Years before Steph Curry ruled the Bay Area there was another star that ruled the bay area basketball landscape. During his era he was one of the best scorers to ever touch hardwood, the enigmatic Rick Barry. His off court behavior effected people’s opinion of his game more than anyone in basketball history. A number of players did not find the experience of playing with him pleasant. “You’ll never find a bunch of players sitting around talking about the good old days with Rick. His teammates and opponents generally and thoroughly detested him.”—former Warriors executive Ken Macker
People simply ignore Barry’s basketball pedigree because he's perceived to be an asshole. Take a look at Tony Kornheiser's famous sports illustrated article titled A Voice Crying in the Wilderness. Bill Simmon’s assessment of Barry’s career in his Book of Basketball is not much better, ranking him behind John Havlicheck in his list of all time players. Barry got into fights with family, friends, coaches, teammates, media members, owners, commissioners and fans. Among his biggest blunders could be the racial remark he made to Bill Russell on live tv. Or it could be the time he told the people of Virginia he didn’t want his kids growing up sounding like hillbillies with a Virginia accent. Who could forget the horrible toupee for an entire season. In his book titled Confessions of a Basketball Gypsy, he even admitted to once punching a nun. And then of course there was the 1976 playoffs in which Barry was accused of refusing to shoot because his teammates didn’t back him in a fight.
Rick was an unbelievable scorer during his day, in fact he lead the NCAA, ABA and NBA in scoring (the only player to do that). The smooth forward was known for his underrated athletic ability, great offensive IQ and quick feet (check his full reel of highlights here). The small forward was a legendary free-throw shooter employing an outdated underhand “granny shot”. Barry was born the son of a basketball coach. He attended Rosselle Park High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey and quickly displayed his basketball talent. He was good enough for the University of Miami to offer him a full basketball scholarship. Under future father in law Bruce Hale, Barry led division 1 in scoring at 37.4 ppg.
In his first NBA season Barry dominated to average 25.7 ppg, he was named Rookie of the year and was named to the All-NBA team. His second season Barry averaged 35.6 ppt and led the league in scoring. Only Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan and Elgin Baylor have averaged more points. He took home All-Star MVP honors in front of his home crowd with 38 points in the game. That season Rick led them all the way to the NBA finals where the warriors faced Wilt Chamberlains Philadelphia 76ers. The series was pushed to six games with Philadelphia celebrating a title on their home floor. During the series Barry averaged an NBA finals record 40.8 ppt during the series. Which included a 55 point game and games of 43,44 respectively. Barry's points per game during an NBA finals was only passed by Michael Jordan in 1993.
After 2 seasons in the NBA Barry decided to jump ship and play for the newly formed ABA. He signed with the Oakland Oaks and his father in law Bruce Hale. The ABA came after Barry aggressively, they offered him ownership and a bigger contract. He was the first NBA star to sign with the renegade ABA. Barry was court ordered to sit out his first year for the Oats before returning to action in 1969. He played in the ABA for 5 seasons, although is talent largely went unnoticed playing in what most thought was a lesser league than the NBA. Only a handful of people were able to see Barry play in his prime as the ABA went without a national television deal. His league-jumping was perceived by fans as money driven, even though other players were taking advantage of the financial opportunities provided by the ABA.
The swingman made an immediate impact in the ABA, leading the Oaks to the ABA Crown in 1969. After scoring 34 points per game he finished second to Indiana’s Mel Daniels for league MVP. After 1969 Barry found himself in court after he tried to jump back to the NBA. He went on to play three more seasons in the ABA with the New York Nets and Washington Capitols. Barry admitted “If I had to do it over again, i’d wait for some other fool to do it.”
Barry was back with the NBA and the Golden State Warriors for the 1972-1973 season. Playing with lesser talent in the ABA forced him to improve other areas of his game. His defensive effort and technique improved. As did his ball handling abilities and passing skills .
During the 1972-73 season, he scored 22.3 points per game and earned the first of six NBA free-throw titles. He teamed with hall of fame center Nate Thurmond to beat Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s Milwaukee Bucks in six games of the first round. However they were eliminated in the conference finals by the Lakers in 5 games. Barry improved his scoring average to 25.1 points per game in 1973-74. He had his greatest scoring night on March 26, 1974, against the Portland Trail Blazers. The small forward had a legendary game putting up 64 points, 45 of which he scored in the second half. Rick continued to show the development in his game, finishing among the NBA top 10 in assist with 6.1 per game.
Barry arguably had the finest year of his career in 1974-75. He led the Warriors to the NBA title, averaged 30.6 points (second to the Buffalo Braves' Bob McAdoo), and led the league in free-throw percentage (.904) and steals (2.9 per game). He ranked sixth in the NBA in assists with 6.2 per game, the only front court player in the top 10. Golden State's 1974-75 roster included NBA Rookie of the Year Keith Wilkes (known later as Jamaal Wilkes), a smooth, athletic, defensive minded small forward. Wilkes was the second leading scorer with 14.2 points per game. The rest of the squad was a collection of hardworking role players. Barry led the team to a 48-34 regular-season record. The Warriors led the league in scoring, with 108.5 points per game average.
In the 1975 NBA Finals, the Warriors shocked the world by sweeping the favored Washington Bullets in four games. How big of an upset was it? Nobody had expected the Warriors to go deep into the playoffs, the arena in Oakland had been booked for another event. The NBA Finals were played at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Barry was named NBA Finals MVP with averages of 29.5 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists (heres the tape). The only member of an NBA championship team to have posted a higher regular season scoring average at the time was Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who poured in 31.7 points per game for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1971. It is often said that players do not win championships unless there are other great players on the team (they mean All-Stars). The 1975 is one of only a few teams to win a championship with just one All-Star on the roster (the others being the 1978 Bullets, 1994 Rockets, 2003 Spurs, 2004 Pistons and 2011 Mavericks).
