Fun facts about the 1975 NBA Finals, the Warriors' last trip to title series
It's been 40 years since the Golden State Warriors played in the NBA Finals. In honor of the drought coming to an end, SI.com looks back at 10 strange facts from that matchup between the Warriors and Washington Bullets.
1. Arena issues. Golden State couldn't play on its home court due to scheduling conflicts. Its "home" games during the '75 Finals were played in the ancient Cow Palace in Daly City, Calif., site of the raucous 1964 GOP Convention.
2. Rare Finals format. Because the Cow Palace could not be used over the Memorial Day weekend, the Finals were a 1-2-2-1-1 format. The Washington Bullets, who held home-court advantage, were given the choice of opening at Golden State and then playing Games 2 and 3 at home, or opening at home and playing Games 2 and 3 on the road. The Bullets opted to open at home but blew a 14-point lead to lose Game 1. The Warriors won Games 2 and 3 at Golden State and then swept swept the Bullets back at Landover, Md.
3. Coaching history. This was the first major sports championship round in the U.S. featuring two black head coaches: Al Attles for the Warriors and K.C. Jones for the Bullets.
4. An ill-timed ejection. Attles didn't see the Warriors win the championship. He was ejected from in Game 4 after fighting with Washington's Mike Riordan, who had clobbered Warriors star Rick Barry under the basket.
5. Wins equal fans. The Warriors' regular-season average home attendance was less than 9,000 per game. Of course, Golden State won only 48 games, the third lowest win total for an NBA champion during the 82-game era.
6. Shortened season. The NBA Finals were finished before Memorial Day.
7. Perspective on Warriors drought. The Warriors won a championship on the West Coast before their Bay Area brethren: Giants, Raiders and 49ers. The team had also won NBA titles as the Philadelphia Warriors, in 1947 and '56
8. The end of a dynasty. How long ago was 1975? UCLA had just won its final NCAA basketball championship under coach John Wooden and there were no official NCAA championships in women's sports.
9. The Big O. The NBA Finals were televised on CBS with a young Brent Musburger doing play by play and Hall of Famer Oscar Robertston working as an analyst. And if you think no one followed the NBA 40 years ago, think again. The Warriors-Bullets Finals drew a Nielsen TV rating of 10.1, nearly a full point better than last year's Spurs-Heat Finals and better than any NBA Finals between 2005-09.
10. King's Triple Crown. Warriors radio announcer Bill King once received a technical for ripping an official's call on the air, the only play-by-play to be so "honored." King also called games for the three-time Super Bowl champion Oakland/L.A. Raiders and the World Series-winning Oakland A's of 1989, making him that rare announcer to win sports radio's Triple Crown.