The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division; the team was founded in 1968 as an expansion team, play at the Fiserv Forum. Former U. S. Senator Herb Kohl was the long-time owner of the team, but on April 16, 2014, a group led by billionaire hedge fund managers Wes Edens and Marc Lasry agreed to purchase a majority interest in the team from Kohl, a sale, approved by the owners of the NBA and its Board of Governors one month on May 16; the team is managed by Jon Horst, the team's former director of basketball operations, who took over for John Hammond in May 2017. The Bucks have won one league title, two conference titles, 14 division titles, they have featured such notable players as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Moncrief, Oscar Robertson, Bob Dandridge, Bob Lanier, Glenn Robinson, Ray Allen, Sam Cassell, Junior Bridgeman, Michael Redd, Terry Cummings, Vin Baker, Jon McGlocklin, Marques Johnson, Brian Winters.
On January 22, 1968, the NBA awarded a franchise to Milwaukee Professional Sports and Services, Inc. a group headed by Wesley Pavalon and Marvin Fishman. A fan contest was held to name the new team, with over 40,000 fans participating. While the most-voted fan entry was the Robins, named for Wisconsin's state bird, the contest judges went with the second-most popular choice, the Bucks, a reference to Wisconsin's official wild animal, the white-tailed deer. One fan, R. D. Trebilcox, was awarded a new car for his part in reasoning why the Bucks was a good nickname, saying that bucks were "spirited, good jumpers and agile." The Bucks marked a return of the NBA to Milwaukee after 13 years. In October, the Bucks played their first NBA regular-season game against the Chicago Bulls before a Milwaukee Arena crowd of 8,467; as is typical with expansion teams, the Bucks' first season was a struggle. Their first victory came in their sixth game as the Bucks beat the Detroit Pistons 134–118; the Bucks' record that year earned them a coin flip against their expansion cousins, the Phoenix Suns, to see who would get the first pick in the upcoming draft.
It was considered a foregone conclusion that the first pick in the draft would be Lew Alcindor of UCLA. The Bucks won the coin flip, but had to win a bidding war with the upstart American Basketball Association to secure him. Despite the Bucks' stroke of fortune in landing Alcindor, no one expected what happened in 1969–70, they finished with a 56–26 record – a nearly exact reversal of the previous year and good enough for the second-best record in the league, behind the New York Knicks. The 29-game improvement was the best in league history – a record which would stand for 10 years until the Boston Celtics jumped from 29 wins in 1978–79 to 61 in 1979–80; the Bucks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in five games in the Eastern semifinals, only to be dispatched in five by the Knicks in the Eastern finals. Alcindor was a runaway selection for NBA Rookie of the Year; the following season, the Bucks got an unexpected gift when they acquired Oscar Robertson, known as the "Big O", in a trade with the Cincinnati Royals.
Subsequently, in only their third season, the Bucks finished 66–16 – the second-most wins in NBA history at the time, still the most in franchise history. During the regular season, the Bucks recorded, they steamrolled through the playoffs with a dominating 12–2 record, winning the NBA Championship on April 30, 1971, by sweeping the Baltimore Bullets in four games. By winning it all in only their third season, the Bucks became the fastest expansion team in the history of North American sports to win a championship; as of 2018, it remains the only title in team history. The Bucks remained a powerhouse for the first half of the 1970s. In 1972, they recorded their third consecutive 60-win season. During the year, Lew Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Milwaukee beat the Warriors in the playoffs 4–1, but lost the conference finals to Los Angeles 4–2. Injuries resulted in an early 1973 playoff exit, but the Bucks were back in the 1974 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics. In game six of the series, Abdul-Jabbar made his famous "sky hook" shot to end a classic double-overtime victory for the Bucks.
