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With 50-plus years in the organization, Alvin Attles certainly qualifies as a Warriors legend. The former player, coach, executive and current team ambassador was selected by the Philadelphia Warriors in the fifth round of the 1960 NBA Draft and has been involved with the team ever since. Known as “The Destroyer” for his aggressive and hard-nosed approach to the game, the 6-foot guard averaged 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists over 11 seasons, two of which culminated in a trip to the NBA Finals. He became a player-coach during the 1969-70 season, igniting the longest coaching run in franchise history. Attles’ 13-plus seasons at the helm of the Warriors yielded 557 regular season victories, two division crowns, six playoff berths and the franchise’s lone NBA championship (1975) in its West Coast history.
Warriors.com (DotCom):Can you describe your current role with the Warriors? Alvin Attles (AA): I’m really more on the community relations side now. I go out and speak to groups and do everything we possibly can to keep the Warriors on the front page with them. It’s not necessarily about the things that are going on with the organization from a business standpoint, but more to let them know that we’re still part of the community and anything we can do to help those people grow and hopefully stay Warriors fans, that’s what I’m involved in.
DotCom:Did you ever imagine that a sports team’s involvement in the community could reach the level that the Warriors have reached? AA:I’ve been involved with the Warriors so long, but years ago it was kind of hit or miss. It was never done on a league-wide basis. It was more or less an individual team thing. Now they do it throughout the league and they do a number of things. I have to say that we, the Warriors, are head and shoulders above many of the other organizations because they really get out in the community and try to do the things necessary to let the people know that they are part of the organization as well as the organization is a part of the community.
DotCom:We recently caught up with Bernard King. What do you remember about coaching him? AA: You talk about a transformation. He could turn into one of the most serious guys you will ever see in your life on the basketball court. A nice guy off the floor, but he just had a look about him. Bernard King … running the right side of the floor from the forward position, guys were in fear of him when he took it to the basket. He would charge that basket and if you got in his way, you talk about a train coming down the track, that would be him … One of the real, real good guys and one of the guys I really appreciated coaching. I don’t think anybody came to play any harder or any tougher than Bernard King.
DotCom:What do you think about when you hear the name Tom Meschery? AA: I’ve played with some really outstanding people. This is my 51st year with the Warriors and I met Tom my second year with the Warriors … One of the nicest guys, but he was two different distinct people. The nicest guy off the floor that you’ll ever see, but on the floor he went to a different world. His eyes would start rolling around in his head if somebody did something to him on the floor and he’d lose it … He’s an outstanding guy, a smart guy, a poet, the whole nine yards, but when it comes to basketball, he was a different person. He was one that I really appreciated being with and one who I have the highest respect for.
DotCom:What do you think of Chris Mullin going into the Hall of Fame and the Warriors retiring his number this season? AA: There are certain people that you couldn’t be happy for, and he’s one of them … His first year wasn’t a great first year. Chris had transformed himself physically. He was a great scorer but he probably wasn’t in the greatest shape. He transformed his body into a great basketball body and became one of the great scorers in this league. He’s an outstanding person. I cannot be happier for a player going into the Hall of Fame then I was for Chris.