In the 1975-76 campaign Barry shouldered less of the scoring burden, averaging 21 points while distributing 496 assists. He recorded 19 assists in one game in a game in 1976, then a record for a forward. The Warriors won 59 games, good for first overall seed. However things turned sour in the Western Conference Finals against the Phoenix Suns. In game 7 rookie Ricky Sobers tried to fight Barry, few of his teammates helped. The Warriors were up at halftime as Barry led the team with 14 points. However in the second half he scored only six points falling to Phoenix 94-86 at home. Many critics pointed to Barry, accusing him of intentionally throwing the game because of the lack of support he received from his teammates during the fight. The Suns’ Dick Van Arsdale said afterward that “Rick seemed disenchanted,”. Barry has his own account of what happened. “Anybody who knows me knows that there's no way in the world I'd intentionally do something that would jeopardize an opportunity to win a ball game, especially when we had a chance to win a championship. There's no way in the world I'd do that. I didn't pout. I didn't try to prove a point. It means too much to me to win."
In 1976-77, Barry averaged 21.8 points, as the Warriors fell to 46-36 and lost in the conference semifinals. In his last season with Golden State they failed to make the playoffs as he averaged 23.1 points, 5.4 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game. When his contract was up in 1978, he signed with the Houston Rockets. Rick played along side Moses Malone, Calvin Murphy and Rudy Tomjanovich in Houston. He dished out a career-high 502 assists (6.3 apg), while his scoring average fell from 23.1 to 13.5 points per game. In his last season Barry’s averaged dropped to 12 ppg.
During 14 seasons of professional basketball, he averaged 23.2 points in the NBA and 30.5 points in his 4 ABA seasons. Barry totaled 25,279 points, which ranks him among the top scorers in basketball history. The swingman was also efficient shooting over 45% for his career. He averaged more than 30 points per game four different times. He was named to 12 All-Star teams, 4 All-NBA First Teams, and 5 All-ABA First Teams. At the time of his retirement, Barry's .900 career free-throw percentage was the best in NBA history. In one season, 1978-79, he missed only 9 free-throw attempts. In the playoffs he was even more prolific, scoring 24.8 points per game in his NBA postseason career and 33.5 points per game in the ABA.
The best explanation of Rick Barry came from his former Golden State teammate Al Attles "Rick goes his own way. Superstars always do. They all think differently. If Rick has a drawback it's that he is not very patient. He can't understand why a guy can't play the game the way he does. That is a fault of all superstars. You may say of these people that they aren't regular guys. Well...they aren’t." . All of his exploits have gone well documented and perhaps he is an asshole. But don’t let his exploits blind you of his basketball genius. His basketball ability is underrated and overlooked in the history of basketball.
It has been 54 years since Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in an NBA game. Many of today's youth are skeptical of the game as being fake. However most of these people never saw Wilt at his dominance. Contrary to opinion Wilt did get 100 in a game and their are multiple audio accounts to prove it.
Details surrounding the game were riveting, like Wilt catching a ride home from New York Knicks players after the game. Wilt claimed he kept falling asleep but every time he woke up he could hear were the Knicks players talking about him. "Can you believe that son of a bitch scored all those points against us?” Then there is the lead up to the game, Wilt spent the night out with a female date. A notorious night owl the Big Dipper ended up getting no sleep before he left for Philadelphia to catch a bus to Hershey.
Then there was the game itself. It is widely believed that New York's starting center missed the game with a severe hangover. Leaving second year pro Darrall Imhoff to guard the All World center. Imhoff stood around 6-10 but only weight about 220 pounds. Many claim that this absence is a big reason for the 100. However Imhoff grew into a much better player than Phil Jordan who was the center missing. A career 51 percent free throw shooter, Chamberlain had a career night against New York going 28 for 32 from the foul line. Wilt also shot 60 percent from the field going 36 for 63. Of course he had all of his signature moves going, the fade way bank shot, the dipper dunks and of course his signature finger roll.
Besides Wilt, the closest anyone has come to breaking the record was Kobe Bryant with 81and the closest big man to breaking his record was David Robinson with 71. While many records in sports are made to broken this record might stand the last of time.
Help us to celebrate Wilt Chamberlain and his historical achievement of 100 points, a record that will never be broke. Legends presents are newest shirt the Wilt 100 T-Shirt. 100% cotton with graphics on the front and right sleeve. Order Here.
Wilt Chamberlain's accomplishments are widely known, from his 100 points in a game, 25,000 woman or never fouling out of a basketball game. Here are some facts you might not have known about the dipper.
1. Wilt didn't sleep the night before he scored 100.
Chamberlain spent the night before the game in New York, partying all night with a woman. Eventually he dropped her off at 6 am the next morning. With no sleep and a hangover, he boarded the train to Philadelphia at 8 AM. Then he met several friends at the Philadelphia train station and had lunch with them. After Lunch he boarded the team bus to Hershey. He arrived several hours before the game and played an arcade shooting game in the area before tip off.
2. He was Great friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Wilt and Arnold stared on the movie Conan the Destroyer together. The two quickly became friends. Schwarzenegger once remarked that "Wilt was the strongest Human being I have ever seen". He goes on to explain how he would lift up Arnold and Andre the Giant with one hand. Chamberlain and Arnold also had several different encounters in the weight room. "He would a tricep extesion, the biggest strongest guys would do 120 and he would come and do 150, 170 pounds."
