Hard Road to Glory Moments: Remembering Al Attles

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This week marks the fortieth anniversary of the Golden State Warriors sweeping the Washington Bullets in four straight games for 1975 NBA title. Coached by Alvin Austin Attles, Jr., he became the second African American coach to win a professional title in any sport (the first had been Bill Russell who served as player-coach of the Boston Celtics).  The series was also notable as it was the first championship game or series in any major American professional sports league where both head coaches were black.

Attles was drafted as a player for the Philadelphia Warriors in 1960, playing alongside star Center Wilt Chamberlain. He continued to play with the Warriors through 1971, through their move to the San Francisco-area in 1962. During the 1969-1970 he was named player-coach, becoming one of the first African-American coaches in the league as noted in Arthur Ashe’s A Hard Road to Glory. After he stopped playing, he continued as coach of the Warriors until 1983 and served as general manager the following season.

Having played or worked solely for the Warriors throughout his basketball career, he continues to serve as team ambassador and attends most home games to this day. See if you can spot him in the stands tonight when the Golden State Warriors face off against the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.  

Read the New York Times article about Al Attles and the Warriors.


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