The five basketball positions employed by organized basketball teams are the point guard, the shooting guard, the small forward, the power forward, the center. The point guard is the leader of the team on the court; this position requires substantial ball handling skills and the ability to facilitate the team during a play. The shooting guard, as the name implies, is the best shooter; as well as being capable of shooting from longer distances, this position tends to be the best defender on the team. The small forward has an aggressive approach to the basket when handling the ball; the small forward is known to make cuts to the basket in efforts to get open for shots. The power forward and the center are called the "frontcourt" acting as their team's primary rebounders or shot blockers, or receiving passes to take inside shots; the center is the larger of the two. Only three positions were recognized based on where they played on the court: Guards played outside and away from the hoop and forwards played outside and near the baseline, with the center positioned in the key.
During the 1980s, as team strategy evolved. More specialized roles developed. Team strategy and available personnel, still dictate the positions used by a particular team. For example, the dribble-drive motion offense and the Princeton offense use four interchangeable guards and one center; this set is known as a "four-in and one-out" play scheme. Other combinations are prevalent. Besides the five basic positions, some teams use non-standard or hybrid positions, such as the point forward, a hybrid small forward/point guard; the point guard known as the one, is the team's best ball handler and passer. Therefore, they lead their team in assists and are able to create shots for themselves and their teammates, they are quick and are able to hit shots either outside the three-point line or "in the paint" depending on the player's skill level. Point guards are looked upon as the "floor general" or the "coach on the floor", they should study the game and game film to be able to recognize the weaknesses of the defense, the strengths of their own offense.
They are responsible for directing plays, making the position equivalent to that of quarterback in American football, playmaker in association football, center in ice hockey, or setter in volleyball. Good point guards increase team efficiency and have a high number of assists, they are referred to as dribblers or play-makers. In the NBA, point guards are the shortest players on the team and are 6 feet 4 inches or shorter; the shooting guard is known as the two or the off guard. Along with the small forward, a shooting guard is referred to as a wing because of its use in common positioning tactics; as the name suggests, most shooting guards are prolific from the three-point range. Besides being able to shoot the ball, shooting guards tend to be the best defender on the team, as well as being able to move without the ball to create open looks for themselves; some shooting guards have good ball handling skills creating their own shots off the dribble. A versatile shooting guard will have good passing skills, allowing them to assume point guard responsibilities known as combo guards.
Bigger shooting guards tend to play as small forwards. In the NBA, shooting guards range from 6 feet 4 inches to 6 feet 8 inches; the small forward known as the three, is considered to be the most versatile of the main five basketball positions. Versatility is key for small forwards because of the nature of their role, which resembles that of a shooting guard more than that of a power forward; this is why the small forward and shooting guard positions are interchangeable and referred to as wings. Small forwards have a variety such as quickness and strength inside. One common thread among all kinds of small forwards is an ability to "get to the line" and draw fouls by aggressively attempting plays, lay-ups, or slam dunks; as such, accurate foul shooting is a common skill for small forwards, many of whom record a large portion of their points from the foul line. Besides being able to drive to the basket, they are good shooters from long range; some small forwards have good passing skills, allowing them to assume point guard responsibilities as point forwards.
Small forwards should be able to do a little bit of everything on the court playing roles such as swingmen and defensive specialists. In the NBA, small forwards range from 6 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 9 inches; the power forward known as the four plays a role similar to that of the center, down in the "post" or "low blocks". The power forward is the team's most versatile scorer, being able to score close to the basket while being able to shoot mid-range jump shots from 12 to 18 feet from the basket; some power forwards have become known as stretch fours, since extending their shooting range to three-pointers. On defense, they are required to have the strength to guard bigger players close to the basket and to have the athleticism to guard quick players away from the basket. Most power forwards tend to be more versatile than centers since they can be part of plays and are not always in the low block. In the
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets men's basketball
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Men's Basketball team represents the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in NCAA Division I basketball. The team plays its home games in McCamish Pavilion on the school's Atlanta campus and is coached by Josh Pastner. Under the tenure of Bobby Cremins, Georgia Tech established itself as a national force in basketball. Cremins led his team to the first ACC tournament victory in school history in 1985 and in 1990 he took Georgia Tech to the school's first Final Four appearance ever. Cremins retired from Georgia Tech in 2000 with the school's best winning percentage as a head coach; the Yellow Jackets returned to the Final Four in 2004 under Paul Hewitt and lost in the national title game, losing to UConn. Overall, the team has won 1,352 games and lost 1,226 games, a.524 win percentage. Georgia Tech's first recorded official participation in basketball was in 1906, when a small club organized under Coach Chapman, they won two of the three games. The next time Tech had a basketball team, it was under the famous coach John Heisman Tech's baseball and football coach.
