November 12, 2010 |
There was a time when sold out crowds gathered each week at the Arena, in West Philadelphia, and later the Spectrum to watch Judy Arnold and her Philadelphia Warriors wreak havoc on the roller-derby track. It was a sport that in its heyday could draw more fans than basketball or hockey did, and was a television staple that combined athleticism and showmanship with nonstop action. "The fans in Philadelphia went crazy for roller games," said Gary Powers, curator of the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame and Museum, in Brooklyn.
March 7, 2012 |
On Friday, in an unusual giveaway, the Sixers handed fans commemorative pieces of the basketball court on which Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points. Not surprisingly, quite a few have already found their way to eBay. Some prices fetched wouldn't quite cover a family visit to a game at the Wells Fargo Center - counting parking, food and beverages - but $50 to $260 isn't bad for a 2-inch square of wood. Of course, it's not just any wood, but the floor on which a Hall of Fame legend, who went to Overbrook High, set an NBA record that no one has ever threatened.
April 20, 2014 |
AS YOU KNOW, if you follow this column, I was aghast when the Sixers pounded those woeful Detroit Pistons, averting the distinction of being the sole possessor of the longest losing streak in NBA history. I thought they would surely lose four or five more games in a row and, at 30 consecutive losses, they would have established a record that would never be broken. What an honor for us! One city having the longest losing streak in both professional basketball and professional baseball (the 1961 Fightins lost 23 straight, still a modern-day record)
December 5, 2014 |
Philadelphia Tribune sportswriter Donald Hunt had an idea, wrote a column about it, and could have left it at that. His idea: Wilt Chamberlain belongs on a stamp. A big stamp, befitting the most dominant basketball player in the history of the game, an Overbrook High graduate who took the NBA record book to all sorts of heights not approached since. Hunt wrote his "From the Locker Room" column in the Tribune on Feb. 15, 2008. He pointed out that other sports greats such as Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens had their images on stamps.
March 20, 2013 |
TOM GOLA Born: Jan. 13, 1933. Age 80 Birthplace: Philadelphia High school: La Salle College: La Salle (1951-55). Led Explorers to 1954 NCAA national championship and runner-up finish in 1955. National player of the year in 1954 and UPI player of year in 1955. Most Outstanding Player in 1954 Final Four. Three-time All-America. NIT co-MVP in 1952, as Explorers took NIT title College stats: Gola was a 6-6 forward. He averaged 20.9 points and 19.0 rebounds. Had 2,201 career rebounds, still an NCAA record PRO BASKETBALL CAREER: * Drafted by Philadelphia Warriors in 1955 as a territorial pick * Warriors: 1955-62; Knicks: 1962-66 * NBA champion in 1956 with Warriors * 5-time NBA All-Star * Stats: Points 7,871 (11.3 ppg)
November 8, 2013 |
Most of the landmarks in Ernie Beck's claustrophobic basketball biography could have been visited on a $10 cab ride. The Mitchell School playground in his old Southwest Philly neighborhood. The nearby gym at Most Blessed Sacrament, 55th and Chester. The Arena. And Convention Hall, which stood on the 34th Street site where Beck now takes his wife for cancer treatments. That peculiar Philadelphia hoops geography, where many in the generation that gave this city its basketball reputation were nurtured and showcased, has, like a lot of the men themselves, disappeared.
March 2, 2012
THE FIRST 30 minutes of tonight's editions of "Daily News Live" on Comcast SportsNet will be a roundtable discussion on Wilt Chamberlain's legacy on the 50th anniversary of his 100-point game. Host Michael Barkann will lead the conversation with Chamberlain's former teammate, Al Attles; Sixers ambassador Sonny Hill; and Daily News columnist Stan Hochman. "Daily News Live" airs at 5 p.m. The Wilt coverage continues on "SportsNite," including interviews with Bill Campbell, who called the game on radio, and Harvey Pollack, who was the Philadelphia Warriors' statistician and the man who wrote the "100" on the piece of paper that Wilt held in the iconic photo.
January 14, 2012
Al Attles' favorite memory of Wilt Chamberlain: The legendary 100-point game he produced for the Philadelphia Warriors against the Knicks on March 2, 1962. But Attles, who attends every Warriors home game, also remembers being on hand just days earlier when Chamberlain - his former teammate - set a record with 34 free-throw attempts. Attles never expected either record to be broken in his lifetime. But there he was Thursday night, watching as Dwight Howard stepped to the foul line time and again in the Magic's 117-109 victory at Golden State.
January 3, 2015 |
Harvey Pollack, the Sixers' director of statistical information and a dedicated follower of the Flyers and Big Five basketball, was in critical but stable condition Friday after being involved in one-car accident Thursday evening in Center City. He suffered a broken hip, pelvis, and jaw, plus broken ribs, in addition to having facial lacerations. The 92-year-old had hip surgery scheduled for Friday afternoon at Hahnemann University Hospital and will have more procedures. Pollack is the only person still working for the NBA since its inaugural season, 1946-47.
January 28, 2014 |
TOM GOLA was, without any argument, the most accomplished college basketball player in city history. La Salle won the NIT when he was a freshman in 1952, the NCAA when he was a junior in 1954 and finished runner-up to Bill Russell's great San Francisco team when he was a senior. His death yesterday at 81 serves as a reminder of what he was on the court. It also conjures a nostalgic time from the 1950s when a sporting hero from 3rd and Lindley and Incarnation Grade School never lost sight of his roots and treated every kid who idolized him like he was one of his own. Gola was not years ahead of his time as a player.