Los Angeles the City of Los Angeles and known by its initials L. A. is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California; the city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity and the entertainment industry, its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America. Los Angeles is in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the other; the city proper, which covers about 469 square miles, is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second largest in the United States after that of New York City, with a population of 13.1 million. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area the nation's second most populous area with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
Los Angeles is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States, with a diverse economy in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. Los Angeles is famous as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index; the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a gross metropolitan product of $1.044 trillion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the event for a third time in 2028; the city hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1990 and 2006, was one of 9 American cities to host the 1994 FIFA men's soccer World Cup and one of 8 to host the 1999 FIFA women's soccer World Cup, hosting the final match for both tournaments. Home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California.
The city was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood; the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California assured the city's continued rapid growth; the Los Angeles coastal area was settled by the Chumash tribes. A Gabrieleño settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning "poison oak place". Maritime explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542 while on an official military exploring expedition moving north along the Pacific coast from earlier colonizing bases of New Spain in Central and South America.
Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo they called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles,'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels'; the present-day city has the largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African and European ancestry; the settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico.
During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847. Railroads arrived with the completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885. Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output. By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000; the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city. Due to clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent city and communities became compelled to annex themselves into Los Angeles.
Los Angeles created the first municipal zoning ordinance in the United States. On September 14, 1908, the Los Angeles City Council promulgated residential and industrial land use zones; the new ordinance established three residential zones of a single type, where industrial uses were
1984–85 NBA season
The 1984–85 NBA season was the 39th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA Championship, beating the Boston Celtics 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals; the 1985 NBA All-Star Game was played at Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, with the West defeating the East 140–129. Ralph Sampson of the Houston Rockets won the game's MVP award. Dominique Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks won the Slam Dunk Contest. Michael Jordan became the only rookie in NBA history to lead a team in four statistics; the Clippers relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles. This created a distinction whereby two teams of the same host name are in the same division, similar to the one in the NHL where the Patrick Division had two teams of the same host name, New York. There was a similar scenario which only existed in the 1976–77 season, in which the Atlantic Division had New York Knicks and Nets. Turner Broadcasting began a relationship with the NBA that continues today when TBS signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the NBA.
The Kings played their final game in Kansas City and moved their franchise to Sacramento the following season. In one of their final home games, Knicks forward Bernard King, who finished the year as the scoring champion, ruptured his ACL in his right knee and was out of action for two years. King would come back in 1987, but would not return to the All-Star Game until 1991; this season marked Michael Jordan's, Akeem Olajuwon's, Charles Barkley's and John Stockton's rookie seasons in the NBA. Due to a roof collapse at the Pontiac Silverdome, the Pistons were forced to rent the Joe Louis Arena, home of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs. Both the Pistons and the Red Wings would move their home games to the Little Caesars Arena, starting in 2017. At age 38, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the oldest player to win the honor of Finals MVP. Jabbar's team, the Lakers, became the first visiting team to win the NBA title at Boston Garden, beating their archrivals, the Boston Celtics, in six games.
The Finals adopted the 2-3-2 format, used through the 2013 NBA Finals after which the league returned to the 2–2–1–1–1 format. The Cleveland Cavaliers returned to the playoffs after a seven-year absence, they were eliminated by the Celtics in four games. They would not make the playoffs again until 1988; the Cavaliers were coached by George Karl making his NBA coaching debut. At New Orleans' Lakefront Arena, Larry Bird scored a Celtics' franchise record 60 points in Boston's 126–115 victory over the Hawks on March 12. Bird broke the previous franchise record set by teammate Kevin McHale nine days earlier at Boston Garden against the Pistons; the Denver Nuggets made the conference finals for the first time since 1978, losing 4-1 to the Lakers. They would not make the conference finals again until 2009; the series marked the end of Dan Issel's playing career, having played 15 professional seasons and averaging 22.6 points and 9.1 rebounds in his career. This was the last season of the backboard height set at 48 in.
