Baller of the Day: Billy Cunningham

» November 5, 2008 5:30 AM | By Brandon Hoffman

Billy Cunningham

Career Statistics

20.8 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 4.0 APG, 45 FG%, 72 FT%

“Billy Cunningham played fiercely, coached intensely, and won frequently. And he made it to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with a career that reads like a how-to book for legends. As a player and then a coach for the Philadelphia 76ers, he was part of two NBA championship teams.

Among his numerous career achievements, he was named to the 1966 NBA All-Rookie Team and three All-NBA First Teams. In 1972-73, he was named the Most Valuable Player of the American Basketball Association and he scored 18 points in the ABA All-Star Game. His list of honors continued in 1986 when he was elected to the Hall of Fame, in 1990 when he was one of the 10 initial inductees to the New York City Basketball Hall of Fame and in 1996, he was named to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He also became an NBA broadcaster on national television and later a part-owner of the Miami Heat.

‘When you think about Billy’s life, it is amazing,’ former Philadelphia 76er executive and Orlando Magic Senior Executive Vice President Pat Williams told New Miami magazine in 1992. ‘He was a high school superstar. Then he went to North Carolina and was an All-American. He was a No. 1 draft choice. Then an All-Star. Then he goes into coaching and, percentage-wise, becomes one of the best ever. He rises to the highest level of broadcasting. Then he enters into the [NBA] expansion pursuit and gets it. It’s unbelievable. I don’t know anything he has done that hasn’t worked. It’s a remarkable life.’” [Read]

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[Sources: NBA.com, Basketball-Reference.com]


One Response to “Baller of the Day: Billy Cunningham”

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