Yao Ming is a Chinese basketball executive and retired professional basketball player who played for the Shanghai Sharks of the Chinese Basketball Association and the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. He was selected to start for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game eight times, was named to the All-NBA Team five times. At the time of his final season, he was the tallest active player in the NBA, at 2.29 m. He is the only player from outside of the United States to lead the NBA in All-Star votes. Yao, born in Shanghai, started playing for the Shanghai Sharks as a teenager, played on their senior team for five years in the Chinese Basketball Association, winning a championship in his final year. After negotiating with the CBA and the Sharks to secure his release, Yao was selected by the Houston Rockets as the first overall pick in the 2002 NBA draft, he reached the NBA Playoffs four times, the Rockets won the first-round series in the 2009 postseason, their first playoff series victory since 1997.
In July 2011, Yao announced his retirement from professional basketball because of a series of foot and ankle injuries which forced him to miss 250 games in his last six seasons. In eight seasons with the Rockets, Yao ranks sixth among franchise leaders in total points and total rebounds, second in total blocks. Yao is one of China's best-known athletes, with sponsorships with several major companies, his rookie year in the NBA was the subject of a documentary film, The Year of the Yao, he co-wrote, along with NBA analyst Ric Bucher, an autobiography titled Yao: A Life in Two Worlds. In April 2016, Yao was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, alongside Shaquille O'Neal and Allen Iverson. In February 2017, Yao was unanimously elected as chairman of Chinese Basketball Association. Yao is the only child of 6 ft 7 in Yao Zhiyuan and 6 ft 3 in Fang Fengdi, both of whom were former professional basketball players. At 11 pounds, Yao weighed more than twice as much as the average Chinese newborn.
When Yao was nine years old, he attended a junior sports school. The following year, Yao measured 5 feet 5 inches and was examined by sports doctors, who predicted he would grow to 7 feet 3 inches. Yao first tried out for the Shanghai Sharks junior team of the Chinese Basketball Association when he was thirteen years old, practiced ten hours a day for his acceptance. After playing with the junior team for four years, Yao joined the senior team of the Sharks, where he averaged 10 points and 8 rebounds a game in his rookie season, his next season was cut short when he broke his foot for the second time in his career, which Yao said decreased his jumping ability by four to six inches. The Sharks made the finals of the CBA in Yao's third season and again the next year, but lost both times to the Bayi Rockets; when Wang Zhizhi left the Bayi Rockets to become the first NBA player from China the following year, the Sharks won their first CBA championship. During the playoffs in his final year with Shanghai, Yao averaged 38.9 points and 20.2 rebounds a game, while shooting 76.6% from the field, made all 21 of his shots during one game in the finals.
Yao was pressured to enter the NBA draft in 1999 by Li Yaomin, the deputy general manager of the Shanghai Sharks. Li influenced Yao to sign a contract for Evergreen Sports Inc. to serve as his agent. The agreement entitled Evergreen to 33% of Yao's earnings, but the contract was determined to be invalid; when Yao decided to enter the 2002 NBA draft, a group of advisers was formed that came to be known as "Team Yao". The team consisted of Erik Zhang. Yao was predicted to be picked number one overall. However, some teams were concerned about Yao's NBA eligibility because of uncertainty over whether the CBA would let Yao play in the United States. Shortly after Wang Zhizhi refused to return to China to play for the national team and was subsequently banned from playing for China, the CBA stipulated that Yao would have to return to play for the national team, they said they would not let him go to the United States unless the Houston Rockets would take him first overall. After assurances from Team Yao that the Rockets would draft Yao with their number one pick, the CBA gave permission on the morning of the draft for Yao to play in the U.
