David Bing is an American retired Hall of Fame basketball player, former mayor of Detroit and businessman. After starring at Syracuse University, Bing played 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association as a guard for the Detroit Pistons, Washington Bullets, Boston Celtics. During his career, he averaged over 20 points and six assists per game and made seven NBA All-Star appearances, winning the game's Most Valuable Player award in 1976; the Pistons celebrated his career accomplishments with the retirement of his #21 jersey. In addition, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players of all-time. Bing founded Bing Steel, a processing company that earned him the National Minority Small Business Person of the Year award in 1984. Soon the business grew into the multimillion-dollar Detroit-based conglomerate, the Bing Group, one of the largest steel companies in Michigan. Bing entered Detroit politics as a Democrat in 2008, announcing his intentions to run for mayor in the city's non-partisan primary to finish the term of Kwame Kilpatrick, who had resigned amid a corruption scandal.
After winning the primary, Bing defeated Interim Mayor Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. and was sworn in as mayor in May 2009. That year, Bing was re-elected to a full term. However, he lost most of his power to Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr, had numerous health problems, suffered approval ratings as low as 14%. Bing thus did not seek re-election in 2013 and was succeeded by politician and businessman Mike Duggan. Bing was born November 24, 1943, in Washington, D. C. to mother Juanita, a housekeeper, father Hasker, a bricklayer and deacon for the Baptist Church. He was the second child of four living in a two-bedroom, one-story house in the northeast part of town. In his childhood, Bing received the nickname "Duke" from his father, according to Bing, he always "wanted to be top dog." He suffered a traumatic eye injury at age five, while playing with an improvised hobby horse he constructed with two sticks nailed together. The family could not afford emergency surgery, leaving the eye to heal on its own and diminishing his vision thereafter.
Bing's father suffered a severe head injury during the boy's childhood. While working a construction site, a brick fell four stories onto his head; the episode led young Bing to promise himself. In athletics, Bing played basketball, but older children told him he was too small for the game. However, he played well, triumphing over such older and bigger children as future Motown musician Marvin Gaye, after not performing well on the court, chose to sing on the sidelines. Bing and Gaye forged a friendship, which continued in life. Despite his basketball play, Bing, a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson, focused on baseball, the neighborhood's preferred game. Despite his fuzzy vision, he excelled in baseball at Spingarn High School, where he enrolled in 1958; the school's head basketball coach William Roundtree encouraged him to revisit basketball. Roundtree became a fatherly figure to Bing, he developed into a double-digits per game scorer, noted for his jump shot and knack for driving to the basket.
He continued to compete in baseball into his senior year, but was forced to choose between it and basketball when a scheduling conflict between two tournaments arose. Though he felt he was better at baseball, Bing opted for basketball, believing it gave him a greater chance at a full-ride college scholarship, well aware of the path taken by Los Angeles Lakers forward Elgin Baylor, a Spingarn alum. At the tournament, Bing earned MVP honors. All in all, in high school, Bing was a three-year letter winner, all–Inter High, all-Metro, all-East member. In 1962, he was made the All-American Team. Bing attended Syracuse University, he led the Orangemen in scoring as a sophomore in 1964, as a junior in 1965, as a senior in 1966. During his senior year, Bing was fifth in the nation in scoring and was Syracuse's first consensus All-American in 39 years, he was named to The Sporting News All-America First Team and was named Syracuse Athlete of the Year. In his three year varsity career at Syracuse, Bing averaged 24.8 points and 10.3 rebounds, with 1883 total points and 786 total rebounds in 76 games.
