New York Knicks
The New York Knickerbockers, more referred to as the Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the borough of Manhattan, in New York City. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association as a member of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference; the team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, an arena they share with the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League. They are one of two NBA teams located in New York City. Alongside the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of two original NBA teams still located in its original city; the team, established by Ned Irish in 1946, was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America, which became the NBA after merging with the rival National Basketball League in 1949. The Knicks were successful during their early years and were constant playoff contenders under the franchise's first head coach Joe Lapchick. Beginning in 1950, the Knicks made three consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, all of which were losing efforts.
Lapchick resigned in 1956 and the team subsequently began to falter. It was not until the late 1960s when Red Holzman became head coach that the Knicks began to regain their former dominance. Holzman guided the Knicks to two NBA championships, in 1970 and 1973; the Knicks of the 1980s had mixed success. The playoff-level Knicks of the 1990s were led by future Hall of Fame center Patrick Ewing. During this time, they were known for playing tough defense under head coaches Pat Riley and Jeff Van Gundy, making two appearances in the NBA Finals, in 1994 and 1999. However, they were unable to win an NBA championship during this era. Since 2000, the Knicks have struggled to regain their former glory, but won its first division title in 19 years in 2012–13, led by a core of forwards Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire, they were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semi-finals by the Indiana Pacers, have failed to make the playoffs since. In 1946, basketball college basketball, was a growing and profitable sport in New York City.
Hockey generated considerable profits. Max Kase, a New York sportswriter, became the sports editor at the Boston American in the 1930s, when he met Boston Garden owner Walter A. Brown. Kase developed the idea of an organized professional league to showcase college players upon their graduation and felt it could become profitable if properly assembled. Brown, intrigued by the opportunity to attain additional income when the hockey teams were not playing or on the road, contacted several arena owners. On June 6, 1946, Kase and Brown and a group of seventeen others assembled at the Commodore Hotel in New York City, as the Basketball Association of America, where charter franchises were granted to major cities throughout the country. Ned Irish, a college basketball promoter, retired sportswriter and president of Madison Square Garden, was in attendance. Kase planned to own and operate the New York franchise himself and approached Irish with a proposal to lease the Garden. Irish explained that the rules of the Arena Managers Association of America stated that Madison Square Garden was required to own any professional teams that played in the arena.
On the day of the meeting, Kase made his proposal to the panel of owners. Irish wanted a distinct name for his franchise, representative of the city of New York, he called together members of his staff for a meeting to cast their votes in a hat. After tallying the votes, the franchise was named the Knickerbockers; the "Knickerbocker" name comes from the pseudonym used by Washington Irving in his book A History of New York, a name that became applied to the descendants of the original Dutch settlers of what became New York, by extension, to New Yorkers in general. In search of a head coach, Irish approached successful St. John's University coach Joe Lapchick in May 1946. Lapchick accepted after Irish promised to make him the highest paid coach in the league. Irish obliged, hiring former Manhattan College coach Neil Cohalan as interim coach for the first year. With no college draft in the league's initial year, there was no guarantee that the Knicks or the league itself would thrive. Teams focused on signing college players from their respective cities as a way to promote the professional league.
