Tim Thomas (basketball)
Timothy Mark Thomas is a retired American professional basketball player. A versatile 6'10" forward with a soft shooting touch, Thomas was tabbed as a future NBA star when he was still in high school, was selected to the McDonald's All-American team after averaging 25.3 points and 14.5 rebounds per game as a senior at Paterson Catholic High School. Following his freshman year at Villanova University, he was drafted seventh overall by the New Jersey Nets in the 1997 NBA Draft and was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for the Sixers' draft pick. Thomas enjoyed a solid rookie season, averaging 11.0 points per game, was named to the NBA's All-Rookie 2nd Team. The Sixers would grow impatient with a sophomore slump from Thomas, in 1999 he and Scott Williams were traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Jerald Honeycutt and Tyrone Hill. Milwaukee was enamored with Thomas's raw talent and versatility, hoped he could blossom into a star with more seasoning, it looked like things were coming together for Thomas during the 2000–01 season, when he averaged a career-high 13.4 ppg for the Bucks.
On January 5, 2001, Thomas connected on eight three-point field goals in the second half of Milwaukee's 119–115 loss to Portland. During his time with the Bucks, then-teammate Ray Allen was quoted as saying, "If he wanted to, Tim Thomas could be the best player in the league." After a strong playoff performance that year, Thomas signed a new deal with the Bucks worth $66 million over six years, despite being offered more money by Chicago. On February 16, 2004, Thomas was traded to the New York Knicks in a three team trade that included the Atlanta Hawks; the trade sent Keith Van Horn, whom Thomas was traded for during the 1997 draft, from the Knicks to the Bucks, Nazr Mohammed from the Hawks to the Knicks, Joel Pryzbilla from the Bucks to the Hawks, Michael Doleac from the Knicks to the Hawks. During game 1 of the Knicks' first round playoff series against the Nets, Thomas suffered an injury that kept him out of the remainder of the playoffs, when he was fouled by Jason Collins and taken out of the game on a stretcher.
The incident started a long feud with Nets forward Kenyon Martin, who Thomas called a fake tough guy, that continued past both players' playing careers. In 2017, Thomas rehashed their feud on an episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Thomas told Brandon Scoop B Robinson that he'd like to settle his feud with Kenyon Martin once and for all with a boxing match; the proceeds would go to the charity of their choice. Martin declined. Prior to the 2005–06 season, Thomas was traded to the Chicago Bulls, along with Jermaine Jackson, Mike Sweetney, a 2006 1st round draft pick, a 2007 1st round draft pick, a 2007 2nd round draft pick and a 2009 2nd round draft pick, in exchange for Eddy Curry, Antonio Davis and a 2007 1st round draft pick. Playing in the final year of his contract, Thomas was given minimal minutes from the rebuilding Bulls. After playing just three games for Chicago, Thomas was deactivated while dealing with ankle and back injuries. After not playing for nearly four months, Thomas was granted his release from the Bulls.
On March 1, 2006, Thomas agreed to terms with the Phoenix Suns to a contract for the remainder of the season. He made his debut with the Suns two days scoring 20 points off the bench in a 123-118 win over Orlando. Playing alongside reigning NBA MVP Steve Nash, Thomas rejuvenated his career in Phoenix. In the playoffs, Thomas played a crucial role in the Suns run to the Western Conference Finals. Starting in place of injured All-Star Amar'e Stoudemire, Thomas scored a game-high 22 points with 15 rebounds in a game 1 victory in the first round over the Lakers. In game 6, Thomas hit the game-tying three at the end of regulation and an important three-pointer late in overtime to seal the Suns win; the Suns won game 7. In the Suns' second round series against the Clippers, Thomas was credited for his defense on Elton Brand, helping the team to another seven game series win. In the Western Conference Finals, Phoenix fell to the Dallas Mavericks in six games. In game five of that series, Thomas "blew a kiss" to Maverick Dirk Nowitzki, who proceeded to score a total of 50 pts for the game.