3. Wilt was big 8 high jump and shot put champion in college.
Legend has it that Wilt went up to the University of Kansas track coach and asked if he could compete. The coach argued that without any practice their was no way he could be competitive. Wilt disagreed, he then proceeded to perform the high jump. In which he out jumped all of Kansas current high jumpers. In the big 8 conference Chamberlain dominated, he ran the 100 yard dash in 10.9 seconds, shot-putted 56 feet and triple jumped more than 50 feet. In the end he was able to win the Big 8 track and field championships three straight years.
4. Wilt skipped his Senior season at Kansas choosing instead to play with the famed Harlem Globetrotters.
Instead of facing triple teams his senior season in college, Wilt signed a one year contract with the Harlem Globetrotters. He then wrote and sold a story titled "Why I'm forgoing my senior year of basketball" to Look magazine for 10,000 dollars (most NBA players made 9,000 at the time). So Chamberlain spent the season touring the world with the likes of Medowlark Lemon and other Globetrotters Legends. Wilt credits the Globetrotters for advancing his basketball growth helping him to improve his overall ball handling skills. He believed that playing w the Globetrotters had a positive impact on his abilities on and off the court.
5. Wilt spent his High School summers at Kutshers resort.
In its heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s, you could go to Kutsher’s resort and see Muhammad Ali training for a fight, Mickey Mantle playing golf and a teenage Wilt Chamberlain playing basketball.
Red Auerbach the coach of the Boston Celtics spotted the talented teenager at Kutsher's and had him play 1-on-1 against Kansas University star and MVP of the 1953 NCAA Finals, BH Born. Chamberlain won 25-10; Born was so dejected that he gave up a promising NBA future and became a tractor engineer ("If there were high school kids that good, I figured I wasn't going to make it to the pros"). Auerbach wanted Chamberlain to go to a New England university, so he could draft him as a territorial pick for the Celtics, but Chamberlain didn't agree. Still Auerbach was a great mentor to Chamberlain at Kutshers during the summer. Putting him through countless basketball drills and explaining the ins and outs of life. At Kutshers Wilt used his unique height as a bellhop to hand the suitcase and luggage from guests directly to the second story of the hotel, making it easier for other Bell boys to transfer for more click here. - Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop
6. After Retirement Wilt got heavily into Volleyball
After his basketball career, volleyball became Chamberlain's new passion. He became board member of the newly founded International Volleyball Association in 1974 and became its president one year later.The following year the IVA All-Star game was televised only because Chamberlain played in it. He rose to the challenge and was named the game's MVP. He played occasional matches for the IVA Seattle Smashers before the league folded in 1979. Chamberlain promoted the sport so effectively that he was named to the Volleyball Hall of Fame, he became one of the few athletes who were enshrined in different sports. Here is a clip of Wilt playing volleyball.
7. Wilt owned a famous nightclub in NY during the 60s and 70s
Located in the basement of 2294 Seventh Avenue near 135th Street in Harlem, New York City. Renamed Big Wilts Smalls Paradise, after Chamberlain purchased the club. The spot in Harlem was frequented by the elite during the 60s and 70s. Stars like Bumpy Johnson, Sammy Davis Jr., Malcom X, Frank Lucas, Nicky Barnes, Willie Mays, Sonny Liston Langston Hughes, Muhammad Ali were all known to hang around Smalls Paradise. The club featured dancing waiters and waiters on roller skates. It also had a reputation of closing well into the AM. Often times the day would end with Breakfast dances at 8 am. Legend has it that it featured the only working air-conditioning in Harlem. Living in New York during his playing days, Wilt was a regular at Big Small's. The club was finally closed in 1986.
8. Starting in the 1970s, he formed Wilt's Athletic Club,
Wilt Chamberlain started his own Track Club in the 1970s. The team featured several prominent track athletes. They had both men and women teams that competed nationally. The club helped many of them train to compete in the Olympics. The club was located in Los Angeles and was ran by UCLA assistant coach Bob Kersee. Some of the prominent members were Florence Griffith, Greg Foster, Andrew Phillips, Alice Brown and Jeanette Bolden. At its peak the club featured more than 100 athletes. Chamberlain even thought about a return to competition. Claiming that he had never been beat in shot put and only been beaten in high jump by Olympic Gold Medalist Charles Dumas.
9. Wilt played against a bevy of hall of fame big men.
One myth surrounding Chamberlain was that he played against no height, that is far from the truth. The average center in Wilt's prime was taller and heavier than they are now. Back then their was far more talent inside. During his career he played Hall of Fame Centers Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, Artis Gilmore, Bob Lainer, Walt Bellamy, Wes Unseld and Dave Cowens.
10. Wilt dominated basketball in his 40's and 50's against the NBA's best in famed UCLA open runs.
On a early summer day in the 1980s Chamberlain decided to play some pick up basketball at UCLA. In his mid-forties, he was able to humble rookie Magic Johnson in practice. the story goes Magic made a game ending foul call that angered Wilt greatly. Hall of fame coach Larry Brown retells the rest "Magic Johnson used to run the games and he called a couple of chintzy fouls and a goal tending on Wilt," Brown said. "So Wilt said, 'There will be no more layups in this gym,' and he blocked every shot after that. That's the truth, I saw it. He didn't let one [of Johnson's] shots get to the rim."
Chamberlain's late age dominance is well documented. In the 1980 season Cleveland offered Chamberlain a contract and at age 50 New Jersey offered him a contract, but he again declined.
