1992–93 NBA season
The 1992–93 NBA season was the 47th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Chicago Bulls winning their third-straight NBA Championship, beating the Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals; the 1993 NBA All-Star Game was played at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, with the West defeating the East 135–132 in overtime. Much to delight of the local fans, Karl Malone and John Stockton of the Utah Jazz were named co-MVPs of the game; the Phoenix Suns played their first season at America West Arena. The San Antonio Spurs played their final season in the HemisFair Arena; the Charlotte Hornets became the first of the four late-1980s expansion franchises to win a playoff series on Alonzo Mourning's 20-foot jumper at the buzzer in Game 4 of their first round playoff series against the Boston Celtics. Michael Jordan scored his 20,000th career point and tied Wilt Chamberlain's record of seven scoring titles. In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, the Suns defeated the Bulls in triple overtime, 129–121.
This marked the second time a Finals game lasted three overtimes, along with Game 5 of the 1976 Finals, which involved the Suns. Coincidentally, in the 1976 game, Paul Westphal played for the Suns, in the 1993 game, he coached the Suns. Michael Jordan scored 40 or more points in 4 consecutive games of the NBA Finals, setting a record, averaged an NBA Finals record 41.0 points per game for the series. The Chicago Bulls defeated the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals to become the first team in 30 years to win three consecutive championships. New Jersey Nets guard Dražen Petrović was killed in an automobile accident in Munich, Germany on June 7. Two months on July 27, Boston Celtics guard Reggie Lewis died of a heart attack during practice. Both were honored by their respective teams by retiring their numbers, Petrovic would be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame; the Dallas Mavericks became the third team to lose 70 games in a season, after the 1972–73 Philadelphia 76ers and the 1986–87 Los Angeles Clippers, they finished 11–71.
They would be joined by the 1997–98 Denver Nuggets, the 2009–10 New Jersey Nets and the 2015-16 Philadelphia 76ers. During the regular season, three backboards were broken. Two were done by Orlando's Shaquille O'Neal, once against Phoenix where he dunked the ball so hard the entire goal collapsed and once against New Jersey when he pulled the entire backboard off of the goal; the other was by New Jersey's Chris Morris, who dunked with such force during a game against Chicago that the backboard glass shattered. This led the league to provide stronger shatterproof backboards. However, every team is still required to have a spare backboard in their home arenas just in case; the Atlanta Hawks changed their uniforms. The Dallas Mavericks changed their road uniforms from green to blue; the New York Knicks changed their logo. The Phoenix Suns changed their logo and uniforms, moved into the America West Arena
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is a men's professional basketball league in North America. It is considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world; the NBA is an active member of USA Basketball, recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player; the league was founded in New York City on June 1946, as the Basketball Association of America. The league adopted the name National Basketball Association on August 3, 1949, after merging with the competing National Basketball League; the league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in New Jersey; the Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Canada.
On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers at Maple Leaf Gardens, in a game the NBA now refers to as the first game played in NBA history. The first basket was made by Ossie Schectman of the Knickerbockers. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title. Prior to the 1948–49 season, however, NBL teams from Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Rochester jumped to the BAA, which established the BAA as the league of choice for collegians looking to turn professional.
On August 3, 1949, the remaining NBL teams–Syracuse, Tri-Cities, Sheboygan and Waterloo–merged into the BAA. In deference to the merger and to avoid possible legal complications, the league name was changed to the present National Basketball Association though the merged league retained the BAA's governing body, including Podoloff. To this day, the NBA claims the BAA's history as its own, it now reckons the arrival of the NBL teams as an expansion, not a merger, does not recognize NBL records and statistics. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1953–54, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises: the New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Warriors, Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Fort Wayne Pistons, Tri-Cities Blackhawks, Syracuse Nationals, all of which remain in the league today.
The process of contraction saw. The Hawks shifted from the Tri-Cities to Milwaukee in 1951, to St. Louis in 1955; the Rochester Royals moved from Rochester, New York, to Cincinnati in 1957 and the Pistons relocated from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to Detroit in 1957. Japanese-American Wataru Misaka broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, he remained the only non-white player in league history prior to the first African-American, Harold Hunter, signing with the Washington Capitols in 1950. Hunter was cut from the team during training camp, but several African-American players did play in the league that year, including Chuck Cooper with the Celtics, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton with the Knicks, Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols. During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954.
