Kevin Garnett

3.3277591973223 (897)
Posted by kaori 03/07/2009 @ 23:10

Tags : kevin garnett, basketball players, basketball, sports

News headlines
Kevin Garnett eager to get better - Boston Herald
By Mark Murphy / Celtics Notebook Had the Celtics [team stats] somehow made their way to Cleveland, Kevin Garnett was not going to be part of the package, according to Doc Rivers. “We were hoping, and I obviously didn't think it would happen,” the...
Kevin Garnett needs surgery on injured knee - Rotoworld.com
Celtics coach Doc Rivers said Kevin Garnett will need surgery this summer on his ailing right knee. There was an outside chance that KG could have returned during the playoffs, had Boston advanced past the second round. "If we had won this series,...
What of the future? You do the math - Boston Globe
The Celtics have been operating without Kevin Garnett, who is their best rebounder and defender, as well as their most reliable frontcourt scorer and passer. He is also universally acknowledged as the team's emotional and spiritual leader....
RoundCast: Missing Kevin Garnett - FanHouse
The talk turned to what things might have been like had Kevin Garnett been able to go in these playoffs, and we also wondered what the Rockets' run against the Lakers means in the grand scheme of things, if anything at all. All that, plus predictions...
Celtics were running on empty for too long - South Coast Today
When they lost Kevin Garnett in February, the expectation was that no matter how much time he missed, he'd be back for the playoffs. That wasn't the case, and just one game into the postseason journey, they lost backup Leon Powe as well....
Mikki Moore than OK with returning - Boston Herald
Considering Kevin Garnett and Leon Powe were out with injuries and Moore still did not get any significant playing time, it would seem the Celts sent a message of sorts. Moore acknowledged the team hasn't spoken to him about a return for 2009-10....
RUMOR: Chris Cohan and Robert Rowell said no to Kevin Garnett ... - Golden State of Mind
Kevin Garnett fit the bill perfectly. Everyone knew that. With KG the greatest show on hardwood would be a legit contender and at the very least a thrilling box office smash and the talk of the league. I don't care which players were on the table....
NBA Playoffs: How Would The Final Four Fair Without Their Superstar? - Bleacher Report
by Brandon Ribak (Columnist) The Boston Celtics lost the second-round series highly due to the fact that they were without their superstar, Kevin Garnett. As obvious as it is, it is extremely difficult for a team to win games when their main man is not...
Pau Gasol is Ready for Kenyon Martin - Dime Magazine
At the same time, you've got to play through it.” Many remember last season's NBA Finals, when the Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett seemed to back Gasol down, when all the Lakers seemed to wilt. Martin tries to be as hard-edged as Garnett is....
Seventh games evoke special memories in all sports - Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Before the injury to Kevin Garnett, it seemed like the NBA finals would be a repeat of last season, another Celtics-Lakers lovefest, although that series didn't come close to matching the hype. That's because the national media tried to compare these...

Kevin Garnett

Kevin Garnett.jpg

Kevin Maurice Garnett (born May 19, 1976 in Mauldin, South Carolina) is an American professional basketball player for the NBA's Boston Celtics. After graduating from Farragut Career Academy, he was the fifth player drafted in 1995. He became the first NBA player drafted directly out of high school in 20 years. His accomplishments include being voted Most Valuable Player of the 2003-04 season, NBA Defensive Player of the Year of the 2007-08 season and being named to twelve All-Star teams and nine All-NBA and All-Defensive Teams, respectively. He is also the all-time leader in NBA seasons played with averages of at least 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists per game.

Garnett was born in Mauldin, South Carolina to Shirley Garnett and O'Lewis McCullough. In his first three high school years, Garnett played for Mauldin High School. However, during the summer prior to his senior year of high school, Kevin was in the general vicinity of a fight between black and white students. Although not directly involved, Garnett was arrested. Due to the racially charged incident and fearful of being a target, Garnett decided to leave Mauldin. He transferred to Farragut Career Academy in Chicago, Illinois for his senior year of high school. He led Farragut to a 28–2 record and was named National High School Player of the Year by USA Today. He was named Mr. Basketball for the State of Illinois after averaging 25.2 points, 17.9 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 6.5 blocks while shooting 66.7% from the field. In four years of high school, Garnett posted an impressive 2,533 points, 1,807 rebounds and 739 blocked shots. He was named the Most Outstanding Player at the McDonald's All-American Game after registering 18 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 blocked shots, and then declared himself eligible for the 1995 NBA Draft. Garnett played alongside Ronnie Fields in high school, who also followed a professional career. Garnett also excelled in soccer during his high school days.

Garnett was drafted with the fifth pick of the 1995 NBA Draft by the struggling Minnesota Timberwolves, and became the first player to be drafted directly out of high school since 1975. After joining the NBA for the 1989-90 season, the Timberwolves had not won more than 29 games in any season. In Garnett's rookie season, the Timberwolves were in the midst of a transition phase; they replaced Bill Blair with Flip Saunders as head coach early in the season and made several trades. Garnett initially came off the bench in his rookie year, but moved into the starting lineup soon after Saunders became head coach. In his rookie year, Garnett and fellow newcomer Tom Gugliotta carried the scoring load. Garnett did not immediately leap to stardom as later prep-to-pro prospects such as Amare Stoudemire, LeBron James and Dwight Howard would, but he did have a very respectable rookie year. He averaged 10.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game and was voted into the All-Rookie Second Team. Despite having some promising players, the Timberwolves suffered through their seventh consecutive sub-30 win season and failed to make the playoffs. At the time Garnett was the youngest NBA player in history at 19 years and 11 months of age.

Before the next season, the Timberwolves made a draft-day trade for point guard Stephon Marbury of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. During the season Garnett posted improving averages of 17.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 blocks and 1.7 steals. He also had two games where he registered eight blocks. With a 40–42 record, the Timberwolves made their first playoff appearance in franchise history, Garnett and Gugliotta made their first All-Star appearances, and Marbury established himself as a valuable young lead guard. However, the Houston Rockets, led by Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, and Charles Barkley proved to be too much as the Timberwolves were swept 3–0 in the first round of the 1997 NBA Playoffs.

During the 1997-98 NBA season, the Timberwolves and Garnett agreed on a six-year contract extension that was worth an unparalleled $126 million. This was met with shock around the NBA, and the Timberwolves were used as scapegoats for the lockout that occurred the next season. The contract was a risky move and many pundits speculated that the deal would make it impossible for the Wolves to sign new players or even keep their own. Despite the furor over his new contract, Garnett continued to improve, averaging 18.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.7 steals per game. Again, he was an All-Star, and the Timberwolves finished with their first winning record in franchise history (45–37 for the season). For the second consecutive year the young Timberwolves bowed out of the playoffs in the first round, this time losing 2–3 against the Seattle SuperSonics and superstar point guard Gary Payton. The two wins against the Sonics marked the Wolves' first-ever playoff game wins. The off-season started poorly for the Timberwolves though as 20-point per game scorer Tom Gugliotta left for the Phoenix Suns.

In the lockout-shortened season that followed, Garnett broke through as a superstar. Putting up stats of 20.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 blocks per game, he was named to the All-NBA Third Team. However, midway through the season Stephon Marbury was traded to the New Jersey Nets after a dispute over his possible contract extension. Although the Wolves received two-time All-Star Terrell Brandon in return, they were not able to overcome the discord and limped into the playoffs as the 8th seed with a 25–25 record. The Wolves were defeated in the first round again, this time losing 1–3 to the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs who were led by young superstar and eventual NBA Finals MVP Tim Duncan. In the next season, Garnett continued his notable play, averaging 22.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.5 steals per game and made the first of his four All-NBA First Team appearances. Assisted by sharpshooting rookie forward Wally Szczerbiak and steady veteran Brandon, the Wolves posted a franchise-best 50-32 record, but succumbed in the first round to the Portland Trail Blazers 3–1.

In the 1999-00 NBA season, Timberwolves' guard Malik Sealy was killed by a drunk driver and the NBA ruled that the free agent signing of Joe Smith was illegal. The NBA punished the team for the illegal signing by stripping the team of three first-round draft picks, fining Glen Taylor (the owner of the team) $3.5 million, and banning general manager Kevin McHale for one year. Garnett led the Wolves to a 47–35 record and made the All-NBA Second Team, but again, the Wolves did not survive the first round of the playoffs, losing to the Spurs 3–1.

In the 2001-02 NBA season, Garnett posted another notable season, his averages of 21.2 points, 12.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 steals per game enough for another All-NBA Second Team nomination. However, the Timberwolves bowed out in the first round for the sixth consecutive time, this time getting swept 3–0 by the Dallas Mavericks led by Michael Finley, Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki. Garnett's next season was one of the best of his career, his 23.0 ppg / 13.0 rpg / 6.0 apg / 1.6 bpg / 1.4 spg season earning him his second All-NBA First Team nomination and second place in the MVP voting. The Timberwolves posted a good 51–31 record, but for the seventh consecutive time, they did not make it out of the first round, this time losing to the Los Angeles Lakers, 4 games to 2.

In the 2003-04 NBA season, things finally seemed to come together for Garnett. In past years, the Wolves had practically been a one-man show, but now, the Timberwolves had made two valuable acquisitions: highly talented but volatile swingman Latrell Sprewell and the seasoned two-time NBA champion Sam Cassell, who supplanted Troy Hudson at point guard. In addition, defensive center Ervin Johnson complemented the inconsistent Michael Olowokandi. Powered by the best supporting cast in his career, Garnett averaged 24.2 points, 13.9 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1.5 steals per game for the season, earning his first Most Valuable Player award. With a franchise-record 58 wins, the Wolves stormed into the playoffs, and finally vanquished their playoff bane by defeating the Denver Nuggets 4–1 in the first round. After disposing of the strong Sacramento Kings 4–3 in the Western Conference Semifinals, Garnett and the Timberwolves met the Lakers. Against the Lakers, playmaker Cassell went down with a back injury. With reserve point guard Hudson also injured, the Timberwolves alternated between third playmaker Darrick Martin and shooting guard Fred Hoiberg at the "one", or even running Garnett himself as point forward or a real point guard. The Los Angeles Lakers pulled off a 4–2 series win.

In the 2004-05 NBA season, Cassell and Sprewell demanded better contracts and Hudson was unhappy as a reserve. Garnett was named to the All-NBA Second Team, but with a mediocre 44–38 record, the Timberwolves failed to make the playoffs after eight consecutive years. The 2005-06 NBA season brought more frustration for Garnett. With Sprewell and Cassell refusing to stay and stuck with a mediocre squad, the Timberwolves skidded to a 33–49 record. Despite Garnett's play, the team logged the second worst record since Garnett joined the franchise. On 10 May 2007 Garnett was named to the All-NBA Third Team.

During the 2007 off-season, Taylor admitted that although he had planned on retaining Garnett, he would finally listen to trade offers. Garnett's name was mentioned in various trade rumors involving the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns, and Dallas Mavericks.

On July 31 2007, Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, cash considerations, Boston's 2009 first-round draft pick (top 3 protected) and the 2009 first-round pick Minnesota had traded to Boston in the Ricky Davis-Wally Szczerbiak trade of 2006. The 7-for-1 deal constitutes the largest number of players traded for a single player in league history. At the time of the trade, Garnett had the longest current tenure of any player in the NBA with one team, having played for the Timberwolves for his first 12 seasons (a total of 927 games). Garnett said that he was proud to be a part of the Celtics, and hoped to continue its proud tradition and basketball success. On the day the trade was announced, Garnett signed a three-year $60 million contract extension that will start after his current deal runs out in 2009.

On August 1, the day after signing his Celtics contract, Garnett threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park prior to a Red Sox-Orioles game. Garnett has claimed to be a long-time Red Sox fan.

Garnett led all players in voting for the 2008 NBA All-Star Game. Garnett received 2,399,148 votes, the sixth highest total in NBA All-Star balloting history. Among active players, Garnett's 11 All-Star selections rank second to Phoenix Suns center Shaquille O'Neal, who has appeared 14 times in the All-Star Game. However, Garnett was unable to play due to an abdominal strain, and Detroit Pistons forward Rasheed Wallace was named by NBA Commissioner David Stern to replace him. East All-Star head coach Doc Rivers replaced Garnett with Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh in the starting lineup.

