June 8, 2012
READ MORE ABOUT DENNIS HAMILTON...
--Ex-ASU, Suns player Hamilton the type of sports story we need (by Paola Boivin, Arizona Republic/Jan. 20, 2010)
--All Things Lakers/Dennis Hamilton (Los Angeles Lakers/Feb. 12, 2011)
Some folks have asked, and we have researched (but we will take any corrections if we missed something)...here is a list of Sun Devils who have played in the NBA Finals, a list that James Harden will join when the Thunder tips off Tuesday night in game one.
We have four Sun Devils with seven NBA titles, as Eddie House has one (2007-08 with Celtics), Byron Scott won three with the Lakers (1987-88, 1986-87 and 1984-85), Mark Landsberger won two with the Lakers (1981-82 and 1979-80) and Lionel Hollins won one with Portland in 1976-77.
The only Sun Devil to play in the NBA Finals and not win a ring? Sun Devil 1,000-point club member Dennis Hamilton played for the 1967-68 Los Angeles Lakers, his rookie season, but they fell to Boston 4-2.
Hamilton is a member of the Sun Devil 1,000-point club and was a three-year starter on teams from 1963-66, including the Sun Devil's NCAA Tournament team in 1963-64 under Ned Wulk. He started in all three seasonS, averaging 6.2 points in his first season followed by 17.3 in 1964-65 and 17.0 in 1965-66. He earned second-team All-WAC in 1965-66 after earning honorable mention honors in 1964-65.
In his Sun Devil career he played in 80 games and notched 1,079 career points (13.6 points per game) and shot .813 from the free throw line (261-of-321).
He signed as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers on Oct. 21, 1967 and was selected by the Suns in the NBA expansion draft in May of 1968. He was traded on September 11, 1968 by Phoenix Suns to the Atlanta Hawks for a 1969 third-round draft pick.
He played professionally for the Lakers (1967-68), Atlanta Hawks of the NBA (1968-69) and the Pittsburgh Pipers (1969-70) and Kentucky Colonels (1970-71) of the ABA. Hamilton had a career-high 35 points vs. Utah State on Jan. 23, 1965. At the time it ranked with Freddie Lewis 37 points just a month earlier (Dec. 17, 1964 vs. Baylor) as tied for the fourth-most points in Sun Devil history.
MOST POINTS IN GAME IN SUN DEVIL HISTORY (AS OF CONCLUSION OF 1964-65 SEASON)
37-Ollie Payne vs. West Texas St., Feb. 13, 1961
37-Larry Armstrong vs. UTEP, Jan. 9, 1962
36-Art Becker vs. Wichita St., Dec. 7, 1963
36-Dave Graybill vs. San Jose St., Dec. 17, 1955
35-Dennis Hamilton vs. Utah St., Jan. 23, 1965
35-Freddie Lewis vs. Baylor, Dec. 17, 1964
SUN DEVILS IN THE NBA FINALS
Eddie House, 2007-08 Boston Celtics (beat Los Angeles Lakers 4-2)
Byron Scott, 1990-91 Los Angeles Lakers (lost to Chicago 4-1)
Byron Scott, 1988-89 Los Angeles Lakers (lost to Detroit 4-0)
Byron Scott, 1987-88 Los Angeles Lakers (beat Detroit 4-3)
Byron Scott, 1986-87 Los Angeles Lakers (beat Boston 4-2)
Byron Scott, 1984-85 Los Angeles Lakers (beat Boston 4-2)
Byron Scott, 1983-84 Los Angeles Lakers (lost to Boston 4-3)
Mark Landsberger, Los Angeles Lakers 1982-83 (lost to Philadelphia 4-0)
Mark Landsberger, Los Angeles Lakers 1981-82 (beat Philadelphia 76ers 4-2)
Lionel Hollins, 1981-82 Philadelphia 76ers (lost to Los Angeles 4-2)
Mark Landsberger, Los Angeles Lakers 1979-80 (beat Philadelphia 76ers 4-2)
Lionel Hollins, 1976-77 Portland Trail Blazers (beat Philadelphia 4-2)
Dennis Hamilton, 1967-68 Los Angeles Lakers (lost to Boston 4-2)
Think we missed someone or have something wrong? Let me (firstname.lastname@example.org) know or call me out on Twitter (@DougTammaro). Just be nice.