It would be shortened 6 in next season to the current 42 in. The NBA logo is added on the lower left hand corner of the backboard starting this season. Notes z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs y – Clinched division title x – Clinched playoff spot Teams in bold advanced to the next round; the numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record. Most Valuable Player: Larry Bird, Boston Celtics Rookie of the Year: Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls Defensive Player of the Year: Mark Eaton, Utah Jazz Sixth Man of the Year: Kevin McHale, Boston Celtics Coach of the Year: Don Nelson, Milwaukee Bucks All-NBA First Team: F – Larry Bird, Boston Celtics F – Bernard King, New York Knicks C – Moses Malone, Philadelphia 76ers G – Isiah Thomas, Detroit Pistons G – Magic Johnson, Los Angeles Lakers All-NBA Second Team: F – Terry Cummings, Milwaukee Bucks F – Ralph Sampson, Houston Rockets C – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Los Angeles Lakers G – Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls G – Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee Bucks All-NBA Rookie Team: Charles Barkley, Philadelphia 76ers Sam Perkins, Dallas Mavericks Akeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets Sam Bowie, Portland Trail Blazers Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls NBA All-Defensive First Team: Sidney Moncrief, Milwaukee Bucks Paul Pressey, Milwaukee Bucks Mark Eaton, Utah Jazz Michael Cooper, Los Angeles Lakers Maurice Cheeks, Philadelphia 76ers NBA All-Defensive Second Team: Bobby Jones, Philadelphia 76ers Danny Vranes, Seattle SuperSonics Akeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets Dennis Johnson, Boston Celtics T. R. Dunn, Denver NuggetsNote: All above information was obtained on the History section on NBA.com The following players were named NBA Player of the Week.
The following players were named NBA Player of the Month. The following players were named NBA Rookie of the Month; the following coaches were named NBA Coach of the Month
Power forward (basketball)
The power forward known as the four, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball game. It has been referred to as the "post" position. Power forwards play a role similar to that of center, they play offensively with their backs towards the basket and position themselves defensively under the basket in a zone defense or against the opposing power forward in man-to-man defense. The power forward position entails a variety of responsibilities, one of, rebounding. Many power forwards are noted for their mid-range jump-shot, several players have become accurate from 12 to 18 feet. Earlier, these skills were more exhibited in the European style of play; some power forwards, known as stretch fours, have since extended their shooting range to three-point field goals. In the NBA, power forwards range from 6' 8" to 7' 0" while in the WNBA, power forwards are between 6' 1" and 6' 4". Despite the averages, a variety of players fit "tweener" roles which finds them in the small forward or center position depending on matchups and coaching decisions.
Some power forwards play the center position and have the skills, but lack the height, associated with that position
George Matthew Karl is an American former professional basketball coach and former player. He is one of 9 coaches in NBA history to have won 1,000 NBA games, though he never won a championship. Karl was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Penn Hills, where he starred at Penn Hills High School, he played collegiately at the University of North Carolina for three years. Drafted in the fourth round of 1973 NBA draft by the New York Knicks, Karl opted instead to sign with the ABA's San Antonio Spurs, he spent three years as the team's starting point guard. After the Spurs joined the NBA in 1976, Karl played limited minutes over the next two years, retiring as a player in 1978. After his playing career, Karl spent two years with the Spurs coaching staff as an assistant coach, he was named head coach of the Montana Golden Nuggets of the Continental Basketball Association. As coach of the Golden Nuggets, Karl guided the team to the CBA Finals in 1981 and 1983, winning Coach of the Year both seasons. In 1984, Karl returned to the NBA.
In his first season he took them back to the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. He was dismissed by the Cavaliers after a disappointing 25–42 start in his second season with the team, though Cleveland would finish just 29–53 on the season. For the remainder of the 1985–86 season and early portion of the offseason, Karl worked as a scout and adviser to the Milwaukee Bucks. Karl was named head coach of the Golden State Warriors in 1986. In the first round of the playoffs, they faced the Utah Jazz in a best–of–five series; each team won two close games at home setting up a decisive game 5 in Utah that the Warriors won to advance to the playoff semifinals. Matched up in the semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers, who had won three championships in the past seven seasons, Karl's team was expected to be swept by the much more experienced Lakers, promptly lost the first three games. Facing elimination in game 4, the Warriors overcame a 12–point fourth quarter deficit and won 129–121. Game 4 was the only game the Lakers lost in the Western Conference playoffs that year, en route to the first of their back–to–back championships.