On March 8, Garnett passed 20,000 points for his career, becoming the 32nd player in NBA history to reach the mark, with a layup in the 2nd quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies. The only other active players who have passed that mark are Shaquille O'Neal, Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant.

On April 22, Garnett was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year for the 2007-08 season. It was the only major award a Celtic player had not claimed since the franchise's foundation in 1946. However, Garnett claimed it was a team effort which helped him win the award.

On June 17, Garnett helped the Celtics to their 17th NBA Championship, with 26 points and 14 rebounds in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

On October 31, 2008, Garnett became the youngest player in NBA history to reach 1,000 career games, at 32 years and 165 days.

Garnett married long time girlfriend Brandi Padilla during a private ceremony in California. The wedding was the reason he did not take part in the Athens 2004 Olympic games. The marriage also made Garnett the brother-in-law of music producer Jimmy Jam Harris. Garnett is also a cousin to former Los Angeles Lakers player Shammond Williams, and is the half brother of Louis McCullough, who played for the ABA's Syracuse Raging Bullz.

In November 2005, Garnett donated $1.2 million to Oprah's Angel Network to help with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

He is a soccer fan, being known to follow Chelsea F.C. of the English Premier League, as well as having been spotted at various Los Angeles Galaxy games.

In the New England area, Garnett is a resident of Concord, Massachusetts, owning a home worth roughly $4.6 million.

Although Garnett is officially listed as 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) by the NBA, many, including the Celtics organization, believe he is 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m). During the 2007 NBA All-Star Game, Garnett admitted in an interview with Craig Sager to be 6 ft 11.75 in (2.13 m) tall.

His nicknames include "The Big Ticket", "KG", "Da Kid", and formerly "The Franchise" (after being known as the Minnesota Timberwolves' franchise player).

Garnett missed two Celtics practices leading up to the playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks to attend the birth of his baby on April 18, 2008.

To the top



San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs logo

The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The Spurs are one of four former American Basketball Association teams (along with the Nets, Pacers, and Nuggets) to remain intact in the NBA after the 1976 ABA-NBA merger and is the only former ABA team to have won an NBA championship, which they have done four times. As of July 2008, the Spurs rank third among active franchises for the highest winning percentage in NBA history. With the 2007 sweep, the Spurs have the second highest winning percentage in NBA Finals history. They have only missed the playoffs 4 times as an NBA franchise.

In their 32 NBA seasons, since 1976–1977, the Spurs have captured 15 division titles, which gives the Spurs the most division titles in the NBA during that 32-year span (the Lakers are second with 14). Among the four major U.S. sports, the Atlanta Braves and the New York Yankees are the only other teams with 15 divisional titles during the last 32 years. The Pittsburgh Steelers have 16 division titles during that time period.

The Spurs are located in the San Antonio area, and the city shares a special bond with the team almost unmatched in the rest of the NBA, partially due to this being the city's only team in any of the four major U.S. professional sports. Spurs players are active members of the San Antonio community, and many former Spurs are still active in San Antonio, like David Robinson (basketball) with Carver Academy and George Gervin with the George Gervin Youth Center.

In part because of this community involvement, Spurs fans have been among the most loyal in the NBA. The Spurs set several NBA attendance records while playing at the Alamodome, including the largest crowd ever for a NBA Finals game in 1999, and the Spurs continue to sell out the smaller, more intimate AT&T Center (formerly SBC Center) on a regular basis. The Spurs' rallying cry of "Go Spurs, Go!" has endeared itself to the city of San Antonio, and the phrase pops up all over the city as the season progresses into the playoffs and the Spurs inch closer to a possible title.

San Antonio has also garnered praise for the way its citizens celebrate Spurs championships. When the Spurs win a title, San Antonians jam up the streets downtown, march around waving flags, throw confetti and honk car horns until dawn, but with little incidence of crime. The team floats down the San Antonio Riverwalk on boats where fans can view their champions.

A unique part of every Spurs season comes in February when the team is forced into an extended road-trip due to the occupation of its arena by the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo. This is informally known as the "Rodeo Road Trip," and a time that typically starts the Spurs' run to the playoffs; indeed, starting in 1999 the Spurs have consistently posted phenomenal road records during this period, including an NBA-record longest single road trip winning streak (8 games, achieved in 2003).

As of the 2007–2008 season, the Spurs have one of the highest winning percentages of any professional team, in any sport, since the turn of the millennium.

The San Antonio Spurs started out as the Dallas Chaparrals of the original version of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967. Led by Player/Coach Cliff Hagan the Dallas Chaparrals were one of 11 teams to take the floor in the inaugural season of the upstart ABA. The Chaps second season was a bit of a disappointment, as the team finished in 4th place with a mediocre 41–37 record. In the playoffs the Chaparrals quickly fell to the New Orleans Buccaneers. The team suffered from poor attendance and general disinterest in Dallas. In fact, during the 1970-71 season, the name "Dallas" was dropped in favor of "Texas" and an attempt was made to make the team a regional one, playing games in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Tarrant County Coliseum, as well as Lubbock, Texas, at the Lubbock Municipal Coliseum, but this proved a failure and the team returned full-time to Dallas in time for the 1971-72 season, splitting their games at Moody Coliseum and Dallas Convention Center Arena.

After missing the playoffs for the first time in their existence in the 1972-73 season, the team was put up for sale. The team was acquired by a group of 36 San Antonio business men, led by Angelo Drossos and Red McCombs who actually leased the team from the original Dallas ownership group, relocated the team to San Antonio, Texas and renamed them the San Antonio Gunslingers. However, before they even played a game the name was changed to Spurs. The team's primary colors were changed from the red, white, and blue of the Chaparrals to the now familiar silver and black motif of the Spurs.

In the first game at the HemisFair Arena the Spurs would lose to the San Diego Conquistadors, despite attracting a noisy crowd of 6,000 fans. A smothering defense was the team's image, as they held opponents less than 100 points an ABA record 49 times. The early Spurs were led by ABA veteran James Silas, and the team would get stronger as the season went on as they twice took advantage of the Virginia Squires, acquiring Swen Nater, who would go on to win Rookie of the Year, in November, and "The Iceman" George Gervin in January. The ABA tried to halt the Gervin deal, claiming it was detrimental to the league, but a judge would rule in the Spurs' favor, and Gervin made his Spurs debut on February 7. The Spurs would go on to finish with a 45-39 record, good for 3rd place in the Western Division. In the playoffs, the Spurs would battle the Indiana Pacers to the bitter end before falling in 7 games. Following the season, the ownership decided to complete the purchase and to keep the team in San Antonio permanently.

The team quickly made themselves at home at San Antonio's HemisFair Arena, playing to increasingly large and raucous crowds. Despite a respectable 17-10 start during the 1974-75 season, Coach Tom Nissalke was fired as owners become tired of the Spurs' slow defensive style of games. He would be replaced by Bob Bass, who stated that the Spurs would have an entirely new playing style: "It is my belief that you cannot throw a set offense at another professional team for 48 minutes. You've got to let them play some schoolyard basketball." George Gervin and James Silas took that style to heart, as the Spurs became an exciting fast breaking team on the way to a solid 51-33 record, good enough for 2nd place in the West. Gervin: "Our whole theory was that you shoot 100 times, we'll shoot 107." However, in the playoffs the Spurs would fall to the Indiana Pacers in 6 games.

Even though playoff success would elude the team, the Spurs had suddenly found themselves among the top teams in the ABA. In 1976, the ABA folded, threatening the future of San Antonio's sole professional sports franchise. The NBA, however, decided to admit four ABA teams into the league, with the Spurs being one of them, along with the Denver Nuggets, the Indiana Pacers and the New York Nets.

The Spurs and the other three ABA teams agreed to pay the owners of two other strong ABA teams that folded instead of joining the NBA. John Y. Brown, Jr., the owner of the Kentucky Colonels, received $3 million, which he used to purchase the NBA's Buffalo Braves and later the Boston Celtics, after selling star guard Louie Dampier to the Spurs. The owners of the Spirits of St. Louis received a portion of all television profits during their NBA tenure, which amounts to roughly 1/7th of the Spurs' television profit every year. This agreement has placed particular financial pressure on the Spurs and the other three former ABA teams.

Although there was some initial skepticism in league circles regarding the potential success and talent levels of the incoming ABA teams, the Spurs would prove worthy of NBA inclusion during the 1976-77 season with a record of 44-38, good for a tie for fourth place overall in the Eastern Conference. This was done in spite of significant handicaps the NBA imposed on the incoming ABA teams, limiting their draft picks and television revenues during their early time in the merged league.

During the 1977-78 season, George Gervin and David Thompson of the Denver Nuggets battled all season for the NBA scoring title. On the final day of the season, Thompson took the lead by scoring 73 points in an afternoon game against the Detroit Pistons. That night Gervin knew that he needed 58 points against the Jazz in New Orleans. Gervin got off to a good start by scoring 20 points in the 1st Quarter. In the 2nd, The Iceman was even better, setting a single period record with 33 points. Early on in the 3rd period Gervin scored his 58 points on the way to 63 capturing the scoring title. While Gervin was lighting up the scoreboard the Spurs were winning the Central Division with a 52-30 record. However, in the playoffs the Spurs would be stunned in 6 games by the Washington Bullets despite an outstanding series from Gervin who averaged 33.2 ppg. The following season in the 1979 Conference Finals the Spurs led the series 3-1 but the Bullets came back to win the last 3 games and came from behind to win the 7th game 107-105 handing the Spurs an absolute heartbreaking loss. The Spurs would have to wait another 20 years to make it to their first NBA finals.

The Spurs would go on to capture 5 division titles in their first 7 years in the NBA and became a perennial playoff participant. However, in the playoffs, the Spurs would never find a break, losing to teams like the Washington Bullets, the Boston Celtics, the Houston Rockets, and the Los Angeles Lakers.

As the 80s progressed, the Spurs would see their shares of highs and lows. For the first few seasons of the decade, the Spurs continued their success of the 1970s with records of 52–30 in 1980-81, 48–34 in 1981-82, and 53–29 in 1982-83. Despite their regular season success, the Spurs were unable to win any NBA championships, losing in the Western Conference playoffs to the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 1981 and the Los Angeles Lakers in in 4 games 1982 and in 6 games in the 1983 Western Finals despite getting both wins at the Forum in the 1983 series. They lost every home game in both series in 1982 and 1983 vs the Lakers as Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and co were too strong. The Spurs didn't make the conference finals until 1995.

After the 1984-85 season, Gervin, who arguably had been the Spurs' biggest star, was traded to the Chicago Bulls in what effectively signaled the end of the era that began when the Spurs first moved to San Antonio.

The next four seasons were a dark time in Spurs' history, with the team having a combined record of 115–215 from 1985-86 until 1988-89. The losing seasons and dwindling attendance often caused the Spurs to be mentioned as a potential candidate for relocation to another city. The lone bright spot during this period was the Spurs being awarded the top pick in the 1987 NBA draft through NBA Draft Lottery. The Spurs used this selection on United States Naval Academy standout David Robinson. Although drafted in 1987, the Spurs would have to wait until the 1989-90 season to see Robinson actually play, due to a two-year commitment he had to serve with the United States Navy. Although there was speculation that Robinson might choose not to sign with the Spurs and to become a free agent once his Navy commitment ended, Robinson decided in the end to come to San Antonio.

Although the 1988-89 season was the second-worst in Spurs history at 21–61, it was notable for several reasons. It was the first season of full ownership for Red McCombs, who was an original investor in the team and helped solidify local ownership for the team. Additionally, the 1988–89 season featured the debut of Larry Brown as the Spurs head coach who moved to San Antonio after winning the NCAA National Championship with the University of Kansas in 1988.

As the 1980s ended, the 1989–90 season proved to be the rebirth of the Spurs franchise. With his tour of duty over, David Robinson arrived to the Spurs along with the newly added Terry Cummings and 1989 draftee Sean Elliott. With these additions, the Spurs achieved the then-biggest one-season turnaround in NBA History, finishing with a record of 56–26. The Spurs eventually lost in the Western Conference semifinals after losing a seven-game series to the eventual Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers. Robinson had one of the most successful rookie seasons for a center in NBA history, finishing the season as Rookie of the Year while averaging 24.3 points and 12.0 rebounds.