Thomas expressed an interest in re-signing with Phoenix, though the Suns were over the salary cap and expected Stoudemire to return as their starter. On July 13, 2006, Thomas signed a four -- $24 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, he started in place of Elton Brand and Chris Kaman, though Thomas himself battled injuries. On November 21, 2008, Thomas and Cuttino Mobley were traded to the New York Knicks, in exchange for Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins. In his return to the Knicks, Thomas was reuinted with Mike D'Antoni, his coach in Phoenix. On February 19, 2009, Tim was traded again to the Bulls along with center Jerome James and guard Anthony Roberson in exchange for guard Larry Hughes just before the trade deadline, his second stint in Chicago was more successful than his first, as he provided veteran leadership to the young team, helping the Bulls make a late season push to qualify for the playoffs. Though entering the playoffs as the seventh seed, they were able to push their first round series against the defending–champion Boston Celtics to a full seven games.
On July 14, 2009, the Bulls negotiated a buyout of Thomas's $6.5 million contract. On July 28, 2009, the Dallas Mavericks signed free agent Thomas. In late January, however, he left the team temporarily to take care of his wife, who had an undisclosed illness. In August 2010 Thomas agreed to a one-year deal with the Mavericks worth the veteran
Austin George Carr is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Bullets of the National Basketball Association. He is known by Cleveland basketball fans as "Mr. Cavalier", he was part of the Notre Dame team which defeated the UCLA Bruins on January 19, 1971, UCLA's last defeat until being beaten by Notre Dame three years breaking the Bruins' NCAA men's basketball record 88-game winning streak. Carr grew up in Washington, D. C. and attended Holy Redeemer School, Mackin Catholic High School. At Mackin, Carr teamed with All-City guard Tom Little, who made some national All-American teams before starring at the University of Seattle; as a Junior All Met, Carr scored 475 points in 24 games. During Carr's All Met senior season, he scored 600 points and along with Sterling Savoy, led the Paul Furlong coached Trojans to the Catholic League title over DeMatha. Carr was named Parade All-American along with other 1967 seniors such as Artis Gilmore, Howard Porter, Jim McDaniels, Curtis Rowe, all of whom became major college stars.
The 6-foot 4-inch, 200 lb shooting guard first came to prominence as a recruited player for the University of Notre Dame, arriving after having scored more than 2,000 points during his high school career. Carr lived up to his lofty billing by ending his three-year career at Notre Dame with 2,560 points, ranking him fifth all-time in college basketball history at the time of his departure. During his final two seasons, Carr became only the second college player to tally more than 1,000 points in a season, joining Pete Maravich in that select group. Carr holds NCAA tournament records for most points in one game, most field goals in one game, most field goals attempted in one game, his record scoring average of 50 points per game in seven NCAA playoff games may never be broken. ESPN named Carr the 22nd greatest college basketball player of all time. Carr moved onto the professional ranks as the first overall selection of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1971 NBA draft. Carr was selected in the 1971 ABA Draft by the Virginia Squires, but signed with the Cavaliers on April 5, 1971.
Carr's first season in the NBA was marred by a series of injuries. During the 1971 preseason, he missed the first month of the season. Less than one month after returning to the court, he was sidelined again by another foot injury, missing another seven weeks. Upon his return, he began to display the skills which made him the top selection in the NBA draft and was named to the 1972 NBA All-Rookie Team. Following the conclusion of his first season, Carr had surgery to clear up any lingering foot problems; the arrival of Lenny Wilkens prior to the start of the 1972–73 campaign gave Carr a solid partner in the backcourt, helping the Cavaliers improve by nine games in the win column. Carr's best season came the following year, when he averaged a career-best 21.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 85.6% from the free-throw line. Two months into the 1974–75 season, he suffered a knee injury that put him out of the lineup indefinitely, his absence in the lineup prevented the Cavaliers' from capturing their first-ever playoff berth, with the team's bid falling one game short.
