1976 NBA Finals

The 1976 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round for the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1975–76 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. The Eastern Conference champion Boston Celtics defeated the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2. Celtics point guard Jo Jo White was named as the series MVP.

1976 NBA Finals
TeamCoachWins
Boston Celtics Tom Heinsohn 4
Phoenix Suns John MacLeod 2
DatesMay 23 – June 6
MVPJo Jo White
(Boston Celtics)
TelevisionCBS (U.S.)
AnnouncersBrent Musburger, Mendy Rudolph, Sonny Hill, and Rick Barry
Radio networkWBZ-AM (Boston), KTAR (Phoenix)
AnnouncersJohnny Most (Celtics), Al McCoy (Suns)
Referees
Game 1:Darell Garretson and Jake O'Donnell
Game 2:Earl Strom and Joe Gushue
Game 3:Richie Powers and Paul Mihalak
Game 4:Don Murphy and Manny Sokol
Game 5:Richie Powers and Don Murphy
Game 6:Darell Garretson and Jake O'Donnell
Hall of FamersCeltics:
Dave Cowens (1991)
John Havlicek (1984)
Don Nelson (2012, coach)
Charlie Scott (2018)
Jo Jo White (2015)
Suns:
Pat Riley (2008, coach)
Paul Westphal (2019)
Coaches:
Tom Heinsohn (1986, player/2015, coach)
Officials:
Darell Garretson (2016)
Earl Strom (1995)
Announcers:
Rick Barry (1987/Player)
Mendy Rudolph (2007/Official)
Eastern FinalsCeltics defeat Cavaliers, 4–2
Western FinalsSuns defeat Warriors, 4–3

Background

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns entered the NBA as an expansion team in the 1968–69 season. Prior to 1976, they only made the playoffs once, losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 1970 NBA Playoffs. Before that the Suns lost a coin flip to the Milwaukee Bucks to determine the fate of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's new team prior to the 1969 NBA draft. Phoenix ultimately selected Neal Walk, who became a bust. The Suns redeemed themselves in the 1975 NBA draft by selecting Alvan Adams fourth overall.

With Adams fortifying the center position, and with new addition Paul Westphal and Dick Van Arsdale providing the scoring punch, the Suns reached the playoffs for only the second time, finishing with 42 wins. The Suns defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in six games of the conference semifinals, before achieving a major upset in dethroning the previous year's champions the Golden State Warriors in seven games. The Suns made it to their first NBA Finals.

Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics were seeking to make up for the lost opportunity they squandered in the 1975 NBA Playoffs. That year, they finished with 60 wins, but lost to the Washington Bullets in the conference finals. They kept the core of the team that won the 1974 NBA Finals, but made some tweaks, such as the trade of Westphal to Phoenix for Charlie Scott. The Celtics won 54 games in the 1975–76 season, then defeated the Buffalo Braves and the "Miracle of Richfield" Cleveland Cavaliers in six games each to reach their 14th NBA Finals. Boston was seeking its 13th NBA title.

Road to the Finals

Phoenix Suns (Western Conference champion) Boston Celtics (Eastern Conference champion)
# Western Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Golden State Warriors 59 23 .720
2 x-Seattle SuperSonics 43 39 .524 16
3 x-Phoenix Suns 42 40 .512 17
4 y-Milwaukee Bucks 38 44 .463 21
5 x-Detroit Pistons 36 46 .439 23
6 Los Angeles Lakers 40 42 .488 19
7 Portland Trail Blazers 37 45 .451 22
8 Kansas City Kings 31 51 .378 28
9 Chicago Bulls 24 58 .293 35

3rd seed in the West, 8th best league record

Regular season
# Eastern Conference
Team W L PCT GB
1 z-Boston Celtics 54 28 .659
2 y-Cleveland Cavaliers 49 33 .598 5
3 x-Washington Bullets 48 34 .585 6
4 x-Philadelphia 76ers 46 36 .561 8
5 x-Buffalo Braves 46 36 .561 8
6 Houston Rockets 40 42 .488 14
7 New York Knicks 38 44 .463 16
8 New Orleans Jazz 38 44 .463 16
9 Atlanta Hawks 29 53 .354 25

1st seed in the East, 2nd best league record

Earned first-round bye First Round Earned first-round bye
Defeated the (2) Seattle SuperSonics, 4–2 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (5) Buffalo Braves, 4–2
Defeated the (1) Golden State Warriors, 4–3 Conference Finals Defeated the (2) Cleveland Cavaliers, 4–2

Regular season series

Boston swept the four-game regular season series.

