Vitalis One-on-One Tournament

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Vitalis One-on-One Tournament

Postby kkowalski_1998 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:30 pm

I think this topic may have been covered here before, but am unable to find it using the apbr search tool. In 1971-72 and 1972-73 season, the NBA held a one-on-one tournament, which was sponsored by Vitalis. At the half-time of the 5th game of the 1972 NBA finals, the one-on-one finals was shown between Big Bob Lanier and Jo Jo White. Lanier won, and got a $15,000 purse. (Video is available on youtube). During this broadcast, there was also a chart showing the 16 finalists. Lanier had to defeat Silas, Riordan, Newlin and White. What the chart doesn't show is that Lanier also defeated Pistol Pete in the first round. My recollection is that there were 2 players from each team entered into the tournament. In 1971-72, there were 17 teams, so there would have been 34 players which is not a nice "power of 2" number, like 32. Anyway, the web has almost no information on this absolutely classic tournament. Does anyone know any more about this tournament, especially the 1972-73 version which was won by Geoff Petrie. I'm interested in any tidbits of info. Thanks.
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Postby dgentileman » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:18 pm

Not to plug one of my books, but there's a sidebar in "Smooth Moves" about the 1972 bracket. To save you the 20 bucks or whatever you'd pay for it on eBay, Lanier did indeed win the tournament, as you noted. I have the original broadcast tape, and the best part about that tournament is that Vitalis (actually ABC spokesman and ex-Celtic great Bill Russell) presented Buffalo Bob with a suitcase full of 15,000 one-dollar bills. I kid you not. Obviously, pegged to the "1-on-1" theme. Lanier then reached in, grabbed a handful of bills, and looked as if he were going to throw the cash into the crowd. Russell cracked up.
I have a couple of these halftime matchups on tape (Because I taped the games, not because I wanted to see the 1-on-1 game!). The problem was, since it was for a nice chunk of cash, the big guys played it fairly straight. Lanier just backed Jojo into the hoop and shot a five-foot jump shot over him. Pretty boring stuff. Which is why the league switched to those "Horse" games a few years later.
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One-on-one tournament

Postby kkowalski_1998 » Wed Jan 21, 2009 6:26 am

Mr Gentile: The video of the game is shown on youtube. Someone recently posted the entire 5th game of the Lakers/Knicks 1972 finals, and at halftime they show the taped game between Lanier and White. It is as you said - Lanier uses his 250+ pounds to back down White and score some easy buckets. A bracket chart is shown before the game, summarizing the results of the matchups. The first round shown consists of 16 players (8 games) with the loser receiving $750. In those games, Newlin defeats Johnson, Russell defeats Kaufmann, Lanier defeats Silas, Riordan defeats Green, Mullins defeats Beard, Smith defeats Tomjanovich, Hawkins defeats Lucas, and White defeats Marin. In the second round, loser gets $1500. Newlin over Ruseell, Lanier over Riordan, Mullins over Smith, and White over Hawkins. Third round sees the winner loser $3500. Lanier defeats Newlin, and White defeats Mullins. In the finals, Big Bob wins (21-16) and gets the $15000, while White settles for $7500. And, yes, when they switch back to then "live" action, Russell presents Lanier with a trophy and the bag of 15,000 singles. It is during this time that announcer Keith Jackson mentions that Lanier defeated Maravich in the earliest round. And this is the information I'm looking for. Who were the participants in the very first round, which I"m guessing consisted of 32 players ?
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One-on-One Tournament Arena / 3point line

Postby kkowalski_1998 » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:32 pm

Someone on youtube has posted a 1972 Vitalis One-on-One competition between Jerry Lucas and Don May. It was pointed out that whatever arena they are playing in has a 3 point line drawn. Of course, in '72, the NBA did not have a 3 point line nor was it used in college or high school. That leaves the ABA. However, the distance of the 3 point line in the video is not consistent with the ABA distance, i.e., it is much closer - maybe only about 1 foot or so from the top of the key. I was really scratching my head trying to figure out where this game between Lucas/May was played. So I went back to the Bob Lanier/JoJo White final, and as part of that video on youtube, they also show highlights from the White/Jeff Mullins semifinal game. This game is played at a different arena, but once again the 3 point line shows up. Outside of the baseline, it appears that "Terrapins" is written, so the conclusion is that this game was played at the U of Maryland. So can someone help me out - why would a college arena have a 3 point line drawn on the court when colleges did not have the 3 point rule yet in effect ?
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The "3 point line" answer

