Joseph Bohomiel Lapchick was an American professional basketball player known for playing with the Original Celtics in the 1920s and 1930s. He is regarded as the best center of his era, overshadowed in his years only by Tarzan Cooper. After ending his playing career in 1937, Lapchick became head coach at St. John's University, a position he held until 1947, when he took over the New York Knicks in the NBA. Lapchick coached the Knicks until 1957, he returned to St. John's, coaching them until 1965. From star player to successful coach to popular author to respected dignitary, Joe Lapchick played a variety of roles in his more than 50 years in the game of basketball, he was an eminently influential figure who helped nurture the sport from its crude beginnings into its modern form. Born in Yonkers, New York to Czech immigrants, Lapchick as a boy helped his struggling family make ends meet by scrounging for coal near railroad tracks. At age 12 the youngster started playing basketball around his neighborhood, wearing a uniform his mother had made for him.
Like many youngsters of the era, he stopped going to school after the eighth grade. While working as a caddie and in a factory, the 15-year-old found he could make $5 to $10 per night playing for local basketball teams. At age 19 he was pocketing up to $100 per game. Basketball became his life. Lapchick was rangy at 6-foot-5, making him a valuable commodity at a time when a jump ball was held after every basket. "I played one manager against the other," he said years later. "I bargained with the managers for every game. When there was a clash of dates, I took the best offer." In 1923 he joined the fabled Original Celtics. At first the team eschewed league play, choosing instead to barnstorm throughout the Northeast and wow crowds with its razzle-dazzle style of play. Conditions were spartan; when a large cut on Lapchick's wrist became infected with uniform dye, a teammate rubbed off the scab with a towel and doused the wound with whiskey. Luckily for Lapchick, the treatment worked; the Celtics won two straight titles.
So dominant were Lapchick, Nat Holman, the rest of the Celtics that the league insisted the team disband. It did, in 1928. Lapchick and two other former Celtics joined the Cleveland Rosenblums, a team owned by a department store magnate who had named the team after himself. With Lapchick starring at the pivot, the "Rosenblum Celtics" won two straight ABL titles; the Great Depression forced an end to the ABL in 1931. Still a young man, Lapchick re-formed the Celtics with Dutch Dehnert, Davey Banks, Nat Hickey, Johnny Beckman, Carl Husta and him, they hit the road for five years, with Lapchick handling driving duties, Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" at games. In 1936 Lapchick landed the coaching job at New York City. In 11 seasons he steered the Redmen to a 180-55 record and two consecutive National Invitation Tournament titles, in 1943 and 1944. Overwhelmed by stress, Lapchick fainted during the second half of the 1944 final game. In 1947 he passed up a then-astronomical offer of $12,000 per year to stay at St. John's, opting instead to accept a job as coach of the New York Knickerbockers of the fledgling Basketball Association of America.
Landing Lapchick was a big boost to the league, in only its second year of operation. He signed Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton to the Knicks, one of the league's first African-American players; as a star center with the Original Celtics and other barnstorming teams, a college coach at St. John's, an NBA coach with the New York Knicks, an ambassador of the sport, Lapchick cast a broad shadow across the game and its history. Though a slick player and an admired coach, Lapchick was best known for his obsessive worrying and anxiety during games, he lived every second of every game. Stress related health problems ended his professional coaching career and caused an occasional on-court fainting spell and a few heart attacks. Lapchick was respected for his motivational coaching style, which focused less on mechanics than on eliciting peak performances from his players. Stressing a freewheeling offensive approach and smooth ballhandling, Lapchick built winners at both the college and pro levels; as a player, Lapchick had sharp passing and shooting skills that made him one of the first great pro centers and that helped his teams win several championships.
Continuing to emphasize his themes of personal achievement and responsibility, Lapchick led the Knicks to eight straight winning seasons and eight trips to the playoffs, including three straight NBA Finals from 1951 to 1953. The 1953–54 Knicks were more than just a team of talented players. Though a great motivator, Lapchick was a wild man on the sidelines, stomping on his coat, smashing chairs, tossing various objects into the air. Stress-related health problems forced him to quit near the end of the 1955–56 season, he left the Knicks with a 326-247 NBA coaching record. Lapchick rested for only a month before returning to St. John's, where in nine more seasons he led the Redmen to two more NIT crowns, giving them a record four titles. Lapchick wasn't just his players’ basketball coach; the school's mandatory-retirement rules forced Lapchick, a two-time college Coach of the Year, to step down after the 1964–65 season at age 65. He had several heart attacks that ye
George Lawrence Senesky was an American professional basketball player and coach. A 6'2" guard from Saint Joseph's University, he played for eight seasons in the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball Association, all with the Philadelphia Warriors, he coached the franchise, from 1955 through to 1958, winning the NBA title in 1956. A Pennsylvania native, Senesky played for the St. Joseph Hawks from 1940 to 1943. In his final year, he averaged 23.4 points a game scoring 515 total points in 22 games of that season, a school record. Seven years his brother Paul broke the record, he was the unofficial NCAA Division I scoring leader for that year. Afterwards, he served in the Army Air Forces in World War II. After he had served, he played for the Philadelphia Sphas of the American Basketball League for one season, he went to play for the Philadelphia Warriors in the first season of the Basketball Association of America in 1947. That same year, the Warriors won the BAA Finals over the Chicago Stags.
