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Category Archives: Guard

John Roche – 1972-’73 Topps #201

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JohnRoche_a John Michael Roche (born September 26, 1949 in New York City) is a retired American professional basketball player in both the ABA and the NBA from 1971 to 1982.
Roche attended high school at La Salle Academy and college at the University of South Carolina and was a three-time All-American and two-time MVP of the Atlantic Coast Conference and played for Frank McGuire at South Carolina. He was selected by the Phoenix Suns in the first round (14th pick) of the 1971 NBA Draft and also selected by the Kentucky Colonels in the 1971 ABA Draft. Roche signed with the New York NetsJohnRoche_b of the ABA, who had obtained the rights to him from the Colonels. He was selected to the 1972 ABA All-Rookie team, and played with the Nets during his first three seasons. During the 1973–74 season, he was traded back to Colonels for Mike Gale and Wendell Ladner. Roche is one of three players in NBA history to hit 7 three-point field goals in a quarter. Roche earned a law degree from the University of Denver College of Law, while playing for the Denver Nuggets. As of 2012, Roche was an attorney at the Denver office of the law firm Taylor  Anderson.

Johnny Neuman – 1972-’73 Topps #243


JohnnyNeumann_a Carl John Neumann (born September 11, 1951 in Memphis, Tennessee) is an American former professional basketball player and coach. At 6’6″ and 200 pounds, he played the guard and forward positions. Neumann’s professional career started strong, with averages of 18.3 points per game and 19.6 points per game in his first two full seasons with Memphis. He was named to the ABA All-Rookie Team in 1972. Neumann fell out of favor with the team’s coach and management, who thought he was not passing the ball enough, and he was traded by the Memphis Tams to the Utah Stars in January 1974. Neumann’s first year in Utah the Stars won the ABA Western Division and defeated the San Diego Conquistadors in the Western Division Semifinals and the Indiana Pacers in the Western Division Finals to make it to the ABA Championship series, losing the 1974 ABA Finals to the New York Nets. Neumann struggled to regain his scoring average after being traded to Utah. He averaged just 10.1 points in 44 games with the Stars.
With the ABA-NBA merger in June 1976 Neumann ended up with the Buffalo Braves. From 1976 to 1978, Neumann played 83 games in the NBA as a member of the Braves, Los Angeles Lakers, and once again with the Pacers. In 1977-78 with the Pacers he averaged just 4.2 points per game. After leaving the NBA Neumann took his game to Europe, where he competed in Italy for Gabetti Cantu’ and Germany. Neumann became an assistant coach while playing in Germany.  Since the early 1980s, Neumann has coached in Belgium, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, JohnnyNeumann_bLebanon, China, and Japan, as well as in the American minor-league Continental Basketball Association with the Maine Lumberjacks. Neumann also coached the Louisville Shooters of the Global Basketball Association in 1991 and 1992. While in Cyprus, he discovered Darrell Armstrong, a little-known American guard from Fayetteville State University who later found success in the NBA. On June 23, 2010, Neumann was appointed as the new coach of the Romania national team.
The Memphis Tams nickname was an acronym for Tennessee – Arkansas – Mississippi, and the logo was a tam o’shanter-style hat in white, green and gold, which were also the new team colors, shared with the Athletics and Golden Seals.

Jim Cleamons – 1972-’73 Topps #29


James Mitchell “Jim” Cleamons (born September 13, 1949 in Lincolnton, North Carolina) is a retired American professional basketball player and current coach. He played collegiately at The Ohio State University, and was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 13th pick of the 1971 NBA Draft. He had a nine-year NBA career for four different teams. In 1976, Cleamons was selected to the NBA All-Defense 2nd team. In addition to his playing career, Cleamons was the head coach of the Dallas Mavericks for slightly over one year, from 1996 to 1997. He was then the head coach of the Chicago Condors, and he has served as an assistant coach for the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets. He was hired as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers on July 19, 2006. For a few games during his tenure with the Lakers, he has served as acting head coach while Phil Jackson was absent. In 2011, Cleamons became a coach in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Dick Van Arsdale – 1972-’73 Topps #25


