Darrell Griffith

Darrell Steven Griffith (born June 16, 1958), also known by his nickname Dr. Dunkenstein,[1] is an American former basketball player who spent his entire professional career with the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association.[2]

Darrell Griffith
Darrell Griffith
Personal information
BornJune 16, 1958 (age 60)
Louisville, Kentucky
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High schoolLouisville Male (Louisville, Kentucky)
CollegeLouisville (1976–1980)
NBA draft1980 / Round: 1 / Pick: 2nd overall
Selected by the Utah Jazz
Playing career1980–1991
PositionShooting guard
Career history
19801991Utah Jazz
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points12,391 (16.2 ppg)
Rebounds2,519 (3.3 rpg)
Assists1,627 (2.1 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2014

High school and college

Griffith starred at Louisville Male High School and was heavily recruited by colleges all across the country.[3] In fact, Griffith reportedly turned down an offer to forego college and sign with the ABA's Kentucky Colonels.[4] He decided to attend his hometown school, the University of Louisville, much to the delight of local fans.

He didn't disappoint, delivering the school's first-ever NCAA men's basketball championship in 1980. He scored 23 points in the Cardinals' 59-54 victory over UCLA in the championship game.[5] Due to his strong performance, he was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. Griffith totaled 825 points in his senior season, setting a school record. For his efforts, he was named First Team All-American by the Associated Press and was given the Wooden Award as the best college basketball player in the nation. He left college as Louisville's all-time leading scorer with 2,333 points in his career.[6] His jersey number, 35, was retired during ceremonies after the 1980 season.[7]

Professional career

Utah selected Griffith with the second overall pick in the 1980 NBA draft. The Jazz had recently moved to Salt Lake City from New Orleans, and the team needed a star to replace legendary shooting guard Pete Maravich. Griffith accepted the challenge, averaging 20.6 points per game in his first season and earning the NBA's Rookie of the Year award.[8]

For the next four seasons, Griffith teamed with small forward Adrian Dantley to form one of the highest-scoring duos in the league. With defensive support from center Mark Eaton and point guard Rickey Green, the Jazz improved dramatically, winning the Midwest Division title in 1983–84 and qualifying for the NBA playoffs for the first time ever. Individually, Griffith transformed his offensive game, adding long-distance shooting skills to his aerial acrobatics. He led the league in three-point shooting (36.1 percent) and set an NBA record for most three-pointers made in a single season (91). His new abilities earned him a new nickname: Utah's play-by-play announcer Hot Rod Hundley began calling him "The Golden Griff".

The following season (1984–85) was the best of Griffith's career. He averaged a career-high 22.6 points per game,[9] and broke his own league record by sinking 92 three-point shots. During the year, he passed Joey Hassett as the all-time NBA leader for most career three-pointers.[10] He also continued his high-flying ways, representing the Jazz in the 1984 and 1985 NBA Slam Dunk Contests.[11]

However, the team changed dramatically in the mid-1980s with the emergence of Karl Malone and John Stockton as Utah's top offensive weapons. Dantley was traded away and Griffith suffered from injuries. ("Dr. Dunkenstein was paying his toll", he once said in an interview.[12]) He missed the entire 1985–86 season due to a stress fracture in his foot,[13] and would lose his starting position when he returned. Griffith would need an operation on his left knee in March 1988, causing him to miss the remainder of that season.[14] He managed to re-claim his starting spot for most of the 1988–89 season, but lost it permanently the following year. His playing time gradually decreased until his retirement in 1991. He scored 12,391 total points over the course of his 10-year professional career – all with the Jazz. The franchise recognized his contributions by retiring his jersey number 35 on December 4, 1993.[9]

Griffith is now a special assistant to the President of the University of Louisville.[15]

