Gary Neal is an American professional basketball player for Banvit of the Turkish Basketball League. Neal attended Aberdeen High School and Calvert Hall College High School in Maryland before playing college basketball at La Salle University and Towson University, he began his professional career abroad with teams in Turkey and Italy before signing with the San Antonio Spurs in 2010. At 6 ft 4 in tall, Neal is considered a combo guard. Born in Baltimore, Neal attended Aberdeen High School for three years. At Aberdeen, he was teammates with forward-center Jai Lewis; as a junior, Neal led Aberdeen to a 21–4 record and won their state championship, while averaging a triple double per game. For his senior year, he enrolled at Calvert Hall College High School, to play in the Baltimore Catholic League, he played alongside Jack McClinton, drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2009 NBA Draft. As a freshman, Neal was the Atlantic Ten Rookie of the Year, he led the La Salle Explorers in scoring with an 18.6 average during his two seasons for the Explorers.
Before the 2004–05 season, Neal was dismissed from the team due to a rape allegation by a University of New Haven women's basketball player, working at La Salle camp. Neal was acquitted after prosecutors failed to convince a jury that the woman was too drunk to consent to sex. Neal sat out the 2004–05 season to transfer to Towson University, he joined Towson with no athletic aspirations, but was given a walk-on spot on their basketball team in 2005–06 conditional on the result of his rape case. Neal was activated as soon as he was acquitted, received a scholarship for his senior year in 2006–07; that year, he returned to high scoring numbers averaging 25.3 points per game, 3.5 assists per game, 4.2 rebounds per game, he led the Tigers to the 2nd round of the 2007 CAA conference tournament, before losing to Old Dominion University. He became the fourth basketball player in NCAA history to score at least 1,000 points with two different schools. Neal was eligible in the 2007 NBA draft in June and was projected to be on the bubble to get drafted.
Neal went undrafted. When playing for Pınar Karşıyaka, Neal led the Turkish Basketball Super League in scoring, averaging 23.6 points per game. FC Barcelona bought out Neal's Pınar Karşıyaka contract. Neal was signed by FC Barcelona in January 2008. In Barcelona he averaged 2.3 points per game in the Euroleague and 3.3 points per game in the ACB with Barcelona during the 2007–08 season. In June 2008, Neal was signed by the Italian Serie A outfit Benetton Treviso. With Benetton, he was named to the EuroCup Basketball All-EuroCup Second Team during the 2008–09 season. Neal joined the Spanish club Unicaja Málaga, where he finished the 2009–10 season, averaging 12.6 points per game in Spanish League play. On July 22, 2010, the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA signed Neal to a three-year deal. In the 2010–11 NBA season, Neal played 80 games and started one and scored 45.1% of his field goal attempts, 41.9% of three-pointers, 80.8% of free throws. On April 27, 2011, during game 5 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs and the Spurs trailing the Memphis Grizzlies 97–94 and the series 3 games to one, Neal hit a three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
The Spurs forced a sixth game in the series. However, the Spurs lost Game 6 to the Grizzlies 99–91 and were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round. In 22 minutes that game, Neal scored 8 points and made 5 rebounds, one assist, one steal. On January 2, 2012, the Spurs assigned Neal to the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League as he recovered from an appendectomy. However, he was recalled on the next day without playing any games for the Toros. On December 10, 2012, Neal scored an NBA career-high 29 points to go along with his career-high 7 3-pointers made in a win against the Houston Rockets in overtime. On June 11, 2013, in Game 3 of the 2013 NBA finals, Neal scored a career playoff high of 24 points on 9 of 17 from the field and 6 of 10 from 3-pointers to help lead the Spurs to a blowout 113–77 victory over the Miami Heat. However, the Spurs lost the series in seven games. On July 30, 2013, Neal signed with the Milwaukee Bucks. On February 20, 2014, Neal and Luke Ridnour were traded to the Charlotte Bobcats in exchange for Jeff Adrien and Ramon Sessions.