The Spurs began the 1990s with great optimism. The team became a perennial playoff presence, although unable to advance further than the second round of the NBA Playoffs under Brown's tutelage. Late in the 1991-92 season, McCombs fired Brown and replaced him with Bob Bass who finished the season as interim head coach. Without a healthy David Robinson, the Spurs were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns. McCombs made national headlines during the summer of 1992 with the hiring of former UNLV head coach Jerry Tarkanian. The Tarkanian experiment proved a flop, as the coach was fired 20 games into the 1992-93 season with the Spurs record at 9–11. After Rex Hughes filled the coaching shoes for one game, NBA veteran John Lucas was named head coach. It was Lucas's first NBA coaching assignment although he had gained recognition in league circles for his success in helping NBA players rehab from drug abuse.

The Lucas era started out successfully. His coaching propelled the team to a 39–22 finish over the rest of the regular season, and the team reached the Western Conference semi-finals, losing to the Phoenix Suns. The 1992-93 season also marked the last that the Spurs would play in HemisFair Arena. In 1993, local businessman Peter M. Holt and a group of 22 investors purchased the Spurs from Red McCombs for $75 million.

The following season, the Spurs first in the newly built Alamodome, Lucas led the Spurs to a 55–27 record but the team suffered a loss in the first round of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz, which led to the immediate firing of Lucas as head coach. Prior to the season the Spurs traded fan-favorite Elliott to the Detroit Pistons in return for rebounding star Dennis Rodman.

Lucas was replaced by former Pacers coach Bob Hill for the 1994-95 season, which would turn out to be the Spurs' most successful regular season until 2006. Elliott returned to the team after an uneventful season with the Pistons, and the team finished with the NBA's best record at 62–20. David Robinson was named the league's Most Valuable Player. The Spurs reached the Western Conference Finals, but lost to the eventual NBA Champion Houston Rockets 4–2. After the pregame MVP award ceremony honoring David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon dominated the game, outscoring Robinson 42–22 in a narrow 1 point Rockets win. The Spurs lost Game 2 at home but took Games 3 and 4 in Houston. Game 5 of the series was highlighted by the famous Dream Shake move by Hakeem Olajuwon in Game 5 at the Alamodome the Spurs lost 113–95 in front of 35,000 fans and lost the series in Houston in Game 6. Throughout the season, and particularly in the playoffs, there appeared to be friction developing between Rodman and several Spurs' teammates, most notably Robinson, and Rodman was traded after the season to the Chicago Bulls who would win the next 3 titles.

The Spurs finished the next season (1995-96) under Hill at 59–23 and lost in the Western Conference semi-finals to the Jazz. Few observers could have predicted how far the Spurs would fall during the 1996-97 season. An injury limited Robinson to just six games during the season, and Elliott also missed more than half the season due to injury. The Spurs ended the season with a 20–62 record, the worst in franchise history. Hill only lasted 18 games as coach that season, eventually being fired and replaced by Spurs General Manager Gregg Popovich, who had also served a stint under Brown as an assistant coach.

Although the 1996-97 season was not successful on the court for the Spurs, the offseason proved to be the opposite. With the third-worst record in the league, the Spurs won the NBA's draft lottery, which gave them the top pick in the 1997 draft. The Spurs used their pick to select Wake Forest University product and consensus All-American Tim Duncan.

Duncan quickly emerged as a force in the NBA during the 1997-98 season, averaging 21.1 points and 11.9 rebounds per game as a power forward. He was named First Team All-NBA while winning Rookie of the Year honors. The team ended up at 56–26, breaking their own record in 1989–90 for the biggest single season improvement for wins, but once again lost to the Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals. While both Duncan and Robinson played low-post roles, the two seamlessly meshed on the court. The March 14, 1998, game against the Chicago Bulls set the Spurs' current regular-season home attendance record. An Alamodome crowd of 37,492 came to see Michael Jordan's last visit as a Bull, as he led the team to its third-straight and most recent championship.

With a healthy Robinson and Duncan and the additions of playoff veterans such as Mario Elie and Jerome Kersey, the Spurs looked forward to the 1998-99 season. Prior to the beginning of training camps, however, the NBA owners, led by commissioner David Stern, locked out the players in order to force a new collective bargaining agreement with the NBA Players Association (NBAPA). The season was delayed over three months until resolution on a new labor agreement was reached in January 1999.

Playing a shortened 50-game season, the Spurs ended up with a 37–13 record. The team was just as dominant in the playoffs, rolling through the Western Conference with a record of 11–1. In the NBA Finals, they faced the New York Knicks, the only 8th seed to ever make it there, and, on June 25, 1999, won the series and the franchise's first NBA Championship in Game 5 (final score: 78–77) on the Knicks' home court, Madison Square Garden. Duncan was named the Finals MVP. The victory by the Spurs was not only the first NBA title to be won by a former ABA team, but also was the first Finals appearance by a team from the ABA. The Spurs also set a new NBA Finals one-game attendance record when 39,554 fans attended Game 2. The previous record was set only two days earlier, when 39,514 spectators attended Game 1.

Coming off their first NBA Championship the Spurs were still among the best teams in the West and battling for first place in the Midwest Division during the 1999-2000 season. On March 14 the Spurs playoff spirits got a lift when Sean Elliott, who received a kidney transplant prior to the season, returned and played in the last 19 games. As the season wound down Tim Duncan would suffer a knee injury and the Spurs finished in second place with a 53–29 record. Without Duncan, the Spurs would be knocked out of the playoffs by the Phoenix Suns in four games. The long-term viability of the Spurs franchise in San Antonio was, however, achieved during the 1999-2000 season, as Bexar County voters approved increases on car rental and hotel taxes which would allow for the construction of a new arena near the Freeman Coliseum.

The Spurs finished with 58–24 records for both the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons but found themselves suffering playoff ousters in both seasons from the eventual NBA Champion Los Angeles Lakers getting swept from the 2001 Conference Finals and losing in 5 games during the 2002 Second Round.

Entering the 2002-03 season, the team knew it would be memorable for at least two reasons, as David Robinson announced that it would be his last in the NBA and the Spurs would begin play at their new arena, the SBC Center, named after telecommunications giant SBC, whose corporate headquarters are located in San Antonio (SBC became AT&T after its acquisition of its former parent company). To mark this occasion, the Spurs revamped their "Fiesta" logo and reverted to the familiar silver and black motif (though, during the time of the Fiesta logo, the uniform remained silver and black).

This version of the Spurs was very different from the team that had won the title a few years earlier. Second-year French star Tony Parker, drafted by the Spurs in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft, was now the starting point guard for the Spurs. The squad featured a variety of newly acquired three-point shooters, including Stephen Jackson, Danny Ferry, Bruce Bowen, Steve Kerr, Steve Smith and Argentina product Manu Ginóbili, a 1999 second-round draft choice playing in his first NBA season. Mixing the inside presences of Duncan and Robinson with the newer outside threats, the Spurs earned a 60–22 record. In the playoffs, the Spurs defeated the Suns, Lakers and Dallas Mavericks en route to facing the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals. The series against the Nets marked the first time two former ABA teams would play each other for the NBA Championship. The Spurs won the series 4–2, giving them their second NBA Championship in franchise history. Duncan was named both the NBA Regular Season and Finals MVP for the season. Robinson would retire after this season. By winning the NBA Championship in 2003, the Spurs denied New Jersey from having both NBA and NHL titles. During the NBA finals, the New Jersey Devils shut out the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

In the 2003-04 season, coming off their second NBA Championship, the Spurs, playing with 9 new players, struggled early as they missed the presence of David Robinson while the new players struggled to fit in, as they held a 9-10 record on December 3. However, the Spurs would turn it around, as they ended December on 13-game winning streak and quickly climbed back to the top of the NBA standings. The Spurs would battle all year for the top spot in the Western Conference, as they ended the season on another strong note winning their final 11 games. However, they would fall 1 game short of a division title and the best record in the West, posting a record of 57-25. In the playoffs, the Spurs remained hot as they swept the Memphis Grizzlies in 4 straight games. In the second round, the Spurs found themselves in another showdown with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs' winning streak would continue as they captured the first two games at home, bringing their winning streak from the end of the regular season up to 17 games. However, as the series shifted to Los Angeles, the Spurs would suddenly have trouble finding the basket, as they lost both games as the Lakers evened the series. The series was playing out similarly to the match-up between the two teams a year earlier. In Game 5 at the SBC Center, Tim Duncan seemingly delivered the Spurs a 73-72 win as he gave the Spurs a lead with a dramatic shot with just 0.4 seconds remaining. However, the Lakers' Derek Fisher would launch a game-winner as time expired which would go in, giving the Lakers a stunning 74-73 win to take a 3-2 series lead. The Spurs protested the shot, arguing that the clock started late, which the Spurs claimed was why replays showed Fisher got off the shot in time. An AP report and the three officials in attendance stated that replays showed the shot was released by Fisher before time expired. The officials, however, could not consider the Spurs' claim that the clock did not start immediately when the ball was inbounded. After the stunning loss, the Spurs traveled to Los Angeles for Game 6, where they lost the game and the series. The Spurs spent the following offseason tweaking the team.

With the acquisition of guard Brent Barry from Seattle, and the later additions of center Nazr Mohammed from New York (acquired in a midseason trade of Malik Rose), and veteran forward Glenn Robinson from free agency, alongside regulars Bruce Bowen, Robert Horry, Tony Parker, Manu Ginóbili, and Tim Duncan, the Spurs finished the 2004-05 season with the second-best record in the Western Conference at 59–23, and the best record in the Southwest Division. In the postseason, the Spurs defeated the Denver Nuggets 4–1, the Seattle SuperSonics 4–2 and the Phoenix Suns 4-1 before advancing to the NBA Finals, where they won the NBA championship for a third time in seven years on June 23, 2005 by defeating the Eastern Conference champion and defending NBA Champion Detroit Pistons, four games to three. Tim Duncan was named Finals MVP, becoming only the fourth player to win the MVP award three times (joining Magic Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal, and Michael Jordan). Also, Manu Ginóbili established himself as an NBA star, earning local, national, and international fan praise (particularly in his home country of Argentina) and a berth in that season's All-Star Game.

In the 2005-06 season, the Spurs acquired veteran free agent Michael Finley who along with Tim Duncan, Manu Ginóbili and newly-named All-Star Tony Parker, broke their franchise record for wins in a season (63-19) and qualified for the playoffs for the ninth year in a row. (Until this season, the Spurs and Indiana Pacers shared the NBA's longest active consecutive playoff appearance streak with nine in a row — see Active NBA playoff appearance streaks - though San Antonio has qualified for its 10th consecutive appearance during the 2006–07 season, while Indiana's playoff streak ended.) However, the defending-champion Spurs were eliminated in the second round by the Dallas Mavericks in a 7-game semifinal series that, due to a quirk in the playoff ranking system, featured the two top teams in the conference.

After their disappointing defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, the Spurs entered the 2006-07 season refreshed with renewed determination, as they felt fatigue played a large role as they failed to win a second straight NBA Title. The Spurs began their 2007 season on foreign soil as they opened up their training camp in France in October 2006, which they thought could build camaraderie between players.

With a 97-91 opening-night victory on November 2 at Dallas, Gregg Popovich became the fourth head coach in North American professional sports history to post 10 straight opening night victories (others are: Tom Landry, Bill Fitch and George Allen). The Spurs got off to a strong start in the regular season, winning 11 of their first 14 games, including victories over Dallas, Phoenix and Houston. During that stretch, Tim Duncan became the 98th member of the 15,000-point club at Seattle. However, the Spurs franchise-record 12-game road winning streak came to a halt with a 111-102 loss at Golden State on November 27. With a win against Sacramento on December 2, 2006, the Spurs moved past the Celtics to become the second winningest franchise in NBA history (based on winning percentage) at .595. But as the season unfolded, the Spurs failed to live up to their lofty expectations. Following a 9–7 record in January, the Spurs started February with a 1–3 record. They struggled down the stretch in many of those defeats, and the Spurs quickly found themselves far behind the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns. In fact, the Spurs were, during this period, a mere 1.5 games ahead of the third-place Houston Rockets in the Southwest Division. Trade rumors began swirling around the Spurs. Unaccustomed to struggling during the regular season, the Spurs were frustrated. With the trade deadline quickly approaching, Popovich had to choose whether or not to keep the team together. His decision was not to make a trade. Then, it was as if their whole season had magically turned around in one moment. With quiet determination, the Spurs spent the rest of the season flying under the radar, winning thirteen games in a row during February and March. The Spurs won those games with either tough defense or by hitting big shots down the stretch. The Spurs were an NBA-best 25–6 in the final 31 games. During the 31-game stretch, the Spurs averaged 98.8 points while holding their opponents to 87.9 ppg. With that streak, the Spurs began climbing back up in the Western Conference standings. Despite their massive turnaround, the Spurs would not catch the Mavs who won the Southwest Division by nine games. However, with the NBA's top ranked defense and a 58–24 record, the Spurs entered the postseason in good shape.

