The five basketball positions employed by organized basketball teams are the point guard, the shooting guard, the small forward, the power forward, the center. The point guard is the leader of the team on the court; this position requires substantial ball handling skills and the ability to facilitate the team during a play. The shooting guard, as the name implies, is the best shooter; as well as being capable of shooting from longer distances, this position tends to be the best defender on the team. The small forward has an aggressive approach to the basket when handling the ball; the small forward is known to make cuts to the basket in efforts to get open for shots. The power forward and the center are called the "frontcourt" acting as their team's primary rebounders or shot blockers, or receiving passes to take inside shots; the center is the larger of the two. Only three positions were recognized based on where they played on the court: Guards played outside and away from the hoop and forwards played outside and near the baseline, with the center positioned in the key.
During the 1980s, as team strategy evolved. More specialized roles developed. Team strategy and available personnel, still dictate the positions used by a particular team. For example, the dribble-drive motion offense and the Princeton offense use four interchangeable guards and one center; this set is known as a "four-in and one-out" play scheme. Other combinations are prevalent. Besides the five basic positions, some teams use non-standard or hybrid positions, such as the point forward, a hybrid small forward/point guard; the point guard known as the one, is the team's best ball handler and passer. Therefore, they lead their team in assists and are able to create shots for themselves and their teammates, they are quick and are able to hit shots either outside the three-point line or "in the paint" depending on the player's skill level. Point guards are looked upon as the "floor general" or the "coach on the floor", they should study the game and game film to be able to recognize the weaknesses of the defense, the strengths of their own offense.
They are responsible for directing plays, making the position equivalent to that of quarterback in American football, playmaker in association football, center in ice hockey, or setter in volleyball. Good point guards increase team efficiency and have a high number of assists, they are referred to as dribblers or play-makers. In the NBA, point guards are the shortest players on the team and are 6 feet 4 inches or shorter; the shooting guard is known as the two or the off guard. Along with the small forward, a shooting guard is referred to as a wing because of its use in common positioning tactics; as the name suggests, most shooting guards are prolific from the three-point range. Besides being able to shoot the ball, shooting guards tend to be the best defender on the team, as well as being able to move without the ball to create open looks for themselves; some shooting guards have good ball handling skills creating their own shots off the dribble. A versatile shooting guard will have good passing skills, allowing them to assume point guard responsibilities known as combo guards.
Bigger shooting guards tend to play as small forwards. In the NBA, shooting guards range from 6 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 8 inches; the small forward known as the three, is considered to be the most versatile of the main five basketball positions. Versatility is key for small forwards because of the nature of their role, which resembles that of a shooting guard more than that of a power forward; this is why the small forward and shooting guard positions are interchangeable and referred to as wings. Small forwards have a variety such as quickness and strength inside. One common thread among all kinds of small forwards is an ability to "get to the line" and draw fouls by aggressively attempting plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks; as such, accurate foul shooting is a common skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line. Besides being able to drive to the basket, they are good shooters from long range; some small forwards have good passing skills, allowing them to assume point guard responsibilities as point forwards.
Small forwards should be able to do a little bit of everything on the court playing roles such as swingmen and defensive specialists. In the NBA, small forwards range from 6 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 9 inches; the power forward known as the four plays a role similar to that of the center, down in the "post" or "low blocks". The power forward is the team's most versatile scorer, being able to score close to the basket while being able to shoot mid-range jump shots from 12 to 18 feet from the basket; some power forwards have become known as stretch fours, since extending their shooting range to three-pointers. On defense, they are required to have the strength to guard bigger players close to the basket and to have the athleticism to guard quick players away from the basket. Most power forwards tend to be more versatile than centers since they can be part of plays and are not always in the low block. In the
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
Robert Lee Pettit Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player. He played 11 seasons in the NBA, all with the Milwaukee/St. Louis Hawks, he was the first recipient of the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award. He won the NBA All-Star Game MVP award four times, a feat matched only by Kobe Bryant, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1970. Pettit's basketball career had humble beginnings. At Baton Rouge High School, he was cut from the varsity basketball team as both a freshman and sophomore, he grew five inches in less than a year. His father, Sheriff of East Baton Rouge Parish, pushed him to practice in the backyard of the Kemmerly house until he improved his skills, it worked: Pettit became a starter and made the All-City prep team as a junior. As a 6-7 senior, he led Baton Rouge High to its first State Championship in over 20 years. Pettit was selected to play in a North–South all-star game at Murray, Kentucky. After high school, Pettit had scholarship offers from 14 universities but he accepted a scholarship to play at Louisiana State University.