Postby kkowalski_1998 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:39 pm

Actually, I now realize why the court has what appears to be a 3 point line. It was something the NBA must have laid down temporarily for the one-on-one tournament games. It's sole purpose was to serve as the line beyond which a player legally "cleared" the ball. In other words, if Player B gets a rebound after Player A shoots and misses, Player B must then dribble the ball back beyond this line, which is 21 feet from the basket.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Fri Apr 09, 2010 5:40 pm

Here's the best I can make out from what I have found -

ONE-ON-ONE PARTICIPANTS [34]
Atlanta Hawks – Pete Maravich
Atlanta Hawks – Don May
Baltimore Bullets – Jack Marin
Baltimore Bullets – Mike Riordan
Boston Celtics – Garfield Smith
Boston Celtics – Jo Jo White
Buffalo Braves – Dick Garrett
Bufflao Braves – Bob Kauffman
Chicago Bulls – Bob Love
Chicago Bulls – Bob Weiss
Cincinnati Royals – Johnny Green
Cincinnati Royals – Nate Williams
Cleveland Cavaliers – Butch Beard
Cleveland Cavaliers – John Johnson
Detroit Pistons – Bob Lanier
Detroit Pistons – n/a
Houston Rockets – Mike Newlin
Houston Rockets – Rudy Tomjanovich
Golden State Warriors – Jeff Mullins
Golden State Warriors – Cazzie Russell
Los Angeles Lakers – Pat Riley
Los Angeles Lakers – John Trapp
Milwaukee Bucks – Lucius Allen
Milwaukee Bucks – Jon McGlocklin
New York Knicks – Jerry Lucas
New York Knicks – Eddie Miles
Philadelphia 76ers – Billy Cunningham
Philadelphia 76ers – Fred Foster
Phoenix Suns – Connie Hawkins
Phoenix Suns – Paul Silas
Portland Trail Blazers – Ron Knight
Portland Trail Blazers – Dale Schleuter
Seattle Supersonics – Lenny Wilkens
Seattle Supersonics – Lee Winfield

PLAY-IN ROUND ($500)
Jack Marin defeated Dick Garrett
Eddie Miles defeated Nate Williams

ROUND ONE ($750)
Mike Newlin defeated Dale Schleuter
John Johnson defeated n/a
Cazzie Russell defeated Bob Weiss
Bob Kauffman defeated Billy Cunningham
Bob Lanier defeated Pete Maravich
Paul Silas defeated Lee Winfield
Mike Riordan defeated Lenny Wilkens
Johnny Green defeated Jon McGlocklin
Jeff Mullins defeated Pat Riley
Butch Beard defeated Lucius Allen
Garfield Smith defeated John Trapp
Rudy Tomjanovich defeated Bob Love
Connie Hawkins defeated Fred Foster
Jerry Lucas defeated Don May
Jo Jo White defeated Ron Knight
Jack Marin defeated Eddie Miles

ROUND TWO ($1,500)
Mike Newlin defeated John Johnson
Cazzie Russell defeated Bob Kauffman
Bob Lanier defeated Paul Silas
Mike Riordan defeated Johnny Green
Jeff Mullins defeated Butch Beard
Garfield Smith defeated Rudy Tomjanovich
Connie Hawkins defeated Jerry Lucas
Jo Jo White defeated Jack Marin

ROUND THREE ($3,500)
Mike Newlin defeated Cazzie Russell
Bob Lanier defeated Mike Riordan
Jeff Mullins defeated Garfield Smith
Jo Jo White defeated Connie Hawkins

ROUND FOUR ($7,500)
Bob Lanier defeated Mike Newlin
Jo Jo White defeated Jeff Mullins

