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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.

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