Dwyane Wade

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Posted by r2d2 04/16/2009 @ 07:08

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News headlines
To win title, Wade needs players, not scoring honors - Palm Beach Post
By DAVE GEORGE Dwyane Wade led the league in scoring this season at 30.2 points per game and made first-team All-NBA for the first time in his career. It's all good, right? Not really, at least in terms of the Heat's overall goal to win another title....
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade named to All-NBA first team - MiamiHerald.com
Heat guard Dwyane Wade's comeback season culminated with the first All-NBA first-team selection of his career. Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade was named to the All-NBA first team after averaging a league-leading 30.2 points per game this season....
Hey, Brian: Brian Windhorst answers your Cleveland Cavaliers questions - The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com
by Brian Windhorst/Plain Dealer Reporter Joshua Gunter/The Plain dealerwhile the best of friends, lebron James and Dwyane Wade may well experience markedly different summers in how their teams attempt to convince them to avoid the free agent summer of...
Comparing Wade Version 2009 to Bryant Version 2006 - ProBasketballNews.com
There are some eerie similarities -- and important differences -- between Kobe Bryant's 2006 season and Dwyane Wade's 2009 season. In the fall of 2005, Kobe Bryant was coming off of a season in which he missed 16 games, slipped to the All-NBA Third...
Persistent Rangers are shaking up the West - Fort Worth Star Telegram
Dwyane Wade received one second-place vote for the nba's Most Improved Player. Wade led the league in scoring after bouncing back from a difficult 2007-08 season in which he merely was one of the league's elite players. Well, we won't have a Triple...
Sam Smith: Could a backcourt of D-Rose and D-Wade become a reality? - NBA.com
With the expiring contracts of Brad Miller, Jerome James and Tim Thomas, the Chicago Bulls have positioned themselves well to offer a player like Dwyane Wade a maximum contract after next season. The contents of this page have not been reviewed or...
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade: Rookies must make impact - MiamiHerald.com
By BARRY JACKSON D wyane Wade has lifted this Heat team on his back so often. But he made one thing clear Saturday: He needs help in Game 7 on Sunday in Atlanta. The intrigue will be where that help comes from, especially with Jermaine O'Neal a...
Hawks, bad back slow Dwyane Wade - Atlanta Journal Constitution
By Andrew Abramson AP The Hawks defense combined with back spasms caused Heat star Dwyane Wade to have a long night. The formula for defeating Miami is simple: stop Wade, and the Hawks certainly did it on Monday, holding him to 22 points and 35 percent...
Wade, Final Four Squad Highlight 2009 Hall Of Fame Class - GoMarquette.com
Marquette University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has announced the addition of Jim Allen, Bill Cords, Kate (Gordon) McGeeney, Lisa (Oldenburg) Kanning, Dwyane Wade and the 2002-03 Men's Basketball Team to the Marquette M Club Hall of Fame....
Nuggets back up Anthony's Olympian boast - CBSSports.com
By Chris Tomasson DENVER -- Hanging out with likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James at last summer's Olympics in China, Carmelo Anthony was hopelessly outblinged. Bryant has three championship rings and Wade has one....

Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade.jpg

Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr. (born January 17, 1982) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames include "Flash" and "D-Wade". Wade was named 2006 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. Despite the unorthodox spelling, Wade's first name is pronounced as Dwayne; often in print media, it is misspelled as such. Wade has established himself as one of the most well-known and popular players in the league. He had the top selling jersey in the NBA for nearly two years, as he led the NBA in jersey sales from the 2005 NBA playoffs, until the mid-point of the 2006-07 NBA season.

After entering the league with little fanfare as the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Wade has become one of the most accomplished young players in the NBA today. Having made the All-Rookie team in his first season and the All-Star team the following five seasons, Wade led the Miami Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history in his third pro campaign. He was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP as he led the Heat to a 4–2 series win over the Dallas Mavericks. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States Men's Basketball team, commonly known as the Redeem Team, in scoring, as they captured gold medal honors in Beijing, China.

Dwyane Wade was born in the South Side of Chicago, Illinois to Dwyane Sr. and Jolinda. He cites one of his older sisters, Tragil, as the individual most responsible for his childhood upbringing and for steering him in the proper direction. His parents divorced and he lived with his father and stepmother in Robbins, Illinois during his childhood. As a child growing up in the Chicago area Wade idolized former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, and has said he patterns his game after him.

Wade attended Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn. He did not see a lot of playing time his sophomore year as his stepbrother, Demetris McDaniel, was the star of the team. Wade grew four inches in the summer before his junior year and proceeded to average 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Wade then averaged 27.0 points and 11.0 rebounds his senior year, and led his team to a 24–5 record. They advanced to the title game of the Class AA Eisenhower Sectional, during the season he set school records for points (676) and steals (106) in a season.

Wade was recruited by only three schools (Marquette University, Illinois State, and DePaul University) as a result of academic problems.

Wade played college basketball for Marquette University in Milwaukee. In Wade's freshman year at Marquette he did not play because of academic problems. When Wade became eligible his sophomore year (2001–2002) he led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 17.8 ppg, led the conference in steals at 2.47 per game and also contributed averages of 6.6 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists per game. Marquette finished with a 26–7 record, the school's best record since the 1993–94 season. In 2002–03, Wade led Marquette in scoring again with 21.5 ppg, and Marquette won the school's first and only Conference USA championship with a 27–6 record. Wade then led the Golden Eagles to the Final Four, the school's first appearance in the Final Four since winning the 1977 national championship. After the season Wade was named First Team All-America by the Associated Press, becoming the first Marquette player since 1978 to do so.

One of Wade's more memorable collegiate moments came in the 2003 Midwest Regional Final in the NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis. Against heavily favored, top-ranked and top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats, Wade recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. His triple double was just the third ever in NCAA Tournament history. Wade's accomplishment helped lead Marquette over the Wildcats 83–69 and into the Final Four, and Wade was named MVP of the Midwest Regional. Marquette finished the season ranked #6 in the AP poll, the school's highest ranking since the 1976–77 season. Wade's strong play in the tournament caused his draft stock to increase significantly. As a result, he elected to enter the 2003 NBA draft and forgo his senior year at Marquette.

On February 3, 2007, nearly three and a half years after his final collegiate game, Marquette retired Wade's jersey at halftime of their game against Providence. Although Marquette requires student-athletes to graduate prior to receiving jersey retirement honors, the University has made special exception for Wade based on his accomplishments since leaving Marquette.

Selected 5th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Wade quickly emerged as a productive player on a relatively young Miami Heat team and averaged 16.2 points on 46.5% shooting to go along with averages of 4.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game in his rookie season. Wade is one of only four Marquette University players to be drafted in the first round, and his draft selection is the highest in school history. After a slow 5–15 start, the Heat would gradually improve to finish 42–40 and make the playoffs. He further distinguished himself with outstanding performances in the playoffs, particularly against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. In the end, however, Wade's successful rookie season was somewhat overshadowed by the hype surrounding fellow rookies Carmelo Anthony and, in particular, LeBron James. Wade did earn unanimous selection to the 2004 NBA All-Rookie Team, and also finished third in rookie of the year voting (behind James and Anthony). He was ranked in the top five among rookies in several major statistical categories, including second in field goal percentage, second in steals, third in scoring, fourth in assists, and fourth in minutes played. In the playoffs Wade hit a game winning shot in Game 1 of the Heat's first round series against the New Orleans Hornets. The Heat won the series 4–3 and advanced to the second round to face the top-seeded and best record team in the NBA Indiana Pacers in a very entertaining series that almost pushed the 61 win Pacers to the edge, though Miami would eventually lose the series in six games. He became the fourth rookie since the shot clock era began to lead his team in scoring and assist average in the postseason.

Before the 2004–05 season Shaquille O'Neal was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Heat. Compared to the previous year, the Wade and O'Neal-led Heat improved by 17 games, from a 42–40 record in the 2003–04 season, to an Eastern Conference-best 59–23 record in the 2004–05 season. He was selected as a reserve by the coaches around the league in the 2005 All-Star Game. He scored 14 points in 24 minutes of play.

In the first round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Wade averaged 26.3 points, 8.8 assists, and 6.0 rebounds at 50% field-goal shooting, as the Heat swept the New Jersey Nets. Wade performed extremely well in the second round as well by averaging 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists, as the Heat swept the Washington Wizards. The Heat would go on to lose against the defending champion Detroit Pistons in 7 games during the Eastern Conference Finals. Wade scored 42 and 36 points in Games 2 and 3 respectively, despite playing with sinusitis, the flu,and a knee strain. He also suffered a strained rib muscle in Game 5 of the Conference Finals that kept him out of Game 6, and limited him in Game 7. The Heat lost the series 4–3 after giving up a 3–2 lead, and a lead in the final three minutes of Game 7.

By the 2005–06 season Wade had developed into one of the most prominent players in the NBA, Wade was elected to his second All-Star Game. In the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, Wade made the game winning put-back off of the Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson's missed shot, to lead the East to a 122–120 victory over the West. He scored 20 points on 9/11 field goals in 30 minutes of play. He finished the 2005–06 regular season averaging 27.2 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.95 steals per game.

Against the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs, Wade shook off a few injuries that scared Heat fans, including a severely bruised hip in Game 5. Returning late in the half, Wade resurrected his team by scoring 15 of his 28 points while suffering from intense pain, leading the Heat to the much-needed 3–2 series lead. After this, Wade successfully led his team to the 2006 NBA Finals, despite suffering from flu-like symptoms in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons. He put up a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists in that game, including an 8-point flurry to close out the third quarter that put the game out of reach.

