The NBA Finals is the championship series of the National Basketball Association. The Eastern and Western conference champions play a best-of-seven game series to determine the league champion; the winners of the Finals are awarded the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy, which replaced the Walter A. Brown Trophy in 1983; the series was known as the BAA Finals prior to the 1949–50 season when the Basketball Association of America merged with the National Basketball League to form the NBA. The competition oversaw further name changes to NBA World Championship Series from 1950 to 1985, as well as a brief stint as the Showdown, before settling on NBA Finals in 1986; the NBA Finals was structured to harbor a 2-2-1-1-1 format. In 1985, it was changed to a 2–3–2 format to ease the amount of cross country travel until 2013, where the first two and last two games of the series were played at the arena of the team who earned home-court advantage by having the better record during the regular season. In 2014, the 2–2–1–1–1 format was restored.
The first two are played at home for the higher-seeded team, the following two at the home of the lower-seeded team. The following three are played at each team's home arena alternately. A total of 18 franchises have won the NBA Finals, with the Golden State Warriors the current champion; the Boston Celtics hold the record for the most victories, having won the competition 17 times, as well as winning the competition the most times in a row, winning it eight times from 1959 to 1966. The Los Angeles Lakers have contested the NBA Finals the most times, with 31 appearances; the Eastern Conference has provided the most champions, with 38 wins from ten franchises. The Boston Celtics went 11–1 in the NBA Finals during 13 seasons, they won eight straight NBA championships from 1959 through 1966. This period marks the largest stretch of seasons that a single team made up over 65% of Finals appearances, includes the only time the NBA Finals was decided in double overtime. With the establishment of the Celtics dynasty in 1957 spearheaded by center Bill Russell, the team saw great success, only encountering difficulty when up against teams led by Wilt Chamberlain.
However, for most of the late 1950s and 1960s, the Celtics and Russell managed to have an upper hand on Chamberlain's teams. In 1964, who had moved to the state of California alongside his team, led the San Francisco Warriors to a Western Conference championship, but again failed to conquer the Celtics; the following season, he returned to the Eastern Conference to join the Philadelphia 76ers, who were the former Syracuse Nationals that had relocated to the city to cover the vacancy created with the departure of the Warriors. The first clash between the two stars in the playoffs was in 1966, with Boston winning the series 4–1. In the following season, Philadelphia coach Alex Hannum instructed Chamberlain to provide an increased focus on playing a team game, to avoid drawing the double-teams that troubled Chamberlain during the Finals; this tactical change brought the team to a new record of 68 wins the following season, as well as defeating the Celtics before winning the Finals. In 1968, Boston overcame a 3–1 deficit against Philadelphia to once again arrive in the Finals.
They went on to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in the Finals to again become NBA Champions. In 1969, the Celtics faced great difficulty entering the postseason, as they had an aging team and multiple injuries to a number of players, they qualified for the playoffs as the fourth and final seed in the East, while the Lakers, who had added Chamberlain in the offseason to join stars Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. The Lakers won the West and were prohibitive favorites to become Champions for the first time since relocating to Los Angeles. Despite holding a 2-1 advantage going into Game 4, the Lakers led 87–86 and had the ball with 10 seconds to play, but after a turnover, Sam Jones scored tying the series. The series was tied 3-3 going into Game 7 in Los Angeles, with Lakers owner Jack Cooke hanging balloons in the arena in anticipation of a Lakers victory. West picked up injuries to his thigh and hamstring during the series, returned to play for the final game. Russell utilized this newly lacking mobility in West to organize fast breaks at every opportunity for the Celtics, which allowed them to gain an early lead.