Bing's playing style was somewhat unusual for the time. As a lean and explosive guard, he functioned as the playmaker distributing the ball, but did more shooting and scoring than most others who had this position. At one time a joke about him and his backcourt partner, Jimmy Walker, was that it was a shame they could only play the game with one ball at a time. In 1966, after being selected 2nd overall in the 1966 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons, Bing scored 1,601 points, won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award while being named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team; the next year, he led the NBA in scoring with 2,142 points in 1968. Bing sat out 2½ months of the 1971–72 season due to a detached retina incurred from a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers, playing in only 45 games that season. While with the Pistons, he played in seven NBA All-Star Games, was named to the All-NBA First Team twice in 1968 and 1971. After leaving the Detroit Pistons, Bing went on to spend his next two seasons with the Washington Bullets, for whom he was named an NBA All-Star
The Palace of Auburn Hills
The Palace of Auburn Hills referred to as The Palace, is a defunct multi-purpose arena located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It was the home of the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association, the Detroit Shock of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League, the Detroit Safari of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, the Detroit Fury of the Arena Football League; the Palace was one of eight basketball arenas owned by their respective NBA franchises. By the time it closed as an NBA venue, the Palace was one of only two arenas which had not sold its naming rights to a corporate sponsor; the other was Madison Square Garden. The Pistons court was named the "William Davidson Court", in honor of the late owner, prior to the home opener on October 30, 2009. From 1957 to 1978, the Pistons competed in Detroit's Olympia Stadium, Memorial Building, Cobo Arena. In 1978, owner Bill Davidson elected not to share the new Joe Louis Arena with the Detroit Red Wings, instead chose to relocate the team to the Pontiac Silverdome, a venue constructed for football, where they remained for the next decade.
While the Silverdome could accommodate massive crowds, it offered substandard sight lines for basketball viewing. In late 1985, a group led by Davidson decided to build a new arena in Auburn Hills. Groundbreaking for the arena took place in June 1986. Using private funding, The Palace cost a low price of $90 million; the Davidson family held a controlling interest in the arena until Tom Gores bought it as part of his purchase of the Pistons in 2011. Then-Pistons owner Bill Davidson and two developers financed the $90 million construction of The Palace, did not require public funds; the Palace was built with 180 luxury suites, considered an exorbitant number. However, it managed to lease all of them. In December 2005, the Palace added five underground luxury suites, each containing 450 square feet of space and renting for $450,000 per year. Eight more luxury suites located below arena level, were opened in February 2006, they range in size from rent for $350,000 annually. The architectural design of the Palace, including its multiple tiers of luxury suites, has been used as the basis for many other professional sports arenas in North America since its construction, including the Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa designed by Rossetti Associates.
The Palace opened in 1988. When one of its basketball occupants won a championship, the number on its address changed, its current address is 6 Championship Drive, reflecting the Pistons' three NBA titles and the Detroit Shock's three WNBA titles. The original address was 3777 Lapeer Road; the Palace was considered to be the first of the modern-style NBA arenas, its large number of luxury suites was a major reason for the building boom of new NBA arenas in the 1990s. Although the Palace became one of the oldest arenas in the NBA, its foresighted design contained the amenities that most NBA teams have sought in new arenas built since that time. By contrast, of the other NBA venues that opened during the 1988-89 season, Amway Arena, Charlotte Coliseum, Miami Arena, the Bradley Center have been demolished, while Sleep Train Arena has been replaced. All of these arenas were rendered obsolete by the lack of luxury suites and club seating, lucrative revenue-generating features that made pro sports teams financially successful in order to remain competitive long-term, being located in suburban rather than downtown areas.
Nonetheless, Palace Sports & Entertainment had spent $117.5 million in upgrades and renovations to keep the arena updated. A new high definition JumboTron monitor, new LED video monitors, more than 950 feet of ribbon display technology from Daktronics was installed in the mid-2000s. On November 19, 2004, a fight broke–out between members of the Pistons and Indiana Pacers; as the on-court fight died down, a fan threw a cup of Diet Coke at Pacers forward Ron Artest, who rushed into the crowd, sparking a melee between players and spectators. The fight resulted in the suspension of nine players, criminal charges against five players, criminal charges against five spectators; the offending fans were banned from attending games at the Palace. In the aftermath of the fight, the NBA decided to increase the security presence between players and spectators; the fact that the fight took place at the Palace led to it becoming colloquially referred to as the "Malice at the Palace" and the "Basketbrawl". The Palace was the site of a brawl between the WNBA's Shock and Sparks on July 21, 2008.