December 26, 1975
Boston Celtics 112, Phoenix Suns 106
January 21, 1976
Phoenix Suns 100, Boston Celtics 114
February 13, 1976
Boston Celtics 109, Phoenix Suns 108
March 31, 1976
Phoenix Suns 102, Boston Celtics 122

Series summary

Game Date Home Team Score Road Team
Game 1 May 23 (Sun.) Boston 98–87 Phoenix
Game 2 May 27 (Thu.) Boston 105–90 Phoenix
Game 3 May 30 (Sun.) Phoenix 105–98 Boston
Game 4 June 2 (Wed.) Phoenix 109–107 Boston
Game 5 June 4 (Fri.) Boston 128–126 (3 OT) Phoenix
Game 6 June 6 (Sun.) Phoenix 80–87 Boston

Boston Celtics defeated Phoenix Suns, 4 games to 2

Game 1

Boston turned back the Suns in game one behind a balanced attack. John Havlicek did not start for the Celtics due to a painful heel injury. However, Boston coach Tom Heinsohn rushed Havlicek into the game with 7:24 left in the first quarter as Phoenix took an early 10–7 lead and the Ohio State product never came back out of the game. Dave Cowens recorded a triple-double with 25 points, 21 rebounds and 10 assists while Jo Jo White shot only 1–4 from the field in the first half before making 8-of-11 shots in the second half to keep Phoenix at bay. Phoenix trailed by two at the end of the first quarter as they failed to take advantage of 11 first quarter Celtic turnovers. Kevin Stacom scored five straight points (his only points) to put Boston up for good 22–20. Charlie Scott fouled out when he picked up his fifth and sixth fouls in an 11-second span.

Game 2

Phoenix lost their twelfth game in a row at Boston Garden as Boston put the game away with a 20–2 run at the start of the third quarter that gave them a 72–43 lead. The run was started by steals from Jo Jo White and Charlie Scott. Scott made just one-of-nine shots from the field in the first half but came alive with 12 points in the third quarter. Boston again started the game slowly without John Havlicek in the starting line-up, not making a field goal in the first three minutes of the game and again prompting Tommy Heinsohn to rush Havlicek into the game again.

Game 3

Phoenix held Boston scoreless for nearly five minutes in the second period as they went to a 16-point lead. Then, the Suns' Ricky Sobers and Boston's Kevin Stacom got into a fistfight, and both were ejected. Sobers was having a good game at that point, and Phoenix coach John MacLeod would later accuse the Celtics of having Stacom bait Sobers into the fight in order to get him out of the game.

The Suns extended the lead to 23 in the third, but Boston began to charge back and cut the lead to two with three minutes left. At that point, Suns rookie center Alvan Adams scored twice, passed off to Paul Westphal for another, and then tipped in a Westphal miss moments later.

That was enough to get Phoenix a 105–98 win. Adams finished with 33 points and 14 rebounds. Dave Cowens and Charlie Scott both fouled out for the Celtics, and the Celtics also were whistled for two technicals.

Game 4

In the first-ever NBA game played in the month of June, referees Don Murphy and Manny Sokol whistled 21 fouls in the first 10 minutes. Celtics coach Tom Heinsohn claimed later that the affair was pure "high school." John Havlicek and Cowens put the blame on their team for 'committing stupid fouls.'

The game was close to the end, when Ricky Sobers hit a bank shot to put the Suns up by four with 90 seconds left. The Celtics cut it to two and had a chance to tie it, but lost 109-107 when Jo Jo White missed a jump shot late.

Game 5

June 4
Phoenix Suns 126, Boston Celtics 128 (3OT)
Scoring by quarter: 18–36, 27–25, 27–16, 23–18, Overtime: 6–6, 11–11, 14–16
Pts: Sobers, Westphal 25 each
Rebs: Curtis Perry 15
Asts: Perry, Ricky Sobers 6 each
Pts: Jo Jo White 33
Rebs: Cowens 19
Asts: Jo Jo White 9
Boston Garden, Boston
Attendance: 15,320
Referees: Richie Powers, Don Murphy

Game 5 was a triple-overtime contest that is sometimes referred to as "the greatest game ever played"[1][2][3][4] in NBA history. With the series tied 2-2, Boston took a huge lead at Boston Garden but could not hold it. The game was enhanced by several controversies.