In April 2014, Charlotte changed their name to the Hornets. On December 12, 2014, he had his best game since the 2012–13 season with the Spurs when he scored 25 points in the Hornets' 107-113 double overtime loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. On February 10, 2015, Neal was traded, along with Miami's 2019 second-round draft pick, to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Mo Williams, Troy Daniels and cash considerations. On July 9, 2015, Neal signed with the Washington Wizards. During the 2015–16 season, he missed 23 games due to injury, forcing the Wizards to waive him on March 9, 2016. On December 16, 2016, Neal was acquired by the Westchester Knicks of the NBA Development League. Ten days he made his debut with Westchester in a 118–114 loss to the Long Island Nets, recording four points, one rebound and one steal in 13 minutes off the bench. On January 2, 2017, Neal was traded to the Texas Legends in exchange for a third-round pick. Four days he made his debut for the Legends in a 148–122 loss to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, recording 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal in 26 minutes off the bench.
On January 18, 2017, Neal signed a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks. On January 28, 2017, after his 10-day contract expired, he parted ways with the Hawks and re-joined the Legends. On J
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
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
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Coeur d'Alene is the largest city and county seat of Kootenai County, United States. It is the principal city of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area; as of the 2010 census, the population of Coeur d'Alene was 44,137. The city is a satellite city of Spokane, located about 30 miles to the west, in the state of Washington; the two cities are the key components of the Spokane–Coeur d'Alene combined statistical area, of which Coeur d'Alene is the third-largest city. Coeur d'Alene is the largest city in North Idaho; the city is situated on the north shore of 25 miles in length. Locally, Coeur d'Alene is known as the "Lake City", or called by its initials: "CDA"; the city of Coeur d'Alene has grown in recent years, in part because of a substantial increase in tourism, encouraged by several resorts in the area. Broadcaster and media figure Barbara Walters called the city "a little slice of Heaven" and included it in her list of most fascinating places to visit. On November 28, 2007, Good Morning America broadcast the city's Christmas lighting ceremony because its display is among the largest in the United States.
The Coeur d'Alene Resort and a 165-acre natural area called Tubbs Hill, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho take up a prominent portion of the city's downtown. There are several ski areas nearby: Silver Mountain Resort to the east in Kellogg, Lookout Pass Ski and Recreation Area alsoto the east on Lookout Passat the Montana border, Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort to the north in Sandpoint; the largest theme and water park in the Northwest, Silverwood Theme Park, is located 20 miles to the north. The city is named after the Coeur d'Alene People, a federally recognized tribe of Native Americans who lived along the rivers and lakes of the region, in a territory of 5,500 square miles extending into Washington and Montana, they were first encountered by French fur traders in the late 18th and early 19th century, who referred to them as Cœur d'Alêne, meaning "heart of an awl", reflecting their experience of the tribal traders as tough businessmen, "sharp-hearted" or "shrewd". The Coeur d'Alene people called themselves by the autonym Schitsu'umsh in Coeur d'Alene, one of the Salishan languages, meaning "The Discovered People" or "Those Who Are Found Here."
This area was extensively explored by David Thompson of the North West Company starting in 1807. The Oregon boundary dispute arose as a result of competing British and American claims to the Pacific Northwest of North America in the first half of the 19th century; the British had trading ties extending from Canada and had started settlements in present-day British Columbia and at Fort Astoria on the Pacific coast near the mouth of the Columbia River. The Oregon Treaty of 1846 ended the disputed joint occupation of the area in present-day Idaho when Britain ceded all rights to land south of the 49th parallel to the United States; when General William T. Sherman ordered a fort constructed on the lake in the 1870s, he gave it the name Fort Coeur d'Alene; the name of the fort was changed to Fort Sherman to honor the general. North Idaho College, a community college, now occupies the former fort site; the lake was named for the Coeur d'Alene. Miners and settlers came to the region, it became the second-largest silver mining district in the country, generating both great wealth and extensive environmental contamination and damages.
