billy cunningham vertical jump

Billy Cunningham is an American former professional basketball player and coach, who was nicknamed the Kangaroo Kid. Since his slamming days in the NBA, hes continued with the sport as a scout, director, analyst, commentator, and even vice president of player personnel. Cunningham had just snared a defensive rebound and was dribbling to the Sixers free-throw line when, as he later recounted, his knee just exploded. No one had touched him, although Alfred Butch Beard was given a foul on the play. In the NBA, where everyone can dunk--you wouldnt even want to rule out David Stern--there are really only a few top guns. "Cunningham Quits; Loughery Dropped,",, 3-year letter winner (in his day, freshmen were ineligible for, His number 32 jersey is retired by the Philadelphia 76ers; however, he allowed it to be worn by, This page was last edited on 25 January 2023, at 03:41. His entire head and neck were above the rim. In the twentieth game of the 19751976 season, Cunningham's career suddenly and inexplicably ended. Youd be hard pressed to find a list of Best Dunks that didnt include his legendary knee-to-the-throat jump on Mark Jackson, where he rose like a Phoenix (how clever!) On December 20, 1970, Cunningham scored 31 points and grabbed a career-high 27 rebounds en route to a 134132 road win over the Portland Trail Blazers. These guys will never forget the blur of that mullet-ed head flying past them. Gus was a colorful thunder dunker and a breaker of backboards. Weve all heard the saying: white men cant jump. Ron Shelton even made a (fantastic) movie about it in the 90s! His departure had a disastrous effect. David came the closest, Kupchak said. Logos were compiled by the amazing Officially, his nickname originated from a 2002 summer league in Salt Lake City, where other players commented on his jumps and grabs, saying he could fly like a bird. Dont get him confused with Larry Bird though. Cunningham returned to Philadelphia in 1977 to become the coach of the 76ers, replacing Gene Shue. His playing days ended on one play in the 1975-76 season. Jump to navigation Jump to search Billy Cunningham American basketball player and coach. An American-Israeli boy who was actually born in Taiwan, this dude was THIS CLOSE to entering the Slam Dunk competition in 2009, but was passed over for the Portland Trail Blazers Rudy Fernandez. All rights reserved. Do you have a sports website? He had wide shoulders--he was built like Orlando (Woolridge), 6-7 or 6-8. During the post-season, the Cougars defeated the New York Nets in five games in the Eastern Division Semifinals to advance to the Eastern Division Finals. If we were to honor dunkers as we honor actors, Doc would be given a statuette for his body of work. The Grizzlies say their star guard will be away from the team for 'at least' the next 2 games. During his playing career, he was a 4-time All-Star and 3-time All-NBA First Team selection. Judging by a still shot the DukeMBB videographer took during the testing, Williamson cleared a vertical leap mark of 40 inches. The man waits and waits for Jackie to start coming down, but waits too long. "I don't know anything he has done that hasn't worked," said the Orlando, Florida, executive Pat Williams. They took about 10 jumps each. The future never came, but Dawkins broke new ground in power dunking, backboard shattering and dunknaming. Another oft-told legend has Jackie on defense. Really, though, hed have to in order to make it look like he belonged there among all the African American bball greats. At the 1991 Slam Dunk Competition he came in third. Basketball was just a game they played for fun. Nope. Michael Jordan has stopped just short of holding the ball in his mouth, uncoiling his tongue in mid-flight and inventing the Anteater Slam. Then an All-Star. If the Land of Leap had a national holiday, it would be Feb. 8, the anniversary of the legendary 1976 ABA All-Star games first--and last--slam dunk contest. [9] In 1996, Cunningham was voted as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History as part of the NBA's 50th Anniversary. One of basketball's all-time greats, Cunningham was elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame and honored by selection to both the NBA's 50th and 75th Anniversary Teams as one of its legendary players, as well as to the ABA All-Time Team. Do you have a blog? I also think, in Joeys case, he gets up so high it hurts his shooting technique., Clarke said: When other players were shooting jump shots in their back yards, Joey was practicing dunks.. Thats a mouthful. He is six feet seven inches tall. "In a way the injury made things easy for me," he said later. However, you can take