Monthly Archives: October 2013

Oct. 31, 1950 – Earl Lloyd is the first African American to play in the NBA

Earl Lloyd, a forward known for his defense, played collegiality at West Virginia State College, was selected in the ninth-round of the 1950 NBA Draft by the Washington Capitols. His rookie year was cut short because he was drafted to fight in the Korean War.

Lloyd was not the smoothest of players. He averaged more than 10 points per game in only one season. Instead, he earned his living by delivering basketball basics. He set bone-rattling, but clean, picks. He attacked the boards. He played rough, stingy defense. He was a starter on the Nats title team, a squad that resembled the Detroit Pistons of 2003-04, with its emphasis on defense.

Lloyd said he encountered virtually no racist treatment from his teammates and opponents during his decade (1950-60) in the NBA. He played in a brawling era, when basketball resembled the current-day NHL. Fights were common, and Lloyd never walked away from one, but he says the punches never were provoked by his race.

Oct. 30, 1974 – Ali KOs Foreman at The Rumble in the Jungle

George Foreman defending the Heavyweight Championship of the World for the third time against former Champion, Muhammad Ali. Ali at 32, had been given little chance against Foreman who knocked out Joe Frazier and ken norton; whom both had beaten Ali in the past.

The event was one of Don King‘s first ventures as a professional boxing promoter and the fight took place in Kinshasa, Zaïre (now Democratic Republic of the Congo). This fight is considered by many as the most significant fight of Muhammad Ali’s career. Ring Magazine dubbed this Fight of the Year for 1974.

Their records at the time
George Foreman: 40-0
Muhammad Ali: 44-2

Foreman vs Ali – Entire fight and Interview:

Oct. 29, 1960 – Cassius Clay defeated Tunney Hunsaker in professional debut

The man who would be Muhammad Ali fought for the first time as a professional and claimed a six-round decision over boxer/small-town police chief Tunney Hunsaker in Louisville, Ky.

Clay, who put behind him a brilliant amateur record, weighed 186 pounds, his heaviest ever, for the fight. Hunsaker came in at 192. The dancing, fast-moving Clay bloodied Hunsaker’s nose in the third round with a flood of blows and it was the fourth that he opened the cut over his eye. Clay said after the fight he didn’t get tired at all going six rounds for the first time. “I’m ready to go 10 rounds anytime,” he said. “The extra weight slowed me down just a little bit, not enough to hurt.” Clay received $2,000 for his first pro fight, while Hunsaker got $300.

Clay built up a 19-0 record over the next three-plus years before facing Sonny Liston for the heavyweight title in 1964. It’s not a shocker now, but it was a “world shaker” then — Clay won.