He scored 10.4 points per game in the 1950–51 season, with 679 points in 65 games. In his eight seasons, he played 482 games, made 1279 out of 4087 shots for a.313 percentage, 897 out of 1277 free throws for a.702 percentage. He four seasons in which he averaged more than 8 points a game. After a season where he averaged 1.9 points a game with 111 points in 58 games, he retired. Two seasons after retiring from the Warriors, Senesky returned to coach the team. Like the man he had replaced, Senesky won a title in his first year. In his first year, he coached them to a 45-27 record; the Warriors beat the defending champion Syracuse Nationals in five games to advance to their first NBA Finals since 1948. In the Finals, the Warriors beat the Fort Wayne Pistons in five games to win their first championship in nine years. In his second year, he led them to a 37-35 record, finishing three games behind the eventual champion Boston Celtics in the Division; the Warriors were swept in two games by the Syracuse Nationals.
In his third year, they finished with the same place in the division. They beat Syracuse in three games to advance to the Division Finals, but they lost to the Celtics in five games. Senesky died of cancer on June 25, 2001 at the age of 79. BasketballReference.com: George Senesky BasketballReference.com: George Senesky
The Philadelphia 76ers are an American professional basketball team based in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The 76ers compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division and play at Wells Fargo Center. Founded in 1946 and known as the Syracuse Nationals, they are one of the oldest franchises in the NBA, one of only eight to survive the league's first decade; the 76ers have had a rich history, with many of the greatest players in NBA history having played for the organization, including Wilt Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson. They have won three NBA championships, with their first coming as the Syracuse Nationals in 1955; the second title came in 1967, a team, led by Chamberlain. The third title came in 1983, won by a team led by Malone; the 76ers have only been back to the NBA Finals once since then: in 2001, where they were led by Iverson and lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.
In 1946, Italian immigrant Daniel Biasone sent a $5,000 check to the National Basketball League offices in Chicago, the Syracuse Nationals became the Midwest-based league's easternmost team, based in the Upstate New York city of Syracuse. The Syracuse Nationals began play in the NBL in the same year professional basketball was gaining some legitimacy with the rival Basketball Association of America, based in large cities like New York and Philadelphia. While in the NBL with teams consisting of small Midwestern towns, the Nationals put together a 21–23 record, finishing in fourth place. In the playoffs, the Nationals would be beaten by the fellow upstate neighbor Rochester Royals in four games. In their second season, 1947–48, the Nationals would struggle, finishing in fifth place with a 24–36 record. Despite their struggles, the Nationals would make the playoffs, getting swept by the Anderson Duffey Packers in 3 straight games. Several teams began to leave the NBL for the BAA; the Nationals "recipe for success" began by recruiting Leo Ferris.
Staying in the NBL, Ferris signed Al Cervi to be player coach and outbid the New York Knicks for the services of Dolph Schayes who made his professional debut, leading the Nationals to a winning record for the first time with a record of 41–22. In the playoffs the Nationals would make quick work of the Hammond Calumet Buccaneers, winning the series in 2 straight games. However, in the semifinals the Nationals would fall to the Anderson Duffey Packers for the second straight season in four games. In 1949, the Nationals were one of seven NBL teams that were absorbed by the Basketball Association of America to form the NBA; the Nationals were an instant success in the NBA, winning the Eastern Division in the 1949–50 season, with a league best record of 51–13. In the playoffs the Nationals continued to play solid basketball, beating the Philadelphia Warriors in 2 straight. Moving on to the Eastern Finals, the Nationals battled the New York Knickerbockers, beating their big city rivals in a 3-game series.
