academy and George Gervin with the George Gervin Youth Center; the Spurs set several NBA attendance records while playing at the Alamodome including the largest crowd for an NBA Finals game in 1999, the Spurs continue to sell out the smaller AT&T Center on a regular basis. Since 2003, the team has been forced on an extended road trip for much of February since the AT&T Center hosts the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo; this is informally known as the "Rodeo Road Trip". The Spurs have posted winning road records during this period, including an NBA-record longest single road trip winning streak; when the Spurs have won the NBA title, the team's victory parades have been boat trips on the San Antonio River Walk.
The San Antonio Spurs started out as the Dallas Chaparrals of the original version of the American Basketball Association. Coached by player/coach Cliff Hagan the Dallas Chaparrals were one of 11 teams to take the floor in the inaugural season of the upstart ABA; the Chaps' second season was a bit of a disappointment, as the team finished in 4th place with a mediocre 41–37 record. In the playoffs the Chaparrals fell to the New Orleans Buccaneers; the team suffered from general disinterest in Dallas. In fact, during the 1970–71 season, the name "Dallas" was dropped in favor of "Texas" and an attempt was made to make the team a regional one, playing games in Fort Worth, at the Tarrant County Convention Center, as well as Lubbock, at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum, but this proved a failure and the team returned full-time to Dallas in time for the 1971–72 season, splitting their games at Moody Coliseum and Dallas Convention Center Arena. While the Chaparrals had been modestly successful on the court, they were sinking financially by their third season because the ownership group refused to spend much money on the team.
After missing the playoffs for the first time in their existence in the 1972–73 season, nearly all of the owners wanted out. A group of 36 San Antonio businessmen, led by Manager/Angelo Drossos, Chairman of the Board/John Schaefer and President/Red McCombs, worked out a "lend-lease" deal with the Dallas ownership group. Drossos and his group would lease the team for three years and move it to San Antonio, agreed to return the team to Dallas if no purchase occurred by 1975. After the deal was signed, the team was renamed the San Antonio Gunslingers. However, before they played a game the name was changed to Spurs; the team's primary colors were changed from the red and blue of the Chaparrals to the now familiar black and white motif of the Spurs. In the first game at the HemisFair Arena the Spurs lost to the San Diego Conquistadors, despite attracting a noisy crowd of 6,000 fans. A smothering defense was the team's image, as they held opponents to less than 100 points for an ABA record of 49 times.
The early Spurs were led by ABA veteran James Silas, the team would get stronger as the season went on as they twice took advantage of the Virginia Squires, acquiring Swen Nater, who would go on to win Rookie of the Year, in November, "The Iceman" George Gervin in January. The ABA tried to halt the Gervin deal, claiming it was detrimental to the league, but a judge would rule in the Spurs' favor, Gervin made his Spurs debut on February 7; the Spurs would go on to finish with a 45 -- good for 3rd place in the Western Division. In the playoffs, the Spurs would battle the Indiana Pacers to the bitter end before falling in seven games. San Antonio embraced the Spurs with open arms. Schaefer, Drossos and McCombs knew a runaway hit. After only one year, they exercised their option to tear up the lease agreement, buy the franchise outright and keep the team in San Antonio for good; the team made themselves at home at HemisFair Arena, playing to large and raucous crowds. Despite a respectable 17–10 start during the 1974–75 season, Coach Tom Nissalke was fired as owners become tired of the Spurs' slow defensive style of games.
He would be replaced by Bob Bass, who stated that the Spurs would have an new playing style: "It is my belief that you cannot throw a set offense at another professional team for 48 minutes. You've got to
Richard Hamilton (basketball)
Richard Clay "Rip" Hamilton is an American retired professional basketball player who played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association. Hamilton is best known for his nine-year stint with the Detroit Pistons, where he was a three-time All-Star, he helped lead the Pistons to six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances, back to back NBA Finals appearances, their best record in franchise history and the 2004 NBA championship. Born and raised in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, a suburb 40 miles west of Philadelphia, Hamilton played three years for the University of Connecticut. In his third and final year, Hamilton was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player en route to an upset NCAA Championship win over the favored Duke Blue Devils, he is the second-leading scorer in Connecticut Huskies history. Named a consensus first-team All-American, Hamilton decided to forgo his senior year and enter the NBA draft. Drafted seventh overall by the Washington Wizards where he would spend the next three seasons, Hamilton notably averaged 20 points per game starting next to Michael Jordan.