Two controversies involved each team's use of timeouts:

(a) With the score tied at 95–95, Boston's Paul Silas attempted to call a timeout near the end of regulation with the Celtics out of timeouts. Referee Richie Powers appeared to have seen Silas signal the timeout, but did not grant it. If he had, the Celtics would have been socked with a technical foul, and the Suns would have been awarded a free throw that might have decided the outcome.

(b) The Suns' Paul Westphal also intentionally called a timeout even though his team had no more remaining, as further explained below.

Another set of controversies involved the clock;

(a) Shortly after hitting the game-tying free-throw with 22 seconds left in regulation, John Havlicek missed the second and rebounded his own miss. He then took a pass from Jo Jo White, dribbled to the right and uncharacteristically attempted a jump shot with eight seconds left (rather than waiting until the final seconds). Westphal rebounded the ball for Phoenix with five seconds left and signaled for a timeout which the referee granted, but the clock was not stopped until three seconds were left.

(b) With three seconds left in the first overtime and the score 101-101, John Havlicek took an inbounds pass and dribbled to the right baseline before attempting a game-winning shot. The clock appeared not to start until Havlicek stopped dribbling and ball-faked before he released the shot.

(c) Havlicek hit what appeared to be the game-winning shot at the end of the second overtime, but his shot went through the basket with two seconds left and the clock should have been stopped, as discussed below.

The most notable portion of the game was the final 20 seconds of the second overtime. Boston led at that point 109-106 (with the three-point basket not yet in existence). Phoenix had possession of the ball after taking its last timeout of the OT. In an amazing and frantic sequence, the following transpired:

(a) The Suns' Dick Van Arsdale hit a short jumper from the corner, cutting the gap to 109–108,

(b) the Celtics inbounded the ball to John Havlicek, but the Suns' Paul Westphal came from seemingly out of nowhere to knock the ball out of Havlicek's hands. As his momentum was carrying him out of bounds, Westphal saved the ball to Van Arsdale, who passed it to Curtis Perry. Perry took an 18-footer from the left wing and missed.

(c) Havlicek went after the rebound on the Perry miss, but couldn't get a grip on it and ended up tapping the ball back to Perry on the left baseline.

(d) Perry then let fly from 15 feet (4.6 m) and made the shot to put the Suns ahead.

Phoenix suddenly led, 110-109, with just six seconds left, and the team looked poised to win their third straight game and grab a 3-to-2 edge in the series. John Havlicek (already of "Havlicek Stole the Ball" fame) responded with a drive and a leaning one-hander in traffic, that he banked in off the glass, putting Boston in front 111-110 as the horn sounded. The fans then poured onto the court to celebrate Boston's apparent victory. The Celtics returned to their locker room. As CBS analyst Rick Barry passionately and correctly pointed out, the ball went through the hoop with two seconds left and the clock should have been stopped. The officials apparently agreed with Barry and ordered the Celtics back onto the floor. The game was not over.

During the ensuing pandemonium, a fan attacked referee Richie Powers and other fans turned over one of the scorer's tables. After clearing the court (the fan who attacked Powers was arrested) and getting the Celtics back on the floor, the officials put one second back on the clock. Still, Phoenix's chances seemed slim, as they had the ball under their own basket with a second left. Then Paul Westphal of the Suns signaled for a time out that the Suns did not have. Although this resulted in a technical foul being called on Westphal, the play was critical for Phoenix, because the rules at the time gave Phoenix the same advantage (save for the technical foul shot) that they would have had with timeouts remaining to use; namely, possession of the ball at half court. Boston's Jo Jo White made the technical free throw, increasing Boston's lead to 112–110.

During the timeout, fans were still on the Boston Garden floor, even disturbing the Suns' huddle by their bench as coach John MacLeod was drawing up a play for a possible tying basket. The Suns' players repeatedly had to shove the fans out of the way, and Phoenix general manager Jerry Colangelo even threatened to not bring his team back to the Boston Garden for Game 7 if security couldn't maintain control. When play resumed, Phoenix's Gar Heard took the inbounds pass from Perry and made a buzzer-beating shot (a turn-around jumper at the top of the key) for the Suns that tied the score yet again, 112–112.