He was a three-time All-Southeastern Conference selection and a two-time All-American as a member of the LSU men's basketball team. During those three years, Pettit averaged 27.8 points per game. He was a member of the Zeta Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Epsilon at LSU. Pettit made his varsity debut at LSU in 1952, he led the SEC in scoring for his first of three consecutive seasons, averaging 25.5 points per game. He ranked third in the nation in scoring and averaged 13.1 rebounds per game, helping his team to a 17-7 win-loss record for a second-place finish in the league, was selected to the All-SEC team. During his junior year, Pettit helped the Tigers sail through a 23-game regular-season schedule with only one loss. A clean sweep of SEC Conference opponents became LSU's second SEC Title and the school's first NCAA Final Four, he averaged 24.9 13.9 rebounds per game for the 1953 season. He was honored with selections to both the All-American teams. Pettit averaged 31.4 points and 17.3 rebounds per game during his senior year and once again led LSU to an SEC Championship and garnered All-SEC and All-American honors.
He set a then-SEC scoring record of 60 points against Louisiana College in his second game, the SEC record for scoring average, with both records being broken by Pete Maravich. Pettit was the second player in major-college basketball history to average more than 30 points a game. In 1954, his number 50 was retired at LSU, he was the first Tiger athlete in any sport to receive this distinction. In 1999, he was named Living Legend for LSU at the SEC Basketball Tournament, he is a member of the LSU Hall of Fame. Bob Pettit Boulevard in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is named after him. In 1954, the Milwaukee Hawks selected Pettit second in the first round of the NBA Draft after the Baltimore Bullets' selection of Frank Selvy. With $100 in the bank, he signed a contract with Hawks owner Ben Kerner for $11,000 – an all-time high for an NBA rookie then. Pettit's awkward ballhandling and a lack of strength to battle NBA bruisers weighing 200 pounds that early in his career, had Hawks coach Red Holzman move him from center, his position at LSU, to forward in his first training camp.
"In college I played the standing pivot", he said in a April 1957 issue of SPORT magazine interview. "My back was to the basket. In the pros, I'm always outside. Everything I do is facing the basket now; that was my chief difficulty in adjusting, the fact that I had never played forward before." Though many were skeptical about Pettit making the transition from college to the rough-and-tumble NBA, in 1955 he won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 20.4 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. He became the second rookie to win all-NBA honors but the team finished last in the Western Division. After the season, the Hawks moved to St. Louis, he helped the Hawks improve during their first year in St. Louis by winning 33 games during 1955–56. In his second season, Pettit adjusted his game so that he would get to the free-throw line for easy points for his team and foul trouble for his opponents. Being a phenomenal offensive rebounder and an instinctive scorer, he told basketball historian Terry Pluto that "Offensive rebounds were worth eight to 12 points a night to me.
I'd get another eight to 10 at the free-throw line. All I had to do was make a few jump shots and I was on my way to a good night." Pettit won his first scoring title with a 25.7 average, led the league in rebounding. He was named MVP of the 1956 NBA All-Star Game after scoring 20 points with 24 rebounds and 7 assists, he won his first of two NBA regular season MVP awards. Retooling before the 1956–57 season, the Hawks acquired Ed Macauley and rookie Cliff Hagan from the Boston Celtics for the draft rights to Bill Russell; the team added guard Slater Martin in an early-season deal with the New York Knicks while Alex Hannum arrived a few weeks after being released by the Fort Wayne Pistons. Hannum became the team's third coach that season by taking over as player-coach with 31 games left on the schedule. Though they posted a 34-38 record in 1956–57, a series of tie-breaking playoff games against the Pistons and a three-game sweep of the Minneapolis Lakers had them in the NBA Finals. In Game 1 of the 1957 NBA Finals at the Boston Garden, Pettit scored 37 points as the Hawks shocked the Bill Russell-led Boston Celtics in double overtime.
Shaquille Rashaun "Shaq" O'Neal, is a retired professional American basketball player, a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA on TNT. He is considered one of the greatest players in National Basketball Association history. At 7 ft 1 in tall and 325 pounds, he was one of heaviest players yet. O'Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year career. Following his time at Louisiana State University, O'Neal was drafted by the Orlando Magic with the first overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft, he became one of the best centers in the league, winning Rookie of the Year in 1992–93 and leading his team to the 1995 NBA Finals. After four years with the Magic, O'Neal signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers, they won three consecutive championships in 2000, 2001, 2002. Amid tension between O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat in 2004, his fourth NBA championship followed in 2006. Midway through the 2007–2008 season he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. After a season-and-a-half with the Suns, O'Neal was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2009–10 season.