Traded to Detroit for Jerry Stackhouse in 2002, Hamilton played with the Pistons for nine seasons before ending his career with two final seasons with the Chicago Bulls. The Pistons retired his No. 32 jersey on February 26, 2017. Hamilton played college basketball at the University of Connecticut from 1996 to 1999. In a 1998 Sweet 16 game with the 2-seeded UConn vs the 11th-seeded Washington Huskies, Hamilton hit a game-winning shot as time ran out after rebounding a teammate's miss and his own miss, he was named the 1999 NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after UConn's run to that year's national title after averaging 24.2 points per game. Number 1 UConn's race to the top included a close, physical defeat of the national Cinderella team no. 10 Gonzaga Bulldogs, in which Hamilton played a key role as UConn's leading scorer in the game. The UConn squad beat a Duke team in the final game after which four Duke players were drafted in the top 14 of the 1999 NBA draft; the Huskies were nine-point underdogs, but upset the Blue Devils after Hamilton contributed 27 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists in the final game.
The "One Shining Moment" video and song had one of Hamilton's shots against Duke as the last shot shown in the video. Hamilton was selected with the 7th pick in the 1999 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards. In his rookie season, he played in 71 games with 12 starts and averaged 9 points a game backing up veteran shooting guard Mitch Richmond; the Wizards won 29 games and failed to make the playoffs. In the following year, Hamilton played more at the small forward position and started in 42 of 78 games and doubled his scoring average to 18.1 points a game. The Wizards did not improve, winning only 19 games for the season. In the off-season, Michael Jordan announced that he would return to the court for the Wizards, Doug Collins was hired to coach the team. With Jordan now the team's small forward, Hamilton moved back to shooting guard and assumed the starting role. Hamilton and Jordan were limited to 60 games due to injuries, but the duo helped improve the team's final record to 37–45 an 18-game improvement over the previous season.
Though they missed the playoffs, Hamilton averaged 20 points a game for the season while finishing second in the league in free throw percentage, shooting 89 percent from the free throw line. In September, the Wizards traded Hamilton to the Detroit Pistons, along with Bobby Simmons and Hubert Davis, in exchange for Ratko Varda, Brian Cardinal, All-Star scorer Jerry Stackhouse. During the 2002 off-season, the Pistons traded for Chauncey Billups and drafted forward Tayshaun Prince; the Pistons featured reigning Coach of the Year Rick Carlisle and Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace. Hamilton started all 82 games for Detroit and led the team in scoring with 19.7 points per game as the team won 50 games and the Central Division. In Hamilton's playoff series debut, he helped rally the team from a 3–1 deficit against Tracy McGrady and the Orlando Magic, to win the series in seven games, they defeated Philadelphia 76ers in the conference semifinals and returned to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1991.
They faced the defending conference-champion New Jersey Nets, who overwhelmed the Pistons with their experience and swept the series in four games. Hamilton led Detroit in scoring throughout the playoffs with 22.5 points per game on 44 percent shooting. Through the early part of the 2003–04 season, Hamilton broke his nose twice and was advised to wear a face mask to prevent needing significant nasal reconstructive surgery; the clear plastic face mask became his trademark and he would wear it for the rest of his playing career. The season marked the arrival of All-Star forward Rasheed Wallace who teamed with Hamilton, Prince under new head coach Larry Brown to lay the foundation of what would become known as the "Goin' to Work" Pistons. Now wearing the mask on a nightly basis, Hamilton led the Pistons in scoring for the second consecutive season with 17.6 points per game as the Pistons finished the season with 54 wins. In the playoffs, the Pistons dominated the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round before setting up a rematch with New Jersey.
In a back-and-forth seven game series, Hamilton scored 24 points in the decisive game 7 victory. The Pistons faced the league-leading Indiana Pacers in the conference finals, the team's defense and efficient scoring proved too much for the favored Pacers. Hamilton scored 33 points in a 83-65 game 5 victory in Indiana, Detroit wrapped up the series in the following game 69-65 at home to advance to the franchise
Brian Lee "The Custodian" Cardinal is an American former professional basketball player. He played 456 games in the NBA between 2000 and 2012, won an NBA championship with the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. Before his NBA career, he was one of the all-time great players in the history of Purdue University. Brian Cardinal attended Unity High School in Tolono, where he played basketball with his brother, Troy. Before graduating in 1995, he led the Rockets to an 86–25 record during his high school career, he averaged 23.5 points during his Junior year, with the team going 27–1, 24.1 points and 12.0 rebounds per game in his Senior year, with the team going 27–4. In his senior year, he scored 40 points in two different games, was ranked as one of the Top 100 high school seniors in the United States; as a senior, he played in the Class A Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game, was named MVP of the game. He played in and was named Most High Player in the Coca-Cola high school all star game, after scoring 24 points and collecting 13 rebounds for the West team.