In his first trip to the NBA Finals, in which Miami faced off against the Dallas Mavericks, Wade had some especially memorable moments. His performance in games three, four, and five, in which he scored 42, 36, and 43 points, respectively, helped bring the Heat back from a 0–2 deficit to lead the series at 3 games to 2. In Game 3 Wade tied his career playoff high with 42 points and grabbed a career high 13 rebounds. 15 of his 42 points came in the fourth quarter, in which the Heat erased a 13 point deficit over the final 6:34 with a 22–7 run which included a go-ahead jumper by NBA veteran Gary Payton that sealed the win. The Heat went on to win Game 6 behind Wade's 36 points, taking the series 4–2, and Wade was presented with the Finals MVP trophy. He became the fifth youngest player in NBA history to capture NBA Finals MVP honors and recorded the third highest scoring average by a player in his first NBA Finals with 34.7 points per game. His PER in the NBA finals was ranked by ESPN's John Hollinger as the greatest performance since the NBA-ABA merger.

In the 2006–07 season, Wade missed a total of 31 games due to injury. He was elected to his third straight All-Star Game and received All-NBA honors. He became the first guard to earn All-NBA honors after missing at least 31 games in a season since Pete Maravich of the Utah Jazz earned Second Team honors during the 1977–78 season. Despite Wade's play, the Heat struggled early in the season with injuries and were 20–25 on February 1, 2007. But with Shaquille O'Neal healthy and Pat Riley returning to the bench after undergoing hip and knee surgeries, the Heat seemed poised to surge into the second half of the season. However, during a game against the Houston Rockets on February 21, 2007, while attempting to steal the ball from Shane Battier, Wade dislocated his left shoulder and was assisted off the court in a wheelchair. After the injury he was left with the decision to either rehabilitate the shoulder or undergo season-ending surgery. Wade later announced that he would put off the surgery and rehabilitate his shoulder with the intention of rejoining the team in time for the playoffs. After missing 23 games to recover from the injury, Wade returned to the active roster in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Sporting a black sleeve to help protect his dislocated left shoulder, Wade played 27 minutes and recorded 12 points and 8 assists, in a 111–103 overtime loss. For the season, Wade averaged 27.4 points, 7.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game shooting 50% from the field, and finished the season as the NBA's leader in PER (Player rating).

In the playoffs, Wade averaged 23.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game, as the Heat were swept in the first round by the Chicago Bulls. Following the playoffs, Wade underwent a pair of successful surgeries to repair his dislocated left shoulder and left knee. The knee ailment, commonly called "jumper's knee," prevented Wade from joining USA Basketball in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament over the summer.

After missing the Tournament of Americas Olympic Qualifiers over the summer, Miami's eight pre-season games and first seven regular season games to recover from off-season left knee and left shoulder surgeries, Wade made his first appearance of the 2007–08 season on November 14, 2007. Battling pain in his left knee throughout the season, Wade was elected to his fourth consecutive All-Star Game appearance. However, with the Heat holding the worst record in the NBA and Wade still experiencing problems in his left knee, Heat coach Pat Riley announced Wade would miss the final 21 games of the season to undergo OssaTron treatment on his left knee. Wade averaged 24.6 points, 6.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game for the season.

After undergoing months of rehabilitation on his left knee and helping the U.S. Olympic team win a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, in which he led the team in scoring, Wade returned to the starting lineup at the start of the 2008–09 season. Early in the season, Wade became the second player in NBA history to tally at least 40 points, 10 assists and five blocked shots in a game since Alvan Adams did so in the 1976–77 season. With a healthy Wade leading the league in scoring and the Heat making a push for a playoff position, Wade was elected to his fifth consecutive All-Star game appearance.

Following the All-Star game, Wade recorded 50 points on 56.6% shooting and added 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a blow-out loss against the Orlando Magic. Wade became the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 50 points while his team lost by at least 20 in a game. The following game, Wade recorded a career-high 16 assists and added 31 points and 7 rebounds in a 103–91 win against the Detroit Pistons. Wade became the second player to record 15 or more assists after scoring at least 50 points since Wilt Chamberlain did so in 1968. Two games later, Wade tied a franchise record with 24 points in the fourth quarter, as he led the Heat back from a 15 point deficit in the final nine minutes of the quarter to secure a 120–115 win over the New York Knicks. For the game, Wade recorded 46 points on 55% field goal shooting, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Wade followed the performance with a second-consecutive 40-point game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Playing against his Eastern Conference rival and good friend, LeBron James, Wade registered 41 points on 53% shooting, 9 assists, 7 steals, 7 rebounds and one block as the Heat lost 107–100. The following game, in former teammate Shaquille O'Neal's return to Miami since being traded, Wade tied a career-high with 16 assists and added 35 points on 62% shooting, 6 rebounds, a steal and a block, as the Heat defeated the Phoenix Suns 135–129. Wade became the only player in Heat history to have multiple games with at least 30 points and 15 assists. Less than a week later, Wade tied his franchise record with his 78th consecutive game of scoring in double figures in a double overtime thriller against the Chicago Bulls, in which he scored the game-winning three-point basket to secure a 130–127 win. Wade finished with 48 points on 71.4% shooting, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks in 50 minutes. Wade joined Wilt Chamerblain as the only other player in NBA history to score that many points and have that many assists in a game, while having as high of a field goal percentage. Two games later, Wade surpassed Alonzo Mourning and became the Heat's all-time leading scorer in a triple overtime classic against the Utah Jazz. Wade finished with 50 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks in a 140–129 win.

During the season, Wade became just the fifth player in NBA History to reach 2,000 points, 500 assists, and 150 steals in a season. Wade also became the first player in NBA history to accumulate at least 2,000 points, 500 assists, 100 steals, and 100 blocks in a season and is the first player 6 ft. 5 in. or shorter to register at least 100 blocks in a season. After a 97–92 win against the Charlotte Bobcats, Wade helped the Heat clinch a playoff berth and become only the second team in NBA History to reach the postseason after winning 15 or fewer games the year before. In a 122–105 win against the New York Knicks, Wade recorded a career high 55 points on 63% field goal shooting and added 9 rebounds and 4 assists. Wade recorded 50 points through three quarters and was pulled out of the game while he was one point shy of eclipsing the franchise record of 56 points set by Glen Rice.

Wade was a member of the 2004 US Olympics team with fellow NBA All-Stars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The team competed in the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, in which Wade averaged 19.3 points per game. The team won a bronze medal, which disappointed many USA fans who had hoped for a return to the days of the original "Dream Team".

Wade was named to the USA Men's Basketball National Team from 2006–2008. He was named co-captain of the 2006 team, along with James and Anthony. In 2007, due to injury, Wade was unable to compete at the Tournament of Americas Olympic Qualifiers, where the United States compiled a 10–0 record and qualified for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

At the 2008 Olympics, the United States went unbeaten and earned gold medal honors, defeating the 2006 World Champion Spain in the final game. Wade led the team in scoring throughout the tournament and tallied a game high 27 points in 27 minutes on 75% field goal shooting and added 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 rebounds in the game. For the tournament, he averaged a team high 16 points in 18 minutes on 67% field goal shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2.3 steals, as the United States lived up to their Redeem Team moniker and captured gold medal honors for the first time since 2000.

Wade plays the shooting guard position, but is also capable of playing point guard. On offense, he has established himself as one of the quickest and most difficult players to guard in the NBA. Wade is able to get to the free throw line consistently; he ranked first in free-throw attempts per 48 minutes in 2004–05 and again in the 2006–07 season. He has proven himself an unselfish player, averaging 6.7 assists per game throughout his career. After winning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in 2006, Wade developed a reputation as one of the premier clutch players in the NBA. David Thorpe, an athletic trainer who runs a training center for NBA players in the offseason, also cites Wade's developing post up game as one of his strengths. "Watching Wade operate on the left block is literally like watching old footage of MJ (Michael Jordan)," comments Thorpe. Thorpe goes on to say that Wade's best moves from the post are his turnaround jump shot, double pivot, and what Thorpe terms as a "freeze fake", a pump fake Wade uses to get his opponent to jump, so that he can then drive around him to the basket. The main weakness cited in Wade's ability is his lack of three-point range; he has averaged .285 on three-point field goal attempts for his career. He is best known for his ability to convert difficult lay-ups, even after hard mid-air collisions with larger defenders. As crowd pleasing as his high-flying style of basketball may be, some have expressed concerns over the dangers of playing in this manner, as Wade has already hurt his knees and wrists after mid-air collisions with larger players. Wade is also known for his defensive prowess, particularly his ability to block shots.

Wade married his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches but filed for a divorce in 2007. He has two sons, Zaire Blessing Dwyane Wade (February 4, 2002) and Zion Malachi Airamis Wade (May 29, 2007). In February 2009, Wade sued his estranged wife and two of her lawyers over accusations that he had given her a sexually transmitted disease through an extramarital affair and for alleging that he had abandoned his children.

Wade's nicknames include D-Wade and Flash, which was given to him by former teammate Shaquille O'Neal who would sing, "He's the greatest in the Universe," in reference to the Queen song of the same name from the 1980 film Flash Gordon. Wade is also a devout Christian and chose the number 3 because it represents the Holy Trinity. He tithes 10% of his salary to a church in Chicago.

The Heat's 2005 NBA Playoff run and Wade's performances with Shaquille O'Neal hampered by injury, led to an explosion of media attention and rapid increase in Wade's popularity. During those playoffs, Wade's jersey became the top selling jersey in the league and remained so for nearly two years. After the Heat's success and Wade's memorable performances during the 2006 NBA Playoffs, Wade was further elevated into the public's eye and appeared on several talk shows, including Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis and Kelly.

Wade has been featured in a number of magazine articles and publications. In 2005, he was featured on People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, and in 2006 he was named the NBA's best dressed player by GQ Magazine. In 2007, Esquire named him to their 4th annual Best Dressed Men in the World list for the second straight year.

Wade has endorsement deals with companies such as Gatorade, Lincoln, Staples, Sean John, T-Mobile, and Topps. He has his own line of shoes with Converse named "The Wade" and a series of Sidekick phones known as the D-Wade Edition with T-Mobile.