However, during the next three seasons, Carr played a role in three straight playoff appearances for the team. Cleveland lost in six games, they were eliminated in the first round of the 1977 playoffs by the Washington Bullets in a close three-game series. They were defeated in similar fashion in 1978. Carr played out his final season with the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Bullets before retiring in 1981, finishing with career averages of 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Today, Carr serves as the Director of Community Relations for the Cavaliers and is a color commentator on the team's broadcasts on Fox Sports Ohio. Carr's # 34, it was announced on April 2, 2007, that Carr was inducted to the second class of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, along with Dick Groat, Dick Barnett and numerous coaches. On February 21, 2008, Notre Dame recognized Carr, their all-time leading scorer, during the Pittsburgh – Notre Dame men's basketball game, he throws the hammer down! – for a Cavs slam dunk He hits it deep in the Q! – for a Cavs three-pointer Get that weak stuff outta here! – for a Cavs blocked shot He got him a bird – When a Cavs player gets an opponent to bite on a pump-fake Mouse in the house – When a Cavs player is being guarded by a much smaller defender There's a breeze in the building – When an opponent air balls a shot He dots the i – When a Cavs player hits a mid-range jumper Too much pressure bursts the pipe – When the Cavs defense is wreaking havoc on the opposition Right back in your face – When the Cavs score after the other team Pressure will crack the Liberty Bell – When the Cavs are playing lockdown defense against the Philadelphia 76ers He fed him a leather sandwich – When a Cavs player gets a block 1971 Naismith College Player of the Year 1971 Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year 1971 First Team All-American College Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee Notre Dame Basketball Ring of Honor 1972 NBA All-Rookie First Team 1974 NBA All-Star Game Selection 1980 recipient – Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Inductee 2011 Greater Cleveland Sports Commission Lifetime Achievement Award N
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
2009–10 NBA season
The 2009–10 NBA season was the 64th season of the National Basketball Association. The 1,230-game regular season began on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, ended on Wednesday, April 14, 2010; the 2009 NBA draft was held on June 25, 2009, Blake Griffin was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers. The Dallas Mavericks hosted the 59th Annual All-Star Game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 14, 2010. For the second time in NBA history, all eight Western Conference playoff teams won at least 50 games, only 7 wins separated the Western Conference #1 seed from #8 seed. Both of these events first occurred in 2008. Cleveland's league-leading 61 wins was the lowest win total to lead the league since the Indiana Pacers won 61 games in 2003–04; the New Jersey Nets became the fifth team in NBA history to lose 70 games in a season. On April 22, the Washington Wizards hired Flip Saunders as head coach, replacing interim head coach Ed Tapscott. On April 23, the Sacramento Kings fired interim head coach Kenny Natt and four assistant coaches after the Kings finished with a season-low 17 wins.
On May 11, the Philadelphia 76ers' interim head coach Tony DiLeo decided to withdraw his name from consideration as head coach for the 2009–10 season, citing family concerns. DiLeo retains his old position as Senior Vice President. On June 1, the Philadelphia 76ers hired Eddie Jordan as head coach. On June 9, the Sacramento Kings hired Paul Westphal as head coach. On June 17, the Minnesota Timberwolves fired interim head coach Kevin McHale, ending McHale's 15-year association with the franchise. On June 30, the Detroit Pistons fired head coach Michael Curry, after only one season at the position. On July 9, the Detroit Pistons hired Cavaliers assistant coach John Kuester as head coach. On August 10, the Minnesota Timberwolves hired Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis as head coach. On November 12, the New Orleans Hornets fired Byron Scott as head coach, replacing him on an interim basis with general manager Jeff Bower. On November 29, the New Jersey Nets fired Lawrence Frank as head coach, replacing him on an interim basis with assistant coach Tom Barrise.
On December 1, the New Jersey Nets appointed general manager Kiki Vandeweghe as an interim head coach, replacing Tom Barrise who coached the team for two games after Lawrence Frank was fired. On February 4, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy stepped down from coaching duties, he retained his position as the team's general manager. Assistant coach Kim Hughes replaced him as head coach on interim basis. June On June 10, 2009, one-time All-Star Game MVP Randy Smith died at the age of 60. On June 25, 2009, the 2009 NBA draft was held at New York City. Blake Griffin was selected first overall by the Los Angeles Clippers. July On July 7, 2009, the NBA announced that the salary cap for the 2009–10 season would be $57.70 million and would go into effect on July 8. September On September 1, 2009, the five-year contract between the NBA and its referees expired. Both parties had failed to negotiate a new contract by the start of the pre-season, resulting in a lockout by the National Basketball Referees Association starting on September 18.