The Knicks held their first training camp in the Catskill Mountains at the Nevele Country Club. Twenty-five players were invited to attend the three-week session. Players worked out twice a day and the chemistry between the New York natives was instant. With a roster assembled, the Knicks faced the Toronto Huskies at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens on November 1, 1946, in what would be the franchise's first game—as well as the first in league history. In a low-scoring affair presented in front of 7,090 spectators, the Knicks defeated the Huskies 68–66 with Leo Gottlieb leading the Knicks in scoring with 14 points. With Madison Square Garden's crowded schedule, the Knicks were forced to play many of their home games at the 69th Regiment Armory during the team's early years; the Knicks went on to finish their inaugural campaign with a 33–27 record and achieved a playoff berth under Cohalan despite a dismal shooting percentage of 28 perce
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division; the team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won four Western Conference titles; the team was established as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team based in San Diego, in 1967. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston; the Rockets won only 15 games in their debut season as a franchise in 1967. In the 1968 NBA draft, the Rockets, picking first overall, selected power forward Elvin Hayes, who would lead the team to its first playoff appearance in his rookie season; the Rockets did not finish a season with a winning record until the 1976–77 season, when they traded for center Moses Malone. Malone went on to win the NBA Most Valuable Player award twice and led Houston to the conference finals in his first year with the team, he led the Rockets to the NBA Finals in 1981 where they were defeated in six games by the Boston Celtics, led by Larry Bird and future Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
In the 1984 NBA draft, the Rockets drafted center Hakeem Olajuwon, who would be paired with 7 feet 4 inches Ralph Sampson, forming one of the tallest front courts in the NBA. Nicknamed the "Twin Towers", they led the team to the 1986 NBA Finals—the second NBA Finals appearance in franchise history—where Houston was again defeated by the Boston Celtics; the Rockets continued to reach the playoffs throughout the 1980s, but failed to advance past the first round for several years following a second-round defeat to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1987. Rudy Tomjanovich took over as head coach midway through the 1991–92 season, ushering in the most successful period in franchise history; the Olajuwon-led Rockets went to the 1994 NBA Finals and won the franchise's first championship against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks. The following season, reinforced by another All-Star, Clyde Drexler, the Rockets repeated as champions with a four-game sweep of the Orlando Magic, who were led by a young Shaquille O'Neal and Penny Hardaway.
Houston, seeded sixth in the Western Conference during the 1995 playoffs, became the lowest-seeded team in NBA history to win the title. The Rockets acquired all-star forward Charles Barkley in 1996, but the presence of three of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all-time was not enough to propel Houston past the Western Conference Finals; each one of the aging trio had left the team by 2001, the Rockets of the early 2000s, led by superstars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, followed the trend of consistent regular season respectability followed by playoff underachievement as both players struggled with injuries. After Yao's early retirement in 2011, the Rockets entered a period of rebuilding dismantling and retooling their roster; the acquisition of franchise player James Harden in 2012 has launched the Rockets back into championship contention in the mid-2010s. Moses Malone, Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden have been named the NBA's Most Valuable Player while playing for the Rockets, for a total of four MVP awards.
The Rockets, under general manager Daryl Morey, are notable for popularizing the use of advanced statistical analytics in player acquisitions and style of play. The Rockets were founded in 1967 in San Diego by Robert Breitbard, who paid an entry fee of US $1.75 million to join the NBA as an expansion team for the 1967–68 season. The NBA wanted to add more teams in the Western United States, chose San Diego based on the city's strong economic and population growth, along with the local success of an ice hockey team owned by Breitbard, the San Diego Gulls; the resulting contest to name the franchise chose the name "Rockets", which paid homage to San Diego's theme of "a city in motion" and the local arm of General Dynamics developing the Atlas missile and booster rocket program. Breitbard brought in Jack McMahon coach of the Cincinnati Royals, to serve as the Rockets' coach and general manager; the team, that would join the league along with the Seattle SuperSonics built its roster with both veteran players at an expansion draft, college players from the 1967 NBA draft, where San Diego's first draft pick was Pat Riley.
The Rockets lost 67 games in their inaugural season, an NBA record for losses in a season at the time. In 1968, after the Rockets won a coin toss against the Baltimore Bullets to determine who would have the first overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft, they selected Elvin Hayes from the University of Houston. Hayes improved the Rockets' record to 37 wins and 45 losses, enough for the franchise's first playoff appearance in 1969, but the Rockets lost in the semi-finals of the Western Division to the Atlanta Hawks, four games to two. Despite the additions of Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich and the management of Hall of Fame coach Alex Hannum, the Rockets tallied a 67–97 record in the following two seasons and did not make the playoffs in either season; because of the low performance and attendance, Breitbard looked to sell the team, in 1971, Texas Sports Investments bought the franchise for $5.6 million, moved the team to Houston. The franchise became the first NBA team in Texas, the nickname "Rockets" took on greater relevance after the move, given Houston's long connection to the space industry.