If a team does not attempt to score a field goal within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent. In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, which featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became a dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new single game records in scoring and rebounding. Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the greatest rivalries in the history of American team sports; the 1960s were dominated by the Celtics. Led by Russell, Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, Boston won eight straight championships in the NBA from 1959 to 1966; this championship streak is the longest in NBA history. They did not win the title in 1966–67, but regained it in the 1967–68 season and repeated in 1969; the domination totaled nine of the ten championship banners of the 1960s.
Through this period, the NBA continued to evolve with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia to become the Philadelphia 76ers, the St. Louis Hawks moving to Atlanta, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises; the Chicago Packers (now Wa
Rimas Kurtinaitis is a Lithuanian professional basketball coach, a retired professional basketball player, a member of the senior Soviet and Lithuanian national basketball teams during his playing career. He is the head coach for Khimki. At a height of 1.96 m tall, during his playing career, he played at the shooting guard position. He is the only non-NBA player to participate at the NBA All-Star Weekend's Three-Point Contest, doing so in 1989. Kurtinaitis' former club teams as a player, include Žalgiris Kaunas, CSKA Moscow, Real Madrid, he was the only European player to participate in the NBA All-Star Weekend's Three-Point Contest, without playing in the NBA at one point, participating in the event in 1989. Kurtinaitis was the first European player to play as an import, in Australia's National Basketball League, while playing for the Townsville Suns, in 1993. In 1997, Kurtinaitis was named to the Lithuanian Ministry of Sport. In the years 2002–2006, he took the position of head coach of the Azerbaijan national basketball team.
From 2002 to 2006, he was a player for four seasons, with Gala Baku, working as a player-coach. He became Sakalai's head coach during the mid-2000s. In December 2007, he became the head coach of the Polish League men's basketball team, Śląsk Wrocław. In 2008, he became head coach of Lietuvos Rytas, with whom, he won the EuroCup 2008–09 season's title. After winning the championship at the Final-Eight tournament, in Turin, Italy, in a game against Khimki Moscow Region. In 2012, Kurtinaitis won the EuroCup again, this time with Khimki; as of 2015, he is the only coach to win the EuroCup three times. On June 21, 2012, Kurtinaitis was named the best EuroCup coach of all time. On March 15, 2016, Khimki parted ways with Kurtinaitis. On August 2, 2016, Kurtinaitis become the head coach of Pallacanestro Cantù, of the Italian LBA. However, on November 30, he was fired from the team. Kurtinaitis agreed to return to Lietuvos rytas, on February 10, 2017, following the resignation of Tomas Pačėsas, from the club's head coaching position.
This tenure with Rytas was not as successful – Rytas only finished in 3rd place in the LKL in the 2016–2017 season, a fiasco for the team. In the 2017–2018 season, the team played much better, reaching the Eurocup Top16 phase, as well as reaching the KMT and LKL finals, but lost each to Žalgiris Kaunas. In what stirred a lot of controversy, it was announced during the semifinals of the LKL that Kurtinaitis would be replaced by Dainius Adomaitis in the following season, in June Kurtinaitis left the team. On January 21, 2019, Kurtinaitis returned to Khimki in a surprising decision; as player: 5× USSR Premier League Champion: 1982, 1983, 1985, 1986 1987 USSR Cup Winner: FIBA Saporta Cup Finals Top Scorer: FIBA Intercontinental Cup Champion: 1986 NBA All-Star Weekend Three-Point Contest Participant: 1989 German League Top Scorer: German All-Star Game Three-point Champion: 1991 Spanish ACB League Champion: 1994 2× Lithuanian All-Star Game: 1996, 1998 Lithuanian All-Star Game MVP: 1996 Lithuanian League Champion: 1996 Lithuanian League Finals MVP: 1996 1985 EuroBasket: Gold 1986 FIBA World Championship: Silver 1988 Summer Olympic Games: Gold 1989 EuroBasket: Bronze 1992 Summer Olympic Games: Bronze 1995 EuroBasket: Silver 1996 Summer Olympic Games: Bronze 3× EuroCup Champion: 2009, 2012, 2015 2× Lithuanian LKL League Champion: 2009, 2010 Baltic BBL League Champion: 2009 2× Lithuanian LKF Cup Winner: 2009, 2010 VTB United League Champion: 2011 Named Best EuroCup Coach of All Time: 2012 VTB United League Coach of the Year: 2014 Euroleague.net Coach Profile Italian League Coach Profile Rimas Kurtinaitis at FIBA FIBA Europe Player Profile ACB.com Player Profile
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
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 1000 Hall of Fame Avenue in Springfield, Massachusetts. It serves as the sport's most complete library, in addition to promoting and preserving the history of basketball. Dedicated to Canadian-American physician and inventor of the sport James Naismith, it was opened and inducted its first class in 1959; as of the induction of the Class of 2018, the Hall has formally inducted 389 individuals. The Naismith Hall of Fame was established in 1959 by Lee Williams, a former athletic director at Colby College. In the 1960s, the Basketball Hall of Fame struggled to raise enough money for the construction of its first facility. However, during the following half-decade the necessary amount was raised, the building opened on Feb. 17, 1968, less than one month after the National Basketball Association played its 18th All-Star Game. The Basketball Hall of Fame's Board named four inductees in its first year.