FINAL ROUND ($15,000)
Bob Lanier defeated Jo Jo White

►$50,500 in total prize money
►Televised at halftime during the ABC Game of the Week broadcasts beginning 9Jan72
►Each game played to 20 points, with a minimum victory margin of four points needed
►A 10-second shot clock will be used, and the first three fouls by each player will being a change of possession, after the fourth foul a free throw will be taken with the fouled player keeping possession, except after a three-point play
►Each of the 17 teams sent two representatives, with the 34 players playing 33 games to determine the champion
►The Final Round was held during the first game of the NBA playoffs in May72
►Bob Lanier defeated Jo Jo White in the final round and his $15,000 in $1 bills was presented to him by Bill Russell
Last edited by Robert Bradley on Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby mtamada » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:50 am

Robert Bradley wrote:Here's the best I can make out from what I have found -

ONE-ON-ONE PARTICIPANTS [34]

Seattle Supersonics – n/a
Seattle Supersonics – n/a



Even at the time, this competition was not covered very comprehensively. I think I remember Fred Brown being one of the Sonics' representatives. Actually, that's probably 1972-73 that I'm thinking about, in 71-72 Brown was a little-used rookie.

I think it was in 1973 when ex-Sonic Barry Clemens surprised me and I'd have to think much of the league by making it to the ... finals? or was it the semifinals?

I remember my Mom watching Bob Lanier vs Mike Riordan and commenting how unfair it was: the height disparity was ridiculous.

My main memory of the HORSE competitions from the late 1970s was how George Gervin always opted to go for plain vanilla shots (albeit from long range) whereas Kevin Grevey, who I'd thought of as the quintessential slow but sharpshooting White guy, opted for a dizzy array of crazy dunks and dipsy-doodle shots.
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Postby Robert Bradley » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:38 am

Clemens met Geoff Petrie in the championship round in 1973, with Petrie coming out on top.

Brown may have competed in 1973, I have a very incomplete list for that year, but he didn't in 1972 (see revised post). all i am missing for 1972's contestants are the second contestant for Detroit (Walker? Bing? Dischinger? Rowe?).
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Postby Robert Bradley » Sat Apr 10, 2010 1:39 am

my extremely limited information for 1973 -

ONE-ON-ONE PARTICIPANTS

Atlanta Hawks – George Trapp
Atlanta Hawks – n/a
Baltimore Bullets – Elvin Hayes
Baltimore Bullets – Mike Riordan
Boston Celtics – n/a
Boston Celtics – n/a
Buffalo Braves – Bob McAdoo
Buffalo Braves – n/a
Chicago Bulls – Bob Love
Chicago Bulls – n/a
Cleveland Cavaliers – Barry Clemens
Cleveland Cavaliers – n/a
Detroit Pistons – Curtis Rowe
Detroit Pistons – n/a
Golden State Warriors - Jim Barnett
Golden State Warriors – Cazzie Russell
Houston Rockets – n/a
Houston Rockets – n/a
Kansas City-Omaha Kings – Nate Williams
Kansas City-Omaha Kings – n/a
Los Angeles Lakers – Gail Goodrich
Los Angeles Lakers – n/a
Milkwaukee Bucks – Lucious Allen
Milwaukee Bucks – Bob Dandridge
New York Knicks – n/a
New York Knicks – n/a
Philadelphia 76ers – Mike Price
Philadelphia 76ers – n/a
Phoenix Suns – Connie Hawkins
Phoenix Suns – n/a
Portland Trail Blazers - Geoff Petrie
Portland Trail Blazers – n/a
Seattle Supersonics – Spencer Haywood
Seattle Supersonics – n/a

►Final Round – Geoff Petrie defeated Barry Clemens (6May73 at Madison Square Garden)
►Petrie won $15,000 for himself and $500 for each of his 11 Portland teammates
Last edited by Robert Bradley on Sun Apr 18, 2010 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby kkowalski_1998 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:08 pm

Robert: Thanks for putting together this very comprehensive list. I wish I could tell you who John Johnson faced in the first round, since that is the only player missing. The only evidence available appears in the youtube video where the Lucas/May game is shown. The cameras show the entire bracket, and Johnson's name appears at the very top. Unfortunately, the names are blurry until the camera zooms in, and by then the top of the bracket is no longer in view. All that can be concluded is that the player's name is less letters than the 8-letter in Johnson's name. Possibly Jimmy Walker, but that is just a guess.