Before the start of the 1971–72 season, Hannum left for the Denver Rockets of the American Basketball Association – renamed Denver Nuggets, who joined the NBA in 1976 – and Tex Winter was hired in his place. However, Winter's clashes with Hayes, due to a system that contrasted with the offensive style
The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division, are the only team in their division not based in California; the Suns play their home games at the Talking Stick Resort Arena. The franchise began play in 1968 as an expansion team, their early years were shrouded in mediocrity, but their fortunes changed in the 1970s, after partnering long-term guard Dick Van Arsdale and center Alvan Adams with Paul Westphal, the Suns reached the 1976 NBA Finals, in what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. However, after failing to capture a championship, the Suns would rebuild around Walter Davis for a majority of the 1980s, until the acquisition of Kevin Johnson in 1988. Under Johnson, after trading for perennial NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, combined with the output of Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle, the Suns reached the playoffs for a franchise-record thirteen consecutive appearances and remained a regular title contender throughout the 1990s, reached the 1993 NBA Finals.
However, the team would again fail to win a championship, entered into another period of mediocrity until the early part of the 2000s. In 2004, the Suns reacquired Steve Nash, returned into playoff contention. With Nash, Shawn Marion, Amar'e Stoudemire, under head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Suns became renowned worldwide for their quick, dynamic offense, which led them to tie a franchise record in wins in the 2004–05 season. Two more top two Conference placements followed, but the Suns again failed to attain an NBA championship, were forced into another rebuild; the Suns own the NBA's seventh-best all-time winning percentage, have the second highest winning percentage of any teams to have never won an NBA championship. 10 Hall of Famers have played for Phoenix, while two Suns—Barkley and Nash—have won the NBA Most Valuable Player award while playing for the team. The Suns were one of two franchises to join the NBA at the start of the 1968–69 season, alongside the Milwaukee Bucks from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
They were the first major professional sports franchise in the Phoenix market and in the entire state of Arizona, remained the only one for the better part of 20 years until the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League relocated from St. Louis in 1988; the Suns played its first 24 seasons at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum, located northwest of downtown Phoenix. The franchise was formed by an ownership group led by Karl Eller, owner of a public enterprise, the investor Donald Pitt, Don Diamond, Bhavik Darji, Marvin Meyer, Richard Bloch. Other owners with a minority stake consisted of entertainers, such as Andy Williams, Bobbie Gentry and Ed Ames. There were many critics, including then-NBA commissioner J. Walter Kennedy, who said that Phoenix was "too hot", "too small", "too far away" to be considered a successful NBA market; this was despite the fact that the Phoenix metropolitan area was growing and the Suns would have built-in geographical foes in places like in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle.
After continual prodding by Bloch, in 1968 the NBA Board of Governors granted franchises to Phoenix and Milwaukee on January 22, 1968 with an entry fee of $2 million. The Suns nickname was among 28,000 entries that were formally chosen in a name-the-team contest sponsored by The Arizona Republic, with the winner awarded $1,000 and season tickets for the inaugural season. Suns was preferred over Scorpions, Thunderbirds, Mavericks, Tumbleweeds and Cougars. Stan Fabe, who owned a commercial printing plant in Tucson, designed the team's first iconic logo for a mere $200. However, they were disappointed with the results. In the 1968 NBA Expansion Draft, notable Suns' pickups were future Hall of Famer Gail Goodrich and Dick Van Arsdale. Jerry Colangelo a player scout, came over from the Chicago Bulls, a franchise formed two years earlier, as the Suns' first general manager at the age of 28, along with Johnny "Red" Kerr as head coach. Unlike the first-year success that Colangelo and Kerr had in Chicago, in which the Bulls finished with a first-year expansion record of 33 wins and a playoff berth, Phoenix finished its first year at 16–66, finished 25 games out of the final playoff spot.