S. When the Rockets selected Yao with the first pick of the draft, he became the first international player to be selected first overall without having played U. S. college basketball. Yao did not participate in the Rockets' pre-season training camp, instead playing for China in the 2002 FIBA World Championships. Before the season, several commentators, including Bill Simmons and Dick Vitale, predicted that Yao would fail in the NBA, Charles Barkley said he would "kiss ass" if Yao scored more than 19 points in one of his rookie-season games. Yao played his first NBA game against the Indiana Pacers, scoring no points and grabbing two rebounds, scored his first NBA basket against the Denver Nuggets. In his first seven games, he averaged only 14 minutes and 4 points, but on November 17, he scored 20 points on a perfect 9-of-9 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line against the Lakers. Barkley made good on his bet by kissing the buttock of a donkey purchased by Smith for the occasion. In Yao's first game in Miami on December 16, 2002, the Heat passed out 8,000 fortune cookies, an Asian cultural stereotype.
In basketball, a block or blocked shot occurs when a defensive player deflects a field goal attempt from an offensive player to prevent a score. The defender is not allowed to make contact with the offensive player's hand or a foul is called. In order to be legal, the block must occur. A deflected field goal, made does not count as a blocked shot and counts as a successful field goal attempt for shooter plus the points awarded to the shooting team. For the shooter, a blocked shot is counted as a missed field goal attempt. On a shooting foul, a blocked shot cannot be awarded or counted if the player who deflected the field goal attempt is different from the player who committed the foul. If the ball is heading downward when the defender hits it, it is ruled as goaltending and counts as a made basket. Goaltending is called if the block is made after the ball bounces on the backboard. Nicknames for blocked shots include "rejections," "stuffs," "bushed", "fudged", or notably "double-fudged", "facials," "swats," "denials," and "packs."
Blocked shots were first recorded in the NBA during the 1973–74 season. Due to their height and position near the basket and power forwards tend to record the most blocks, but shorter players with good jumping ability can be blockers, an example being Dwyane Wade, the shortest player, at 6'4", to record 100 blocked shots in a single season. A player with the ability to block shots can be a positive asset to a team's defense, as they can make it difficult for opposing players to shoot near the basket and by keeping the basketball in play, as opposed to swatting it out of bounds, a blocked shot can lead to a fast break, a skill Bill Russell was notable for. To be a good shot-blocker, a player needs great court sense and timing, good height or jumping ability. One tactic is that a shot-blocker can intimidate opponents to alter their shots, resulting in a miss. A chase-down block occurs when a player pursues an opposing player who had run ahead of the defense, blocks their shot attempt; the block involves hitting the ball into the backboard as the opponent tries to complete a lay-up.
One of the most recognized chase-down blocks was then-Detroit Pistons' Tayshaun Prince's game-saving block on Reggie Miller in Game 2 of the 2004 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers. Pistons announcer Fred McLeod, who first witnessed this style of blocks from Prince, created the chase-down term with the Cleveland Cavaliers. During the 2008–09 NBA season, the Cavaliers began tracking chase-down blocks, crediting LeBron James with 23 that season and 20 the following season. Another landmark chase-down block occurred in the 2016 NBA Finals when Lebron James, in the closing minutes of the 4th quarter delivered what became known as "The Block" on a lay-up attempt by Andre Iguodala with the score tied at 89 and 01:50 remaining in the game. Most blocks in a single game: Elmore Smith Most blocks in a single half: Elmore Smith, George T. Johnson, Manute Bol Most blocks per game in a season: Mark Eaton Most career blocks: Hakeem Olajuwon Most blocks per game in a career: Mark Eaton Most blocks in NBA Finals game: Dwight Howard Most blocks in a non-NBA Finals playoff game: Andrew Bynum, Hakeem Olajuwon, Mark Eaton Most career blocks: Jarvis Varnado – Mississippi State Most blocks single season, player: David Robinson – Navy Most blocks per game single season, player: Shawn James – Northeastern Most blocks single season, team: Kentucky Most career blocks: Brittney Griner – Baylor Most blocks single season, player: Brittney Griner – Baylor Most blocks per game single season, player: Brittney Griner – Baylor Most blocks single season, team: Baylor List of National Basketball Association career blocks leaders List of National Basketball Association season blocks leaders List of National Basketball Association players with most blocks in a game List of NCAA Division I men's basketball career blocks leaders List of NCAA Division I men's basketball season blocks leaders List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 13 or more blocks in a game ^a Brittney Griner's 736 career blocks is recognized as the all-time NCAA record, men's or women's.
