The shooting guard known as the two or off guard, is one of the five traditional positions in a regulation basketball game. A shooting guard's main objective is to steal the ball on defense; some teams ask. A player who can switch between playing shooting guard and small forward is known as a swingman. In the NBA, shooting guards range from 6' 3" to 6' 7" and 5' 9" to 6' 0" in the WNBA; the Basketball Handbook by Lee Rose describes a shooting guard as someone whose primary role is to score points. As the name suggests, most shooting guards are good long-range shooters averaging 35–40 percent from three-point range. Many shooting guards are strong and athletic, have the ability to get inside the paint and drive to the basket. Shooting guards are taller than point guards. Height at the position varies. Shooting guards should be good ball handlers and be able to pass reasonably well, though passing is not their main priority. Since good shooting guards may attract double-teams, they are the team's back-up ball handlers to the point guard and get a fair number of assists.
Shooting guards must be able to score in various ways late in a close game when defenses are tighter. They need to have a good free throw percentage too, to be reliable in close games and to discourage opposing players from fouling; because of the high level of offensive skills shooting guards need, they are a team's primary scoring option, sometimes the offense is built around them. In the NBA, there are some shooting guards referred to as "D" players; the term 3 and D implies that the player is a good 3 point shooter who can play solid defense. The 3 and D player has become important as the game sways to be perimeter oriented. Good shooting guards can play point guard to a certain extent, it is accepted that point guards should have the ball in their hands at most times in the game, but sometimes the shooting guard has a significant enough influence on the team where he or she handles the ball often, to the point where the point guard may be reduced to a backup ball handler or spot-up shooter.
The Basketball Handbook. Lee H. Rose ISBN 0-7360-4906-1 Media related to Shooting guards at Wikimedia Commons
1971 NBA draft
The 1971 NBA draft was the 25th annual draft of the National Basketball Association. The draft was held on March 30, 1971 before the 1971 -- 72 season. In this draft, 17 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U. S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was eligible for selection. If a player left college early, he would not be eligible for selection until his college class graduated; the first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each conference, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Portland Trail Blazers were awarded the second pick; the remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. Prior to the start of the season, the San Diego Rockets and the San Francisco Warriors relocated to Houston and Oakland, became the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors respectively.
The draft consisted of 19 rounds comprising the selection of 237 players. The league hosted a supplemental hardship draft on September 20, 1971, for college underclassmen who wish to join the league. Austin Carr from the University of Notre Dame was selected first overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sidney Wicks from the University of California, Los Angeles, who went on to win the Rookie of the Year Award in his first season, was selected second by the Portland Trail Blazers. Spencer Haywood, the 30th pick, Randy Smith, the 104th pick, were selected to both the All-NBA Team and the All-Star Game. Haywood was selected to five All-Star Games, he won the NBA championship with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1980. During his first and only season in the American Basketball Association, he won the ABA Most Valuable Player Award, was selected to the ABA All-Star Game and All-ABA Team. Smith was selected to two All-Star Games. Artis Gilmore, the 117th pick opted to play in the ABA. Gilmore spent five seasons with the Kentucky Colonels before joined the NBA in 1976 after both leagues merged.
His achievements include ABA Most Valuable Player Award in 1972, five All-ABA Team selections, five ABA All-Star Game selections and six NBA All-Star Game selections. For his achievements, he was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. Fred Brown, the 6th pick, spent all of his 13-year playing career with the Sonics and was selected to one All-Star Game. Carr, 11th pick Curtis Rowe are the only other players from this draft who were selected to an All-Star Game. Phil Chenier, a college underclassman selected in the supplemental hardship draft, was selected to both All-NBA Team and All-Star Game. Two players drafted went on to have coaching careers in the NBA: 13th pick Jim Cleamons and 46th pick Dave Wohl. Spencer Haywood was selected in the second round by the Buffalo Braves although he played in the NBA with the Seattle SuperSonics in the previous season, he left college basketball in 1969 with two years remaining in his college eligibility. At that time, the NBA prohibited the drafting or signing of a player before his college class had graduated.
He played in the ABA with the Denver Rockets for a season before controversially signed by the Sonics. The league and the other NBA teams opposed the move and argued Haywood should be prohibited to join and play with the Sonics; this led to a court case between the NBA against the Haywood. He argued that he should be allowed to play because he was a "hardship case", due to his position as the sole wage earner in his family, he won the case and was allowed to play late in the 1970–71 season. This led to the NBA allowing college underclassmen to enter the draft provided they could give evidence of "hardship". With the existing rules, Haywood was eligible for this year's draft, when his college class graduated; the Braves used one of their three second-round picks to select him, hoping that they would win the rights to sign him. However, he never played for the Braves; the following list includes other draft picks. A On October 20, 1970, the Chicago Bulls acquired a second-round pick from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Shaler Halimon.