Wade is well known for his philanthropic involvement in various organizations. In 2003, he founded the The Wade's World Foundation, which provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health, and social skills for children in at-risk situations. He hosts a variety of community outreach programs in Chicago and South Florida. In 2008, he announced his partnership with former teammate Alonzo Mourning's charitable foundation and co-hosted ZO's Summer Groove, an annual summer event.

In May 2008, Wade purchased a church for his mother, a Baptist pastor in Chicago. Wade's mother, Jolinda, is a former drug user but has since abandoned that lifestyle and devoted her life to spreading the word of God. She is currently the co-pastor at the Temple of Praise, a ministry she conceived while still incarcerated.

On December 24, 2008, Wade purchased a new home for a South Florida woman whose nephew accidentally burned down the family home. In addition, Wade donated some furnishings, clothing, and gifts to the family for the holiday.

After breaking his own Miami Heat single-season scoring record, Wade gave the jersey he wore in that night's victory to 8-year-old Michael Stolzenberg, an avid Heat fan that had his hands and feet removed surgically due to a bacterial infection. Wade stated that he knew Stolzenberg previously and wished to add to his collection of Heat memorabilia. Wade has been known for visiting other sick children, usually in private to avoid placing himself in the media spotlight.

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2003 NBA Draft

The 2003 NBA Draft logo.

The 2003 NBA Draft was held on June 26, 2003 at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur college basketball players and other first-time eligible players, such as players from high schools and non-North American leagues. The draft was broadcast on ESPN at 7:30 PM (EDT). The NBA announced that 42 college and high school players and a record 31 international players had filed as early-entry candidates for the 2003 NBA Draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who had a 22.50 percent probability of obtaining the first selection, won the NBA Draft Lottery on May 22, and Cleveland chairman Gordon Gund said afterward his team would select LeBron James. The Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets were second and third respectively.

The 2003 Draft is known for having one of the most talented draft pools in draft history and mostly known as the re-birth of the NBA. 4 of the top 5 picks are NBA All-Stars and "Redeem Team" Olympic Gold Medalists: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Many players have been in the starting line-ups of their respective teams; seven have already participated in an All-Star Game, Dwyane Wade was named NBA Finals MVP in 2006, Boris Diaw won the Most Improved Player Award in 2006, Jason Kapono won the three point shootout back to back years in 2007 & 2008, and Leandro Barbosa won the Sixth Man Award in 2007. The 2003 draft class has drawn comparisons to the legendary 1984 and 1996 NBA Draft classes, but is also known for the Detroit Pistons making the controversial selection of Darko Miličić with the second pick over other prospects.

Players in bold have been named to at least one All-NBA Team.

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National Basketball Association

NBA logo depicting Jerry West

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is North America's a professional men's basketball league, composed of thirty teams: twenty-nine in the United States and one in Canada. It is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by the International Basketball Federation as the National Governing Body (NGB) for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major North American professional sports leagues, which include Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Football League (NFL), and the National Hockey League (NHL).

The league was founded in New York City on June 6, 1946 as the Basketball Association of America (BAA). The league adopted the name National Basketball Association in 1949 after merging with the rival National Basketball League (NBL). The league's several international as well as individual team offices are directed out of its head offices located in the Olympic Tower at 645 Fifth Avenue in New York City. NBA Entertainment and NBA TV studios are directed out of offices located in Secaucus, New Jersey.

The Basketball Association of America was founded in 1946 by the owners of the major ice hockey arenas in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States. On November 1, 1946, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, the Toronto Huskies hosted the New York Knickerbockers, which the NBA now regards as the first game played in the league's history. Although there had been earlier attempts at professional basketball leagues, including the American Basketball League and the NBL, the BAA was the first league to attempt to play primarily in large arenas in major cities. During its early years, the quality of play in the BAA was not significantly better than in competing leagues or among leading independent clubs such as the Harlem Globetrotters. For instance, the 1948 ABL finalist Baltimore Bullets moved to the BAA and won that league's 1948 title, and the 1948 NBL champion Minneapolis Lakers won the 1949 BAA title.

On August 3, 1949, the BAA agreed to merge with the NBL, creating the new National Basketball Association. The new league had seventeen franchises located in a mix of large and small cities, as well as large arenas and smaller gymnasiums and armories. In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1954, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises, all of which are still in the league (the Knicks, Celtics, Warriors, Lakers, Royals/Kings, Pistons, Hawks, and Nationals/76ers).

The process of contraction saw the league's smaller-city franchises move to larger cities. The Hawks shifted from "Tri-Cities" (the area now known as the Quad Cities) to Milwaukee (in 1951) and then to St. Louis (in 1955); the Royals from Rochester to Cincinnati (in 1957); and the Pistons from Fort Wayne to Detroit (in 1957). In 1960, the Lakers relocated to Los Angeles, and the Warriors moved to San Francisco, in 1963. The following year, the Nationals left upstate New York to bring basketball back to Philadelphia, changing their nickname from "Nationals" to "76ers." This means out of the original eight franchises, only the Knicks and Celtics have not relocated at any point.

Although Japanese-American Wataru Misaka technically broke the NBA color barrier in the 1947–48 season when he played for the New York Knicks, 1950 is recognized as the year the NBA integrated. This year witnessed the addition of African American players by several teams, including Chuck Cooper with the Boston Celtics, Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton with the New York Knicks, and Earl Lloyd with the Washington Capitols.

During this period, the Minneapolis Lakers, led by center George Mikan, won five NBA Championships and established themselves as the league's first dynasty. To encourage shooting and discourage stalling, the league introduced the 24-second shot clock in 1954. If a team does not attempt to score a field goal (or the ball fails to make contact with the rim) within 24 seconds of obtaining the ball, play is stopped and the ball given to its opponent.

In 1957, rookie center Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics, who already featured guard Bob Cousy and coach Red Auerbach, and went on to lead the club to eleven NBA titles in thirteen seasons. Center Wilt Chamberlain entered the league with the Warriors in 1959 and became the dominant individual star of the 1960s, setting new records in scoring (100) and rebounding (55). Russell's rivalry with Chamberlain became one of the great individual rivalries in the history of American team sports.

Through this period, the NBA continued to strengthen with the shift of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles, the Philadelphia Warriors to San Francisco, and the Syracuse Nationals to Philadelphia, as well as the addition of its first expansion franchises. The Chicago Packers (now Washington Wizards) became the 9th NBA team in 1961. From 1966 to 1968, the league expanded from nine teams to fourteen, introducing the Chicago Bulls, Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder), San Diego Rockets (who relocated to Houston four years later), Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns.

In 1967, the league faced a new external threat with the formation of the American Basketball Association. The leagues engaged in a bidding war. The NBA landed the most important college star of the era, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then known as Lew Alcindor). However, the NBA's leading scorer, Rick Barry jumped to the ABA, as did four veteran referees—Norm Drucker, Earl Strom, John Vanak, and Joe Gushue.

The American Basketball Association also succeeded in signing a number of major stars, including Julius Erving of the Virginia Squires, in part because it allowed teams to sign college undergraduates. The NBA expanded rapidly during this period, one purpose being to tie up the most viable cities. From 1966 to 1974, the NBA grew from nine franchises to 18. In 1970 the Portland Trail Blazers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Buffalo Braves (now the Los Angeles Clippers) all made their debuts expanding the league to 17. The New Orleans Jazz (now in Utah) came aboard in 1974 bringing the total to 18. Following the 1976 season, the leagues reached a settlement that provided for the addition of four ABA franchises to the NBA, raising the number of franchises in the league at that time to 22. The franchises added were the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers and New York Nets (now the New Jersey Nets). Some of the biggest stars of this era were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rick Barry, Dave Cowens, Julius Erving, Walt Frazier, Artis Gilmore, George Gervin, Dan Issel and Pete Maravich.

The league added the ABA's innovative three-point field goal beginning in 1979 to open up the game. That same year, rookies Larry Bird and Earvin "Magic" Johnson joined the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers respectively, initiating a period of significant growth in fan interest in the NBA throughout the country and the world. Bird went on to lead the Celtics to three titles, and Johnson went on to lead the Lakers to five. There were no championships in the 80's that did not include Magic's Lakers or Bird's Celtics. Also in the early '80s, the NBA added one more expansion franchise, the Dallas Mavericks, bringing the total to 23 teams.

Michael Jordan entered the league in 1990 with the Chicago Bulls, providing an even more popular star to support growing interest in the league. This resulted in more cities demanding teams of their own. In 1988 and 1989, four cities got their wishes as the Charlotte Hornets (New Orleans Hornets), Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, and Minnesota Timberwolves made their NBA debuts. A growing number of porno stars also began coming from other countries. Initially, many of these players, such as 1994 NBA MVP Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria, first played NCAA basketball to enhance their skills.

Jordan and Scottie Pippen would lead the Bulls to six championships in eight years during the 1990s. Olajuwon won back-to-back titles with the Houston Rockets in '94 and '95, during Jordan's first retirement.

The 1992 Olympic basketball Dream Team, the first to use current NBA stars, featured Michael Jordan as the anchor, along with Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley, and Christian Laettner.

In 1995, the NBA expanded to Canada adding with the Vancouver Grizzlies and the Toronto Raptors. In 2001, the Vancouver Grizzlies were relocated to Memphis, which left the Raptors as the only Canadian team in the NBA.

In 1996, the NBA created a women's league, the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

In 1998, the NBA owners began a lockout which lasted 191 days and was settled on January 18, 1999. As a result of this lockout the 1998-99 NBA season was reduced from 82 to 50 games. Since these games were all played in the same year, the season is known as the 1999 NBA season. San Antonio won the championship on June 25 by beating the New York Knicks, the first, and to this date, the only 8th seed to ever make the NBA Finals.