Both Goodrich and Van Arsdale were selected to the All-Star Game in their first season with the Suns. Goodrich returned to his former team, the Lakers, after two seasons with the Suns, but Van Arsdale spent the rest of his playing days as a Sun and a one-time head coach for Phoenix; the Suns' last-place finish that season led to a coin flip for the number-one overall pick for the 1969 NBA draft with the expansion-mate Bucks. Milwaukee won the flip, the rights to draft UCLA center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, while Phoenix settled on drafting center Neal Walk from Florida; the 1969–70 season posted better results for the Suns, finishing 39–43, but losing to the eventual Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. The next two seasons, the Suns finished with 48- and 49-win seasons, but did not qualify for the playoffs in either year, did not reach the playoffs again until 1976; the 1975–76 season proved to be a pivotal year for the Suns as they made several key moves, including the offseason trade of former All-Star guard Charlie Scott to the Boston Celtics in exchange for guard
Rebecca Lynn Hammon is an American assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association and a retired professional basketball player. Hammon played for the San Antonio Stars and New York Liberty of the Women's National Basketball Association, as well as multiple basketball teams outside of the United States. Hammon, born and grew up in the United States, became a naturalized Russian citizen in 2008 and represented the Russian national team in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. On August 5, 2014, Hammon was hired by the Spurs as an assistant coach, becoming the second female assistant coach in NBA history, the first full-time assistant coach; this makes her the first full-time female assistant coach in any of the four major professional sports in North America. On July 3, 2015, the Spurs announced that Hammon would be the team's Summer League head coach, the first woman to be a head coach in that league. Hammon led the Spurs to the Las Vegas Summer League title on July 20, 2015.
Rebecca Lynn "Becky" Hammon was born in South Dakota. She is natural-born citizen of the United States and became a naturalized Russian citizen in 2008, she competed with the Russian women's national basketball team at the 2012 Olympics. Hammon learned to dribble a basketball at a young age, playing Nerf ball with her older brother and father, continued to hone her skills on her home court, she was raised as a devout Christian. Hammon played basketball at Stevens High School in her hometown of South Dakota; as a junior, she was named South Dakota Miss Basketball. As a senior, she was voted the South Dakota Player of the Year after averaging 26 points, 4 rebounds and 5 steals per game, she graduated in 1995, was voted female class athlete by her graduating class. Despite the accolades, she drew little attention from college basketball recruiters, who considered her too small and too slow, she grabbed the attention of a Colorado State assistant coach, she committed to the Rams. Hammon's prolific scoring for the Colorado State Rams made her an All-American three times, as well as Colorado Sportswoman of the Year.
She led her team to a 33–3 record in the 1998–99 season and helped them advance to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet Sixteen. She was named the WAC Mountain Division player of the year for the 1998–99 season and surpassed University of Utah player Keith Van Horn as the WAC's all-time leading scorer. Hammon set many Colorado State all-time records, including points, points per game, field goals made, free throws made, three-point field goals made and assists, she received the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award from the Women's Basketball Coaches Association as the best senior player under 5 ft 8 in in 1999. On November 12, 2004, Hammon was inducted into the Colorado State University Sports Hall of Fame. On January 22, 2005, her number 25 Colorado State jersey was retired at Moby Arena. Undrafted during her rookie season, Hammon was signed to the WNBA on May 12, 1999 and joined the New York Liberty, she had a solid rookie season statistically, backing up starting point guard Teresa Weatherspoon. Her aggressive play at both ends of the court made her a favorite among Liberty fans.
After the 2003 season, Hammon took over for Weatherspoon as the Liberty's starting point guard and, with Vickie Johnson and Crystal Robinson, became one of the team's co-captains in 2004. In her first season in 2003 with the Tennessee Fury of the National Women's Basketball League, Hammon led the league in scoring, averaging 20.6 points per game. In 2004, Hammon signed with the Colorado Chill, a new team in the NWBL, but played in only two games because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury in her right knee sustained in the 2003 season when playing for the Liberty. Used to provide instant points off the bench, Hammon had a breakout season in 2003, providing much-needed offense for the Liberty. However, her season was cut short by a knee injury. On August 16, 2005, Hammon scored her 2,000th WNBA career point. At the end of the 2005 season, she was named to the All-WNBA Second Team. In January 2007, she played her WNBA "off season" with Rivas Futura in the Spanish League. On April 4, 2007, during the WNBA Draft, Hammon was traded to the Silver Stars, along with a second round draft pick in the 2008 draft, for the second overall pick in the 2007 WNBA Draft, center Jessica Davenport.