O'Neal played for the Boston Celtics in the 2010–11 season before retiring. O'Neal's individual accolades include the 1999–2000 MVP award, the 1992–93 NBA Rookie of the Year award, 15 All-Star game selections, three All-Star Game MVP awards, three Finals MVP awards, two scoring titles, 14 All-NBA team selections, three NBA All-Defensive Team selections, he is one of only three players to win NBA MVP, All-Star game MVP and Finals MVP awards in the same year. He ranks 8th all-time in points scored, 6th in field goals, 15th in rebounds, 8th in blocks. Due to his ability to dunk the basketball, O'Neal ranks third all-time in field goal percentage. O'Neal was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016, he was elected to the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2017. In addition to his basketball career, O'Neal has released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum, he has appeared in numerous films and has starred in his own reality shows, Shaq's Big Challenge and Shaq Vs..
He hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq. He is the general manager of Kings Guard Gaming of the NBA 2K League. O'Neal was born on March 6, 1972, in Newark, New Jersey, to Lucille O'Neal and Joe Toney, who played high school basketball and was offered a basketball scholarship to play at Seton Hall. Toney struggled with drug addiction and was imprisoned for drug possession when O'Neal was an infant. Upon his release, he did not resume a place in O'Neal's life and instead agreed to relinquish his parental rights to O'Neal's Jamaican stepfather, Phillip A. Harrison, a career Army sergeant. O'Neal remained estranged from his biological father for decades. On his 1994 rap album, Shaq Fu: The Return, O'Neal voiced his feelings of disdain for Toney in the song "Biological Didn't Bother", dismissing him with the line "Phil is my father." However, O'Neal's feelings toward Toney mellowed in the years following Harrison's death in 2013, the two met for the first time in March 2016, with O'Neal telling him, "I don't hate you.
I had a good life. I had Phil."O'Neal credits the Boys and Girls Club of America in Newark with giving him a safe place to play and keeping him off the streets. "It gave me something to do," he said. "I'd just go there to shoot. I didn't play on a team." Because of his stepfather's career in the military, the family left Newark, moving to military bases in Germany and Texas. At Robert G. Cole High School in San Antonio, Texas, O'Neal led his team to a 68–1 record over two years and helped the team win the state championship during his senior year, his 791 rebounds during the 1989 season remains a state record for a player in any classification. O'Neal's tendency to make hook shots earned comparisons to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, inspiring him to wear the same jersey number as Abdul-Jabbar, 33. However, his high school team did not have a 33 jersey. After graduating from high school, O'Neal studied business at Louisiana State University, he had first met Dale Brown, LSU's men's basketball coach, years earlier in Europe when O'Neal's stepfather was stationed on a U.
S. Army base at West Germany. While playing for Brown at LSU, O'Neal was a two-time All-American, two-time SEC Player of the Year, received the Adolph Rupp Trophy as NCAA men's basketball player of the year in 1991. O'Neal left LSU early to pursue his NBA career, but continued his education after becoming a professional player, he was inducted into the LSU Hall of Fame. A 900-pound bronze statue of O'Neal is located in front of the LSU Tigers Basketball Practice Facility; the Orlando Magic drafted O'Neal with the 1st overall pick in the 1992 NBA draft. During that summer, prior to moving to Orlando, he spent a significant amount of time in Los Angeles under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. Given Terry Catledge refused to give O'Neal the 33 jersey, he relented by going back to the 32 from his high school days. O'Neal was named the Player of the Week in his first week in the NBA, becoming the first player to do so. During his rookie season, O'Neal averaged 23.4 points on 56.2% shooting, 13.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks per game for the season.
He was named the 1993 NBA Rookie of the Year and became the first rookie to be voted an All-Star starter since Michael Jordan in 1985. The Magic finished 41–41, winning 20 more games than the previous season.
The center known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is the tallest player on the team, has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is 6 feet 10 inches or taller and weighs 240 pounds or more, they traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five; the center is considered a necessary component for a successful team in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA; the 6'10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career, nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the shot block. In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds. Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships, he joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes to point guard Bob Cousy.
As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach. His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275 pounds, lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award.
Stronger than any player of his era, he was capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game, he holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average, rebounds in a single game, career rebounds. A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners.