They held off a furious Lakers comeback to win 108–106 and win the series, win their eleventh championship in 13 years. As many stars either declined or retired following this win, it is recognized as the last NBA Finals conducted by the Celtics dynasty; the 1970s saw. In 1970, a classic final featured the Knicks against the Lakers. In the waning moments of Game 3, with the series tied, Jerry West hit a basket from 60 feet to tie the game, a shot which became one of the most famous ever. However, the Knicks won in overtime and continued their momentum for a 4–3 win, becoming the first team after the Celtics dynasty to win an NBA championship; the Milwaukee Bucks won their first franchise title, defeating the Baltimore Bullets in 1971. Two seasons after losing in the Finals, the Lakers got a measure of revenge by winning 33 straight games, the longest such streak in NBA history. By season's end, they broke the record for most wins in a season with 69, one more than the 1966–67 Philadelphia 76ers, before taking home the championship for the first time since relocating to Los Angeles.
The Knicks returned to win the championship round again a season to record their second victorious season. Despite the rise of the Knicks, the
The Waterloo Hawks were a National Basketball League and National Basketball Association team based in Waterloo, Iowa. The Hawks remain the only sports franchise based in Iowa from any of the current Big Four Leagues; the Waterloo Hawks were founded in 1948. In 1949, the National Basketball League was absorbed by its rival, the Basketball Association of America, forming the National Basketball Association. In the 1949–1950 season, their first and only one in the NBA, they finished 19–43, fifth out of six in the Western Division; the National Basketball Association contracted after the 1949–1950 season. The league went from 17 teams to 11 before the 1950–1951 season started. Midway through the 1950–1951 season, the Washington Capitols folded as well, bringing the number of teams in the league down to ten. Meanwhile, the National Professional Basketball League was formed around the former NBA teams, with teams added in new larger markets; the charter teams were the East Division: Sheboygan Redskins, Anderson Packers, Louisville Alumnites and Grand Rapids Hornets.
West Division: Denver Refiners/Evansville Agogans, Saint Paul Lights, Kansas City Hi-Spots and Waterloo Hawks. The Waterloo Hawks played at the Hippodrome known as McElroy Auditorium; the arena is still in use today and is located at 250 Ansborough Ave, Waterloo, IA 50701. It houses the Iowa Roll Hall of Fame. Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, % = Win–Loss % Charley Shipp Jack Smiley List of defunct National Basketball Association teams Waterloo Hawks all-time roster Waterloo Hawks Complete History NBL Logoserver Website NBL Standings NPBL Standings Iowa's NBA team from The Des Moines Register Promoter put Hawks on an NBA track from The Des Moines Register
In most North American sports, the phrase games behind or games back is a common way to reflect the gap between a leading team and another team in a sports league, conference, or division. In the below standings from the 1994 Major League Baseball season, the Atlanta Braves are six games behind the Montreal Expos. Atlanta would have to win six games, Montreal would have to lose six games, to tie for first; the leading team is always zero games behind itself, this is indicated in standings by a dash rather than a zero. Games behind is calculated by using either of the following formulas, in which Team A is a leading team, Team B is a trailing team. Example math in this section uses the above standings, with Montreal as Team A and Atlanta as Team B. Games Behind = − 2 Games Behind = − 2 = 34 – 22 2 = 12 2 = 6 Alternately: Games Behind = + 2 Games Behind = + 2 = 6 + 6 2 = 12 2 = 6 Notes: It can alternately be said that Montreal is six games ahead of Atlanta. A games behind situation can change when two teams contesting for the lead play each other.
For example, Atlanta could cut Montreal's lead in half by sweeping a three-game head-to-head series. The leading team, in terms of games behind, is the team with the best won–loss difference; this is not always the team with the most wins. For example, a team with an 80–70 record would be one game behind a team with a 79–67 record; the formulas implicitly treat any difference in the number of games played by the two teams as each unplayed game being "worth" 0.5 wins and 0.5 losses. This can lead to anomalies when teams have played an unequal number of games during the early portion of a season. Two teams with different winning percentages may be tied in terms of games behind. For example, Team A at 6–4 would be tied with Team B at 4–2, in terms of games behind. However, Team B has the better winning percentage, at.667 compared to.600 for Team A. A team with a lower winning percentage may lead a team with a higher winning percentage. For example, Team A at 6 -- 4 would lead Team B at 2 -- 1 by a half-game.