all the sergeant numbers of all the jumping jacks, put the numbers in a manure spreader and sprinkle them on your lawn or garden. Browse 1,052 billy cunningham stock photos and images available, or start a new search to explore more stock photos and images. Nissalke tells of an informal leaping contest between second-year man Kareem, who then was Lew Alcindor, and Milwaukee forward Don Smith, who now is Zaid Abdul-Aziz. This guy couldshoot AND dunk. His masterpiece was a backboard shattering dunk over Kansas City forward Bill Robinzine. Bobby Jones could swoop and soar. The next year he exploded for 24.8 points per game and 12.8 rebounds and he was named a first-team All-Star. As a player and then a coach for the Philadelphia 76ers, he was part of two NBA championship teams. Thompson was on a par with Erving but after five great NBA seasons, his career hit a quick decline, caused in part by cocaine problems. Billy Cunningham averaged 21.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. On 6 May 1986 Cunningham was elected into the NBA Hall of Fame, as one of its ten initial inductees. The team finished 42-40 and was bounced in the first round of the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks. He was a role player on the 1967 title team in . Hey, a sportswriter dunks. //]]>. We played Portland in the last game of the season. The Smooth Criminal, as he was called when he played for Spain, didnt stick with the NBA for too long, but sure made an impact. By word of mouth, you would get to know who the best dunkers were, and by the end of the season it was pretty much agreed the best two were a Portland guy named Claude English and me. The breakthrough occurred when Harvey Pollack, the venerable stat whiz of the Philadelphia 76ers, collected dunk data from every team for the entire 1987-88 NBA season, accounting for every last slammeroo. Chamberlain was asked, werent there any great leapers of the white persuasion? Shoots: The single-game high was eight, by Drexler, against the Lakers. But who has seen him? . In the exhibition season he was assigned to bring the ball up the court against Bostons K.C. How in the world can this kid play ball? It was the Human Highlight Film vs. a Selected Short. If accurate, that would have put him as the 10th-highest max vertical leaper (not standing, but with a short running start) in the NBA Draft, just behind Grayson Allen's number of 40.5 inches. Jones, a noted defensive terror. Biography. We present them here for purely educational purposes. He told me, Sonny, no. . His departure had a disastrous effect on the 76ers, who posted a 9-73 record in 1972-73, the worst mark in NBA history. The Doc won it with a long run, a leap from two inches inside the free throw line and a dramatic, powerful windmill slam. Thats about half the height of Michael Jordan. It's a move in which a player drives past a defender by stepping one way and then quickly taking a big lateral step in the other direction, and its become pretty popular. He also became an NBA broadcaster on national television and later a part-owner of the Miami Heat. His jump was absolutely awesome. Its almost like you were floating, like there was no such thing as gravity. It didnt happen, though, and Fernandez remains playing with Real Madrid, where he feels he is a better player.This, however, is debatable. I got fired up and did a 360 dunk. He was an incredible shot blocker. He says it came by accident, that in his early days they often played on dance floors, which were often slippery, so he started jumping to avoid sliding and faceplanting. Hes earned a list of nicknames, including LaVine The Machine as well as being part of the Bounce Brothers duo with Minnesota Timerwolves teammate Andrew Wiggins. He was elected to the Hall of Fame the following year. College Basketball at, Scores from any date in BAA/NBA or ABA history, Frequently Asked Questions about the NBA, WNBA and Basketball, Blog and Articles, Subscribe to Stathead Basketball: Get your first month FREE. In his basketball uniform and shoes, with a short, unmeasured run-up, he soared over seven feet. These are true royalty: Sir Jamalot, Sir Slam, the Prince of Midair. But he was over by a good six to eight inches. In fact, he made so much of an impact that his NBA departure in 2012 made heads spin, and rumours that he might return to the US last year were eagerly believed. In 1965, Cunningham joined the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. Professional basketball player About a year ago, I was in a playground game with some black guys. We know he was born in New Bern, N.C., grew up (and flew up) in Brooklyn, attended Virginia Union, then played several years for the Harlem Globetrotters and in the old Eastern League. Manigault, for instance, developed an addiction to heroin, stole to get it, did time in two prisons. Javascript is required for the selection of a player. Joey made the trip but was nursing a hip pointer, so he couldnt suit up. Find out more. His jersey number "32" was later retired by Philadelphia. . So much has been written and said about Julius Erving over the years that i, Allen, Marcus 1960 A lot of them, you have to understand, werent able to get into college, Chamberlain said. As a sophomore, with as little work, he improved to 7-5 7/8. He got kudos for his smooth-sounding, incisive work with the play-by-play announcer Dick Stockton. Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny OFFICIAL TRAILER! In his second season with Carolina, Cunningham was hampered by injuries, but he still managed a 20.5 average in 32 games. He was a No. Note that this is not the official NBA measurement. In a 14-year professional career studded with superla-tives, Wilt Chamberlain established the, Mikan, George Latrell Sprewell, a rising NBA star, would be known more for his off-court antics than his bas, Erving, Julius 1950 The greatest leaper I ever saw was Jackie. Cunningham attended Erasmus Hall Wed been on the bus eight hours by then, Trenkle said. There is a tavern called the Corner Club, in Moscow, Ida. There was a Philadelphia boy, Sonny Hill, about 5-10 (actually 5-9), he was the first guy that size I ever saw dunk. There was a guard from Harlem named Rabbit. The Kangaroo Kid, Kang, Billy C are nicknames for Billy Cunningham. No man, I dont believe, has been up that far., With Chamberlain over 50--years of age, not points per game--Nissalke feels safe in saying, That would be the ultimate challenge: Bet any amount of money, and you wouldnt find anyone who could come close to the top of the board.. I get a rebound and Im driving up the floor, ready to go coast to coast. Therefore, its best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publications requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites: He and Hal Greer were the only key players from the 1967 championship team still playing vital roles. . Joe Vanilla Sky Alexander has restless, jumpy feet that propel him way up to block shots and confound his opponents. During a game in 1963 against Clemson University, he grabbed a record twenty-seven rebounds. Cunningham again led the team in scoring in 1970-71, ranking ninth in the NBA with 23.0 ppg. On a good day, he said. He was six or eight inches away. To think that we can thank a bunch of sweaty dancers for this fundamental basketball maneuver. Well find out next season. The mystery leaper was--and is--Herb White, 6-foot-2, eyes of blue, from Decatur, Ga. As with most leaping legends, Herbs aerial reputation often preceded him. He was an NBA champion both as a player (1967) and as a coach (1983). It was those antsy feet that made him unstoppable, resulting in his inclusion on 10 All-Star Games, achieving the 1952 All-Star Game MVP, and nabbing 5 MVP Award shares. In 1987, the NBA Board of Governors awarded the group an expansion franchise to begin play in 1988-89 and thus the Miami Heat was born. Since joining the NBA in the 2002-03 season, this guy has achieved dozens of honours and awards, including three MVP award shares and a spot playing in two All-Star games. married Sondra; they had two daughters. Sure, Casper and friends tend to dominate less vertically challenging sports like golf, hockey, and tennis, but they have also held their own on the floorboards. White is a regular at Hawk games and a fan of Wilkins. Earl Manigault was another fabulous flyer off the Eastern blacktop in the late 50s and early 60s. Philadelphia went 47-35, second in the newly formed Atlantic Division, but was ousted again in the first round of the playoffs. June 12, 2022 . But the winning wasnt over. In 1961, his senior year, Cunningham led his team to the city championship and was a high school All-American. I dont want anyone ripping rib-cage muscles or wrenching spinal disks. Thats the outer space were dealing with today, the sky above the hoop, the rare air inhabited by only a select group of humans, the legendary leapers. Current Grand Canyon Antelopes coach and the Phoenix Suns favourite former shooting guard/small forward is an NBA All Star, an Olympian, and World Team member. Cunningham would never play again. As an owner and commentator, he also made a favorable impression. He was a consummate team player, and he used the same unifying concept and enthusiasm to become a successful head coach. It looked like the half-court line was around a mile and a half away, Cunningham said. He coached eight