The Bulls used the pick to draft Willie Sojourner. B 1 2 On March 23, 1971, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired 1971 and 1972 second-round picks and a 1971 third-round pick from the San Francisco Warriors in exchange for Jim Barnett; the Blazers used the picks to draft William Smith. C On October 22, 1970, the Portland Trail Blazers acquired a second-round pick from the Baltimore Bullets in exchange for Dorie Murrey; the Blazers used the pick to draft Rick Fisher. D On May 11, 1970, the Buffalo Braves acquired Bob Kauffman and a second-round pick from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Bailey Howell; the Braves used the pick to draft Spencer Haywood. E On the draft-day, the Cincinnati Royals acquired a second-round pick from the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Flynn Robinson; the Royals used the pick to draft Joe Bergman. F On April 23, 1970, the Chicago Bulls acquired Jim Fox and a second-round pick from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Clem Haskins; the Bulls used the pick to draft Howard Porte.
G On October 16, 1970, the Philadelphia 76ers acquired a second-round pick from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Matt Guokas. The 76ers used the pick to draft Marvin Stewart. H On February 1, 1971, the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Gary Freeman and a second-round pick from the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for McCoy McLemore; the Cavaliers used the pick to draft Willie L
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans are an American professional basketball team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Pelicans compete in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays their home games in the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans were established as the New Orleans Hornets in the 2002–03 season when then-owner of the Charlotte Hornets, George Shinn, relocated the franchise to New Orleans. Due to the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the franchise temporarily relocated to Oklahoma City, where they spent two seasons known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets; the team returned to New Orleans full-time for the 2007–08 season. On January 24, 2013, the franchise announced it would rename itself the Pelicans, effective after the conclusion of the 2012–13 season; the Charlotte Hornets' name and records from 1988 to 2002 were returned to its original city to be used by the then–Charlotte Bobcats franchise, which subsequently became the Charlotte Hornets, starting May 20, 2014.
In 16 seasons of play since the original franchise relocated from North Carolina, the Louisiana franchise has achieved an overall regular season record of 610–686, has qualified for the playoffs seven times. Their achievements include one division title. While the Charlotte Hornets put a competitive team on the court throughout the 1990s, the team's attendance began falling dramatically. Many attributed this lapse in popularity to the team's owner, George Shinn, becoming despised by the people of the city. In 1997, a Charlotte woman claimed that Shinn had raped her, the resulting trial tarnished his reputation in the city; the consensus was that while Charlotte was as basketball-crazy as fans took out their anger at Shinn on the team. Shinn had become discontented with the Charlotte Coliseum, although considered state-of-the-art when it opened in 1988, had by been considered obsolete due to a limited number of luxury boxes. On March 26, 2001, both the Hornets and the Vancouver Grizzlies applied for relocation to Memphis, won by the Grizzlies.
Shinn issued an ultimatum: unless the city built a new arena at no cost to him, the Hornets would leave town. The city refused, leading Shinn to consider moving the team to either Norfolk, Louisville, or St. Louis. Of the cities in the running, only St. Louis had an NBA-ready arena in place and was a larger media market than Charlotte at the time. A new arena in Uptown, which would become the Charlotte Bobcats Arena, was included in a non-binding referendum for a larger arts-related package, Shinn withdrew his application to move the team. Polls showed the referendum on its way to passage. However, just days before the referendum, Mayor Pat McCrory vetoed a living wage ordinance; the veto prompted many of the city's black ministers to oppose the referendum. After the referendum failed, city leaders devised a plan to build a new arena in a way that did not require voter support, but made it known that they would not consider building it unless Shinn sold the team. While the NBA acknowledged that Shinn had alienated fans, league officials felt such a demand would anger other owners.
The city council refused to remove the statement, leading the Hornets to request a move to New Orleans – a move which would return the NBA to that city since the Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979. Before the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA approved the move; as part of a deal, the NBA promised that Charlotte would get a new team, which took the court two years as the Charlotte Bobcats. In a 2008 interview with the Charlotte Observer, who has not returned to Charlotte since the Hornets moved, admitted that the "bad judgment I made in my life" played a role in the Hornets' departure, he said that if he had it to do all over again, he would not have withdrawn from the public after the sexual assault trial. Shinn emphasized how he was making amends by committing to New Orleans saying, "I've made enough mistakes in my life. I'm not going to make one here; this city needs us here. We're going to make this thing work." The Hornets opened their inaugural season in New Orleans on October 30, 2002, against New Orleans' original NBA franchise, the now-Utah Jazz.
