NBA/ABA History: Paul Pierce and Free Throws

Continuing our theme of cashing in at the foul line, enter Paul Pierce. The Truth made all 14 of his free throw attempts Monday night against Philadelphia while passing basketball hall-of-famer Dan Issel on the all-time NBA/ABA free throws made list.

Issel is known for many things not the least of which is being one the best players in ABA history.  Horse led the league in scoring his rookie year with the Kentucky Colonels dropping 30 points/game.  He followed up in ’72 by joining with Artis Gilmore to win 68 games, 8 more than any other team in the league.

Finally, Dan Issel’s ABA peak came with the 1975 Colonels team coached by Hubie Brown.  Issel’s last season with Kentucky would end with he, Gilmore and Brown winning the title over George McGinnis and the Indiana Pacers.

After going to the NBA’s Denver Nuggets Dan Issel finished top-ten in the league six times in free throws made.  Eight years into retirement he became the head coach of the Nuggets.  His stint was highlighted by leading the ’94 team that upset the #1 seed Seattle SuperSonics in the playoffs.

As far as Pierce is concerned, 24,000 career points and the NBA title with the Celtics should be enough to get into Springfield.  Passing Issel pretty much clinches his hall-of-fame case.


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