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Bill Cartwright
Born July 30, 1957 (1957-07-30) (age 52)
Lodi, California
Nationality USA
Listed height 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)
Listed weight 245 lb (111 kg)
High school Elk Grove High School
Elk Grove, California
College San Francisco
Draft 3rd overall, 1979
New York Knicks
Pro career 1979 –1995
Former teams New York Knicks (1979–1988)
Chicago Bulls (1988–1994)
Seattle SuperSonics (1994–1995)
Awards 1980 All-Rookie Team
1980 East All-Star Team
3x NBA Champion (Chicago Bulls)

James William "Bill" Cartwright (born July 30, 1957 in Lodi, California) is an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns and is a retired American NBA basketball player, a 7'1" (2.16 m) center who played 16 seasons for the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics, helping the Bulls capture consecutive championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. He attended Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, California, and played college basketball at the University of San Francisco.


High school and college career

As a prep star, Cartwright was just as heavily regarded as fellow preps Darryl Dawkins and Bill Willoughby.

Cartwright played his college ball at the University of San Francisco, and was a consensus second team all-American in 1977 and 1979. He graduated as the all-time leading scorer for the USF Dons, averaging 19.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Cartwright led San Francisco to three trips to the NCAA tournament, including a first round in the 1977 Tournament, and to the Sweet Sixteen in the 1978 and 1979 Tournaments.]

Year Team W-L G FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% RBs Avg Pts Avg
1976 22-8 30 151 282 53.0 72 98 73.5 207 6.9 374 12.5
1977 29-2 31 241 426 56.6 118 161 73.3 262 8.5 600 19.4
1978 23-6 21 168 252 66.7 96 131 73.3 213 10.2 432 20.6
1979 22-7 29 268 443 60.6 174 237 73.4 455 15.7 710 24.5
Total 96-23 111 828 1406 58.9 460 627 73.4 1137 10.2 2116 19.1

NBA career



Cartwright was the third overall pick in the 1979 NBA Draft selected by the New York Knicks. As a member of the Knicks, he made his only NBA All-Star Game appearance in his rookie year of 1979-80. Cartwright averaged more than twenty points per game in his first two seasons for the Knicks. His playing time decreased during his time in New York, initially due to injury (he suffered four separate fractures to his left foot) and then due to the arrival of Patrick Ewing which changed Cartwright's role to that of a backup center.

On June 27, 1988 Cartwright was traded from the Knicks to the Chicago Bulls in return for Charles Oakley. The Bulls needed a tall center to counter the size in the NBA Eastern Conference, and complement the scoring of Michael Jordan and defense of Scottie Pippen. The Bulls were willing to part with Oakley, the leading rebounder in the NBA in the 1987 and 1988 seasons, because of the rapid development of Horace Grant. [1] Three years later, the Bulls won their first NBA Title under the coaching of former Knick player Phil Jackson, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1991 NBA Finals. The Bulls went on to win the NBA titles again in 1992 and 1993 with the same core team.

Michael Jordan retired after the 1993 season, and the Bulls were defeated by the Ewing-led Knicks in the 1994 NBA Playoffs. Cartwright left the team as a free agent, and signed with the Seattle SuperSonics, coached by George Karl. He only played in 29 games for the Sonics, and retired after the 1994–95 NBA season

As a member of the Bulls, he took an elbow to the throat during a game against the Indiana Pacers. As a result of a damaged larynx, he now has a very hoarse voice. Cartwright claims to know who did it, but he has declined to say who is responsible.


A few years after his retirement, Cartwright was added to the Bulls once again as an assistant coach to Jackson where he once again made it deep through the playoffs, winning the title in 1997 and 1998. The Bulls went through significant changes following the 1998 season, with not only Jordan and Pippen leaving, but Tim Floyd taking over as head coach from Phil Jackson. The Bulls had a lengthy rebuilding effort, and Cartwright took over the Bulls 37 games into the 2001-02 season, going 17-38 after the team's 4-23 start under Floyd and Bill Berry. The Bulls finished 21-61 on the year, and the following season Cartwright was promoted from interim to permanent head coach. In 2002-03 the Bulls finished 30-52, but Cartwright lasted only 14 games into the 2003-04 season — going 4-10 — before being fired. Pete Myers and finally Scott Skiles coached the Bulls immediately following Cartwright's tenure.

In 2004, the New Jersey Nets hired Cartwright as an assistant coach under Lawrence Frank. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic reported on June 20, 2008 Cartwright has been named as an assistant coach on the Phoenix Suns.

See also

External links


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