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
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
James Edward Harden Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for Arizona State, where he was named a consensus All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2009. Harden was selected with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 2012, he was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year with the Thunder and helped the team reach the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Miami Heat in five games. Harden was traded to Houston before the 2012–13 NBA season. During his tenure with the Rockets, he became one of the NBA's most prolific scorers and earned recognition as the best shooting guard in the NBA, as well as one of the top overall players in the league. In 2018, Harden was named the NBA Most Valuable Player, he is a seven-time NBA All-Star, has earned All-NBA Team honors five times, including four times to the first team. Harden is a two-time member of the United States national basketball team, winning gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Harden attended Artesia High School in California. In his sophomore year, he averaged 13.2 points as Artesia went 28–5. He improved his stats to 18.8 points, 7.7 boards and 3.5 assists in his junior season and led Artesia to the California state title and a 33–1 record. Artesia repeated as state champions in Harden's final year after going 33–2. Harden had similar stats as during the previous season: 18.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists. He was named a McDonald's All-American, earned second-team Parade All-American honors, he helped his AAU team, Pump-N-Run Elite, to the 2006 Las Vegas Adidas Super 64 championship. Harden had 34 points in the victory over a DC Assault team which included Michael Beasley, Nolan Smith and Austin Freeman. In the game against Houston Hoops, played on the same day, Harden had 33 points. In the final, Pump-N-Run Elite beat Kevin Love's Southern California All-Stars. Harden's freshman year, Arizona State was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 Conference. Behind his 17.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, the Sun Devils went 21–13 and finished tied for fifth in the Pac-10.
They were considered a bubble team for the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Left out of the tournament, they were selected to the 2008 NIT field and defeated Alabama State and Southern Illinois before falling to defending national champion Florida. After his freshman year, Harden was named first team All-Pac-10 and was named to the conference all-freshman team, he was named first team All-District by the NABC and the USBWA. Entering his sophomore year, Harden appeared on many pre-season All-American lists and on the cover of the Sports Illustrated college basketball preview issue, he was named to the Wooden Award preseason watch list. On November 30, 2008, Harden scored a career-high 40 points in an 88–58 victory over UTEP. Harden finished his sophomore campaign with averages of 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists. He was named to the 2009 All-Pac 10 Tournament Team following Arizona State's defeat by USC at the Staples Center. Following the conference season, Harden was named the Pacific-10 Conference's Player of the Year.
He was named a consensus All-American. After the conclusion of the season, Harden declared for the 2009 NBA draft, he employed Rob Pelinka as his agent. Harden was selected with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, he recorded the fourth highest 3-point percentage in NBA history for a player under the age of 21 during the 2009–10 season. He connected on seven straight 3-point field goals over two games, recording the most consecutive 3-point makes by a rookie since Houston guard Michael Dickerson made eight straight in May 1999, he posted a season-high 26 points against the Golden State Warriors on December 7, 2009. He was subsequently named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. During the 2010–11 season, he scored 10-plus points on 54 occasions, including a season-high 26 points against the Phoenix Suns on March 6, 2011. Harden averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 62 games during the lockout-shortened 2011–12 season, as he received the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
He scored in double-figures in all but four of his appearances during the season. He scored a season-high 40 points against Phoenix on April 18, 2012, becoming the first NBA player in a reserve role to score 40 points since Dallas guard Rodrigue Beaubois in March 2010. Harden helped the Thunder reach the 2012 NBA Finals, where they were defeated in five games by the Miami Heat. During the 2012 free agency period, Oklahoma City attempted to sign Harden to a four-year contract extension worth between $52 and $55 million. Harden contended that he was given too little time to consider the offer. After failing to agree on a contract extension with the Thunder, Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets on October 27, 2012, along with Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich and Lazar Hayward, in exchange for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first round picks, a second round pick. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey called Harden a "foundational" player and expected him to be Houston's featured player despite only playing a supporting role behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
On October 31, 2012, Harden signed a contract extension with the Rockets for five years worth $80 million. That same day, he became the first-ever NBA player to score 37 or more points while registering a double-digit assist total in his team debut, posting 37 points, a career-
Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers, abbreviated by the team as the LA Clippers, are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of Pacific Division of the league's Western Conference; the Clippers play their home games at Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, an arena shared with fellow NBA team the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The franchise was founded in 1970 as the Buffalo Braves, one of three expansion teams to join the NBA that year; the Braves moved from Buffalo, New York to San Diego, California in 1978 and became known as the San Diego Clippers. In 1984, The Clippers moved to Los Angeles. Through much of its history, the franchise failed to see significant regular season or playoff success; the Clippers were seen as an example of a perennial loser in American professional sports, drawing unfavorable comparisons to the successful Lakers, with whom they have shared a market since 1984 and an arena since 1999.
