World B. Free

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World B. Free
No. 21, 24, 12
Guard
Personal information
Born (1953-12-09) December 9, 1953 (age 60)
Atlanta, Georgia
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Listed weight 185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school Canarsie (Brooklyn, New York)
College Guilford (1972–1975)
NBA draft 1975 / Round: 2 / Pick: 23rd overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Pro playing career 1975–1991
Career history
19751978 Philadelphia 76ers
19781980 San Diego Clippers
19801982 Golden State Warriors
1982–1986 Cleveland Cavaliers
1987–1988 Philadelphia 76ers
1987 Miami Tropics (USBL)
1987–1988 Houston Rockets
1991 Atlanta Eagles (USBL)
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 17,955 (20.3 ppg)
Rebounds 2,430 (2.7 rpg)
Assists 3,319 (3.7 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com

World B. Free (born Lloyd Bernard Free on December 9, 1953)[1] is an American former professional basketball player who played in the NBA from 1975–1988. Free was known as the "Prince of Midair" as well as "All-World".

Early years[edit]

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Free attended Canarsie High School in Brooklyn, New York before attending Guilford College in North Carolina. As a freshman he led Guilford's basketball team and helped the team win the NAIA National Championship and was named MVP of the NAIA Tournament.

Professional career[edit]

He played for the San Diego Clippers, Philadelphia 76ers, Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and Houston Rockets in the National Basketball Association. He got his name from his days in Brooklyn, where a friend nicknamed him "World" because of his 44-inch vertical leaps and 360-degree dunks. He was known for taking high-risk shots and playing flamboyantly.

For both the 1978–79 and 1979–80 campaigns, George Gervin and Free were number 1 and 2 in the league in scoring. Free averaged 20.3 points per game over 13 seasons in the NBA. His best season was 1979–80 with the Clippers, averaging 30.2 points per game, as well as 4.2 assists per game and 3.5 rebounds per game in 68 games. He was an All-Star that season as well, although the Clippers failed to make the playoffs.

During the 1984–85 season, Free became the 39th player in league history to surpass 15,000 career points.[2]

Free also played in the United States Basketball League (USBL) for the Miami Tropics after being waived by the Philadelphia 76ers in March 1987. He was USBL Man of The Year in 1987 and the Miami Tropics won the championship. His USBL stint took place the summer before Free went to the Houston Rockets for the 1987–88 season, which was his last NBA season. For Free, the highlight of that season was November 12, 1987, when he scored 38 points against the Sacramento Kings at Arco Arena and brought the Rockets back to win the game.

Player profile[edit]

Free loved to go one-on-one against a defender and either whirl around him or take a jump shot. His shot was his calling card - a soft, high-arcing lob that took forever to come down and was so straight when he was on that it barely jostled the net. When he was younger, on the playgrounds of New York [City], his jump shot was a flat line drive, but he was tired of having the ball blocked back into his face, so he developed a new style of shooting. Free admired Muhammad Ali.[2]

Name change[edit]

On December 8, 1981, he legally changed his first name to World.[3] According to Free, "the fellas back in Brownsville gave me the nickname "World" when I was in junior high... they just started calling me 'all-world', because all-city and all-county and things like that weren't good enough. Finally they just started calling me World... I'm still the same guy I was when I was Lloyd, though. I'll say what I'm going to do, and then I'll go out and do it."[2]

Current life[edit]

Currently, Free is director of player development and a community ambassador for the Philadelphia 76ers.[4] Among other things, he greets fans at 76ers home games in his flamboyant/colorful wardrobe. Free has also led the Sixers' "Summer Hoops Tour". On November 30, 2005, Free was honored as a Cleveland Cavaliers Legend at halftime of the Cavaliers game against the Los Angeles Clippers. Dick Vitale often uses his name in college basketball season previews to give the award for best name.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World B. Free". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  2. ^ a b c DuPree, David (April 18, 1985). "World B. Free: Like Ali, Cavaliers' guard has no use for small talk". USA Today. p. 7C. 
  3. ^ SI Vault Retrieved on July 22, 2010.
  4. ^ Sixers Front Office. nba.com. Retrieved on December 20, 2009. Reconfirmed on June 24, 2011.

External links[edit]