During the 1987–88 season, the Warriors got off to a rough start, team management decided to trade Purvis Short, Sleepy Floyd and Joe Barry Carroll in order to save money and get younger. With Chris Mullin going through alcohol rehabilitation, Karl was now without his top four scorers from the 1987 playoff team. Frustrated with the team's direction, he resigned from the Warriors with 18 games left in the season. Though he resigned, there has been speculation Karl was fired, as he signed a non-disclosure agreement and received a buyout of his contract. On September 5, 1988, Karl was named head coach of the Albany Patroons of the CBA, leading them to a 36–18 record. In 1989, Karl coached Real Madrid of Liga ACB. Madrid finished 69–17, though they dealt with the death of their best player, Fernando Martín Espina. Real Madrid came third in the Spanish league, were Spanish cup semifinalists, lost the final of the Saporta Cup, Europe's second most important cup competition. Karl returned to coach the Patroons in 1990, leading them to a 50–6 season, while winning all 28 home games.
For his efforts, Karl was named CBA Coach of the Year for the third time. Karl returned to Real Madrid for the 1991–92 season, until he left to return to the NBA. Real Madrid won the Saporta Cup, came second in the Spanish league, lost in the quarterfinals of the Spanish cup. On January 23, 1992, Karl was named head coach of the Seattle SuperSonics. Karl led a late season surge going 27–15, entering the playoffs as the sixth seed. In the first round, they upset the Golden State Warriors in four games, they lost in the second round to the Utah Jazz. In his second season as the SuperSonics coach, the team improved their 47–35 record to 55–27, qualified for the playoffs as the #3 seed in the Western Conference, they defeated the Utah Jazz 3–2 in the first round, defeated the Houston Rockets 4–3 in the semifinals. Seattle lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Charles Barkley–led Phoenix Suns in a full seven game series, falling just one game short of the NBA Finals; the following season, Seattle won 63 games and its first Pacific Division title since their 1979 championship season.
Despite a rift with mid-season acquisition Kendall Gill, Karl led the Sonics to the top seed in the Western Conference. Playing the eighth–seeded Denver Nuggets in the opening round of the playoffs, Seattle won their first two games at home, but lost the following three, including the closing game at home, to become the first top seed to lose to an eighth-seed in the playoffs history; the 1994–95 season had a similar result when Seattle suffered another first–round loss after finishing the season 57–25. This time, Karl's fourth-seed SuperSonics were defeated by the fifth–seeded Los Angeles Lakers led by point guard Nick Van Exel, who clashed with Karl during the 1993 NBA rookie workouts. Fans and media called for Karl's dismissal after his back-to-back first round losses, but the team instead traded the disgruntled Kendall Gill to Charlotte for Hersey Hawkins, showing a sign of confidence in Karl. Karl responded to the disappointing playoff exits with the best regular season in SuperSonics history, posting a 14–game winning streak between February and March to finish the 1995–96 season with a franchise best 64–18 record.
Led by All-Stars Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton, the named Defensive Player of the Year, the SuperSonics defeated the Sacramento Kings three games to one
Michael Kent Benson is a retired American collegiate and professional basketball player. Having had a prolific career during the 1970s and 1980s, he scored a career high of 38 points, playing college basketball and spending 11 seasons in the NBA for four teams. Benson was the No. 1 overall pick of the 1977 NBA draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Kent Benson attended New Castle Chrysler High School, located in Indiana, he was named "Indiana Mr. Basketball" in 1973, he had 1,585 rebounds in 3 varsity seasons playing for Coach Cecil Tague. Benson chose to attend Indiana University, located in Bloomington, where he played college basketball for Coach Bobby Knight; as a freshman, Benson averaged 9.3 points per game, while shooting 50.4 percent. He helped lead Indiana to the CCAT Championship, to a 23–5 record and a Big Ten title. In his sophomore season, Benson helped lead the Hoosiers to an undefeated conference record and on to an Elite Eight appearance, where they lost their only game of the season to Kentucky 92-90, despite 33 points and 23 rebounds from Benson.