When the bell rang for the second season, they were able to put the Denver Nuggets away in five games. While the Spurs were bouncing the Nuggets, the Mavericks, who had an NBA best 67–15 record in the regular season, were unraveling, losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games. The Mavericks' upset loss set the Spurs second-round series against the Phoenix Suns as the key series in the entire NBA Playoffs, as this series featured the teams with the two best records remaining in the Western Conference. The Spurs went on to win 4–2 in the very contentious and controversial series versus the Suns. The series featured a Robert Horry foul on Steve Nash toward the end of the fourth game which resulted in Horry being suspended for two games. Those who said the second-round series against the Suns was the true NBA Finals would be proven right, as the Spurs easily dispatched the Utah Jazz in five games to reach the NBA Finals. In the 2007 NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers and captured their fourth title in nine years. Duncan proclaimed that that championship was "the best" of the four championships, and acknowledged he played "sub-par" and thus received only one vote for NBA Finals MVP from a panel of ten. The award was won by Tony Parker who dominated in the Finals averaging 24.5 ppg on 57% shooting. Tony Parker became the first European-born player to win the Finals MVP. Just before the 2007 NBA Draft, the Spurs purchased the Austin Toros of the NBA Development League, becoming the second NBA team to purchase an NBADL team. This move made the Spurs the sole NBA affiliate of the Toros and gave them greater control over the management of the team, including coaching and the offensive and defensive schemes.

The 2007-2008 season saw the Spurs go 56–26 and finish 3rd in the Western Conference where 7 games separated all 8 playoff teams. The season was also marked by major trades and acquisitions by many teams, most notably Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen being acquired by the Boston Celtics, Pau Gasol going to the Los Angeles Lakers, and Shaquille O'Neal going to the Phoenix Suns. Although the Spurs avoided any major deals, they still made a mid-season trade to acquire Kurt Thomas from Seattle. Despite a strong 17–3 start and an 11-game winning streak between February and March, the Spurs stayed relatively under the radar of the major trades and other quickly rising teams. The Spurs faced Phoenix in the first round in a rematch of the previous year's controversial semifinal series. The Spurs rode the momentum of a thrilling Game 1 win (thanks in part to a rare, extra-clutch OT 3-pointer by Tim Duncan) to defeat the Suns in five games. The Spurs second round opponent would prove to be more than a handful as the veteran Spurs faced Chris Paul the up-and-coming New Orleans Hornets. The Spurs and the Hornets would battle for seven hard fought games (with New Orleans earning the upper hand throughout much of the series), but the Spurs scrapped together a game 7 win on the road (marking their first ever game 7 win on the road and series win after being down 0–2) to advance to the Western Conference Finals against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, where their run would come to an end after five games.

Despite the setback in 2008, the Spurs still have their core players (Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili) under contract until at least 2010.

For a complete list of current and former players, see the San Antonio Spurs players category.

The Spurs have been successful among NBA teams in finding foreign talent as demonstrated by selecting Manu Ginóbili ( 1999 NBA Draft 57th pick) and Tony Parker ( 2001 NBA Draft 29th pick) who have both become All Stars. The Spurs own the NBA rights to the players listed in the table below. The typical pattern is to allow the player to develop in leagues outside the USA. The player is free to negotiate contracts in other leagues and is not obligated to play in the NBA. Sometimes, a player's overseas contract may have an expensive buyout clause that would discourage the Spurs from seeking to bring him in.

1During the 1996–97 season, Bob Hill coached 18 regular season games. Hill was fired on December 10, 1996, and Gregg Popovich coached the remaining 64 regular season games. 2During the 1992–93 season, Jerry Tarkanian coached 20 regular season games. Tarkanian was fired on December 18, 1992. Rex Hughes then coached one regular season game, and John Lucas coached the remaining 61 regular season games as well as the playoffs. 3During the 1991–92 season, Larry Brown coached 38 regular season games. Brown was fired on January 21, 1992, and Bob Bass coached the remaining 44 regular season games as well as the playoffs. 4During the 1983–84 season, Morris McHone coached 31 regular season games. McHone was fired on December 28, 1983, and Bob Bass coached the remaining 51 regular season games. 5During the 1979–80 season, Doug Moe coached 66 regular season games. Moe was fired on March 1, 1980, and Bob Bass coached the remaining 16 regular season games as well as the playoffs.

To the top



Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics logo

The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, playing in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA). The team is owned by Wycliffe Grousbeck and coached by Doc Rivers, with Danny Ainge as the President of Basketball Operations. Founded in 1946, their 17 NBA Championships are the most for any NBA franchise, while the 1959-to-1966 domination of the NBA Championship, with eight straight titles, is the longest consecutive championship winning streak of any North American professional sports team to date. They currently play their home games in the TD Banknorth Garden.

The Celtics either dominated the league or played a large part in the playoffs in the late 1950s through the mid 1980s. After the deaths of top draft pick Len Bias in 1986 and all-star Reggie Lewis in 1993, the team fell into a steady decline, only making the playoffs four times from 1996 to 2007. The franchise has recently returned to prominence with the acquisition of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen during the 2007 off-season. On June 17, 2008, the Boston Celtics won their 17th championship, beating the Los Angeles Lakers 4–2 in the 2008 NBA Finals.

The Celtics were formed in 1946 as a team in the Basketball Association of America, and became part of the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the merger of the BAA and the National Basketball League to form the NBA in the fall of 1949. In 1950, the Celtics became the first franchise to draft an African American player, signing Chuck Cooper.

The Celtics had struggled during their early years, until the hiring of Coach Red Auerbach. One of the first major players to join the Celtics was Bob Cousy, whom Auerbach initially refused to draft. Cousy eventually became the property of the Chicago Stags. When that franchise went bankrupt, Cousy was acquired by the Celtics in a dispersal draft. After the 1955–56 season, Auerbach made a stunning trade. He sent perennial All-Star Ed Macauley to the St. Louis Hawks along with the draft rights to Cliff Hagan in exchange for the Hawks' first round draft pick, the second overall. After negotiating with the Rochester Royals, Auerbach used the pick to select University of San Francisco center Bill Russell. Auerbach also acquired Holy Cross standout, and 1957 NBA Rookie of the Year, Tommy Heinsohn. Russell and Heinsohn worked extraordinarily well with Cousy, and they were the players around whom Auerbach would build the Celtics for more than a decade. Russell, who delayed joining until the middle of the 1957 season in order to play for the U.S. Olympic Team, had an immediate impact.

Russell went on to play almost every game of the season, and the Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals and defeated the St. Louis Hawks in seven games, giving the Celtics the first of their record 17 NBA Championships. In 1958, the Celtics again advanced to the NBA Finals, this time losing to the Hawks in 6 games. However, with the acquisition of K.C. Jones that year, the Celtics began a dynasty that would last for more than a decade. In 1959, with Cousy at point guard, Russell at center and Heinsohn at forward, the Celtics won the NBA Championship after sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers. Still coached by Auerbach, the Celtics won seven more consecutive championships, extending their streak to eight in a row. During that time, the Celtics met the Lakers in the Finals six times, starting an intense and often bitter rivalry. The Celtics would eventually meet the Lakers a total of 11 times in the NBA Finals. In 1964, Auerbach made the Celtics the first team to have an all African American starting lineup.

After the 1966 championship, Auerbach retired as coach and Russell took over as player-coach. With his appointment, Russell also became the first African American coach in the NBA. Auerbach would remain the General Manager, a position he would hold well into the 1980s. However, that year the Celtics' string of NBA titles was broken as they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The aging team managed two more championships in 1968 and 1969, defeating the Lakers each time in the NBA Finals. Russell retired after the 1969 season, effectively ending a dominant Celtics dynasty that had garnered 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons. The streak of 8 consecutive NBA championships is the longest streak of consecutive championships in U.S. professional sports history.

The 1970 season was a rebuilding year, as the Celtics had their first losing record since the 1949–50 season, the year prior to Auerbach's arrival. However, with the acquisition of Dave Cowens, Paul Silas, and Jo Jo White, the Celtics soon became dominant again. After losing in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1972, the Celtics regrouped and came out determined in 1973 and posted an excellent 68–14 regular season record. But the season ended in disappointment, as they were upset in 7 games by the New York Knicks in the Conference Finals. The Celtics returned to the playoffs the next year, defeating the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals in 1974 for their 12th NBA Championship. The teams split the first four games, and after the Celtics won Game 5 in Milwaukee they headed back to Boston leading three games to two, with a chance to claim the title on their home court. However, the Bucks won Game 6 when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar nestled in a hook shot with three seconds left in the game's second overtime, and the series returned to Milwaukee. But Cowens was the hero in Game 7, scoring 28 points, as the Celtics brought the title back to Boston for the first time in five years. In 1976, the team won yet another championship, defeating the Phoenix Suns in 6 games. The Celtics advanced to the 1976 NBA Finals, which featured one of the greatest games in the history of the NBA. With the series tied at two games apiece, the Suns trailed early in the Boston Garden, but came back to force overtime. In double overtime, a Gar Heard turn-around jumper at the top of the key sent the game to an unprecedented third overtime, at which point the Celtics prevailed. Tommy Heinsohn coached the team for those two championships. After the 1976 championship and a playoff appearance in 1977, Boston went into another phase of rebuilding.

In the 1977 NBA Draft, the Celtics drafted a young forward from the UNC Charlotte named Cedric Maxwell. Maxwell did not contribute much in his rookie season, but he showed promise. Auerbach's job became even tougher following the 1977–78 in which they went 32–50 as John Havlicek, the Celtics All-Time leading scorer, retired after 16 seasons.

In 1977–78, the Celtics owned two of the top eight picks in the 1978 NBA Draft. Since the Celtics had two draft choices, Auerbach took a risk and selected junior Larry Bird of Indiana State with the 6th pick, knowing that Bird would elect to remain in college for his senior year. The Celtics would retain his rights for one year, a rule that was later changed, and Auerbach believed that Bird's potential would make him worth the wait. Auerbach also felt that when the college season ended the Celtics would have a great chance to sign Bird. Auerbach was right and Bird signed soon after leading Indiana State to the NCAA Championship game, where they fell to a Michigan State University team that was led by Magic Johnson.

The other important story of the Celtics' 1978–79 season was the ongoing dispute between Auerbach and new owner John Y. Brown. The dispute nearly led Auerbach to resign as General Manager for a position with the New York Knicks. With public support strongly behind Auerbach, Brown elected to sell the team rather than face the wrath of the city for being the man who drove Red to a hated rival. During his short ownership, Brown orchestrated a trade for Bob McAdoo that Auerbach despised, and the team unraveled. The Celtics would struggle through the season, going 29–53 without Bird. Newcomers Chris Ford, Rick Robey, Cedric Maxwell and Tiny Archibald failed to reverse the team's momentum.

Bird debuted for the Celtics during the 1979–80 season, a year after his selection. With a new owner in place, Auerbach made a number of moves that would bring the team back to prominence. Auerbach traded the unhappy McAdoo, a former NBA scoring champion, to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for guard M. L. Carr, a defensive specialist, and two first-round picks in the 1980 NBA Draft. He also picked up point guard Gerald Henderson from the CBA. Carr, Archibald, Henderson and Ford formed a highly competent backcourt, with their unique skills blending in perfectly with the talented frontcourt of Cowens, Maxwell and Bird, who would go on to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors. The Celtics improved by 32 games, which at the time was the best single-season turnaround in NBA history, going 61–21 and losing to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

After the season, Auerbach completed what may be the most lopsided trade in NBA history. Auerbach had always been a fan of stockpiling draft picks, so even after the success of 1979–80 the Celtics had both the 1st and 13th picks in the 1980 NBA Draft left over from the M. L. Carr trade. Auerbach saw an opportunity to improve the team immediately, sending the two picks to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for center Robert Parish and the Warriors first round pick, the 3rd overall. With the draft pick, Auerbach selected University of Minnesota power forward Kevin McHale. With these three future Hall of Famers on the team the Celtics had a core in place to become a dominant team in the NBA.