In the NBA Finals, the Nationals faced. In Game 1 of the Finals the Nationals lost just their second home game of the season 68–66; the Nationals did not recover. Despite several teams leaving the NBA for the National Professional Basketball League before the 1950–51 season, the Nationals decided to stay put. In their second NBA season, 1950–51, the Nationals played mediocre basketball all season, finishing in fourth place with a record of 32–34. However, in the playoffs the Nationals played their best basketball of the season as they stunned the first place Warriors in two straight, taking Game 1 on the road in overtime 91–89. In the Eastern Finals the Nationals were beaten by the New York Knickerbockers in a hard-fought 5-game series, losing the finale by just 2 points. Cervi, playing less and coaching more, emphasized a patient offense and a scrappy defense, which led the league in the 1951–52 season by yielding a stingy 79.5 points per game as the Nationals won the Eastern Division with a solid 40–26 record.
In the playoffs the Nationals knocked off the Warriors again in a 3-game series. However, in the Eastern Finals the Nationals fell to the Knickerbockers again, dropping the series in four games; the Nationals would finish in second place in a hard-fought 3-way battle for first place in the Eastern Division for the 1952–53 season, with a record of 47–24. In the playoffs the Nationals would face the Boston Celtics dropping Game 1 at home 87–81. Needing a win in Boston to keep their hopes alive, the Nationals would take the Celtics deep into overtime before losing in quadruple OT 111–105, in what remains the longest playoff game in NBA history; the Nationals acquired Alex Groza, Ralph Beard as the Indianapolis Olympians folded leaving the NBA with just 9 teams for the 1953–54 season. Once again the Nationals would battle for the Division title falling two games short with a 42–30 record. In the playoffs the Nationals would win all four games of a round robin tournament involving the three playoff teams from the East.
In the Eastern Finals the Nationals would stay hot beating the Celtics in 2 straight games. However, in the NBA Finals the Nationals would lose to the Lakers in a hard-fought 7-game series where the 2 teams alternated wins throughout. With the NBA struggling financially and down to just 8 teams Nationals owner during the 1954–55 season, Biasone suggested the league limit the amount of time taken for a shot thus speeding up a game that ended with long periods of teams just holding the ball and playing keep away. Biasone and Nationals' general manager
Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach was an American basketball coach of the Washington Capitols, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks and the Boston Celtics. After he retired from coaching, he served as president and front office executive of the Celtics until his death; as a coach, he won nine National Basketball Association championships in ten seasons. As general manager and team president of the Celtics, he won an additional seven NBA titles, for a grand total of 16 in a span of 29 years, making him one of the most successful team officials in the history of North American professional sports. Auerbach is remembered as a pioneer of modern basketball, redefining basketball as a game dominated by team play and defense and for introducing the fast break as a potent offensive weapon, he groomed many players. Additionally, Auerbach was vital in breaking down color barriers in the NBA, he made history by drafting the first African-American NBA player, Chuck Cooper in 1950, introduced the first African-American starting five in 1964, hired the first African-American head coach in North American sports.
Famous for his polarizing nature, he was well known for smoking a cigar when he thought a victory was assured, a habit that became, for many, "the ultimate symbol of victory" during his Boston tenure. In 1967, the NBA Coach of the Year award, which he had won in 1965, was named the "Red Auerbach Trophy", Auerbach was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969. In 1980, he was named the greatest coach in the history of the NBA by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America, was NBA Executive of the Year in 1980. In addition, Auerbach was voted one of the NBA 10 Greatest Coaches in history, was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, is honored with a retired number 2 jersey in the TD Garden, the home of the Boston Celtics. Arnold Jacob Auerbach was one of the four children of Hyman Auerbach. Hyman was a Russian-Jewish immigrant from Minsk and Marie Auerbach, née Thompson, was American-born. Auerbach Sr. had left Russia when he was 13, the couple owned a delicatessen store and went into the dry-cleaning business.
Little Arnold spent his whole childhood in Williamsburg, playing basketball. With his flaming red hair and fiery temper, Auerbach was soon nicknamed "Red."Amid the Great Depression, Red played basketball at PS 122 and in the Eastern District High School, where he was named "Second Team All-Brooklyn" by the World-Telegram in his senior year. Auerbach received an athletic scholarship to the basketball program of Bill Reinhart at George Washington University in Washington, D. C. Auerbach was a standout basketball player and graduated with a M. A. in 1941. In those years, Auerbach began to understand the importance of the fast break, appreciating how potent three charging attackers against two back-pedalling defenders could be. In 1941, Auerbach began coaching basketball at the St. Albans School and Roosevelt High School in Washington, D. C. Two years he joined the US Navy for three years, coaching the Navy basketball team in Norfolk. There, he caught the eye of Washington millionaire Mike Uline, who hired him to coach the Washington Capitols in the newly founded Basketball Association of America, a predecessor of the NBA.
