William Walton "Bill" Sharman, born May 25, 1926, is mostly known for his time with the Boston Celtics in the 1950s, partnering with Bob Cousy in what some consider the greatest backcourt duo of all time. As a coach, Sharman won titles in the ABL, ABA, and NBA, and is credited with introducing the morning shootaround.

He was a 10-time NBA Champion (having won four titles as a player with the Celtics, one as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, and five as a Lakers executive), and a 12-time World Champion in basketball overall counting his ABL and ABA titles. Sharman is also a two-time Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, having been being inducted in 1976 as a player, and in 2004 as a coach.

Sharman was drafted by the Washington Capitols in the 2nd round of the 1950 NBA Draft. Following the disbanding of the Capitols, he was selected by the Fort Wayne Pistons in the dispersal draft and was subsequently traded to the Boston Celtics (with Bob Brannum) for Chuck Share prior to the 1951-52 season. Sharman played a total of ten seasons for the Celtics, leading the team in scoring between the 1955-56 and 1958-59 seasons and averaging over 20 points per game during three of them.

Sharman was one of the first NBA guards to shoot better than .400 from the field. He led the NBA in free throw percentage a record seven times (including a record five consecutive seasons), and his mark of 93.2% in the 1958–59 season remained the NBA record until Ernie DiGregorio topped it in 1976–77. Sharman still holds the record for consecutive free throws in the playoffs with 56. Sharman was named to the All-NBA First Team from 1956 through 1959, and was an All-NBA Second Team member in 1953, 1955, and 1960.

Sharman played in eight NBA All-Star games, scoring in double figures in seven of them. He was named the 1955 NBA All-Star Game MVP after scoring ten of his fifteen points in the fourth quarter. Sharman still holds the NBA All-Star Game record for field goals attempted in a quarter with 12.

Sharman ended his NBA playing career after 11 seasons in 1961.

Sharman coached the Cleveland Pipers of the American Basketball League to the league championship in 1962. He next went on to coach Los Angeles State (now California State, Los Angeles) for two seasons.

In 1970–71 he coached the Utah Stars to an ABA title and was a co-recipient of the ABA Coach of the Year honors.
The following season he guided the Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West-led Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA record 33 game win streak, a then-record 69-13 win-loss mark, the first Lakers championship in Los Angeles and the first for the team in more than a decade. That season, Sharman was named NBA Coach of the Year. He is one of two men to win NBA and ABA championships as a coach; coincidentally, the other, Alex Hannum, also coached a Chamberlain-led team (the 1967 Philadelphia 76ers) to an NBA championship.

Sharman invented the morning shootaround as a way to burn off nervous energy on game days. He took the shootaround with him to his first coaching jobs in the ABL, the ABA, and later, the NBA. After the Lakers won the championship in 1972, every other team in the league added the shootaround to its game-day regimen.

Bill passed away on 25 October 2013

 

[Wikipedia]

September 18, 2014 by Renee White

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