Al Attles

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Al Attles
Al Attles (18942789466).jpg
Attles at the Golden State Warriors Victory Parade on June 19, 2015
Golden State Warriors
Personal information
Born (1936-11-07) November 7, 1936 (age 85)
Newark, New Jersey
Listed height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Listed weight175 lb (79 kg)
Career information
High schoolWeequahic (Newark, New Jersey)
CollegeNorth Carolina A&T (1956–1960)
NBA draft1960 / Round: 5 / Pick: 39th overall
Selected by the Philadelphia Warriors
Playing career1960–1971
PositionPoint guard
Coaching career1968–1983, 1994–1995
Career history
As player:
19601971Philadelphia / San Francisco Warriors
As coach:
19681970San Francisco Warriors (assistant)
19701983San Francisco / Golden State Warriors
1994–1995Golden State Warriors (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

As ambassador:

Career playing statistics
Points6,328 (8.9 ppg)
Rebounds2,463 (3.5 rpg)
Assists2,483 (3.5 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Career coaching record
NBA557–518 (.518)
Basketball Hall of Fame

Alvin Austin Attles Jr. (born November 7, 1936) is an American former professional basketball player and coach best known for his longtime association with the Golden State Warriors. Nicknamed the "Destroyer",[2][3] he played the point guard position and spent his entire 11 seasons (1960–1971) in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with the team, joining it when it was still based in Philadelphia and following it to the Bay Area in 1962. He took over as player-coach for the last season of his career, and remained as head coach until 1983 (save for 21 games in 1980).

Early life[edit]

He is a graduate of Weequahic High School in Newark, New Jersey and North Carolina A&T State University.[4] He has a bachelor's degree in Physical Education and History along with a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction.[5] He intended to return to Newark and coach at his local junior high school when he was drafted by the Warriors. He initially declined before accepting and going to training camp.[6]

Playing career[edit]

Attles with the San Francisco Warriors in 1970

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."[7] 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.[8] 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.

Coaching career[edit]

Attles became an assistant coach in 1968, while still a player. He was named player-coach of the Warriors midway through the 1969–70 season, succeeding George Lee. He was one of the first African-American head coaches in the NBA. He retired as a player after the 1970–71 season, and stayed on as head coach, guiding 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's team tried to repeat the following season, but they lost to the Phoenix Suns in the Conference Finals in seven games. The team would make the playoffs only once more for the remainder of his tenure as coach. 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 last place), though he returned for the next season (Bach would become Attles's permanent successor after 1983). Attles coached the Warriors until 1983, compiling a 557–518 regular-season record (588–548 including playoffs) with six playoff appearances in 14 seasons. During the 1983–84 NBA season, Attles worked as the Warriors' general manager. He is the longest-serving coach in the Warriors history.


Attles' no. 16 banner hanging amongst others in Oakland Arena

In 2014, Attles was the recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award—an annual basketball award given by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame to an individual who has contributed significantly to the sport of basketball, the award is the highest and the most prestigious honor presented by the Basketball Hall of Fame other than enshrinement.

Attles's number 16 is retired by the Warriors and he attends every Warriors home game. He also serves as a team ambassador.[9] On February 7, 2015, Attles's number 22 was retired by North Carolina A&T, the first ever retired by the team.[10] He was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.

Attles has been on the Warriors' payroll in one capacity or another for 62 years, the longest uninterrupted streak of any person for one team. He is one of the last living members of the franchise who dates to their time in Philadelphia.

On April 6, 2019, Attles was chosen as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Attles is Catholic.[12]

Head coaching record[edit]

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
San Francisco 1969–70 30 8 22 .267 6th in Western
San Francisco 1970–71 82 41 41 .500 2nd in Pacific 5 1 4 .200 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Golden State 1971–72 82 51 31 .622 2nd in Pacific 5 1 4 .200 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Golden State 1972–73 82 47 35 .573 2nd in Pacific 11 5 6 .455 Lost in Conf. Finals
Golden State 1973–74 82 44 38 .537 2nd in Pacific
Golden State 1974–75 82 48 34 .585 1st in Pacific 17 12 5 .706 Won NBA Championship
Golden State 1975–76 82 59 23 .720 1st in Pacific 13 7 6 .538 Lost in Conf. Finals
Golden State 1976–77 82 46 36 .561 3rd in Pacific 10 5 5 .500 Lost in Conf. Semifinals
Golden State 1977–78 82 43 39 .524 5th in Pacific
Golden State 1978–79 82 38 44 .463 6th in Pacific
Golden State 1979–80 61 18 43 .295 6th in Pacific
Golden State 1980–81 82 39 43 .476 4th in Pacific
Golden State 1981–82 82 45 37 .549 4th in Pacific
Golden State 1982–83 82 30 52 .366 5th in Pacific
Career 1,075 557 518 .518 61 31 30 .508


  1. ^ "Al Attles, Hubie Brown recipients of 2017 Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award". Retrieved May 25, 2021.
  2. ^ "Al Attles". Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  3. ^ Barry McDermott (April 21, 1975). "Attles Battles No Longer". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  4. ^ Johnson, Roy S. "ATTLES COACHES IN A PERSONAL WAY", The New York Times, January 28, 1982. Accessed November 22, 2007.
  5. ^ "Alvin Attles".
  6. ^ "50 years on, reluctant Warrior al Attles is the team's mainstay". January 11, 2010.
  7. ^>
  8. ^ Rhoden, William C. (May 27, 2015). "Al Attles, a Warrior for Life, is a Bridge to a Lone Bay Area Title". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Warriors staff directory Archived 2012-11-13 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "North Carolina A&T to Retire Alvin Attles' Number".
  11. ^ Attles III, Alvin (September 6, 2019). "On the occasion of his father's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame, a son pays tribute". Bay Area News Group.
  12. ^ "Smallwood Praises Al Attles". The A&T Register. September 19, 1975. Retrieved June 23, 2021.

External links[edit]