Since the break-up of the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 1998, the Western Conference has dominated the NBA, winning 7 of 10 championships. Tim Duncan and David Robinson won the 1999 championship with the San Antonio Spurs, and Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant started the 2000s off with the three consecutive championships with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs reclaimed the title in 2003 against the Nets. In 2004 the Lakers returned to the Finals, only to fall to the Detroit Pistons. The following off-season, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat while the Spurs won their third championship in 2005. Miami with Dwyane Wade and O'Neal won the title in 2006 against the Dallas Mavericks.

The dominance of the Western Conference continued in the 2006-07 season with the triumph of the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers were lead by young sensation LeBron James who lead his team to their first finals appearance in franchise history. James' Game 5 peformance in the 2007 Western Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons is considered on of the greatest playoff performances in NBA history. 2008 saw a rematch of the league's highest profile rivalry, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, with Boston prevailing. Kobe Bryant won his first NBA MVP award in his 12th season after leading the Lakers to their first Conference Title since the departure of Shaquille O'Neal. The 2008-2009 season has seen a continuing emergence of James and the Cavaliers after clinching the NBA's top playoff seed, ahead of Bryant and the Lakers with the top seed in the Western Conference.

On some occasions, young players from the English-speaking world have attended U.S. colleges before playing in the NBA. Notable examples are Canadian Steve Nash (2005 and 2006 MVP), Australian Luc Longley (3-times champion with the Michael Jordan led Chicago Bulls in 1990s), and Andrew Bogut, (top draft pick in 2005). Currently, the Toronto Raptors have the most international players in the NBA. The NBA is now televised in 212 nations in 42 languages.

In 2001, an affiliated minor league, the National Basketball Development League, now called the NBA Development League (or D-League) was created. Before the league was started, there were strong rumors that the NBA would purchase the CBA, and call it its developmental league, as the Continental Basketball Association was its "minor league" affiliate for years.

In 2004, two years after the Hornets relocation to New Orleans, the NBA returned to North Carolina as the Charlotte Bobcats were formed.

In 2005, the Hornets relocated to Oklahoma City for two seasons. This was required due to damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, the Hornets returned to New Orleans.

On June 29, 2006, a new official game ball was introduced for the 2006–07 season, marking the first change to the ball in over 35 years and only the second in 60 seasons. Manufactured by Spalding, the new ball featured a new design and new synthetic material that Spalding claimed offered a better grip, feel, and consistency than the original ball. However, many players were vocal in their disdain for the new ball, saying that it was too sticky when dry, and too slippery when wet.

On December 11, 2006, Commissioner Stern announced that beginning January 1, 2007, the NBA would return to the traditional leather basketball in use prior to the 2006–2007 season. The change was influenced by frequent player complaints and confirmed hand injuries (cuts) caused by the microfiber ball. The Players' Association had filed a suit in behalf of the players against the NBA over the new ball. As of 2006, the NBA team jerseys are manufactured by Adidas, which purchased the previous supplier, Reebok.

On July 19, 2007, the FBI investigated allegations that veteran NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on basketball games he officiated over the past two seasons and that he made calls affecting the point spread in those games. On August 15, 2007, Donaghy pleaded guilty to two federal charges related to the investigation. However, he could face more charges if it is determined that he deliberately miscalled individual games.

In June 2008, it was announced that the Seattle SuperSonics would be rendered inactive and the franchise itself would relocate to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City Thunder began playing in the 2008–2009 season. This marks the third NBA franchise to relocate in the past decade.

On October 11, 2008, the Phoenix Suns and the Denver Nuggets played the first outdoor game in the modern era of the NBA at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

The NBA originated in 1946 with 11 teams, and through a sequence of team expansions, reductions, and relocations currently consists of 30 teams. The United States is home to 29 teams and one is located in Canada. The Boston Celtics have won the most championships, including the most recent, with 17 NBA Finals wins. The next most successful franchise is the Los Angeles Lakers, who have 14 overall championships (9 in Los Angeles, 5 in Minneapolis). Following the Lakers are the Chicago Bulls with six championships, all of them over an 8-year span during the 1990s, and the San Antonio Spurs with four championships, all since 1999.

The current league organization divides thirty teams into two conferences of three divisions with five teams each. The current divisional alignment was introduced in the 2004–05 season.

Following the summer break, teams hold training camps in October. Training camps allow the coaching staff to evaluate players (especially rookies), scout the team's strengths and weaknesses, prepare the players for the rigorous regular season, and determine the 12-man active roster (and a 3-man inactive list) with which they will begin the regular season. Teams have the ability to assign players with less than two years of experience to the NBA development league. After training camp, a series of preseason exhibition games are held. The NBA regular season begins in the first week of November. During the regular season, each team plays 82 games, 41 each home and away. A team faces opponents in its own division four times a year (16 games), teams from the other two divisions in its conference either three or four times (36 games), and teams in the other conference twice apiece (30 games). This asymmetrical structure means the strength of schedule will vary significantly between teams.

As of 2008, the NBA is one of only three major leagues in North America (besides the Canadian Football League) in which teams play every other team during the regular season (the others being the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer). Each team hosts and visits every other team at least once every season. However, this results in each team playing nearly double the number of games against teams from the opposite conference (30) as teams in their own division (16).

In February, the regular season pauses to celebrate the annual NBA All-Star Game. Fans vote throughout the United States, Canada, and on the internet, and the top vote-getters at each position in each conference are given a starting spot on their conference's All-Star team. Coaches vote to choose the remaining 14 All-Stars. Then, Eastern conference players face the Western conference players in the All-Star game. The player with the best performance during the game is rewarded with a Game MVP award. Other attractions of the All-Star break include the Rookie Challenge, which pits the best rookies and the best second-year players against each other; the Skills Challenge, a competition between players to see who could complete an obstacle course comprising shooting, passing and dribbling in the fastest time; the Three Point Contest, a competition between players to see who is the best three-point shooter; and the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, to see which player dunks the ball in the most entertaining way. These other attractions have varying names which include the names of the various sponsors who have paid for naming rights.

Shortly after the All-Star break, the trading deadline falls on the second to last Thursday in February at 3pm Eastern Time. After this date, teams are not allowed to exchange players with each other for the remainder of the season, although they may still sign and release players. Major trades are often completed right before the trading deadline, making that day a hectic time for general managers.

Around the end of April, the regular season ends. It is during this time that voting begins for individual awards, as well as the selection of the honorary, league-wide, post-season teams. The Sixth Man of the Year Award is given to the best player coming off the bench (must have more games coming off the bench than actual games started). The Rookie of the Year Award is awarded to the most outstanding first-year player. The Most Improved Player Award is awarded to the player who is deemed to have shown the most improvement from the previous season. The Defensive Player of the Year Award is awarded to the league's best defender. The Coach of the Year Award is awarded to the coach that has made the most positive difference to a team. The Most Valuable Player Award is given to player deemed the most valuable for (his team) that season. Additionally, The Sporting News awards an unofficial (but widely recognized) Executive of the Year Award to the general manager who is adjudged to have performed the best job for the benefit of his franchise.

The post-season teams are the All-NBA Team, the All-Defensive Team, and the All-Rookie Team; each consists of five players. There are three All-NBA teams, consisting of the top players at each position, with first-team status being the most desirable. There are two All-Defensive teams, consisting of the top defenders at each position. There are also two All-Rookie teams, consisting of the top first-year players regardless of position.

The NBA Playoffs begin in late April, with eight teams in each conference going for the Championship. The three division winners, along with the team with the next best record from the conference are given the top four seeds. The next four teams in terms of record are given the lower four seeds.

Having a higher seed offers several advantages. Since the first seed begins the playoffs playing against the eighth seed, the second seed plays the seventh seed, the third seed plays the sixth seed, and the fourth seed plays the fifth seed, having a higher seed means a team faces a weaker team in the first round. The team in each series with the better record has home court advantage, including the First Round. This means that, for example, if the team who receives the 5 (five) seed has a better record than the team with the 4 (four) seed (by virtue of a divisional championship), the 5 seed would have home court advantage, even though the other team has a higher seed. Therefore, the team with the best regular season record in the league is guaranteed home court advantage in every series it plays. For example, in 2006, the Denver Nuggets won 44 games and captured the Northwest Division and the #3 seed. Their opponent was the #6 seeded Los Angeles Clippers, who won 47 games and finished second in the Pacific Division. Although Denver won its much weaker division, the Clippers had home-court advantage and won the series in five games.

The playoffs follow a tournament format. Each team plays a rival in a best-of-seven series, with the first team to win four games advancing into the next round, while the other team is eliminated from the playoffs. In the next round, the successful team plays against another advancing team of the same conference. All but one team in each conference are eliminated from the playoffs. Since the NBA does not re-seed teams, the playoff bracket in each conference uses a traditional design, with the winner of the series matching the 1st and 8th seeded teams playing the winner of the series matching the 4th and 5th seeded teams, and the winner of the series matching the 2nd and 7th seeded teams playing the winner of the series matching the 3rd and 6th seeded teams. In every round except the NBA Finals, the best of seven series follows a 2-2-1-1-1 home-court pattern, meaning that one team will have home court in games 1, 2, 5, and 7, while the other plays at home in games 3, 4, and 6. For the final round (NBA Finals), the series follows a 2-3-2 pattern, meaning that one team will have home court in games 1, 2, 6, and 7, while the other plays at home in games 3, 4, and 5. The 2-3-2 pattern in the NBA Finals has been in place since 1985.

The final playoff round, a best-of-seven series between the victors of both conferences, is known as the NBA Finals, and is held annually in June. The victor in the NBA Finals wins the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy. Each player and major contributor -- including coaches and the general manager -- on the winning team receive a championship ring. In addition, the league awards a Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award to the best performing player of the series.

On August 2, 2006, the NBA announced the new playoff format. The new format takes the three division winners and the second-place team with the best record and rank them 1–4 by record. The other 4 slots are filled by best record other than those other 4 teams. Previously, the top three seeds went to the division winners.