At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style, he led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot, his entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, te
George Lawrence Mikan Jr. nicknamed Mr. Basketball, was an American professional basketball player for the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League and the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBL, the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball Association. Invariably playing with thick, round spectacles, the 6 ft 10 in, 245 pounds Mikan is seen as one of the pioneers of professional basketball, redefining it as a game of so-called big men with his prolific rebounding, shot blocking, his talent to shoot over smaller defenders with his ambidextrous hook shot, the result of his namesake Mikan Drill, he utilized the underhanded free-throw shooting technique long before Rick Barry made it his signature shot. Mikan had a successful playing career, winning seven NBL, BAA, NBA championships, an NBA All-Star Game MVP trophy, three scoring titles, he was a member of the first four NBA All-Star games, the first six All-BAA and All-NBA Teams. Mikan was so dominant that he caused several rule changes in the NBA: among them, the introduction of the goaltending rule, the widening of the foul lane—known as the "Mikan Rule"—and the creation of the shot clock.
After his playing career, Mikan became one of the founders of the American Basketball Association, serving as commissioner of the league. He was vital for the forming of the Minnesota Timberwolves. In his years, Mikan was involved in a long-standing legal battle against the NBA, fighting to increase the meager pensions for players who had retired before the league became lucrative. In 2005, Mikan died after a long battle with diabetes. For his accomplishments, Mikan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1959, made the 25th and 35th NBA Anniversary Teams of 1970 and 1980, was elected one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players in 1996. Since April 2001, a statue of Mikan shooting his trademark hook shot graces the entrance of the Timberwolves' Target Center. George Mikan was born in Joliet and was of Croatian descent; as a boy, he shattered one of his knees so badly that he was kept in bed for a half. In 1938, Mikan attended the Chicago Archbishop Quigley Preparatory Seminary and wanted to be a priest, but moved back home to finish at Joliet Catholic.
Mikan did not seem destined to become an athlete. When Mikan entered Chicago's DePaul University in 1942, he stood 6' 10", weighed 245 pounds, moved awkwardly because of his frame, wore thick glasses for his near-sightedness. However, Mikan met 28-year-old rookie DePaul basketball coach Ray Meyer, who saw potential in the bright and intelligent, but clumsy and shy, freshman. Put into perspective, Meyer's thoughts were revolutionary, because at the time it was believed that tall players were too awkward to play basketball well. In the following months, Meyer transformed Mikan into a confident, aggressive player who took pride in his height rather than being ashamed of it. Meyer and Mikan worked out intensively, Mikan learned how to make hook shots with either hand; this routine would become known as the Mikan Drill. In addition, Meyer made Mikan punch a speed bag, take dancing lessons, jump rope to make him a complete athlete. Mikan dominated his peers from the start of his National Collegiate Athletic Association college games at DePaul.
He intimidated opponents with his size and strength, was unstoppable on offense with his hook shot, soon established a reputation as one of the hardest and grittiest players in the league playing through injuries and punishing opposing centers with hard fouls. In addition, Mikan surprised the basketball world with his unique ability of goaltending, i.e. jumping so high that he swatted the ball away before it could pass the hoop. In today's basketball, touching the ball after it reaches its apex is a violation, but in Mikan's time it was legal because people thought it was impossible anyone could reach that high. "We would set up a zone defense that had four men around the key and I guarded the basket", Mikan recalled his DePaul days. "When the other team took a shot, I'd just go up and tap it out." As a consequence, the NCAA and the NBA, outlawed goaltending. Bob Kurland, a seven-footer from Oklahoma A&M, was one of the few opposing centers to have any success against Mikan. Mikan was named the Helms NCAA College Player of the Year in 1944 and 1945 and was an All-American three times.
In 1945, he led DePaul to the NIT title. Mikan led the nation in scoring with 23.9 points per game in 1944–45 and 23.1 in 1945–46. When DePaul won the 1945 National Invitation Tournament, Mikan was named Most Valuable Player for scoring 120 points in three games, including 53 points in a 97–53 win over Rhode Island. After the end of the 1945–46 college season, Mikan signed with the Chicago American Gears of the National Basketball League, a predecessor of the modern NBA, he played with them for 25 games at the end of the 1946–47 NBL season, scoring 16.5 points per game as a rookie. Mikan led the Gears to the championship of the World Basketball Tournament, where he was elected Most Valuable Player after scoring 100 points in five games, voted into the All-NBL Team. However, before the start of the 1947–48 NBL season, Maurice White, the president of the American Gear Company and the owner of the American Gears NBL team, pulled the team out of the league. White planned to create a 24-team league called the Professional Basketball League of America, in which he owned all the teams and arenas.