Hall of Famer Anne Donovan, who played for Old Dominion from 1979 to 1983, recorded 801 blocks while playing in the AIAW, therefore her total is not recognized as an NCAA achievement. Career block leaders on Basketball-Reference.com Bill Russell Block Art on YouTube
The Dallas Mavericks are an American professional basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. The Mavericks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the American Airlines Center, which it shares with the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars. As of the 2017 season, the Mavericks have sold out 704 consecutive games since December 15, 2001, the longest running sellout streak in North American major league sports. Since their inaugural 1980–81 season, the Mavericks have won three division titles, two conference championships, one NBA championship. In 1978, Californian businessman Garn Eckardt met Dallas lawyer Doug Adkins, mentioned he was trying to raise capital to move an NBA team to the city. Asking for a possible partner, Adkins recommended him one of his clients, Home Interiors and Gifts owner Don Carter. Negotiations with Eckardt fell through, but Carter remained interested in the enterprise as a gift to his wife Linda, who played basketball while at Duncanville High School.
At the same time, Buffalo Braves president and general manager Norm Sonju developed an interest in bringing the NBA to Dallas as he studied possible new locations for the ailing franchise. While the Braves went to California as the San Diego Clippers, Sonju returned to Texas, was introduced to Carter by mayor Robert Folsom, one of the owners and team president of the last professional basketball team in the city, the Dallas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association, which moved to San Antonio in 1973 to become the San Antonio Spurs. Sonju and Carter tried purchasing both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Kansas City Kings, but disagreement on relocation stalled the negotiations, leading them to instead aim for an expansion team; the league was reluctant to expand to Dallas, given Texas had both the Spurs and Houston Rockets, the 1978–79 NBA season was proving unprofitable and unpopular. Still, during the 1979 NBA All-Star Game weekend, NBA commissioner Larry O'Brien announced the league would add two new teams in the 1980–81 season, with teams in Dallas and Minneapolis.
Once the Minnesota team backed out, only Dallas remained, through negotiations with general counselor and future commissioner David Stern, the expansion fee was settled on the $12.5 million. Carter would provide half the amount. At the 1980 NBA All-Star Game, league owners voted to admit the new team, with the team's name coming from the 1957–1962 TV western Maverick. James Garner, who played the namesake character, was a member of the ownership group; the University of Texas at Arlington, who uses the Mavericks nickname, had objections about a shared name, but did not attempt any legal action. They joined the Midwest Division of the Western Conference, where they would stay until the league went to six divisions for the 2004–05 season. Dick Motta, who had guided the Washington Bullets to the NBA Championship in 1977–78, was hired as the team's first head coach, he had a well-earned reputation of being a stern disciplinarian, but was a great teacher of the game. Kiki Vandeweghe of UCLA was drafted by the Mavs with the 11th pick of the 1980 NBA draft, but Vandeweghe refused to play for the expansion Mavericks and staged a holdout that lasted a month into the team's inaugural season.
Vandeweghe was traded to the Denver Nuggets, along with a first-round pick, in 1981, in exchange for two future first-round picks that materialized into Rolando Blackman in 1981 and Sam Perkins in 1984. In the Mavericks' debut game, taking place in the brand-new Reunion Arena, the Mavericks defeated the Spurs, 103–92, but the Mavs started the season with a 6–40 record on their way to finishing 15–67. However, the Mavericks did make a player acquisition that, while it seemed minor at the time, turned out to play a important role in the early years of their franchise. Journeyman 6 ft 3 in guard Brad Davis, who played for the Anchorage Northern Knights of the Continental Basketball Association, was tracked down and signed by the Mavs in December. At the time, there was no reason to expect that Davis would be any better than the expansion-level talent the Mavs had, but he started the Mavs' final 26 games, led the team in assists, his career soared. He spent the next twelve years with the Mavericks, his number 15 jersey was retired.