Boston eventually took a six-point lead, 128–122, late in the third overtime, as Glenn McDonald, a little-used Celtic reserve player, chipped in half a dozen. Westphal then scored the next four points for Phoenix (as part of a brilliant performance that featured several leaping, spinning, acrobatic bank shots) cutting the gap to 128–126, but he could not get the ball again; (although he very nearly did -- almost stealing a pass near half court as the third overtime wound down).

Celtics who fouled out (were disqualified due to six personal fouls) were Charlie Scott in the last minute of regulation, Dave Cowens with one minute left in the 2nd overtime, and Paul Silas in the 3rd overtime. Alvan Adams and Dennis Awtrey both fouled out for the Suns. Silas picked up his fifth foul late in the fourth quarter, but played the entire remainder, including all three overtime periods before fouling out late in the third.

The Suns had the lead in the game on only four occasions (twice in the second overtime) and never by more than 2 points. They led 95-94 late in the fourth, and 106-105 and 110-109 in the 2nd overtime. They also led in the third overtime by 114–112.

McDonald scored eight points in the game, all in overtime.

Jo Jo White led all scorers with 33 points.

Pat Riley was a reserve on the Suns' bench, but never played in a game.

Game 6

After the tough Game 5 loss, the Suns were more defiant than ever heading back home to Phoenix. "We know we're going to beat them." Gar Heard declared. "It's going to take seven now, but we know we're going to beat them. We showed we came to play."

The first half was a defensive struggle. Each team scored 20 points in the first quarter, then Boston scored 18 in the second while holding the Suns to 13. Keith Erickson, a key Suns' reserve, had attempted to play at the start of the second period, but reinjured his sprained ankle and never returned. After falling behind by 11, Phoenix caught up again in the third and took a 67–66 lead on a Ricky Sobers free throw with 7:25 left in the game.

But the Celtic heroes of old (Dave Cowens, John Havlicek) and new (Charlie Scott) took control from there. Havlicek hit two free throws; then Cowens stole the ball, drove, scored, drew the foul and made the foul shot for a three-point play. Cowens then scored two baskets and Havlicek another to put it away. Scott had three steals during the run and finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, ending a series-long 11-for-44 shooting slump.

During the run, Phoenix's only response was four free throws. The Celtics rode their surge to an 87–80 win and their 13th championship.

Jo Jo White scored 15 points, giving him 130 points in six games, and was named the series MVP. John Havlicek celebrated his eighth NBA title as a Celtic.

Television coverage

The 1975–76 Finals had three straight off days between Sunday afternoon opener and Thursday night second game due to CBS-TV's concern with low ratings for professional basketball. The 1975–76 network television season (as well as May sweeps) ended after Wednesday, May 26 (with weekend afternoon games not factored into the prime-time ratings). Accordingly, CBS-TV allowed Game One to be played on Sunday afternoon, since the ratings would not count, but would not permit Game Two to be played live in prime time unless the NBA waited until Thursday evening.

Game 3 started on Sunday, May 30 at 10:30 a.m. MST in order for CBS to televise the final round of the PGA Tour Memorial Tournament following the game. The move angered numerous clergy in the Phoenix area, who saw drastically reduced attendance at Sunday services. The game also happened to be on the same day as the Indianapolis 500, but live flag-to-flag coverage of the event by ABC Sports was still ten years away.

CBS play-by-play announcer Brent Musburger, in a Fall 2009 interview with ESPN, said that he and color announcer Rick Barry were rooting for Phoenix to win Games 3, 4 and 6, although Barry's Golden State Warriors were eliminated by the Suns in the Western Conference Finals. Musburger said that this was because he and Barry were paid by the game. Since the Series was 2-0 Boston after the first two games, Musburger and Barry wanted the Suns to win the next two games to tie the series (likewise with Game six). Typically, Boston fans, unaware of Musburger's and Barry's motivations, were upset with the announcing crew because of their perceived favoritism.