11. Wilt Chamberlain almost boxed Muhammad Ali
During his time with the Lakers, Wilt got into a negotiation with Muhammad Ali. Both were interested in a fight due to its huge financial potential. The Chamberlain-Ali fight would have had an unbelievable draw, Chamberlain was offered more money than he had ever made as a basketball player. Ali's trainer was skeptical of the fight mainly because of Chamberlain's size and reach. At the time he stood 7’1, tipping the scales at 275 pounds. Wilt's greatest dream was to fight for the Heavyweight Championship of the world. So he signed a contract to fight Ali on July 26, 1971 in the Houston Astrodome. Famous trainer D"amato was fascinated by Wilt’s athletic gifts and offered to train him for the fight. Soon after Ali lost to Joe Frazier and their was no championship for Wilt to fight for. Plans started to fall through.
Wilt's best friend Sonny hill even has his doubts "I'm not sure that even a great athlete like Wilt, with limited training as a boxer, could have gone into such a bout and been competitive with someone like Muhammad Ali who undoubtedly is one of the greatest fighters of all time." Chamberlain commented "From the time I entered sports, guys tried to get me to become a fighter". He continued "Ask any boxing manager, if they had to pick an athlete from another sport to develop who they would choose, and they'll say a basketball player. That's because of some very basic things basketball players have - size, speed, quickness and hand eye coordination. And I always thought that if I had to fight somebody, it would be Ali for two reasons. "First, he was the greatest of his era. And two, he was a kind person.
While many see the fight as a gimmick there were few that questioned Chamberlains athletic prowess. It seemed as though he was successful with just about anything he chose to do athletically. While his ability is world class we are not under the impression that Wilt would have stood a chance against Ali. You can find their press conference here.
The Grateful Dead sponsored the Lithuania national team in the 1992 Olympics. They rocked these on their way to the bronze metal. They were perfect shirts for Lithuania at the time, the country was undergoing political changes that allowed for new freedoms and liberties not previously granted. The team wore the shirts religiously at the 92 games, making them a fan favorite. Soon after, the shirt would become one of the best selling t-shirts of all time. The tie die colors represented the new found freedom their country has gained. The front graphic shows a skeleton in a Lithuania jersey dunking a basketball.
2) The Griffeys
Baseballs first family could not be a more accurate description for the father and son duo of Ken Griffey Junior and Senior. This is one of many shirts celebrating the pair, although it is our favorite. The shirt came out in the late 80s and illustrates the Griffey's at a presidential desk with both an American flag and a Mariners flag.
3) Jordan Playground
On looks alone its easy to see why the shirt had so much popularity. The classic picture of Jordan was shot at a Chicago playground. The t shirt has had a cult following since. Easily going for over 100 dollars on Ebay. The shirt itself help to popularize the idea of printing an entire image on the front of a t-shirt.
4) Mean Joe Green
The Infamous Mean Joe Green of the Pittsburgh Steelers. While it may not have the prestige of his famous Pepsi commercial, the shirt has plenty of Mean Joe spirit. Featuring his 4 rings from the 1970, this was easily one of the coolest NFL shirts of all time.
5) Mookie Blaylock Pearl Jam
For a considerable amount of time, the band Pearl Jam was known under the name "Mookie Blaylock". That's right the swift point guard from the Nets and the Hawks. Corporate powers prevented the name Mookie Blaylock from ever seeing the light of day. So instead the band switched their name to Pearl Jam. This shirt celebrates celebrates the bands original name.
6) Nike Bol Ball
The late great Manute Bol and Nike teamed up for a awesome shirt. At the time Manute was a member of the Washington Bullets. The shirt features Bol in his Washington Uniform with print below that reads "Bol Ball".
7) Dallas Cowboys World Champs
These caricature type shirts were very popular in the 80's and 90's. This shirt celebrates Dallas and their championship in 1994. Shirt features Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Ken Norton Jr, Charles Haley and Jay Novacek.
8) The Fridge
The Fridge was a colorful figure both on and off the field for the iconic Chicago Bears teams of the 1980s. Perhaps no big man in NFL history was as popular as the Fridge during the 80s. Shirt features an illustration of the Fridge running the ball along with his autograph and "The Fridge" printed below.
9) Bash Brothers
The iconic Oakland Bash Brothers from the late 80s and early 90s. The nickname was truly fitting of their powerful long ball style. This Oakland team was also known for their habitual steroid use, making them a fan favorite. Shirt features McGwire, Canseco, Dave Parker and Don Baylor. The group is illustrated on the shirt performing the legendary bash bros hand shake.
10) Danny Ainge Shirt
The story goes Ainge spotted a group of Pistons fans wearing" I hate Danny Ainge" shirts before the 1986 playoffs. Ainge went up to the group and asked if he could haave one of them to wear. He then proceeded to wear the shirt through warm ups.
11) Bo Jackson Knows
Nike's classic Bo Jackson campaign. Bo was the do everything athlete Nike put behind their cross trainer series. The front graphic features an intense Bo Jackson with his entire face covering the shirt. One of the first shirts featuring a big face.
12) Bulls 93 champs
During the 90s every kid on the block had a Bulls championship shirt. There are probably over 500 different Bulls championship shirts made in the 90s. This is our favorite, featuring comic book like illustrations. This shirt celebrates the 1993 championship, all members of the team are present.
13) Bosworth NCAA
Ahead of its time in terms of relevance and popular opinion. The great showman Brian Bosworth was punished during his senior season by the NCAA. Bosworth's response was classic, as he sported a shirt that read "N-C-A-A National Communisit Against Athletes". At the time the shirt caused national outrage, quickly cementing Bosworth as a villain in the sports community.