The Clippers' fortunes turned in the early 2010s with the acquisition of core players Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Chris Paul. In 2013, the franchise won its first division title, as the team made the playoffs for the ninth time in franchise history and the third time in the previous eight seasons, they added to their budding rivalry with the Lakers, as they finished with a better record than the Lakers for the fifth time and won the season series for the second time since moving to Los Angeles in 1984, this time in a sweep. They repeated as division champions in 2014; the franchise began in Western New York as the Buffalo Braves, one of three NBA expansion franchises that began play in the 1970–71 season, along with the Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers. They played their home games at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, along with another Buffalo team that would begin play that year, the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres. After two bad seasons, the Braves' fortunes started to change under coach Jack Ramsay and star forward/center Bob McAdoo.
McAdoo led the NBA in scoring for three consecutive seasons and was named the league's MVP in the 1974–75 season. The Braves qualified for the playoffs three times in a row, losing twice to the eventual Eastern Conference champions. Despite the team's modest success in Buffalo, Braves owner Paul Snyder and the league found it impossible to schedule home games at the auditorium because of the Canisius Golden Griffins men's basketball team, which had a pre-existing lease on the arena and priority on game dates over the Braves; the Griffins saw the Braves as a threat to their own success, purposely scheduled all the best dates at the arena to prevent the Braves from succeeding. As a result, after a failed attempt to sell the team to an owner who intended to move it to South Florida, Snyder sold the team to Kentucky Colonels owner John Y. Brown, Jr. who decimated the team's roster, traded away all of its stars, drove attendance down to the point where they could break their own lease on the arena.
Brown met with Celtics owner Irv Levin in 1978 so they could trade franchise ownerships. Southern California resident Levin decided to move the Braves to San Diego, something the league would have never allowed him to do with the Celtics. In 1978, San Diego welcomed the relocation of the Buffalo Braves franchise because the city had lost their Rockets to Houston seven years earlier as well as their American Basketball Association franchise, the San Diego Sails after the 1974-1975 ABA season. San Diego team officials did not think Braves was a representative nickname for the club and a contest decided on "Clippers", because the city was known for the great sailing ships that passed through San Diego Bay; when the Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984, they kept their name. Playing at the San Diego Sports Arena, the Clippers posted a record of 43–39 in their first season in California under new head coach Gene Shue, leaving them two wins shy of the final playoff spot, it would be the Clippers' last winning season for 13 years.
It was in that first season in southern California that long-time announcer Ralph Lawler began his association with the franchise. The Clippers began pursuing star free agents, beginning with World B. Free, acquired in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers. Free finished second overall in NBA scoring average, with 28.9 per game, while George Gervin of the San Antonio Spurs had a 29.6 average. The 1979–80 season saw the Clippers begin to struggle, despite adding center Bill Walton, a San Diego native, two years removed from an NBA Championship with the Trail Blazers. Walton missed 68 games due to foot injuries. San Diego finished. Free again finishing second in league scoring, with 30.2 PPG. Paul Silas replaced Shue the following season, the Clippers finished 36–46, again missing the postseason. Walton missed the entire season again due to foot injuries, while Free was traded to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Phil Smith; the 1981–82 season brought changes to the franchise as Levin sold the team to Los Angeles-area real estate developer and attorney Donald Sterling for $12.5 million.
