70s All-Decade Team
August 12, 2014
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - G Austin Carr: The No. 1 overall pick out of Notre Dame in 1971, A.C. is still in the Cavaliers all-time top 5 in games played, points scored, field goals made and field goals attempted.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - G Austin Carr: A.C. averaged double-digit scoring in each of his nine seasons with the Wine and Gold -- including 21.2 ppg as a rookie and 21.9 ppg in 1974, the year he was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star squad. Carr averaged 16.2 ppg in 653 games -- regular season and playoffs -- with the franchise he is synonymous with.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - G Austin Carr: One of only four Cavaliers to score 10,000 points in his career, Austin Carr's No. 34 was raised to the rafters on January 3, 1981.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - G Bingo Smith: The versatile Smith, who also played small forward for Cleveland, played 720 games with the Wine and Gold -- third on the all-time list. Bingo is also sixth on the all-time scoring list (9,513 points) as well as third in field goals attempted and made.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - G Bingo Smith: Bingo played his rookie season with San Diego before being selected by the Cavaliers in the 1970 Expansion Draft and would go on to play 10 seasons and over 700 games with the Wine and Gold. Smith averaged 13.2 ppg during the regular season and 11.2 in the playoffs for Cleveland.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - G Bingo Smith: Known for his trademark "rainbow jumper," Bingo sealed the first playoff win in franchise history when he canned the game-winner against Washington -- part of his team-leading 17 points -- in the "Miracle of Richfield" season. Smith's uniform No. 7 was retired to the rafters on December 4, 1979.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - F Jim Chones: Despite playing only five years with the Wine and Gold, "Sweets" is still among the franchise's all-time top five in defensive rebounds (2,750) and total rebounds (3,790). In three playoff appearances with the Cavaliers, Chones averaged 14.5 and 8.0 boards per contest.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - F Jim Chones: In his last four years in Cleveland -- and aside from the foot injury that sidelined him in the 1976 Eastern Conference Finals -- Chones never missed a single regular season game.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - F Jim Chones: The well-rounded father of four, Chones won an NBA Championship with the Lakers after leaving Cleveland and is now the team's Radio Color Analyst -- seen here with his partner, play-by-play man John Michael.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - F Campy Russell: Russell -- who wore uniform No. 4, 20 and 22 -- played seven seasons with the Cavaliers and was named to the All-Star squad in 1979, the season he led the Wine and Gold with a 21.9 ppg average.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - F Campy Russell: Campy, whose brothers Frank and Walker also played in the NBA, spent seven seasons with the Cavaliers -- averaging 16.1 ppg over that span. Russell averaged 15.8 ppg in the postseason with the Wine and Gold, including a gaudy 27.5 ppg mark in 1978.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - F Campy Russell: Drafted with the No. 8 overall pick out of Michigan in 1974, Campy went on to finish among the Cavaliers all-time top 10 lists in scoring, field goals attempted and made as well as free throws made and attempted. Campy now serves as the team's TV pre- and postgame analyst as well as the franchise's Director of Alumni Relations.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - C Nate Thurmond: The Cavaliers had started the 1975-76 season at 6-11 before Thurmond arrived in a trade with the Bulls. Cleveland went 43-22 the rest of the way with Nate manning the middle -- leading the Wine and Gold to the franchise's first playoff appearance.
Thurmond grew up in Akron and played his college ball at Bowling Green. He was a seven-time All-Star and won an NBA title with the Warriors before eventually returning to Northeast Ohio. His uniform No. 42 is retired by both franchises -- but was raised to the rafters of the Richfield Coliseum on December 18, 1977.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - C Nate Thurmond: The great Nate Thurmond only played 114 regular season games with the Wine and Gold, but the big man's Hall of Fame presence changed the young squad's entire mindset upon his arrival. He was named to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984 and to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - Sixth Man - Foots Walker: Foots Walker played six seasons and 427 regular season games with the Wine and Gold, leading the team in assists in his final three years in Cleveland.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - Sixth Man - Foots Walker: Rumored to have worn a size 11 shoe when he was five years old, Walker was the first player in Cavalier history to record a triple-double. He played 10 NBA seasons with the Wine and Gold and New Jersey Nets.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - Head Coach - Bill Fitch: After stints at the University of Minnesota, Bowling Green, North Dakota and his alma mater, Coe College, Fitch was named the first head coach in Cavs franchise history. He also served as the team's general manager from 1973-79.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - Head Coach - Bill Fitch: Until Mike Brown passed him late last season, Fitch -- who eventually guided the Boston Celtics to the NBA Championship in 1981 -- was second on the Cavaliers' all-time win list with 304 victories. Lenny Wilkens is the franchise's leader with 316 wins as head coach.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - Head Coach - Bill Fitch: Fitch had the famous line in his introductory press conference: "Just remember, the name's Fitch, not Houdini." The Cavs lost their first 15 games, won one, then dropped their next 12. By 1975, he had Cleveland challenging for a title.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - Honorable Mention - Dick Snyder: A North Canton native, Snyder canned one of the most iconic shots in franchise history -- sinking a runner off the glass in the closing seconds of Game 6 against Washington to send the Cavs to the Eastern Conference Finals. Snyder averaged 10.6 ppg in four seasons with the Wine and Gold before returning to Seattle where he won an NBA Championship under head coach Lenny Wilkens.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - Honorable Mention - Jim Cleamons: After starring at Ohio State, guard Jimmy Cleamons played five seasons with the Cavaliers -- leading the squad in assists in his first three years in Cleveland.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - Honorable Mention - Jim Brewer: In six years with the Wine and Gold, Brewer led the team in rebounding twice and is still in the Cavaliers all-time top 10 in all three rebounding categories -- including third place in offensive boards.
Cavaliers '70s All-Decade Team - Honorable Mention - Lenny Wilkens: Like Nate Thurmond, Lenny didn't play a high volume of games with Cleveland, but his veteran influence helped a young squad grow up quickly. That's not to say Lenny didn't perform at a high level. In two seasons, Wilkens averaged 18.5 ppg and 7.7 assists with the Wine and Gold. He also represented the Cavs in the 1973 NBA All-Star Game.