Aerosmith played the venue 14 times from 1990-2012. Michael Jackson performed three sold-out shows during his Bad World Tour on October 24-26, 1988. Pink Floyd performed there on 16 and 17 August 1988 as part of their A Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour. U2 performed at The Palace on 27 March 1992 on the first leg of their Zoo TV Tour. During the performance, Bono called a local pizza bar from the stage and ordered 10,000 pizzas for the crowd in attendance. 100 pizzas were delivered. Bon Jovi performed during their Keep The Faith
Detroit Olympia was an indoor arena that stood at 5920 Grand River Avenue in Detroit from 1927 until 1987. It was best known as the home of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team of the National Hockey League from its opening until 1979. Several Detroit businessmen organized the Detroit Hockey Club, Inc. in 1926 and purchased the Victoria Cougars hockey team, along with a site at the corner of Grand River Avenue and McGraw Street to construct an arena. In July 1926, the Detroit Hockey Club unveiled drawings for the Olympia Stadium to be built on the site; the cornerstone for the building was laid by Mayor John W. Smith on March 8, 1927; the Olympia opened on October 15, 1927. The opening event was the International Stampede and Rodeo, which ran from October 15 to October 22. Shortly thereafter, the primary tenants of the building, the NHL Cougars, began their long residence; the Cougars played their first game at the Olympia on November 22, 1927, Detroit's Johnny Sheppard scored the first goal at the new building.
However, the visiting Ottawa Senators defeated the Cougars, 2–1. The Cougars became the Falcons and in 1932, were named the Detroit Red Wings by new owner James E. Norris. In addition to the Red Wings, the Olympia was home to the Detroit Olympics International-American Hockey League minor league team in the 1930s and the NBA's Detroit Pistons from 1957 to 1961, it hosted the NBA All-Star Game in 1959 and the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship in 1977 and 1979. The Olympia was a major venue for boxing through the International Boxing Club and professional wrestling, as well as other events such as the American Legion Convention of September 21–26, 1931, addressed by President Herbert Hoover, regular visits by the Harlem Globetrotters, Ice Capades and Johnson Ice Follies, it hosted concerts by The Beatles on September 6, 1964 and August 13, 1966, as well as concerts by other popular performers and bands, including Led Zeppelin and Elvis Presley. After the NBA's Detroit Pistons moved from Cobo Arena in Detroit to the Pontiac Silverdome in suburban Pontiac in 1978, the Red Wings considered moving to the suburbs.
The neighborhood surrounding the Olympia had been in decline since the 1967 riots, two murders occurred within the building's shadow. The city of Pontiac offered the team a new arena, Red Wings owner Bruce Norris was considering the offer when the city of Detroit proposed a riverfront arena for one-half of the rent that Pontiac was seeking; the package included operational control of both the new arena, nearby Cobo Arena and the adjoining parking structures. The Red Wings accepted Detroit's offer and moved into the new Joe Louis Arena, in the middle of the 1979–80 season, on December 27, rather than at the beginning of it as planned, due to construction delays; the Olympia was considered to be a well-constructed building. Lincoln Cavalieri, general manager of Olympia Stadium, once said, "... if an atom bomb landed, I'd want to be in Olympia." Cavalieri, along with many in the Red Wings organization, was sad to leave it behind. On December 15, 1979, three days after the first event held at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings played their final home game at the Olympia, a 4–4 tie against the Quebec Nordiques.
