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Category Archives: Forward

Joe Caldwell – 1972 – ’73 Topps #255

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JoeCaldwell_a Joe Louis Caldwell (born November 1, 1941 in Texas City, Texas) a retired American professional basketball player. He spent 6 seasons in the NBA and 5 seasons in the ABA, and he was one of the few players to be an All-Star in both leagues. He was also a member of the United States Olympic basketball team that won the gold at the 1964 Summer Olympics. Nicknamed “Pogo Joe” or “Jumping Joe” for his leaping abilities, Caldwell was a 6’5″ guard and forward from Arizona State University. Drafted by the Detroit Pistons in 1964, he spent the majority of his NBA career with the St. Louis/Atlanta Hawks franchise. After averaging 21.1 points per game during the 1969-70 NBA season, Caldwell jumped to the rival ABA, playing for the Carolina Cougars from 1970 to 1974. JoeCaldwell_bCaldwell was also a great defender, and basketball legend Julius Erving said that Caldwell guarded him better than any player in the ABA. During the 1974-75 season, St. Louis management blamed Caldwell for influencing team star Marvin Barnes to briefly leave the team. Caldwell denied doing this but he was suspended for “activities detrimental to the best interests of professional basketball.” Caldwell never played another pro basketball game and has filed various lawsuits because he believes that he was wrongly blacklisted by the ABA and later the NBA. He scored 12,619 combined NBA/ABA career points. On November 20, 2010, ASU retired his collegiate number 32 before a game against the UAB Blazers.

Bud Stallworth – 1972-’73 Topps #58

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ImageIsaac “Bud” Stallworth (born January 18, 1950 in Hartselle, Alabama) is a retired American basketball player. He was a 6’5″ and 190 lb shooting guard and played college basketball at the University of Kansas where he was named 1972 All-Big Eight Player of the Year. He had a professional career in the NBA from 1972–1977. Stallworth was selected 7th overall by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1972 NBA Draft, and by the Denver Rockets in the 1972 ABA Draft. After two seasons with the Sonics, he was made available in the 1974 expansion draft to be selected by the New Orleans Jazz, where he played for three seasons. ImageHis playing career was cut short due to a back injury sustained in an automobile accident in 1977. In 1978, Stallworth graduated from University of Kansas with a bachelor of social work degree. In 1972 while at KU, Stallworth scored 50 points in a win against Missouri.

NBA All Stars – Spencer Haywood – 1972-’73 Topps #120

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ImageSpencer Haywood (born April 22, 1949) is a retired American professional basketball player. In his rookie season, Haywood led the ABA in scoring at 30.0 points per game and rebounding at 19.5 rebounds per game. He was named both the ABA Rookie of the Year and ABA MVP during the 1969-70 season, and became the youngest ever recipient of the MVP at the age of 21. His 986 field goals made, 1,637 rebounds, and 19.5 rebound per game average are the all-time ABA records for a season. Haywood also won the ABA’s 1970 All-Star Game MVP that year after recording 23 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 blocked shots for the West team. ImageHaywood was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1972 and 1973 and the All-NBA Second Team in 1974 and 1975. Haywood’s 29.2 points per game in the 1972-73 season and 13.4 rebounds per game in 1973-74 are still the single-season record averages for the SuperSonics for these categories. Haywood played in four NBA All-Star Games while with Seattle, including a strong 23 point 11 rebound performance in 1974. In the 1974-75 season, he helped lead the SuperSonics to their first playoff berth. Overall, during his five seasons with Seattle, Haywood averaged 24.9 points per game and 12.1 rebounds per game. Haywood’s #24 jersey was retired by the SuperSonics during a halftime ceremony on February 26, 2007.