However, Team B has the better winning percentage at.667, compared to.600 for Team A. An example of this occurred in May 2018, when the New York Yankees were 28–13 and the Boston Red Sox were 30–14; the games behind calculation had New York a half-game behind Boston. On December 28, 2018, in the National Basketball Association, the 24–10 Milwaukee Bucks were a half-game behind the 26–11 Toronto Raptors, yet the Bucks were ranked first in the Eastern Conference, their.706 win percentage superior to the Raptors’.703. Leagues use winning percentage to order teams, so in both of the above examples Team B would be considered to be in first place; the games behind calculation is used in professional baseball and basketball, where tie games are not permitted. Standings for these sports appearing in print or online during a season will have teams ordered by winning percentages, with a "GB" column provided as a convenience to the reader. Games behind is used less in American football, where ties are possible but uncommon.
Games behind is used in ice hockey and soccer, where ties are common and standings points are used. Major League Baseball defines games behind as "the average of the differences between the leading team wins and the trailing team wins, the leading teams losses and the trailing team losses." A games behind column always appears in MLB standings for each five-team division. In the 1994 MLB season, the American League and National League each split into three divisions, each added a wild card team to the playoffs. Following this change, it became common for the media to publish an additional set of standings for the wild card race, it included all teams from a league, with the exception of the division leaders, games behind was calculated with respect to the team with the highest standing in the wild card race. In the 2012 MLB season, both leagues add a second wild card team. Now, games behind in the wild card race is calculated with respect to the team with second highest standing in the wild card race.
MLB's website distinguishes this statistic as wild card gam
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in Oakland, California. The Warriors compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division. Founded in 1946 in Philadelphia, the Warriors relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1962 and took the city's name, before changing its geographic moniker to Golden State in 1971, they play their home games at the Oracle Arena. The Warriors won the inaugural Basketball Association of America championship in 1947, won its second championship in 1956, led by Hall of Fame trio Paul Arizin, Tom Gola, Neil Johnston. However, the Warriors would not return to similar heights in Philadelphia, after a brief rebuilding period following the trade of star Wilt Chamberlain, the team moved to San Francisco. With star players Jamaal Wilkes and Rick Barry, the Warriors returned to title contention, won their third championship in 1975, in what is considered one of the biggest upsets in NBA history.
This would precede another period of struggle in the 1980s, before becoming playoff regulars at the turn of the decade with stars Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullin, colloquially referred to as "Run TMC". After failing to capture a championship, the team entered another rebuilding phase in the 2000s; the Warriors' fortunes changed in the 2010s. After drafting perennial All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, the team returned to championship glory in 2015, before winning another two in 2017 and 2018 with the help of former league MVP Kevin Durant. Nicknamed the Dubs as a shortening of "W's", the Warriors hold several NBA records. With the combined shooting of Curry and Thompson, they are credited as one of the greatest backcourts of all time; the team's six NBA championships are tied for third-most in NBA history with the Chicago Bulls. According to Forbes, the Warriors are the seventh highest valued sports franchise in the United States, joint-tenth in the world, with an estimated value of $3.1 billion.
The Warriors were founded in 1946 as the Philadelphia Warriors, a charter member of the Basketball Association of America. They were owned by Peter A. Tyrrell, who owned the Philadelphia Rockets of the American Hockey League. Tyrrell hired Eddie Gottlieb, a longtime basketball promoter in the Philadelphia area, as coach and general manager; the owners named the team after the Philadelphia Warriors, an old basketball team who played in the American Basketball League in 1925. Led by early scoring sensation Joe Fulks, the team won the championship in the league's inaugural 1946–47 season by defeating the Chicago Stags, four games to one; the NBA, created by a 1949 merger recognizes that as its own first championship. Gottlieb bought the team in 1951; the Warriors won its next championship in Philadelphia in the 1955–56 season, defeating the Fort Wayne Pistons four games to one. The Warrior stars of this era were future Hall of Tom Gola and Neil Johnston. In 1959, the team signed draft pick Wilt Chamberlain.