The Clippers experienced poor play and franchise mismanagement in their final years in San Diego, much like in Buffalo, competition from other sports teams in town, namely the ascendant San Diego Chargers, sucked away attention from the Clippers. That season, the Clippers were drawing fewer fans than the Braves had
Kevin Wesley Love is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association. He is a five-time All-Star and won an NBA championship with the Cavaliers in 2016, he was a member of the gold medal-winning USA men's national team at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and the 2012 Summer Olympics. The son of former NBA player Stan Love, Love was a top-ranked prospect out of Lake Oswego High School in Oregon, he played one season of college basketball for the UCLA Bruins and led the team to a Final Four appearance in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Love was named a consensus First Team All-American and was voted player of the year in the Pac-12 Conference, he elected to forego his remaining three years of college eligibility and entered the 2008 NBA draft. He was taken fifth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies, was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves on draft night for the third overall selection, O. J. Mayo, in an eight-player deal. During the 2010–11 season, Love established the longest streak for consecutive games recording double figures in points and rebounds since the ABA–NBA merger.
He was traded to the Cavaliers in 2014. Love was born on September 7, 1988, in Santa Monica, the second of three children to Karen and Stan Love, he grew up in Lake Oswego, where he was childhood friends and Little League teammates with fellow future NBA star Klay Thompson. Love played basketball from his earliest days. Love played high school basketball for the Lake Oswego Lakers. In his sophomore season, he averaged 25.3 points, 15.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists per game, leading the Lakers to the 2005 state championship game, where they lost to Jesuit High School. The following summer, Nike removed him from its Portland Elite Legends AAU team after he chose to participate in the Reebok ABCD Camp against other top recruits, he went on to play for the Southern California All-Stars, helping the team compile a 46–0 record while garnering three MVP awards. In his junior year, he averaged 28 points, 16.1 rebounds, 3.5 assists per game as Lake Oswego returned to the state championship game, this time winning behind Love's 24 points and 9 rebounds.
In his senior season, he averaged 33.9 points, 17.0 rebounds, 4 assists per game. Lake Oswego made their third straight trip to the state championship game, losing in a rematch of the prior year's final to South Medford High School and Love's rival Kyle Singler despite 37 points from Love. At the conclusion of the season, Love was named the Gatorade National Male Athlete of the Year, he was a first-team Parade All-American. He finished his high school career as the all-time leading scorer in Oregon boys' basketball history with 2,628 points. In July 2006, Love verbally committed to play college basketball at UCLA, he had considered playing for North Carolina. Before the 2007–08 season, he received permission from Walt Hazzard to wear number 42 for the Bruins though the school had retired the number for Hazzard in 1996. After arriving at UCLA, Love sought out retired Bruins legends Bill Walton and John Wooden for advice, his decision to play for UCLA brought anger from fans of Oregon, his father's alma mater, where it was expected Love would play.
Prior to a game at Oregon, Ducks fans obtained Love's cell phone number and left obscene messages as well as death threats. This event, along with similar incidents directed at other players, prompted a discussion of whether abuse by college basketball fans is becoming too extreme. In the 2008 Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament, the Bruins defeated the USC Trojans, featuring O. J. Mayo, in the semi-finals. Both Mayo and Love were nominated to the All-Pac-10 tournament team. Love guided UCLA to the regular season Pac-10 conference championship, the conference tournament championship, a No. 1 seed in the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. Love helped the Bruins to the Final Four of the tournament, where they lost to the Memphis Tigers, whose season and tournament appearance, in turn, were vacated. At the end of the 2007–08 regular season, Love was named consensus first-team All-American, Pac-10 Player of the Year, All-Pac-10, Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, he led the Bruins with 17.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 23 double-doubles.
In a press conference on April 17, 2008, Love announced his intention to leave UCLA to enter the 2008 NBA draft. He was taken fifth overall by the Memphis Grizzlies after his teammate at UCLA, Russell Westbrook, selected by the Seattle SuperSonics. Following the draft, Love was traded, along with Mike Miller, Brian Cardinal, Jason Collins to the Minnesota Timberwolves, with the third overall pick O. J. Mayo, Antoine Walker, Marko Jarić and Greg Buckner going to the Grizzlies. Love led all players in rebounding. In his NBA debut on October 29, Love came off the bench to contribute 12 points and nine rebounds in a 98–96 win over the Sacramento Kings; the Timberwolves lost 15 of their first 19 games, prompting the dismissal of head coach Randy Wittman. Timberwolves general manager Kevin McHale assumed duties as head coach and they developed a close relationship. Under McHale, the Timberwolves improved their play in January by going 10–4, with Love averaging a double-double. Love was not selected to the NBA All-Star Weekend Rookie Challenge, to the surprise of his teammates and coaches.