See also


  1. ^ John Papanek. "A Rookie Gives The Jazz Pizzazz". Sports Illustrated. December 8, 1980. Retrieved on February 1, 2010.
  2. ^ Darrell Griffith NBA statistics. basketball-reference.com. Retrieved on February 1, 2010.
  3. ^ Bundles of Mail for a Male Man
  4. ^ A Rookie Gives The Jazz Pizzazz Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "With 59-54 Victory Over UCLA, Griffith Leads Louisville to Title". Herald Journal. March 25, 1980. B2.
  6. ^ Phillip Lee. "Classic catches up with Dr. Dunkenstein". ESPN Classic. November 19, 2003. Retrieved on February 1, 2010.
  7. ^ "Player Bio: Darrell Griffith - University of Louisville Archived 2012-09-17 at Archive.today". uoflsports.com. Retrieved on July 1, 2011.
  8. ^ A Look at a Jazz Legend, Darrell Griffith
  9. ^ a b Jazz: Retired Numbers. NBA.com. Retrieved on February 1, 2010.
  10. ^ Hoops Analyst: Hail the Three-Point King
  11. ^ All-Star: Slam Dunk Year-by-Year Results. NBA.com. Retrieved on February 1, 2010.
  12. ^ http://espn.go.com/classic/s/Where_now_griffith_darrell.html
  13. ^ Utah Jazz Re-signs Griffith To A Long-term Contract
  14. ^ Names in the News
  15. ^ "New high school basketball Hall of Fame will be who's who (and Wah Wah)". Courier-Journal. July 13, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
1979 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans

The consensus 1979 College Basketball All-American team, as determined by aggregating the results of four major All-American teams. To earn "consensus" status, a player must win honors from a majority of the following teams: the Associated Press, the USBWA, The United Press International and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

1979–80 Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team

The 1979–80 Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team represented the University of Louisville during the 1979–80 NCAA Division I men's basketball season, Louisville's 66th season of intercollegiate competition. The Cardinals competed in the Metro Conference and were coached by Denny Crum. The team played home games at Freedom Hall.

The team completed a 33-3 record and brought Louisville basketball their first NCAA National Championship when they defeated UCLA 59-54, led by Darrell Griffith and his 23 points.

1979–80 NCAA Division I men's basketball season

The 1979–80 NCAA Division I men's basketball season began on November 17, 1979, progressed through the regular season and conference tournaments, and concluded with the 1980 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament Championship Game on March 24, 1980, at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. The Louisville Cardinals won their first NCAA national championship with a 59–54 victory over the UCLA Bruins.

1980 NBA draft

The 1980 NBA draft was the 34th annual draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on June 10, 1980, before the 1980–81 season. In this draft, 23 NBA teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. The first two picks in the draft belonged to the teams that finished last in each conference, with the order determined by a coin flip. The Boston Celtics, who obtained the Detroit Pistons' first-round pick in a trade, won the coin flip and were awarded the first overall pick, while the Utah Jazz were awarded the second pick. The Celtics then traded the first pick to the Golden State Warriors before the draft. The remaining first-round picks and the subsequent rounds were assigned to teams in reverse order of their win–loss record in the previous season. An expansion franchise, the Dallas Mavericks, took part in the NBA Draft for the first time and were assigned the eleventh pick in each round. A player who had finished his four-year college eligibility was automatically eligible for selection. Before the draft, five college underclassmen announced that they would leave college early and would be eligible for selection. The draft consisted of 10 rounds comprising the selection of 214 players. This draft has the distinction of being the first NBA Draft to be televised.

1980 NCAA Division I Basketball Championship Game

The 1980 NCAA Division I Basketball Championship Game was the finals of the 1980 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament and it determined the national champion for the 1979-80 NCAA Division I men's basketball season. The 1980 National Title Game was played on March 24, 1980 at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. The 1980 National Title Game was played between the 1980 Midwest Regional Champions, Louisville and the 1980 West Regional Champions, UCLA.

1980 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament

The 1980 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament involved 48 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball. It began on March 6th, 1980, and ended with the championship game on March 24th at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. A total of 48 games were played, including a national 3rd place game.