In the 1890s, two significant miners' uprisings took place in the Coeur d'Alene Mining District, where the workers struggled with high risk and low pay. In 1892, the union's discovery of a labor spy in their midst, in the person of Charlie Siringo, sometime cowboy and Pinkerton agent, resulted in a strike that developed into a shooting war between miners and the company. Years Harry Orchard, who owned a share of the Hercules Mine in the nearby mountains before it began producing, confessed to a secret and little understood role in the Colorado Labor Wars, he confessed to dynamiting a $250,000 mill belonging to the Bunker Hill Mining Company near Wardner during another miners' uprising in 1899. He returned to Idaho to assassinate former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg in 1905. In 1986 Coeur d'Alene was presented the Raoul Wallenberg Award for its stand against neo-nazis. Coeur d'Alene is located at 47°41′34″N 116°46′48″W, at an elevation of 2,180 ft above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.08 square miles, of which, 15.57 square miles is land and 0.51 square miles is water.
The wooded lands east of the city have been designated for protection and management as the Coeur d'Alene National Forest. The city is surrounded by forest, which contains several campgrounds, it is 30 miles east of Spokane, is part of a common metropolitan area. It is 311 miles east of Washington. Coeur d'Alene has, depending on the definition, a dry-summer continental climate, or a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, characterized by a cold, moist climate in winter, warm, dry conditions in summer, it straddles the border between USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 6B and 7A. The monthly daily mean temperature ranges from is 29.8 °F in December to 69.0 °F in August. Temperatures exceed 90 °F on 13 days per year, only reaching 100 °F, while conversely, there may be several nights below 10 °F. Snowfall averages 70 inches per year
2003 NBA draft
The 2003 NBA draft was held on June 26, 2003, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The NBA announced that 41 college and high school players and a record 31 international players had filed as early-entry candidates for the 2003 NBA draft; the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had a 22.50 percent probability of obtaining the first selection, won the NBA draft lottery on May 22, Cleveland chairman Gordon Gund said afterward his team would select LeBron James. The Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets were third respectively; the 2003 draft is known for having one of the most talented draft pools in draft history. The draft contained fifteen players. Four of the top five picks are NBA All-Stars and "Redeem Team" Olympic Gold Medalists: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James. Many players have been in the starting line-ups of their respective teams. Boris Diaw won the Most Improved Player Award in 2006, Jason Kapono won the three point shootout back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008, James Jones won the three point shootout in 2011, Leandro Barbosa won the Sixth Man Award in 2007, Kyle Korver set the NBA record for three point shooting percentage in 2010, in the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 seasons LeBron James won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award, the NBA Finals MVP in 2012, 2013 and 2016.
Carmelo Anthony won the 2013 NBA Scoring Title and is the only player in NBA history to win at least three Olympic gold medals. Zaza Pachulia and David West won NBA championships with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. Matt Bonner won NBA championships with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 and 2014. Dahntay Jones and Mo Williams won the NBA championship in 2016 with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Luke Walton won three NBA championships, two as a player with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010 and one as an assistant coach with the Warriors in 2015. Chris Bosh left Toronto in 2010 as its all-time leader in points, blocks, double doubles, free throws made and attempted, minutes played; the 2003 draft class has drawn comparisons to the 1984 and 1996 NBA draft classes, but is known for the Detroit Pistons having made the selection of Darko Miličić with the second pick over other prospects. Out of the entire draft, only Nick Collison has played his entire career for the team that drafted him. ^ a: Chris Kaman was born in the United States, but has German citizenship through his great-grandparents and competes internationally for Germany.
These players were not selected in the 2003 NBA draft, but have played at least one game in the NBA. Incomplete "NBA.com Draft 2003". NBA. Archived from the original on April 19, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2007. "Player profiles with their career transaction information". NBA. Archived from the original on April 19, 2007. Retrieved April 20, 2007. ESPN.com Draft 2003 databaseBasketball.com Draft 2003 "How LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and the 2003 draft class transformed the NBA". SC Featured. ESPN. June 25, 2018 – via YouTube
The Seattle SuperSonics known as the Sonics, were an American professional basketball team based in Seattle, Washington. The SuperSonics played in the National Basketball Association as a member club of the league's Western Conference Pacific and Northwest divisions from 1967 until 2008. After the 2007–08 season ended, the team relocated to Oklahoma City and now plays as the Oklahoma City Thunder. Sam Schulman owned the team from its 1967 inception until 1983, it was owned by Barry Ackerley, Basketball Club of Seattle, headed by Starbucks chairman emeritus, former president and CEO Howard Schultz. On July 18, 2006, the Basketball Club of Seattle sold the SuperSonics and its Women's National Basketball Association sister franchise Seattle Storm to the Professional Basketball Club LLC, headed by Oklahoma City businessman Clay Bennett; the sale was approved by the NBA Board of Governors on October 24, 2006, finalized on October 31, 2006, at which point the new ownership group took control. After failing to find public funding to construct a new arena in the Seattle area, the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City before the 2008–09 season, following a $45 million settlement with the city of Seattle to pay off the team's existing lease at KeyArena at Seattle Center in advance of its 2010 expiration.
