Sunday, March 26, 2017

NBA Encyclopedia #3

Back to one of my favorite new features, a look at ten more people who comprise my NBA collection. I wrote this post up several nights ago and pushed it back because of the NBA history I saw on Friday night, so the active players may have played another game since then- I didn't want to go in and rewrite any of it.

#21 Steven Adams
2016-17 Hoops #132
New Zealand native Steven Adams is one of only four players in NBA history to hail from his country- three of which still have strong ties to the NBA. (One plays for the Pistons and one is GM of the Nets- all four will eventually appear in this project). Adams has currently played 299 games, all of them as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who drafted him in 2013. He is a frequent target of Russell Westbrook's assists. He has played the most NBA games by a New Zealand native.

#22 Rafael Addison
1992-93 Upper Deck #260
New Jersey native Rafael Addison played 379 games over 6 NBA seasons, that spanned the 1986-87 through 1996-97 seasons. He played 1986-87 with the Hawks, then spent the next 4 seasons playing in Italy. He returned to the NBA in 1991-92 and 1992-93 with the Nets before spending another year in Italy. He then came back, playing one season with the Pistons and two with the Charlotte Hornets. Although a role player he started no less than 3 games every season of his NBA career except 1995-96, when he did not start any at all.

#23 Rick Adelman
1970-71 Topps #118
Rick Adelman had two NBA careers- as a player from 1968-69 through 1974-75, and as a coach, reaching head coach status in 1988-89 through 2013-14, when he retired from coaching. The native of Lynwood, California, played 462 games for a variety of teams over his seven year career, including 3 teams in one season, which is unusual, but not unheard of. He started with the San Diego Rockets, was taken by the Trail Blazers in their expansion draft, played a season and a half with the Chicago Bulls, then was traded to the New Orleans Jazz, who traded him to the Kansas City-Omaha Kings, where he concluded his playing career. His coaching career was much more stable. He joined the Blazers as an assistant in 1983-84 and eventually became head coach partway through 1988-89. He would see his greatest success as a coach with the Blazers, and remained with them through 1993-94, including two trips to the NBA Finals in 1989-90 and 1991-92. He took a year off then joined the Golden State Warriors for 1995-96 and 1996-97. Another year off and then he rejoined the Kings organization, now in Sacramento, for 1998-99 through 2005-06. Another year off and then it was off to the Rockets, how in Houston, for four years. He concluded his coaching career in 2011-12 through 2013-14 with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Since he has two careers, he's a bonus coaching card of him.
1993-94 Hoops #251
Interestingly two of the three players shown would become coaches as well, although Mario Elie has not been a head coach in the NBA. Adelman was head coach for a total of 1,791 games and is part of a rather exclusive club as he won 1042 of them, 9th all-time, one of only 9 coaches to reach 1000 wins. (The closest active coach has only 796 wins)

#24 Richie Adubato
1992-93 Hoops #244
It takes only until the 24th person to get to our first non-playing coach. Richie Adubato, of Irvington, New Jersey, spent 13 seasons as an NBA assistant coach, but assumed the head coaching job on 3 separate occasions spanning three decades. He coached the Pistons for a portion of 1979-80, the Mavericks from 1989-90 through 1992-93 and part of 1996-97 with the Orlando Magic. He also served as an assistant on the Knicks and Cavaliers. His career spanned 1978-79 through 1996-97 in total. Adubato was head coach for a total of 367 games.

#25 Arron Afflalo
2016-17 Hoops #68
Currently a member of the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles native Afflalo has currently played 704 games over 10 seasons for the Pistons, Nuggets, Magic, Trail Blazers, Nuggets (again), Knicks and Kings. 2013-14 with the Magic was statistically his best season so far. I really enjoyed watching him play for the Knicks last year and was disappointed when they chose not to offer him a new contract for this season.

#26 Maurice Ager
2006-07 Trilogy #104
Maurice Ager is a player I honestly don't know too much about. I was away from the NBA from mid-2006-07 through 2011-12 and his entire career came during that time, in fact, I did not get any cards of him until 2016. I consider leaving the NBA as I did one of the biggest mistakes of my life, but this is about the players, not me, so I shan't digress further. What I can tell you is that he is a native of Detroit and played 82 games over 4 NBA seasons for the Mavericks, Nets and Timberwolves. His career lasted from 2006-07 through 2010-11. He is now a musician, and also has been nominated for a Grammy Award for music production. Michigan State, where he attended college, uses one of his songs as an anthem for it's football team.

#27 Mark Aguirre
1985-86 Star Court King #1
Mark Aguirre, from Chicago, has been the name I most often hear when "Why is he not a Hall-of-Famer" comes up in conversion. He scored 18,458 points over 923 games across 13 seasons. He was a three-time All-Star and was part of the "Bad Boys" Pistons back to back championships. His career lasted from 1981-82 through 1993-94, with the Mavericks until 1989, and then played his final year with the Clippers. Even though he has not played for the Mavericks since 1988-89, he still ranks third all-time in points scored in franchise history.

#28 Danny Ainge
1995-96 Ultra #138
Danny Ainge has had three NBA careers- player, coach and GM. He also played professional baseball! This will focus solely on his NBA careers. The native of Eugene, Oregon played from 1981-82 through 1994-95, playing for the Celtics, Kings, Trail Blazers and Suns. The majority of his career came with the Celtics. He played 1042 games, was an All-Star in 1987-88 and led the league in 3s that same season. He also won two titles with the Celtics. He coached the Suns for 226 games from 1996-97 through 1999-00. Since 2003, he has been General Manager and President of the Celtics, assembling the team that won the NBA Championship in 2008.

#29 Alexis Ajinca
2015-16 Panini Prizm #107
Currently a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.
A native of Saint-Etienne, France, Ajinca has played 286 games in the NBA for the Bobcats, Mavericks, Raptors and now Pelicans. His greatest success and longest tenure has come in New Orleans, with 215 of his 286 games with the Pelicans. He returned to Europe for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. The "S" on his first name is silent. 

#30  Furkan Aldimir
2015-16 Complete #114
 The least-well known player in this installment, the native of Konak, Turkey, played only one season in the NBA, 2014-15. He appeared in 41 games-exactly half of the season- but did manage to start 9 of them on a dismal 76ers team. He has played professionally in Turkey since 2011, and has returned there since his stint with the Sixers. He was drafted in 2012, by the Clippers. This card, and it's two parallels, are the only NBA cards he ever got. 


  1. I really like this encyclopedia posting that you do. Pretty cool that Ager could go on and get nominated for a Grammy after being a professional athlete.

  2. That Aguirre card reminds me how lucky we were to have Star brand at that time. Otherwise there would not have been any major basketball card releases in the mid 1980's.

    1. Very true. I love Star cards, just wish they were easier to find!