The Mavericks marked the first NBA team to have a profitable debut season, with an average of 7,789 spectators. The 1981 NBA Draft brought three players; the Mavs selected 6'6" forward Mark Aguirre with the first pick, 6'6" guard Rolando Blackman 9th, 6'7" forward Jay Vincent 24th. By the end of his seven-year Mavs career, Aguirre would average 24.6 points per game. Blackman contributed 19.2 points over his 11-year career in Dallas. But it was Jay Vincent who made the biggest difference for the Mavs in their second season, leading the team in scoring with 21.4 points per game and earning NBA All-Rookie Team honors. The Mavericks improved to 28–54, getting out of the Midwest Division cellar as they finished above the Utah Jazz. In 1982–83, the Mavericks were serious contenders for the first time. At the All-Star break, they had won 12 of their last 15 games, they could not sustain that momentum and finished seven games behind the Denver Nuggets for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
But the Mavs' 38–44 re
1999–2000 NBA season
The 1999–2000 NBA season was the 54th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA championship, beating the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 2 in the 2000 NBA Finals. Effective this season, the first game of the NBA regular season begins on either the first Tuesday of November or the last Tuesday of October, the last game on the third Wednesday of April; the NBA playoffs begin on the third Saturday of April. The 2000 NBA All-Star Game held in California; the West won 137–126. Tim Duncan from the San Antonio Spurs and Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers shared the game's MVP honors; the Slam Dunk Contest returned after a two-year absence, with Vince Carter winning the title in what is considered to be one of the best Dunk Contest performances of all time. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers played their first games at the Staples Center; the Lakers would go on to win 19 consecutive games between February 4, 2000, March 16, 2000, the sixth-longest winning streak in NBA history.
Staples Center's first season saw its tenants at two opposite ends of the league: the Lakers finished with a best regular season record of 67–15 and the NBA title, while the Clippers finished 15–67, the worst of the season. The Denver Nuggets played their first game at the Pepsi Center; the Indiana Pacers played their first game at the Conseco Fieldhouse. The Indiana Pacers advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history; the Atlanta Hawks played their first game at the Philips Arena. The Miami Heat started the season playing their home games at Miami Arena. In January, they played their first game at the AmericanAirlines Arena; the Toronto Raptors played their first full season at the Air Canada Centre. They made the playoffs for the first time becoming the first Canadian team to do so. During Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers held a 75-60 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers with 10:28 left to play. During the fourth quarter, the Blazers would miss thirteen consecutive shots, allowing the Lakers to claw back and take the game, 89–84.
The game was capped off with a famous alley-oop to Shaquille O'Neal from Kobe Bryant. Two active players were killed in automobile accidents within four months of each other. On January 12, Bobby Phills of the Charlotte Hornets was killed as a result of reckless driving while racing against teammate David Wesley. On May 20, Malik Sealy of the Minnesota Timberwolves was driving home from a birthday party being held for Kevin Garnett when his SUV was struck by a drunk driver, driving on the wrong side of the road. Phills would have his jersey retired during the season after news of his unexpected death was announced, while Sealy would have his jersey retired after this season concluded. San Antonio Spurs forward Sean Elliott was sidelined for most of the season while undergoing kidney transplant operations, he returned on March 13, becoming the first player to return following kidney transplant. The Boston Celtics retired their trademark parquet floor on December 22, 1999, after 54 years; the floor would be replaced by a replica combining elements of the old floor and new wooden sections.
