Artis Gilmore
Artis Gilmore
Artis Gilmore.jpg
Gilmore in 2011
Personal information
Born (1949-09-21) September 21, 1949 (age 68)
Chipley, Florida
Nationality American
Listed height 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m)
Listed weight 240 lb (109 kg)
Career information
High school Carver (Dothan, Alabama)
College
NBA draft 1971 / Round: 7 / Pick: 117th overall
Selected by the Chicago Bulls
Playing career 1971-1989
Position Center
Number 53
Career history
1971-1976 Kentucky Colonels
1976-1982 Chicago Bulls
1982-1987 San Antonio Spurs
1987 Chicago Bulls
1988 Boston Celtics
1988-1989 Arimo Bologna
Career highlights and awards
Career ABA and NBA statistics
Points 24,941 (18.8 ppg)
Rebounds 16,330 (12.3 rpg)
Assists 3,050 (2.3 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Artis Gilmore (born September 21, 1949) is an American retired basketball player who played in the American Basketball Association (ABA) and National Basketball Association (NBA). Gilmore was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on August 12, 2011.

A star center during his two collegiate years at Jacksonville University, in Jacksonville, Florida, Gilmore led the Dolphins to the NCAA Division I championship game in 1970, where his team was beaten 80-69 by the UCLA Bruins. Gilmore remains the top player in rebounds per game in the history of NCAA Division I basketball.

Gilmore followed five All-Star seasons with the Kentucky Colonels of the ABA by becoming the first overall pick of the 1976 ABA Dispersal Draft, which dispersed the players in the ABA clubs, such as the Colonels, that did not join the NBA. In Gilmore's complete pro basketball career, he was an eleven-time All-Star, the ABA Rookie of the Year, and an ABA MVP, and he remains the NBA career leader for field goal percentage. Nicknamed "The A-Train", the 7'2" (2.18 m) Gilmore once played in 670 consecutive games.

Early years

Gilmore was born in Chipley, Florida, and reared there and in Dothan, Alabama, a larger community 35 miles to the north. He graduated from Dothan's Carver High School in 1967. Gilmore played college basketball at the Gardner-Webb Junior College for two years and at Jacksonville University for two years, leading the Jacksonville Dolphins team to the NCAA title game in 1970, where they lost 80-69 to UCLA. During the two years that Gilmore played NCAA basketball at Jacksonville, he became one of only five college basketball players ever to average at least 20 points and 20 rebounds over his career. Gilmore led the NCAA in rebounding both years at Jacksonville, and his career average of 22.7 rebounds per game is still the highest in NCAA Division I history.[1]

When departing from college, Gilmore was drafted by the Kentucky Colonels in the 1971 American Basketball Association draft, and by the Chicago Bulls in the 1971 NBA draft.[2] --

Professional career

ABA

Gilmore began his professional career with the Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association for the 1971-72 season, signing a record high-paying contract. He was so immediately dominant that he earned the rare distinction of being selected both the Rookie of the Year award and the league Most Valuable Player award for his first season.

Over his five-year ABA career, Gilmore led the ABA four times in rebounding average, twice in both field goal percentage and blocks per game, and once in personal fouls. He was named to the All-ABA First team five straight seasons, and the All-Defense team four times. He played in the ABA All-Star Game all five years he was in the league, earning the 1974 game's MVP. The capstone of his time in the ABA was leading the 1974-75 Kentucky Colonels to the 1975 ABA championship and being named the ABA Playoffs Most Valuable Player. In the final game of the series, Gilmore had scored 28 points and grabbed 31 rebounds.

During his days as an ABA dominator, Gilmore established league records for career blocked shots (750), blocked shots in a season (422 in the 1971-72 season),[3] and rebounds in a game (40).[4]

NBA career

Gilmore in 1977

Number 1 NBA draft pick

The ABA ended its existence after the 1976 season, with four of its teams (Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, New York Nets, and San Antonio Spurs) joining the NBA in the ABA-NBA merger, and the remaining teams, including the Kentucky Colonels, folding. Since his team, the Kentucky Colonels, had folded, Gilmore went into the special 1976 ABA dispersal draft, and he was chosen with the first overall pick by the Chicago Bulls. While not the same force that he had been in the ABA, after four All-Star selections in five solid basketball seasons in Chicago, Gilmore was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in 1982. Twice again an All-Star in San Antonio through 1987, he rejoined the Bulls for part of the 1988 season before finishing his NBA career with the Boston Celtics in 1988.

Gilmore played the 1988-89 season with Arimo Bologna of the Italian league, where he averaged 12.3 points and 11.0 rebounds and made the European All-Star Team.

NBA achievements

Gilmore played in a total of six NBA All-Star Games. He led the NBA in field goal percentage in four consecutive seasons, including a career-best 67% during the 1980-81 season -- at the time, the third-highest percentage in NBA history.[5] At the time of his retirement, Gilmore was the NBA's career leader in field goal percentage (minimum 2,000 shots made) with 59.9%.