Home games were played at KeyArena known as Seattle Center Coliseum, for 33 of the franchise's 41 seasons in Seattle. In 1978, the team moved to the Kingdome, shared with the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball and the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League, they returned to the Coliseum full-time in 1985, moving temporarily to the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, for the 1994–95 season while the Coliseum was renovated and rebranded as KeyArena. The SuperSonics won the NBA championship in 1979. Overall, the franchise won three Western Conference titles: 1978, 1979, 1996; the franchise won six divisional titles, their last being in 2005, with five in the Pacific Division and one in the Northwest Division. Settlement terms of a lawsuit between the city of Seattle and Clay Bennett's ownership group stipulated the SuperSonics' banners and retired jerseys remain in Seattle; the SuperSonics' franchise history, would be shared with the Thunder. On December 20, 1966, Los Angeles businessmen Sam Schulman and Eugene V. Klein, who both owned the AFL's San Diego Chargers at the time, a group of minority partners were awarded an NBA franchise for the city of Seattle.
Schulman would serve as the active head of team operations. He named the SuperSonics after Boeing's awarded contract for the SST project, canceled; the SuperSonics were Seattle's first major league sports franchise. Beginning play on October 13, 1967, the SuperSonics were coached by Al Bianchi and featured All-Star guard Walt Hazzard and NBA All-Rookie Team members Bob Rule and Al Tucker; the expansion team stumbled out of the gates with a 144–116 loss in their first game in San Francisco against the San Francisco Warriors. The team got their first win on October 21, their third game of the season in San Diego against the San Diego Rockets in overtime 117–110, finished the season with a 23–59 record. Hazzard was traded to the Atlanta Hawks before the start of the next season for Lenny Wilkens. Wilkens brought a strong all-around game to the SuperSonics, averaging 22.4 points, 8.2 assists, 6.2 rebounds per game for Seattle in the 1968–69 season. Rule, improved on his rookie statistics with 24.0 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game.
The SuperSonics, only won 30 games and Bianchi was replaced by Wilkens as player/coach during the offseason. Wilkens and Rule both represented Seattle in the 1970 NBA All-Star Game, Wilkens led the NBA in assists during the 1969–70 season. In June 1970 the NBA owners voted 13–4 to work toward a merger with the ABA; the Oscar Robertson suit delayed the merger, the SuperSonics remained in Seattle. Early in the 1970–71 season, Rule tore his Achilles' tendon and was lost for the rest of the year. Wilkens was named the 1971 All-Star Game MVP, but the big news of the season came when owner Sam Schulman managed to land American Basketball Association Rookie of the Year and MVP Spencer Haywood following a lengthy court battle; the following season, the SuperSonics went on to record their first winning season at 47–35. The team, led by player-coach Wilkens and First Team forward Haywood, held a 46–27 mark on March 3, but late season injuries to starters Haywood, Dick Snyder, Don Smith contributed to the team losing eight of its final nine games.
For the 1972–73 season, Wilkens was dealt to Cleveland in a unpopular trade, without his leadership the SuperSonics fell to a 26–56 record. One of the few bright spots of the season was Haywood's second consecutive All-NBA First Team selection, as he averaged a SuperSonics record 29.2 points per game and collected 12.9 rebounds per game. The legendary Bill Russell was hired as the head coach in the following year, in 1975 he coached the SuperSonics to the playoffs for the firs
The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Southeast Division; the team is owned by retired NBA player Michael Jordan, who acquired controlling interest in the team in 2010. The Hornets play their home games at the Spectrum Center in Uptown Charlotte; the original Hornets franchise was established in 1988 as an expansion team, owned by George Shinn. In 2002, Shinn's franchise became the New Orleans Hornets. In 2004, the NBA established the Charlotte Bobcats, regarded as a new expansion team at the time. In 2013, the New Orleans' franchise announced it would rebrand itself the New Orleans Pelicans returning the Hornets name and official history to Charlotte; the Bobcats were renamed the Charlotte Hornets for the 2014–15 season. In 1985, the NBA was planning to expand by three teams by the 1988–1989 season modified to include a total of four expansion teams.