The Celtics went 62–20 under coach Bill Fitch in 1980–81, despite losing center Dave Cowens to retirement late in training camp. Once again the Celtics matched up with the 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics fell behind 3 games to 1 before coming back to win a classic 7th game, 91–90. The Celtics went on to capture the 1981 NBA Championship over the Houston Rockets, just two years after Bird had been drafted. Maxwell was named NBA Finals MVP.

In 1983–84 the Celtics would go 62–20 and finally get back to the NBA Finals after a three year hiatus. In the final, the Celtics came back from a 2–1 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers, winning their 15th championship. Bird renewed his college rivalry with Lakers star Magic Johnson during this series. After the series the Celtics traded Henderson, whose dramatic steal in game 2 altered the course of the series and gave the Celtics a chance, to the Seattle SuperSonics in exchange for their first round pick in the 1986 NBA Draft.

In 1985, the Lakers and Celtics met again, but this time the Lakers took the championship. During the following offseason the Celtics acquired Bill Walton from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Cedric Maxwell. Walton was a big star with the Portland Trail Blazers, but injuries had kept him from living up to expectations. He was also a lifelong Celtics fan and willing to come off the bench, deferring to the three big men already with the team. Walton was a big part of the Celtics' success in 1986.

In 1985–86 the Celtics fielded one of the best teams in NBA history. The 1986 Celtics won 67 games, going 40–1 at their home, the Boston Garden. Bird won his third consecutive MVP award after having arguably his finest season, and Walton won the Sixth Man of the Year Award. They won their 16th championship and last of the 20th century, easily defeating the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals.

Thanks to the 1984 trade of Gerald Henderson and the subsequent fall of the Seattle SuperSonics, at the end of the 1985–86 the Celtics owned not only the best team in the NBA but also the second pick in the 1986 NBA Draft. The Celtics drafted Len Bias with the pick and had high hopes for the young University of Maryland star. Fans believed Bias had superstar potential, and that he would be the perfect complement to the aging, but still strong, Celtics. The hope was that his presence would ensure that the franchise would remain a powerhouse after Bird, McHale and Parish retired. Unfortunately, Bias died 48 hours after he was drafted, after using cocaine at a party and overdosing. It would be the first in a long string of bad luck for the Celtics, and many fans believe the Celtics have never recovered from the loss of Bias. Despite the loss of Bias, the Celtics remained competitive in 1986–87, going 59–23 and again winning the Eastern Conference Championship.

After the 1987–88 season, head coach K.C. Jones retired. Jones was replaced as head coach by assistant Jimmy Rodgers. Rodgers faced immediate trouble in 1988–89 when, only 6 games into the season, Larry Bird decided to have surgery to remove bone spurs in both feet. The injury was to sideline Bird until well after the All-Star Break, although supposedly he would be able to return. However, despite his best attempts to return he was unable to make it back as the Celtics stumbled to a 42–40 record and a first round playoff defeat to the Detroit Pistons.

Bird returned in 1989–90 to play in 75 games and lead the Celtics to a 52–30 record. In the playoffs, after winning the first two games of a Best of 5 series against the New York Knicks, the Celtics collapsed, losing 3 straight, including the decisive 5th game at the Boston Garden. In the wake of the embarrassing defeat, Rodgers was fired and replaced by assistant coach (and former Celtic player) Chris Ford.

Under Ford's leadership the Celtics improved to 56–26 in 1990–91, recapturing the Atlantic Division title even though Bird missed 22 games with a variety of injuries. In 1992, a late season rally allowed the Celtics to catch the New York Knicks and repeat as Atlantic Division champions. The team finished 51–31 and again matched up with the Indiana Pacers in the First Round, this time sweeping the series 3 games to 0. In the Eastern Conference Semifinals the Celtics lost a grueling 7 game series to the Cleveland Cavaliers, 4 games to 3. Due to back problems, Larry Bird played in only 45 of the 82 regular season games, and only 4 of the 10 playoff games.

After thirteen seasons with the club and winning a gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics with the Dream Team, Bird retired in 1992 primarily due to his back injuries.

At the time of Bird's retirement former Celtics guard Chris Ford was the coach of the Celtics. 26-year old Reggie Lewis (out of Boston's Northeastern University) was seen as Bird's successor as the franchise player for the Celtics. Lewis, a small forward, fainted during a 1993 first round playoff matchup with the Charlotte Hornets. It was later revealed that Lewis had heart problems, yet he was able to get doctors to clear him for a comeback. He died of a heart attack after participating in a pickup basketball game during the offseason. The Celtics honored his memory during the following season by retiring his number 35.

In 1994, the Celtics hired former player M. L. Carr to be the team's new G.M. In his first draft in charge of the Celtics, he drafted University of North Carolina star Eric Montross with his first round draft pick. The Acie Earl era was already nearing an end, as Montross became the new heir apparent in the paint.

1994–95 was the Celtics' final season in the Boston Garden. The Celtics signed the aging Dominique Wilkins as a free agent, and he led the team in scoring with 17.8 PPG. Second-year player Dino Radja, a power forward from Croatia, added an interior presence to the team that had been lacking in 1993–94. The Celtics made the playoffs, losing to the heavily favored Orlando Magic in 4 games.

In 1995, the Celtics moved from the Boston Garden into the Fleet Center (renamed the TD Banknorth Garden in 2005). Carr fired Chris Ford and took the coaching reins himself. After drafting Providence College star Eric Williams, the Celtics struggled to a 33–49 record. Things got worse in 1996–97 as the Celtics lost a franchise record 67 games, winning only 15 times despite the emergence of 1st-round draft pick Antoine Walker.

Carr stepped aside to another job in the organization when the Celtics convinced Rick Pitino to join the franchise as the team's president, front office manager, and head coach. Unfortunately for the franchise, Pitino was not the savior everyone expected him to be, although he acquired several talented young players during his tenure.

The Celtics received the third and sixth draft picks in the 1997 NBA Draft, and used the picks to select a brand new backcourt. They drafted Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer and dismantled much of the young team that lost 67 games the year before. David Wesley and Rick Fox were let go, and Williams was traded to the Denver Nuggets for a pair of second round draft picks.

The following year the Celtics drafted Paul Pierce in the 1998 NBA Draft, a college star who had been expected to be drafted much higher than the Celtics' tenth overall pick. Other notable players Pitino acquired were Walter McCarty and veteran Kenny Anderson, both for future Finals MVP Billups. Pitino failed to coach any successful teams and resigned in 2001.

Following the resignation of Rick Pitino, the Celtics improved greatly under coach Jim O'Brien. Paul Pierce matured into an NBA star and was ably complemented by Antoine Walker, along with the other role players acquired over the years. The team finished the season going 24–24 under O'Brien (after going 12–22 before Pitino's resignation) and following the 2000–01 season O'Brien was given the job of head coach on a permanent basis. As a result of numerous trades, the Celtics had three picks in the 2001 NBA Draft, a luxury that seemed to set the franchise up well for the long term. General Manager Chris Wallace used the picks on Joe Johnson, Joe Forte (a favorite of Red Auerbach) and Kedrick Brown.

The Celtics entered the 2001–02 season with low expectations. The team's success in the latter stages of 2000–01 was largely forgotten, and critics were surprised when the team, along with the New Jersey Nets, surged to the top of the Atlantic Division ahead of teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, who were fresh off a trip to the NBA Finals. The Celtics won a hard-fought five-game series with the 76ers in the first round, 3 games to 2. Pierce scored 46 points in the series-clinching blowout at the Fleet Center. In the Conference Semifinals, the Celtics defeated the favored Detroit Pistons 4 games to 1 in a series best remembered for the Celtics low-scoring Game 3 victory, which they won 66–64. In their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1988, the Celtics would jump out to a 2–1 series lead over the New Jersey Nets, after rallying from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to win Game 3, but would lose the next three games to fall 4 games to 2.

In 2003, the Celtics were sold by owner Paul Gaston to Boston Basketball Partners LLC, led by H. Irving Grousbeck, Wycliffe Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca, Robert Epstein, David Epstein, and John Svenson. The team made it back to the playoffs but were swept by the Nets in the second round, despite bringing Game 4 to double overtime.

Before their elimination, the team hired Danny Ainge to take over the front office, pushing Chris Wallace to another job in the organization. Ainge believed the team had reached its peak and promptly stunned the team by sending Antoine Walker to the Dallas Mavericks (along with Tony Delk). In return, the Celtics received the oft-injured Raef LaFrentz and a first-round draft pick in 2004.

The Celtics made the playoffs, only to be badly swept in the first round by the Indiana Pacers, losing all 4 games by blowout margins.

The Celtics were a young team under new coach Doc Rivers during the 2004 season, yet they seemed to have a core of good young players, led by rookie Al Jefferson, to go along with a selection of able veterans. The Celtics went 45–37 and won their first Atlantic Division title since 1991–92. The Pacers defeated them in the first round yet again, with the series culminating in an embarrassing 27-point loss in Game 7 at the Fleet Center.

The Boston Celtics continued to rebuild on the night of the 2006 NBA Draft. Danny Ainge traded the rights to seventh overall pick Randy Foye, Dan Dickau and Raef LaFrentz to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and a future second-round pick. A subsequent trade with the Philadelphia 76ers for Allen Iverson was reported as a potential move beneficial to each team, although such a trade never happened and Iverson was shipped to the Denver Nuggets in December. Orien Greene was waived, and the Celtics replaced him by trading a first-round pick in the 2007 NBA Draft to the Phoenix Suns for rookie Rajon Rondo. In the second round the Celtics added Leon Powe to the team, and later signed Villanova star Allan Ray as an undrafted free agent.

The 2006–07 season was a gloomy one for the franchise. The season began with the death of Red Auerbach at the age of 89. Auerbach was one of the few remaining people who had been a part of the NBA since its inception in 1946. The Celtics went 2–22 from late December 2006 through early February 2007 after losing Paul Pierce to injury, the result of a stress reaction in his left foot (he would later miss the latter part of March and all of April because of swelling in his left elbow). At first, the Celtics received a much needed boost from guard Tony Allen but he tore his ACL on a dunk attempt in a game vs. the Indiana Pacers on January 10, 2007. The Celtics recorded a record of 24–58, second-worst in the NBA, including a franchise record 18-game losing streak that lasted from January 5 to February 14. As the streak grew, some suggested that Pierce sit out the rest of the season to the let the young players such as Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Rajon Rondo and Delonte West get more experience.

After a dreadful 2006-2007 season, rumors flared that Paul Pierce wanted out of Boston. Furthermore, head coach Doc Rivers and GM Danny Ainge were both in danger of losing their jobs. The franchise was in need of help, in hopes of getting the first or second pick in the first round in the 2007 NBA Draft Lottery Pick (in which they were in favor) for either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant. But shockingly, the Celtics landed the #5 pick and the Portland Trail Blazers landed with the first pick and drafted Greg Oden, followed by Kevin Durant who was drafted second by the Seattle SuperSonics (who moved to Oklahoma City in 2008-2009 and became known as the Oklahoma City Thunder). Jeff Green was in favor of joining the Celtics franchise, but Danny Ainge traded the rights to Green, alongside with Delonte West and Wally Szczerbiak, to the Supersonics for Ray Allen and the rights to Glen Davis. Rumors were spreading across the media about Kevin Garnett coming to Boston after demanding that he wanted to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves, believing the Timberwolves were not the team to help him win a championship. He also first said that he did not want to join the Celtics franchise because they were not a championship team. But after the Celtics obtained Allen from the Supersonics, Garnett was finally convinced of the Celtics' desire to win a championship and wanted to join the franchise. So, a blockbuster trade was made. For Garnett, the Celtics traded Al Jefferson, Gerald Green the first Celtic to win the 2007 NBA Slam Dunk Contest since Dee Brown in 1991, Sebastian Telfair, Ricky Davis, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, a 2009 first round draft pick, and cash considerations. A dynasty was rebuilding and the future Big Three (also known as the Boston Three Party) was in place.

