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Nate Archibald
Nate Archibald, then with the Boston Celtics
Position(s) Point guard
Jersey #(s) 10, 7
Born September 2, 1948 (1948-09-02) (age 61)
The Bronx, New York, USA
Career information
Year(s) 19701984
NBA Draft 1970 / Round: 2 / Pick: 19
College UTEP
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA and/or ABA)
Points     16,481
Assists     6,476
Rebounds     2,046
Stats @
Career highlights and awards
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

Nathaniel "Tiny" Archibald (born September 2, 1948, New York City) is a retired American professional basketball player. He spent 14 years playing in the NBA, most notably with the Kansas City Kings and Boston Celtics.

Archibald was a willing passer and an adequate shooter from midrange. However, it was his blinding quickness and incredible speed and shiftiness that made him extremely difficult to guard in the open court, as he would regularly drive right past helpless defenders on his way to the hoop. Once in the paint, Archibald was a veritable triple threat to either pass, lay the ball in or shoot for two points.


High school & college career

Archibald, a playground legend while growing up in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood in the South Bronx, New York City, only played high school basketball for one-and-a-half seasons, and was cut from the varsity squad at DeWitt Clinton High School as a sophomore.[1] He returned to the team as a junior. During his time without basketball, Archibald briefly flirted with dropping out of school after having been largely truant in past years. But with the help of two mentors, Floyd Layne and Pablo Robertson, Archibald turned it around. Robertson, a former standout at Loyola of Chicago and a Harlem, NY, playground impressario, had seen the gifted, mercurial Archibald in action on the playgrounds and convinced the young man's high school coach to re-instate him on the squad. Despite only playing in blowouts as a junior, the shy, quiet teen managed to blossom into a high-school star, being named team captain and an All-City selection in 1966. Off the court, Archibald began to attend school regularly and worked to improve his poor academic standing, which deterred most colleges from offering him a scholarship. To improve his chances of playing major college basketball, Archibald enrolled at Arizona Western College, transferring to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) the following year. He had three standout seasons at El Paso, from 1967 to 1970.


Archibald was selected in the second round of the 1970 NBA Draft (19th pick) by the Cincinnati Royals.[2] He was also drafted by the Texas Chaparrals of the American Basketball Association.[3]

NBA career

In 1973 Archibald led the NBA in scoring and assists, becoming the first and so far only player ever to win the titles in both categories in the same season[2] (it should be noted, however, that in the 1967-68 season, Oscar Robertson led the NBA in both scoring average and assists per game but did not win the official titles because they were based on totals rather than averages at the time). His scoring average of 34.0 points per game was, at the time, an NBA record for a guard. His 910 assists that season (11.4 assists per game) was also an NBA record at the time, breaking Guy Rodgers' mark of 908. He was named the Sporting News NBA MVP that season.

The Kings traded Archibald to the New York Nets for two draft picks and two players in 1976.[2] Injured for much of the 1976-77 season, he was traded by the Nets to the Buffalo Braves prior to the start of the 1977-78 season. Archibald tore his achilles tendon, however, and never played a regular season game for the Braves. The Braves then traded him to the Boston Celtics as part of a seven player deal before the start of the next season.[4][2]

His career at the Celtics started off poorly, as he showed up twenty pounds overweight.[4] However, he adjusted and helped guide the Celtics to the best record in the NBA for three consecutive years (1979–1982).[2] Archibald won his first and only NBA championship with the Boston Celtics in the 1980-81 season alongside young NBA star Larry Bird.

Archibald was an All-NBA First Team selection three times (1973, 1975, 1976) and an All-NBA Second Team selection two times (1972, 1981). A six-time NBA All-Star Game selection (1973, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, and 1982),[5] he was named the 1981 NBA All-Star Game MVP.[2] Archibald led the NBA in free throws made three times and free throw attempts twice. He competed in 876 professional games, scored 16,841 points (18.8 points per game), and dished out 6,476 assists. He was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time team. Nate Archibald was inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991.[6]

Archibald is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.


  1. ^ Herzog, Bob; and Barker, Barbara. "Ewing, Five Former Knicks Among NBA's 50 Greatest", Newsday, October 30, 1996. Accessed September 14, 2009. "Three former Nets, Julius Erving (Roosevelt High), Rick Barry (Roselle Park, N.J., High) and Nate Archibald (DeWitt Clinton), also were selected"
  2. ^ a b c d e f Porter p 15
  3. ^ 1970 ABA Draft at
  4. ^ a b " Nate Archibald". Retrieved 2008-05-20.  
  5. ^ The Official NBA Encyclopedia. Doubleday, 2000. 277-280.
  6. ^ "Hall of Famers". Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-08-02.  


  • David L. Porter, ed (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0313309526.  

See also

External links

Preceded by
George Gervin
NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player
Succeeded by
Larry Bird


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