Throwback Thursday: Best teams of the 1960s


VIDEO: Wilt Chamberlain became a dominant NBA force in the 1960s

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball.

Today’s Topic: Best Teams of 1960s

This week we continue our Throwback Thursday: Best Teams of Each Decade series by looking at the best teams to play in the 1960s.

Make sure to check back next week for our look at the best teams of the 1970s!

(NOTE: Click the “caption” icon below the photo for details about each moment.)


Gallery: TBT: Best Teams of 1960s

Which of these teams do you think would do best in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!

NBA Rooks: Diaries … Aaron Craft

Aaron Craft (Jack Arent/NBAE)

Aaron Craft (Jack Arent/NBAE)

By Aaron Craft, for NBA.com

I was really excited heading in to summer league, just to have a chance to play some 5-v-5 again.  You are always a little bit nervous going in to new situations, but practicing really helped me calm my nerves and gave all of us a chance to get to know each other.  After that, it was just getting back to playing basketball, trusting in the work and the practice and just enjoying the game.

I was lucky enough to be able to play with two different teams – the Philadelphia 76ers in Orlando and the Golden State Warriors in Las Vegas.  I didn’t have specific goals going in to summer league, just to get back to playing and let my competitive natures take over.  I wanted to win.

Playing in Orlando definitely helped prepare for Vegas, which is much more of an event, with spectators and announcers, even a hype man to get the crowd going.  Orlando was similar to an open gym type atmosphere where as Vegas was more like a college game.  There was a lot of energy in the arena which is always helpful in giving you a little extra oompf or adrenaline when you’re playing.  There was one game in particular, when we played the Lakers, where the fans were crazy — cheering during free throws and everything.

The most challenging part is the free time.  Basketball is so natural and practice was great, but at 3 pm you’re on your way back to the hotel with nowhere to be until 10:30 the following morning. Of course it’s Vegas, so there is plenty to do, but there is a big difference between what you can do and what you should do!  I mostly went to dinner with some friends – lots of good places to eat in Vegas.

My experience at summer league was a little different from some of the guys who were draft picks.  Playing with two different teams meant two different coaching styles and two different systems to learn.  The other guys know what team they’re playing for and have an added level of comfort in that sense.  I was fortunate enough to get on two great teams with a lot of young players who were unselfish, energetic and really committed to making the team the best, so that made it really enjoyable.

Overall I am very proud of how I played.  I am learning that there is a whole lot more than just basketball that goes in to how NBA teams assemble their rosters, but that is the only part I can control and I know I made the most of the opportunity.  I am hopeful that it transforms into something bigger, but right now even more excited to see my fiancée and my brother who is home on leave from the army.  Every once in a while it’s good to put the ball down, but never for too long!

Aaron Craft is a 6-foot-2 point guard from Ohio State. Look for more “NBA Rooks: Diaries …” all season long on the All Ball blog.


VIDEO: Prospect Profile: Ohio State’s Aaron Craft

What if Morgan Freeman read LeBron’s “coming home” story?

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When LeBron James announced he was returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he did so by writing a first-person story in Sports Illustrated explaining his decision. I read it and imagined it in LeBron James’ voice.

But what if it was read by one of the great voices of our time, Morgan Freeman? Comedian/impersonator Frank Caliendo was on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” this morning, and he showed off his pitch-perfect Morgan Freeman impression by reading LeBron’s letter in Freeman’s voice…


VIDEO: LeBron Morgan Freeman

(via TBL)

Camper asks Dwyane Wade why he flops

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — One thing pro athletes get involved with in their off-season are camps for kids — just recently we saw Damian Lillard throwing down dunks at his camp in Portland.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade hails from Chicago, so he returned home this week to co-sponsor a camp with Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall. And in a press conference at the camp, Wade shared what happened when he took questions from the campers. And you know, kids say the darndest things…


VIDEO: Wade flops?

That time Kobe scored 36 points in Summer League

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I spent the last week in Las Vegas at the Samsung NBA Summer League, watching some of the best and brightest young players in the NBA out there trying to make names for themselves. From the more known players, such as Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker, to guys who maybe weren’t as well known but played great, like Glen Rice Jr. and Ray McCallum, there were plenty of terrific performances this summer.