years with 76ers, never finishing lower than second place in the Atlantic and posted a career record of 454-196 (.698). Connie Hawkins, another of the elite leapers of that era, was blackballed from the NBA because of involvement with gamblers when he was in college. He was in the gym in Mesa one afternoon, in street clothes and basketball shoes. In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. There have been--and are--very good white jumpers. Jackie took off, jumped over Normans head and dunked the ball.. RotoWire names five under-the-radar players who could add value to your rosters as we approach fantasy playoffs. This is where we get into sword-and-stone mythology. He led the Cougars to the best record in the league and was selected to the All-ABA First Team and was named the ABA MVP. He also had a famously difficult childhood and came from very humble beginnings; it was his hometown of French Lick, Indiana, that inspired the nickname The Hick from French Lick. He was determined not to let his tiny hometown or his troubled family life hold him back though, and instead remained hardworking and classy until the end of his career. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. So I did a 360, two handed, and he conceded.. Copyright 2000-2023 Sports Reference LLC. What time is Billy Cunningham's Sunday night show on? It was so much air that it tied young Pat for the spot of second-highest vertical leap recorded up to that point. These men have their own ancient orders, such as Phi Slama Jama, the mythical fraternity created during the 1982-83 college season by Houston scribe Thomas Bonk, now a Times writer, to honor the dunk-happy University of Houston Cougars. His man takes him into the key, gives a head fake and sends Jackie skyward. Rosters Cut,", "1978 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals - New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers", Goldaper, Sam. I told him Id read he had a 44. You dont play with a red, white and blue ball if youre into dignity. He was All-ACC, the ACC Player of the Year, and an All-American in college, later named to the ACC 50th Anniversary men's basketball team honoring the fifty best players in Atlantic Coast Conference history. He came on back to Harlem. In the 197374 season, Cunningham and the Cougars finished third in the Eastern Division and lost again to the Kentucky Colonels in the Eastern Division semifinals. The Cougars had finished last the previous season, but with Brown and Cunningham inspiring the team, the Cougars finished first. They think they could track down what the announcer calls a routine fly ball. Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, Thematic Series: Sports Figures. Billy Cunningham found success as a coach in the NBA after his playing days were through. Throughout his life, Cunningham excelled at all aspects of the game he loved. He is still the winningest coach in Sixers history. Billy Cunningham wasn't nicknamed the Kangaroo Kid because he had a pouch. Draft: Philadelphia 76ers, 1st round (7th pick, 7th overall), 1965 NBA draft, More Cunningham pages at Sports Reference, Every Sports Reference Social Media Account, Site Last Updated: Saturday, March 4, 6:03AM. It's like walking on air. Right now Johnson is red-shirting at ASU. Before the game, English and I went back and forth. Technicalities, you know. Still, the thrill is not all gone. Cunningham hit for 18.9 ppg and 7.6 rpg. He was called the Kangaroo Kid for his prodigious leaping ability. These are professional men: Dr. J, Dr. Dunkenstein, Dr. Jam. I defy anyone to say they took change off the top of the backboard, Chamberlain said. This guy that was also selected for the MLB draft, spent time with the Orioles, and pitched an impressive 96 mph. He didnt just score, he scored OVER people, including all 68 of Plastic Man Stacey Augmon. June 3, Stand underneath a basketball hoop, a regulation 10-footer. The next season, the consistent Cunningham scored 23.3 points per game and was selected as an All-Star for the fourth time. He was a tough, intense, competitive player who used his intelligence as much as his physical talents. He inherited a team of underachievers led by Julius Erving. They asked him to show how high he could jump, so with no warmup of any kind, in his school clothes, Joey stood there, jumped up and put his chin on the rim. Dont try a big leap. The two teams waged a court battle, each claiming the rights to Cunningham, but the new league won. Bobby Jones could swoop and soar. 1936-1999 As a rookie in 1965-66, he pulled down 7.5 rpg, scored 14.3 ppg and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team.

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