Known as "Wilt the Stilt", he led the team in scoring six times began shattering NBA scoring records and changed the NBA style of play forever. On March 2, 1962, in a Warrior "home" game played on a neutral court in Hershey, Chamberlain scored 100 points against the New York Knicks, a single-game record the NBA ranks among its finest moments. In 1962, Franklin Mieuli purchased the majority shares of the team and relocated the franchise to the San Francisco Bay Area, renaming them the San Francisco Warriors; the Warriors played most of their home games at the Cow Palace in Daly City from 1962 to 1964 and the San Francisco Civic Auditorium from 1964 to 1966, though playing home games in nearby cities such as Oakland and San Jose. Prior to the 1963–64 NBA season, the Warriors drafted big man Nate Thurmond to go along with Chamberlain; the Warriors won the Western Division crown that season, but lost the 1964 NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics, four games to one. In the 1964–65 season, the Warriors traded Chamberlain to the Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer, Paul Neumann and $150,000 and won only 17 games.
In 1965, they drafted Rick Barry in the first round who went on to become NBA Rookie of the Year that season and led the Warriors to the NBA Finals in the 1966–67 season, losing to Chamberlain's new team that had replaced the Warriors in Philadelphia, the 76ers. Angered by management's failure to pay him certain incentive bonuses he felt were due him, Barry sat out the 1967–68 season and signed with the Oakland Oaks of the rival American Basketball Association for the following year, but after four seasons in the ABA rejoined the Warriors in 1972. During Barry's absence, the Warriors were no longer title contenders, the mantle of leadership fell to Thurmond, Jeff Mullins and Rudy LaRusso, they began scheduling more home games in Oakland with the opening of the Oakland Coliseum Arena in 1966 and the 1970–71 season would be the team's last as the San Francisco Warriors. The franchise adopted its brand name Golden State Warriors prior to the 1971–72 season, in order to suggest that the team represented the entire state of California.
All home games were played in Oakland that season. Oakland Arena became the team's exclusive home court in 1971; the Warriors made the playoffs from 1971 to 1977 except in 1974, won their first NBA championship on t
The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division; the team plays its home games at State Farm Arena. The team's origins can be traced to the establishment of the Buffalo Bisons in 1946 in Buffalo, New York, a member of the National Basketball League owned by Ben Kerner and Leo Ferris. After 38 days in Buffalo, the team moved to Moline, where they were renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks. In 1949, they joined the NBA as part of the merger between the NBL and the Basketball Association of America, had Red Auerbach as coach. In 1951, Kerner moved the team to Milwaukee. Kerner and the team moved again in 1955 to St. Louis, where they won their only NBA Championship in 1958 and qualified to play in the NBA Finals in 1957, 1960 and 1961; the Hawks played the Boston Celtics in all four of their trips to the NBA Finals. The St. Louis Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968, when Kerner sold the franchise to Thomas Cousins and former Georgia Governor Carl Sanders.
The Hawks own the second-longest drought of not winning an NBA championship at 60 seasons. The franchise's lone NBA championship, as well as all four NBA Finals appearances, occurred when the team was based in St. Louis. Meanwhile, they went 48 years without advancing past the second round of the playoffs in any format, until breaking through in 2015. However, the Hawks are one of only four NBA teams that have qualified to play in the NBA playoffs in 10 consecutive seasons in the 21st century, they achieved this feat between 2008 and 2017. The other teams that have made it to at least 10 consecutive playoff appearances in the 21st century are the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks; the origins of the Atlanta Hawks can be traced to the Buffalo Bisons franchise, founded in 1946. The Bisons were a member of the National Basketball League, played their games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium; the club was coached by Nat Hickey. Their first game – a 50–39 victory over the Syracuse Nationals – was played on November 8, 1946.
