Memorial Table Bases Finishes Classic Art Real Marble Custom Art Awards Metal Scale Model

  
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Successful Basketball Coach of the NBA Knicks
Sculptor: Karoy, Marble Classics Artist
Subject:
Final version of the [NBA Knicks coach] Joe Lapchick Character Award sponsored by Nike.
Size: 22" x 14" x 10.5" (final trophy measurements)
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York
Material: Aquaresin casting with internal wireframe with a aged bronze faux finish on a black acrylic base with custom engraving.
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Find more about our sculptors: Dave Damon and Valentin.

In 1947, Joe Lapchick passed up a then-astronomical offer of $12,000 per year to continue coaching basketball for St. John's. Opting instead to accept a job as coach of the New York Knickerbockers, part of the fledgling Basketball Association of America, which was only in its second year of operation at that point. Lapchick went on to lead the Knicks to eight straight winning seasons and eight trips to the playoffs, including three NBA Finals in a row from 1951 to 1953 with the Knicks. As it turned out, the 1953-54 Knicks were more than just a team of talented players; remarkably eight of them went on to coach pro or college basketball teams, a tribute to Lapchick's leadership and influence as a mentor.

Though a great motivator, Lapchick was a wild man on the sidelines, stomping on his coat, smashing chairs, and tossing various objects into the air. At a hasty press conference in the Garden, the Knicks front office had announced that Coach Joe Lapchick had "resigned." In fact, the Knicks had forced him to quit due to stress-management problems near the end of the 1955-56 season. He left the Knicks with a 326-247 NBA coaching record.

INTEGRATION OF THE EARLY NBA

Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton was invited to play for the Harlem Globetrotters from the summer of 1948 to the spring of 1950. Right before the start of the 1950 professional basketball season, Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton became the first African-American to sign an actual NBA contract, which happened while Joe Lapchick was head coach of the Knicks. After he signed with the Knicks basketball team, and smashed the color barrier for good, he went on to lead his team to its first appearance in the NBA finals that same year. Said Ramsey of Clifton, "He was the sweetest, nicest man off the court but on the [basketball] court you didn't want to mess with him."

Clifton became an extremely popular member of the Knicks. Part of his charisma was the famous nickname he acquired as a kid through his love of soft drinks. Another factor was the size of his hands, requiring a size 14 glove: "They were huge, holding a basketball he looked like he was keeping a canteloupe in his palm," says Ross. Using his exceptional ballhandling ability and athletic agility, he averaged 10 PPG and 8.2 RPG throughout his seven-year career playing for the Knicks. A solid rebounder who loved to run the floor, the 6' 7" Clifton's real strength was getting to the basket with extremely quick and athletic moves.

At age 34, he became the oldest player in NBA history to be named an All-Star, in 1957 while off the bench in the NBA All-Star team basketball game he scored 8 points in just 23 minutes in just one game.

Previous Page | Next Page - Custom Engraved Hall of Fame Trophy Award

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THE HALL OF FAME JOE LAPCHICK CHARACTER AWARD TROPHY

Page I - Custom Engraved Trophy Award Sculpting Services
Page II - Joe Lapchick Character Award Trophy Presentation

Page III - The Early Days of Professional Basketball Statue
Page IV - Racial Tolerance and Integrity in Basketball Award
Page V - Legendary Coaching Style of Coach Joe Lapchick
Page VI - Successful Basketball Coach of the NBA Knicks
Page VII - 2009 Joe Lapchick Character Award Winners
Page VII - Character in Basketball Engraved Trophy Award
Page IX - NBA and College Basketball Legend Award


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