Aftermath

The Celtics would undergo another rebuilding period for the next three years, but not without some controversy. In 1978, then-Celtics owner Irv Levin sold the team to future Kentucky governor John Y. Brown. Brown clashed with Celtics general manager Red Auerbach on control of the franchise, and later sold the team to Harry Mangurian in 1979, after Auerbach considered taking a front office job with the New York Knicks. On court, the Celtics showed their age, losing in the second round to the Philadelphia 76ers in 1977, then enduring two straight losing seasons. John Havlicek retired after the 1977–78 season, and in the 1978 NBA draft the Celtics selected Larry Bird under the existing junior-eligible rule, and while Bird had planned and did play at Indiana State during the 1978–79 season, he did sign with the Celtics before the 1979–80 season, in which the team won 61 games, a then-record 32-game turnaround from the previous season. One year later (the 1980–81 season), the Celtics won their 14th NBA championship by defeating the Houston Rockets, 4 games to 2.

John MacLeod's coaching tenure in Phoenix would last another 11 years, but Phoenix would not reach the Finals again until 1993, in which Paul Westphal was the head coach (MacLeod came within one game of reaching the 1988 Finals while he was coaching the Dallas Mavericks.) However, during that 16-year period, the Suns would make the playoffs twelve times, advancing to the conference finals four times. The team hit rock bottom in 1987 when Heard and other members of the Suns were caught in a drug scandal, and promising reserve Nick Vanos died in a plane crash that same year.

Eight players in this series would go on to be NBA head coaches. Along with the aforementioned Westphal, they were: Pat Riley, Don Nelson, Dave Cowens, Paul Silas, Gar Heard, Dick Van Arsdale, and John Wetzel.

Team rosters

Phoenix Suns

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.nba.com/suns/history/greatestgame_index.html
  2. ^ "Greatest Game Ever Played | Celtics.com – The official website of the Boston Celtics". Nba.com. 1976-06-04. Retrieved 2012-08-08.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2014-05-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ http://bleacherreport.com/articles/82496-the-phoenix-suns-the-unluckiest-franchise-in-professional-sports

External links

1975–76 Boston Celtics season

The 1975–76 Boston Celtics season was their 30th in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and concluded with their 13th championship, defeating the Phoenix Suns in six games in the 1976 NBA Finals.

1975–76 Phoenix Suns season

The 1975–76 Phoenix Suns season was the eighth season for the Phoenix Suns of the National Basketball Association. The season included an improbable run to the NBA Finals by a team that had never won a playoff series and made the playoffs only one other season in the franchise's existence. With a regular season record of 42–40, the Suns had finished third in the Pacific division standings and improved upon last season's win total by 10 games. The ensuing playoff run took plenty by surprise, including a seven-game series win against the Western Conference's top seed Golden State Warriors, a team that had finished 17 games ahead of the Suns in the divisional standings. The franchise's first Finals appearance pitted them against a 12-time champion in the Boston Celtics, whose roster featured three players from that season's All-Star Game. The 1976 NBA Finals would feature a memorable Game 5 triple-overtime thriller filled with controversies in which the Suns narrowly lost. Returning home for Game 6, the demoralized Suns would lose Game 6 and the series but not before endearing a generation of fans to the Suns franchise and showcasing a basketball from the desert southwest. The team's "Cinderella" season earned them the nickname Sunderella Suns. John MacLeod was head coach and the Suns played their home games at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

1976 in basketball

The following are the basketball events of the year 1976 throughout the world.

Tournaments include international (FIBA), professional (club) and amateur and collegiate levels.

1977 NBA Finals

The 1977 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1976–77 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs. The Western Conference champion Portland Trail Blazers played against the Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers, with the 76ers holding home-court advantage. Their four regular season meetings had been split evenly, 2–2, with neither side winning away from home. The series was played under a best-of-seven format, so the first team to win four games would win the series and become the league champions.

The 1976–77 NBA season started with the ABA–NBA merger. Portland had benefited from the resulting ABA dispersal draft as they acquired Spirits of St. Louis power forward Maurice Lucas to partner with Bill Walton, and Philadelphia had signed ABA All-Star and 3-time ABA MVP Julius "Dr. J" Erving, who had taken the New York Nets to the ABA title the previous year. In the 1977 NBA Finals, five of the ten starting players were former ABA players (Julius Erving, Caldwell Jones, George McGinnis, Dave Twardzik, and Maurice Lucas.).While it was no surprise that Philadelphia had made it to the championship series, having posted the best record in the east (50-32, #1), Portland's appearance in the finals was a mild surprise. Portland, a team that was founded only seven years earlier, was not only making its playoff debut with its first winning season (49-33, #3), but it was also making its finals debut as well after sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers in four close games in the Western Conference Finals.