Louisville, coached by Denny Crum, won the national title with a 61–59 victory in the final game over UCLA, coached by Larry Brown. Darrell Griffith of Louisville was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Structurally speaking, this was the 1st tournament of the modern era. For the first time:

An unlimited number of at-large teams could come from any conference. (From 1975 to 1979, conferences were only allowed 1 at-large entry.)

The bracket was seeded to make each region as evenly competitive as possible. (Previously, geographic considerations had trumped this.)

All teams were seeded solely based on the subjective judgment of the committee. (In 1979, seeding was also partially based on the prior performance of a conference winner's conference.)In the 2nd year the tournament field was seeded, no #1 seed reached the Final 4. This would not happen again until 2006 and also occurred in 2011.

UCLA would later forfeit its place in the standings after players representing the school were declared ineligible by the NCAA.

1980 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans

The Consensus 1980 College Basketball All-American team, as determined by aggregating the results of four major All-American teams. To earn "consensus" status, a player must win honors from a majority of the following teams: the Associated Press, the USBWA, The United Press International and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

1980–81 NBA season

The 1980–81 NBA season was the 35th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Boston Celtics winning the NBA Championship, beating the Houston Rockets 4 games to 2 in the NBA Finals. As of 2019, this was the last time an NBA season (including postseason) had ended before Memorial Day.

1980–81 Utah Jazz season

The 1980-81 Utah Jazz season was the team's seventh in the NBA. They began the season hoping to improve upon their 24-58 output from the previous season. They bested it by four wins, finishing 28-54, but failed to qualify for the playoffs for the seventh straight season.

1984–85 Utah Jazz season

The 1984–85 Utah Jazz season was future all-time NBA assist leader John Stockton's first in the NBA. The Jazz selected Stockton with the 16th overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft.

1985 NBA All-Star Game

The 35th National Basketball Association All-Star Game was played on February 10, 1985, at the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. The coaches were K. C. Jones (Boston Celtics) for the East, and Pat Riley (Los Angeles Lakers) for the West. The MVP was Ralph Sampson, Houston (29 minutes, 24 points, 10 rebounds).

1986–87 Utah Jazz season

The 1986–87 Utah Jazz season was the team's 13th in the NBA. They began the season hoping to improve upon their 42–40 output from the previous season. They bested it by two wins, finishing 44–38 and qualified for the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

1990–91 Utah Jazz season

The 1990–91 NBA season was the Jazz's 17th season in the National Basketball Association, and 12th season in Salt Lake City, Utah. Early into the season, the Jazz traveled to Japan to play their first two games against the Phoenix Suns at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. With the offseason acquisition of Jeff Malone from the Washington Bullets, the Jazz continued to play sweet music in the regular season with a 26–12 start. They ended up falling one game short of the Midwest Division title with another stellar record of 54–28, as Karl Malone finished second in the league in scoring with 29.0 points per game, and John Stockton led the league with 14.2 assists per game. Malone and Stockton were both selected for the 1991 NBA All-Star Game. In the first round of the playoffs, the Jazz defeated the 4th-seeded Phoenix Suns in four games, but lost in the semifinals to the Portland Trail Blazers in five games. This was also their final season playing at the Salt Palace. Following the season, Darrell Griffith retired.

Kelvin Ransey

Kelvin Ransey (born May 3, 1958) is a retired American collegiate and professional basketball player of the 1970s and 1980s, respectively.

Ransey attended Toledo's Macomber High School in the mid-1970s. He was a four-year starter at Ohio State University from 1976 to 1979 where he played both point and shooting guard.

The 6'1" (1.85 m) Ransey was the fourth overall pick in the 1980 NBA draft, by the Chicago Bulls. He was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers before the season began. He was runner-up by one vote for NBA Rookie of the Year (to Darrell Griffith) in 1980–81. Ransey played for six years in the NBA for 3 different teams, averaging 11.4 points and 5.2 assists per game. His best season, statistically, was his second, when he averaged over 16 points and 7 assists.