Richard Albert (Dick) Van Arsdale (born February 22, 1943 in Indianapolis, Indiana) a former professional basketball player and coach, and a current NBA executive. The 6’5″ guard played at Indiana University. Van Arsdale was selected by the New York Knickerbockers in the 2nd round of the 1965 NBA Draft. He was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1966, along with his brother Tom Van Arsdale. Van Arsdale played in the NBA for 12 seasons. Three with the Knickerbockers and the remainder with the Phoenix Suns. Van Arsdale, a three-time All-Star, was one of the best free throw shooters in the NBA. He retired from play in 1977. Van Arsdale is remembered in Phoenix basketball lore as the “original Sun”. He later became the team’s general manager, and is currently the team’s senior vice president of player personnel. In 1987, he briefly served as the team’s head coach, following the departure of John MacLeod.

Clem Haskins – 1972-’73 Topps #59

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ImageClem Smith Haskins (born August 11, 1943) is a retired American professional basketball player and college basketball coach. He and star player Dwight Smith became the first black athletes to integrate the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers basketball program in the fall of 1963. This put Western Kentucky at the forefront to integrate college basketball in the South. He served 13 years as head coach of the University of Minnesota’s men’s basketball team, but was forced to resign due to one of the worst academic fraud scandals in the history of NCAA sports. He was effectively blackballed from coaching college basketball for seven years, one of the most severe penalties handed down by the NCAA to an individual.
After a successful college career, Haskins was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 1967 NBA Draft and by the Kentucky Colonels in the American Basketball Association draft. Haskins went on to play nine years in the NBA with three teams (the Bulls, the Phoenix Suns, and the Washington Bullets). He retired in 1976 due to knee injuries, having tallied 6,743 career points.
After his NBA career, Haskins returned to Western Kentucky University, first as an assistant coach and then as head coach. In 1986, Haskins was hired by the University of Minnesota to rebuild the school’s men’s basketball program. ImageHe led the Gophers to a school-record 31 wins and the Final Four in 1997, winning the Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award in the same year. He also led Minnesota to National Invitation Tournament titles in 1993 and 1998. Haskins was known for sitting on a four-legged stool at Minnesota home games. Williams Arena has a raised floor which was hard on Haskins’ knees, and ordinarily the team sits off the floor. He joined Lenny Wilkens’ staff to coach “Dream Team III” to the gold medal in Basketball at the 1996 Summer Olympics
Clem is no longer coaching basketball. He has a 750-acre ranch near Campbellsville, Kentucky where he raises cattle. He also does color commentary for Western Kentucky basketball home games.

Charlie Davis – 1972-’73 Topps #8

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ImageCharlie Davis (born September 7, 1949 in New York City) is best known for being an outstanding college basketball player for Wake Forest University (WFU). He was the second African American player in Wake Forest’s history. Davis was the 1971 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Men’s Basketball Player of the Year, and the first black player to win the award. Davis garnered first-team All-ACC honors for three years in a row, and was an eighth-round NBA draft pick (120th overall) by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1971Image

NBA All Stars – Pete Maravich – 1972-’73 Topps #130

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ImagePeter “Pistol Pete” Press Maravich (June 22, 1947 – January 5, 1988) was an American professional basketball player. Born and raised in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, Maravich starred in college at Louisiana State University (LSU) and played for three NBA teams until injuries induced him to retire in 1980. He is still the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points scored and an average of 44.2 points per game. Maravich died suddenly at age 40 during a pick-up game of a previously undetected congenital heart defect. One of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Maravich was cited by the Hall as “perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history”. In an April 2010 interview, ImageHall of Fame player John Havlicek said “the best ball-handler of all time was Maravich.”
More than 35 years later, many of his NCAA and LSU records still stand. Maravich was a three-time All-American. Though he never appeared in the NCAA tournament, Maravich played a key role in turning around a lackluster program that had posted a 3–20 record in the season prior to his arrival.During his ten-year career in the NBA, Maravich played in 658 games, averaging 24.2 points and 5.4 assists per contest. In 1985, the Jazz honored his contributions to the franchise by retiring his jersey #7. Two years later, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Billy Keller – 1972-’73 Topps #264

