LOOKING AT THE COMPETITION...
Here is another basketball card from the 1972 season. It is the league leader's in FG% (aka shooting efficiency). You will notice Wilt Chamberlain's name at the top at 64.9%
. In the 41 years since only 3 players have shot better from the field than that, 1 of those players being Wilt himself in his final season the following year (72.7%
) at age 36. The other 2 are HOF Center Artis Gilmore
(31, 32 years old) in 1981 (67.0%
) & 1982 (65.2%
), and Tyson Chandler
(29 years old) in 2012 (67.9%
). Wilt was 35 in 1972, an old man by basketball standards, but he still shot better than all of the younger players in the league. Here's a little tidbit on those guys on the list.2. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (7'2 225 lbs Center, 24 years old, Milwaukee Bucks)
3. Walt Bellamy (6'11 245 lbs Center, 32 years old, Atlanta Hawks)
When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left the game in 1989 at age 42, no NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player Awards, played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons. His list of personal and team accomplishments is perhaps the most awesome in league history: Rookie of the Year, member of six NBA championship teams, six-time NBA MVP, two-time NBA Finals MVP, 19-time All-Star, two-time scoring champion, and a member of the NBA 35th and 50th Anniversary All-Time Teams. He also owned eight playoff records and seven All-Star records. No player achieved as much individual and team success as did Abdul-Jabbar.
4. Dick Snyder (6'5 207 lbs Shooting Guard, 27 years old, Seattle Supersonics)
Walt Bellamy's numbers are indisputable. He averaged 20.1 points and 13.7 rebounds over a career that lasted 13 seasons and one game of a 14th. He is one of only seven players to score more than 20,000 points and grab more than 14,000 rebounds, a group that includes Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elvin Hayes, Robert Parish, Moses Malone and Karl Malone. He played in four All-Star Games and he was the NBA's Rookie of the Year in 1962. He won a Gold medal as the starting Center for the US Olympic team in 1960. Bellamy was inducted into the Naismith HOF in 1993.
5. Jerry Lucas (6'8 235 lbs Center, 31 years old, New York Knicks)
is an former player from North Canton, OH who played for the St. Louis Hawks, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics, and Cleveland Cavaliers. Snyder attended college at Davidson College (Davidson, NC), and was drafted by the Hawks in the second round of the 1966 NBA Draft. A solid shooting guard, Snyder achieved his greatest basketball successes with the SuperSonics franchise.
During the early 1970s, Snyder was often among the league leaders in field goal percentage. Perhaps his best season statistically was the 1970-71 season when he averaged 19.4 points per game and was fifth in the league in both field goal and free throw percentage. Traded to Cleveland after the 1974 season, Snyder returned to the SuperSonics in his final season in 1978-79 where he earned an NBA championship ring.
In 2011, Snyder was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame
6. Walt "Clyde" Frazier (6'4 200 lbs Point Guard, 26 years old, New York Knicks)
Jerry Lucas wasn't particularly tall or bruising, nor was he a great leaper, but his name can be found at the top of any list of great rebounding forwards in NBA history. The 6-8 Lucas hauled down 12,942 rebounds for an average of 15.6 per game, the fourth-best career mark in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Bob Pettit. Lucas is also one of only 5 players (Chamberlain, Russell, Thurmond, Pettit) in NBA history to average over 20 rebounds per game in a season. And he's only one of 3 (Chamberlain, Thurmond) to average "20 and 20" for a season.
In 1979, Lucas was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was an NBA All-Star seven times, a member of the All-NBA First Team three times, and a Second-Team selection twice. He won a Gold medal in 1960, an NBA Championship in 1973 with the Knicks, and in 1965 was all-star game MVP. His efforts also earned him a spot on the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and Lucas still looms large in the memories of NBA fans.
7. Jon McGlocklin (6'5 205 lbs Shooting Guard, 28 years old, Milwaukee Bucks)
With a nickname taken by a Knicks trainer from the folk-hero robber Clyde Barrow, whose life was chronicled in the film Bonnie and Clyde, Frazier presided over the Knicks for 10 years from 1967 to 1977. He left holding team records for points scored, games played and assists.
Frazier later spent portions of three seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers, ending his career in 1979 with a lifetime average of 18.9 points per game in 825 regular-season games and 20.7 points per game in 93 playoff contests. But it was with the Knicks that Frazier helped redefine the character of professional basketball, significantly boosting its popularity in New York and beyond.
As a Knicks player, Frazier scored 19.3 points per game, played in seven NBA All-Star Games, and was named to four All-NBA First Teams and seven NBA All-Defensive First Teams. He is especially remembered for his inspirational performance in the seventh and deciding game of a thrilling 1970 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. He won another title in 1973.
When his playing days had concluded, Frazier's accomplishments on the court were still being acknowledged. In 1979, the Knicks retired Frazier's No. 10 jersey. In 1987, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. And in 1996, he was elected to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
8. Chet Walker (6'6 212 lbs Small Forward, 31 years old, Chicago Bulls)
A sharpshooting 6'5" guard from Indiana University, McGlockin was selected by the Cincinnati Royals in the third round of the 1965 NBA Draft, but he is best known for his 8-season (1968–1976) tenure with the Milwaukee Bucks, with whom he won an NBA Championship (as a teammate of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson) in 1971. He scored 9,169 points in his NBA career, and his #14 jersey has been retired by the Bucks franchise. He also appeared in the 1969 NBA All-Star Game
McGlocklin was best known for his high-arcing "rainbow" jump shot from the wings, in what would now be three-point territory. It was most effective when paired in a two-man play with Jabbar: if the opposing guard fell back to double-team Jabbar, McGlocklin would make them pay from the perimeter; when the guard came out to defend him, he would pass the ball down to Jabbar with only one defender, who under most circumstances was out-matched.
