- Mel Counts
Mel Counts No. 11, 31 Center / Forward Personal information Date of birth October 16, 1941 Place of birth Coos Bay, Oregon Nationality American High school Marshfield (Oregon) Listed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) Listed weight 230 lb (104 kg) Career information College Oregon State NBA Draft 1964 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall Selected by the Boston Celtics Pro career 1964–1976 Career history 1964–1966 Boston Celtics 1966–1967 Baltimore Bullets 1967–1970 Los Angeles Lakers 1970–1972 Phoenix Suns 1972 Philadelphia 76ers 1972–1974 Los Angeles Lakers 1974–1976 New Orleans Jazz Career highlights and awards Career statistics Points 6,516 (8.3 ppg) Rebounds 4,756 (6.0 rpg) Assists 1,100 (1.4 apg) Stats at NBA.com Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Mel Grant Counts (born October 16, 1941 in Coos Bay, Oregon) is a retired American basketball player who was in the NBA from 1964 to 1976. He was on the United States Olympic basketball team that won the gold at the 1964 Summer Olympics. He played in college for Oregon State University and was selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1964 NBA Draft. The Celtics won the NBA Championship in 1965 and 1966 with Counts on the team as Bill Russell's backup, but he was traded for the 1967 season to the Baltimore Bullets. Halfway through that season he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, who made it to the playoffs that year.
The next three seasons Counts' Lakers made it to the NBA Finals, where they would play in and ultimately lose three years in a row. In the 1969 NBA Finals, Counts indirectly played a role in one of the most controversial coaching decisions in NBA history. In game 7, starting Laker center Wilt Chamberlain, who had never fouled out of a game, picked up his 5th foul with 6 minutes to play. A minute later, Wilt came off the floor limping and was replaced by Counts with the Lakers trailing the Celtics by nine points. The Lakers cut the deficit to one point on a shot by Counts, with coach Butch van Breda Kolff refusing to reinsert Chamberlain into the game in the final minutes even though Wilt said his knee felt good enough to play. The Lakers lost the game, 108-106, and the series, 4-3. (As it turned out, Chamberlain severely injured the same knee early the next season and missed 70 games. The fiery van Breda Kolff was fired).
Counts played one more season with the Lakers before being traded to the Phoenix Suns with the Lakers getting hall of famer Gail Goodrich back (he started with the Lakers but went to Phoenix in the 1967 expansion draft). After several more stops around the league, including a return to the Lakers in 1973, Counts ended his career with the New Orleans Jazz in 1976.
1964 Olympic Champions Men's Basketball team – United States 1964 NCAA Men's Basketball Consensus All-Americans 1964 NBA Draft Territorial pickGeorge Wilson · Walt Hazzard First round Second round Boston Celtics 1964–65 NBA Champions Boston Celtics 1965–66 NBA Champions
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