It's interesting how some teams sent their top players (e.g. Lanier) while many others sent players (Ron Knight, Fred Foster, Pat Riley) who were not even starters. Makes you wonder how the team decided who would represent them.
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Preliminaries of the 1-on-1 tournament

Postby kkowalski_1998 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 2:18 pm

Just read something in an old Sun Sentinal article quoting ABC producer Chuck Howard that the preliminaries of the Vitalis 1-on-1 tournaments were taped in the preseason, and he felt that was a bad idea since as a result "we couldn't get enough really good players".
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Postby John Grasso » Sat Apr 10, 2010 7:38 pm

I don't believe the 1972 tournament was taped during the preseason.
This is from an article dated Jan. 16, 1972 in the Charleston (WV) Sunday Gazette-Mail.

" The tourney was scheduled to begin Jan 9 but was postponed because
some clubs had not completed their intra-club competition."

"The first segment of the elimination tournament was rescheduled for national television showing between halves of Tuesday's All-Star game.
It will be taped Monday.
The draw for the 34 contestants will be announced today during the televising of the Houston-New York game. The last four names picked in the blind draw will play an extra game reducing the field to 32. "

The gist of the article is that quite a few of the top players won't be competing in the one-on-one competition. It lists the players who would be in the NBA All-Star game later that week but not in the one-on-one.
It also lists some (but not all) of the players in the one-on-one and
the rules for the tournament which were outlined by Robert Bradley in
his note above.

"Frazier and DeBusschere, the Knicks' leading scorers, reportedly qualified for the tourney but then had an alleged dispute and both withdrew. However, a Knicks' spokesman denied it saying, 'Frazier was late and DeBusschere didn't participate.'

The article also states that Elvin Hayes was critical of the officiating and that Stu Lantz was also critical and withdrew.
In Philadelphia there was no intra-squad competition and Cunningham and Foster were selected by the team because 'most of the others didn't want any part of it or weren't qualified.'
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Sun Sentinal

Postby kkowalski_1998 » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:02 pm

John : Here's the link to the article I referenced:
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1990-0 ... ar-weekend

What it specifically says is "In its first incarnation, the preliminaries were taped in the preseason."

The article itself is from 1990, and it is describing the author's belief that the NBA should bring back the one-on-one tournament. So "first incarnation" refers to the 192-73 tournaments.

It is not clear what is meant by "preliminaries". I assumed it meant the opening rounds. However - and I think it unlikely - but maybe it refers to the competition within the team to determine which 2 players would represent the team in the tournament.
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Postby John Grasso » Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:11 pm

The Jan. 27, 1972 Lima (OH) News Sports Scope column by Chuck Dell
has the following:

"The winner of that NBA one-on-one tournament? The guy's name is Mike Newlin of Houston. Although it'll be several weeks before the championship round is aired by ABC-TV, word has leaked out that the winner is Newlin. Final-four competitors in the highly-controversial and lowly-regarded tournament are Jo Jo White of Boston, Jeff Mullins of Golden State, Bob Lanier of Detroit and Newlin."


Interesting - the final four are correct but the winner isn't.
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Postby SoapySmith » Sun Apr 11, 2010 1:50 am

mtamada wrote:
Robert Bradley wrote:Here's the best I can make out from what I have found -

ONE-ON-ONE PARTICIPANTS [34]

Seattle Supersonics – n/a
Seattle Supersonics – n/a



Even at the time, this competition was not covered very comprehensively. I think I remember Fred Brown being one of the Sonics' representatives. Actually, that's probably 1972-73 that I'm thinking about, in 71-72 Brown was a little-used rookie.

I think it was in 1973 when ex-Sonic Barry Clemens surprised me and I'd have to think much of the league by making it to the ... finals? or was it the semifinals?

I remember my Mom watching Bob Lanier vs Mike Riordan and commenting how unfair it was: the height disparity was ridiculous.

My main memory of the HORSE competitions from the late 1970s was how George Gervin always opted to go for plain vanilla shots (albeit from long range) whereas Kevin Grevey, who I'd thought of as the quintessential slow but sharpshooting White guy, opted for a dizzy array of crazy dunks and dipsy-doodle shots.