The series quickly went 2-0 in favor of Philadelphia, but over the next four games, Portland mounted a comeback that has rarely been seen in professional sports.

1993 NBA playoffs

The 1993 NBA playoffs was the postseason tournament of the National Basketball Association's 1992–93 season. The tournament concluded with the Eastern Conference champion Chicago Bulls defeating the Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan was named NBA Finals MVP for the third straight year. This was the Suns' second Western Conference title; they made their first NBA Finals appearance since 1976, losing to the Boston Celtics.

The Knicks–Pacers rivalry started in their first-round encounter, which New York won, 3–1. But it wasn't until the next two meetings (1994 and 1995) that the rivalry became even more intense, particularly due to Reggie Miller's heroics in the Garden that made him a household name and Indiana legitimate contenders in the East.The Charlotte Hornets made their playoff debut. Their opening-round series versus Boston was also last time the Celtics made the playoffs with Kevin McHale, who retired after the series, and Robert Parish, who left as a free agent. Game 1 of the series was the final game of Reggie Lewis' career, as he collapsed during the first quarter and did not play for the rest of the series; he died in July of a heart attack.

Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals saw the Suns attempt sixty-four free throws while connecting on fifty-seven of them, both NBA postseason records.Sportswriter Bill Simmons called the 1993 post-season the best in NBA history.

Alvan Adams

Alvan Leigh Adams (born July 19, 1954) is an American retired professional basketball player. After starring at the University of Oklahoma, the 6'9" (2.06 m) power forward/center was selected by the Phoenix Suns with the 4th pick of the 1975 NBA draft. Adams was a rookie on a Suns team whose season included an improbable playoff run that took them all the way to the 1976 NBA Finals. In the same year, he was selected to play in the All-Star Game and won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award as well as being named to the All-NBA Rookie Team. Adams spent his entire career with the Suns and retired in 1988 as the second all-time Suns scorer with 13,910 career points.

Don Nelson

Donald Arvid Nelson (born May 15, 1940), sometimes known as Nellie, is an American former National Basketball Association (NBA) player and head coach. He coached the Milwaukee Bucks, the New York Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks, and the Golden State Warriors. After an All-American career at the University of Iowa, Nelson won five NBA Championships with the Boston Celtics and had his number 19 retired by the franchise.

An innovator, Nelson is credited with, among other things, pioneering the concept of the point forward, a tactic which is frequently employed by teams at every level today. His unique brand of basketball is often referred to as Nellie Ball. He was named one of the Top 10 coaches in NBA history. On April 7, 2010, he passed Lenny Wilkens for first place on the all-time NBA wins list with his 1,333rd win. His all-time record coaching record was 1,335–1,063 (.557). Nelson was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012.

Earl Strom

Earl "Yogi" Strom (December 15, 1927 – July 10, 1994) was an American professional basketball referee for 29 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and for three years in the American Basketball Association (ABA). Strom is credited as one of the greatest referees in the history of the NBA and was known for his flamboyant style and ability to control the game. Nicknamed "The Pied Piper", the assertive Strom made foul calls with his whistle by using a "tweet-pause-tweet-tweet" tune and pointing at the offending player. In addition to calling fouls with flair, he was known for ejecting players from games with style and he sometimes supported his rulings with physical force.Over the course of his career, he officiated 2,400 professional basketball regular season games, 295 playoff games, 7 All-Star games, and 29 NBA and ABA Finals. For his extensive contributions to the game, Strom was posthumously elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995.

Glenn McDonald

Glenn McDonald (born March 21, 1952) is an American retired professional basketball player. He played three seasons for the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks before going overseas most notably in the Philippines, with the U/Tex Wranglers in the early-80's. He averaged 4.2 points in 146 games played in his NBA career.

He played a huge role in Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals, scoring eight points in the third overtime period as the Celtics won 128-126 before eventually winning the championship in six games.