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William Curry “Billy” Keller (born August 30, 1947 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American former professional basketball player. The 5’10″ guard, spent his entire basketball career in the state of Indiana. He attended George Washington Community High School, located in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was named Indiana’s Mr. Basketball his Senior year. Billy was the 2nd pick in the 7th round in the 1969 NBA Draft to the Milwaukee Bucks, but only played for the ABA’s Indiana Pacers. Along with the likes of George McGinnis and college teammate Rick Mount, he Imagehelped lead the Pacers to three ABA Championships in ’70, ’72 and ’73. Keller would become one of the most successful shooters in ABA history, making 506 three-point field goals during his seven-year career while leading the league in free throw percentage two times in 1973 and 1976. He set an ABA Playoffs record going 30-30 from the free throw line in the 1974-1975 season. He finished his 7 year ABA career averaging 11.8 points a game, with a .456 field goal percentage and scoring a total of 6,588 points. Four years after his career in the ABA, Bill served as an assistant coach at his alma mater in 1980 under second year head coach, Lee Rose. He helped lead Purdue to an overall record of 23-10, including an NCAA Final Four appearance. In 1992, Keller was elected to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. He currently runs a series of basketball camps in his home state.

Earl Monroe – 1972-’73 Topps #142


Vernon Earl Monroe (born November 21, 1944, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American former professional basketball player known for his flamboyant dribbling, passing, and play-making. He was nicknamed “Earl the Pearl”. From an early age, Monroe was a playground legend. His high school teammates at John Bartram High School called him “Thomas Edison” because of the many moves he invented. Monroe rose to prominence at a national level while playing basketball at then Division II Winston-Salem State University, located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Under the coaching of Hall of Fame coach Clarence “Big House” Gaines, Monroe averaged 7.1 points his freshman year, 23.2 points as a sophomore, 29.8 points as a junior and an amazing 41.5 points his senior year. In 1967, he earned NCAA College Division Player of the Year honors and led the Rams to the NCAA College Division Championship.
In 1971, Monroe was traded to the New York Knicks and formed what was known as the “Rolls Royce Backcourt” with the equally flamboyant Walt Frazier. While there were initial questions as to whether Monroe and Frazier could coexist as teammates, the duo eventually meshed to become one of the most effective guard combinations of all time, leading the Knicks to the 1973 NBA championship. That pairing is one of few backcourts ever to feature two Hall of Famers and NBA 50th Anniversary Team members. A four-time NBA All-Star, Monroe retired after the 1980 season due to serious knee injuries, which had plagued him throughout his career. He had played 926 NBA career games, scored 17,454 total points (18.8 ppg) and dished out 3,594 assists. Monroe had his number 15 jersey retired by the Knicks on March 1, 1986. Even Monroe admits that his flowing, fluid, silky-smooth on-court style of play was unique. He has said: “You know, I watch the games and even now I never see anyone who reminds me of me, the way I played.”

Dave Bing – 1972 – ’73 Topps #170


David “Dave” Bing (born November 24, 1943) is the mayor of Detroit, Michigan, a businessman, and a retired American professional basketball player who played 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association, primarily for the Detroit Pistons (1966–75). He was a seven-time All-Star. His #21 was retired by the Detroit Pistons, and in 1996 he was named as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of all time. He was elected mayor of Detroit in a special election on May 5, 2009 and was sworn in on May 11, 2009. Bing won the full-term mayoral election on November 3, 2009, defeating challenger Tom Barrow. Bing was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990.
Bing was born and raised in northeast Washington, D.C., as a son of a bricklayer. At age five, Bing accidentally poked his left eye with a nail of a wooden horse that he improvised. With the family unable to afford an eye operation, the eye healed on its own but left Bing with fuzzy vision since then.
Bing’s basketball career began in 1959 at Spingarn High School in Washington D.C., where he played in the footsteps of the great Elgin Baylor who had set all the city scoring records playing there in 1954. At Spingarn, Bing played in 3 straight Interhigh championship games. In 1960 and 1961, he teamed up with the great Ollie Johnson, and Spingarn won easily over Dunbar (67-53) and Eastern (81-64). The Green Wave went on to defeat DeMatha 63-50 for the 61 City championship. Bing averaged 16.2 and 16.9 ppg in 1961 and 1962. Bing was a three-year letter winner, all–Inter High, All-Metro, and All-East member. In 1962, Bing was in Parade magazine and made the All-American Team.

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