Heisman had a winning percentage of.142 that season and improved the team's percentage to.500 in 1912 and 1913. Since that time, Georgia Tech has forged a solid basketball program on the strength of coaches like John Hyder and Bobby Cremins, such players as Roger Kaiser, Rich Yunkus, Mark Price, Craig "Noodles" Neal, John Salley, Tom Hammonds, Matt Harpring. Georgia Tech became a charter member of the Southeastern Conference in 1932 and won the conference title in 1938. Coach Hyder, whose teams won 292 games in twenty-two seasons, put the program on the national map when his 1955 team defeated Adolph Rupp's Kentucky team, ending the Wildcats' 129-game winning streak at home; the Yellow Jackets played their first NCAA tournament game in 1960. Coached by Hyder and led by all-American Kaiser, the team defeated Ohio University before losing in the second round to the eventual champion, Ohio State. Hyder continued to have strong teams in the 1970s. In 1964, Georgia Tech's final season in the Southeastern Conference, the team went undefeated at home and was the conference runner-up.
In 1971 the Yellow Jackets, led by Yunkus, reached the finals of the National Invitation Tournament but lost to the University of North Carolina. Georgia Tech became a charter member of the Metro Conference in 1975, became the eighth member of the ACC in 1978; as of the 2007–08 season, the Yellow Jackets have won three ACC Tournament championships and been the ACC's top seed twice. Through 2017, Georgia Tech has received sixteen berths in the NCAA tournament, seven of its teams have made it to the Sweet Sixteen; the 1985 team, led by head coach Bobby Cremins and players Mark Price, Duane Ferrell, Yvon Joseph, Craig Neal, Bruce Dalrymple, John Salley, won the school's first ACC championship and advanced to the final eight in the NCAA tournament. In the 1990 tournament, the trio of Kenny Anderson, Dennis Scott, & Brian Oliver carried the Yellow Jackets all the way to the Final Four, where they lost to eventual champion UNLV in the national semi-finals. In 1992, Cremins led an inexperienced Tech team to the Sweet 16, thanks in no small part to James Forrest's buzzer-beating game-winning 3-pointer in the second round against USC.
The following year, the Yellow Jackets won the ACC Tournament. Georgia Tech's nine consecutive appearances in the NCAA Tournament from the mid-1980s and the early 1990s accounted for the nation's fourth-longest active streak before it ended in 1994. In 1996, the team finished first in the ACC's regular season and returned to the tournament behind future NBA All-Star Stephon Marbury. Cremins's nineteen-year tenure stands as the team's most successful era. Cremins is third among all ACC coaches. Upon his retirement after the 1999–2000 season, his teams had won 354 games and lost 237 for a.599 winning percentage. The floor at Alexander Memorial Coliseum is named "Cremins Court" in his honor. In 2000, head coach Paul Hewitt was hired away from Siena College and helped to revitalize the Yellow Jacket program. In his first season, Georgia Tech beat UCLA, Kentucky and five ACC rivals that were ranked en route to an NCAA tournament appearance. Georgia Tech experienced a Cinderella season in 2003–2004: winning the Preseason NIT, ending Duke's 41-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium, making it to the school's second Final Four and first national championship game, in which they lost by nine points to UConn.