On September 5, 2009, three-time NBA Champion Bruce Bowen retired after 12 seasons in the NBA, at the age of 38. On September 11, 2009, Charlotte Bobcats co-owner William Beck died in a plane crash, at the age of 49. On September 11, 2009, NBA legends Michael Jordan, John Stockton and David Robinson along with Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan were inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. On September 16, 2009, Indiana Pacers co-owner Melvin Simon died at the age of 82. On September 24, 2009, Mikhail Prokhorov, who at the time was Russia's richest man according to Forbes magazine, reached a deal to become the majority owner of the New Jersey Nets and to fund nearly half the cost of building the Nets' new arena. On September 30, 2009, the NBA issued a policy regarding Twitter and other social media sites, banning players and other team basketball operations personnel from using them during games. October On October 1, the pre-season games started and were refereed by replacement referees from the Women's National Basketball Association and the NBA D-League due to the lockout of referees.
This marked the first time. On October 2, the NBA Board of Governors approved the expanded use of instant replay starting this season to determine whether a 24-second shot clock violation occurred during a play, to determine during the last two minutes of regulation play or any overtime period which player last touched the ball prior to it going out-of-bounds. On October 8, the NBA played its first-ever game in Taipei. A pre-season game between the Indiana Pacers and the Denver Nuggets was played at Taipei Arena. Taipei became the seventh Asian city to host an NBA game, after Beijing, Macau, Shanghai and Yokohama. On October 9, Marvin Fishman, one of the original owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, died at the age of 84. On October 23, the NBA and its referees announced that they have agreed on a new labor agreement for the next two seasons, thus ending the lockout of referees. On October 27, the regular season opened with a record of 83 international players on the opening night rosters, tying the records set in the 2006–07 season.
Israeli Omri Casspi, Swede Jonas Jerebko and Tanzanian Hasheem Thabeet were representing their countries for the first time in the NBA. The opening night rosters featured a record number of former D-League players with 63 players on 29 NBA teams. November On November 10, Hall of Famer coach Al Cervi died at the age of 92. On November 24, W
Shannon Brown is an American professional basketball player. He attended Proviso East High School in Maywood, was named Illinois Mr. Basketball in 2003, played college basketball for Michigan State University, he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the 25th overall pick in the 2006 NBA draft. Brown attended Proviso East High School in Maywood, where his teammates included fellow 2006 draftee Dee Brown. In 2003, he was named a McDonald's All-American. Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Brown was listed as the No. 1 shooting guard and the No. 3 player in the nation in 2003. Brown played college basketball for the Michigan State Spartans, he was second-team All-Big Ten as an All-Big Ten Defensive selection. Brown was drafted in the first round with the 25th pick of the 2006 NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. Appearing in only 23 games in his debut season, he showed promise, scoring in double figures twice, but was hampered by an injury to his shin. Brown was assigned to the NBA Development League's Albuquerque Thunderbirds on March 2, 2007 but was recalled by the Cavaliers a day later.
In his sole game as a Thunderbird, Brown scored 14 points with six assists. Brown returned to the NBA Development League, this time with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, on January 11, 2008. In four games as a Viper, He averaged 23.5 points, including a 37-point performance against the Dakota Wizards on January 16. He was recalled by the Cavaliers on January 17. Through 2007–08's All-Star break, Brown played in 15 games during the season, averaging 7.0 points per game. On February 21, 2008, Brown was traded to the Chicago Bulls as part of a 3-team deal between the Bulls, the Cavaliers, the Sonics; the Sonics received Cavs forward Ira Newble, Cavs forward Donyell Marshall, Bulls forward Adrian Griffin. The Cavs received Bulls center Ben Wallace, Bulls forward Joe Smith, the Bulls' 2009 2nd round pick, Sonics forward Wally Szczerbiak, Sonics guard Delonte West. While the Bulls received Brown, Cavs forward Drew Gooden, Cavs guard Larry Hughes, Cavs forward Cedric Simmons. On August 6, 2008, he was signed to the Charlotte Bobcats to a one-year contract worth the minimum NBA salary of $800,000.