Attendance at that game was 15,609. The Olympia was included in part of the celebration of the 32nd NHL All-Star Game, which took place at Joe Louis Arena on February 5, 1980; because a provision in the Wings' lease with the city of Detroit prevented the Wings from operating Olympia Stadium in competition with Joe Louis or Cobo Arenas for events, or selling the building for use as a competitive venue, the building was shuttered permanently, demolished in September 1987. However, the Olympia name lived on via the Olympia Stadium Corporation, formed by the Norrises in the 1930s as the Olympia's management company, took over the operation of Joe Louis Arena after the Wings moved there. Now known as Olympia Entertainment, it continues as the management company for "The Joe's" own replacement, Little Caesars Arena. Overhead exit signs erected in the early 1970s along the Jeffries Freeway mentioning Olympia Stadium were removed around 1980; the original OLYMPIA letters that adorned the sides of the building were placed into storage later installed in Little Caesars Arena in 2017.
The Michigan National Guard's Olympia Armory occupies the site. A historical marker is posted inside the armory commemorating the Olympia; the building was 32.6 m tall and constructed of a steel frame faced with red brick with brown terra cotta and stone trim in a Romanesque Revival style. The Grand River and McGraw facades included 13 storefronts. Near the parapet were terra cotta medallions depicting various athletes; when it opened, Olympia contained the largest indoor skating rink in the United States at 242 ft by 110 ft. The Grand River facade featured three-story arched windows with a large recessed arch in the center; the large arch was filled with black glass, however in years it was covered with wood painted with the Red Wings emblem. Topping the facade was a pediment creating a gable-shaped roof; the arena had five levels. The ground level through which patrons entered and featured a
The Pontiac Silverdome was a domed stadium in Pontiac, Michigan. It sat on 127 acres of land; when the stadium opened, it featured a fiberglass fabric roof held up by air pressure, the first use of the architectural technique in a major athletic facility. With a seating capacity of 82,000+, it was the largest stadium in the National Football League until FedExField in suburban Washington, D. C. opened in 1997. It was the home of the Detroit Lions of the NFL from 1975 to 2001 and was home to the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association from 1978 to 1988. In addition, the Silverdome served as the home venue for the Detroit Express of the North American Soccer League and the Michigan Panthers of the United States Football League, as well as two college bowl games: the Cherry Bowl and the Motor City Bowl. In 2012, the Silverdome served as the home venue of the Detroit Mechanix of the American Ultimate Disc League and hosted the league championship game that season; the stadium was a regular concert venue and hosted a number of athletic and non-athletic events, including the 1979 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XVI, WrestleMania III, early round games of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, regional games in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament.
After the opening of Ford Field in 2002, the stadium was left without a permanent tenant. It first closed in 2006, but after multiple attempts to solicit redevelopment plans, the city sold the stadium at auction in 2009 for only $550,000, it reopened in 2010 and hosted several events, but closed again, this time permanently, in 2013. The roof was destroyed by a winter storm. Owners auctioned the stadium's contents in 2014 with no future development through June 2015; the site of the stadium houses thousands of recalled Volkswagen vehicles. In 2017, the Silverdome was prepared for demolition by Adamo Demolition. Following the implosion, the remains of the stadium were brought down in sections with hydraulic excavators, the last free standing section was felled by late March 2018; the Silverdome hosted the Detroit Lions of the NFL, the Detroit Pistons of the NBA, the Detroit Express of the NASL, the Michigan Panthers of the USFL, college football's Cherry Bowl, the Motor City Bowl, the MHSAA football state finals and four first-round games during soccer's 1994 FIFA World Cup.
For the World Cup matches, a natural grass surface capable of growing inside the dome was developed and installed by a team from Michigan State University. This grass surface was laid upon wooden pallets atop the artificial turf, used, it was the first time. The Silverdome hosted the 1979 NBA All-Star Game, Super Bowl XVI on January 24, 1982, the 1988 and 1991 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Midwest Regionals and NCAA Men's Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships in 1982 and 1983. On March 29, 1987, the World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania III established the record for attendance of 93,173, the largest recorded attendance for a live indoor sporting event in North America; the record stood until February 14, 2010 when the 2010 NBA All-Star Game broke the indoor sporting event record with an attendance of 108,713 at Cowboys Stadium. The Silverdome hosted an AMA Supercross Championship round from 1976 to 2005. In 2012, the Silverdome became the home stadium of the city's professional Ultimate Frisbee team, the Detroit Mechanix, of the American Ultimate Disc League.