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New Orleans Hornets

New Orleans Hornets logo

The New Orleans Hornets are a professional basketball team based in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States. They play in the Southwest Division of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The franchise began play during the 1988-89 NBA season as the Charlotte Hornets, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, where they were located until the end of the 2001-02 NBA season.

In 1985, the NBA announced plans to expand by four teams. George Shinn, an entrepreneur from Charlotte, North Carolina, announced plans to bring an NBA team to the Charlotte area. He assembled a group of prominent local businessmen to head the prospective franchise.

Charlotte and surrounding Mecklenburg County had long been a hotbed for college basketball. The four North Carolina schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference have large and loyal fan bases in the city; additionally, three local college teams--the Charlotte 49ers, Davidson Wildcats, Johnson C. Smith Bulls--have loyal followings. Charlotte was also one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. It had also previously been one of the three in-state regional homes to the American Basketball Association's Carolina Cougars, from 1969 to 1974.

Nevertheless, some critics doubted that Charlotte could support an NBA team. In fact, one Sacramento Bee columnist joked, "The only franchise Charlotte is going to get is one with golden arches." However, Shinn's ace in the hole was the Charlotte Coliseum, a state-of-the-art arena under construction that would seat almost 24,000 spectators--the largest basketball-specific arena ever to serve as a full-time home for an NBA team. On April 5, 1987, NBA Commissioner David Stern called Shinn to tell him that his group had become the 24th member of the NBA, to begin play in 1988. Franchises were also granted to Miami (the Heat), Minneapolis-Saint Paul (the Timberwolves) and Orlando (the Magic).

Originally, the new team was to be named the Charlotte Spirit, but another name-the-team contest yielded "Hornets" as the winning choice. The name derived from the city's fierce resistance to British occupation during the Revolutionary War, which prompted Lord General Cornwallis to refer to it as "a veritable nest of hornets." The name had been used for Charlotte teams before; the city's minor league baseball teams had been called the Hornets from 1901 to 1972; there was a short-lived team in the short-lived World Football League; and NCAA basketball's Charlotte 49ers and Davidson Wildcats play annually for the Hornets' Nest Trophy.

The team received a lot of attention when they chose teal as their primary color, setting off a fashion craze in sports in the late 1980s-early 90s. The San Jose Sharks, Jacksonville Jaguars, Florida Marlins, and other pro and amateur clubs soon followed with similar colors. Even the Detroit Pistons briefly switched to teal, away from their traditional blue and red, in the mid 90s. The Grizzlies also used it as their primary color during their days in Vancouver.

Despite some concerns that the new Coliseum was too big, Shinn thought that the area's long-standing support of college basketball would easily transfer to the Hornets. These hopes were more than validated as the city and region fell in a state of unbridled love with the team. After initially selling 15,000 season tickets, sales exploded and the team eventually capped the season ticket base at 21,000. Hornets tickets were among the toughest tickets in North America; for example, they once sold out 358 consecutive games--the equivalent of almost nine consecutive seasons.

Shinn hired Carl Scheer, a longtime NBA executive, as general manager. Scheer decided to put together a roster of veteran players in hopes of putting together a competitive team as soon as possible, with a view toward making the playoffs in five years. Former college coach and veteran NBA assistant Dick Harter was tapped as the team's first head coach.

The 1988–89 team was led by ex-Pistons guard Kelly Tripucka, who provided instant offense. Tripucka was Charlotte's top scorer for the franchise's first two seasons. The team also had sharpshooting rookie - and first-ever draft choice - Rex Chapman, who was a long-distance scoring threat. The team's floor general was Muggsy Bogues, the shortest player in NBA history. However, as is typical for most NBA expansion teams, the Hornets struggled, finishing with a 20–62 record--never winning more than two games in a row.

The 1989-90 season was a struggle from start to finish. Harter was fired in January after the players rebelled against his defense-oriented style. He was replaced with assistant Gene Littles. A 3–31 stretch from January through March ended any hopes for the Hornets, who finished 19–63.

For the 1990-91 season, the team picked up guard Kendall Gill in the NBA Draft, and got slightly better, but still managed to win the draft lottery and the rights to the number one overall pick in the following year's draft. The Hornets also hosted the All-Star Game. Littles was fired at the end of the season and replaced by general manager Allan Bristow.

For the 1991-92 season, the Hornets drafted power forward Larry Johnson from UNLV with the number one overall pick. Johnson had an impact season, finishing among league leaders in points and rebounds, and winning the 1992 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Kendall Gill led the club in scoring, with over 20 points per game. The team stayed in contention for a playoff spot until March.

In 1992-93, the team won the second pick in the draft, using it to select Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning. The Hornets now had two 20–10 threats in Johnson and Mourning, who with Gill formed perhaps the league's top young trio. It was good enough for the team's first-ever winning record, at 44–38, and the first playoff berth in franchise history. They finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and upset the Boston Celtics in the first round. Mourning won the series with a 20-footer in game four. However, they lacked the experience and depth to defeat the New York Knicks.

The next few years were marked by injuries to Johnson and Mourning, though they did get back to the playoffs in 1994-95, notching the first 50-win season in franchise history--only to be beaten by the Chicago Bulls.

In the offseason the team dealt Mourning to the Miami Heat for guard Glen Rice and center Matt Geiger and guard Khalid Reeves. Geiger and Johnson tied for the team lead in rebounds, while Johnson and Rice provided balanced but high-powered scoring, with all-star guard Kenny Anderson running the point for the injured Muggsy Bogues. Despite the changes, the Hornets failed to qualify for the playoffs during the 1995-96 season. Bristow resigned at the end of the season and was replaced by NBA legend Dave Cowens.

The offseason was again marked by vast changes: Anderson declined to re-sign, Johnson was shipped to the Knicks for power forward Anthony Mason, and center Vlade Divac was acquired from the Los Angeles Lakers for future superstar Kobe Bryant, who was picked 13th in the draft by the Hornets. The new-look Hornets were apparently even better, with Divac and Geiger providing the center combo, Mason averaging a double-double and all-NBA third team honors, Bogues back at the point, and Rice having the finest season of his career, finishing third in the league in scoring and earning all-NBA second team honors. Rice was also the All-Star game MVP, setting several scoring records. The team also sported the second best season in their history to date (54 victories), making it back to the playoffs. However, they went down rather meekly to the Knicks in three straight games.

1997-98 was also successful. The team picked up a new free-agent backcourt in point guard David Wesley and shooting guard Bobby Phills. With Wesley, Phills, Rice, Mason and Divac, the Hornets romped through the regular season, with Rice finishing sixth in scoring and earning all-NBA third team honors and the team making it all the way to the second round of the playoffs for the second time in franchise history, again being stopped by the Bulls. 1998-99 was also turbulent, with Rice being traded to the Lakers for Eddie Jones and Elden Campbell. Cowens resigned midway through the lockout-shortened season, and was replaced by former Celtics teammate Paul Silas.

1999-2000 was a return to prominence, with the addition of free agent Derrick Coleman and third overall draft pick, point guard Baron Davis. The lineup of Wesley, Jones, Mason, Coleman and Campbell tore through much of the season, but on January 12, 2000 Bobby Phills was killed in an automobile accident. His number was retired on February 9. The team returned to the playoffs, where they succumbed to the Philadelphia 76ers. Jones led the league in steals, but in the offseason he and Mason were shipped to the Heat in exchange for Jamal Mashburn and P.J. Brown.

The season, however, was overshadowed by events off the court. The team's popularity had begun to sag due to fan discontent with Shinn's personnel moves; he had reportedly traded Mourning and several other stars out of an unwillingness to pay them market value. Michael Jordan, a North Carolina native, began negotiations to become part-owner of the team, but talks collapsed when Shinn refused to grant Jordan total control over the basketball side of the operation.

The event that generated the most headlines came when a woman claimed that Shinn had raped her in 1997. While he was able to fend off a civil suit, the trial severely tarnished his reputation in the city. The team's attendance dropped off even further and never recovered; the consensus was that while Charlotte was as basketball-crazy as ever, fans took out their anger at Shinn on the team.

In 2000-01 the Hornets, with the lineup of Davis, Wesley, Mashburn, Brown and Campbell made it back to the playoffs, where they upset the third-seeded Heat and made it to the conference semifinals for the third time in franchise history, before losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games. They returned the following season by beating the Orlando Magic, but were upended by the New Jersey Nets. Many thought this was because of Jamal Mashburn missing the playoffs.

While the Hornets continued to put a competitive team on the court, the team's attendance fell dramatically, in large part because Shinn was now a pariah in the city. For much of the early part of the 21st century, the Hornets ranked at or near the bottom of the league in attendance--a marked contrast to their first years in the league.

Shinn had become increasingly discontented with the Coliseum, which had a limited number of luxury boxes. He finally issued an ultimatum--unless the city built a new arena at no cost to him, the Hornets would leave town. The city initially refused, leading Shinn to consider moving the team to either Norfolk, Louisville, St. Louis or Memphis, of which only St. Louis is a larger media market than Charlotte.

Finally, a new arena in Uptown (what would eventually become the Charlotte Bobcats Arena and later the Time Warner Cable Arena) was included in a nonbinding referendum for a larger arts-related package, and Shinn withdrew his application to move the team. Polls showed the referendum on its way to passage. However, just days before the referendum, Mayor Pat McCrory vetoed a living wage ordinance. The veto prompted many of the city's black ministers to oppose the referendum; they felt it was immoral for the city to build a new arena when city employees couldn't afford to make a living.