After the team's leading scorer Al Jefferson was sidelined for the rest of the season with a torn ACL in February, Love's minutes increased, he was named NBA Rookie of the Month for Ma
Boris Babacar Diaw-Riffiod, better known as Boris Diaw, is a French retired professional basketball player who last played for Levallois Metropolitans of the LNB Pro A. Diaw, who began his professional career in Pro A, returned to that league after 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association, he plays at power forward. In 2006, Diaw was named the NBA's Most Improved Player as a member of the Phoenix Suns, he won an NBA championship with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014. Diaw represents the senior French national basketball team internationally, he won a FIBA World Cup bronze medal in 2014, a EuroBasket title in 2013, a silver medal in EuroBasket 2011, two bronze in EuroBasket 2005 and EuroBasket 2015. He earned an All-EuroBasket Team selection in 2005. From 2001 to 2003, Diaw played for Pau-Orthez of the LNB Pro A. In 2002, he competed in the Slam Dunk contest. Diaw was selected by the Atlanta Hawks with the 21st overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. On July 10, 2003, he signed a multi-year deal with the Hawks.
In August 2005, he was traded with two future first round picks to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for future teammate Joe Johnson. In Phoenix, Diaw blossomed into an all-round player, playing any position from center to point guard and garnered the nickname "3D" because of his multidimensional play and the combination of his number and surname. Diaw averaged 13.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.0 blocks per game on 52.6% field goal shooting and 73.1% from the free throw line in the 2005–06 season where he played both forward positions and center after injuries to Amar'e Stoudemire and Kurt Thomas. Diaw recorded his first career triple-double on January 31, 2006 when the Suns defeated the Philadelphia 76ers at Philadelphia, 123–99. Diaw had 14 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds, as well as a block and zero turnovers in 39 minutes, he recorded his second career triple-double shortly afterwards on March 5, 2006 when the Suns defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 115–107. On April 14, 2006, Diaw recorded his third career triple-double when the Suns suffered a loss to the Golden State Warriors, 110–102.
Diaw had 11 points, 11 rebounds, a career-high 16 assists, while adding three blocks and two steals in 42 minutes. Two days Diaw recorded his fourth career triple-double against the Los Angeles Lakers as the Suns lost 109–89. During the 2006 NBA playoffs, as the Suns' starting center, Diaw averaged 18.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.1 blocks per game. In Game 1 of the 2006 Western Conference Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, Diaw scored a career-high 34 points, including the game-winner with 0.5 seconds remaining in regulation, to help the Suns to a 121–118 victory. On December 15, 2006, Diaw recorded his fifth career triple-double in a victory against the Golden State Warriors. On December 10, 2008, along with Raja Bell and Sean Singletary, was traded to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Jason Richardson and Jared Dudley. On September 28, 2011, Diaw signed with JSA Bordeaux of France for the duration the 2011 NBA lockout. In December 2011, he returned to the Charlotte Bobcats.
On March 21, 2012, Diaw was waived by the Bobcats. Two days he signed with the San Antonio Spurs for the rest of the season. On July 12, 2012, Diaw re-signed with the Spurs to a $9.2 million deal. Diaw helped. San Antonio lost the series in seven games. On June 15, 2014, Diaw won his first NBA championship after the Spurs defeated the Miami Heat 4–1 in the 2014 NBA Finals, he was inserted into the starting lineup beginning with Game 3, he led all players in the series in total assists and was second in total rebounds behind teammate Tim Duncan. Diaw averaged 35 minutes per game in the Finals, an increase of over 10 minutes from the regular season. On July 15, 2014, Diaw re-signed with the Spurs to a $22 million contract. On August 1, 2015, Diaw played for Team Africa at the 2015 NBA Africa exhibition game. On July 8, 2016, Diaw was traded, along with a 2022 second-round pick and cash considerations, to the Utah Jazz in exchange for the rights to Olivier Hanlan. In early November 2016, Diaw missed eight games with a right leg contusion.