The Bucks lost the series to the Celtics. As the 1974–1975 season began, Abdul-Jabbar suffered a hand injury and the team got off to a 3–13 start. After his return, other injuries befell Milwaukee, sending them to the bottom of their division with 38 wins and 44 losses; when the season ended, Abdul-Jabbar made the stunning announcement that he no longer wished to play for the Bucks, stating that he needed the big city, requesting a trade to either Los Angeles or New York City. The front office was unable to convince him otherwise and on June 16, 1975, the Bucks pulled a mega-trade by sending Abdul-Jabbar to the Lakers for Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman, Brian Winters and David Meyers; the trade triggered a series of events. The Bucks' largest stockholder, cable television executive Jim Fitzgerald, opposed the trade and wanted to sell his stock. Although Fitzgerald was the largest stockholder, he did not own enough stock to control the team. After the deal, the Bucks
The Seattle SuperSonics known as the Sonics, were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington. The SuperSonics played in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Pacific and Northwest divisions from 1967 until 2008. After the 2007–08 season ended, the team relocated to Oklahoma City and now plays as the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sam Schulman owned the team from its 1967 inception until 1983, it was owned by Barry Ackerley, Basketball Club of Seattle, headed by Starbucks chairman emeritus, former president and CEO Howard Schultz. On July 18, 2006, the Basketball Club of Seattle sold the SuperSonics and its Women's National Basketball Association sister franchise Seattle Storm to the Professional Basketball Club LLC, headed by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett; the sale was approved by the NBA Board of Governors on October 24, 2006, finalized on October 31, 2006, at which point the new ownership group took control. After failing to find public funding to construct a new arena in the Seattle area, the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City before the 2008–09 season, following a $45 million settlement with the city of Seattle to pay off the team's existing lease at KeyArena at Seattle Center in advance of its 2010 expiration.
Home games were played at KeyArena known as Seattle Center Coliseum, for 33 of the franchise's 41 seasons in Seattle. In 1978, the team moved to the Kingdome, shared with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, they returned to the Coliseum full-time in 1985, moving temporarily to the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, for the 1994–95 season while the Coliseum was renovated and rebranded as KeyArena. The SuperSonics won the NBA championship in 1979. Overall, the franchise won three Western Conference titles: 1978, 1979, 1996; the franchise won six divisional titles, their last being in 2005, with five in the Pacific Division and one in the Northwest Division. Settlement terms of a lawsuit between the city of Seattle and Clay Bennett's ownership group stipulated the SuperSonics' banners and retired jerseys remain in Seattle; the SuperSonics' franchise history, would be shared with the Thunder. On December 20, 1966, Los Angeles businessmen Sam Schulman and Eugene V. Klein, who both owned the AFL's San Diego Chargers at the time, a group of minority partners were awarded an NBA franchise for the city of Seattle.
Schulman would serve as the active head of team operations. He named the SuperSonics after Boeing's awarded contract for the SST project, canceled; the SuperSonics were Seattle's first major league sports franchise. Beginning play on October 13, 1967, the SuperSonics were coached by Al Bianchi and featured All-Star guard Walt Hazzard and NBA All-Rookie Team members Bob Rule and Al Tucker; the expansion team stumbled out of the gates with a 144–116 loss in their first game in San Francisco against the San Francisco Warriors. The team got their first win on October 21, their third game of the season in San Diego against the San Diego Rockets in overtime 117–110, finished the season with a 23–59 record. Hazzard was traded to the Atlanta Hawks before the start of the next season for Lenny Wilkens. Wilkens brought a strong all-around game to the SuperSonics, averaging 22.4 points, 8.2 assists, 6.2 rebounds per game for Seattle in the 1968–69 season. Rule, improved on his rookie statistics with 24.0 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game.
The SuperSonics, only won 30 games and Bianchi was replaced by Wilkens as player/coach during the offseason. Wilkens and Rule both represented Seattle in the 1970 NBA All-Star Game, Wilkens led the NBA in assists during the 1969–70 season. In June 1970 the NBA owners voted 13–4 to work toward a merger with the ABA; the Oscar Robertson suit delayed the merger, the SuperSonics remained in Seattle. Early in the 1970–71 season, Rule tore his Achilles' tendon and was lost for the rest of the year. Wilkens was named the 1971 All-Star Game MVP, but the big news of the season came when owner Sam Schulman managed to land American Basketball Association Rookie of the Year and MVP Spencer Haywood following a lengthy court battle; the following season, the SuperSonics went on to record their first winning season at 47–35. The team, led by player-coach Wilkens and First Team forward Haywood, held a 46–27 mark on March 3, but late season injuries to starters Haywood, Dick Snyder, Don Smith contributed to the team losing eight of its final nine games.