14) Back 2 Back World Champs Magic
When the Lakers won the 1988 NBA Championship, these shirts were printed up for Magic Johnson. Magic is pictured above wearing the shirt during their championship celebration. He even wore it during his TV interview during the celebration. The TV cameo gave the shirt instant popularity in the 80s, quickly selling out at local retailers.
The supreme coach Mike Ditka is celebrated here. Ditka's name is illustrated in Classic Bears font and lines. A simple yet effective celebration of Mike Ditka.
16) Hulk Hogan
An American folk hero Hulk Hogan reigned supreme during the 80s. He was wrestling's Golden boy with his trademark hot dog skin and silkened hair. Hulk dominated the WWF for years and is illustrated raising his championship belt.
17) Pete Rose Charlie Hustle
Shirt celebrates Rose's Historic national league record in baseball. Charlie Hustle was an iconic athlete in his time, his popularity only seem to get higher as Rose was caught for betting.
18) Bad Boys Original
The Bad Boys was a concept thought up in 1987 by the fans and sports writers of the Detroit Pistons. This design became the Bad Boys trademark design. Rick Mahorn and Bill Lambeer even put out a limited edition poster as part of this whole bad boys promotion. This shirt is still rather popular among NBA fans.
19) 83 Sixers Championship
In a classic interview, a 76ers fan with the shirt on uttered the phrase "Big Mo, Little Mo, The Doctor, Andrew Toney, Iavaroni, No Bologna, Sixers all the way." See that video here. An iconic shirt during the NBA Finals and for decades after. A Philadelphia fan favorite.
20) Stan the Man
Stan "The Man" Musial was one of the coolest athletes of his time. During his playing years he was only seldom seen because of his slim media coverage nationally. Shirt features old fashion type and a caricature drawing of Stan.
Victim: Portland Trailblazers The Celtics were at the end of a long west coast road trip. The trip had been a huge success as Boston won six games in a row. Bill Walton tells the rest “He had accomplished every goal, we hadn’t lost a game on the trip and Larry told all of us players and the media too, we were all standing around waiting to leave, he said “Tomorrow night’s the last game of the trip, I’m going to play this one left-handed, at least through three quarters”. “At the end of three quarters, the next night in Portland against poor Jerome Kersey, he had 27 points. It was a remarkable performance.” Bird finished with 47 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out 11 assists (21-34 FG). For good measure, he hit the game tying shot to send the game to OT, and then made the game winning shot.
Victim: Doctor J The infamous fight between Larry Bird and Dr J, supposedly started because of Bird continually repeating a single phrase repeatedly. The phrase? ’42-6′ or the number of points each had scored during an easy Boston victory. During the game, Bird had continuously informed Erving of their tallies with every chance he got to score. Eventually a shoving match ensued, before turning into a full on brawl. Bird denies this claim in his book, insisting it was ML Carr saying it from the bench.
Victim: Ben Poquette The legend goes Poquette a forward for Chicago was matched up on Bird during a 1984 game. Bird took this is a personal insult, he laughed at Chicago’s coach Doug Collins and remarked “Ben Poquette? Are you fucking kidding me?” Bird had 33 at the half. And ended the game with 41 points.
Victim: Kent Benson As a college freshman Larry Bird had a brief stint at Indiana University but he left due to Kent Benson’s (IU starting center) bullying. When the Celtics went up against Kent Benson in 1985 Bird got his revenge. Kent Benson was assigned to guard Kevin McHale. Bird went on to feed McHale over and over. Needless to say McHale finished with 56, a Celtic Record at the time. Kent Benson was embarrassed once again on his way to a mediocre career. “He should have gone for 60” Bird grumbled after the game.
Victim: Atlanta Hawks Doc Rivers recalls “Bird got in the zone and he started calling the shots, he started saying “off the glass”, that was the one game I think he tortured Dominique. “He saw Dominique as this up and coming player and he just tortured him, mentally. He tortured all of us, he was calling shots,”off the glass” “who’s next”, “where you want this one from” and he just made one after another. When he got to about the 55th point you knew it was something special.” “Even as a player, and that usually doesn’t happen, but we were down so much at the time, you got time to realize the game. The last shot, he said “in the trainer’s lap” coming down the court, which meant it was going to be a three and it was going to from deep, and then he said “who wants it?”. Then I think Reggie Brown, I’m not sure who it was, ran out after him, he shot this high rainbow, it goes in, Reggie bumps into him and accidentally knocks him on our trainer’s lap. “So it was exactly what he said, it was an accident but it was almost fate. They show a shot of our bench, Cliff Livingston and Eddie Johnson are standing up giving each other high fives, it was pretty awesome. “That night was not awesome. We had to go back to the room, and Mike Fratello, instead of going out to eat, he had a team meeting and put the film in and says “it’s one thing to be in awe, it’s another thing to cheer for the other team”. And he shows this back and forth, and kept rewinding the high five. It was awesome.”
Victim: Los Angeles This story comes via a cabbie in Los Angles during the mid 1980s. Legend has it that at 1985 All Star weekend in LA, Bird wanted to do some sightseeing. So he took a cab down to Venice Beach, where he instructed the cab driver “stay here for a couple hours and I will make it worth your while”. Bird proceeded to play down at the Venice Beach Basketball Courts. He played for 5 dollars a game and didn't come of the court once in 6 hours. He took the cash back to the cab driver and told him “Tell everyone what you say here today, tell your friends who really runs LA”.
This week we bring you the greatest jerseys in sports history. Our ratings took five things into consideration. Color, design, popularity, relevance & city influence. Drop a comment below and let us know who we missed.