In the first regular season NBA game played in New Orleans in over 17 years, the Hornets defeated the Jazz 100–75, posthumously retired #7 of "Pistol" Pete Maravich during halftime. The Hornets finished the season with a 47–35 record but were defeated by the Philadelphia 76ers in the First Round of the 2003 playoffs. Following the season, the team unexpectedly fired head coach Paul Silas and replaced him with Tim Floyd; the Hornets began the 2003–04 season strong with a 17–7 start but sputtered at the end and finished 41–41. They lost to the Miami Heat in the First Round of the 2004 playoffs. After the season, Floyd was fired and the team hired Byron Scott as its new head coach. During the first two seasons in New Orleans the Hornets competed in the NBA's Eastern Conference; the 2004–05 season saw the team move to the Western Conference's Southwest Division to the number of teams in each conference after the Charlotte Bobcats started play in their inaugural season of that same year. In a season marred by injury to the team's three all-stars, the team finished the year with a
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
The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division; the team was founded on January 16, 1966. The team plays its home games at the United Center, an arena shared with the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League; the Bulls saw their greatest success during the 1990s when they were responsible for popularizing the NBA worldwide. They are known for having one of the NBA's greatest dynasties, winning six NBA championships between 1991 and 1998 with two three-peats. All six championship teams were led by Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson; the Bulls are the only NBA franchise to win multiple championships and never lose an NBA Finals series in their history. The Bulls won 72 games during the 1995–96 NBA season, setting an NBA record that stood until the Golden State Warriors won 73 games during the 2015–16 NBA season.
The Bulls were the first team in NBA history to win 70 games or more in a single season, the only NBA franchise to do so until the 2015–16 Warriors. Many experts and analysts consider the 1996 Bulls to be one of the greatest teams in NBA history. Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose have both won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award while playing for the Bulls, for a total of six MVP awards; the Bulls share rivalries with the Detroit Pistons, New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Miami Heat. The Bulls' rivalry with the Pistons was highlighted during the late 1980s and early 1990s. On January 16, 1966 Chicago was granted an NBA franchise to be called the Bulls; the Chicago Bulls became the third NBA franchise in the city, after the Chicago Stags and the Chicago Packers/Zephyrs. The Bulls' founder, Dick Klein, was the Bulls' only owner to play professional basketball, he served as the Bulls' general manager in their initial years. After the 1966 NBA Expansion Draft, the newly founded Chicago Bulls were allowed to acquire players from the established teams in the league for the upcoming 1966–67 season.
The team started in the 1966–67 NBA season, posted the best record by an expansion team in NBA history. Coached by Chicagoan and former NBA star Johnny "Red" Kerr, led by former NBA assist leader Guy Rodgers, guard Jerry Sloan and forward Bob Boozer, the Bulls qualified for the playoffs, the only NBA team to do so in their inaugural season. In their first season, the Bulls played their home games at the International Amphitheatre, before moving to Chicago Stadium. Fan interest was diminishing after four seasons, with one game in the 1968 season having an official attendance of 891 and some games being played in Kansas City. In 1969, Klein dropped out of the general manager job and hired Pat Williams, who as the Philadelphia 76ers' business manager created promotions that helped the team become third in attendance the previous season. Williams revamped the team roster, acquiring Chet Walker from his old team in exchange for Jim Washington and drafting Norm Van Lier –, traded to the Cincinnati Royals and only joined the Bulls in 1971 – while investing in promotion, with actions such as creating mascot Benny the Bull.
The Bulls under Williams and head coach Dick Motta qualified for four straight playoffs and had attendances grow to over 10,000. In 1972, the Bulls set a franchise win-loss record at 25 losses. During the 1970s, the Bulls relied on Jerry Sloan, forwards Bob Love and Chet Walker, point guard Norm Van Lier, centers Clifford Ray and Tom Boerwinkle; the team made the conference finals in 1975 but lost to the eventual champions, the Golden State Warriors, 4 games to 3. After four 50-win seasons, Williams returned to Philadelphia, Motta decided to take on the role of GM as well; the Bulls ended up winning only 24 games in the 1975 -- 1976 season. Motta was replaced by Ed Badger. Klein sold the Bulls to longtime owners of the Chicago Blackhawks. Indifferent to NBA basketball, the new ownership group infamously implemented a shoestring budget, putting little time and investment into improving the team. Artis Gilmore, acquired in the ABA dispersal draft in 1976, led a Bulls squad which included guard Reggie Theus, forward David Greenwood and forward Orlando Woolridge.