For the 1972–73 season, Wilkens was dealt to Cleveland in a unpopular trade, without his leadership the SuperSonics fell to a 26–56 record. One of the few bright spots of the season was Haywood's second consecutive All-NBA First Team selection, as he averaged a SuperSonics record 29.2 points per game and collected 12.9 rebounds per game. The legendary Bill Russell was hired as the head coach in the following year, in 1975 he coached the SuperSonics to the playoffs for the firs
Brent Robert Barry known by the nickname Bones, is an American basketball executive and former player. He is the current vice president of basketball operations for the San Antonio Spurs; the 6 ft 7 in, 210 lb shooting guard played professionally in the National Basketball Association, winning two championships with the Spurs, won the 1996 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. He is the son of former NBA player Rick Barry. After retiring, Barry worked as a sports commentator for the NBA on TNT and was a studio host for the NBA TV show NBA Gametime. In 2018, he returned to the Spurs as an executive. Brent Barry was selected by the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 1995 NBA draft, but was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers on draft night in a 4-player trade with Rodney Rogers for the No. 2 overall pick in the draft and Randy Woods. Barry was considered a good passer and had three seasons where he averaged more than 5 assists per game. Barry was a strong three-point shooter; these two strengths, combined with Barry's 6'7" frame, allowed him to play a variety of positions, including point guard, shooting guard, small forward.
He was on the San Antonio Spurs championship teams in 2005 and 2007. He won the Slam Dunk Contest in the NBA All-Star Weekend in 1996 with a Julius Erving-inspired slam dunk in which he took off from the free throw line to sail in and dunk one-handed, he was the first caucasian player to win the competition. After being drafted by the Denver Nuggets, Barry was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers. In his rookie season, Brent made 123 3-pointers. There Brent would average 10.4 ppg and 38% 3-pt field goal in 179 games. In his second season, he and the Clippers attempted a playoff run where Brent would average 11.7 ppg, his highest in the postseason. The Clippers only played in 3 games during the postseason. Barry was traded to the Miami Heat the day before the February 20 trade deadline from Los Angeles for Isaac Austin. In Miami, Barry would only play 17 games, not averaging only 4.1 ppg. Barry signed a 6-year $27 million contract. After sustaining an injury, he played only 37 of the 50 games played that season, starting 30 of those games, averaging 11.1 ppg.
Failing to fill the void of a Jordan-less Bulls, the team traded Brent for Hersey Hawkins and James Cotton from Seattle on August 12, 1999. Brent spent 4 seasons with the Seattle SuperSonics. Brent would begin his Seattle career as a back-up for fellow Oregon State alumnus Gary Payton, he would move to play the point position as a starter, filled in when needed as a small forward. There he would average 11.2 ppg, make 669 3-point shots, start the majority of his NBA career, total 4,107 points. In Seattle he would play 10 postseason games, starting 8 of the most in his career thus far. In the summer of 2004, Barry was signed as a free agent by the San Antonio Spurs, where he spent most of the season as a backup. After losing their first playoff game to the Denver Nuggets in the 2005 NBA Playoffs, San Antonio inserted Barry into the starting lineup; the Spurs' new lineup helped. In those same playoffs, Barry earned his first championship ring when the Spurs defeated the Detroit Pistons in the 2005 NBA Finals.
Brent and his father, Rick Barry, are the second father-son duo to each win an NBA Championship as a player. The only other father-son duos are Bill Walton and his son Luke Walton, Mychal Thompson and his son Klay Thompson. In June 2007, he won his second NBA championship ring when the Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers 4–0. In January 2008, Barry tore his right calf muscle. On February 20, 2008, along with Francisco Elson and a 2009 first round draft pick, were traded by the San Antonio Spurs back to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for forward/center Kurt Thomas. Barry was waived the following day by the Sonics. After a mandatory 30-day waiting period, he re-signed with San Antonio on March 24, 2008 for 1 year with the possibility for the 2009–2010 season at Veteran Minimum. Coming off of injury Barry did not see much playing time in the first 2 rounds of the 2008 NBA Playoffs. Barry would shine against the Lakers in the Western Conference finals, getting 23 points in Game 4, with a controversial no-call foul with 2 seconds on the clock.