On the team was William "Pop" Gates, along with William "Dolly" King, was one of the first two African-American players in the NBL. The team, which needed to draw 3,600 fans per game to break struggled to draw 1,000 fans per game to the Auditorium; the franchise lasted only 38 days in Buffalo when, on December 25, 1946, Leo Ferris, the team's general manager, announced that the team would be moving to Moline, which at that time was part of an area known as the "Tri-Cities": Moline, Rock Island and Davenport, Iowa. Upon relocation to Moline, the team was renamed the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, played their home games at Wharton Field House, a 6,000-seat arena in Moline; the team featured guard/forward and coach Deanglo King, was owned by Leo Ferris and Ben Kerner. Pop Gates remained on the Blackhawks roster, finished second on the team in scoring behind future 1948 NBL MVP Don Otten. A Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame member, Gates helped to integrate the league and become the first African-American coach in a major sports league, coaching Dayton in 1948.
In 1949 the Blackhawks became one of the National Basketball Association's 17 original teams after a merger of the 12-year-old NBL and the three-year-old Basketball Association of America. They reached the playoffs in the NBA's inaugural year under the leadership of coach Red Auerbach; the following season, they drafted three-time All-American Bob Cousy, but they were unable to reach a deal and traded him to the Chicago Stags. The Blackhawks missed the playoffs. By it was obvious that the Tri-Cities area was too small to support an NBA team. After the season, the franchise relocated to Milwaukee and became the Milwaukee Hawks. In 1954, the Hawks drafted Bob Pettit, a future NBA MVP. Despite this, the Hawks were one of the league's worst teams, in 1955 the Hawks moved, this time to St. Louis, Milwaukee's rival in the beer industry, became the St. Louis Hawks. In 1956, the St. Louis Hawks drafted legendary Bill Russell in the first round, they traded Russell to the Boston Celtics for Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley, both Hall of Fame members.
In 1957, the Hawks finished four games under.500. However, the Western Division was weak that year, they won the division title and a bye to the division finals after defeating the Minneapolis Lakers and Fort Wayne Pistons in one-game tiebreakers. They defeated the Lakers in the division finals to advance to the Finals, losing to the Boston Celtics in a double-overtime thriller in game seven. In 1958, after tallying their first winning record, they again advanced to the Finals, where they avenged their defeat against the Celtics from the previous year, winning the series 4–2 and giving the Hawks their first and only NBA Championship. Bob Pettit scored 50 points in the final game of the series; the Hawks remained one of the NBA's premier teams for the next decade. In 1960, under coach Ed Macauley, the team advanced to the Finals, but lost to the Celtics in another game seven thriller; the following year, with the acquisition of rookie Lenny Wilkens, the Hawks repeated their success, but met the Celtics in the Finals again and lost in five games.
They would remain contenders for most of the 1960s, advancing deep into the playoffs a
Harold G. Olsen was a college men's basketball coach; the Rice Lake, Wisconsin native was the head coach of the Ohio State University from 1922 to 1946. That year, he became the first head coach of the BAA's Chicago Stags, where he coached three seasons before being replaced by Philip Brownstein. Olsen coached at Northwestern University. While playing at University of Wisconsin–Madison, Olsen was named two-time All-Big Ten. After graduating from Wisconsin, he began his coaching career at Bradley University and Ripon College. In 1922 Olsen followed George Trautman as head coach of the Ohio State University. In 24 years he guided the Buckeyes to a 259–197 record, as well as five Big Ten championships. In 1939, Olsen spearheaded efforts to create the NCAA postseason national playoffs, now known as the NCAA Tournament. Olsen helped initiate the 10-second rule. In 1959 he was inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor. List of NCAA Division I Men's Final Four appearances by coach Harold Olsen at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
United Center is a multi-purpose arena located in the Near West Side neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. The United Center is home to both the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association and the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League; the arena is named after United Airlines. The plan to build the arena was created by Blackhawks owner Bill Wirtz and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf; the United Center's predecessor was the Chicago Stadium, the original "Madhouse on Madison", demolished after the new arena opened for business on August 18, 1994. The first event at the United Center was the WWF event SummerSlam. Due to the 1994–95 NHL lockout, the Blackhawks did not move in until January 1995; the east side of the arena features statues of Michael Jordan, Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, while a statue of various Blackhawks sits to the north on Madison Street, where the Chicago Stadium was located. United Center was home to the 1996 Democratic National Convention, at which a new style of four-screen speech prompting system for speakers was pioneered in the United States, consisting of two glass teleprompters, accompanied by an inset lectern monitor, a large under-camera confidence monitor.