We usually don't show much love to the NHL, but we couldn't resist these. Their uniform has not changed all that much throughout the years, making only small changes when deemed nessasary. With their trademark alternate "C" logo with crossed tomahawks on the shoulders. Along with the classic image of the Blackhawk Indian across the front of the jersey it is enough for number one.
San Francisco Warriors 1970
No uniform in NBA history better symbolized a city in which a team resided. The jersey features great geographic landmarks used within their design. The logo featured a silhouette of the Golden Gate bridge on a circle. "The City" was a popular term used for San Francisco in Northern California. The back of the jersey features a trolley car (which was popular in SF during the time period), with numbers inside the trolley car. Worn by Hall of Famers Rick Barry & Nate Thurmond.
New York Yankees
If your uniform has been relevant for almost a century, it is safe to say you will make the top 5. The classic pinstripes have been a Bronx bombers mainstay since the early part of the 1900's. The pinstripes have been donned by some of the best ballplayers of all time Ruth, Gerihg, Dimaggio, Mantle, Maris, Mattingly, Rivera, Jeter and many more. Need I say more?
Atlanta braves 1973
Their white home jerseys featured raglan-sleeve design with royal blue and red accents. There sleeve featured a classic feather logo in blue and red. Cursive royal blue font with white and red outline. Hank Aaron would go on to hit home run number 715 in these. One of the best selling throwback jerseys in the 2000s.
When you think Black and Silver, you think Raiders. One of the only sports teams to be synonymous with a color scheme. The first pro franchise to feature strictly black and silver in their uniform scheme. Al Davis became iconic because of the move. The awesome Raider shield logo didn't hurt their cause.
Chicago Bulls 1996
Their jerseys rarely change much and that's for good reason. The red, white and black works in a perfect harmony. The classic bulls font highlighted by an arch. The black numbers are highlighted by white outline along with the red background.
Los Angeles Dodgers 1977
The team has changed their uniform little since moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1957. Their classic blue Dodger cursive along with the red lettering makes for a classic uniform look that has stood the test of time. Not to mention the classic LA logo sported on the hats.
Orlando Magic 1996
Maybe its the pinstripes, maybe its the star in place of the letter a. Maybe its the awesome color scheme. These magic jerseys have always been an NBA fan favorite. Featuring white pinstripes on their black away jerseys, the magics letter script was unique among NBA teams. Worn by Shaq & Penny's team of the mid 1990's, these uniforms made an appearance in the 1995 NBA Finals.
San Francisco 49ers 1994
Blessed with a great color combo the 49ers added depth to their numbers in 1994, making the uniform pop. The 94 versions also featured the NFL's 75th anniversary patch. The team also went on to win the Superbowl in these during the 94 season.
Philadelphia 76ers 1977
There are few cities with more history than Philadelphia. The 77 Sixers jersey played great homage to a historic American city. Featuring stars down the side, the patriotic scheme. Unique Sixers font also helped to showcase the flashy team that donned the Jerseys. The 77 team would go on to the NBA Finals where they lost to a more team oriented Portland Trailblazers team.
San Diego Chargers 1967
Classic powder blue Chargers uniforms became an instant hit in San Diego. They remain one of the most popular throwback jerseys in the NFL. The unique helmets featured the letters below the lightning bolt. Their sleeve featured a horizontal lightning bolt above the numbers. The pants had a vertical thunder bolt along the side.
Portland Trailblazers 1988
Featuring two parallel lines running diagonal on the jersey. The design created a unique look for the Blazers. The 1988 version of the jersey featured the blazers script in lower case lettering.
Washington Bullets 1977
Another great jersey illustrates the American feel of the political capital Washington DC. The Bullet uniform payed homage to our American flag. The jersey featured flag like striped on the upper, while the shorts featured stars on the sides.
Los Angeles Rams 1984
The helmet ram design is simple and refined. Circling Ram horns form the best helmet design in the entire NFL. The sleeve featured a ram horn and the color scheme makes it all come together.
Houston Oilers 1983
The iconic powder blue uniforms wore by none other than Earl Campbell. The jersey featured a great use of number script outlined by red. The contrast between the powder blue, white and red worked great. The helmets featured an oiling tower. An image that is synonymous in Houston, Texas.
The NBA Finals are among us, we look back at 20 events that didn't happen but could have changed NBA history (had they happened). Each of these none moves had several future implications and would change the fate of the NBA.
Clyde Drexler to the Sonics 1995
In February 1995, Drexler was traded to Houston to play with his college teammate Hakeem Olajuwon. The two ended up winning a title that year over the Orlando Magic. But just weeks earlier, a deal sending Drexler from Portland to Seattle was close to happening. The Trail Blazers wanted Kendall Gill from Seattle. Seattle would have paired Drexler with a forming dynamic duo in Payton & Kemp. The Sonics would go on to reach the Finals in 1996, would Drexler have been enough for Seattle to take down the Bulls?
Isiah Thomas to Knicks 1994
During the 1993-1994 season the New York Knicks tried to trade for Isiah thomas. The Knicks had offered Tony Campbell, Tim McCormick, and a 1994 first-round draft pick. The deal would have given New York a point guard who has led a team to a championship. Despite being 32 years old, Thomas had averaged 14.5 points and 9 assists at the time of the offer. The deal fell through because Thomas had expressed a desire to end his career with the Pistons, and he had business interests in Michigan. Thomas was intrigued by the opportunity of playing in New York City, but decided it would be best to remain with the Pistons. The Knicks would go on to the 1994 NBA Finals where there subpar guard play lead to a series loss to the Houston Rockets. Could Isiah have made the difference? Probably but we'll never know.