Notable players sent to the NBA under Hewitt include Chris Bosh, Jarrett Jack, Mario West, Luke Schenscher, Thaddeus Young, Will Bynum and Anthony Morrow. In back-to-back years, Hewitt successfully recruited national top-10 high school prospects in Iman Shumpert and Derrick Favors. During the 2009–2010 season, the Yellow Jackets played for the ACC tournament championship game as well as earning Hewitt's fifth NCAA tournament appearance at Tech, they advanced to the round of 32. Georgia Tech finished the 2010–11 season 13–18. On March 12, 2011, Paul Hewitt was dismissed as the head coach of the Georgia Tech after eleven seasons. Brian Gregory was appointed as his successor, Georgia Tech's thirteenth men's basketball coach, on March 28, 2011. Brian Gregory, who led Dayton to 97 victories over his last four seasons there and worked under Tom Izzo at Michigan State when the Spartans won the 2000 NCAA Championship, was named Georgia Tech's head men's basketball coach on March 28, 2011. In their first sea
Joe Smith (basketball)
Joseph Leynard Smith is an American former professional basketball player who played at power forward position for 12 teams of the NBA during his 16-year career. Born and raised in Norfolk, Smith was the College Player of the Year at Maryland in 1995 and the No. 1 pick of that season's NBA draft, picked by the Golden State Warriors. He was named to the 1995–96 All-Rookie team. Smith was mobile throughout his career, the NBA indicated that he was one of the most traded players. In 1998, Smith was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, he played for the Milwaukee Bucks, the Denver Nuggets, the 76ers again, the Chicago Bulls, the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Atlanta Hawks, the New Jersey Nets, the Los Angeles Lakers. Smith played at the University of Maryland. In the 1995 NBA draft, Smith was selected by the Golden State Warriors as the first overall pick, before fellow power forwards Kevin Garnett, Antonio McDyess and Rasheed Wallace, as well as guard Jerry Stackhouse. Smith was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team for the 1995–96 season and finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting to Damon Stoudamire and Arvydas Sabonis.
Joe Smith would play two-and-a-half years for the Warriors before being traded to the Philadelphia 76ers with Brian Shaw for Clarence Weatherspoon and Jim Jackson midway through the 1997–98 season. The trade was engineered by Golden State as Smith had made clear his desire to return to the east coast, he was approaching free agency. Smith's statistics declined after the trade, never recovered. Despite a drop in production, Smith was seen still as a hot commodity in the free agency blitz that followed the strike in late 1998. In what seemed at the time like a bizarre move, Smith signed for little money with the Minnesota Timberwolves. For the next two years, Smith played productively at small forward alongside All-Star Kevin Garnett. Following the 1999–2000 season, it was discovered that Smith was involved in a salary cap–evading scandal involving Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor and general manager Kevin McHale. Smith was promised a future multimillion-dollar deal if he signed with the team for below market value, allowing the team to make some additional player moves in the short term.
As part of the deal, Smith signed three one-year contracts for less than $3 million apiece, allowing the Timberwolves to retain his "Bird rights" and exceed the cap to resign him. At the end of the last one-year contract, Smith could have signed a new long-term contract that would have paid as much as $86 million; the beginning of the end for the illicit deal came when Smith's agent, Andrew Smith, left the sports marketing firm helmed by Eric Fleisher and retained Smith and Garnett as clients. Fleisher sued, details of the illegal contract came to light in discovery. NBA Commissioner David Stern punished the Timberwolves in response, he fined the team $3.5 million and voided all three short-term contracts–and with them, Smith's "Bird rights." He barred Taylor from having any role in the Timberwolves' operations until August 31, 2001, forced McHale to take an unpaid leave of absence through July 31, 2001. More in the long run, Stern stripped the Timberwolves of their first-round draft picks in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005.