Their first matchup in the 2008 NBA Playoffs was against the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks. At home, the Celtics were dominant: their lowest home margin of victory against the Hawks in the playoffs was 19 in Game 2. However, the surprising Hawks were able to beat the Celtics in all three games in Atlanta. The series went seven games, with the home team winning each game. The second round pitted Boston against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Once again the series went to seven games. Game 7 saw Paul Pierce and LeBron James in a shootout with each scoring over 40 points, but the Celtics emerged victorious 97-92. In the Eastern Conference Finals the Celtics faced the Detroit Pistons. In Game 2, the Celtics finally lost at home for the first time in the playoffs. However, the Celtics bounced back to win Game 3 on the road in Detroit. The series continued and the Celtics took down the Pistons in six games, winning the deciding game on the road.

The 2008 NBA Finals were contested with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and a Los Angeles Lakers team in the middle of a dominant playoff run. They swept the Denver Nuggets in the first round, defeated the Utah Jazz in the second round in six games, and extinguished the repeat hopes of the defending-champion San Antonio Spurs in five games in the Western Conference Finals. Factoring in the Lakers strong playoff run to the Finals and the Celtics problems of even reaching the Finals with two 7-game series, the Lakers were expected to beat a seemingly tired Boston team. The first games of the series started with the Celtics once again dominating at home. Game 1 saw Paul Pierce suffer a knee injury early in the game only to come back and make 70-percent of his attempted field goals, resulting in a 98–88 Celtics win. In Game 2, Boston nearly lost a 24-point lead only to win 108–102. The Lakers returned to Staples Center and won Game 3, 87–81. When Los Angeles took a 24-point lead in the second quarter of Game 4 the Celtics appeared to be losing control of the series. Led by a bench that outscored the Lakers bench by 20-points, the Celtics took over Game 4 with a 97–91 victory, the biggest comeback in NBA Finals history. Although the Los Angeles Lakers won Game 5, 103–98, the series went back to Boston for Game 6, and the Celtics finished off Los Angeles with a 131–92 victory. Game 6 was the most lopsided win in a NBA Finals game since the Chicago Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz by 42 points in the 1998 NBA Finals, and the all-time largest margin of victory in a deciding game. Paul Pierce was named NBA Finals MVP. The Celtics had won their record 17th NBA championship, the first new banner for the TD Banknorth Garden, and the franchise's first championship in 22 years.

The Boston Celtics began the 2008-2009 NBA Season with a dominating 27-2 record,the best record of a 29 game team in NBA history. They also had a pair of 10+ game winning streaks (19-franchise record and 12, respectively), not seen since the 1985-86 season. Both streaks, however, were snapped by their archrivals and last year's Finals opponents , the Los Angeles Lakers, on December 25, 2008 (92-83) and February 5, 2009 (110-109, OT), denying themselves home-court advantage in case both teams were tied for the best record and make the NBA Finals. Still, the Celtics head into the All-Star break with 44 wins, more than the league-best Lakers (42-10). The 44 wins before the All-Star break are tied for the most in league history. After the All-Star break, Kevin Garnett got injured in a loss against the Utah Jazz then they traded Sam Cassell to the Sacramento Kings and Patrick O'Bryant to the Toronto Raptors for 2nd round picks and to add more valuable free agents for their playoff push. After a week, they signed Mikki Moore off waivers from the Kings to boost their frontline and signed Stephon Marbury from the New York Knicks.

The Boston Celtics have a long-standing rivalry with the Los Angeles Lakers, which is widely regarded as the league's greatest rivalry, as these two teams have faced each other 11 times in the NBA Finals, with the most recent being the 2008 NBA Finals. The teams have won a combined 31 NBA championships in the 62 NBA seasons, making both teams accountable for half of all NBA championships. In the 1960s, the Celtics faced and defeated the Lakers six times in the NBA Finals, despite the efforts of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor. The rivalry was renewed in the 1980s, when the Lakers and Celtics won 8 of the 9 NBA Championships awarded from 1980–1988 (the Lakers won 5 while the Celtics won 3), and played each other in the NBA Finals on 3 occasions. The rivalry cooled off as the Celtics slipped into mediocrity in the mid- and late-'90s until they met in the 2008 Finals.

In the Eastern Conference, the Celtics long-standing rivals have been the Philadelphia 76ers, led by Wilt Chamberlain in the 1960s, and by Julius Erving and Moses Malone in the 1970s and 1980s. The Celtics-Sixers rivalry in the 1980s was marked by intense personal confrontations between Larry Bird and Julius Erving. Their most recent playoff rivalry came in the '02 First Round, as then-Sixer Allen Iverson and Paul Pierce, both prolific scorers of their time, went head-to-head.

Another fierce rivalry formed in the 1980s between the Celtics and the Detroit Pistons. The two franchises met in the playoffs 5 times between 1985 and 1991, and more than once there was a physical confrontation between a Celtic and Detroit's Bill Laimbeer. The rivalry, like their rivalry with the Lakers, cooled in the 1990s as the Celtics slid into a long decline, although there was a renewal of interest when the teams met in the 2002 East Semifinals, and later in the 2008 East Finals.

Boston's other fierce rivals included the Atlanta Hawks (dating back to the late 1950s, which resurfaced during the rivalry of Larry Bird and Dominique Wilkins, and later in 2008), Milwaukee Bucks (during the mid-1980s), Indiana Pacers (1991–92 and 2003–05; both involved Larry Bird as a player and as an executive), New York Knicks (both were original NBA franchises, and have never moved to another city nor changed its nickname), and New Jersey Nets (2002 and 2003). In addition, the San Antonio Spurs have provided a tough challenge for Boston, especially since adding Tim Duncan with the number one pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. Since then, the Spurs racked up 18 straight wins against Boston before the streak was broken on St. Patrick's Day 2007, concomitantly ending a 17-year, 15-game drought in San Antonio.

Individually, Paul Pierce has been developing rivalries on the court with LeBron James, Ron Artest and Keon Clark. During games between the Celtics and the Cavaliers, Pierce and James often combine explosive scoring with defensive intensity.

The Boston Celtics released a new logo for the 1995–96 season, although the depiction of a leprechaun spinning a basketball has been in use since the early 1950s. The logo was originally designed by Zang Auerbach, the brother of Celtics head coach Red Auerbach. The logo has received numerous tweaks over the years; the latest version decorated the leprechaun in a gold vest to celebrate the club's 50th anniversary.

The most familiar version, however, is the one-colored logo used during the Larry Bird era, with the leprechaun traced in black and only green and white clothes, which is still used on some TV networks whenever the current Celtics logo is unavailable or in classic Celtics references. The Celtics also have various alternative logos, with the most popular being a white shamrock with the letters "Celtics" above it, wrapped in a green circle, which has been used since the 1998–99 season.

The Celtics jerseys have always been green on away games and white on home games since their inception in 1946. Except for some minor modifications, most notably the serifed version of the uniforms during the Bill Russell era, the jerseys remained unchanged through the years.

Beginning in 2005–06, the Celtics began using alternate road jerseys which are green with black trim and the word "Boston" on the front side of the jersey. The alternate road jersey was rarely seen with few appearances in its first 2 seasons, but in 2007–08 it has been used much more often, in more than half of the road games.

Also in 2005–06, the Celtics began a tradition of wearing their green jerseys with gold trim as part of the St. Patrick's Day celebrations the NBA puts into place every third week of March. Except for the words "Boston" in front and the gold trim, the St. Patrick's Day jerseys resemble the regular road jerseys.

During the 2006–07 season, the Celtics wore a commemorative patch of a black shamrock with the nickname "Red" in green letters on the right top of the jersey in remembrance of Red Auerbach, who died shortly prior to the beginning of the season.

During the NBA Europe Live Tour prior to the 2007–08 season, the Celtics used the alternate road jerseys in their game against the Toronto Raptors in Rome, except that the words "Boston" on the front side of the jersey and the shamrock on the shorts and on the reverse side of the jersey contained the green, white and red tricolors of the Italian flag. In the second game in London, the regular road jerseys featured a patch containing the Union Jack.

At the 2008–09 season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics wore a modified version of their home uniforms, accented with gold, to commemorate last season's championship team.

The team has honored deceased members of the Celtics family with a commemorative black band on the left shoulder strap of the jersey. It has been featured seven times in the history of the franchise: Walter Brown (1964–65), Bob Schmertz (1975–76), Joan Cohen (1989–90), Johnny Most (1993–94), Reggie Lewis (1993–94), Dorothy Auerbach (2000–01) and Dennis Johnson (2006–07).

The team also had the tradition of wearing black sneakers through most of their history, except during the early 1980s when they wore green sneakers. Beginning with the 2003–04 season, the team began to wear white sneakers at home games.

To the top



Dwight Howard

Dwigth Howard olympics2008.jpg

Dwight David Howard (born December 8, 1985, in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American basketball player for the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Howard, who usually plays center but can also play power forward, had an outstanding high school career. He chose to forgo college and entered the 2004 NBA Draft. He was selected first overall by the Magic, and has since emerged as one of the top rebounders and players in the NBA. A three-time NBA All-Star, two-time All-NBA member and one-time NBA All-Defensive member, he has been ranked consistently as one of the best in the league in field goal percentage. In the 2008 Olympics, he was the starting center for Team USA which went on to win the gold medal. Howard's overall play and his spectacular dunks have gained him prominence as one of the brightest young prospects in the NBA and the team leader of the Magic. Additionally, Howard, the winner of the NBA 2008 Slam Dunk Contest, is a devout Christian who contributes substantially to philanthropic causes.

Howard was born to Dwight Sr. and Sheryl Howard and into a family with strong athletic connections. His father is a Georgia State Trooper and serves as Athletic Director of Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, a private academy with one of the best high school basketball programs in the country, while his mother played on the inaugural women's basketball team at Morris Brown College. A devout Christian since his youth, Howard became serious about basketball around the age of nine; in eighth grade, he resolved to be selected as the number one pick in the NBA Draft one day. Despite his large frame, Howard was quick and versatile enough to play the guard position. He elected to attend Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy for high school, and in his four years he played mostly as power forward, averaging 16.6 points per game (ppg), 13.4 rebounds per game (rpg) and 6.3 blocks per game in 129 appearances. As a senior, Howard led his team to the 2004 state title. He averaged 25 points, 18 rebounds, 8 blocks and 3.5 assists per game. That same year, Howard was widely recognized as the best American high school basketball player, and he was awarded the Naismith Prep Player of the Year Award, the Morgan Wootten High School Player of the Year Award, Gatorade National Player of the Year and the McDonald's National High School Player of the Year honor. He was also co-MVP (with J. R. Smith) of the McDonald's High School All-American Game that year.

Following his high school successes, Howard chose to forego college and declared for the 2004 NBA Draft—a decision partly inspired by his idol Kevin Garnett who had done the same in 1995—where the Orlando Magic selected him first overall over UConn senior Emeka Okafor. Howard joined a depleted Magic squad that had finished with only 21 victories the previous season; further, the club had just lost perennial NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady. Howard, however, made an immediate impact. He finished his rookie season with an average of 12.0 ppg and 10.0 rpg, setting several NBA records in the process. He became the youngest player in NBA history to average a double double in the regular season. He also became the youngest player in NBA history to average at least 10.0 rebounds in a season and youngest NBA player ever to record at least 20 rebounds in a game. Howard's importance to the Magic was highlighted when he became the first player in NBA history directly out of high school to start all 82 games during his rookie season. For his efforts, he was selected to play in the 2005 NBA Got Milk? Rookie Challenge, and was unanimously selected to the All-Rookie Team. He also finished third to fellow center Okafor of the Charlotte Bobcats and guard Ben Gordon of the Chicago Bulls for the Rookie of the Year award.

Howard reported to camp for his second NBA campaign having added 20 pounds of muscle during the off-season. Orlando coach Brian Hill—responsible for grooming former Magic superstar Shaquille O'Neal—decided that Howard should be converted into a full-fledged center. Hill identified two areas where Howard needed to improve: his post-up game, and his defense. He exerted extra pressure on Howard, saying that the Magic would need him to emerge as a force in the middle before the team had a chance at the playoffs. Even though the big man played tentatively at times, he was able to build on his strong rookie year with an impressive sophomore season. On 15 November 2005, in a home game at against the Charlotte Bobcats, Howard scored 21 points and 20 rebounds, becoming the youngest player ever to score 20 or more points and gather 20 or more rebounds in the same game. He was selected to play on the Sophomore Team in the 2006 Rookie Challenge during the All-Star break, and on 15 April 2006, he recorded a career-high 26 rebounds against the Philadelphia 76ers; his 28 points in that game also brought him close to an NBA rarity, a 30-30 game. Overall, he averaged 15.8 points and 12.5 rebounds per game, ranking second in the NBA in rebounds per game, offensive rebounds, and double doubles; and sixth in field goal percentage. Despite Howard's improvement, the Magic finished the season with a 36–46 win-loss record and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the second consecutive season since Howard's arrival.

