Warriors Legend & Community Ambassador
Currently in his 56th year with the Warriors organization, Al Attles’ current stint with the same team represents the longest active streak in the NBA. Attles, who celebrated his 79th birthday on November 7, 2015, joined the Warriors in 1960 (Philadelphia Warriors’ fifth-round draft choice) and has since been affiliated with the club in one capacity or another, building a unique relationship based on commitment, loyalty and dedication.
In August 2014, Attles was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the John R. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, which is the most prestigious award presented by the Hall of Fame outside of Enshrinement, honors coaches, players and contributors whose outstanding accomplishments have impacted the game of basketball.
Attles is one of only six players in Warriors history to have his jersey retired (#16) – joining Rick Barry (#24), Wilt Chamberlain (#13), Tom Meschery (#14), Chris Mullin (#17), and Nate Thurmond (#42) – and remains one of the most publicly recognizable sports figures in the Bay Area.
His endless contributions locally as a player, executive and civic leader resulted in his much-deserved induction into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. In the summer of 2006, the newly refurbished outdoor basketball court at Lincoln Square Park in downtown Oakland was permanently renamed “Alvin Attles Court” in honor of the local legend and longtime Oakland resident. And, most recently, the Warriors announced that the team will present the Alvin Attles Volunteer Award to the team employee who goes above and beyond in their efforts to serve the Bay Area community as part of the organization’s Helping Hands volunteer program.
In the latter stages of the 1969-70 NBA campaign, Attles was named head coach of the Warriors, replacing George Lee after 52 games (spent the final two years of his playing career [1969-70 and 1970-71] as a player/coach). His 30-game stint as head coach to end that season proved to be the start of the longest head coaching run in Warriors franchise history, a 13-plus year tenure which produced, among other highlights, the lone NBA Championship in the club’s West Coast history (1974-75).
During his 13-year coaching run, Attles guided the Warriors to six playoff berths, two division titles and amassed an overall 557-518 record, which ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time coaches winning list. One season after leading Golden State to the NBA title, he led the Warriors to a sparkling 59-23 record in 1975-76, the best mark in franchise history and the top record in the NBA that season. He also was named head coach of the Western Conference All-Star Team in both 1975 and 1976. Attles completed his coaching career in 1982-83 to become the Warriors GM, heading the team’s basketball operations for three years.
One of the most aggressive and hard-nosed players in the league, Attles earned the unique nickname of “The Destroyer,” which appropriately described his mentality on the floor. During his 11-year NBA career, he averaged 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 711 regular-season games and currently ranks fifth on the Warriors all-time games played list (711). Furthermore, he was involved in one of the most memorable games in NBA history on March 2, 1962, when he and teammate Wilt Chamberlain combined for 117 points against the New York Knicks, the most ever by a pair of players in league annals. In that game, Attles tallied 17 points (8-8 FG, 1-1 FT), while Chamberlain netted an all-time NBA record 100 points. He retired following the 1970-71 campaign to focus strictly on coaching, eliminating his dual role as player/coach.
A 1960 graduate of North Carolina A&T, Attles earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and History. He later added a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction to his credentials from the University of San Francisco in 1983.
Al and his wife, Wilhelmina, reside in Oakland and have two adult children, Alvin III and Erica.