The move hurt the Timberwolves in the long run, as while the team still found success, the lack of draft picks denied them a chance to add more depth behind Garnett. This set the team up for their eventual failure in the mid-2000s, which would continue well into the 2010s. Joe Smith was released by the Timberwolves and signed with the Detroit Pistons for the 2000–2001 season as a backup. Smith produced good numbers for the Pistons and, at the end of the season, he re-signed with the Timberwolves where he played for two more seasons. For the next three seasons Smith played for the Milwaukee Bucks. Prior to the 2006–07 season, Smith moved on to the Nuggets, where he only played in 11 games before being traded, along with Andre Miller, back to the 76ers for Allen Iverson. Despite being considered an add-in on the deal, Smith averaged over 25 minutes per game with the 76ers, during the team's unsuccessful second half battle to make the playoffs. For the 2007–08 season, Smith signed with the Chicago Bulls.
Smith averaged over 11 points and 5 rebounds per game for the Bulls, but the team managed only 33 wins the whole season. Smith was traded in a three team deal at the trade deadline to the Cleveland Cavaliers. On August 13, 2008, Smith was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a three-team, six-player deal involving the Thunder, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Cleveland Cavaliers that sent Milwaukee's Mo Williams to Cleveland and Milwaukee's Desmond Mason to Oklahoma City, Cleveland's Damon Jones and Oklahoma City's Luke Ridnour and Adrian Griffin to Milwaukee; the Thunder traded Smith to the New Orleans Hornets along with Chris Wilcox and draft rights to Devon Hardin on February 17, 2009 for Tyson Chandler but on February 18, 2009 the trade was rescinded after Tyson Chandler failed a physical with Oklahoma City. On March 1, 2009, the Thunder released him. Two nights he agreed to terms to rejoin the Cavaliers. On August 25, 2009, he signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks. On March 17, 2010, Smith became the 92nd player in NBA history to reach 1000 games played, in a victory over the New Jersey Nets.
On September 10, 2010, Smith signed a deal with the New Jersey Nets. On December 15, 2010, Smith was traded
Jason Frederick Kidd is an American professional basketball coach and former player. He most served as the head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association. A point guard in the NBA, Kidd was a ten-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA First Team member, a nine-time NBA All-Defensive Team member, he won an NBA Championship in 2011 as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, was a two-time Olympic Gold Medal winner during his pro career, as part of Team USA in 2000 and 2008. He was inducted as a player into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Kidd played college basketball for the California Golden Bears and was drafted second overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 1994 NBA draft, he was named co-NBA Rookie of the Year in his first season with the Mavericks. From 1996 to 2001, Kidd played for the Phoenix Suns and for the New Jersey Nets from 2001 to 2008, he led the Nets to two consecutive NBA Finals appearances in 2002 and 2003. In the middle of the 2007–08 season, Kidd was traded back to Dallas.
At age 38, Kidd won his only NBA championship. He finished his playing career in 2013 with the New York Knicks; the following season, he became the head coach of the Nets, who had relocated from New Jersey to Brooklyn. After one season, he was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, where he coached for four seasons until he was fired mid-season in 2018. Kidd's ability to pass and rebound made him a regular triple-double threat, he retired ranked third all-time in the NBA for regular season triple-doubles with a career total of 107 and third in playoff triple-doubles with a career total of 11, he ranks second on the NBA all-time lists in career assists and steals and ninth in 3-point field goals made. Kidd was born in San Francisco, raised in an upper middle class section of Oakland, his father, was African-American, his mother, Anne, is Irish-American. As a youth, Kidd was scouted for AAU teams and tourneys, garnering various all-star and MVP awards, he attended the East Oakland Youth Development Center and frequented the city courts of Oakland, where he found himself pitted against future NBA Hall of Famer Gary Payton.