Helping lead the team to a 31–1 record on the season, Benson averaged 15 points and 8.9 rebounds a game. With seniors Quinn Buckner and Scott May, he led Indiana to the national championship in a 1975-1976 season where the Hoosiers won every game they played, finishing 32-0. Benson was voted the 1976 NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player; the 1976 Indiana team is the most recent team to complete an undefeated campaign in Division I. Benson averaged 17.3 points and 8.8 rebounds a game on the season with his college season high of 57.8 percent from the field. He scored his career high of 38 points against Michigan State. In the 1976 NCAA tournament, Benson scored 20 points with 13 rebounds against St. John's in the 90-70 regional quarterfinal win. Of the undefeated 1975–76 Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball team, Benson said, “If the team wins, everybody wins. Coach Knight knew the potential, he molded us and made us a team.”After the perfect season during his junior year, "Benny" became the lone star for Indiana after May and Buckner both left after their senior years for the next level.
He averaged 10.4 rebounds a game his senior season. He led them to a 16 -- 11 record. Benson was named the Big Ten's 1977 Player of the Year, while receiving All-American honors for the second straight season. Kent Benson ended his college career with 1,740 points and 1,031 rebounds, with a 71.5% free throw and 53.6% field goal percentage. He is the third all-time rebounder in Indiana Hoosier history with his 1,031 rebounds. After graduating from Indiana University in 1977, Benson was the number one overall draft pick of the 1977 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks. Two minutes into his first game as a professional, Benson elbowed Los Angeles Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the abdomen, Abdul-Jabbar broke Benson's jaw with a retaliatory punch. Abdul-Jabbar was out for two months. Benson never quite lived up to the potential of a number. Twice in his career, he was traded for a player that helped his former team get "over the hump" and contend for an NBA title. In 1980, the Bucks traded him to the Detroit Pistons for Bob Lanier, who would help the Bucks to consecutive Eastern Conference finals appearances in 1983 and 1984.
In 1986, the Pistons traded him along with Kelly Tripucka to the Utah Jazz for Adrian Dantley, who would help lead the Pistons to the Eastern Conference finals in 1987 and the NBA Finals in 1988. Benson spent eleven seasons in the NBA with Milwaukee, Detroit and Cleveland, he averaged 5.7 rebounds in 680 regular season games. He wore jersey #54 for his entire career. Benson played in Italy following his two game tenure with Cleveland in 1988, he played one year in Italy before retiring. “I had prepared myself " he said. "I had an opportunity to play in Italy for five more years. I walked away with two years left to go on my contract and just felt it was time to move on. Basketball was good to me and I was good to it, but I was ready to move on.”"> After the NBA, worked for Kruse International, doing car auction commentary and The College Network, after working in life insurance and estate planning for 14 years. Benson has four daughters, Ashley and Gennie. Ashley played volleyball at Indiana University.
She became an assistant volleyball coach. Gennie, played volleyball at Vincennes University. Benson was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999; the Indiana University Athletics Hall of Fame inducted Benson as a member in 1989. Benson was voted the 1976 NCAA Basketball Tournament Most Outstanding Player. Benson was named "Indiana Mr. Basketball" in 1973. Career statistics and player information from Basketball-Reference.com Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame profile
Kevin McHale (basketball)
Kevin Edward McHale is an American retired basketball player who played his entire professional career for the Boston Celtics. He is a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, is regarded as one of the best power forwards of all time, he was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. McHale began working for the Minnesota Timberwolves following his retirement in 1993, at different times, as a TV analyst, general manager, head coach, he was the head coach of the Houston Rockets from 2011–15, until being fired following a 4–7 start to the 2015–16 season. McHale works as an on-air analyst for NBA TV and Turner Sports's popular NBA on TNT studio show. McHale was born to Josephine Patricia Starcevic in Hibbing, Minnesota. In his senior season at Hibbing High School, he was named Minnesota Mr. Basketball in 1976 and led his team to a runner-up finish in the AA Minnesota State Championship game, he is of Croatian descent on his mother's side and Irish on his father's. The 6 ft 10 in McHale played basketball at the power forward position for the University of Minnesota from 1976 to 1980, with career averages of 15.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
He was named All-Big Ten in 1979 and 1980 and still ranks second in school history in career points and rebounds. In 1995, to coincide with the University of Minnesota basketball's 100th anniversary, he was selected as the top player in the history of University of Minnesota men's basketball. McHale is famous for an encounter with Chuck Foreman in the Gopher locker room. Foreman, a famous Minnesota Viking at the time, was congratulating the Gophers on a hard-fought victory; as Foreman was shaking all the players' hands, when he arrived at the then-unknown power forward, McHale displayed his comic wit: "Nice to meet you, Mr. Foreman. What do you do for a living?" Entering the 1980 NBA draft, the Celtics held the number one overall pick, but in a pre-draft trade, considered by many to be among the most lopsided in NBA history, Celtics president Red Auerbach dealt the pick and an additional first-round pick to the Golden State Warriors for center Robert Parish and the Warriors' first-round pick, the third overall, which the Celtics used to draft McHale.