I recall Grevey playing Bingo Bobby Smith from Cleveland. Grevey spun the ball on his finger, popped into the air and then headed it in off the backboard.

Smith declined repeating the shot because he said it would mess up his hair.

Kevin
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Postby todd_spehr35 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:06 am

A question for Robert (slightly off-course by not totally random): Do you know what games were on national TV back in the early 70s? You mentioned the first telecast for that season was 9Jan72 -- do you know who appeared on TV that year, or any other?

I often read that the same teams were on - the Lakers, the Celtics, the Knicks, the Bucks, for example. What about the Hawks, with Maravich? Or Warriors, with Barry?
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Postby Robert Bradley » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:33 am

here are the ABC broadcasts for those two seasons. (R) indicates a regional broadcast -

1971-72 ABC

REGULAR SEASON
Fri. 26Nov71 BAL@ATL
Sat. 25Dec71 SEA@PHO
Mon. 3Jan72 MIL@NYK
Sun. 9Jan72 LAL@MIL
Sun. 16Jan72 NYK@HOU
Tue. 18Jan72 NBA ASG
Sun. 23Jan72 NYK@SEA (R)
Sun. 23Jan72 ATL@MIL (R)
Sun. 30Jan72 MIL@BAL
Sun. 6Feb72 NYK@PHI
Sun. 13Feb72 LAL@BAL
Sun. 20Feb72 CHI@MIL
Mon. 21Feb72 PHI@BAL
Sun. 27Feb72 NYK@BAL
Sun. 5Mar72 NYK@PHI
Sun. 12Mar72 NYK@BOS
Sun. 19Mar72 CHI@DET
Sun. 26Mar72 NYK@ATL

PLAYOFFS
Sun. 2Apr72 LAL@CHI
Sun. 9Apr72 NYK@BAL
Sun. 9Apr72 MIL@LAL
Wed. 12Apr72 MIL@LAL
Thu. 13Apr72 NYK@BOS
Fri. 14Apr72 LAL@MIL
Sun. 16Apr72 BOS@NYK
Sun. 16Apr72 LAL@MIL
Tue. 18Apr72 MIL@LAL
Fri. 21Apr72 BOS@NYK
Sat. 22Apr72 LAL@MIL
Sun. 23Apr72 NYK@BOS
Wed. 26Apr72 NYK@LAL
Sun. 30Apr72 NYK@LAL
Wed. 3May72 LAL@NYK
Fri. 5May72 LAL@NYK
Sun. 7May72 NYK@LAL

1972-73 ABC


REGULAR SEASON
Mon. 25Dec72 CHI@PHO
Sun. 7Jan73 LAL@MIL
Sun. 14Jan73 LAL@ATL
Sun. 21Jan73 GSW@MIL
Tue. 23Jan73 NBA ASG
Sun. 28Jan73 NYK@BOS
Sun. 4Feb73 LAL@BAL
Sun. 11Feb73 MIL@BOS
Sun. 18Feb73 MIL@BAL
Sun. 25Feb73 MIL@LAL
Sun. 4Mar73 NYK@BAL
Sun. 11Mar73 NYK@BOS
Sun. 18Mar73 MIL@ATL
Sun. 25Mar73 LAL@SEA

PLAYOFFS
Sun. 1Apr73 BAL@NYK
Sun. 8Apr73 BAL@NYK
Sun. 8Apr73 LAL@CHI
Sun. 8Apr73 LAL@CHI
Fri. 13Apr73 LAL@CHI
Sun. 15Apr73 NYK@BOS
Fri. 20Apr73 NYK@BOS
Sun. 22Apr73 BOS@NYK
Wed. 25Apr73 NYK@BOS
Fri. 27Apr73 BOS@NYK
Sun. 29Apr73 NYK@BOS
Thu. 3May73 NYK@LAL
Sun. 6May73 LAL@NYK
Tue. 8May73 LAL@NYK
Thu. 10May73 NYK@LAL
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Postby todd_spehr35 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:45 am

Wow. Great list; thanks Robert for posting.