At St. Joseph Notre Dame High School in Alameda, under the guidance of coach Frank LaPorte, Kidd led the Pilots to consecutive state championships, averaging 25 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 7 steals his senior season. During that year, he received a host of individual honors, including the Naismith Award as the nation's top high school player, was named Player of the Year by PARADE and USA Today; the all-time prep leader in assists and the state's seventh-highest career scorer, Kidd was voted California Player of the Year for the second time and a McDonald's All-American. On January 31, 2012, Kidd was honored. After a publicized recruiting process, Kidd shocked many fans and pundits alike by choosing to attend the nearby University of California, Berkeley—a school, coming off a 10–18 season and had not won a conference title since 1960—over a number of top-ranked collegiate programs including the University of Arizona, the University of Kentucky, the University of Kansas, Ohio State University.
In his first year playing for the Golden Bears, Kidd averaged 13.0 points, 7.7 assists, 4.9 rebounds, 3.8 steals per game which earned him national Freshman of the Year honors and a spot on the All-Pac-10 team. His 110 steals set an NCAA record for most steals by a freshman and set school record for most steals in a season, while his 220 assists that season was a school record, his play was a key factor in the resurgence of Cal basketball and helped the Golden Bears earn an NCAA Tournament bid, where they upset two-time defending national champion Duke in the second round of that tournament before losing to Kansas in the Sweet 16. Kidd continued his success as a sophomore, tallying averages of 16.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.1 steals and 9.1 assists, breaking his previous school record for most assists in a season with 272, while leading the nation in that category. He was selected a First Team All-American, the first Cal player to be so named since 1968, as well as Pac-10 Player of the Year, becoming the first sophomore to receive that honor.
The Golden Bears made the NCAA Tournament again as a fifth seed, but was upset in the first round by Dick Bennett's Wisconsin–Green Bay team 61–57. Kidd was named a finalist for both the Naismith and Wooden Awards as college basketball's top player and subsequently opted to enter the NBA draft in 1994. In 2004, Cal retired Kidd's number 5 jersey. Kidd was selected as the second pick overall by the Dallas Mavericks, behind Glenn Robinson of Purdue, just ahead of Duke's Grant Hill. In his first year, he averaged 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.7 assists, led the NBA in triple doubles, sharing 1995 NBA Rookie of the Year honors with Hill of the Detroit Pistons. The year before the Mavericks drafted Kidd, they finished the season with the worst record in the NBA at 13–69. After Kidd's first season with the Mavericks, their record improved to 36–46, the largest improvement in the NBA. In the following season Kidd was voted a starter in the 1996 All-Star Game. In his first two years with the Mavericks, the move most people associated him with was "the baseball pass".
Kidd was a member of the "Three J's" in Dallas along with Jamal Mashburn. After promising beginnings, things turned sour among the trio. Mashburn's injury combined with deteriorated personal relations between the immature leaders of the team resulted in the Mavericks taking a step backwards instead of further development. Kidd's continued
Duke Blue Devils men's basketball
The Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team represents Duke University in NCAA Division I college basketball and competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The team is fourth all-time in wins of any NCAA men's basketball program, is coached by Mike Krzyzewski. Duke has won 5 NCAA Championships and appeared in 11 Championship Games and 16 Final Fours, has an NCAA-best.755 NCAA tournament winning percentage. Eleven Duke players have been named the National Player of the Year, 71 players have been selected in the NBA Draft. Additionally, Duke has 36 players named 14 Academic All-Americans. Duke has been the Atlantic Coast Conference Champions a record 21 times, lays claim to 19 ACC regular season titles. Prior to joining the ACC, Duke won the Southern Conference championships five times. Duke has finished the season ranked No. 1 in the AP poll seven times and is the all time leader in total weeks ranked as the number one team in the nation by the AP with 135 weeks. Additionally, the Blue Devils have the second longest streak in the AP Top 25 in history with 200 consecutive appearances from 1996 to 2007, trailing only UCLA's 221 consecutive polls from 1966 to 1980.