That year, the Silverdome hosted the AUDL championship game, as on August 11, the Philadelphia Spinners defeated the Indianapolis AlleyCats 29-22. After the roof had been collapsed and the stadium abandoned, Red Bull produced a video of BMX rider Tyler Fernengel riding inside the Silverdome in 2015; some notable tricks in the video were Fernengel's barspin to double peg to 180° spin on one of the handrails inside the stadium and an impressive "truckdriver" out of the luxury boxes onto a ramp that led down to the field. That same year, a drag racing event at the former parking lot marked the beginning of Woodward Dream Cruise; the idea of a major sports complex was part of a dream of C. Don Davidson, a Pontiac native and star high school athlete. Davidson, upon graduating from Pontiac Central High School in 1947 and completing active duty with the U. S. Marine Corps, attended North Carolina State University on a football scholarship. After earning a master's degree in urban planning and architecture, Davidson began his career as an architect and was recognized for several government and city projects throughout the south including Florida's Jacksonville International Airport.
He returned to Pontiac in 1965 and was shocked to see the deterioration of the city of Pontiac and its lack of a future plan. Davidson embarked upon what would become an obsession for him to see his beloved city succeed. In 1965-66, he was hired as a professor of architecture and urban planning at the University of Detroit under the direction of Bruno Leon; as part of an ongoing, comprehensive study by his architecture class on urban renewal for the city of Pontiac, Davidson met with various city and state authorities including William Clay Ford, owner of the Detroit Lions, to discuss the possibility of a new stadium, made it a college class project to find a suitable site for a new stadium and started his own weekly newspaper kno
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
Richard Hamilton (basketball)
Richard Clay "Rip" Hamilton is an American retired professional basketball player who played 14 seasons in the National Basketball Association. Hamilton is best known for his nine-year stint with the Detroit Pistons, where he was a three-time All-Star, he helped lead the Pistons to six straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances, back to back NBA Finals appearances, their best record in franchise history and the 2004 NBA championship. Born and raised in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, a suburb 40 miles west of Philadelphia, Hamilton played three years for the University of Connecticut. In his third and final year, Hamilton was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player en route to an upset NCAA Championship win over the favored Duke Blue Devils, he is the second-leading scorer in Connecticut Huskies history. Named a consensus first-team All-American, Hamilton decided to forgo his senior year and enter the NBA draft. Drafted seventh overall by the Washington Wizards where he would spend the next three seasons, Hamilton notably averaged 20 points per game starting next to Michael Jordan.
Traded to Detroit for Jerry Stackhouse in 2002, Hamilton played with the Pistons for nine seasons before ending his career with two final seasons with the Chicago Bulls. The Pistons retired his No. 32 jersey on February 26, 2017. Hamilton played college basketball at the University of Connecticut from 1996 to 1999. In a 1998 Sweet 16 game with the 2-seeded UConn vs the 11th-seeded Washington Huskies, Hamilton hit a game-winning shot as time ran out after rebounding a teammate's miss and his own miss, he was named the 1999 NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player after UConn's run to that year's national title after averaging 24.2 points per game. Number 1 UConn's race to the top included a close, physical defeat of the national Cinderella team no. 10 Gonzaga Bulldogs, in which Hamilton played a key role as UConn's leading scorer in the game. The UConn squad beat a Duke team in the final game after which four Duke players were drafted in the top 14 of the 1999 NBA draft; the Huskies were nine-point underdogs, but upset the Blue Devils after Hamilton contributed 27 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists in the final game.