Interesting to note that not all Finals games were shown in '73 - imagine that?
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Postby Robert Bradley » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:48 am

there is a great NFL tv forum at -

http://www.the506.com/nflmaps/

on their sports history board we compiled a list of all the NBA network broadcasts -

The NBA on ABC 1964-65 to 1972-73 -

http://the506.com/yabb/YaBB.pl?num=1258512588/0#0

The NBA on NBC 1954-55 to 1961-62 -

http://the506.com/yabb/YaBB.pl?num=1258875168/0#0
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Postby Robert Bradley » Sun Apr 11, 2010 2:50 am

todd_spehr35 wrote:Wow. Great list; thanks Robert for posting.

Interesting to note that not all Finals games were shown in '73 - imagine that?


and it was new york vs. los angeles!

jerry west, wilt chamberlain, walt frazier, willis reed, bill bradley, gail goodrich, dave debusschere, bill bradley....... and not all broadcast on network tv!
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Postby todd_spehr35 » Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:01 pm

Great links and great insight. Thanks Robert.
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Postby josegr » Sun Apr 18, 2010 4:39 pm

Two additons for the 1973 list: George Trapp (Hawks) and Curtis Rowe (Detroit)

Image

In 1972 Jim Fox (flu) was one of the contestants for Cincinnati, later replaced for Johnny Green.

Some 1972 results:

PLAY-IN ROUND ($500)
25-21 ==> Jack Marin defeated Dick Garrett

ROUND ONE ($750)
20-13 ==> Mike Newlin defeated Dale Schleuter
20-14 ==> Cazzie Russell defeated Bob Weiss
20-16 ==> Bob Lanier defeated Pete Maravich
20-12 ==> Rudy Tomjanovich defeated Bob Love
20-16 ==> Connie Hawkins defeated Fred Foster
20-16 ==> Jerry Lucas defeated Don May

ROUND TWO ($1,500)
24-20 ==> Connie Hawkins defeated Jerry Lucas

ROUND FOUR ($7,500)
20-14 ==> Jo Jo White defeated Jeff Mullins

FINAL ROUND ($15,000)
21-16 ==> Bob Lanier defeated Jo Jo White

Youtube Links

Bob Lanier vs JoJo White
Jerry Lucas vs Don May
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Postby Spongeworthy » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:42 pm

Robert Bradley wrote:my extremely limited information for 1973 -


I added a few from the round that they played at my high school:

ONE-ON-ONE PARTICIPANTS

Atlanta Hawks – George Trapp
Atlanta Hawks – Jeff Halliborton
Baltimore Bullets – Elvin Hayes
Baltimore Bullets – Mike Riordan
Boston Celtics – Dave Cowens
Boston Celtics – n/a
Buffalo Braves – Bob McAdoo
Buffalo Braves – n/a
Chicago Bulls – Bob Love
Chicago Bulls – n/a
Cleveland Cavaliers – Barry Clemens
Cleveland Cavaliers – n/a
Detroit Pistons – Curtis Rowe
Detroit Pistons – n/a
Golden State Warriors - Jim Barnett
Golden State Warriors – Cazzie Russell
Houston Rockets – Mike Newlin
Houston Rockets – n/a
Kansas City-Omaha Kings – Nate Williams
Kansas City-Omaha Kings – Nate Archibald
Los Angeles Lakers – Gail Goodrich
Los Angeles Lakers – n/a
Milkwaukee Bucks – Lucious Allen
Milwaukee Bucks – Bob Dandridge
New York Knicks – Bill Bradley
New York Knicks – Earl Monroe
Philadelphia 76ers – Mike Price
Philadelphia 76ers – Freddie Boyd
Phoenix Suns – Connie Hawkins
Phoenix Suns – n/a
Portland Trail Blazers - Geoff Petrie
Portland Trail Blazers – n/a
Seattle Supersonics – Spencer Haywood
Seattle Supersonics – n/a

►Final Round – Geoff Petrie defeated Barry Clemens (6May73 at Madison Square Garden)
►Petrie won $15,000 for himself and $500 for each of his 11 Portland teammates
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Postby Robert Bradley » Wed Jun 02, 2010 3:25 am

thanks - every little bit of information gets us a little closer to finishing the bracket!
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