McHale's stay in Boston got off to a rocky start as he held out for a large contract threatening to play in Italy, before signing a three-year deal with the Celtics. Backing up Larry Bird and Cedric Maxwell at forward, McHale made an immediate impact and was named to the NBA's All-Rookie First Team in his rookie season. Boston finished McHale's rookie season with a league-leading record of 62-20. In the playoffs, the Celtics swept the Chicago Bulls in the first round. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics faced a 3–1 deficit against the Philadelphia 76ers. McHale helped save the Game 6 win by rejecting an Andrew Toney shot and corralling the rebound with 16 seconds left to protect the Celtics' one-point lead. In the NBA Finals, Boston defeated the Houston Rockets in six games to capture the team's fourteenth championship; the Celtics failed to advance to the NBA Finals the next two seasons. Philadelphia exacted a measure of revenge in the 1982 Eastern Conference Final, beating Boston at home in the seventh game.
In the 1983 Eastern Conference semifinals, the Celtics were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks. This embarrassing defeat led to the firing of head coach Bill Fitch and a temporarily unhappy McHale. Following the 1982–83 season, McHale's contract with the Celtics expired, the New York Knicks signed him to a contract offer sheet. Auerbach retaliated by signing three of New York's top free agent players to offer sheets; the Knicks elected to give up their pursuit of McHale. McHale re-signed with Boston, his $1 million per season contract making him the fourth-highest paid player in the NBA. McHale won the first of his consecutive NBA Sixth Man Awards as Boston won a league-best 62 games in the 1983–84 season. With the hiring of new head coach, former Celtic KC Jones and the acquisition of Phoenix Suns guard Dennis Johnson, Boston seemed primed to make yet another run at a fifteenth championship. After surviving a seven-game semifinal battle with the Knicks, the Celtics avenged the previous season's playoff loss to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Boston would face the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals in a anticipated matchup. In Game 4 of the finals, with the Celtics trailing in both the game and the series, McHale delivered a hard foul to Kurt Rambis, violently flinging him down by his throat, as the Lakers' forward raced to the basket; the physical play touched off a bench-clearing scuffle. Boston came back to tie the series at two games apiece, they prevailed in seven games to win the franchise's fifteenth championship. McHale continued to come off the bench during first half of the 1984–1985 season, but moved into a starting role in February 1985 after Cedric Maxwell suffered a knee injury. On March 3 versus the Detroit Pistons McHale enjoyed his greatest scoring night, setting the Celtics' single-game scoring record with 56 points. Two nights McHale scored 42 points against the Knicks, the only other time in his career he topped 40 points in a game; the 98 points in consecutive games is still a Celtics' record. Nine days after McHale had scored 56 points, Larry Bird established a new Celtics' single-game scoring mark by pouring in 60 points versus the Atlanta Hawks.
