Come out and support one of Oakland’s finest, Alvin Attles Jr as he is honored for his Hall of Fame induction in Oakland, December 22, 2019.
An avid Warriors Legend & Community Ambassador, Attles is currently in his 59th year with the Golden State Warriors organization (Al Attles’ current stint with the same team represents the longest active streak in NBA history). Attles, who celebrated his 83rd birthday on November 7, 2019, joined the Warriors in 1960 (Philadelphia Warriors’ fifth-round draft choice) and has since been affiliated with the club in one capacity or another, building a unique relationship based on commitment, loyalty, and dedication.
Attles has many professional accomplishments to his name. In September 2019 it culminated with Attles being enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2018, Attles was named in ESPN’s Top 100 Most Influential Players of All-Time. In 2017, he was awarded the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2014, Attles was honored by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame with the John R. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award – its second highest honor.
Attles is one of only six players in Warriors history to have his jersey retired (#16) – joining Rick Barry (#24), Wilt Chamberlain (#13), Tom Meschery (#14), Chris Mullin (#17), and Nate Thurmond (#42) – and remains one of the most publicly recognizable sports figures in the Bay Area. Each of these players are honored in the plaza of the new Chase Center in San Francisco. Attles is also the only player to have his number retired (#22) at his alma mater, North Carolina A&T University.
His endless contributions locally as a player, coach, executive, and civic leader resulted in his much deserved induction into the Bay Area Hall of Fame in 1993. In the summer of 2006, the newly refurbished outdoor basketball court at Lincoln Square Park in downtown Oakland was permanently renamed “Alvin Attles Court” in honor of the local legend and longtime Oakland resident. The Warriors recently named the courts at the Warriors practice facility at the Chase Center after Attles. Each year, the Warriors present the Alvin Attles Volunteer Award to the team employee who goes above and beyond in their efforts to serve the Bay Area community as part of the organization’s Helping Hands program.
In the latter stages of the 1969-70 NBA season, Attles was named head coach of the Warriors, replacing George Lee after 52 games. Attles spent the final two years of his playing career, 1969-70 and 1970-71, as a player/coach, becoming the second African-American to hold such a distinction. His 30-game stint as head coach to end the 1969-70 season proved to be the start of the longest head coaching run in Warriors franchise history. His 13-plus year tenure produced, among other highlights, the lone NBA Championship in the club’s West Coast history (1974-75) until the championship drought ended in 2015.
During his 13-year coaching fun, Attles guided the Warriors to six playoff berths, two division titles and amassed an overall 557-518 record, which ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time coaches winning list. One season after leading Golden State to the NBA title, he led the Warriors to a sparkling 59-23 record in 1975-76, the best mark in franchise history (that held for 40 years) and the top record in the NBA that season. He was also named head coach of the Western Conference All-Star team in 1975 and 1976. Attles completed his coaching career in 1982-83 to become the Warriors General Manager, heading the team’s basketball operations for three years.
One of the most aggressive and hard-nosed players in the league, Attles earned the unique nickname of “The Destroyer”, which appropriately described his mentality on the court. During his 11-year NBA career, he averaged 8.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 711 regular season games, which currently ranks fifth on the Warriors all-time games played list. Furthermore, Attles was involved in one of the most memorable games in NBA history on March 2, 1962 when he and teammate Wilt Chamberlain combined for 117 points against the New York Knicks, the most ever by a pair of players in league history. In that game, Attles has a perfect game as the second leading scorer tallying 17 points (8-8 FG, 1-1 FT), while Chamberlain netted an all-time NBA record 100 points. Attles retired from playing following the 1970-71 campaign to focus strictly on coaching – eliminating his dual role as player/coach.
A 1960 graduate of North Carolina A&T University, Attles earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and History. He later added a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of San Francisco in 1983.
Al and his wife, Wilhelmina, reside in Oakland and have two adult children, Alvin III and Ericka. The Attles also have eight grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
In October 2018, Attles III formed Attles Center for Excellence (ACE) to honor his father’s legacy. The Oakland-based non-profit will officially launch at the end of 2019. The mission is to create the next generation of high performing citizens through engagement in innovative STEAM-focused programs and health and wellness initiatives. In 2020 ACE plans to launch a comprehensive after-school program for at-risk youth and a series of basketball camps, incorporating coding, the arts, and nutrition.