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Len Wilkens – 1972-’73 Topps #165

Leonard Randolph “Lenny” Wilkens(born October 28, 1937, in Brooklyn, New York) is a retired American basketball player and coach in the NBA. He has been inducted three times into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, first in 1989 as a player, as a coach in 1998, and as part of the US Olympic “The Dream Team” for whom he was an Assistant Coach. On November 29, 2006 he was hired as vice chairman of the Seattle SuperSonics’ ownership group, and was later named the Sonics’ President of Basketball Operations on April 27, 2007. On July 6, 2007 Wilkens resigned from the Sonics organization. Wilkens currently is seen on Northwest FSN Studio as a College Hoops analyst and occasionally appears on College Hoops Northwest at game nights. Wilkens was a two-time All-American (1959 and 1960) at Providence College. He led the team to their first NIT appearance in 1959, and to the NIT finals in 1960. When he graduated, Wilkens was, with 1,193 points, the second-ranked scorer in Friar history (he has since dropped to twentieth as of 2005). In 1996, Wilkens’ No. 14 jersey was retired by the college, the first alumnus to receive such an honor. Wilkens was drafted sixth overall by the St. Louis Hawks in the 1960 NBA Draft. He played for the Hawks (1960–1968), Seattle SuperSonics (1968–1972), Cleveland Cavaliers (1972–1974) and Portland Trail Blazers (1974–1975). Wilkens placed second to Wilt Chamberlain in the 1967–1968 MVP balloting. Wilkens was a nine-time NBA All-Star, and was named the 1971 NBA All-Star Game MVP in 1971. He led the league in assists in the 1969–70 season, and at the time of his retirement, Wilkens was the NBA’s second all-time leading playmaker, behind only Oscar Robertson.


2 responses »

  1. Love those block wall shots!

  2. Looks like they caught him in the halls of the high school


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