The Spurs would lose the series in 5 games, however. San Antonio provided Barry with the most playoff experience of his career, he totaled 1,888 points. Barry opted out of his contract and became a free agent on July 1, 2008. On July 10, Barry signed a 2-year contract with the Houston Rockets, becoming the third member of the family to join the franchise, his father, ended his career playing two seasons with the Rockets and his older brother, Jon finished his career with the Rockets, playing from 2004 to 06. Financial terms were not released. On October 23, 2009, Brent Barry's career ended when he was cut by the Rockets at the end of training camp, leading Barry to remark that "all the Barrys were buried in Houston". In 2013, Barry began making regular appearances on NBA TV's The Starters in his own segment: "The Bone Zone", he was a fill-in analyst f
Mahram Tehran BC
Mahram Tehran Basketball Club is an Iranian professional basketball club based in Tehran, Iran. They compete in the Iranian Basketball Super League. Mahram is considered as one of the giants of Iranian Basketball and were Champions of Asia in 2009 and 2010. Mahram has won the Iranian Basketball Super League championship a total of five times, they are sponsored by Mahram Food Company. Mahram is owned by the Mahram Food Company. Mahram won its first Iranian Basketball Super League championship in 2008 and won the next four editions as well, Mahram won its first Asian Champions Cup in 2009 and repeated the feat in 2010. Mahram's streak was broken in 2012 when they finished in second place in the Super League, Mahram won the Iranian Super League for the sixth time in 2015 after a two year absence. Notable national team players such as Hamed Haddadi and Mehdi Kamrani have played for Mahram over the years. 2004–05: 13th place 2005–06: 11th place 2006–07: 3rd place 2007–08: Champions 2008–09: Champions 2009–10: Champions 2010–11: Champions 2011–12: Champions 2012–13: 2nd place 2013–14: 2nd place 2014–15: Champions 2009: Champions 2010: Champions 2011: 3rd place 2012: Champions 2014: Champions 2009: Champions 2010: Champions 2011: 2nd place 2012: Champions 2009: Champions 2007: Champions 2008: 5th place 2009: 6th place 2010: Champions Hassan Negahdari Mohammad Mehdi Izadpanah Radenko Orlović Mostafa Hashemi Mehran Shahintab Mostafa Hashemi Memi Bečirovič Mostafa Hashemi 2009 FIBA Asia Champions Cup Mehrad Atashi, Saman Veisi, Kaveh Nourafza, Mehdi Kamrani, Kaveh Gharieh, Aidin Kabir, Hamed Afagh, Hamed Sohrabnejad, Jackson Vroman, Houman Rezaei, Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, Priest Lauderdale.
Coach: Mostafa Hashemi 2010 FIBA Asia Champions Cup Mehrad Atashi, Jackson Vroman, Kaveh Nourafza, Mehdi Kamrani, Loren Woods, Aidin Kabir, Hamed Afagh, Hamed Sohrabnejad, Mehdi Esmaeili, Mohammad Reza Dargi, Samad Nikkhah Bahrami, Saman Veisi. Coach: Mostafa Hashemi page on Asia-Basket Official website
National Invitation Tournament
The National Invitation Tournament is a men's college basketball tournament operated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Played at regional sites and at Madison Square Garden in New York City each March and April, it was founded in 1938 and was the most prestigious post-season showcase for college basketball. Over time it became eclipsed by the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament – known today informally as "March Madness"; the NIT has since been regarded more as a "consolation" tournament for teams that did not receive a berth in the NCAA tournament. A second, much more recent "NIT" tournament is played in November and known as the NIT Season Tip-Off; the "Preseason NIT", it was founded in 1985. Like the postseason NIT, its final rounds are played at Madison Square Garden. Both tournaments were operated by the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association until 2005, when they were purchased by the NCAA, the MIBA disbanded. Unless otherwise qualified, the terms "NIT" or "National Invitation Tournament" refer to the post-season tournament in both common and official use.