Hammon posted career high averages of 18.8 ppg and 5.0 apg in 2007. While in San Antonio, Hammon earned the nickname, "Big Shot Becky" because of her ability to hit shots in clutch moments, it comes from the nickname "Big Shot Rob" given to Robert Horry. Hammon averaged 17.6 ppg, 4.9 apg as she led the Silver Stars to a WNBA best record 24–10 and led them into the playoffs for a second straight year. In the conference semi-finals, Hammon scored 30 points in a Game 1 win against the Sacramento Monarchs. San Antonio would win the series and advance to the Western Conference Finals. Following a loss in Game 1 and a win in Game 2, Hammon's 35 points propelled the Silver Stars to a victory in Game 3 against the Los Angeles Sparks; the Silver Stars advanced to the WNBA Finals where they were defeated by the Detroit Shock 3–0. Hammon averaged 5.0 apg in the 2009 WNBA season. The Silver Stars had a record of 15–19 and lost to the eventual champion Phoenix Mercury in the first round. Hammon was an All-Star as well as a first-team All-WNBA selection.
On August 31, 2011, Hammon became the seventh player in WNBA history to score 5,000 points. In the year, Hammon scored 37 points in a playoff-clinching win against the Los Angeles Sparks. On August 2, 2015, Hammon was inducted into the Ri
In basketball, a technical foul is any infraction of the rules penalized as a foul which does not involve physical contact during the course of play between opposing players on the court, or is a foul by a non-player. The most common technical foul is for unsportsmanlike conduct. Technical fouls can be assessed against players, bench personnel, the entire team, or the crowd; these fouls, their penalties, are more serious than a personal foul, but not as serious as a flagrant foul. Technical fouls are handled differently under international rules than under the rules used by the various competitions in the United States. First, illegal contact between players on the court is always a personal foul under international rules, whereas in the United States, such contact is, with some exceptions, a technical foul when the game clock is not running and/or when the ball is dead. Second, in International Basketball Federation play, players foul out after five total fouls and personal combined; the latter rule is similar to that in college, high school, middle school basketball in the United States.
However, in leagues that play 48-minute games such as the NBA, in some leagues such as the Women's National Basketball Association, players are allowed six personal fouls before being disqualified, technical fouls assessed against them do not count toward this total. However, unsportsmanlike technicals in the NBA carry a fine, its severity depending on the number of technicals the player has obtained, players are suspended for varying amounts of time after accumulating sixteen technicals in the regular season or seven in the playoffs. In most American competitions, ejection of the offender, that of the player, coach, or otherwise, is the penalty for being assessed two technical fouls in a game, if charged directly to him/her. In addition, any single flagrant technical foul, or a disqualifying foul in FIBA, incurs ejection. FIBA rules do not provide for ejection for any number of non-flagrant technicals against a player, except in 3x3, in which two unsportsmanlike fouls result in ejection. FIBA rules call for ejection when a coach draws two technicals.
Many infractions can result in the calling of a technical foul. One of the most common is the use of profane language toward another player; this can be called on either players who are active in the play of the game, or seated on a team's bench. It can be assessed to a coach or another person associated with the team in an official capacity such as a trainer or an equipment manager. Additionally, coaches or players can be assessed a technical foul for disputing an official's call too vehemently, with or without the use of profanity; this verbal unsporting technical foul may be assessed regardless of whether the ball is dead or alive. Other offenses can result in technical fouls, such as: Allowing players to lock arms in order to restrict the movement of an opponent Baiting or taunting an opponent Disrespectfully addressing or contacting an official or gesturing in such a manner as to indicate resentment Faking being fouled Fighting or threatening to fight Goaltending a free throw Grasping either basket during pre-game or halftime warm-ups during the time of the officials' jurisdiction, including attempting to dunk or stuff a dead ball prior to or during the game or during any intermission of the game.