He would average only 4.8 points in limited action with the Bobcats. On February 7, 2009, Brown was traded, along with Adam Morrison, to the Los Angeles Lakers for Vladimir Radmanović. Brown's playing time with the Lakers was limited. Towards the end of the season, Brown experienced an upswing of playtime. In the 5 final games of the season, Brown played for an average of 16.4 minutes. With those minutes, he averaged 7.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists. Brown's increased playtime carried on to the playoffs. In the opening game in the first round match-up against the Jazz, Brown played 22 minutes, he had 3 assists, 2 rebounds and a steal. He finished the series averaging 17.4 minutes, 7.2 points, 1.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists, one steal per game. On July 6, 2009, Brown agreed to return to the Lakers for $4.2 million. It was announced on January 18, 2010 that he was selected to compete in the Sprite Slam Dunk Competition in Dallas at the 2010 All-Star weekend. On the same day, he led the Lakers with 22 points in their 98–92 win against the Orlando Magic.
Brown participated in the dunk contest on February 13, 2010, but did not advance beyond the first round. On February 16, 2010, in a game against the Golden State Warriors, Brown scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, he won his second championship at the end of the season. On August 8, 2010, Brown signed a two-year deal with the Lakers worth $4.6 million. During that season, he averaged 8.7 points in 19 minutes per game. He scored a season-high 21 points in two separate games against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls. During the postseason, Brown averaged 7 points per game. In the Lakers' last two games against the Dallas Mavericks, Brown scored 10 and 15 points before his team was swept. On June 30, 2011, Brown elected not to exercise his option to extend his contract with the Lakers for the 2011–12 season. After the 2011 NBA lockout ended on December 8, 2011, the Phoenix Suns signed Shannon Brown to a one-year contract. On March 15, 2012, Brown led the Suns with 21 points in a tough 91–87 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.
On March 27, 2012, Brown scored a career high 32 points, with five 3-pointers, in a loss to the San Antonio Spurs. On April 7, 2012, Brown scored 20 points in the third quarter against his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers, he led the team with 24 points in a blowout 125–105 victory. Two days Brown grabbed seven rebounds for the Suns in a blowout 114–90 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves. On July 25, 2012, Brown agreed to re-sign with Phoenix on a two-year deal worth $7 million. On November 7, 2012, Brown hit six straight three-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead the team in points with 24 and help them win 117–110 against his former team, the Charlotte Bobcats. Two days he scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter of a 107-105 victory against another former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers; this was the first time. On October 25, 2013, Brown was traded, along with Marcin Gortat, Malcolm Lee, Kendall Marshall, to the Washington Wizards in exchange for Emeka Okafor and a 2014 first-round draft pick.
Brown and Marshall were all waived by the Wizards three days later. On February 1, 2014, Brown signed a 10-day contract with th
1999–2000 NBA season
The 1999–2000 NBA season was the 54th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Los Angeles Lakers winning the NBA championship, beating the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 2 in the 2000 NBA Finals. Effective this season, the first game of the NBA regular season begins on either the first Tuesday of November or the last Tuesday of October, the last game on the third Wednesday of April; the NBA playoffs begin on the third Saturday of April. The 2000 NBA All-Star Game held in California; the West won 137–126. Tim Duncan from the San Antonio Spurs and Shaquille O'Neal from the Los Angeles Lakers shared the game's MVP honors; the Slam Dunk Contest returned after a two-year absence, with Vince Carter winning the title in what is considered to be one of the best Dunk Contest performances of all time. Both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers played their first games at the Staples Center; the Lakers would go on to win 19 consecutive games between February 4, 2000, March 16, 2000, the sixth-longest winning streak in NBA history.