NBA All-Stars Dave De Busschere – 1972-’73 Topps #30

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ImageDavid Albert DeBusschere (October 16, 1940 – May 14, 2003) was an American NBA and major league baseball player and coach in the NBA. In 1996, DeBusschere was named as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. DeBusschere was drafted by the Detroit Pistons out of the University of Detroit in 1962 as a territorial draft selection. During his rookie season he averaged 12.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per game, and was later named to the NBA All-Rookie Team. However, DeBusschere was injured during his second season and only played in 15 games, resulting in the Pistons finishing with a record of 23-59. In the 1964-1965 season, at the age of 24, he was given the position of player-coach for the Pistons, and became the youngest-ever coach in league history. This stint as coach was not successful and he became a full-time player. During the 1968-1969 season, DeBusschere was traded to the New York Knicks for Walt Bellamy and Howard Komives. DeBusschere spent his best years in New York. He became one of the most talented and feared players in the league. He played a physical game on both ends of the floor, often ending the season as one of the league’s best rebounders. DeBusschere retired in 1974. His #22 jersey was retired by the Knicks, Imagethough not until many years after his retirement; it is thought the delay was due to DeBusschere’s taking a front-office job with the rival New York Nets (now New Jersey Nets) of the then-American Basketball Association upon his retirement. In 1962 DeBusschere was signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent. He was pitcher for the Chicago White Sox from 1962-63. He pitched a shutout on August 13, 1963, against the Cleveland Indians, giving up six hits, one walk and striking out three. In May 2003, Dave DeBusschere collapsed on a Manhattan street when he suffered a fatal heart attack. He was 62 years of age. DeBusschere is interred at Saint Joseph’s Church Cemetery in Garden City, Nassau County, New York.

NBA All-Stars Bob Love – 1972-’73 Topps #60

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ImageRobert (Bob) Earl “Butterbean” Love (born December 8, 1942, in Bastrop, Louisiana) is a retired American professional basketball player who spent the prime of his career with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls. A versatile forward who could shoot with either his left or right hand, Love now works as the Bulls’ Director of Community Affairs. Love flourished while playing for Dick Motta’s Bulls. In 1969–70, he became a full-time starter, averaging 21 points and 8.7 rebounds. The following two seasons he averaged 25.2 and 25.8 points per game, appeared in his first two NBA All-Star Games, and earned All-NBA Second Team honors both seasons. Love also appeared in the 1973 All-Star Game, and he would average at least 19 points and six rebounds every season until 1976–77. Love was named to the NBA’s All-Defense Second Team in 1974 and 1975. His #10 jersey was the second jersey number to be retired by the Chicago Bulls. Jerry Sloan’s #4 was the first. Image
Love ended his NBA career with the Bulls after spending parts of the 1976-77 season in New York and Seattle. He would finish with career totals of 13,895 points, 1,123 assists, and 4,653 rebounds. Love suffered from a severe stuttering problem, from childhood, which prevented him from finding meaningful employment after his playing days were over. At one point, Love was a busboy making $4.45 an hour. Eventually, the owner of the restaurant where Love washed dishes offered to pay for speech therapy classes, and in 1993 he returned to the Chicago Bulls as their director of community relations. One of his duties in this position involves regularly speaking to school children. Love has also become a motivational speaker.

ABA All Stars – George McGinnis – 1972-’73 Topps #180

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ImageGeorge F. McGinnis (born August 12, 1950 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is a retired American professional basketball player, most notably with the Indiana Pacers of the American Basketball Association (ABA) from 1971 to 1975. He was drafted into the ABA from Indiana University in 1971. In the ’70-71 season at Indiana, McGinnis became the first sophomore to lead the Big Ten in scoring and rebounding. He averaged 29.9 points per game in his lone season in Bloomington earning All-American and All-Big Ten Honors in 1971.Image
George McGinnis was one of the marquee players of the ABA, and later teamed with fellow ABA alumni Julius Erving and Caldwell Jones on the Philadelphia 76ers that made the National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals in 1977. McGinnis was traded to the Denver Nuggets in 1978. Two years later, the Pacers reacquired him in a trade for high-scoring forward Alex English. However, McGinnis was only a shadow of his former self, and contributed very little during his two-year return to Indiana. Meanwhile, English went on to become one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history. This transaction is now considered among the worst  trades in Pacers history, as well as one of the most lopsided deals in NBA history.
McGinnis is one of four players to have his jersey (#30) retired by the Pacers. George McGinnis is one of the few ABA Most Valuable Players not called up to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Cazzie Russell – 1972-’73 Topps #41