In addition to honoring those who contributed to basketball, the Hall of Fame sought to make contributions of its own. In 1979, the Hall of Fame sponsored a pre-season college basketball exhibition; this Tip-Off Classic has been the start to the college basketball season since, although it does not always take place in Springfield, Massachusetts it returns every few years. In the 17 years that the original Basketball Hall of Fame operated at Springfield College, it drew more than 630,000 visitors; the popularity of the Basketball Hall of Fame necessitated that a new facility be constructed, in 1985, an $11 million facility was built beside the scenic Connecticut River in Springfield. As the new hall opened, it recognized women for the first time, with inductees such as Senda Berenson Abbott, who first introduced basketball to women at Smith College. During the years following its construction, the Basketball Hall of Fame's second facility drew far more visitors than anticipated, due in large part to the increasing popularity of the game but to the scenic location beside the river and the second Hall's interesting modern architecture.
In 2002, the Basketball Hall of Fame moved again—albeit 100 yards south along Springfield's riverfront—into a $47 million facility designed by renowned architects Gwathmey Siegel & Associates. The building's architecture features a metallic silver, basketball-shaped sphere flanked by two symmetrical rhombuses; the dome is illuminated at night and features 80,000 square foot, including numerous restaurants and an extensive gift shop. The second Basketball Hall of Fame was not torn down but rather converted into an LA Fitness health clubs; the current Basketball Hall of Fame features Center Court, a full-sized basketball court on which visitors can play. Inside the building there are a game gallery, many interactive exhibits, several theaters, an honor ring of inductees. A large theater for ceremonies seats up to 300; the honorees inducted in 2002 included the Harlem Globetrotters and Magic Johnson, a five-time NBA champion, three-time NBA finals MVP and Olympic gold medalist. As of 2011, the current Basketball Hall of Fame has exceeded attendance expectations, with basketball fans traveling to the Hall of Fame from all over the world.
Despite the new facility's success, a logistical problem remains for the Basketball Hall of Fame and the City of Springfield. The two entities are separated by the Interstate 91 elevated highway—one of the eastern United States' busiest highways—which inhibits foot-traffic and other interaction between the Basketball Hall of Fame and Springfield's lively Metro Center. Both the Hall and Springfield have made public statements about cooperating further so as to facilitate more business and recreational growth for both. Urban planners at universities such as UMass Amherst have called for the I-91 to be moved, or to be re-configured so as to be pedestrian-friendly to Hall of Fame visitors. In 2010, the Urban Land Institute announced a plan to make the walk between Springfield's Metro Center and the Hall of Fame easier. In contrast to the Pro Football and the National Baseball Halls of Fame, Springfield honors international and American professionals, as well as American and international amateurs, making it arguably the most comprehensive Hall of Fame among major sports.