In 1979, the Bulls lost a coin flip for the right to select first in the NBA draft. Had the Bulls won the toss, they would have selected Magic Johnson; the Los Angeles Lakers selected Johnson with the pick acquired from the New Orleans Jazz, who traded the selection for Gail Goodrich. After Gilmore was traded to the San Antonio Spurs for center Dave Corzine, the Bulls employed a high-powered offense centered around Theus, which soon included guards Quintin Dailey and Ennis Whatley. However, with continued dismal results, the Bulls decided to change direction, trading Theus to the Kansas City Kings during the 1983–84 season. Attendance began to dwindle, with the Wirtz Family looking to sell to ownership groups interested in moving the team out of Chicago, before selling to local ownership. In the summer of 1984, the Bulls had the third pick of the 1984 NBA draft, after Houston and Portland; the Rockets selected Hakeem Olajuwon, the Blazers picked Sam Bowie and the Bulls chose shooting guard Michael Jordan.
The team, with new management in owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Jerry Krause, decided to rebuild around Jordan. Jordan set franchise records during his rookie campaign for scoring and steals, led the Bulls back to the playoffs, where they lost in four
Lincolnton, North Carolina
Lincolnton is a small city in Lincoln County, North Carolina, United States, within the Charlotte metropolitan area. The population was 10,683 at the 2010 census. Lincolnton is northwest of Charlotte, on the South Fork of the Catawba River; the junction of State Highway 27 and U. S. Route 321 is located nearby; the city is the county seat of Lincoln County, is the only incorporated municipality wholly within the rural county. This area was long occupied by varying cultures of indigenous peoples, it was not settled extensively by European Americans until after the American Revolutionary War of the late 18th century. In June 1780 during the war, the future site of Lincolnton was the site of the Battle of Ramsour's Mill, a small engagement in which local Loyalists were defeated by pro-independence forces among the British colonists; some historians consider the battle significant because it disrupted Loyalist organizing in the region at a crucial time. After the Revolution, the legislature organized a new county by splitting this area from old Tryon County.
The 1780 battle site was chosen for the seat of Lincoln County. The new city and the county were named for Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War; the Piedmont area was developed based on using the water power of the fall line. With the advantage of the Catawba River, Lincolnton was the site of the first textile mill built in North Carolina, constructed by Michael Schenck in 1813, it was the first cotton mill built south of the Potomac River. Cotton processing became a major industry in the area. St. Luke's Episcopal Church was founded in 1841. Most of the Civil War battles took place elsewhere but Lincoln County men fought for the Confederacy. Among them was Confederate Major General Stephen Dodson Ramseur, mortally wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek in the final year of the Civil War, he came from Lincolnton and his body was returned there for burial. Confederate Missionary Bishop Henry C. Lay spent the final months of the Civil War in the town.
In the closing months of the war, Union forces occupied Lincoln County on Easter Monday, 1865. As county seat and a center of the textile industry, city residents prospered on the returns from cotton cultivation; the city has numerous properties, including churches, which have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the late 20th century. It has three recognized historic districts: Lincolnton Commercial Historic District, South Aspen Street Historic District, West Main Street Historic District; these were centers of retail activities. There was much activity around the Lincoln County Courthouse on court days, when farmers came to town to trade and sell their goods. Residences and other notable buildings marked the development of the city. In 1986, Lincolnton expanded by annexing the town of Boger City. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.2 square miles, of which, 8.2 square miles of it is land and 0.12% is water. Lincolnton is governed by a mayor and four-member city council, who hire a city manager to oversee day-to-day governance.
City council members serve the mayor serves for two years. They are elected in partisan elections in odd years. Council members represent city wards in which they are elected at-large; the mayor conducts city meetings the first Thursday of each month, votes only in case of a tie. Lincolnton government has traditionally been run by Democrats, but has a bipartisan government for the first time in its history; the city electorate narrowly backed Democrat Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election. The rest of Lincoln County has leaned Republican, favored Republican John McCain in the 2008 election. Edward L. Hatley was elected as mayor in 2015. Hatley served as a member of the Lincoln County Board of Education. Lincolnton's City Council Members are Tim Smith of Ward 1, David M. Black of Ward 2, Dr. Martin A. Eaddy of Ward 3, Roby Jetton of Ward 4. Council Members Smith, Black and Dr. Eaddy have their terms expire in 2017; the term of Council Member Jetton expires in 2019. Lincolnton is home to one print newspaper and one radio station, plus a range of online news sites and blogs.