In the Philippines, McDonald was instrumental in U/Tex's 1980 PBA Open Conference championship against Toyota Tamaraws. He scored two free-throws to send the fifth game into overtime after Toyota led by four with 16 seconds left in regulation. U/Tex eventually won the championship, 99-98.

In 1981, he became the head coach of the U/Tex franchise. McDonald was also the Long Beach State 49ers' head coach in the early 1990s and was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA.

Jerry Colangelo

Jerry Colangelo (born November 20, 1939) is an American businessman and sports executive. He formerly owned the Phoenix Suns of the NBA, the Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA, the Arizona Sandsharks of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, the Arizona Rattlers of the Arena Football League and the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball. He was also instrumental in the relocation of the original Winnipeg Jets team in the NHL to Phoenix to become the Phoenix Coyotes (now the Arizona Coyotes). In 2014, Grand Canyon University renamed its Christian based school of business after Jerry Colangelo, replacing Ken Blanchard's name sake. From December 2015 to April 2016, Colangelo served as Chairman of Basketball Operations for the Philadelphia 76ers, before serving as a special adviser to the team until December 2018.

He became the youngest general manager in professional sports in 1968 after being hired as general manager for the Phoenix Suns. He has the second longest tenure running the same NBA franchise, exceeded only by Red Auerbach of the Boston Celtics.In the summer of 2005, Colangelo was named director of USA Basketball whose team represented the United States in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2010 FIBA World Championship. Since 2009, he has served as Chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Colangelo also serves as Chairman of the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), a nonprofit nonpartisan educational foundation that promotes Italian American culture and heritage.

Jim Ard

Jimmie Lee Ard (born September 19, 1948) is an American retired professional basketball player.

Jo Jo White

Joseph Henry White (November 16, 1946 – January 16, 2018) was an American professional basketball player. As an amateur, he played basketball at the University of Kansas and represented the U.S. men's basketball team during the 1968 Summer Olympics. As a professional, he is best known for his ten-year stint with the Boston Celtics of the NBA, where he led the team towards two NBA championships and set a franchise record of 488 consecutive games played. White was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

John Havlicek

John Joseph "Hondo" Havlicek ( HAV-li-chek; born April 8, 1940) is an American retired professional basketball player who competed for 16 seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning eight NBA championships, four of them coming in his first four seasons.

In the National Basketball Association, only teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones won more championships during their playing careers, and Havlicek is one of three NBA players with an unsurpassed 8–0 record in NBA Finals series outcomes. Havlicek is widely considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game and was inducted as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984. He was a three-sport athlete at Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Ohio.

Mendy Rudolph

Marvin "Mendy" Rudolph (March 8, 1926 – July 4, 1979) was an American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 22 years, from 1953 to 1975. Regarded as one of the greatest officials in NBA history, Rudolph officiated 2,112 NBA games (a record held at retirement) and was the first league referee to work 2,000 games. He was also selected to referee eight NBA All-Star Games and made 22 consecutive NBA Finals appearances.Following his career as a referee, he was a color commentator for CBS Sports's coverage of the NBA on CBS for two seasons from 1975 to 1977 and he appeared in a television advertisement for Miller Lite. He was a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2007.

NBA on CBS

The NBA on CBS is the branding that is used for weekly broadcasts of National Basketball Association (NBA) games produced by CBS Sports, the sports division of the CBS television network in the United States. CBS aired NBA games from the 1973–1974 NBA season (when it succeeded ABC Sports as the national broadcaster of the NBA) until the 1989–90 NBA season (when CBS was succeeded by NBC Sports).

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Suns compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division, and are the only team in their division not based in California. The Suns play their home games at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

The franchise began play in 1968 as an expansion team, and their early years were shrouded in mediocrity, but their fortunes changed in the 1970s, where, after partnering long-term guard Dick Van Arsdale and center Alvan Adams with Paul Westphal, the Suns reached the 1976 NBA Finals, in what is considered to be one of the biggest upsets in NBA history. However, after failing to capture a championship, the Suns would rebuild around Walter Davis for a majority of the 1980s, until the acquisition of Kevin Johnson in 1988.