The Bulls and Blackhawks operate the United Center through a 50/50 partnership, the United Center Joint Venture. It covers 960,000 square feet on west of the Chicago Loop; the arena is the largest in the United States in size in capacity. Its exterior bears a striking resemblance to that of Chicago Stadium, it seats 20,917 for basketball and up to 23,500 for concerts. The United Center hosts over 200 events per year and has drawn over 20 million visitors since its opening. Attendance exceeds seating capacity for Bulls and Blackhawks games. United Center's acoustics were designed to amplify noise to replicate "The Roar" – the din that made Chicago Stadium famous during hockey games. During hockey season, an Allen Organ is played, a replica of the old arena's famous Barton organ. Recreating the old organ's notes took two years; the building is 140 feet tall, cost $175 million to build, from concrete and 3,500 tons of steel. While the Blackhawks and Bulls had long planned another arena, an inflated real estate market and the early 1990s recession delayed the project until financing was secured from an international syndicate, with funding by banks from Japan and France.
Having 216 luxury skyboxes, as of the 2009–10 renovation the arena has 169 executive suites on three levels. Both the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Bulls play their home games at the arena with some of them on back to back nights; the hardwood floor for the Bulls games is laid over the ice. The flooring is taken apart when the Blackhawks have a game. In addition to 82 Bulls and Blackhawks games each year, the United Center has hosted other sporting events such as University of Illinois basketball, the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, the Men's NCAA Basketball Tournament, the Roundball Classic, the Great Eight Classic; the arena was the Bulls' home during their second run of three consecutive championships, hosting the 1996, 1997, 1998 NBA Finals. The Bulls won the 1996 and 1997 series in the sixth game at home, but won the 1998 series at the Delta Center, now known as Vivint Smart Home Arena, in Salt Lake City, Utah; the United Center was the site of the World Wrestling Federation pay-per-view SummerSlam in 1994 – the first major event held inside the building, the only major event held in the building by WWE.
It hosted the last of World Championship Wrestling's annual Spring Stampede pay-per-view in 2000. On March 3, 2018, WWE returned to United Center for the first time in over 20 years with a Road To WrestleMania House show; the arena has hosted the Stanley Cup Finals three times: in 2010, 2013, 2015. The Blackhawks won the first two Stanley Cups on the ice of their opponent in the sixth game of the series. However, they won the 2015 series against the Tampa Bay Lightning at home in the sixth game, the first time since 1938 the Hawks clinched the Cup in Chicago. On the weekend of March 5–6, 2011, the Professional Bull Riders made their Built Ford Tough Series debut at the United Center, it was their third Chicago-area visit, having visited Rosemont's Allstate Arena in 2006 and 2008. The event at the United Center presented a unique scenario as instead of dirt, white crushed stone was used to cover the arena floor. Blackhawks legends Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita received bronze statues in their honor outside of the United Center during the 2011–12 NHL season.
The Illinois State High School Hockey Championships are hosted at the United Center yearly for the Blackhawk Cup. On January 28, 2012, the Ultimate Fighting Championship held its first nationally televised event at the arena: UFC on Fox. UFC on Fox 2 was the UFC's 2nd live prime-time event on Fox; the headlining fight was former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans vs. Phil Davis, with Evans winning by unanimous decision; the UFC announced in mid-January 2015 that the United Center would be host of UFC on Fox 16. The United Center hosted UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson in 2013 and UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Thomson in 2014. On October 13, 2016, the arena hosted the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions. On June 9, 2018, United Center hosted UFC 225, its first PPV event. In September 2018, the United Center hosted