After graduating from high school, Cardinal attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana to play under head coach Gene Keady and assistant coaches Frank Kendrick and Bruce Weber. Cardinal was practiced daily with the team. During his Freshman season of 1996–97, Brian was one of only three Boilermakers to start all 30 games, averaged 10.6 points a game and grabbed 182 rebounds on the season, ranking second on the team. He recorded his first collegiate double-double in only his second game against Western Michigan with 13 points and 12 rebounds, he finished ninth in the Big Ten in steals. Along with Juniors Brad Miller and Chad Austin, he helped lead the Boilermakers to an NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance. Purdue beat Rhode Island in the first round of the tournament after Brian hit a three-point shot to send the game into overtime, a shot Brian called his "biggest athletic thrill." Purdue would lose in the next round to #1 seed Kansas. In Brian's sophomore campaign, he averaged 12.0 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists, led the team in steals with 65, which tied for the third-best single season total in Purdue history.
While leading Purdue to a 28–8 record, Brian was the Boilermakers' top scorer in four games. Brian was named third-team All-Big Ten by media, he helped lead the Boilers to a Sweet Sixteen appearance, with the Boilermakers beating Delaware and Detroit Mercy in the first two rounds, before losing to eventual Final Four semifinalist Stanford, by the score of 67–59. In his junior season in 1998–99, Brian was named team captain. On the season, he averaged 11.4 points and grabbed 186 rebounds, leading the Boilermakers in rebounding 15 times. He led the team in assists. During the season, he became Purdue's all time steals leader, tied the school's all-time single game steals record with seven steals against South Carolina on December 22, 1998, he scored a career-high 33 points in a game against Michigan on January 23, 1999. For the second straight year, Brian was named third-team All-Big Ten. In the NCAA Tournament, Brian led Purdue to a second straight Sweet Sixteen appearance, with wins over #7 seed Texas and #2 seed Miami, with Brian leading the team with 20 points in the win over the Hurricanes.
Cardinal played his last collegiate season in 1999–2000 as Boilermakers' captain for the second straight season. He finished his senior year with career season highs with 13.9 points a game. As a senior, he was named a Second Team All-Big Ten selection, he again helped lead the Boilermakers to the NCAA tournament, making it a perfect four NCAA tournament appearances in Brian's four years at Purdue. In this NCAA tournament appearance for Brian, the team would make its deepest run, nearly making the Final Four. After a narrow one point victory over #11 seed Dayton in the first round, Purdue upset #3 seed Oklahoma and defeated the #10 seed Gonzaga, before losing to Big Ten rival Wisconsin, a #8 seed, in the Elite Eight; as of 2018, Brian Cardinal ranks 18th with 1,584 points. He ranks second in career starts at Purdue with 125, behind E'Twaun Moore, his career 259 steals at Purdue is the second most in school history behind Chris Kramer's 260. His Freshman record with 51 steals in the 1996–97 season was surpassed by Chris Kramer's 64 a decade later.
He received the nickname, "The Custodian", due to the way he cleaned the floor diving for loose balls. Brian left Purdue being the only Boilermaker to receive both the "Mr. Hustle" Award and the "Courage" Award four years in a row. While at Purdue, Brian won a gold medal at the 1998 Goodwill games, he was a member of the 1997 22-and under National Team coached by Rick Majerus, which finished 5th in a 12-team field. For Majerus' squad, Brian averaged 1.6 rebounds, shooting 53.3 % from the field. Cardinal was selected the 44th overall pick in the 2000 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons, his career debut came on December 2000, in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. During his rookie season, playing in only 15 games, he had his best game against the Toronto Raptors on April 11, 2001, scoring a season-high 9 points, 4 rebounds and a game high three steals in 18 minutes. Playing in a total of 23 games for the Pistons in two seasons, he averaged 2.1 points a game and shot over 80 percent from the free throw line.