From 2011 to 2015 seven committees were, as of 2016 six committees are employed to both screen and elect candidates. Four of the committees screen prospective candidates: North American Screening Committee Women's Screening Committee International Screening Committee Veterans Screening Committee, with "Veterans" defined as individuals whose careers ended at least 35 years before they are considered for election. Since 2011, the Veterans and International Committees vote to directly induct one candidate for each induction class. Three committees were formed in 2011 to directly elect one candidate for each induction class: American Basketball Association Committee - This committee was permanently disbanded in 2015 because it had fulfilled its purpose over the previous five years. Contributor Direct Election Committee Other committees may choose to elect contributors. For example, the 2014 class included two contributors. Early African-American Pioneers of the Game CommitteeIndividuals who receive at least seven votes from the North American Screening Committee or five votes from one of the other screening committees in a given year are eligible to advance to an Honors Committee, composed of 12 members plus rotating groups of 12 specialists (one group for
The Toronto Raptors are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The Raptors compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member club of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1995 as part of the NBA's expansion into Canada, the Raptors are the only Canadian-based team in the league, they play their home games at the Scotiabank Arena. Like most expansion teams, the Raptors struggled in their early years, but after the acquisition of Vince Carter through a draft day trade in 1998, the team set league-attendance records and made the NBA playoffs in 2000, 2001, 2002. Carter was instrumental in leading the team to their first playoff series win in 2001, where they advanced to the Eastern Conference semifinals. During the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, they failed to make significant progress, Carter was traded in 2004 to the New Jersey Nets. After Carter left, Chris Bosh emerged as the team leader. In the 2006–07 season, Bryan Colangelo was appointed as General Manager, through a combination of Bosh, 2006 first overall draft pick Andrea Bargnani, a revamp of the roster, the Raptors qualified for their first playoff berth in five years, capturing the Atlantic Division title.
In the 2007–08 season, they advanced to the playoffs, but failed to reach the post-season in each of the next five seasons. Colangelo overhauled the team's roster for the 2009–10 season in a bid to persuade pending free agent Bosh to stay, but Bosh departed to sign with the Miami Heat in July 2010, ushering in yet another era of rebuilding for the Raptors. Masai Ujiri replaced Colangelo in 2013, helped herald a new era of success, led by backcourt duo Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan; the Raptors returned to the playoffs the following year and became a consistent playoff team in every year of Ujiri's tenure. Under Ujiri, the team won five Division titles and registered their most successful regular season in 2018. However, the team's failure to reach beyond the conference finals prompted Ujiri to fire head coach Dwane Casey shortly after the playoffs concluded and conduct the high-profile trade of DeRozan for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green that summer, as well as Marc Gasol before the trade deadline.
The Toronto Raptors were established on November 4, 1993, when the NBA, as part of its expansion into Canada, awarded its 28th franchise to a group headed by Toronto businessman John Bitove for a then-record expansion fee of $125 million USD. Bitove and Allan Slaight of Slaight Communications each owned 44 per cent, with the Bank of Nova Scotia, David Peterson, Phil Granovsky being minority partners. Wagering on NBA games in Ontario nearly cost Toronto the expansion franchise, due to strict league rules at the time that prohibited gambling. However, an agreement was reached whereby the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, the provincial lottery corporation that regulates gambling in Ontario, agreed to stop offering wagering on all NBA games in exchange for a donation by the Raptors of $5 million in its first three years and $1 million annually afterwards to its charitable foundation to compensate OLG for its loss of revenue; the Raptors, along with the Vancouver Grizzlies, played their first game in 1995, were the first NBA teams based in Canada since the 1946–47 Toronto Huskies of the Basketball Association of America, though the Buffalo Braves had played a total of 16 regular season games at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto from 1971 to 1975.
The Raptors marked a return of professional basketball to the city after a 48-year absence. Initial sentiment was in favour of reviving the Huskies nickname, but team management realized it would be nearly impossible to design a logo that did not resemble that of the Minnesota Timberwolves; as a result, a nationwide contest was held to help develop their colours and logo. Over 2,000 entries were narrowed down to eleven prospects: Beavers, Dragons, Hogs, Scorpions, T-Rex, Tarantulas and Towers; the final selection—Toronto Raptors—was unveiled on Canadian national television on May 15, 1994: the choice was influenced by the popularity of the 1993 film adaption of the 1990 science fiction novel Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. The name "Raptor" is a common informal name for the Velociraptor, a swift medium-sized dromaeosaurid theropod non-avian dinosaur. On May 24, 1994, the team's logo and first General Manager, Isiah Thomas, were revealed at a press conference; as part of the deal, Thomas received an option to purchase part of the team for under market value.