Howard took another step forward as the franchise player for Orlando in the 2006–07 season, and for the third consecutive season he played in all 82 regular season games. On 1 February 2007, he received his first NBA All-Star selection as a reserve on the Eastern Conference squad for the 2007 NBA All-Star Game. Howard finished the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Less than a week later, he recorded a career-high 32 points against the Toronto Raptors. As the push for playoff spots intensified, Howard was instrumental, recording another career-high 35 points against the Philadelphia Sixers on 14 April 2007. Under his leadership, the Magic qualified for the 2007 NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2003 as the number eight seed in the Eastern Conference. However, the Magic were swept by the eventual Eastern Conference finalist Detroit Pistons in the first round. Howard averaged 17.6 points and 12.3 rebounds per game, and finished first in the NBA in total rebounds, second in field goal percentage, and ninth in blocks. He was further recognized as one of the best players in the league when he was named to the All-NBA Third Team at the end of the 2006–07 campaign.

Howard continued posting impressive numbers in the 2007–08 season; with free agent Rashard Lewis added to the ranks to provide an extra offensive spark, this was the Magic's best season yet. Howard's strong and consistent play ensured that he was named as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team, and by the time the mid-season break arrived, he was leading the league in double doubles (he concluded the season with a league-high 69) and had recorded 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game on five occasions (eight by the season's end). On February 16, 2008, he won the 2008 Slam dunk contest by receiving 78% of the fan's votes via text messaging or online voting; in that contest, he performed a series of innovative dunks said to have rejuvenated the contest, including donning a Superman cape for one of the dunks. Howard led the Magic to their first division title in 12 years and to the third seed for the 2008 NBA Playoffs, and in the first-round match-up against the Toronto Raptors, he was dominant, posting three 20 point/20 rebound games in a series which Orlando prevailed over five games. His series total of 91 rebounds was also greater than the total rebounds collected by the entire Toronto frontcourt. In the next round against the Pistons, the Magic lost the first two road games before Howard's 20 point/12 rebound performance in Game 3 salvaged a home win. In that same week, the center was named to the All-NBA First Team for the first time, and subsequently, the NBA All-Defensive Second Team. Detroit played without their star point guard Chauncey Billups for Games 4 and 5, but Orlando were unable to capitalize on that and lost the series 4–1 to the veteran playoffs team.

The 2008–09 campaign began well for Howard. Ten games into the season, the center was leading the league in blocks per game (4.2) and even recorded his first triple-double: 30 points, 19 rebounds and 10 blocks. At the halfway point of the season, Howard was leading the league in rebounds and blocks, and was among the league leaders in field goal percentage. He garnered a record 3.1 million votes to earn the starting berth on the Eastern Conference team for the 2009 NBA All-Star game.

Howard was named on 5 March 2006, to the 2006–2008 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team program. As the team's regular starting center, he helped lead the team to a 5–0 record during its pre-World Championship tour, and subsequently helped the team win the bronze medal at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. During the FIBA Americas Championship 2007, Howard was on the team which won its first nine games en route to qualifying for the finals and a spot for the 2008 Olympics. He started in eight of those nine games, averaging 8.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg and led the team in shooting .778 from the field. In the finals, he made all seven of his shots and scored 20 points as the USA defeated Argentina to win the gold medal.

On 23 June 2008, Howard was named as one of the members of the 12-man squad representing the United States in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. With Howard starting as center, Team USA won all of its games en route to the gold medal, breaking their drought of gold medals dating back to the 2000 Olympics. Howard averaged 10.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in the tournament.

Howard is the current franchise player and leader of the Magic. He is one of the NBA's best rebounders (his 14.2 rebounds per game in 2007–08 meant he became the NBA's youngest rebound champion); in a game against the Golden State Warriors on 10 January 2007, his 25 rebounds for the Magic outnumbered the total number of boards grabbed by the starting five of the Warriors. Howard's rebounding is in part facilitated by his extraordinary athleticism; his vertical leap is estimated at almost 40 inches, rare for a player of his size (6'11", 265 pounds). He demonstrated this skill memorably in the 2007 Slam Dunk Contest during the NBA All-Star Weekend, during which he completed an alley oop dunk from teammate Jameer Nelson and slapped a sticker onto the backboard which reached 12 ft 6 in (3.81 m). The sticker showed an image of his own smiling face with a handwritten "All things through Christ Phil: 4:13," a paraphrase of Philippians 4:13. As of April 2008, Howard's 12.2 rebounds per game (in the regular season) places him 15th in NBA all-time leaders. The center has also remained largely injury-free in his NBA career; he played in 351 consecutive games before missing his first game.

Howard's abilities and powerful physique have drawn attention from fellow NBA All-Stars. Tim Duncan once remarked in 2007: " is so developed... He has so much promise and I am glad that I will be out of the league when he is peaking." Kevin Garnett echoed those sentiments: " is a freak of nature, man... I was nowhere near that physically talented. I wasn't that gifted, as far as body and physical presence." In December 2007, ESPN writer David Thorpe declared Howard to be the most dominant center in the NBA. In addition, the center did not miss a single regular season game in his four years in the NBA.

While many sports pundits rate Howard as one of the top young prospects in the NBA today, Howard has some weaknesses in his game. Offensively, his shooting range remains limited; he is also mistake-prone, having led the NBA in total number of turnovers in the 2006–07 season. Like many centers, he has a low free throw conversion percentage. As a result, he is a target of the so-called Hack-a-Shaq defense. During the 2007–08 regular season, Howard led the NBA with 897 free throw attempts while shooting only 59% from the free throw line. Also in that season, outside of layups and dunks, his shooting percentage was only 31.6%.

Howard has stated he believes in reaching out to his community and fans and thus contributes substantially in the field of philanthropy. An avid listener of Gospel music, he attends the Fellowship of Faith Church when he is back home in Atlanta and is involved and active with the youth programs at the church. Together with his parents, Howard also established the Dwight D. Howard Foundation Inc. in 2004. The Foundation provides scholarships for students who want to attend his alma mater, Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy, and grants to Lovell Elementary School and Memorial Middle School in Orlando, Florida. The Foundation also organizes summer basketball camps for boys and girls, and together with high school and college coaches and players, fellow NBA players are invited to be on hand at the camp. For his contributions in the Central Florida community, Howard received in 2005 the Rich and Helen De Vos Community Enrichment Award. Within the NBA itself, Howard has participated in several NBA "Read to Achieve" assemblies encouraging children to make reading a priority.

Elsewhere, Howard appeared as a special guest on an episode of the ABC series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired 2 April 2006, in which Ty Pennington and his team built a new home and ministry offices for Sadie Holmes, who operates a social services ministry in the Orlando area.

Howard and Royce Reed, a former dancer for the team, have a son Braylon.

To the top



Kevin McHale

Kevin Edward McHale (born December 19, 1957) is a retired American professional basketball player who starred for thirteen seasons in the NBA for the Boston Celtics. He is currently on his second stint as head coach of the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves.

Kevin McHale was born to a part-Irish American father, Paul Austin McHale, and a Croatian-American mother, Josephine Patricia Starcevich, in Hibbing, Minnesota. In his senior season at Hibbing High School McHale was named Minnesota's Mr. Basketball of 1976 and led his squad to a runner-up finish in the AA Minnesota State Championship game.

In 1992, McHale was elected to the Minnesota State High School League Hall of Fame.

The 6 ft 10 in (209 cm) McHale played basketball at the power forward position for the University of Minnesota from 1976 to 1980, with career averages of 15.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

He was named All-Big Ten in 1979 and 1980 and still ranks second in school history in career points (1704) and rebounds (950).

In 1995, to coincide with the University of Minnesota's 100th anniversary, he was selected as top player in the history of University of Minnesota men's basketball.

McHale was a part of what is widely considered the league's best-ever frontline with small forward Larry Bird and center Robert Parish. The trio of Hall of Famers became known as the "Big Three" and would lead the Celtics to five NBA Finals appearances and three NBA Championships, in 1981, 1984 and 1986.

Possessing a wide variety of offensive moves close to the basket the agile, long-armed McHale played in seven National Basketball Association All-Star Games between 1984 and 1991. He led the NBA in field goal percentage in 1987 and 1988, shooting 60.4 percent each season. Also a standout defensive player, McHale was selected to the NBA All-Defensive First or Second Team six times. He twice blocked nine shots in a game, the most ever by a Boston Celtics' player (blocked shots did not become an official NBA statistic until the 1974 season).

For the first five years of his career McHale primarily came off the bench for the Celtics, winning the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1984 and 1985.

McHale's finest season came in 1986-87 when he was named to the All-NBA First Team as a forward.

Heading into the 1980 NBA Draft the Celtics held the number one overall pick. But in a shrewd pre-draft trade, considered by some to be among the most lopsided in NBA history, Boston Celtics President Red Auerbach dealt the top pick and an additional first-round pick to the Golden State Warriors for Parish and the Warriors' first-round pick, the third overall. With that pick the Celtics chose McHale.

McHale's stay in Boston got off to a rocky start as he held out for a large contract, even threatening to play in Italy, before signing a three-year deal with the Celtics. Backing up Bird and Cedric "Cornbread" Maxwell at forward, McHale made an immediate impact and was named to the NBA's All-Rookie First Team in his rookie season. Boston finished with the NBA's best record that year.

In the playoffs the Celtics swept the Chicago Bulls in the first round. In the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics faced a 3–1 deficit against the Philadelphia 76ers. But Boston won the last three games of the series, including Game 6 on Philadelphia's home court. McHale helped save the Game 6 win by blocking Andrew Toney's shot and corralling the rebound with 16 seconds left to protect the Celtics' one-point lead. In the NBA Finals, Boston defeated the Houston Rockets in six games to capture the club's fourteenth championship.

The Celtics failed to advance to the NBA Finals the next two seasons. Philadelphia exacted a measure of revenge in the 1982 Eastern Conference Final, beating Boston at its home arena, the Boston Garden, in a seventh game. In the 1983 Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Celtics were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks, leading to the firing of head coach Bill Fitch.

Following the 1982-83 season McHale's contract with the Celtics expired, and the New York Knicks signed him to a contract offer sheet. Auerbach retaliated by signing three of New York's top free agent players to offer sheets. The Knicks elected to re-sign their players and give up their pursuit of McHale. McHale eventually re-signed with Boston, his $1 million per season contract making him the fourth-highest paid player in the NBA.

McHale won the first of his consecutive NBA Sixth Man Awards as Boston won a league-best 62 games in the 1983–84 season. Led by a new head coach, former Celtic K.C. Jones, Boston was also bolstered by the acquisition of point guard Dennis Johnson from the Phoenix Suns.

After surviving a tough seven-game semifinal battle with the Knicks, the Celtics avenged the previous season's playoff loss to Milwaukee in the Eastern Conference Finals. Boston would face the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals in a highly-anticipated matchup.

In Game 4 of the finals, with the Celtics trailing in both the game and the series, McHale delivered a hard foul to Kurt Rambis, violently flinging him down by his throat, as the Lakers' forward raced to the basket. The physical play touched off a bench-clearing scuffle. Boston came back to win the game in overtime and tie the series at two games apiece. They eventually prevailed in seven games to win the franchise's fifteenth championship.

McHale continued to come off the bench during first half of the 1984–1985 season, but moved into a starting role in February 1985 after Cedric Maxwell injured a knee. On March 3 versus the Detroit Pistons McHale had his greatest scoring night, setting the Celtics' single-game scoring record with 56 points. Two nights later McHale scored 42 points against the Knicks, the only other time in his career he topped 40 points in a game. The 98 points in consecutive games is still a Celtics' record. On March 12, just nine days after McHale scored 56, Larry Bird established a new Celtics' single-game scoring mark by pouring in 60 points versus the Atlanta Hawks.

Boston captured its second straight Eastern Conference title but was upended in the NBA Finals in six games by the rival Lakers. McHale led the Celtics in scoring (26.0) and rebounding (10.7) versus the Lakers, including a 32-point, 16-rebound performance in the decisive sixth game.