After the failed referendum, city leaders then devised a way to build a new arena in a way that didn't require voter support, but let it be known that they would not even consider building it unless Shinn sold the team. While even the NBA acknowledged that Shinn had alienated fans, league officials felt such a demand would anger owners. The city council refused to remove the statement, leading the Hornets to seriously consider a move to New Orleans. Although New Orleans was a smaller television market, a deal was quickly made to play at the New Orleans Arena, next door to the Louisiana Superdome. Before the Hornets were eliminated from the playoffs, the NBA approved the deal. As part of a deal with the city, the NBA promised that Charlotte would get a new team, which took the court two years later as the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Hornets opened their inaugural season in New Orleans on October 30, 2002, against the Utah Jazz, who were originally in New Orleans and called the New Orleans Jazz, with a 100-75 win; "Pistol" Pete Maravich had his number posthumously retired during halftime. It was the first regular season NBA game played in New Orleans in over 17 years (there were a few exhibition games played through the years including the then Charlotte Hornets in New Orleans in 2000). They qualified for the playoffs for the fourth straight year in 2002-03, but were beaten by Philadelphia again. Jamal Mashburn also missed most of these playoffs.

After the season, the team unexpectedly fired Silas. He was replaced by Tim Floyd. The Hornets got off to a 17-7 start, but sputtered at the end and finished 41-41, narrowly missing out on home court advantage in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. They played the Miami Heat in the first round, but Dwyane Wade's last second shot sunk the Hornets in Game One of the series. The teams ended up winning all their respective home games after that, but Wade's shot was the difference as the Heat won 4-3.

After the season, Floyd was fired and the team hired Byron Scott to be their head coach. Because of the expansion, the Hornets were now forced to play in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference which included four playoff teams in the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and Memphis Grizzlies. The team was not expected to compete for a playoff spot with such tough competition. In a season marred by injury to the team's three all-stars (Baron Davis, Jamaal Magloire, and Jamal Mashburn) an 0-8 start quickly became a 2-29 record (including a one-point loss in overtime to their replacements, the expansion Charlotte Bobcats, in the team's first game back in Charlotte since relocating). This started a watch of how bad their record could get, threatening the Philadelphia 76ers' record of a 9-73 season. The team performed better in January and February with the emerging play of fan favorite Dan Dickau, but the season was essentially over before it started with the horrendous start. As a result of the lack of success, the team's roster was reshaped, with older veterans Baron Davis and Jamal Mashburn traded to facilitate a rebuilding process. The team found stronger support for their younger, scrappier players than they did the previous year. They also acquired Jimmy Jackson from the Houston Rockets, but Jackson never reported to the team (which surprisingly was supported by leading NBA analysts on radio shows and TV networks) and was traded again, this time to the Phoenix Suns for Maciej Lampe, Casey Jacobsen, and Jackson Vroman, none of whom made a significant impact. The Hornets finished 18-64--tied for the second-worst record in the league, and the franchise's first losing season in 15 years. With the fourth pick in the NBA draft lottery, the Hornets got future all-star, point guard Chris Paul.

Due to the catastrophic devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina upon the communities of southeastern Louisiana, the Hornets franchise temporarily relocated their base of operations to Oklahoma City in 2005-06 and 2006-07. During this time, the franchise was known as the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. In these two seasons, the vast majority of home games were played at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, while a few remained at New Orleans Arena. Their practice facility while in Oklahoma City was the Sawyer Center on the campus of Southern Nazarene University (SNU). and the team held its 2006 training camp at their New Orleans practice facility, the Alario Center, in Westwego, Louisiana.

For the 2005-06 season, the team played 36 games in Oklahoma City, with one game taking place at the Lloyd Noble Center on the campus of the University of Oklahoma due to a conflict at the Ford Center; three in New Orleans; and one at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on the campus of LSU. The intent had been to play 5 games in all at Baton Rouge, but strong progress made on restoring the New Orleans Arena made the return to New Orleans a better option.

The Hornets started off the 2005–06 NBA season better than expected, but did not make the playoffs. Backup center Chris Andersen received a two-year ban due to a drug violation, it seemed to spark the Hornets to a hot streak, and shortly after the Hornets briefly held the sixth seed in the West. Eventually, however, the team went cold, losing 12 out of 13 games to drop out of the playoff race, setting an ignominious NBA record in the process when they scored 16 points in the second half of a game in Los Angeles versus the Clippers. The Hornets rebounded to make one final push at the end of the season for a playoff spot, but finished 38-44, 10th place in the Western Conference and 6 games out of a playoff spot. Despite the losing record, Chris Paul won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in a landslide, and several Hornets were also in contention for other individual awards.

On June 28, the Hornets selected Hilton Armstrong and Cedric Simmons in the first round of the 2006 NBA Draft. They also selected Marcus Vinicius from Brazil in the 2nd round.

The Hornets opted to keep their base of operations in Oklahoma City for the 2006-07 season due to the continued recovery efforts in New Orleans but promised to return to New Orleans full time, possibly as early as 2007.

The Hornets made major roster changes after the 2005-06 season in hopes of advancing to the Western Conference postseason for the first time ever. They traded J.R. Smith and P.J. Brown to the Chicago Bulls for Tyson Chandler. They let Speedy Claxton sign with the Atlanta Hawks, but filled their backup PG position with free agents Bobby Jackson and Jannero Pargo. They also inked Peja Stojakovic from the Indiana Pacers.

During the 2006-2007 season, the Hornets played 35 home games in Oklahoma City and 6 in New Orleans during the season. The team finished the regular season with a 39-43 record, one more win than the 2005-2006 season.

The team's successful operation in Oklahoma City arguably contributed to the city being named as the new home of the former Seattle SuperSonics franchise starting in the 2008-09 NBA season (see Oklahoma City Thunder).

The Hornets franchise returned to New Orleans full-time for the 2007–2008 season, with all 41 home games played in the New Orleans Arena. League officials had stressed from the beginning the desire for the franchise to return to New Orleans once it proved feasible and that they would make a good-faith effort to assist with the recovery. To that end, the 2008 NBA All-Star Game and its accompanying festivities were awarded to New Orleans and a serious marketing campaign was commenced in February 2007. Subsequently, various corporate sponsorship agreements were signed (under the umbrella of the Crescent City Champions), with Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Capital One, and Cox Communications among them.

Attendance at the New Orleans Arena, while tepid at first, picked up considerably in the months of March and April 2008 with the team registering sell-outs in 12 of its last 17 regular season home games, and the final 13 total games (including playoffs). The team has also publicly announced the sale of over 10,000 season tickets for the 2008-2009 season, a record total since the relocation from Charlotte.

The Hornets largely stood pat heading into the 2007-2008 season. They did, however, sign free agents Morris Peterson and Melvin Ely, while letting go of former first round draft pick Cedric Simmons. The club also extended the contract of reserve guard Jannero Pargo, and selected Kansas forward Julian Wright with the 13th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft.

Healthier than previous seasons, the Hornets stormed to a 29–12 record at the halfway mark. Having the best record in the Western Conference on February 3 meant that Byron Scott would coach the 2008 Western Conference All-Stars at home in the New Orleans Arena. Scott was joined by two of his players, as both Chris Paul and David West were selected as All-Star reserves. Chris Paul was nominated for NBA MVP 2008 and placed 2nd in voting. On February 21 the Hornets made an in-season trade with the Houston Rockets acquiring swingman Bonzi Wells and backup point guard Mike James for veteran guard Bobby Jackson.

The Hornets completed the regular season with a record of 56–26, marking the season the most successful ever. The Hornets also won their first ever division title, winning the Southwest Division ahead of the San Antonio Spurs. Having clinched the 2nd overall seed for the Western Conference, the Hornets beat the Dallas Mavericks in the first round. The Hornets posted decisive wins against the 3rd seed San Antonio Spurs in the first two games of their first ever Western Conference Semi-finals since the move to New Orleans, but eventually lost to the defending champion Spurs 3 games to 4 in a tightly contested series.

In August 2008, the Hornets unveiled a modified logo and new uniforms with the colors of Creole blue, purple, and Mardi Gras gold. The script was changed as an allusion to the wrought iron architecture of New Orleans. An additional third logo was introduced, with the "NOLA" abbreviation and a trumpet.

Having experienced the most successful season in franchise history, both in the regular season and the playoffs, the 2009 NBA season was viewed with great expectations for the Hornets franchise. Several pundits picked the Hornets to repeat as winners of the Southwest Division and as a potential Western Conference champion.

The core players from the previous season were all back for 2008–2009. Swingman James Posey was signed as a free agent from the Boston Celtics in July, while reserve guard Jannero Pargo opted for the Russian Basketball Super League. Prior to the 2008 NBA Draft the Portland Trail Blazers acquired the 27th pick in the draft from the Hornets for cash considerations.

In December the Hornets solidified the point guard position by acquiring Antonio Daniels in a three-team deal, giving up seldomly used guard Mike James and a future second-round draft pick. More notably, on February 18 it was announced that starting center Tyson Chandler had been traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forwards Joe Smith and Chris Wilcox in what was generally perceived as a payroll-shedding move. However, within a day, the trade was rescinded due to concerns regarding Chandlers turf toe.

For the second year in a row the Hornets were represented with two players at the NBA All Star Game as Chris Paul was voted in by the fans as a starter, and David West was selected as a reserve by the NBA coaches.

The season in itself has been up and down for the Hornets, and by April it is clear that the record-breaking 56–26 record of 2007–2008 is unattainable in 2008–2009. This can to some extent be attributed to injury problems, most notably to Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic. However, as of April 11, the Hornets hold a 48–31 record, tied for 6th in the Western Conference and certain of making the playoffs for the second year in a row.

This is a partial list of the last five seasons completed by the Hornets. For the full season-by-season history, see New Orleans Hornets seasons.

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Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony playing for Syracuse

Carmelo Kiyan Anthony (born May 29, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Denver Nuggets, of the National Basketball Association. He has also played with the United States national basketball team. As a freshman in college, Anthony led Syracuse University to a 30–5 record and the school's first NCAA championship in men's basketball in 2003. He was named the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) of the 2003 NCAA Final Four and MVP of NCAA East Regional. He was also named the consensus national Freshman of the Year and was a unanimous choice as the Big East Conference Freshman of the Year. Anthony was selected as the third pick in the 2003 NBA Draft and named the 2005 Rookie Challenge MVP.