In the 1946–47 BAA season, Auerbach led a fast break-oriented team built around early BAA star Bones McKinney and various ex-Navy players to a 49–11 win–loss record, including a standard-setting 17-game winning streak that stood as the single-season league record until 1969. In the playoffs, they were defeated by the Chicago Stags in six games; the next year the Capitols went 28–20 but were eliminated from the playoffs in a one-game Western Division tie-breaker. In the 1948–49 BAA season, the Caps won their first 15 games and finished the season at 38–22; the team reached the BAA Finals, but were beaten by the Minneapolis Lakers, who were led by Hall-of-Fame center George Mikan. In the next season, the BAA and the rival league National Basketball League merged to become the NBA, Auerbach felt he had to rebuild his squad. However, owner Uline declined his proposals, Auerbach resigned. After leaving the Capitols, Auerbach became assistant coach of the Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team, it was assumed that Auerbach would take over for head coach Gerry Gerard, battling cancer.
During his tenure at Duke, Auerbach worked with future All-American Dick Groat. Auerbach wrote that he "felt pretty bad waiting for to die" and that it was "no way to get a job". Auerbach left Duke after a few months when Ben Kerner, owner of the Tri-Cities Blackhawks, gave him the green light to rebuild the team from scratch. Auerbach traded more than two dozen players in just six weeks, the revamped Blackhawks improved, but ended the 1949–50 NBA season with a losing record of 28–29; when Kerner traded Auerbach's favorite player John Mahnken, an angry Auerbach resigned again. Prior to the 1950–51 NBA season, Walter Brown, owner of the Boston Celtics, was desperate to turn around his struggling and financially strapped franchise, reeling from a 22–46 record. Brown, in characteristic candor, said to a gathering of local Boston sportswriters, "Boys, I don't know anything about basketball. Who would you recommend I hire as coach?" The group vociferously answered that he get the available Auerbach, Brown complied.
In the 1950 NBA draft, Auerbach made some notable moves. First, he famously snubbed Hall-of-Fame New England point guard Bob Cousy in the 1950 NBA draft, infuriating the Boston crowd, he argued th
Alexander Murray Hannum was a professional basketball player and coach. Hannum coached two National Basketball Association teams and one American Basketball Association team to championships. In 1998 Hannum was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach. Hannum prepped at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles. Hannum played at USC. Hannum played in the NBA between 1949 and 1957. After a season with the Oshkosh All-Stars, followed by the formation of the National Basketball Association, he played for several NBA teams and scored more than 3,000 points. Hannum is known for coaching the Wilt Chamberlain-led Philadelphia 76ers of 1966–67 to the NBA championship, ending the eight-year title streak of the Boston Celtics. Hannum coached the Bob Pettit–led St. Louis Hawks team to the 1958 NBA Championship over the Celtics in the NBA Finals; the 1958 Championship made him the first of only three head coaches in NBA history to win championships with two different teams. The aforementioned seasons were the only two in Bill Russell's 13-year career in which the Celtics' center did not win an NBA championship.
Hannum coached the Wichita Vickers of the AAU National Industrial Basketball League in 1958-1959 and 1959-1960. In 1964, Hannum was named NBA Coach of the Year while with the San Francisco Warriors. In 1968 Hannum was named head coach and executive vice president of the Oakland Oaks of the American Basketball Association. Hannum coached the Rick Barry-led Oaks to the 1969 ABA Championship, becoming the first of two coaches to win championships in both the NBA and ABA. Hannum won. Hannum on April 8, 1971, left his position as head coach of the San Diego Rockets of the NBA to become President, General Manager and head coach of the ABA's Denver Rockets. In his first season the Rockets lost their opening playoff match to the Texas Chaparrals. On June 13, 1972 Hannum bought control of the Rockets with A. G. "Bud" Fischer and Frank M. Goldberg. In the 1972–73 season Hannum coached the Rockets to the 1973 ABA Playoffs where they lost in the first round of the Western Division playoffs to the Indiana Pacers, 4 games to 1.