Beginning in 2015–16, dunking is permitted during warmup periods in NCAA play, although hanging on the rim remains illegal. Illegal substitution or entering the game at an impermissible time Intentionally hanging on the basket at any time Kicking or striking the basketball at any time using the foot Knowingly attempting a free throw or accepting a foul to which the player was not entitled Lifting or jumping onto a teammate to gain a height advantage Remaining out of bounds to gain an advantage Removing the jersey or pants within the visual confines of the playing area Use of television monitoring or replay equipment, computers, or electronics such as megaphones for coaching purposes during the game Using tobacco or smokeless tobaccoViolations of the rules for delaying the game incur a team warning for a first offense, followed by a team technical, or sometimes a player technical, if the same team delays a second time, to include: Going out of bounds during an opponent's throw-in without contact, or touching an opposing thrower-in or the ball as it is held in out-of-bounds Huddling at the foul line for an excessive time Not being ready to start play after a time-out, or to begin a quarter or half, or to shoot a free throw at such times Refusing to pass the ball to the nearer
James Edward Harden Jr. is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association. He played college basketball for Arizona State, where he was named a consensus All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year in 2009. Harden was selected with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder. In 2012, he was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year with the Thunder and helped the team reach the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Miami Heat in five games. Harden was traded to Houston before the 2012–13 NBA season. During his tenure with the Rockets, he became one of the NBA's most prolific scorers and earned recognition as the best shooting guard in the NBA, as well as one of the top overall players in the league. In 2018, Harden was named the NBA Most Valuable Player, he is a seven-time NBA All-Star, has earned All-NBA Team honors five times, including four times to the first team. Harden is a two-time member of the United States national basketball team, winning gold medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics and 2014 FIBA World Cup.
Harden attended Artesia High School in California. In his sophomore year, he averaged 13.2 points as Artesia went 28–5. He improved his stats to 18.8 points, 7.7 boards and 3.5 assists in his junior season and led Artesia to the California state title and a 33–1 record. Artesia repeated as state champions in Harden's final year after going 33–2. Harden had similar stats as during the previous season: 18.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists. He was named a McDonald's All-American, earned second-team Parade All-American honors, he helped his AAU team, Pump-N-Run Elite, to the 2006 Las Vegas Adidas Super 64 championship. Harden had 34 points in the victory over a DC Assault team which included Michael Beasley, Nolan Smith and Austin Freeman. In the game against Houston Hoops, played on the same day, Harden had 33 points. In the final, Pump-N-Run Elite beat Kevin Love's Southern California All-Stars. Harden's freshman year, Arizona State was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-10 Conference. Behind his 17.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game, the Sun Devils went 21–13 and finished tied for fifth in the Pac-10.
They were considered a bubble team for the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Left out of the tournament, they were selected to the 2008 NIT field and defeated Alabama State and Southern Illinois before falling to defending national champion Florida. After his freshman year, Harden was named first team All-Pac-10 and was named to the conference all-freshman team, he was named first team All-District by the NABC and the USBWA. Entering his sophomore year, Harden appeared on many pre-season All-American lists and on the cover of the Sports Illustrated college basketball preview issue, he was named to the Wooden Award preseason watch list. On November 30, 2008, Harden scored a career-high 40 points in an 88–58 victory over UTEP. Harden finished his sophomore campaign with averages of 20.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists. He was named to the 2009 All-Pac 10 Tournament Team following Arizona State's defeat by USC at the Staples Center. Following the conference season, Harden was named the Pacific-10 Conference's Player of the Year.
He was named a consensus All-American. After the conclusion of the season, Harden declared for the 2009 NBA draft, he employed Rob Pelinka as his agent. Harden was selected with the third overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, he recorded the fourth highest 3-point percentage in NBA history for a player under the age of 21 during the 2009–10 season. He connected on seven straight 3-point field goals over two games, recording the most consecutive 3-point makes by a rookie since Houston guard Michael Dickerson made eight straight in May 1999, he posted a season-high 26 points against the Golden State Warriors on December 7, 2009. He was subsequently named to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team. During the 2010–11 season, he scored 10-plus points on 54 occasions, including a season-high 26 points against the Phoenix Suns on March 6, 2011. Harden averaged 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 62 games during the lockout-shortened 2011–12 season, as he received the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
He scored in double-figures in all but four of his appearances during the season. He scored a season-high 40 points against Phoenix on April 18, 2012, becoming the first NBA player in a reserve role to score 40 points since Dallas guard Rodrigue Beaubois in March 2010. Harden helped the Thunder reach the 2012 NBA Finals, where they were defeated in five games by the Miami Heat. During the 2012 free agency period, Oklahoma City attempted to sign Harden to a four-year contract extension worth between $52 and $55 million. Harden contended that he was given too little time to consider the offer. After failing to agree on a contract extension with the Thunder, Harden was traded to the Houston Rockets on October 27, 2012, along with Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich and Lazar Hayward, in exchange for Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lamb, two first round picks, a second round pick. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey called Harden a "foundational" player and expected him to be Houston's featured player despite only playing a supporting role behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.
