Larry Bird – The Boston Celtics rolled to a 61-20 record in Bird’s first year, and there was much buzz in Beantown about a brand of basketball being played that was similar to the great Red Auerbach squads.
Bill Russell – Russell was best known for his defensive prowess and rebounding (51 in one game), but what some fans don’t remember was his ability to hit the open man for a score. Russell had 4,100 career assists.
Oscar Robertson – The “Big O” played his high school basketball at the all black Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana, and they won two state titles. Later, at Cincinnati, he became the first sophomore to be named College Basketball Player of the Year in 1958.
John Havlicek – Perhaps the greatest sixth-man of all-time, Havlicek scored 1,000 or more points fourteen seasons in a row.
Bill Bradley – Bradley was a three-time College All-American at Princeton, and the Sporting News College Basketball Player of the Year in 1964 and 1965.
Lew Alcindor – Alcindor was a three-time All-American selection and two-time National Player of the Year at UCLA. He also was the Sporting News College Player of the Year in 1967 and 1969. Elvin Hayes won it in 1968. Remember the big Houston upset in the Astrodome. It ended UCLA’s 47-game win streak.
Julius Erving – Doctor J played for the University of Massachusetts from 1968 to 1971, and he was one of only six players in NCAA history to average 20 points and 20 rebounds per game. He was an All-American pick. Though he played in only two varsity seasons, Erving holds or shares 14 UMass records.
Willis Reed – Reed was the heart and soul of the New York Knicks’ 1970 and 1973 championship teams. He scored 37, 29, 38, and 23 points and averaged 15 rebounds in the first four games of the 1970 championship series.
Patrick Ewing – Ewing had NBA career highs of 51 points, 11 offensive rebounds, and 22 defensive rebounds. He also had 11 assists once, and 9 blocked shots three times.
Isiah Thomas – Thomas was named to the NBA All-Star Team 12 out of 13 years that he played for the Detroit Pistons. He led Detroit to NBA titles in 1989 and 1990.
Walt Frazier – Frazier played his college ball at Southern Illinois and was an All-America pick in 1964, 1965 and 1967. He led the Saluki’s to the NIT championship in 1967 and was named tournament MVP.