||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2008)|
|No. 34, 32, 15, 28|
|Center / Power forward|
March 26, 1937 |
|Listed height||6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)|
|Listed weight||240 lb (109 kg)|
|High school||Tecumseh (New Carlisle, Ohio)|
|College||Miami (Ohio) (1955–1958)|
|NBA draft||1958 / Round: 3 / Pick: 22nd overall|
|Selected by the St. Louis Hawks|
|Pro playing career||1958–1969|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Points||10,380 (12.5 ppg)|
|Rebounds||7,544 (9.1 rpg)|
|Assists||1,194 (1.4 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
|Basketball Hall of Fame|
Wayne Richard Embry (born March 26, 1937) is a retired American basketball player; a center/forward whose 11-year career spanned from 1959 to 1969. He played for the Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks, all of the NBA.
He played in the NBA All-Star game for five consecutive seasons (1961–1965) and won the NBA Championship with the Celtics in 1968. Embry was originally drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in 1958. He was then traded closer to home weeks later to the Cincinnati Royals. The Royals were rebuilding due to the collapse of the team following the hospitalization of team star Maurice Stokes. Star center Clyde Lovellette was traded to St. Louis for Embry and four others.
Not always a starter initially, Embry stuck around long enough for Oscar Robertson to arrive in 1960, reviving the fallen team. Embry, Robertson and Jack Twyman were all NBA All-Stars for Cincinnati over the next three years. Embry's play was notable for his pick and roll play with Robertson, whose encouragement improved Embry's game. A powerful 6'8" and 240 pounds, Embry at times appeared to be a blocker on the court, a protector of teammates. But he also had a fine all-around game.
In 1963, he was named team captain of the Royals. The 1963–64 Cincinnati Royals surged to the second-best record in the NBA, with teammate Jerry Lucas now added. But the team was not able to surpass the Boston Celtics of Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, or the Philadelphia 76ers with Wilt Chamberlain in their quest for a NBA title.
Perhaps unfairly, Embry was heavily criticized for not helping All-Pros Robertson and Lucas to a title in Cincinnati. He was also worn out from the racial divide he felt on the team by early 1966.
Retiring to be a regional sales leader for Pepsi-Cola, Embry was talked out of retirement by friend Bill Russell, the new player/coach for Boston. Embry played crucial reserve minutes for Russell and aided that team's surprising 1967–68 NBA title run. When the Milwaukee Bucks were formed, they claimed Embry from the Celtics and Embry centered the Bucks for the 1968–69 season. He later became an assistant manager for the team, keeping an eye for former Royals teammates he could lure to the rising contender. He was instrumental in numerous signings to aid the team, including Robertson. His remarkable teaming with then-named Lew Alcindor quickly produced a NBA title, with Embry by then rising into Milwaukee's front office.
After retiring as a player he became the first African American NBA general manager, managing the Milwaukee Bucks (1972–1979), Cleveland Cavaliers (1986–1999), and Toronto Raptors (2006). He was selected NBA Executive of the Year in 1992 and 1998.
In 2004, Embry was hired to be the Senior Basketball Advisor to the rookie General Manager for the Toronto Raptors' Rob Babcock. After one season, Embry was elevated to Senior Advisor to the President, bypassing Babcock in the chain of command when the board cited a lack of confidence in Babcock's moves. On January 26, 2006, Embry was named the interim general manager for the Raptors after the firing of Babcock.
During his one month tenure as interim G.M., Embry completed two trades. His first one involved trading disgruntled center Aaron Williams to the New Orleans Hornets for second round draft picks in 2006 and 2009. "Out of respect to Aaron, I thought it best for him to be with a team where he has a chance to play and that is in a playoff hunt," Embry said.
His second trade involved dealing Jalen Rose, a first round draft pick, and an undisclosed sum of cash (believed to be around $3 million), to the New York Knicks in exchange for 38 year-old ex-Raptor Antonio Davis. The motivation behind this trade was apparently to free up cap space (Rose earned close to $15 million a year) as well as to acquire an experienced center who could relieve some of Chris Bosh's rebounding duties.
When the Raptors signed Bryan Colangelo as their new president and general manager on February 28, 2006, Embry returned to his role as Senior Advisor.
He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 (not as a player, but as a contributor). Embry was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006 as a member of the charter class. He was the 2013 recipient of the Ohio Heritage Award, recognizing an Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame inductee for his or her contributions to the state of Ohio off the court.
Embry is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
- "Raptors unload Aaron Williams". CBC Sports. 2006-02-01.
- Basketball Hall of Fame bio
- Wayne Embry's Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement speech on YouTube
- Raptors.com bio
- Wayne Embry quotes
- Wayne Embry basketball stats
- "Cavaliers welcome back Wayne Embry" (Sportsline.com article)
- Embry key to Raptors success (Toronto Star article, Apr. 8, 2007)
- "Wayne Embry - Passion for people and passion for the game" on YouTube
|Toronto Raptors General Manager