Staples Center's first season saw its tenants at two opposite ends of the league: the Lakers finished with a best regular season record of 67–15 and the NBA title, while the Clippers finished 15–67, the worst of the season. The Denver Nuggets played their first game at the Pepsi Center; the Indiana Pacers played their first game at the Conseco Fieldhouse. The Indiana Pacers advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history; the Atlanta Hawks played their first game at the Philips Arena. The Miami Heat started the season playing their home games at Miami Arena. In January, they played their first game at the AmericanAirlines Arena; the Toronto Raptors played their first full season at the Air Canada Centre. They made the playoffs for the first time becoming the first Canadian team to do so. During Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, the Portland Trail Blazers held a 75-60 lead over the Los Angeles Lakers with 10:28 left to play. During the fourth quarter, the Blazers would miss thirteen consecutive shots, allowing the Lakers to claw back and take the game, 89–84.
The game was capped off with a famous alley-oop to Shaquille O'Neal from Kobe Bryant. Two active players were killed in automobile accidents within four months of each other. On January 12, Bobby Phills of the Charlotte Hornets was killed as a result of reckless driving while racing against teammate David Wesley. On May 20, Malik Sealy of the Minnesota Timberwolves was driving home from a birthday party being held for Kevin Garnett when his SUV was struck by a drunk driver, driving on the wrong side of the road. Phills would have his jersey retired during the season after news of his unexpected death was announced, while Sealy would have his jersey retired after this season concluded. San Antonio Spurs forward Sean Elliott was sidelined for most of the season while undergoing kidney transplant operations, he returned on March 13, becoming the first player to return following kidney transplant. The Boston Celtics retired their trademark parquet floor on December 22, 1999, after 54 years; the floor would be replaced by a replica combining elements of the old floor and new wooden sections.
Doc Rivers became the first recipient of the NBA Coach of the Year Award to have not led his team to the playoffs. He coached the Orlando Magic to a respectable 41-41 record, good enough for the 9th seed in the East The season marked Patrick Ewing's last in a New York Knicks uniform, he was traded during the 2000 offseason to the Seattle SuperSonics in a three-team deal. Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain died on October 12, 1999, at 63. Wilt's former teams, the Lakers and Warriors honored him by sporting black patches for the rest of the season. Kevin Johnson returned from retirement to replace the injured Jason Kidd of Phoenix Suns in this season's playoffs, but the Suns fell to the Lakers in the second round and Johnson would retire again. 36-year-old Houston Rockets forward Charles Barkley suffered a devastating injury early in the season but returned for a final game before retiring. The Atlanta Hawks changed their uniforms; the Cleveland Cavaliers changed their uniforms. The Denver Nuggets moved into the Pepsi Center.
The Detroit Pistons added new maroon alternate uniforms. The Indiana Pacers moved into the Conseco Fieldhouse; the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers both moved into the Staples Center, while the Lakers changed their uniforms. The Miami Heat changed their logo and uniforms, moved into the AmericanAirlines Arena in January; the Philadelphia 76ers added new blue alternate uniforms. The Seattle SuperSonics added new red alternate uniforms; the Toronto Raptors changed their uniforms removing the pinstripes. 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.
* Division winnerBold Series winnerItalic Team with home-court advantage Most Valuable Player: Shaquille O'Neal, Los Angeles Lakers Co-Rookies of the Year: Elton Brand, Chicago Bulls.
Ben Camey Wallace is an American retired professional basketball player. A native of Alabama, Wallace attended Cuyahoga Community College and Virginia Union University and signed with the Washington Bullets as an undrafted free agent in 1996. In his NBA career, Wallace played with the Washington Bullets/Wizards, Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, he won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award four times, a record he shares with Dikembe Mutombo. In nine seasons with the Pistons, Wallace made two NBA Finals appearances and won a championship with the Pistons in 2004; the Pistons retired his jersey number 3 in 2016. Wallace was born in White Hall, Alabama, a small town in Lowndes County, is the tenth of eleven children, he attended Central High School in Hayneville where he received all-state honors in basketball and football. Former basketball player Charles Oakley is Wallace's mentor, having discovered Wallace at a 1991 basketball camp, recommended Wallace to his previous college, Virginia Union.