The 1985–1986 edition of the Boston Celtics won the franchise's sixteenth NBA Championship and is considered one of the greatest teams in NBA history.

The Celtics acquired former NBA Most Valuable Player Bill Walton in a trade from the Los Angeles Clippers in September 1985, and added the 6 ft 11 in (211 cm) center to its already-formidable frontline. Boston sent Cedric Maxwell to the Clippers to complete the trade, clearing the way for McHale to move into a full time starting role. McHale averaged better than 20-points per game for the first time in his career (21.3) and finished thirteenth in the NBA Most Valuable Player voting.

He joined starters Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Dennis Johnson and Danny Ainge as the Celtics steamrolled the NBA with a league-best 67–15 record. The team set a then-NBA record by finishing with an 82–18 win-loss record (including playoffs), breaking the record of 81 victories by the 1971–72 Lakers.

Boston won 41 of its first 50 games, including two victories over the Lakers. In a rout of the Clippers on December 30, 1985, McHale set his single-game high in rebounds with 18 (a mark he tied versus the Pistons in 1989).

An extremely durable player through the first five seasons of his career, McHale missed 14 games in early 1986 due to an injured Achilles tendon in his left ankle, but he was healthy when the playoffs began. Boston rolled through the Eastern Conference, winning 11 of 12 games versus Chicago, Atlanta and Milwaukee.

For the second time in five years the Celtics faced Houston in the NBA Finals, and the result was the same as in 1981, as Boston won the title in six games. McHale averaged 25.8 points per game in the finals to lead all scorers.

By his seventh pro season, McHale had rehearsed and refined his low-post moves and had become one of the NBA's most dominant offensive forces, out-leaping, out-spinning and out-maneuvering defender after defender in his "torture chamber". McHale was never better than the 1986–1987 season, setting career highs in scoring (26.1) and rebounding (9.9). He also became the first player in NBA history to shoot sixty percent or better from the field (60.4%) and eighty percent or better from the free throw line (83.6%) in the same season. McHale was named to the All-NBA First Team, was named the NBA's best defensive player by the league's coaches, and finished fourth in the Most Valuable Player voting behind Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and Bird.

In nine games from February 23, 1987, through March 13, McHale played arguably the best stretch of basketball in his career. He averaged 30.7 points and 10 rebounds per game while shooting a staggering 71.7 percent from the floor. During this stretch McHale scored his season-high in points, 38 versus the Pistons on March 1.

In a win at Chicago on March 27, McHale broke the navicular bone in his right foot. He ignored doctors' advice that the injury could be career-threatening and continued to play. In the playoffs a hobbled McHale averaged 39 minutes per game and connected on 58 percent of his shots as Boston once again won the Eastern Conference title. Boston swept the Bulls in the first round for the second straight year and survived two seven-game series with the Bucks and Pistons. A tired and hurting Celtics team could not defend its championship, losing to the Lakers in six games in the NBA Finals.

Off-season surgery on his injured right foot and ankle forced McHale to sit out the first month of the 1987–1988 season. He scored 22 points in 22 minutes of play in his return to the Celtics on December 1, 1987, versus Atlanta.

Teammate Danny Ainge once called McHale "The Black Hole", joking that when the basketball was passed inside to McHale it disappeared because he rarely passed it back. But in a win over the Dallas Mavericks on April 3, 1988, McHale played the role of passer, distributing 10 assists—the only time in his career he reached double figures in a game.

The Celtics won 57 games and made their fifth straight appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals. McHale shot 60 percent from the field and averaged a career playoff-high 25.4 points per game as Boston defeated the Knicks in four games and the Hawks in a thrilling seven-game semi-final series. The Detroit Pistons were too strong for the Celtics this time around and defeated Boston in six games in the conference final. Head coach K. C. Jones retired at the end of the season, and the Celtics of the Bird-McHale-Parish era would never again advance past the conference semi-finals.

Injuries limited Larry Bird to just six games in 1988–89 and the Celtics slipped to 42-40. New head coach Jimmy Rodgers coaxed the team into the playoffs as the Eastern Conference's eighth and final seed behind the play of McHale and Parish and second-year guard Reggie Lewis.

The Celtics faced the Pistons in the playoffs for the third straight year. Detroit bottled up McHale this time around, holding him to 19 points per game and less than 50 percent shooting from the field. The Pistons easily swept the Celtics en route to their first NBA Championship.

The 1989–90 season marked the last time McHale was healthy enough to play in all 82 regular season games for the Celtics, but the season was one of discontent for Boston. Second-year point guard Brian Shaw left the team to play in Europe after a salary dispute, and Larry Bird—back from his injuries—was criticized by teammates, including McHale, for taking too many shots and trying to dominate games on his own.

Rodgers moved McHale back into his old "sixth man" role for the majority of the regular season; McHale's scoring dipped into the teens coming off the bench. With 23 games to play and Boston just nine games above .500, Rodgers decided to put McHale back into the starting lineup. McHale averaged 24.2 points and 9 rebounds down the stretch as the Celtics went 18-5 and finished just a game behind Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division.

McHale became the first player in twenty years to finish in the NBA's top ten in field goal percentage (seventh) and free throw percentage (fifth) in the same season.

Boston took the first two games of its first-round playoff series with the Knicks, including a record-setting 157–128 blowout in Game 2. In a shocking reversal the Knicks fought back and won the last three games of the series, bouncing the stunned Celtics from the playoffs. Head coach Jimmy Rodgers was fired following the playoff disappointment.

McHale contemplated retirement in the off-season after having another surgery performed on his balky right ankle, but he came back for the 1990–91 season. Boston paired young backcourt players Lewis, Dee Brown, Kevin Gamble and Brian Shaw—back from his year in Europe—with Bird, McHale and Parish and hired Chris Ford, a longtime assistant coach and member of the Celtics' 1981 championship team, to be its head coach.

The season got off to a promising start as Boston sprinted to a 29–5 record, but the Celtics were soon slowed by injuries to McHale (ankle) and Bird (back). McHale missed 14 regular season games and Bird 22, as the Celtics limped to a 27–21 record over the last three months of the season. Boston defeated the Indiana Pacers in five games in a hotly-contested first round playoff matchup, but for the third time in four years the Celtics were eliminated by Detroit, this time in a six-game semi-final series.

McHale played in a career-low 56 games and Bird played in just 45, as each suffered through an injury-plagued 1991–92 season. Boston struggled for most of the regular season but got hot as the playoffs approached, winning 15 of its last 16 games and finishing with 51 wins, the third-most in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics swept the Pacers in the first round, but were defeated in seven games in the conference semi-finals by the younger, quicker Cleveland Cavaliers. Bird retired from the NBA three months later.

The 1992–1993 season was McHale's last in the NBA. McHale played in 71 games, but he was severely hampered by leg and back injuries. He averaged just 10.7 points per game and shot less than 50 percent from the floor (45.9%) for the only time in his career.

In the first round of the NBA playoffs against the Charlotte Hornets the Celtics were stunned by the loss of Lewis, their leading scorer. He collapsed on the court during Game 1 and was diagnosed with what proved to be a fatal heart condition. McHale performed brilliantly in the series. He averaged 19.6 points per game and shot 58 percent from the field—including 30 points and 10 rebounds in Game 2—but Boston fell to the Hornets in four games.

McHale announced his retirement while talking with reporters at the scorer's table after the Game 4 loss in Charlotte.

In 971 regular season games McHale averaged 17.9 points and 7.3 rebounds and in 169 post-season games averaged 18.8 points and 7.4 rebounds.

At the end of the 2007-2008 season McHale ranked tenth in NBA history in career field goal percentage (55.4%), and he is among the Celtics' career leaders in several categories, including games played, points scored and rebounding.

McHale's number 32 jersey was retired by the Celtics on January 30, 1994, during a halftime ceremony at the Boston Garden .

He was chosen one of the NBA's fifty greatest players and was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.

McHale was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999.

Upon his retirement as an NBA player, McHale joined the Minnesota Timberwolves as a television analyst and special assistant. In the summer of 1994, new Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor promoted him to Assistant General Manager. He continued to broadcast Timberwolves games and work as an executive until 1995, when he succeeded Jack McCloskey as Vice President of Basketball Operations.

One of McHale's first moves was to hire former University of Minnesota teammate Flip Saunders as head coach of the Timberwolves.

The next season McHale made the decision to draft high school phenom forward Kevin Garnett with the fifth overall pick of the 1995 NBA Draft. Though Garnett developed into one of the NBA's best players, the Timberwolves advanced past the first round of the Western Conference playoffs only once in Garnett's twelve seasons with the team.

It was also during McHale's reign that the Timberwolves were punished by the NBA for making a secret deal with free agent forward Joe Smith to circumvent the league's salary cap rules. Before the 1998-1999 season, Smith agreed in secret to sign three one-year contracts with the Timberwolves for less than his market value. In return, Smith received a promise that the Timberwolves would give him a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract before the 2001-2002 season.

In 2000, after word of the secret agreement got out, NBA commissioner David Stern voided Smith's final one-year contract with the Timberwolves, making Smith a free agent. Stern also took away three of the Timberwolves' next five first-round draft picks and fined the team $3.5 million. Smith signed with Detroit for one season, but came back to Minnesota before the 2001-2002 season as a free agent.

On February 12, 2005, the Timberwolves fired Saunders and McHale took on head coaching duties for the remainder of the 2004-2005 season. He compiled a 19-12 record but had no interest in continuing as head coach. Dwane Casey was hired as the new head coach in the off-season of 2005.

With Minnesota sitting at .500 midway through the 2006-2007 season, McHale fired Casey on January 23, 2007. Timberwolves' assistant coach Randy Wittman was tabbed to take over for Casey.

Despite missing the playoffs, on April 19, 2007, the Timberwolves announced that McHale would return for the 2007-2008 season, as would Wittman. Prior to the 2007 NBA Draft McHale reportedly tried to work out a trade with Celtics General Manager and former teammate Danny Ainge that would have sent Kevin Garnett to Boston for a draft pick and players. Garnett's agent told the Timberwolves and the Celtics that his client had no interest in playing for Boston, and the potential trade was scuttled.

In late July 2007, Minnesota and Boston once again tried to consummate a deal for Garnett. Garnett eased his stance on being traded to Boston; on July 31 he was sent to the Celtics for five players and two first-round draft picks. Garnett finished third in the MVP balloting and was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in leading Boston to the NBA Championship over the Lakers.

On December 8, 2008, the Timberwolves fired Wittman. He had compiled a 38-105 record since taking over for Casey. The Timberwolves announced that McHale would once again take over the head coach job, and that he would also step down as VP of Basketball Operations.

McHale now resides in North Oaks, MN with his wife Lynn, along with their five children, Kristyn, Michael, Joseph, Alexandra.

To the top



NBA All-Defensive Team

The NBA All-Defensive Team is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) honor given since the 1968–69 NBA season to the best defensive players during the regular season. Voting is conducted by the NBA head coaches; the coaches are not allowed to vote for players on their own team. The All-Defensive Team is generally composed of two five-man lineups, a first and a second team, comprising a total of 10 roster spots. The players each receive two points for each first team vote and one point for each second team vote. The top five players with the highest point total make the first team, with the next five making the second team. In the case of a tie at the fifth position of either team, the roster is expanded. If the first team consists of six players due to a tie, the second team will still consist of five players with the potential for more expansion in the event of additional ties. Ties have occurred several times, most recently in 2006 when Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd tied in votes received. No respect is given to positions. For example, the second team had three forwards, one center, and one guard in 2006.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tim Duncan both share the record for the most total selections with eleven. Duncan was selected successively since his rookie year in 1998. Scottie Pippen follows with ten total honors. Michael Jordan and Gary Payton share the record for most NBA All-Defensive first team selections with nine. Pippen, Bobby Jones, and Duncan made the First Team eight times each. Walt Frazier, Kevin Garnett and Dennis Rodman made the All-Defensive first team seven times. Hakeem Olajuwon of Nigeria, Patrick Ewing of Jamaica, Dikembe Mutombo of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Andrei Kirilenko of Russia, Tim Duncan and Raja Bell of the U.S. Virgin Islands are the only six members of the NBA All-Defensive Team not born in the United States. Duncan and Bell are American citizens, but are still considered international players by the NBA because they were not born in one of the fifty states or Washington, D.C.

To the top



Source : Wikipedia