James Worthy and Byron Scott for Mark Aguirre 1986
Before Mark Aguirre would help Pistons to back to back championships he was nearly a member of the Lakers. In an 1986 deadline deal the Lakers proposed sending James Worthy and Bryron Scott to Dallas for Mark Aguirre and Roy Tarpley. However Jerry West put a stop on this deal, he threatened to quit if Lakers owner Jerry Buss went through with the deal. Big Game James ended up staying put, helping the Lakers to the 1987 and 1988 NBA title.
Doctor J & Pistol Pete 1972
Julius Erving signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks before the 1972 draft when he discovered his former agent Steve Arnold happened to work for the ABA's Virginia Squires, making him sign for a low paying contract. Erving enjoyed his brief time with Atlanta: "It really was one of the joys of my life to play with Pete, to be in training camp with him. We used to stay after practice and play one-on-one. We would play for dinner after practice." On September 23, 1972, Erving had 28 points and 18 rebounds in 42 minutes for Atlanta in a 112-99 win over the Kentucky. A week later he scored 32 points in a 120-106 win over the Carolina Cougars. Erving says, "I remember those exhibition games. I would just grab a rebound, throw it out to Pete and get on the wing. Pete would always find you. He got his points, but he loved to pass the ball. He could hit you in full stride in a place where you could do something with the ball. That was a measure of his greatness." The NBA fined Atlanta $25,000 per game for Erving's two Hawks appearances because Milwaukee owned his NBA rights--in a sense, the Hawks had "stolen" Erving from teams in both the ABA and NBA. A panel ruled that until the case was settled, Erving was contractually bound to the Squires. Erving returned to Virginia and led the ABA in scoring in 1972-73 (31.9 ppg).
Duncan to Boston 1997
In 1997 the Boston Celtics had the best chances of lading the number one pick entering the lottery. Following the lottery the Spurs jumped ahead of Boston and took the number one pick. Duncan instead would go on to be San Antonio's corner stone, leading the spurs to 5 NBA championships.
Nowitzki to Milwaukee 1998
In 1998 Dallas made a draft day deal with the Milwaukee Bucks to aquire Dirk Nowitzki (9th pick) for the 6th pick (Robert "Tracktor' Taylor). The rest is history, Taylor ended his career with a 4.8 ppg and 3.7 rpg average. Dirk Nowitzki went on to become a top 50 player of all time, leading Dallas to the 2011 NBA crown. Milwaukee could have added Nowitzki to a team that already included Ray Allen, Glen Robinson and Sam Cassell.
McHale traded to Mavericks 1988
During the 1988-1989 season the Mavericks proposed a deal sending Sam Perkins and Shreimpf to Boston in return for Kevin McHale. Boston Gm Red Arbach ended up keeping McHale.
Kobe Bryant to the Bulls 2007
Kobe Bryant to the Bulls for Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas and Jokim Noah was a big time rumor in 2007. Kobe insisted on Deng staying in Chicago to make the deal work, however Los Angeles wanted Deng included in the deal. Kobe realized he would be in similar situations if he chose to leave for Chicago. He stayed in Los Angeles where he would win two more NBA Championships.
Duncan, McGrady and Hill 2000
In the summer of 2000 the Orlando Magic signed both Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill. Orlando had just enough money left to offer Tim Duncan a max contract. Meanwhile, David Robinson, on vacation from a long season receives a call from Spurs’ GM, RC Buford informing him that Duncan is meeting with Orlando. Popovich who is also on the call, tells Robinson to stay put, confidently stating that he and RC have it under control. (It is believed Robinson’s last minute pitch to Duncan was what kept Duncan in San Antonio). The trio would have rivaled the construction of Miami's big three in 2011. Instead Hill would deal with chronic injuries and McGrady would fend for himself on an empty roster. Duncan would go on to win 4 more championships in San Antonio.
Kidd to San Antonio 2003
Jason Kidd was close to signing with San Antonio in July 2003. This just weeks after the Spurs defeated the Nets in the Finals. R.C. Buford, the Spurs GM, made visits to New Jersey during the regular season to sit prominently near the court, his presence noticed by Kidd, but shockingly not by the Nets front office. Then, the Spurs laid out a lavish itinerary for Kidd, escorted around the city by Tim Duncan. A Nets employee commented "San Antonio rolled out the red carpet and Jersey had nothing for him. We underestimated how much he wanted to be recruited, and probably got a little arrogant in thinking that he wouldn't leave. We dropped the ball." Kidd's ex wife, who thought she had a TV career in New York and didn't want to sacrifice the top US market for the 38th biggest market. The Nets then signed an ailing Alonzo Mourning. These two reasons were enough for Kidd to resign with New Jersey. Kidd eventually got his ring with the Maverick in 2011 but it is tough not to imagine what could have been.
McGrady & Iverson 2000
Heres a passage from the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2000:"An NBA source confirmed last night that the Sixers placed another call yesterday to the Toronto Raptors to see if they were willing to part with swingman Tracy McGrady and a No. 1 pick for Hughes." The Sixers insisted on getting a first round pick with McGrady to complete the deal, as a result the deal fell through. Instead McGrady paired with an injury prone Hill, and had a few tough seasons in Orlando. Philadelphia went on to trade hughes to the Warriors and make an appearance in the 2001 NBA Finals. Could McGrady have pushed the Sixers over the top in 2001?