He would purchase 4.5 per cent in May 1995 and a further 4.5 per cent in December 1995, half each from Bitove and Slaight, decreasing their share to 39.5 per cent. The team's colours of bright red, purple and silver were revealed; the team competed in the Central Division, before the inaugural season began, sales of Raptors merchandise ranked seventh in the league, marking a successful return of professional basketball to Canada. As General Manager, Isiah Thomas staffed the management positions with his own personnel, naming long-time Detroit Pistons assistant Brendan Malone as the Raptors' head coach; the team's roster was filled as a result of an expansion draft in 1995. Following a coin flip, Toronto was given first choice and selected Chicago Bulls point guard and three-point specialist B. J. Armstrong. Armstrong refused to report for training, Thomas promptly traded him to the Golden State Warriors for power forwards Carlos Rogers and Victor Alexander. Thomas selected a wi
Spalding is an American sporting goods company founded by Albert Spalding in Chicago, Illinois in 1876. It is now headquartered in Kentucky; the company specializes in the production of balls for many sports, but is best known for its basketballs. Spalding makes a range of other products for baseball, softball and American football; the company was founded in 1876 when Albert Spalding and Wilmer Jesús Pisco Calvo both were pitchers and the manager of a baseball team in Chicago, the Chicago White Stockings. The company standardized early baseballs and developed the modern baseball bat with the bulge at its apex. In 1892, Spalding acquired rival sporting goods companies. In 1893, A. G. Spalding & Brothers purchased the Lamb Knitting Machine Company located in Chicopee Falls and renamed it the Lamb Manufacturing Company, it used this purchase to consolidate its skate manufactory from Newark and its gymnasium goods manufactory from Philadelphia to the Chicopee plant. Lamb engaged in manufacturing knitting machines and egg-beaters, had been fulfilling a contract since 1890 to produce the Credenda bicycle wheel for Spalding.
Spalding chose Chicopee because it was the home of the Overman Wheel Company, Spalding acted as their distributor in the Western USA, Overman contracted with Lamb to make wheels for its lower-end products. The Spalding "League Ball" was adopted by the National League and American Association of Professional Base Ball Clubs for the seasons of 1892–1896 and used by the National League since 1880, it was manufactured by A. G. Bros.. Chicago, New York & Philadelphia and sold for $1.50 in 1896. Production of bicycles continued at the Chicopee plant through the latter part of the 19th century, but in 1899 A. G. Ben Spalding sold its bicycle division to a massive trust called the American Bicycle Company which controlled 65% of the bicycle business in the US. During World War II, the company joined five other firms to form the New England Small Arms Corporation for manufacture of M1918 Browning Automatic Rifles. Spalding produced the well-known "Spaldeen" high-bounce rubber ball, said to be a re-use of defective tennis ball cores, sold to city children from 1949.
In baseball, Spalding manufactured the official ball of the major leagues through the 1976 season, using the Reach brand on American League balls and the Spalding trademark on National League balls. Since 1977 the official ball has been made by Rawlings. Spalding became a division of the Russell Corporation in 2003. However, that deal did not encompass Spalding's golf operations, which included the Top-Flite, Ben Hogan and Strata brands, which were bought by Callaway the same year. Horween Leather Company supplies leather to Spalding for indoor Arena Football League footballs. Spalding is known for its basketballs, although the company manufactures balls and accessories for other sports such as American football, baseball and volleyball. Besides, softball equipment is offered through company's subsidiary Dudley. Spalding developed its first basketball in 1894 and is a leading producer. Since 1983, it has been the Official ball supplier to the National Basketball Association; the company provides the official ball of the Arena Football League, an indoor American football league.
The company was one of the first to use high-profile athletes to endorse its products when tennis player Pancho Gonzales was signed to an exclusive endorsement contract in 1951. In 2006, Spalding and the NBA announced that they would create a new NBA Official Game Ball for the 2006-07 NBA season, with interlocking segments and made with a synthetic material instead of leather. However, many NBA players complained that the new composite ball became slick after use, wouldn't bounce as high and bounced awkwardly off the rim and backboard and cut their fingers; as a result, the NBA reverted to the old leather balls on January 1, 2007. Spalding is the official ball provider of the following leagues and associations, as well as it has deals with exclusive agreements with some prominent athletes: Arena Football League China Arena Football League NBL Harlem Globetrotters Milano Saugella Monza Sandbox Volleyball Karch Kiraly Robert Hathaway, chief of the firm's London branch who became ruler of Sark Official website Papers of Edwin L. Parker, former president of A.
G. Spalding & Co. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library