He was selected as one of the Top 50 Basketball Players of the 20th Century in the state of Indiana, as well as being inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association, and Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fames.
For the last 25 years, McGlocklin has been a member of the Bucks' television broadcasting team, alongside Jim Paschke.
On the night of his retirement in 1976, Jon founded the MACC Fund, which has become nationally recognized in its fight against childhood cancer.
He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.
9. Lucius Allen (6'2 175 lbs Point Guard, 24 years old, Milwaukee Bucks)
During his 13-year NBA career with the Sixers and the Chicago Bulls in the 1960s and 1970s, Walker amassed 18,831 points and earned seven All-Star Team selections. Only twice did his scoring average dip below 15 points per game -- a noteworthy achievement given that offensive opportunities in Philadelphia were rationed among future Hall of Famers Chamberlain, Greer and Billy Cunningham. And in Chicago they were shared with the formidable Bob Love.
“Chet the Jet” was among the best open-court forwards of his day. He particularly enjoyed drawing fouls and then taking his .796 free-throw form to the charity stripe. Walker played tenacious defense and proved remarkably durable. He never missed more than six games in any season, and he became one of the few players to appear in more than 1,000 games (1,032) for his career.
Walker’s teams made the playoffs every year, and he had identical career scoring averages of 18.2 points per game in both the regular season and the postseason. His impact was most evident in Chicago, where the Bulls reached the playoffs in each of Walker’s six seasons but not in the year before he arrived or the year after he left.
Walker’s six-year honeymoon in Chicago ended in 1975 when management rejected his $200,000-a-year salary demand. They also refused to trade or release him. So Walker went to court, suing the Bulls and the NBA for violation of federal antitrust laws. Walker lost the case. At age 35, coming off a season in which he averaged 19.2 ppg despite tendinitis-wracked knees, an embittered Walker was through. As for the Bulls, their win count plummeted by half in 1975-76, to 24 games.
Over the years Walker had kept in touch with his buddy Zev Braun, a Beverly Hills movie producer. After losing his court case Walker moved to Tinseltown, hooked up with Braun, and embarked on a new career. The transition was not easy, as he told HOOP magazine in 1985: “The adjustment was very difficult. I’ve been out eight years and I’m just now beginning to relax in life. You have to learn there’s more to life than basketball.”
Working with Braun and other producers, Walker ushered through a number of projects. Among them were “Freedom Road,” a 1980 NBC miniseries starring Kris Kristofferson and Muhammad Ali; the 1983 film The Fiendish Plot of Fu Manchu, the late Peter Sellers’s final picture; “Holy Angels,” an NBC movie of the week and the 1995 film The Glass Shield starring Ice Cube.
It was “The Mary Thomas Story” in 1989, however, that gave Walker the most personal satisfaction. “I saw Isiah’s struggle growing up on the West Side of Chicago. I found it very frustrating,” he told HOOP. “The story of Isiah’s mother is so similar to my own life.”
The film, shot on location in the Thomas family’s neighborhood, portrayed Mary Thomas’s struggles to raise her nine children without her husband, who had left the home when Isiah was 3 years old. On one occasion she warded off a gang of hoods with a shotgun. “There’s only one gang here, and I lead it,” she warned the youths, who had come looking for Isiah. “Get off my porch or I’ll blow you off it!”
10. Lou Hudson (6'5 210 lbs Shooting Guard, 27 years old, Atlanta Hawks)
Prior to his NBA career, he became an All-American as part of two of legendary coach John Wooden's UCLA NCAA Championship teams, in 1967 and 1968. The 1968 team, featuring three consensus All-Americans, Allen, Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Mike Warren, is considered by many to be the greatest team in men's college basketball history. After being suspended for his senior year at UCLA for receiving a second citation for possessing a small quantity marijuana, Allen was drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1st round (3rd pick) of the 1969 NBA Draft. As a member of the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks team, which also featured UCLA teammate Alcindor, Allen earned an NBA championship ring. He also played with Abdul-Jabbar for two seasons, from 1975-1977, in Los Angeles, but not winning a championship in either of those years. Allen was traded the following season to cross-town, Missouri-based Kansas City Kings, winning the division championship in 1979, and retired from basketball after that season. Allen played 10 years in the NBA for four different teams. His highest scoring average was 19.1 points per game, during the 1974-1975 campaign. Part of the way through that season he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers after playing with the Milwaukee Bucks since the 1970-1971 season.
Lou Hudson graduated from Dudley High School in Greensboro, NC. After starring at the University of Minnesota, Hudson was selected by the St. Louis Hawks with the 4th pick of the 1966 NBA Draft. He was named to the 1967 NBA All-Rookie Team after averaging 18.4 points per game in his first season. At 6'5", Hudson could play as either a guard or a forward, and he had a long and successful professional career, scoring 17,940 points in 13 seasons (1966–1979). He was a six time All-Star with the Hawks (who moved to Atlanta in 1968), and he earned the nickname "Sweet Lou" for his smooth and effective jump shot. Hudson's jersey number has been retired by both the Atlanta Hawks and the University of Minnesota.