Hannum returned the Rockets to the 1974 ABA Playoffs. On April 30, 1974 Hannum was dismissed as general manager and head coach of the Rockets. Hannum's combined record, was 649–564 with a 61–46 record in the playoffs on 11 trips in 16 seasons. Hannum was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998. Thirteen Hall-of-Famers played for Hannum. In addition to Pettit and Barry, he had coached Cliff Hagan, Ed Macauley, Slater Martin, Dolph Schayes, Nate Thurmond, Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Elvin Hayes, Calvin Murphy and Chet Walker. Hannum, a native of Los Angeles, graduate of the University of Southern California, died at the age of 78 in San Diego. Hannum is one of only three NBA players to receive more than six personal fouls in a single game. On December 26, 1950, Hannum received seven personal fouls in a game against the Boston Celtics. Alex Hannum at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Basketball Reference statistics Basketball Reference statistics
1951 NBA All-Star Game
The 1951 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game played on March 2, 1951, at Boston Garden in Boston, home of the Boston Celtics. The game was the first edition of the National Basketball Association All-Star Game and was played during the 1950–51 NBA season; the idea of holding an All-Star Game was conceived during a meeting between NBA President Maurice Podoloff, NBA publicity director Haskell Cohen and Boston Celtics owner Walter A. Brown. At that time, the basketball world had just been stunned by the college basketball point-shaving scandal. In order to regain public attention to the league, Cohen suggested the league to host an exhibition game featuring the league's best players, similar to the Major League Baseball's All-Star Game. Although most people, including Podoloff, were pessimistic about the idea, Brown remained confident that it would be a success, he offered to host the game and to cover all the expenses or potential losses incurred from the game. The Eastern All-Stars team defeated the Western All-Stars team 111–94.
Boston Celtics' Ed Macauley was named as the first NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award. The game became a success, drawing an attendance of 10,094, much higher than that season's average attendance of 3,500; the players for the All-Star Game were chosen by sports writers in several cities. They were not allowed to select players from their own cities. Players were selected without regard to position. On February 13, the team was announced by the NBA President Maurice Podoloff. Ten players from each Division were selected to represent the Eastern and Western Division in the All-Star Game. Vince Boryla, Ed Macauley, Dick McGuire and Dolph Schayes were unanimous selections to the Eastern team. Frank Brian, Ralph Beard, Bob Davies, Alex Groza, George Mikan, Vern Mikkelsen and Fred Schaus were unanimous selections to the Western team. Both the Philadelphia Warriors and the New York Knickerbockers were represented by three players each on the roster; the All-Star rosters included three rookies who were drafted in the 1950 draft: Paul Arizin, Bob Cousy and Larry Foust.
Two players, Ken Murray and Arnie Risen, were named as alternates for the Eastern and Western team respectively. The alternates would be invited to the team if any of the twenty players selected failed to take part in the game; the starters were chosen by each team's head coach. The coaches for the All-Star Game were the head coaches who coached the teams with the best winning percentage in their division through February 18, the Sunday two weeks before the All-Star game; the coach for the Western team was Minneapolis Lakers head coach John Kundla. As of February 18, the Lakers had 36–18 record, the best winning percentage in the Western Division and in the league; the coach for the Eastern team was New York Knickerbockers head coach Joe Lapchick. As of February 18, the Knickerbockers had 31–21 record, the best winning percentage in the Eastern Division and the second-best winning percentage in the league. Note The East defeated the West by 17 points; the West trailed by the end of the first quarter.
The East's lead increased to 11 points at halftime and again to 19 points at the end of the third quarter. Boston Celtics' Ed Macauley scored a game-high 20 points and defended Minneapolis Lakers star George Mikan, limiting him to only 4 field goals and 12 points. Alex Groza of the Indianapolis Olympians scored a team-high 17 points for the West. Syracuse Nationals' Dolph Schayes scored 15 points and recorded a game-high 14 rebounds for the East while reserve Dick McGuire added a game-high 10 assists. Two other players from the East, Joe Fulks and reserve Paul Arizin, scored at least 19 and 15 points as their team had 46.2 field goal percentage. On the other hand, the West only managed to make 32.7 percent of its shots. Macauley was named as the first All-Star Game Most Valuable Player. However, he was honored two years during the 1953 All-Star Game, when the league decided to designate an MVP for each year's game. General Specific NBA All-Star Game History NBA.com: All-Star Game: Year-by-Year Results
1958 NBA All-Star Game
The 1958 NBA All Star Game was the eighth NBA All-Star Game. Head Coach: Red Auerbach, Boston Celtics Head Coach: Alex Hannum, St. Louis Hawks The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. P. 243. ISBN 0-679-43293-0. Basketball-reference.com. "1958 NBA All-Star Game". Archived from the original on 24 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-12