However, the league folded after just a month, the players of White's teams were distribu
Hyland DeAndre Jordan Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association. He played one season of college basketball for Texas A&M University before being selected by the Clippers in the second round of the 2008 NBA draft with the 35th overall pick. Jordan is a three-time All-NBA and two-time NBA All-Defensive Team member, has twice led the league in rebounding. In 2017, he was named an NBA All-Star for the first time. Jordan holds the NBA record for best career field goal percentage at 67.4%. Jordan attended Episcopal High School through his junior year. Jordan averaged 12.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks as a sophomore. Jordan transferred to Christian Life Center Academy for his senior year, where he averaged 26.1 points, 15.2 rebounds and 8.1 blocks per game. He was a third-team Parade All-American, named to the first-team All-Greater Houston squad by the Houston Chronicle and was a two-time all-state selection. At Christian Life Center, Jordan posted a career high of 37 points in a game and set the school record for most blocks in a game with 20.
Coming out of high school, Jordan was rated as the number 8 overall prospect, the number 2 center in the country and the number 1-ranked prep player in Texas by Rivals.com. Jordan was recruited by Florida, Florida State, Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Kentucky and others. In the summer of 2007, Jordan played for Team USA at the 2007 Under 19 World Championships in Serbia. Jordan played only 9 minutes per game; the team finished 2nd with an 8–1 record. Before Jordan arrived in College Station, Aggies head basketball coach Billy Gillispie left the school to take the head coaching position at Kentucky. Jordan chose to honor his commitment to the university. Jordan started 21 of 35 games in his freshman season at Texas A&M, he averaged 1.3 blocks per game. In those games, he shot a team-high of 61.7 percent in field goals, but a team-low of 43.7 percent in free throws. Most of his field goals, were within a few feet from the basket, he finished the season averaging 6.0 rebounds. He made the Big 12 All-Rookie Team for his efforts.
After the season, he declared for the 2008 NBA draft. Prior to the draft, draftexpress.com, a third party NBA draft website, listed Jordan's strengths and weaknesses. A few strengths include "incredible physical specimen", "defensive potential", "incredible upside", "freakish athlete"; some weaknesses include "not productive", "poor fundamentals", "mediocre footwork", "high bust potential". The website projected him to be picked at No. 16 by the Philadelphia 76ers. Other mock drafts had him projected to be picked at No. 10 by the New Jersey Nets or at No. 11 by the Indiana Pacers due to his attractive ability to run the floor. ESPN's Chad Ford had him going to the Memphis Grizzlies at pick No. 28 in the first round. Jordan was selected with the 35th overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2008 NBA draft. Due to injuries among the Clippers' low post players, Jordan was pushed into the starting lineup for the January 19, 2009 game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. In his first game as a starter, he recorded 6 blocks, 10 rebounds, 8 points in 34 minutes of game play.
In the January 21, 2009 game against the Los Angeles Lakers, he played 43 minutes and recorded a career-high 23 points. This included 10 dunks, which had only been accomplished by two others players over the past 10 NBA seasons. On December 11, 2011, Jordan signed an offer sheet with the Golden State Warriors worth $43 million over four years. However, one day the Clippers decided to match the offer and keep him. For the 2011–12 season, Jordan changed his jersey number from 9 to 6. On December 25, 2011, Jordan recorded a career high 8 blocks against the Golden State Warriors in an opening day 105–86 victory. During the 2012–13 season, Jordan's free throw percentage dropped from 52.5% to 38.6%, one of his career worsts. However, he led the league in field goal percentage, shooting 64.3%. This was his first season playing all 82 games. In 2013, Jordan was selected to Team USA's minicamp in Las Vegas. On November 29, 2013, Jordan recorded a career high 9 blocks in the 104–98 victory against the Sacramento Kings.
On January 3, 2014, Jordan scored a career-high 25 points in a 119–112 victory against the Dallas Mavericks. With 13.6 rebounds per game, he was the league's rebounding leader for the 2013–14 season. On April 29, 2014, Jordan became the first NBA player with at least 25 points, 18 rebounds and four blocked shots in a playoff game since Tim Duncan in 2008. On February 9, 2015, Jordan recorded 22 points and a career-high 27 rebounds in the 115–98 win over the Dallas Mavericks. On March 13, in a 99–129 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, Jordan made his first career three-pointer early in the first quarter. On May 21, Jordan was named to the All-NBA third team. Jordan became the fifth player in NBA history to average at least 10 points, 15 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks during the regular season, it was last accomplished by Moses Malone during the 1982–83 season. Despite verbally agreeing to sign a four-year, $80 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks on July 3, 2015, Jordan began having second thoughts just days and on July 8, a number of Clippers personnel flew to Houston for a meeting with Jordan to convince him to back out of his Mavericks deal.
Hours Jordan re-signed with the Clippers on a four-year, $88 million contract. On November 4, 2015, with 13 rebounds against the Golden State Warriors, Jordan became the Clippers' all-time leader in total rebounds, surpassing former Clipper Elton Brand, finishing the game with 4,711 career