The "One Shining Moment" video and song had one of Hamilton's shots against Duke as the last shot shown in the video. Hamilton was selected with the 7th pick in the 1999 NBA draft by the Washington Wizards. In his rookie season, he played in 71 games with 12 starts and averaged 9 points a game backing up veteran shooting guard Mitch Richmond; the Wizards won 29 games and failed to make the playoffs. In the following year, Hamilton played more at the small forward position and started in 42 of 78 games and doubled his scoring average to 18.1 points a game. The Wizards did not improve, winning only 19 games for the season. In the off-season, Michael Jordan announced that he would return to the court for the Wizards, Doug Collins was hired to coach the team. With Jordan now the team's small forward, Hamilton moved back to shooting guard and assumed the starting role. Hamilton and Jordan were limited to 60 games due to injuries, but the duo helped improve the team's final record to 37–45 an 18-game improvement over the previous season.
Though they missed the playoffs, Hamilton averaged 20 points a game for the season while finishing second in the league in free throw percentage, shooting 89 percent from the free throw line. In September, the Wizards traded Hamilton to the Detroit Pistons, along with Bobby Simmons and Hubert Davis, in exchange for Ratko Varda, Brian Cardinal, All-Star scorer Jerry Stackhouse. During the 2002 off-season, the Pistons traded for Chauncey Billups and drafted forward Tayshaun Prince; the Pistons featured reigning Coach of the Year Rick Carlisle and Defensive Player of the Year Ben Wallace. Hamilton started all 82 games for Detroit and led the team in scoring with 19.7 points per game as the team won 50 games and the Central Division. In Hamilton's playoff series debut, he helped rally the team from a 3–1 deficit against Tracy McGrady and the Orlando Magic, to win the series in seven games, they defeated Philadelphia 76ers in the conference semifinals and returned to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1991.
They faced the defending conference-champion New Jersey Nets, who overwhelmed the Pistons with their experience and swept the series in four games. Hamilton led Detroit in scoring throughout the playoffs with 22.5 points per game on 44 percent shooting. Through the early part of the 2003–04 season, Hamilton broke his nose twice and was advised to wear a face mask to prevent needing significant nasal reconstructive surgery; the clear plastic face mask became his trademark and he would wear it for the rest of his playing career. The season marked the arrival of All-Star forward Rasheed Wallace who teamed with Hamilton, Prince under new head coach Larry Brown to lay the foundation of what would become known as the "Goin' to Work" Pistons. Now wearing the mask on a nightly basis, Hamilton led the Pistons in scoring for the second consecutive season with 17.6 points per game as the Pistons finished the season with 54 wins. In the playoffs, the Pistons dominated the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round before setting up a rematch with New Jersey.
In a back-and-forth seven game series, Hamilton scored 24 points in the decisive game 7 victory. The Pistons faced the league-leading Indiana Pacers in the conference finals, the team's defense and efficient scoring proved too much for the favored Pacers. Hamilton scored 33 points in a 83-65 game 5 victory in Indiana, Detroit wrapped up the series in the following game 69-65 at home to advance to the franchise
Bob Lanier (basketball)
Robert Jerry Lanier, Jr. is an American retired professional basketball player who played for the Detroit Pistons and Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association. Lanier was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. In his 14 NBA seasons, Lanier averaged 20.1 points, 10.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals while shooting 51.4 percent from the field. He played in eight NBA All-Star Games, was named Most Valuable Player of the 1974 game, he has had his #16 jersey retired by both the Pistons and the Bucks and his #31 jersey retired by St. Bonaventure University. Lanier is an NBA ambassador. Robert Jerry Lanier Jr. was born on September 10, 1948, in Buffalo, New York, the son of Robert Sr. and Nannette Lanier. Growing up in Buffalo, Lanier was rejected in his basketball efforts. Trying out for his grammar school team, Lanier was told by a coach that his feet were too large for him to be a successful athlete. Although he was 6-foot-5 by age 16, Lanier was cut from the varsity basketball squad in his sophomore year at Bennett High by coach Nick Mogavero because he was too clumsy.