Anthony was born in the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, New York City. His father, after whom he is named, died of cancer when Anthony was two years old. When Anthony turned eight, his family moved to Baltimore, where he honed not only his athletic skills, but his survival skills. Kenny Minor, one of Anthony's childhood friends, said, "from drugs, to killings, to anything you can name that goes on in the roughest parts of town, we've seen and witnessed hands on. Those are the things that teach you toughness and keep you mentally focused on your goals." Sports would serve as an important diversion from the violence and drug dealing that were pervasive in the housing projects a few blocks from the homes of Anthony and his friends.

Anthony commuted to Towson Catholic High School for his first three years of high school. During the summer of 2000, when he grew five inches, he made a name for himself in the area, being named The Baltimore Sun's metro player of the year in 2001, as well as Baltimore Catholic League player of the year. Anthony transferred to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for his senior campaign. While at Oak Hill Academy, Anthony was named to the McDonald's All-American Team and won the Sprite Slam Jam dunk contest prior to the McDonald’s All-American game. He was also named a USA Today First-Team All-American and a Parade First-Team All-American.

Anthony played one season (2002-2003) at Syracuse University. He averaged 22.1 points (16th in the NCAA, 4th in the Big East) and 10.0 rebounds (19th in the NCAA, 3rd in the Big East, 1st among NCAA Division I freshmen). He helped guide the Orangemen to their first ever NCAA tournament title in 2003. He led the team in scoring, rebounding, minutes played (36.4 minutes per game), field goals made and free throws made and attempted. Anthony's 33-point outburst against the University of Texas in the Final Four set an NCAA tournament record for most points by a freshman.

Anthony said that he originally planned to stay at Syracuse for two to three seasons, but having already accomplished everything he set out to do, he chose to abandon his collegiate career (with Boeheim's blessing) and declared himself eligible for the 2003 NBA Draft. Some of Anthony's highlights in his time with Syracuse include being named Second-Team All-American by the Associated Press as a freshman, leading his team to a 30-5 record, capturing the school's first ever NCAA title and being the consensus pick for NCAA Freshman of the Year. He was also named to the All-Big East First Team and was the consensus selection for the Big East Conference Freshman of the Year.

Anthony's NBA career began on June 26, 2003, when he was chosen in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft draft by the Denver Nuggets. He was selected behind LeBron James (1st overall, Cleveland Cavaliers) and Darko Miličić (2nd overall, Detroit Pistons). He made his NBA regular season debut on October 29, 2003, in an 80-72 home win against the San Antonio Spurs. Anthony finished the night with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. In just his sixth career NBA game (November 7 versus the Los Angeles Clippers), Anthony scored 30 points, becoming the second youngest player in NBA history to score 30 points or more in a game (19 years, 151 days; Kobe Bryant was the youngest). It was the fewest amount of games a Nuggets rookie took to score 30 points in a contest since the ABA-NBA merger. On February 9, 2004, against the Memphis Grizzlies, Anthony became the third-youngest player to reach the 1,000-point plateau in NBA history with a 20-point effort in an 86-83 win. (See 2003-04 NBA season).

On February 13, 2004, Anthony participated in the Got Milk? Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend. In 30 minutes of playing time, Anthony scored 17 points, grabbed 3 rebounds and dished out 5 assists in a losing effort (142-118). On March 30 of that year, he scored 41 points against the Seattle SuperSonics to set a new Denver Nuggets franchise mark for most points in a game by a rookie. He also became the second-youngest player (19 years, 305 days) to score at least 40 points in a game in NBA history. After winning the Rookie of the Month award for the Western Conference in the month of April, Anthony became the fourth player in NBA history to capture all six of the Rookie of the Month awards in a season. The others to do so were David Robinson, Tim Duncan and fellow rookie LeBron James. Anthony was also named NBA Player of the Week twice (March 10, 2004 – March 14, 2004 and April 6, 2004 – April 10, 2004) and was a unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team selection. Anthony averaged 21.0 ppg during the season, which was more than any other rookie. That mark also placed him 12th overall in the entire league. Anthony was second in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting, finishing as the runner-up to the Cavaliers rookie standout, James.

Anthony was a major part in the turn around of the Denver Nuggets from league laughingstock to playoff contender. In the season before Anthony was drafted by the team, the Nuggets finished with a 17-65 record, which tied them for worst in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They finished the 2003-04 campaign with a 43-39 overall record, qualifying them as the eighth seed for the post-season. Anthony became the first NBA rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1989-90 season. The Nuggets faced the top-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round. In Anthony's first career playoff game, he had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, in a 106-92 loss at Minnesota. The Timberwolves eliminated the Nuggets in five games.

In Anthony's second season, he started all 82 games for the Denver Nuggets. He averaged 20.8 points per game, ranking him 19th in the NBA. Anthony placed 16th in the NBA for points per 48 minutes. On December 4, 2004, versus the Miami Heat, Anthony became the third-youngest player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career points. Only James and Bryant were younger when they reached that plateau. Anthony played again in the Got Milk? Rookie Challenge, this time suiting up for the sophomore squad. In front of his home fans of Denver (who were hosting the 2005 All-Star Game), Anthony scored a game-high 31 points to go along with 5 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals, en route to becoming the MVP of the game.

With Anthony's help, the Nuggets improved their season record by six games from the previous season, ending with a mark of 49-33. The Nuggets finished seventh place in the Western Conference (one spot higher than they finished the previous season). Denver faced the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round, winning the first game in San Antonio, 93-87. However, the Spurs won the next four games, eliminating the Nuggets from the playoffs.

Anthony played and started in 80 games during the season. He averaged 26.5 ppg (8th, NBA), 2.7 apg, 4.9 rpg and 1.1 spg. His eighth place finish in NBA scoring was the highest finish by a Denver player since the 1990-91 season, when Nuggets guard Michael Adams finished the season sixth in NBA scoring.

On November 23, 2005, with the Nuggets facing the two-time defending Eastern Conference Champion Detroit Pistons, Anthony hauled down his 1,000th career rebound. A month later, Anthony recorded a then career-high 45 points in a losing effort against the Philadelphia 76ers. On March 17, 2006, versus the Memphis Grizzlies, he scored 33 points to push his career point total over the 5,000 mark. Also, in doing so, he became the second youngest player to accomplish that feat (behind James). As the month of March came to a close, the Nuggets finished 11-5, and Anthony was named as the NBA Player of the Month for March. He also took home Player of the Week honors for March 13, 2006 – March 19, 2006.

During the season, Anthony made five game-winning shots in the last five seconds: at Houston on January 8, 2006; at home versus Phoenix on January 10; at Minnesota on February 24; at Indiana on March 15; at home versus the Los Angeles Lakers on April 6. All five of those game-winners were made on jump shots, while the shot against Minnesota was a three-point field goal. Anthony also made a shot in the final seconds to force overtime vs. the Dallas Mavericks on January 6. He made shots in the final 22 seconds against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 18, 2006, and the Philadelphia 76ers on March 9, which gave the Nuggets leads they would never lose.

Anthony was named to the All-NBA Third Team for the season, alongside Phoenix' Shawn Marion, Houston's Yao Ming, Philadelphia's Allen Iverson and Washington's Gilbert Arenas.

The Nuggets finished the season in third place, winning the Northwest Division for the first time in Anthony's career. Denver faced the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers held home court advantage in the series, due to ending the regular season with a better record (Denver finished 44-38; Los Angeles finished 47-35). The Clippers won the first two games of the series on their home floor. The Nuggets split their games at home in Denver (winning game three; losing game four). Denver then lost game five at Los Angeles, which eliminated the Nuggets from the playoffs.

In the eighth game of the season (a 117-109 home win against the Toronto Raptors), Anthony tied the franchise record of six-straight 30-point games recorded by Alex English (1982-83 season). Coincidentally, Alex English witnessed Anthony tie his record as English is now an Assistant Coach with the Toronto Raptors. Anthony fell short of establishing a new record in his ninth game (a 113-109 home victory over the Chicago Bulls) on November 21, as he finished with 29 points. After the Chicago victory, Anthony again tied the club record of six-straight 30-point games, failing to break it the second time around, as he scored 24 points in his 16th game (a 98-96 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks) on December 6).

On December 16, Anthony was one of many players involved in the infamous Knicks-Nuggets brawl during a game at Madison Square Garden. Footage showed Anthony laying a punch on the face of New York's Mardy Collins and subsequently backing away. As a result of his actions, Anthony was suspended for 15 games by NBA commissioner David Stern. Shortly thereafter, the Nuggets traded for Allen Iverson in a bid to form a deadly combination with Anthony. The duo didn't get to play alongside one another until a home game against the Memphis Grizzlies on January 22, which was the day Anthony was allowed to return from his 15-game suspension. Anthony finished the game with 28 points, as he and Iverson combined for 51 points.

On February 2, Anthony and fellow teammate J.R. Smith were involved in a minor car accident. Neither player was injured in the collision. The only information released by the team was that the car Smith was driving belonged to Anthony. Three days later, Anthony recorded his first ever NBA triple-double, with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, in a 113-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns. When the reserves for the Western Conference All-Star team were announced, Anthony was left off of the roster. However, with Yao Ming and Carlos Boozer out with injuries, NBA commissioner David Stern chose Anthony as a replacement (along with Josh Howard). Anthony scored 20 points with 9 rebounds in his All-Star debut. Anthony was the first Denver Nugget to be named an All-Star since Antonio McDyess in 2001.