The post-season National Invitation Tournament was founded in 1938 by the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association, one year after the NAIA Tournament was created by basketball's inventor Dr. James Naismith, one year before the NCAA Tournament; the first NIT was won by the Temple University Owls over the Colorado Buffaloes. Responsibility for the NIT's administration was transferred in 1940 to the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Committee, a body of local New York colleges: Fordham University, Manhattan College, New York University, St. John's University, Wagner College; this became the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association in 1948. The tournament invited a field of 6 teams, with all games played at Madison Square Garden in downtown Manhattan; the field was expanded to 8 teams in 1941, 12 in 1949, 14 in 1965, 16 in 1968, 24 in 1979, 32 in 1980, 40 from 2002 through 2006. In 2007, the tournament reverted to the current 32-team format. In its early years, the NIT offered some advantages over the NCAA tournament: There was limited national media coverage of college basketball in the 1930s and'40s, playing in New York City provided teams greater media exposure, both with the general public and among high school prospects in its rich recruiting territory.
The NCAA tournament selection committee invited only one team each from eight national regions leaving better quality selections and natural rivals out of its field, which would opt for the NIT. From its onset and at least into the mid-1950s, the NIT was regarded as the most prestigious showcase for college basketball. All-American at Princeton and NBA champion with the New York Knicks and United States Senator Bill Bradley stated: In the 1940's, when the NCAA tournament was less than 10 years old, the National Invitation Tournament, a saturnalia held in New York at Madison Square Garden by the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association, was the most glamorous of the post-season tournaments and had the better teams; the winner of the National Invitation Tournament was regarded as more of a national champion than the actual, national champion, or winner of the NCAA tournament. Several teams played in both the NIT and NCAA tournaments in the same year, beginning with Colorado and Duquesne in 1940.
Colorado subsequently finished fourth in the NCAA West Region. In 1944, Utah lost its first game in the NIT but proceeded to win not only the NCAA tournament, but the subsequent Red Cross War Charities benefit game in which they defeated NIT champion St. John's at Madison Square Garden. In 1949, some Kentucky players were bribed by gamblers to lose their first round game in the NIT; this same Kentucky team went on to win the NCAA. In 1950, City College of New York won both the NIT and the NCAA tournaments in the same season, coincidentally defeating Bradley University in the championship game of both tournaments, remains the only school to accomplish that feat because of an NCAA committee change in the early 1950s prohibiting a team from competing in both tournaments; the champions of both the NCAA and NIT tournaments played each other for a few years during World War II. From 1943 to 1945, the American Red Cross sponsored a postseason charity game between each year's tournament champions to raise money for the war effort.
The series was described by Ray Meyer as not just benefit games, but as "really the games for the national championship". The NCAA champion prevailed in all three games; the Helms Athletic Foundation retroactively selected the NIT champion as its national champion for 1938, chose the NIT champion over the NCAA champion once, in 1939. More the mathematically based Premo-Porretta Power Poll published in the ESPN College Basketball Encyclopedia retroactively ranked teams for each season prior to 1949, with the NIT champion finishing ahead of the NCAA champion in 1939 and 1941. Premo-Porretta ranks four NCAA champions as the best for each season, the rest being non-championship winning teams. Between 1939 and 1970, when teams could compete in either tournament, only DePaul, San Francisco and Holy Cross claim or celebrate national championships for their teams based on an NIT championship, although Long Island recognizes its selection as the 1939 national champion by the Helms Athletic Foundation, made in 1943.