In his junior year, he was encouraged to try out again by new coach Fred Schwepker, who had Lanier in Biology class, Lanier tried out again. Lanier was named to the All-City team as a junior. In his senior year, he averaged 25.0 points and he earned All-Western New York State honors. Both years he led Bennett to Buffalo city titles. After his successes under coach Szwejbka, Lanier graduated in 1966. Lanier was rejected by his first college choice, because of his grades. But, he was recruited by more than 100 other schools and selected St. Bonaventure University, in Allegany, New York, with Coach Larry Weise.“There was recruiting competition, but the advantage I had, what I sold was that his parents could come watch him play,’’ Said Coach Weise. “He picked St. Bonaventure, his parents were at every game.’’ Lanier was a three-time Converse All-America selection, playing for coach Weise at St. Bonaventure. In 1970, he led the St. Bonaventure to the NCAA Final Four, he injured his knee near the end of the regional championship game in a collision with Villanova's Chris Ford and did not participate in St. Bonaventure's National Semifinal loss to Jacksonville University with center Artis Gilmore.
That year he was named Coach and Athlete Magazine player of the year, the ECAC Player of the Year. As a 6 ft 11 in sophomore in the 1967–68 season, after having played on the freshman team the previous year per NCAA rules at the time, Lanier made an immediate national impact, as he led the St. Bonaventure to an undefeated regular season and a no. 3 final poll ranking. Lanier averaged 15.6 rebounds. Against [, Lanier had 27 rebounds, leading St. Bonaventure to 94–78 victory. In the 23-team 1968 NCAA Tournament, Lanier led St. Bonaventure to a 102–93 victory over Boston College and coach Bob Cousy; the Bonies were defeated 91–72 by North Carolina and coach Dean Smith in the East Regional Semifinal, ending their undefeated season. Lanier had 32 points and 15 rebounds in the victory over Boston College and 23 points with 9 rebounds in the North Carolina loss. Lanier fouled out, scoring 18 points with 13 rebounds in the third-place East Region game, a 92–75 loss to Columbia. Lanier was named second-team All-American, behind Lew Alcindor at center.
In the 1968–69 season, St. Bonaventure finished 17–7 without any postseason invitations, after starting the season 3–5. Against Seton Hall, Lanier scored the single-game scoring record for St. Bonaventure. Lanier, averaged 15.6 rebounds in 24 games. Lanier was again named second-team All-American, behind Lew Alcindor at center. During his junior year, Lanier was approached by representatives of the American Basketball Association's New York Nets, who offered him $1.2 million to leave school early and join the ABA. However, following his father's advice, Lanier chose to remain in school. Lanier averaged 29.2 points and 16.0 rebounds as St. Bonaventure finished the 1969–70 regular season 25–1 and a no. 3 national ranking. In the 25-team 1970 NCAA Tournament, Lanier led St. Bonaventure to a 80–72 victory over Davidson College with 28 points and 15 rebounds. However, Lanier injured his knee near the end of the regional championship game in a collision with Villanova's Chris Ford, it was severe enough that he could not play in the Final Four and required surgery, the first of eight surgeries on Lanier's knees.
In the Final Four, the Bonnies lost to [NC State Wolfpack men's basketball with future Hall of Fame center Artis Gilmore. St. Bonaventure was whistled for 32 personal fouls and outscored 37–15 at the free throw line, in the 91–83 loss. In the third-place game, the Bonnies lost to NM State to finish the season 25–3."Every year at this time you start thinking about it and my players start thinking about it," reflected Coach Larry Weise at age 81. "We have a reunion every three, four years and it’s the same with them. It was a magical moment in no question. In our hearts, we knew we were good enough to win the championship.""I think I appreciate it more than my teammates," Lanier reflected on the Final Four in 1985, "because I had a basis for comparison. It wasn't the money, or who got the'numbers' like in the NBA. We weren't any big stars, it was a couple of guys from Buffalo and