The Lincoln Times-News was formed in the early 1960s by a merger between two much older publications. Based in historic downtown Lincolnton, the family-owned newspaper prints Monday and Friday afternoons and covers all of Lincoln County, for which it is the legal paper of record. WLON radio went on the air in the late 1950s or early 1960s and provides coverage of Lincolnton High School football every Friday night, as well as Atlanta Braves, NC State Wolfpack, UNC Tar Heels sports events; the online Lincoln Tribune was founded about six years ago with a print edition, but has since become an online publication.. Another news Web site, The Carolina Scoop, is no longer in existence. Two free-distribution weekly papers—News@Norman and Denver Weekly—operate only in the eastern portion of Lincoln County. An on-line web paper, Lincoln Herald, began publishing in August 2012; the city has grown sinc
New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, more referred to as the Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference; the team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, an arena they share with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City. Alongside the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of two original NBA teams still located in its original city; the team, established by Ned Irish in 1946, was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America, which became the NBA after merging with the rival National Basketball League in 1949. The Knicks were successful during their early years and were constant playoff contenders under the franchise's first head coach Joe Lapchick. Beginning in 1950, the Knicks made three consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, all of which were losing efforts.
Lapchick resigned in 1956 and the team subsequently began to falter. It was not until the late 1960s when Red Holzman became head coach that the Knicks began to regain their former dominance. Holzman guided the Knicks to two NBA championships, in 1970 and 1973; the Knicks of the 1980s had mixed success. The playoff-level Knicks of the 1990s were led by future Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing. During this time, they were known for playing tough defense under head coaches Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy, making two appearances in the NBA Finals, in 1994 and 1999. However, they were unable to win an NBA championship during this era. Since 2000, the Knicks have struggled to regain their former glory, but won its first division title in 19 years in 2012–13, led by a core of forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Indiana Pacers, have failed to make the playoffs since. In 1946, basketball college basketball, was a growing and profitable sport in New York City.
Hockey generated considerable profits. Max Kase, a New York sportswriter, became the sports editor at the Boston American in the 1930s, when he met Boston Garden owner Walter A. Brown. Kase developed the idea of an organized professional league to showcase college players upon their graduation and felt it could become profitable if properly assembled. Brown, intrigued by the opportunity to attain additional income when the hockey teams were not playing or on the road, contacted several arena owners. On June 6, 1946, Kase and Brown and a group of seventeen others assembled at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, as the Basketball Association of America, where charter franchises were granted to major cities throughout the country. Ned Irish, a college basketball promoter, retired sportswriter and president of Madison Square Garden, was in attendance. Kase planned to own and operate the New York franchise himself and approached Irish with a proposal to lease the Garden. Irish explained that the rules of the Arena Managers Association of America stated that Madison Square Garden was required to own any professional teams that played in the arena.
On the day of the meeting, Kase made his proposal to the panel of owners. Irish wanted a distinct name for his franchise, representative of the city of New York, he called together members of his staff for a meeting to cast their votes in a hat. After tallying the votes, the franchise was named the Knickerbockers; the "Knickerbocker" name comes from the pseudonym used by Washington Irving in his book A History of New York, a name that became applied to the descendants of the original Dutch settlers of what became New York, by extension, to New Yorkers in general. In search of a head coach, Irish approached successful St. John's University coach Joe Lapchick in May 1946. Lapchick accepted after Irish promised to make him the highest paid coach in the league. Irish obliged, hiring former Manhattan College coach Neil Cohalan as interim coach for the first year. With no college draft in the league's initial year, there was no guarantee that the Knicks or the league itself would thrive. Teams focused on signing college players from their respective cities as a way to promote the professional league.
The Knicks held their first training camp in the Catskill Mountains at the Nevele Country Club. Twenty-five players were invited to attend the three-week session. Players worked out twice a day and the chemistry between the New York natives was instant. With a roster assembled, the Knicks faced the Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on November 1, 1946, in what would be the franchise's first game—as well as the first in league history. In a low-scoring affair presented in front of 7,090 spectators, the Knicks defeated the Huskies 68–66 with Leo Gottlieb leading the Knicks in scoring with 14 points. With Madison Square Garden's crowded schedule, the Knicks were forced to play many of their home games at the 69th Regiment Armory during the team's early years; the Knicks went on to finish their inaugural campaign with a 33–27 record and achieved a playoff berth under Cohalan despite a dismal shooting percentage of 28 perce