Larry Bird to the Pacers for Chuck Person and a Draft Pick 1988
In 1988, the Indiana Pacers tried to trade for state legend Larry Bird. The Pacers offered Chuck Pearson and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. However Red Auerbach turned down the offer. The Pacers treated the rejection as a blessing in disguise, saying, "We made our pitch, but I'd have to say we were very fortunate that they (the Celtics) didn't accept it." The pacers ended up using the 2nd overall pick in the draft for Rick Smits.
Scottie Pippen for Shawn Kemp 1994
According to Seattle Coach George Karl, the Bulls offered to trade Scottie Pippen for Shawn Kemp straight up in 1994. Seattle turned the deal down, Karl cited Kemp's bright future as the reason for the rejected trade. Pippen didn't go anywhere, Jordan came back, and the Bulls won 3 more championships. Shawn Kemp stayed in Seattle and had some memorable years but ultimately would flame out early and be traded to Cleveland.
James Harden stays with OKC 2012
In the summer of 2012 a deal was made after OKC GM Sam Presti began to worry that they would not have enough money to keep their developing star James Harden. So Presti shopped around the league and made a deal with Houston. Rockets would recieve James Harden for two draft picks, Jeremy Lamb and Kevin Martin. Piror to trading Harden, the Thunder lost to Miami in the 2012 NBA Championship. The Thunder have not been back to the finals since the trade. In 2015 James Harden finished 2nd in MVP voting to Stephen Curry.
Ray Allen & Kevin Garnett team on Minnesota 1996
Stephon Marbury was taken by the Milwaukee Bucks with the fourth overall pick, and Allen was taken fifth by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Later the two teams traded the two players for each other, with the Bucks also receiving a future first-round pick. Marbury spent only three seasons with Minnesota after he demanded a max contract. T-Wolves would not have had that problem had they gone instead with Ray Allen. Allen would go on to become the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers made. We got to see how good Allen and Garnett could have been together as they teamed up on the Celtics and won it all in 2008.
Carmelo to Pistons 2003
In the 2003 NBA Draft the Pistons would be selecting 2nd overall because of a trade two seasons prior. With NCAA Champion Carmelo Anthony on the board the Pistons chose to select foreign project Darko Milicic. While the move was heavily criticized, Detroit went on to win the 2004 NBA Championship. While many think that Anthony was the right pick, he could have had negative effects on the Pistons chemistry. Causing them to never win a championship in 2004.
Dr j & Kareem 1972
Milwaukee could have been the team of the 70s and possibly early 80s. In 1972, the Milwaukee Bucks had the 12th pick in the NBA draft. They would use their pick to select Julius Erving. Dr. J would of course choose to instead play for the ABA and the Virginia Spires averaging 27, 15, 4. Erving would go on to three ABA MVPs and two ABA championships. He would eventually join the NBA after the merger and finally win an NBA title in 1983 as part of the 76ers.
What could have been, though? Imagine Dr. J and Kareem on the same team for the majority of the 70s? They were two MVP candidates that were unlike any other player in the league at the time. You have to wonder if Erving joins the NBA in 1972. The Bucks won 60 games without him. Also, although he was on his way out of the league, does anyone else get excited about the Kareem, Dr. J and the Big O on the same team?
Michael Jordan & Clyde Drexler to Houston for Ralph Sampson 1984
A big 3 of Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. Trade talks began to surface for the 1984 NBA Rookie of the Year Ralph Sampson. The Portland Trail Blazers offered Clyde Drexler and the Number 2 Pick in the 1984 Draft for Sampson. The Trail Blazers wanted a center and instead of taking a chance on an unknown player (Sam Bowie). The Rockets would've given up somebody already proven for an unknown player. If the trade were to go down, Houston would've had the No. 1 and 2 picks in the 1984 Draft. They probably would've selected Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Perhaps forming a dynasty not seen since the likes of Bill Russells Celtics.
Barkley to LA 1992
A fed-up Charles Barkley entered the 1992 season dying to be traded from Philadelphia. Around February Barkley got news that he was headed to LA.. The Lakers were sending James Worthy and Elden Cambell in exchange for Charles. The Sixers ended up going back the deal. Barkley remarked"The Sixers back out. It was going crazy for two weeks so I knew it would come down to Portland, [the] Lakers or Phoenix," he continued. "So I get a call from my agent one morning and he said, 'Philly has traded you to the Lakers." "I went to lunch and started drinking," Barkley said. "Three hours later I get a phone call from my agent saying the Sixers backed out of the deal." Barkley would have to play in the game that night slightly intoxicated from lunch. The deal fell through and a few months later Barkley would be a member of the Suns.
Moses Malone Portland Trailblazers - ABA Dispersal Draft 1976
When the ABA and NBA merged in 1976, the Nuggets, Nets, Pacers and Spurs would be added to the NBA from the ABA. The St Louis and Kentucky players would become available via a dispersal draft. Portland used the No. 2 pick to grab Maurice Lucas and, three spots later, chose Moses Malone. The Blazers with Bill Walton at center, traded the 21-year-old Malone to Buffalo in October for a 1978 first-round pick that would become Mychal Thompson. A week later, the Braves sent Malone to Houston for two future first-rounders. Portland used Lucas, Walton and a strong supporting cast to beat Philadelphia in the 1977 Finals for its lone NBA title. Malone, though, became a three-time MVP, a 12-time All-Star and was named Finals MVP when he led the 76ers to the 1983 championship.
Pete Maravich revolutionized the sport of basketball in the 1970's. Way before his time, his fancy no look passes and isolation dribble moves would forever influence future generations. Players such as Magic Johnson, Tim Hardaway and Steph Curry were all influenced by the Pistol. Although his NBA career was up and down, few can deny the success he had on the college level (Maravich holds the NCAA all time scoring record). Check out this retrospective on Pete's career.