Boston captured its second straight Eastern Conference title but was upended in the NBA Finals in six games by the rival Lakers. McHale led the Celtics in scoring and rebounding versus th
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as the sport's most complete library, in addition to promoting and preserving the history of basketball. Dedicated to Canadian-American physician and inventor of the sport James Naismith, it was opened and inducted its first class in 1959; as of the induction of the Class of 2018, the Hall has formally inducted 389 individuals. The Naismith Hall of Fame was established in 1959 by Lee Williams, a former athletic director at Colby College. In the 1960s, the Basketball Hall of Fame struggled to raise enough money for the construction of its first facility. However, during the following half-decade the necessary amount was raised, the building opened on Feb. 17, 1968, less than one month after the National Basketball Association played its 18th All-Star Game. The Basketball Hall of Fame's Board named four inductees in its first year.
In addition to honoring those who contributed to basketball, the Hall of Fame sought to make contributions of its own. In 1979, the Hall of Fame sponsored a pre-season college basketball exhibition; this Tip-Off Classic has been the start to the college basketball season since, although it does not always take place in Springfield, Massachusetts it returns every few years. In the 17 years that the original Basketball Hall of Fame operated at Springfield College, it drew more than 630,000 visitors; the popularity of the Basketball Hall of Fame necessitated that a new facility be constructed, in 1985, an $11 million facility was built beside the scenic Connecticut River in Springfield. As the new hall opened, it recognized women for the first time, with inductees such as Senda Berenson Abbott, who first introduced basketball to women at Smith College. During the years following its construction, the Basketball Hall of Fame's second facility drew far more visitors than anticipated, due in large part to the increasing popularity of the game but to the scenic location beside the river and the second Hall's interesting modern architecture.
In 2002, the Basketball Hall of Fame moved again—albeit 100 yards south along Springfield's riverfront—into a $47 million facility designed by renowned architects Gwathmey Siegel & Associates. The building's architecture features a metallic silver, basketball-shaped sphere flanked by two symmetrical rhombuses; the dome is illuminated at night and features 80,000 square foot, including numerous restaurants and an extensive gift shop. The second Basketball Hall of Fame was not torn down but rather converted into an LA Fitness health clubs; the current Basketball Hall of Fame features Center Court, a full-sized basketball court on which visitors can play. Inside the building there are a game gallery, many interactive exhibits, several theaters, an honor ring of inductees. A large theater for ceremonies seats up to 300; the honorees inducted in 2002 included the Harlem Globetrotters and Magic Johnson, a five-time NBA champion, three-time NBA finals MVP and Olympic gold medalist. As of 2011, the current Basketball Hall of Fame has exceeded attendance expectations, with basketball fans traveling to the Hall of Fame from all over the world.
Despite the new facility's success, a logistical problem remains for the Basketball Hall of Fame and the City of Springfield. The two entities are separated by the Interstate 91 elevated highway—one of the eastern United States' busiest highways—which inhibits foot-traffic and other interaction between the Basketball Hall of Fame and Springfield's lively Metro Center. Both the Hall and Springfield have made public statements about cooperating further so as to facilitate more business and recreational growth for both. Urban planners at universities such as UMass Amherst have called for the I-91 to be moved, or to be re-configured so as to be pedestrian-friendly to Hall of Fame visitors. In 2010, the Urban Land Institute announced a plan to make the walk between Springfield's Metro Center and the Hall of Fame easier. In contrast to the Pro Football and the National Baseball Halls of Fame, Springfield honors international and American professionals, as well as American and international amateurs, making it arguably the most comprehensive Hall of Fame among major sports.
From 2011 to 2015 seven committees were, as of 2016 six committees are employed to both screen and elect candidates. Four of the committees screen prospective candidates: North American Screening Committee Women's Screening Committee International Screening Committee Veterans Screening Committee, with "Veterans" defined as individuals whose careers ended at least 35 years before they are considered for election. Since 2011, the Veterans and International Committees vote to directly induct one candidate for each induction class. Three committees were formed in 2011 to directly elect one candidate for each induction class: American Basketball Association Committee - This committee was permanently disbanded in 2015 because it had fulfilled its purpose over the previous five years. Contributor Direct Election Committee Other committees may choose to elect contributors. For example, the 2014 class included two contributors. Early African-American Pioneers of the Game CommitteeIndividuals who receive at least seven votes from the North American Screening Committee or five votes from one of the other screening committees in a given year are eligible to advance to an Honors Committee, composed of 12 members plus rotating groups of 12 specialists (one group for