George Shinn, an entrepreneur from Kannapolis, wanted to bring an NBA team to the Charlotte area, he assembled a group of prominent local businessmen to head the prospective franchise. The Charlotte area had long been a hotbed for college basketball. Charlotte was one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, was one of the three in-state regional homes to the American Basketball Association's Carolina Cougars from 1969 to 1974. Despite doubt from critics, Shinn's ace in the hole was the Charlotte Coliseum, a state-of-the-art arena that would seat 24,000 spectators – the largest basketball-specific arena to serve as a full-time home for an NBA team. On April 5, 1987, then-NBA Commissioner David Stern called Shinn to tell him his group had been awarded the 24th NBA franchise, to begin play in 1988. Franchises were granted to Miami, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Orlando; the new team was going to be called the Charlotte Spirit, but a name-the-team contest yielded "Hornets" as the winning choice.
The team received further attention when it chose teal as its primary color, setting off a sports fashion craze in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The team's uniforms, designed by international designer and North Carolina native Alexander Julian, featured a first for NBA uniforms—pin stripes. Similar designs by other teams followed. Shinn hired Carl Scheer as the team's first General Manager. Scheer preferred a roster of veteran players, hoping to put together a competitive team as soon as possible. Former college coach and veteran NBA assistant Dick Harter was hired as the team's first head coach. In 1988, the Hornets and the Miami Heat were part of the 1988 NBA Expansion Draft. Unlike many expansion franchises that invest in the future with a team composed of young players, Charlotte stocked its inaugural roster with several veterans in hopes of putting a competitive lineup on the court right away; the team had three draft picks at the 1988 NBA draft. The Hornets' first NBA game took place on November 4, 1988, at the Charlotte Coliseum, losing 133–93 to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Four days the team notched its first-ever victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, 117–105. On December 23, 1988, the Hornets gave their fans something to cheer about, beating Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls 103–101 in Jordan's first return to North Carolina as a professional; the Hornets finished their inaugural season with a record of 20–62. Scheer left prior to the 1989–90 season. Despite initial concerns that the Coliseum was too big, the Hornets were a runaway hit, leading the NBA in attendance, a feat they would achieve seven more times in Charlotte; the Hornets would sell out 364 consecutive games. The Hornets' second season was a struggle from start to finish. Members of the team rebelled against Dick Harter's defense-oriented style, he was replaced mid-season by assistant Gene Littles following an 8–32 start. Despite the change, the team continued to struggle, finishing the season with a disappointing 19–63 record; the team showed improvement during the following season. They won eight of their first fifteen games, including a 120–105 victory over the Washington Bullets.
However, the team went cold. The Hornets, who hosted the 1991 NBA All-Star Game, finished with a 26–56 record. Despite the team's seven-game improvement over the previous season, Gene Littles was fired at the end of the season and replaced by general manager Allan Bristow. With the first pick in the 1991 NBA draft, the Hornets drafted power forward Larry Johnson from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Johnson had an impact season, finishing among the league leaders in points and rebounds, winning the 1992 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Additionally, Guard Kendall Gill led the club in scoring; the team stayed in contention for a playoff spot until March, but finished the year with a 31–51 record. The Hornets were in the lottery again in 1992 and won the second overall pick in the draft, using it to select Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning. Charlotte now had two 20–10 threats in Johnson and Mourning, who with Kendall Gill, formed the league's top young trio; the team finished their fifth season at 44–38, their first-ever winning record and good enough for the first playoff berth in franchise history.
Finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference, the Hornets upset the Boston Celtics in the first round, with Mourning winning the series with a 20-footer in game four. However, the Hornets lacked the experience and depth to defeat the New York Knicks, falling in five games in the second round; the Horn