Adapted from Duke University ArchivesIn 1906, Wilbur Wade Card, Trinity College's Athletic Director and a member of the Class of 1900, introduced the game of basketball to Trinity. The January 30 issue of The Trinity Chronicle headlined the new sport on its front page. Trinity's first game ended in a loss to Wake Forest, 24–10; the game was played in the Angier B. Duke Gymnasium known as The Ark; the Trinity team won its first title in 1920, the state championship, by beating the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering 25 to 24. Earlier in the season they had beaten the University of North Carolina 19–18 in the first match-up between the two schools. Trinity college became Duke University. Billy Werber, Class of 1930, became Duke's first All-American in basketball; the Gothic-style West Campus opened that year, with a new gym to be named for Coach Card. The Indoor Stadium opened in 1940, it was referred to as an "Addition" to the gymnasium. Part of its cost was paid for with the proceeds from the Duke football team's appearance in the 1938 Rose Bowl.
In 1972 it would be named for Eddie Cameron, head coach from 1929 to 1942. In 1952, Dick Groat became the first Duke player to be named National Player of the Year. Duke left the Southern Conference to become a charter member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953; the Duke team under Vic Bubas made its first appearance in the Final Four in 1963, losing 94–75 to Loyola in the semifinal. The next year, Bubas' team reached the national title game, losing to the Bruins of UCLA, who claimed 10 titles in the next 12 years. Bob Verga was Duke's star player in 1967; the basketball program won its 1000th game in 1974, making Duke only the eighth school in NCAA history to reach that figure. In a turnaround, Coach Bill Foster's 1978 Blue Devils, who had gone 2–10 in the ACC the previous year, won the conference tournament and went on to the NCAA championship game, where they fell to Kentucky. Gene Banks, Mike Gminski and Jim Spanarkel ran the floor. Mike Krzyzewski has been at Duke since 1980, his many accomplishments include: 5 National Championships – 2nd most all time 12 Final Fours as well as five in a row from 1988 to 1992.
Now tied for most all time with John Wooden at 12. 15 Elite Eights 23 Sweet Sixteens and nine straight from 1998–2006 33 NCAA tournament berths 91 NCAA tournament wins 13 No. 1 seeds 25 conference titles, 10 of the 14 ACC Tournament Titles from 1998–99 through 2016–17 14 30-win seasons 32 20-win seasons Number 1 AP ranking in 17 of the past 28 seasons 7 Naismith College Player of the Year Awards 9 National Defensive Players of the Year Awards 26 AP All-Americans 14 consensus first team All-Americans 11 NBA top-10 picks: T-1st 23 NBA Draft first round picks 1071 Career winsKrzyzewski's teams made the Final Four in 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2010 and 2015. Duke upset the favored UNLV Runnin' Rebels 79–77 in the Final Four in 1991, a rematch of the 1990 final in which Duke lost by 30 points; the team, led by Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill, Thomas Hill, went on to defeat Kansas 72–65 to win the university's first NCAA Championship. Ranked #1 all season and favored to repeat as national champions in 1992, Duke took part in a game "acclaimed by many the greatest college basketball game played," according to ESPN.
In the Elite Eight, Duke met the Rick Pitino-led Kentucky Wildcats. It appeared Kentucky had sealed the win in overtime when guard Sean Woods hit a running shot off the glass in the lane to put Kentucky up by one with 2.1 seconds left on the clock. After a timeout, Duke's Grant Hill threw a full-court pass to Christian Laettner. Laettner took one dribble and nailed a turn-around jumper at the buzzer to send Duke into the Final Four with a 104–103 victory. Duke went on to defeat the Sixth-seeded Michigan 71 -- 51, they would meet Kentucky for another classic regional final game, but blow a 17-point second half lead in losing to the Wildcats. The Blue Devils would lose the 1994 title game to Arkansas and their "Forty Minutes of Hell" defense; the next two seasons would see them fall to just 31–31, though they made the 1996 tournament with an 18–12 record, 8–8 in conference play. They would fall in the 1999 title game, this time to Jim Calhoun and the UCONN Huskies
The center known as the five, or the big man, is one of the five positions in a regular basketball game. The center is the tallest player on the team, has a great deal of strength and body mass as well. In the NBA, the center is 6 feet 10 inches or taller and weighs 240 pounds or more, they traditionally have played close to the basket in the low post. A center with the ability to shoot outside from three-point range is known as stretch five; the center is considered a necessary component for a successful team in professional leagues such as the NBA. Great centers have been the foundation for most of the dynasties in both the NBA and NCAA; the 6'10" George Mikan pioneered the Center position, shattering the held perception that tall players could not develop the agility and coordination to play basketball well, ushering in the role of the dominant big man. He led DePaul University to the NIT title after turning professional, won seven National Basketball League, Basketball Association of America and NBA Championships in his ten-year career, nine of them with the Minneapolis Lakers.