Ransey retired following the 1985–86 season, returning to Toledo to become a preacher. He attempted a comeback in the 1989–90 season, playing 25 games for the Columbus Horizon of the Continental Basketball Association. He averaged 13.9 points per game for the Horizon. In 2000, he moved to Tupelo, Mississippi. Twice married, he has six children.Ransey's younger brother, Clinton Ransey, played college basketball at Cleveland State from 1983 to 1987. Clinton was a teammate of Ken "The Mouse" McFadden for part of his college career.

List of National Basketball Association annual three-point field goals leaders

In basketball, a three-point field goal (also known as a "three-pointer" or "3-pointer") is a field goal made from beyond the three-point line, a designated arc radiating from the basket. A successful attempt is worth three points, in contrast to the two points awarded for shots made inside the three-point line. The National Basketball Association's (NBA) three-point shooting leader is the player who recorded the highest three-point field goals in a given season. The statistic was first recognized in the 1979–80 season when the three-point line was first implemented that season.

List of U.S. men's college basketball national player of the year awards

This article lists U.S. men's college basketball national player of the year awards. Several different organizations sponsor an award for the nation's top player.

Louisville Cardinals men's basketball

The Louisville Cardinals men's basketball team is the men's college basketball program representing the University of Louisville (U of L) in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) of NCAA Division I. The Cardinals have officially won two NCAA championships in 1980 and 1986 (with the 2013 title being vacated); and have officially been to 8 Final Fours (with the 2012 and 2013 appearances being vacated) in 38 official NCAA tournament appearances while compiling 61 tournament wins.Due to an FBI criminal investigation into illegal benefits and actions by college basketball coaches, financial advisers, and others, on September 27, 2017, head coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were placed on administrative leave and were later fired. Two days later, assistant David Padgett, a former star player under Pitino at Louisville, was named as acting head coach. On February 20, 2018, the NCAA vacated the 2013 NCAA title. On March 27, 2018, it was announced that the University of Louisville signed Chris Mack to a seven year contract as head coach.

Metro Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year

The Metro Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year was a basketball award given to the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Athletic (Metro) Conference's most outstanding player. The award was first given following the 1976–77 season and was discontinued after the 1994–95 season. In 1995 the Metro Conference merged with the Great Midwest Conference to form Conference USA.

There were three ties in the award's history, in 1978, 1981 and 1988. One player, Darrell Griffith of Louisville, was also named the National Player of the Year (1980) by being presented the John R. Wooden Award.

Louisville represents the most all-time winners of the Metro Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year with eight. The second most belong to Southern Mississippi with three (all of which belong to Clarence Weatherspoon). Weatherspoon was the only three-time winner of the award, while two others earned it twice (Keith Lee and Clifford Rozier).

Utah Jazz

The Utah Jazz are an American professional basketball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference, Northwest Division. Since 1991, the team has played its home games at Vivint Smart Home Arena. The franchise began play as an expansion team in 1974 as the New Orleans Jazz (as a tribute to New Orleans' history of originating Jazz music). The Jazz moved to Salt Lake City in 1979.

The Jazz were one of the least successful teams in the league in their early years. Although 10 seasons elapsed before the Jazz qualified for their first playoff appearance in 1984, they did not miss the playoffs again until 2004. During the late 1980s, John Stockton and Karl Malone arose as the franchise players for the team, and formed one of the most famed point guard–power forward duos in NBA history. Led by coach Jerry Sloan, who took over from Frank Layden in 1988, they became one of the powerhouse teams of the 1990s, culminating in two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, where they lost both times to the Chicago Bulls, led by Michael Jordan.

Both Stockton and Malone moved on in 2003. After missing the playoffs for three consecutive seasons the Jazz returned to prominence under the on-court leadership of point guard Deron Williams. However, partway through the 2010–11 season, the Jazz began restructuring after Sloan's retirement and Williams' trade to the New Jersey Nets. Quin Snyder was hired as head coach in June 2014.

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