On October 31, 2012, Harden signed a contract extension with the Rockets for five years worth $80 million. That same day, he became the first-ever NBA player to score 37 or more points while registering a double-digit assist total in his team debut, posting 37 points, a career-
In basketball, a block or blocked shot occurs when a defensive player deflects a field goal attempt from an offensive player to prevent a score. The defender is not allowed to make contact with the offensive player's hand or a foul is called. In order to be legal, the block must occur. A deflected field goal, made does not count as a blocked shot and counts as a successful field goal attempt for shooter plus the points awarded to the shooting team. For the shooter, a blocked shot is counted as a missed field goal attempt. On a shooting foul, a blocked shot cannot be awarded or counted if the player who deflected the field goal attempt is different from the player who committed the foul. If the ball is heading downward when the defender hits it, it is ruled as goaltending and counts as a made basket. Goaltending is called if the block is made after the ball bounces on the backboard. Nicknames for blocked shots include "rejections," "stuffs," "bushed", "fudged", or notably "double-fudged", "facials," "swats," "denials," and "packs."
Blocked shots were first recorded in the NBA during the 1973–74 season. Due to their height and position near the basket and power forwards tend to record the most blocks, but shorter players with good jumping ability can be blockers, an example being Dwyane Wade, the shortest player, at 6'4", to record 100 blocked shots in a single season. A player with the ability to block shots can be a positive asset to a team's defense, as they can make it difficult for opposing players to shoot near the basket and by keeping the basketball in play, as opposed to swatting it out of bounds, a blocked shot can lead to a fast break, a skill Bill Russell was notable for. To be a good shot-blocker, a player needs great court sense and timing, good height or jumping ability. One tactic is that a shot-blocker can intimidate opponents to alter their shots, resulting in a miss. A chase-down block occurs when a player pursues an opposing player who had run ahead of the defense, blocks their shot attempt; the block involves hitting the ball into the backboard as the opponent tries to complete a lay-up.
One of the most recognized chase-down blocks was then-Detroit Pistons' Tayshaun Prince's game-saving block on Reggie Miller in Game 2 of the 2004 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Indiana Pacers. Pistons announcer Fred McLeod, who first witnessed this style of blocks from Prince, created the chase-down term with the Cleveland Cavaliers. During the 2008–09 NBA season, the Cavaliers began tracking chase-down blocks, crediting LeBron James with 23 that season and 20 the following season. Another landmark chase-down block occurred in the 2016 NBA Finals when Lebron James, in the closing minutes of the 4th quarter delivered what became known as "The Block" on a lay-up attempt by Andre Iguodala with the score tied at 89 and 01:50 remaining in the game. Most blocks in a single game: Elmore Smith Most blocks in a single half: Elmore Smith, George T. Johnson, Manute Bol Most blocks per game in a season: Mark Eaton Most career blocks: Hakeem Olajuwon Most blocks per game in a career: Mark Eaton Most blocks in NBA Finals game: Dwight Howard Most blocks in a non-NBA Finals playoff game: Andrew Bynum, Hakeem Olajuwon, Mark Eaton Most career blocks: Jarvis Varnado – Mississippi State Most blocks single season, player: David Robinson – Navy Most blocks per game single season, player: Shawn James – Northeastern Most blocks single season, team: Kentucky Most career blocks: Brittney Griner – Baylor Most blocks single season, player: Brittney Griner – Baylor Most blocks per game single season, player: Brittney Griner – Baylor Most blocks single season, team: Baylor List of National Basketball Association career blocks leaders List of National Basketball Association season blocks leaders List of National Basketball Association players with most blocks in a game List of NCAA Division I men's basketball career blocks leaders List of NCAA Division I men's basketball season blocks leaders List of NCAA Division I men's basketball players with 13 or more blocks in a game ^a Brittney Griner's 736 career blocks is recognized as the all-time NCAA record, men's or women's.
Hall of Famer Anne Donovan, who played for Old Dominion from 1979 to 1983, recorded 801 blocks while playing in the AIAW, therefore her total is not recognized as an NCAA achievement. Career block leaders on Basketball-Reference.com Bill Russell Block Art on YouTube