Hall of Fame

Gilmore was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011.[6]

Personal life

In 1972, Gilmore married his college sweetheart Enola Gay. The couple have five children.[7][8][9]

On 17 May 2006, Gilmore flipped his car in an accident while driving drunk in Jacksonville, Florida. He was not injured in the crash, but had to be helped from the car by witnesses because he was caught on his seat belt. Gilmore was arrested and received a misdemeanor driving under the influence charge. His blood alcohol level was 0.14% (the legal limit was 0.08%).[10][11]

After basketball

Following his playing career, Gilmore has been active in the Jacksonville community.

In 2007, Gilmore took a position as Special Assistant to the President at his alma mater, serving in various public relations capacities.[12]

Gilmore also provides radio color commentary for his alma mater on the school's flagship station, WJXL. Gilmore was also a frequent guest on the basketball call-in show Ballin' with Al Edwards, also on WJXL.[13]

In May 2012, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

ABA and NBA career statistics

+ Denotes seasons in which Gilmore's team won an ABA championship
* Led the league

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1971-72 Kentucky (ABA) 84* - 43.6 .598* - .646 17.8* 2.7 - 5.0 23.8
1972-73 Kentucky (ABA) 84* - 41.7 .559* .500 .643 17.6* 3.5 - 3.1 20.8
1973-74 Kentucky (ABA) 84 - 41.7* .493 .000 .667 18.3* 3.9 0.7 3.4 18.7
1974-75+ Kentucky (ABA) 84 - 41.6* .580 .500 .696 16.2 2.5 0.8 3.1 23.6
1975-76 Kentucky (ABA) 84 - 39.1 .552 - .682 15.5* 2.5 0.7 2.4 24.6
1976-77 Chicago 82 - 35.1 .522 - .660 13.0 2.4 0.5 2.5 18.6
1977-78 Chicago 82 - 37.4 .559 - .704 13.1 3.2 0.5 2.2 22.9
1978-79 Chicago 82* - 39.8 .575 - .739 12.7 3.3 0.6 1.9 23.7
1979-80 Chicago 48 - 32.7 .595 - .712 9.0 2.8 0.6 1.2 17.8
1980-81 Chicago 82 - 34.5 .670* - .705 10.1 2.1 0.6 2.4 17.9
1981-82 Chicago 82 82 34.1 .652* 1.000 .768 10.2 1.7 0.6 2.7 18.5
1982-83 San Antonio 82 82 34.1 .626* .000 .740 12.0 1.5 0.5 2.3 18.0
1983-84 San Antonio 64 59 31.8 .631* .000 .718 10.3 1.1 0.6 2.1 15.3
1984-85 San Antonio 81 81 34.0 .623 .000 .749 10.4 1.6 0.5 2.1 19.1
1985-86 San Antonio 71 71 33.7 .618 .000 .701 8.5 1.4 0.5 1.5 16.7
1986-87 San Antonio 82* 74 29.3 .597 - .680 7.1 1.8 0.5 1.2 11.4
1987-88 Chicago 24 23 15.5 .513 - .514 2.6 0.4 0.2 0.5 4.2
1987-88 Boston 47 4 11.1 .574 - .527 3.1 0.3 0.2 0.4 3.5
Career 1329 476 35.5 .582 .150 .698 12.3 2.3 0.6 2.4 18.8

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1972 Kentucky (ABA) 6 - 47.5 .571 .000 .711 17.7 4.2 - - 21.8
1973 Kentucky (ABA) 19* - 41.1 .544 - .626 13.7 3.9 - - 19.0
1974 Kentucky (ABA) 8 - 43.0 .559 - .576 18.6* 3.5 0.9 3.8* 22.5
1975+ Kentucky (ABA) 15 - 45.3 .539 - .772 17.6* 2.5 1.0 2.1 24.1
1976 Kentucky (ABA) 10 - 39.0 .608* - .757 15.2* 1.9 1.1 3.6* 24.2
1977 Chicago 3 - 42.0 .475 - .783 13.0 2.0 1.0 2.7 18.7
1981 Chicago 6 - 41.2 .583 - .691 11.2 2.0 1.0 2.8* 18.0
1983 San Antonio 11 - 36.5 .576 - .696 12.9 1.6 0.8 3.1 16.7
1985 San Antonio 5 5 37.0 .558 - .689 10.0 1.4 0.4 1.4 17.8
1986 San Antonio 3 3 35.7 .667 .000 .571 6.0 1.0 2.3 0.3 13.3
1988 Boston 14 0 6.1 .500 - .500 1.4 0.1 0.0 0.3 1.1
Career 100 8 36.3 .561 .000 .688 12.7 2.3 0.8 2.2 17.7

See also

References

Further reading

  • Heisler, Mark (2003). Giants: The 25 Greatest Centers of All Time. Chicago: Triumph Books. ISBN 1-57243-577-1. 

External links


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