Wallace first played college basketball on the junior college level at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland for two years. There, staples of Wallace's defensive prowess were shown as he averaged 17.0 rebounds and 6.9 blocks per game. He transferred to Virginia Union, a NCAA Division II school, where he studied criminal justice. Wallace averaged 13.4 points per game and 10.0 rebounds per game as a member of the Virginia Union Panthers, whom he led to the Division II Final Four and a 28–3 record. As a senior, Wallace was named to the First-Team All CIAA and was selected as a First Team All-American by the NABC. After leaving Virginia Union and going undrafted, he travelled to Italy for a tryout with the Italian team Viola Reggio Calabria. Wallace only appeared in 34 games for Washington in the 1996–97 season and did not play many minutes; the following year, he appeared in 67 games and started in 16, but did not average many points or rebounds. He did manage to average 1.1 blocks throughout the season however, his defensive play solidified his identity and his minutes increased in the lockout shortened 1998–99 season, as he started in 16 of 46 games and averaged 6 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2 blocks per game.
Washington was unable to make the playoffs for three straight years. On August 11, 1999, Wallace was traded to the Orlando Magic in a multiplayer deal for Isaac Austin. In the 1999–2000 season, he solidified his role as a starter, starting in all 81 games that he appeared in, he averaged 8.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks for the Magic as they won 41 games. However the Magic failed to make the playoffs and following the season, the Magic traded Wallace along with Chucky Atkins to the Detroit Pistons as compensation in a sign and trade deal for superstar forward and free agent Grant Hill; the trade for Hill was considered one-sided, but in the 2000–01 season, Wallace had his most productive season yet, averaging 6.4 points a game while placing second in rebounds with 13.2 a game and tenth in blocks per game with 2.3, but the Pistons could not make the playoffs. The 2001–02 season would be better for Wallace, as he averaged his most points per game for a season yet at 7.6 points, while leading the league in rebounding with 13 a game and shot blocking with 3.5.
His strong defensive play earned him the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, while being named to the All-Defensive First Team and the All-NBA Third Team. The Pistons won 50 games and the Central Division, would defeat the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs before falling to the Paul Pierce-led Boston Celtics in the conference semifinals. Wallace opened the playoffs with a 19-point, 20 rebound effort against Toronto, he managed to grab 20 or more rebounds two more times in 10 total playoff games, his first experience in the post season; the 2002–03 season would result in another Defensive Player of the Year Award for Wallace, as well as another selection to the All-Defensive team along with being named to the All-NBA Second Team, as he increased his rebounding to 15.4 a game. The Pistons won 50 games and the Central Division again, defeated Orlando in a grueling seven-game first round series that included coming back from a 3-1 deficit. Detroit would go on to defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in six games, but the Pistons were swept by the defending Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Nets in the Conference Finals.
Wallace increased his rebounding to 16.3 per game in the playoffs, reached 20 or more rebounds four times. The 2003–04 season saw Ben Wallace continue to rank among the league leaders in rebounding and blocks. Despite losing out on a third straight Defensive Player of the Year Award to Ron Artest, Wallace increased his scoring average to 9.5 points a game, was named again to the All-Defensive First Team and the All-NBA Second Team. The season featured new head coach Larry Brown, he would lead the Pistons to 54 wins for the season, which included a late season acquisition of star power forward Rasheed Wallace to further improve the team's defense and scoring. In the playoffs, the Pistons handily defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the first round, before facing New Jersey for the second straight year. Despite taking a 2-game lead to open the series, the Nets would put up a fight against the Pistons to win 3 straight games, the Pistons responded with a 81-75 road win in New Jersey before wrapping up the series with a 90-69 game 7 win.
The Pistons would face the Ron Artest and Reggie Miller-led, league-leading Indiana Pacers, the two teams traded wins in the first four