Attles in a 1970 publicity photograph
November 7, 1936 |
Newark, New Jersey
|Listed height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Listed weight||175 lb (79 kg)|
(Newark, New Jersey)
|College||North Carolina A&T (1956–1960)|
|NBA draft||1960 / Round: 5 / Pick: 39th overall|
|Selected by the Philadelphia Warriors|
|1960–1971||Philadelphia / San Francisco Warriors|
|1970–1983||San Francisco / Golden State Warriors|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||6,328 (8.9 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,463 (3.5 rpg)|
|Assists||2,483 (3.5 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Before the NBA
He is a graduate of Weequahic High School in Newark and North Carolina A&T State University. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and History along with a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. He intended to just be a coach at his local junior high school when he was drafted by the Warriors. He initially declined before accepting and going to training camp.
Attles joined the then-Philadelphia Warriors in 1960. On March 2, 1962 he was the team's second-leading scorer with 17 points on the night Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points. There is a probably apocryphal story to the effect that one of the sportswriters covering the game began his filing with the lede "HERSHEY, Pa. -- Wilt Chamberlain and Al Attles combined for 117 points last night as the Philadelphia Warriors defeated the New York Knicks 169-147." Attles moved with the team to the Bay Area at the end of the 1962 season, playing until 1971. Attles was known as "The Destroyer" due to his defensive specialities along with once punching a player in the jaw.  He was a role player on the 1964 Warriors team (with Wilt Chamberlain and Guy Rodgers) that made the NBA Finals and eventually lost the championship series to the Boston Celtics, four games to one. Attles also played on the Warriors' 1967 team that lost to Chamberlain's 68-13 Philadelphia 76ers in an evenly-matched, six-game championship series.
Attles later became one of the first African-American coaches in the NBA when he was named player-coach of the Warriors midway through the 1969-70 season, succeeding George Lee. Attles guided the Rick Barry-led Warriors to the 1975 NBA championship over the heavily favored Washington Bullets, making him the second African American coach to win an NBA title (the first was Bill Russell). Attles' team tried to repeat the following season, but they lost to the Phoenix Suns in the Conference Finals in seven games. Attles was replaced by Johnny Bach for the last 21 games of the 1979–80 NBA season (a season in which the Warriors finished tied for dead last), though he returned for the next season. Attles coached the Warriors until 1983, compiling a 557-518 regular season record (588-548 overall including playoff games) with 6 playoff appearances in 14 seasons. During the 1983–84 season, Attles worked as the Warriors' general manager.
Attles's number 16 is retired by the Warriors and he attends every Warriors home game. He also serves as a team ambassador. On February 7th, 2015, Attles' #22 was retired by North Carolina A&T, the first ever retired by the team.  He was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1993. Attles has worked in the Warriors organization for over 50 years, the longest uninterrupted streak of any person for one team. Attles and his wife Wilhelmina reside in Oakland and have two adult children.
Head coaching record
|Regular season||G||Games coached||W||Games won||L||Games lost||W–L %||Win-loss %|
|Post season||PG||Playoff games||PW||Playoff wins||PL||Playoff losses||PW–L %||Playoff win-loss %|
|SFW||1969–70||30||8||22||.267||6th in Western||—||—||—||—||—|
|SFW||1970–71||82||41||41||.500||2nd in Pacific||5||1||4||.200||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|GSW||1971–72||82||51||31||.622||2nd in Pacific||5||1||4||.200||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|GSW||1972–73||82||47||35||.573||2nd in Pacific||11||5||6||.200||Lost in Conf. Finals|
|GSW||1973–74||82||44||38||.537||2nd in Pacific||—||—||—||—||—|
|GSW||1974–75||82||48||34||.585||1st in Pacific||17||12||5||.706||Won NBA Championship|
|GSW||1975–76||82||59||23||.720||1st in Pacific||13||7||6||.538||Lost in NBA Finals|
|GSW||1976–77||82||46||36||.561||3rd in Pacific||10||5||5||.500||Lost in Conf. Semifinals|
|GSW||1977–78||82||43||39||.524||5th in Pacific||—||—||—||—||—|
|GSW||1978–79||82||38||44||.463||6th in Pacific||—||—||—||—||—|
|GSW||1979–80||61||18||43||.295||6th in Pacific||—||—||—||—||—|
|GSW||1980–81||82||39||43||.476||4th in Pacific||—||—||—||—||—|
|GSW||1981–82||82||45||37||.549||4th in Pacific||—||—||—||—||—|
|GSW||1982–83||82||30||52||.366||5th in Pacific||—||—||—||—||—|
- Johnson, Roy S. "ATTLES COACHES IN A PERSONAL WAY", The New York Times, January 28, 1982. Accessed November 22, 2007.
- Warriors staff directory