This continues a long-running tradition of NBA players on the rise showing out in summer league. Yesterday, someone uncovered this video of Kobe Bryant back in 1996, before he’d played in an actual NBA game, dropping 36 points against the Phoenix summer league team while wearing number 32. Funny how similar his game looks then to the way he still plays now…


VIDEO: Kobe scores 36

NBA Musicians

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — The Finals are over. The draft is over. Most of the free agents have agreed to terms. Summer League is over.

And now, before the FIBA Basketball World Cup gets going in September, we have a little bit of NBA down time. Which doesn’t mean the NBA talk stops — instead, it just takes a turn toward the…strange.

For instance, last night on Twitter, somehow the hashtag #NBAmusicians started trending. What was this hashtag? Basically, people took NBA player’s names and mashed them up with band names. And it’s still going this morning!

How did all this start? That’s not important. What’s important is that it did start, and then the Twitter accounts of actual NBA teams started playing along, and next thing you know you’ve got a trending topic. Here are some of the greatest hits…

 

Joel Embiid moves on to Rihanna

ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — When we last checked in with rookie Sixers center Joel Embiid, he was once again showing his social media prowess by making an (ultimately failed) attempt at meeting Kim Kardashian on Twitter. This following an attempt to recruit LeBron James to join the Sixers.

That didn’t work out so well, but it hasn’t slowed Embiid’s passion for public displays of his affection, as he has apparently decided to re-focus his social media attention on superstar singer Rihanna

Rihanna has yet to respond, at least via Twitter.

LeBron gives sweet apology to his Ohio neighbors

By Jeff Case

In the days before LeBron James eventually made his decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, many, many, MANY, cars and on-lookers lined the street in Bath Township, Ohio. That’s where James has a residence off Idlebrook Drive in a high-end community and all of that foot traffic — from fans others awaiting some kind of sign at James’ home about his free-agent choice — no doubt bothered at least some of James’ neighbors.

Like any good neighbor, though, James did what he could to right that wrong by having an upscale bakery in Ohio deliver cupcakes to the other homeowners. The Akron Beacon Journal has more:

Employees from Baker Blvd. Decadent Desserts in Fairlawn dropped off cupcakes Tuesday night to James’ Bath Township neighbors. Included with the dozen cupcakes was an apology note from James for the “chaos” that surrounded his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

When James announced his decision to return to the Cavs earlier this month, fans and the media crowded his Idlebrook Drive home.

“We know things have been hectic in the neighborhood these past few weeks and we are sorry for the chaos,” the note reads. “We are so thankful to live in this wonderful community and we are so blessed to have understanding neighbors like you.

“As a gesture of our gratitude and appreciation, our family wants to give you something that is meaningful to us, our foundation’s cupcakes. We hope you enjoy the treat!”

The note was addressed from James, his wife and two children.

James’ neighbors received six “Just a Kid from Akron Cherry Cola” cupcakes and six “Homecourt Chocolate Chunk” cupcakes. Both cupcakes were designed for James.

And here’s a tweet from David Galehouse, who home is just miles from James’ home, writes ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell.

Kobe’s secrets to success? Cold-calling

By Jeff Case

Some of the funniest shoe commercials of the last few years were the ones Kobe Bryant did in 2012 billed as the “Kobe System”. In those spots, Bryant plays the role of motivational speaker/coach to a cast of Hollywood celebrities and other famous athletes.

But how has Kobe seeks to transition from NBA superstar to the next phase of his life in a few seasons, Bryant recently shared with Bloomberg how he often cold-calls business leaders and other people he’s interested in learning about cold.

That’s right, the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history will just call up business leaders when the inkling strikes him. Granted, that’s not something all of us can do, but Bryant’s advice about not being afraid to learn and/or ask stupid questions of others is worth storing away …

(h/t Los Angeles Daily News)

Why NBA players shouldn’t bowl …

By Jeff Case

We like Andre Drummond around these parts because he reflects a lot of what the All Ball Blog is all about — fun off the court, a flair for social media and a general sense of not taking oneself too seriously.

A frequent user of Vine, Drummond showed off in his latest video just why NBA players should steer clear of the bowling lanes (bonus points for including Sweet Georgia Brown, there, Andre) …

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