Using his height to dominate opposing players, Mikan invented the shot block. In the 1960s, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain further transformed basketball by combining height with a greater level of athleticism than previous centers. Following the retirement of George Mikan, the rivalry of the two big men came to dominate the NBA. Between the two of them and Russell won nine of the eleven MVP awards in the eleven-year period between 1958 and 1969. Many of the records set by these two players have endured today. Most notably and Russell hold the top eighteen season averages for rebounds. Bill Russell led the University of San Francisco to two consecutive NCAA Championships, he joined the Boston Celtics and helped make them one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history, winning eleven championships over his thirteen-year career as well as five MVP awards. Russell revolutionized defensive strategy with his shot-blocking and physical man-to-man defense. While he was never the focal point of the Celtics offense, much of the team's scoring came when Russell grabbed defensive rebounds and initiated fast breaks with precision outlet passes to point guard Bob Cousy.
As the NBA's first African-American superstar, Russell struggled throughout his career with the racism he encountered from fans in Boston after the 1966–67 season, when he became the first African-American in any major sport to be named player-coach. His principal rival, Wilt Chamberlain, listed at 7'1", 275 pounds, lacked Russell's supporting cast. Chamberlain played college ball for the Kansas Jayhawks, leading them to the 1957 title game against the North Carolina Tar Heels. Although the Jayhawks lost by one point in triple overtime, Chamberlain was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters before joining the Philadelphia Warriors of the NBA in 1959, Chamberlain won two Championships, in 1967 with the Philadelphia 76ers and 1972 with the Los Angeles Lakers, although his teams were defeated by the Celtics in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals, he won seven scoring titles, eleven rebounding titles, four regular season Most Valuable Player awards, including the distinction, in 1960, of being the first rookie to receive the award.
Stronger than any player of his era, he was capable of scoring and rebounding at will. Although he was the target of constant double- and triple-teaming, as well as fouling tactics designed to take advantage of his poor free-throw shooting, he set a number of records that have never been broken. Most notably, Chamberlain is the only player in NBA history to average more than 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single game, he holds the NBA's all-time records for rebounding average, rebounds in a single game, career rebounds. A lesser-known center of the era was Nate Thurmond, who played the forward position opposite Wilt Chamberlain for the San Francisco Warriors but moved to center after Chamberlain was traded to the new Philadelphia franchise. Although he never won a Championship, Thurmond was known as the best screen setter in the league, his averages of 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in 1966–67 and 1967–68, are exceeded only by Chamberlain and Russell. In contrast to the Celtics dynasty of the 1960s, the 1970s were a decade of parity in the NBA, with eight different champions and no back-to-back winners.
At the college level, the UCLA Bruins, under Coach John Wooden, built the greatest dynasty in NCAA basketball history, winning seven consecutive titles between 1967 and 1973. UCLA had won two consecutive titles in 1964 and 1965 with teams that pressed and emphasized guard play. After not winning in 1966, Wooden's teams changed their style, he led UCLA to three championships-in 1967, 68' and 69'-while winning the first Naismith College Player of the Year Award. During his college career, the NCAA enacted a ban on dunking because of Alcindor's dominant use of the shot, his entrance into the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 was timely, as Bill Russell had just retired and Wilt Chamberlain was 33 years old and plagued by injuries. After leading the Bucks to the 1971 NBA championship, te