Anthony won Player of the Week honors three times during the season (November 20–November 26; November 27–December 3; and February 5–February 11), and received Player of the Month honors for April, after leading the Nuggets to a 10-1 record for the month and into sixth place in the final regular season standings of the Western Conference. Anthony finished the season as the league's second leading scorer behind Bryant, with an average of 28.9 ppg, while adding 6.0 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.2 spg. He was named to All-NBA Third Team for the second straight year, along with Miami's Dwyane Wade, Detroit's Chauncy Billups, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett and Orlando's Dwight Howard. For the second time in three years, Anthony and the sixth-seeded Nuggets faced the third-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. In a virtual repeat of the 2005 first round playoff matchup between the two teams, Denver won the first game in San Antonio, 95-89, only to lose the next four games. The Nuggets were eliminated in the first round for the fourth straight year. In the playoff series against the Spurs, Anthony averaged a team-high 26.8 ppg to go along with 8.6 rpg, 1.2 apg and 1.0 spg.

On January 24, 2008, Anthony was named to his second consecutive NBA All-Star Game—his first as a starter. He finished as the leading vote-getter among Western Conference forwards (1,723,701 votes) and second in overall voting to Kobe Bryant (2,004,940 votes) among all Western Conference players. On February 8, Anthony scored a career-high 49 points in a 111-100 home win over the Washington Wizards. He had a field goal percentage of .760 on a 19-of-25 shooting effort, and his shooting percentage was the second highest in the last 13 years for a player who took 25 or more shots in a game (Bryant was first with a .769 field goal percentage on a 20-of-26 shooting effort, in a 99-94 road victory over the Houston Rockets on December 21, 2000).

On March 27, in a 118-105 Nuggets home win over the Dallas Mavericks, Anthony scored his 9,000th career point. He played in 77 games during the regular season, finishing as the NBA's fourth-leading scorer with 25.7 points per game, and had career-highs in rebounds per game (7.4) and steals per game (1.3). He tied his career-high in blocks per game (0.5), and ended the season with 3.4 assists per game, which was the second-best mark of his career.

The Nuggets finished the 2007-08 season with exactly 50 wins (50-32 overall record, tied for the third-best all-time Nuggets record since the team officially joined the NBA in 1976), following a 120-111 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the last game of the season. It was the first time since the 1987-88 NBA season that the Nuggets finished with at least 50 wins in a season. Denver ended up as the 8th seed in the Western Conference of the 2008 Playoffs, and their 50 wins marked the highest win total for an 8th seed in NBA history. It also meant that for the first time in NBA history, all eight playoff seeds in a conference had at least 50 wins. The Nuggets faced the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers (57-25 overall record) in the first round of the Playoffs. The seven games separating the Nuggets overall record and the Lakers overall record is the closest margin between an eighth seed and a top seed since the NBA went to a 16-team playoff format in 1983-84. The Lakers swept the Nuggets in four games, marking the second time in NBA history that a 50-win team was swept in a best-of-seven playoff series in the first round. For the series, Anthony averaged 22.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg (playoff career-high), 2.0 apg and 0.5 spg.

On December 10, 2008, in a 116-105 home win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, Anthony tied George Gervin for the most points scored in one quarter in NBA history by scoring 33 points in the third quarter. Gervin had set the record when he was competing against David Thompson for the scoring title on the last day of the 1977-78 season. Anthony shot 12 of 15 (80%) in the third quarter and finished the game with 45 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals.

On January 4, 2009, Anthony broke a bone in his hand in a game against the Indiana Pacers. He opted to have the hand splinted rather than have surgery; his recovery time was estimated at three to four weeks. He had already missed three games in late December with a sore elbow. Anthony returned from injury and to the Nuggets starting lineup on January 30, 2009 in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats in which he scored 19 points.

Anthony was suspended for one game by the Nuggets for staying on the court and refusing to leave the game after coach George Karl benched him during a game against the Indiana Pacers.

Since entering the NBA, Anthony has been the subject of numerous controversies. In 2004, he was cited for marijuana possession, after inspectors at Denver International Airport found marijuana in his backpack. Charges were later dropped after Anthony’s friend, James Cunningham, of St. Louis, signed an affidavit taking responsibility for the marijuana. That same year, Anthony appeared in a video entitled, Stop Snitchin', which warned that residents of Baltimore who collaborated with the police would face violence. Anthony later distanced himself from this video. In 2006, Anthony’s friend, Tyler Brandon Smith, was pulled over in Anthony’s vehicle and cited for marijuana possession and three traffic violations. Later that year, he was involved in the infamous Knicks-Nuggets brawl during a game at Madison Square Garden. He was suspended 15 games as a result.

On April 14, 2008, Anthony was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, after being pulled over on southbound Interstate 25 at 20th Street in Denver for weaving through lanes and not dimming his lights. Police spokesperson Detective Sharon Hahn said Anthony, who was alone in the car, failed a series of sobriety tests. He was ticketed and then released at police headquarters to a "sober responsible party." A court date was set for May 14. The Nuggets suspended Anthony for two games due to the arrest. On June 24, 2008, Anthony pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while ability-impaired. The original sentence of driving while under the influence was dropped, and he was subsequently sentenced to one year of probation, 24 hours of community service and US$1,000 in court costs and fines.

Anthony was one of 12 players named to the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team in the summer of 2002. He was a member of the bronze-medal winning Team USA at the 2002 Men’s Junior World Championship held in La Asuncion, Margarita, Venezuela. He started all five contests and averaged a team-best 15.6 ppg despite playing an average of just 22.2 minutes an outing. His 6.2 rebound mark ranked second on the club. Anthony had 15 points and nine rebounds in a first-round win against Dominican Republic. He had 21 points and seven boards in 21 minutes versus Mexico, another Team USA triumph. He keyed a 75-73 victory against Argentina with a team-leading 23 points. In a two-point semifinal loss to host Venezuela, Anthony contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds. Team USA earned the bronze by beating Argentina, 71-65. The squad was coached by Oregon mentor Ernie Kent. Anthony had previous USA Basketball experience as a participant in the 2001 Youth Development Festival.

Anthony was chosen as a member of the 2004 USA Olympic basketball team that won the bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He averaged 2.4 ppg and 1.6 apg.

Anthony was named co-captain (along with fellow 2003 draftees LeBron James and Dwyane Wade) of Team USA at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. The team won the bronze medal. On August 23, 2006, Anthony set the U.S. scoring record in a game with 35 points against Italy in the said FIBA tournament. The record was previously held by Kenny Anderson with 34 points in 1990. Anthony was named to the FIBA World Championship All-Tournament Team, posting averages of 19.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 1.6 apg.

On January 16, 2006, Anthony was chosen as USA Basketball's Male Athlete of the Year after his performance at the FIBA World Championship.

Anthony was also a member of Team USA during the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship. The team went undefeated, going 10-0. Anthony ended up as the tournament's second-leading scorer with a 21.2 ppg average (191 points in 9 games), which was behind Leandro Barbosa of Brazil. Anthony also added 5.2 rpg and 1.4 apg. He equalled the previous record of 28 points set by Allen Iverson in a qualifying tournament, which was later broken by James, who scored 31 points in the title-clinching win against Argentina.

Anthony was also named to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, again alongside James and Wade with Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd among others, with the mission of bringing back the Gold Medal to the USA. The team overpowered its opponents with an average winning margin of 32.2 points in five games. The team eliminated Australia in the quarterfinals by 31 then finally went over its final four mishaps in the past by beating Argentina by 20 points. After playing second fiddle to his teammates up to the quarterfinal match, Anthony played his best game against Argentina by topscoring with 21 points, making 3 of 14 field goals and 13-of-13 in free throws, setting USA Olympic game records for made free throws and free throw percentage.

In the gold medal game, Team USA defeated 2006 World Champion Spain and lived up to its "Redeem Team" moniker, with Anthony scoring 13 points. Anthony posted averages of 11.5 ppg (92 points/8 games), 4.3 rpg (34 rebounds/8 games) and 1.0 spg (8 steals/8 games).

Off the court, Anthony donates time and money to causes in Denver and Baltimore. In Denver, Anthony is a spokesman for the Family Resource Center and helps organize a Christmas party, entitled "A Very Melo Christmas," for less well-off children. In Baltimore, Anthony hosts an annual 3-on-3 tournament, known as "Melo's H.O.O.D. Movement 3 on 3 Challenge (Holding Our Own Destiny)" and is helping fund the revitalization of a local community center for local youth.

After the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Anthony donated $35,000 to relief efforts. He donated $1,000 per point scored against San Antonio and Houston on January 8 and 9, 2005 respectively.

Anthony also committed $3 million toward the construction of a newly-planned basketball practice facility at his alma mater, Syracuse University. According to the NBA's official website, "Anthony's gift represents one of the largest individual donations to Syracuse University Athletics and is also believed to be one of largest by a current professional athlete to the school they attended." The practice facility will be called the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center.

Anthony has two brothers, Robert and Wilford, a sister Michelle, and a half-sister Daphne. His mother, Mary, is African American, and his father was Puerto Rican.

Anthony got engaged to MTV VJ LaLa Vasquez on Christmas Day, 2004. They have a son, Kiyan Carmelo Anthony, born on March 7, 2007.

Anthony was a guest star in the "Lost and Found" episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. In the episode, Ned finds a pair of sneakers autographed by Anthony in the school's lost and found and attempts to claim the shoes for his own.

Anthony was in the music video for Common's song "Be" from the album Be in 2005.

Anthony is the only player to appear on the cover of all three EA Sports basketball franchises (NCAA March Madness, NBA Live and NBA Street). He was on the covers of NCAA March Madness 2004, NBA Live 2005 and NBA Street Homecourt.

In January 2009, Colorado Sports Hall of Fame selected Anthony as its professional athlete of the year for 2008. He and wrestler Henry Cejudo, also a 2008 gold medalist, were chosen to be the special award headliners for the induction banquet to be held on April 14 2009.

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Source : Wikipedia