In 1943 the NCAA tournament moved to share Madison Square Garden with the NIT in an effort to increase the credibility of the NCAA Tournament. In 1945, The New York Times indicated that many teams could get bids to enter either tournament, not unco
In basketball, a rebound, sometimes colloquially referred to as a board, is a statistic awarded to a player who retrieves the ball after a missed field goal or free throw. Rebounds are given to a player who tips in a missed shot on his team's offensive end. Rebounds in basketball are a routine part in the game, as most possessions change after a shot is made, or the rebound allows the defensive team to take possession. A rebound can be grabbed by either a defensive player. Rebounds are divided into two main categories: "offensive rebounds", in which the ball is recovered by the offensive side and does not change possession, "defensive rebounds", in which the defending team gains possession; the majority of rebounds are defensive because the team on defense tends to be in better position to recover missed shots. Offensive rebounds give the offensive team another opportunity to score whether right away or by resetting the offense. A block is not considered a rebound. A ball does not need to "rebound" off the rim or backboard for a rebound to be credited.
Rebounds are credited after any missed shot, including air balls. If a player takes a shot and misses and the ball bounces on the ground before someone picks it up the person who picks up the ball is credited for a rebound. Rebounds are credited to the first player that gains clear possession of the ball or to the player that deflects the ball into the basket for a score. A rebound is credited to a team when it gains possession of the ball after any missed shot, not cleared by a single player. A team rebound is never credited to any player, is considered to be a formality as according to the rules of basketball, every missed shot must be rebounded whether a single player controls the ball or not. Great rebounders tend to be strong; because height is so important, most rebounds are made by centers and power forwards, who are positioned closer to the basket. The lack of height can sometimes be compensated by the strength to box out taller players away from the ball to capture the rebound. For example, Charles Barkley once led the league in rebounding despite being much shorter than his counterparts.
Some shorter guards can be excellent rebounders as well such as point guard Jason Kidd who led the New Jersey Nets in rebounding for several years. Great rebounders must have a keen sense of timing and positioning. Great leaping ability is an important asset, but not necessary. Players such as Larry Bird and Moses Malone were excellent rebounders, but were never known for their leaping ability. Bird has stated. That's where I get mine"). Players position themselves in the best spot to get the rebound by "boxing out"—i.e. by positioning themselves between an opponent and the basket, maintaining body contact with the player he is guarding. The action can be called "blocking out". A team can be boxed out by several players using this technique to stop the other team from rebounding; because fighting for a rebound can be physical, rebounding is regarded as "grunt work" or a "hustle" play. Overly aggressive boxing out or preventing being boxed out can lead to personal fouls. Statistics of a player's "rebounds per game" or "rebounding average" measure a player's rebounding effectiveness by dividing the number of rebounds by the number of games played.
Rebound rates go beyond raw rebound totals by taking into account external factors, such as the number of shots taken in games and the percentage of those shots that are made. Rebounds were first recorded in the NBA during the 1950–51 season. Both offensive and defensive rebounds were first recorded in the NBA during the 1973–74 season and ABA during the 1967–68 season. New camera technology has been able to shed much more light on where missed shots will land. Wilt Chamberlain – led the NBA in rebounds in 11 different seasons, has the most career rebounds in the regular season, the highest career average, the single season rebounding records in total and average, most rebounds in a regular season game and playoff game in the NBA, has the most career All-Star Game rebounds. Bill Russell – first player to average over 20 rebounds per game in the regular season, ranks second to Chamberlain in regular season total and average rebounds, averaged more than 20 rebounds per game in 10 of 13 seasons played, grabbed 51 rebounds in a single game, grabbed a record 32 rebounds in one half, grabbed 40 rebounds in the NBA Finals twice, is the all-time playoff leader in total and average rebounds.
Bob Pettit – averaged 20.3 rebounds per game in the 1960-61 season, his career average of 16.2 rebounds per game is third all-time, holds the top two performances for rebounds in an NBA All-Star Game with 26 and 27. Nate Thurmond – averaged more than 20 rebounds per game in two seasons, career average of 15.0 rpg, holds the all-time NBA record for rebounds in a single quarter with 18. He is the only player besides Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry Lucas to record more than 40 rebounds in a single game. Jerry Lucas – averaged more than 20 rebounds per game in two seasons, had a career average of 15.6 rpg. Along with Russell and Thurmond is one of only four players to grab at least 40 rebounds in a single game. Moses Malone – led the NBA in rebounds per game in six d
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