Doc Rivers became the first recipient of the NBA Coach of the Year Award to have not led his team to the playoffs. He coached the Orlando Magic to a respectable 41-41 record, good enough for the 9th seed in the East The season marked Patrick Ewing's last in a New York Knicks uniform, he was traded during the 2000 offseason to the Seattle SuperSonics in a three-team deal. Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain died on October 12, 1999, at 63. Wilt's former teams, the Lakers and Warriors honored him by sporting black patches for the rest of the season. Kevin Johnson returned from retirement to replace the injured Jason Kidd of Phoenix Suns in this season's playoffs, but the Suns fell to the Lakers in the second round and Johnson would retire again. 36-year-old Houston Rockets forward Charles Barkley suffered a devastating injury early in the season but returned for a final game before retiring. The Atlanta Hawks changed their uniforms; the Cleveland Cavaliers changed their uniforms. The Denver Nuggets moved into the Pepsi Center.
The Detroit Pistons added new maroon alternate uniforms. The Indiana Pacers moved into the Conseco Fieldhouse; the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers both moved into the Staples Center, while the Lakers changed their uniforms. The Miami Heat changed their logo and uniforms, moved into the AmericanAirlines Arena in January; the Philadelphia 76ers added new blue alternate uniforms. The Seattle SuperSonics added new red alternate uniforms; the Toronto Raptors changed their uniforms removing the pinstripes. 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 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.
* Division winnerBold Series winnerItalic Team with home-court advantage Most Valuable Player: Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers Co-Rookies of the Year: Elton Brand, Chicago Bulls.
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
The Philadelphia 76ers are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at Wells Fargo Center. Founded in 1946 and known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA, one of only eight to survive the league's first decade; the 76ers have had a rich history, with many of the greatest players in NBA history having played for the organization, including Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson. They have won three NBA championships, with their first coming as the Syracuse Nationals in 1955; the second title came in 1967, a team, led by Chamberlain. The third title came in 1983, won by a team led by Malone; the 76ers have only been back to the NBA Finals once since then: in 2001, where they were led by Iverson and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
In 1946, Italian immigrant Daniel Biasone sent a $5,000 check to the National Basketball League offices in Chicago, the Syracuse Nationals became the Midwest-based league's easternmost team, based in the Upstate New York city of Syracuse. The Syracuse Nationals began play in the NBL in the same year professional basketball was gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America, based in large cities like New York and Philadelphia. While in the NBL with teams consisting of small Midwestern towns, the Nationals put together a 21–23 record, finishing in fourth place. In the playoffs, the Nationals would be beaten by the fellow upstate neighbor Rochester Royals in four games. In their second season, 1947–48, the Nationals would struggle, finishing in fifth place with a 24–36 record. Despite their struggles, the Nationals would make the playoffs, getting swept by the Anderson Duffey Packers in 3 straight games. Several teams began to leave the NBL for the BAA; the Nationals "recipe for success" began by recruiting Leo Ferris.
Staying in the NBL, Ferris signed Al Cervi to be player coach and outbid the New York Knicks for the services of Dolph Schayes who made his professional debut, leading the Nationals to a winning record for the first time with a record of 41–22. In the playoffs the Nationals would make quick work of the Hammond Calumet Buccaneers, winning the series in 2 straight games. However, in the semifinals the Nationals would fall to the Anderson Duffey Packers for the second straight season in four games. In 1949, the Nationals were one of seven NBL teams that were absorbed by the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA; the Nationals were an instant success in the NBA, winning the Eastern Division in the 1949–50 season, with a league best record of 51–13. In the playoffs the Nationals continued to play solid basketball, beating the Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight. Moving on to the Eastern Finals, the Nationals battled the New York Knickerbockers, beating their big city rivals in a 3-game series.