On September 11, 2002, he was traded to the Washington Wizards along with Jerry Stackhouse and Ratko Varda, for Richard Hamilton, Hubert Davis and Bobby Simmons
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
Yi Jianlian is a Chinese professional basketball player for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association. He has played in the National Basketball Association for the Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks. Yi joined the Guangdong Southern Tigers for the 2002–03 CBA season, subsequently won the CBA Rookie of the Year award. In his first five years with Guangdong, the team won three CBA titles. In the 2007 NBA draft, he was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the sixth overall pick. Yi declined to sign with Milwaukee for several months before agreeing to a contract with them on 29 August 2007, he played for three other NBA teams until returning to the Guangdong Southern Tigers in 2012. Yi plays for the Chinese national team, having represented his country at the Olympics in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016, as well as the 2006 and 2010 FIBA World Championships; as a child, Yi's parents did not allow him to join a sports school, designed for children predicted to be future professional athletes.
However, a sports school's basketball coach who noticed Yi's potential in playing street basketball persuaded Yi's family to allow him to train professionally. Hoping to sign Yi to an endorsement deal, Adidas invited him to attend the company's ABCD camp in New Jersey in 2002, where he competed against all-American high school players. After returning to China that year, he signed a professional contract with Chinese Basketball Association side Guangdong Southern Tigers and averaged 3.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in his first season. He averaged 7.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in four games during the playoffs, won the Rookie of the Year award. Yi was featured in TIME's August 2003 article titled "The Next Yao Ming". In each of his next three seasons, Yi led Guangdong to the CBA championship and he was awarded the CBA finals' most valuable player honor in 2006. In Yi's final season in the Chinese Basketball Association before he entered the 2007 NBA draft, he averaged a career-high 24.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, but his team lost to the Bayi Rockets in the playoff finals.
During the 2011 NBA lockout, Yi signed a one-year contract to return to the Guangdong Southern Tigers. Unlike most NBA players who went to the Chinese Basketball Association during that time, he received an option to return to the NBA once the lockout had been resolved. After the lockout ended, he signed with the Dallas Mavericks for the remainder of the 2011–12 season. Yi re-joined the Guangdong Southern Tigers for the 2012–13 CBA season and went on to win a fourth championship that season. In October 2016, Yi returned to Guangdong after spending training camp with the Los Angeles Lakers. Yi was not expected to enter the NBA draft until 2009 because the Chinese Basketball Association ruled that players are not allowed to leave for foreign leagues until they turned 22. In early 2006, however, Yi announced that he would enter the 2006 NBA draft although he decided to withdraw, saying he was "not good enough to compete in the NBA and needed more experience." That year, the Guangdong Southern Tigers announced that Yi would enter the 2007 NBA draft.
Yi chose Dan Fegan as his agent to represent him in the NBA draft and flew to Los Angeles to participate in pre-NBA draft camps. Before the draft, Yi was predicted by many to be picked anywhere from third to twelfth. On 28 June 2007, Yi was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the sixth overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft, despite Fegan warning the Milwaukee Bucks not to pick Yi and not allowing them to be one of the teams invited to Yi's pre-draft private workouts in Los Angeles. Fegan did not want Milwaukee to select Yi because the city of Milwaukee did not have a large Asian-American community. However, Milwaukee's general manager Larry Harris said they had only drafted the best player available to them. Yi and Sun Yue together marked the first time in NBA draft history where two Chinese born players were selected in the same draft, a feat that would not be repeated again until 2016. After the draft, Milwaukee attempted to convince Yi to sign with the team and on 2 July 2007, the owner of the Bucks franchise, Herb Kohl, wrote a letter to Yi and his representatives, hoping to persuade Yi to sign with the team.
Three days head coach Larry Krystkowiak and Harris met with Yi, attempting to influence him to play for Milwaukee, however, Yi's representatives requested that the team trade Yi to another team with a city that had a large Chinese presence. Chinese officials required that any team Yi played for would have to give him sufficient playing time for him to improve for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Kohl made a special trip to Hong Kong to appeal to Yi and he assured Chinese officials that Yi would have sufficient playing time. On 29 August 2007, the Milwaukee Yi agreed to a standard, multi-year rookie contract. Yi was named to Milwaukee's starting lineup by head coach Larry Krystkowiak in place of Charlie Villanueva to begin the 2007–08 season, he recorded three rebounds in a debut loss to the Orlando Magic. He played his first home game in Milwaukee three days and scored 16 points while grabbing eight boards in a 78–72 win over the Chicago Bulls; the game was Yi's first game to be televised nationally in China, where it was watched by an estimated 100 million viewers.
Yao Ming praised Yi's play in his first few games, saying, "If you compare us in our third NBA games, you will see that Yi's statistics are far better than mine."On 9 November 2007, Yi played against Yao for the first time when the Houston Rockets hosted Milwaukee in a 104–88 loss. Yi recorded 19 po