Attles at the Golden State Warriors Victory Parade on 19 June 2015
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, New Jersey 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 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.
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. 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 dead last), though he returned for the next season (Bach would become Attles' permanent successor after 1983). Attles coached the Warriors until 1983, compiling a 557-518 regular season record (588-548 overall including playoff games) with six playoff appearances in 14 seasons. During the 1983–84 season, Attles worked as the Warriors' general manager. He is the longest-serving coach in Warriors history.
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. On February 7, 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 been on the Warriors' payroll in one capacity or another for 58 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 %|
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
- Johnson, Roy S. "ATTLES COACHES IN A PERSONAL WAY", The New York Times, January 28, 1982. Accessed November 22, 2007.
- Warriors staff directory Archived 2012-11-13 at the Wayback Machine.