In the NBA Finals, the Nationals faced. In Game 1 of the Finals the Nationals lost just their second home game of the season 68–66; the Nationals did not recover. Despite several teams leaving the NBA for the National Professional Basketball League before the 1950–51 season, the Nationals decided to stay put. In their second NBA season, 1950–51, the Nationals played mediocre basketball all season, finishing in fourth place with a record of 32–34. However, in the playoffs the Nationals played their best basketball of the season as they stunned the first place Warriors in two straight, taking Game 1 on the road in overtime 91–89. In the Eastern Finals the Nationals were beaten by the New York Knickerbockers in a hard-fought 5-game series, losing the finale by just 2 points. Cervi, playing less and coaching more, emphasized a patient offense and a scrappy defense, which led the league in the 1951–52 season by yielding a stingy 79.5 points per game as the Nationals won the Eastern Division with a solid 40–26 record.
In the playoffs the Nationals knocked off the Warriors again in a 3-game series. However, in the Eastern Finals the Nationals fell to the Knickerbockers again, dropping the series in four games; the Nationals would finish in second place in a hard-fought 3-way battle for first place in the Eastern Division for the 1952–53 season, with a record of 47–24. In the playoffs the Nationals would face the Boston Celtics dropping Game 1 at home 87–81. Needing a win in Boston to keep their hopes alive, the Nationals would take the Celtics deep into overtime before losing in quadruple OT 111–105, in what remains the longest playoff game in NBA history; the Nationals acquired Alex Groza, Ralph Beard as the Indianapolis Olympians folded leaving the NBA with just 9 teams for the 1953–54 season. Once again the Nationals would battle for the Division title falling two games short with a 42–30 record. In the playoffs the Nationals would win all four games of a round robin tournament involving the three playoff teams from the East.
In the Eastern Finals the Nationals would stay hot beating the Celtics in 2 straight games. However, in the NBA Finals the Nationals would lose to the Lakers in a hard-fought 7-game series where the 2 teams alternated wins throughout. With the NBA struggling financially and down to just 8 teams Nationals owner during the 1954–55 season, Biasone suggested the league limit the amount of time taken for a shot thus speeding up a game that ended with long periods of teams just holding the ball and playing keep away. Biasone and Nationals' general manager
2003–04 NBA season
The 2003–04 NBA season was the 58th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 4–1 in the 2004 NBA Finals; this was the final season for the original two-division format in both the Eastern and Western Conferences, before each of the conferences added a third division the following season. As a result, this would be the final season for the NBA Midwest Division, as the Minnesota Timberwolves were that division's last champion, the only division title the franchise has won in their twenty-nine seasons in the NBA; the All-Star Game was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The West won 136-132. For the first time in 21 years the Portland Trail Blazers did not make the playoffs, ending the second longest streak in NBA history. For the first time in 20 years the Utah Jazz did not make the playoffs, ending the third longest streak in NBA history. Prior to the start of the season, Karl Malone and Gary Payton took major paycuts to leave their teams and join Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal on the Lakers for a chance at a possible NBA title.
However, that title chase came to an end in the NBA Finals, as the Detroit Pistons won 4-1. The Minnesota Timberwolves, behind their "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, amassed the best record in the Western Conference, were expected to win a first round playoff series, they advanced to the Western Conference Finals, which they lost to the Lakers. It would be their last playoff appearance until the 2017–18 season. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, among others, formed one of the strongest drafts in NBA history. Among the touted rookies and Wade led their teams to the playoffs, Wade's play pushed the Heat into the second round. James went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year. Anthony became the first NBA rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1989–90 season. Tracy McGrady was the first scoring leader since Bernard King in 1984–85 whose team did not make the playoffs. 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 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. * Division winnerBold Series winnerItalic Team with home-court advantage Most Valuable Player: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves Rookie of the Year: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers Defensive Player of the Year: Ron Artest, Indiana Pacers Sixth Man of the Year: Antawn Jamison, Dallas Mavericks Most Improved Player: Zach Randolph, Portland Trail Blazers Coach of the Year: Hubie Brown, Memphis Grizzlies Executive of the Year: Jerry West, Memphis Grizzlies Sportsmanship Award: P. J. Brown, New Orleans Hornets J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month.
The following players were named the Western Conference Rookies of the Month. The following coaches were named the Western Conference Coaches of the Month. Http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695268141,00.html