Under Johnson, and after trading for perennial NBA All-Star Charles Barkley, and combined with the output of Tom Chambers and Dan Majerle, the Suns reached the playoffs for a franchise-record thirteen consecutive appearances and remained a regular title contender throughout the 1990s, and reached the 1993 NBA Finals. However, the team would again fail to win a championship, and entered into another period of mediocrity until the early part of the 2000s.

In 2004, the Suns reacquired Steve Nash, and immediately returned into playoff contention. With Nash, Shawn Marion, and Amar'e Stoudemire, and under head coach Mike D'Antoni, the Suns became renowned worldwide for their quick, dynamic offense, which led them to tie a franchise record in wins in the 2004–05 season. Two more top two Conference placements followed, but the Suns again failed to attain an NBA championship, and were forced into another rebuild.

The Suns own the NBA's seventh-best all-time winning percentage, and have the second highest winning percentage of any teams to have never won an NBA championship. 10 Hall of Famers have played for Phoenix, while two Suns—Barkley and Nash—have won the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) award while playing for the team.

Richie Powers

Richard F. "Richie" Powers (October 14, 1930 – July 31, 1998) was a professional basketball referee in the NBA from 1956 to 1979. He worked 25 NBA Finals games, including the triple-overtime Game 5 contest in the 1976 NBA Finals between the Suns and the Celtics, considered "the greatest game ever played" in the NBA, as well as three All-Star Games. Following his career in the NBA, Powers was a sportscaster for WABC-TV.

Technical foul

In basketball, a technical foul (also colloquially known as a "T" or a "Tech") is any infraction of the rules penalized as a foul which does not involve physical contact during the course of play between opposing players on the court, or is a foul by a non-player. The most common technical foul is for unsportsmanlike conduct. Technical fouls can be assessed against players, bench personnel, the entire team (often called a bench technical), or even the crowd. These fouls, and their penalties, are more serious than a personal foul, but not necessarily as serious as a flagrant foul (an ejectable offense in leagues below the National Basketball Association (NBA), and potentially so in the NBA).

Technical fouls are handled slightly differently under international rules than under the rules used by the various competitions in the United States. First, illegal contact between players on the court is always a personal foul under international rules, whereas in the United States, such contact is, with some exceptions, a technical foul when the game clock is not running and/or when the ball is dead. Second, in International Basketball Federation (FIBA) play (except for the half-court 3x3 variant, in which individual personal foul counts are not kept), players foul out after five total fouls, technical and personal combined (since 2014, one technical can be included towards the total; committing another risks immediate ejection). The latter rule is similar to that in college, high school, and middle school basketball in the United States. However, in leagues that play 48-minute games such as the NBA, and in some leagues such as the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), players are allowed six personal fouls before being disqualified, and technical fouls assessed against them do not count toward this total. However, unsportsmanlike technicals in the NBA carry a fine, its severity depending on the number of technicals the player has already obtained, and players are suspended for varying amounts of time after accumulating sixteen technicals in the regular season or seven in the playoffs.

In most American competitions, ejection of the offender, that of the player, coach, or otherwise, is the penalty for being assessed two technical fouls in a game, if charged directly to him/her (some technicals committed by a player are charged to the team only). In addition, any single flagrant technical foul, or a disqualifying foul in FIBA, incurs ejection. FIBA rules do not provide for ejection for any number of non-flagrant technicals (known as unsportsmanlike fouls under that body's rules) against a player, except in 3x3, in which two unsportsmanlike fouls result in ejection. FIBA rules call for ejection when a coach draws two technicals, or a third is called on the bench.

The Greatest Game Ever Played (disambiguation)

The Greatest Game Ever Played is a 2005 film based on the life of Francis Ouimet

The Greatest Game Ever Played may also refer to:

1947 All-Ireland Hurling Final, a hurling match between arch-rivals Cork and Kilkenny.

1958 NFL Championship Game, the National Football League championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants

The 31 December 1975 tie game between the HC CSKA Moscow and the Montreal Canadiens during the 1976 Super Series

Game 5 of the 1976 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and Phoenix Suns, tied for the longest NBA Finals game.

Australia in South Africa, 5th ODI, 2006, a cricket game where both teams broke the world record for highest team totals in an innings

Isner–Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, the 2010 Wimbledon Championships game at court 18See also:

The Game of the Century (disambiguation)

Boston Celtics 1975–76 NBA champions
Phoenix Suns 1975–76 Western Conference Champions
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