On July 13, 2017, he was waived by the Jazz. On September 17, 2017, Diaw signed with the French team Levallois Metropolitans for the 2017–18 season. Diaw announced his retirement via his Twitter account on September 6, 2018. In 2000, Diaw won the FIBA Europe Under-18 Championship with the French junior national team. In July 2006, Diaw was named the captain of the senior men's French national basketball team, he won the bronze medal at the EuroBasket 2005. Diaw led the French team at the 2006 FIBA World Championship, with 107 points and 22 assists, in 9 games. In 2013, Diaw and the French team won the gold medal at the EuroBasket tournament. At 6'8" and 250 lbs, Diaw is a natural forward. However, his passing skills and ability to score inside have earned him a reputation of being capable of playing all positions on the floor well; this is best seen in the 2005–06 season, during which Diaw started as a bench player convincingly subbed as a point guard when starting playmaker Steve Nash was injured started as a small forward and was moved to center when all three Suns pivots got injured, posting impressive stats of 18.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the playoffs despite playing out of position.
His breakout season was crowned with the Most Improved Player Award. He is lauded for his unselfish, but assertive play, his versatility makes him a triple-double threat: as of March 2016, he has recorded
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws; the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play is mandated. Players advance the ball by bouncing it while walking or running or by passing it to a teammate, both of which require considerable skill. On offense, players may use a variety of shots -- a dunk, it is a violation to lift or drag one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with both hands resume dribbling.
The five players on each side at a time fall into five playing positions: the tallest player is the center, the tallest and strongest is the power forward, a shorter but more agile big man is the small forward, the shortest players or the best ball handlers are the shooting guard and the point guard, who implements the coach's game plan by managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays. Informally, players may play three-on-three, two-on-two, one-on-one. Invented in 1891 by Canadian-American gym teacher James Naismith in Springfield, United States, basketball has evolved to become one of the world's most popular and viewed sports; the National Basketball Association is the most significant professional basketball league in the world in terms of popularity, salaries and level of competition. Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League; the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Men's Olympic Basketball Tournament are the major international events of the sport and attract top national teams from around the world.
Each continent hosts regional competitions for national teams, like FIBA AmeriCup. The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup and Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament feature top national teams from continental championships; the main North American league is the WNBA, whereas strongest European clubs participate in the EuroLeague Women. In early December 1891, Canadian James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor at the International Young Men's Christian Association Training School in Springfield, was trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, he sought a vigorous indoor game to keep his students occupied and at proper levels of fitness during the long New England winters. After rejecting other ideas as either too rough or poorly suited to walled-in gymnasiums, he wrote the basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. In contrast with modern basketball nets, this peach basket retained its bottom, balls had to be retrieved manually after each "basket" or point scored.
Basketball was played with a soccer ball. These round balls from "association football" were made, at the time, with a set of laces to close off the hole needed for inserting the inflatable bladder after the other sewn-together segments of the ball's cover had been flipped outside-in; these laces could dribbling to be unpredictable. A lace-free ball construction method was invented, this change to the game was endorsed by Naismith; the first balls made for basketball were brown, it was only in the late 1950s that Tony Hinkle, searching for a ball that would be more visible to players and spectators alike, introduced the orange ball, now in common use. Dribbling was not part of the original game except for the "bounce pass" to teammates. Passing the ball was the primary means of ball movement. Dribbling was introduced but limited by the asymmetric shape of early balls. Dribbling was common by 1896, with a rule against the double dribble by 1898; the peach baskets were used until 1906 when they were replaced by metal hoops with backboards.
A further change was soon made, so the ball passed through. Whenever a person got the ball in the basket, his team would gain a point. Whichever team got; the baskets were nailed to the mezzanine balcony of the playing court, but this proved impractical when spectators in the balcony began to interfere with shots. The backboard was introduced to prevent this interference. Naismith's handwritten diaries, discovered by his granddaughter in early 2006, indicate that he was nervous about the new game he had invented, which incorporated rules from a children's game called duck on a rock, as many had failed before it. Frank Mahan, one of the players from the original