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ImageCazzie Lee Russell (born June 7, 1944 in Chicago, Illinois) is a former pro basketball player and coach. In 1962, Russell was named the Chicago Sun Times Boy’s Player of the Year. Russell played college basketball at the University of Michigan, where he led the Wolverines  to three consecutive Big Ten Conference titles (1964–66) and to Final Four appearances in 1964 and 1965, losing in the final game 91-80 to defending national champion UCLA and John Wooden. In 1966, Russell averaged 30.8 points per game and was named the College Basketball Player of the Year. Crisler Arena, which opened in 1967, has been dubbed The House that Cazzie Built.
Russell spent twelve seasons in the NBA (1966-1978), and his best remembered for his five seasons with the New York Knicks Image(1966-71). Russell was the NBA’s first draft pick in 1966, and was named to the 1967 All-Rookie Team. He was later part of the famous 1970 Knicks team that won the NBA championship over the Los Angeles Lakers. Russell played in the 1972 NBA All-Star Game while with the Golden State Warriors. When he played for the Lakers, he was the last player to wear #32 prior to Magic Johnson.
Russell was the head coach of the men’s basketball team at the Savannah College of Art and Design for 13 seasons, until the college eliminated the sport in 2009. He still remains at the college in an administrative capacity.

Phil Jackson – 1972-’73 Topps #71

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Philip Douglas “Phil” Jackson  (born September 17, 1945) is a retired American professional basketball coach and former player. Jackson is widely considered one of the greatest coaches in the history of the National Basketball Association. His reputation was established as head coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1989 through 1998; during his tenure, Chicago won six NBA titles. His next team, the Los Angeles Lakers, won five NBA titles from 2000 to 2010. In total, Jackson has won 11 NBA titles as a coach, surpassing the previous record of nine set by Red Auerbach. He holds the record for the most championships in NBA history as a player and a head coach, after breaking the tie with Bill Russell when the Los Angeles Lakers won the 2009 NBA Finals. Jackson was a player on the 1970 and 1973 NBA champion New York Knicks. In 1996, as part of celebrations for the National Basketball Association’s 50th anniversary, Jackson was named one of the 10 greatest coaches in league history.
In 1967, Jackson was drafted in the second round by the New York Knicks. While he was a good all-around athlete, with unusually long arms, he was limited offensively and compensated with intelligence and hard work on defense. Jackson eventually established himself as a fan favorite and one of the NBA’s leading substitutes. He was a top reserve on the Knicks team that won the NBA title in 1973. Jackson missed being part of New York’s 1970 championship season due to spinal fusion surgery; however, he authored a book entitled “Take It All,” a photo diary of the Knicks’ 1970 Championship run. Soon after the 1973 title, several key starters retired, creating an opening for Jackson in the starting lineup. In the 1974-75 NBA season, Jackson and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Bob Dandridge shared the lead for total personal fouls, with 330 each. Jackson lived in Leonia, New Jersey during this time. After going across the Hudson in 1978 to play two seasons for the New Jersey Nets, he retired from play in 1980.

Bill Bradley – 1972-’73 Topps #82


William Warren “Bill” Bradley(born July 28, 1943) is an American hall of fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, and former three-term Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in the 2000 election. Bradley was born and raised in a suburb of St. Louis and excelled at basketball from an early age. He was a member of the Boy Scouts and did well academically, was an all-county and all-state basketball player in high school, and was offered 75 college scholarships. At Princeton University he earned a gold medal as a member of the 1964 Olympic basketball team and was the NCAA Player of the Year in 1965. After graduating in 1965, he attended Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, delaying a decision for two years on whether or not to play in the NBA. While at Oxford, Bradley played one season of professional basketball in Europe, and eventually decided to join the New York Knicks in the 1967–68 season, after serving six months in the Air Force Reserve. He spent his entire ten-year professional basketball career playing for the Knicks, winning two championship titles. Retiring in 1977, he ran for a seat in the United States Senate the following year, from his adopted home state of New Jersey. He was re-elected in 1984 and 1990, left the Senate in 1997, and was an unsuccessful candidate for the 2000 Democratic presidential nomination. Bradley is the author of six non-fiction books, most recently The New American Story, and hosts a weekly radio show, American Voices, on Sirius Satellite Radio. He is a corporate director of Starbucks and a partner at investment bank Allen & Company in New York City.

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