Jerry Lucas – Mr. Tough Guy

Jerry Ray Lucas (born March 30, 1940) was a basketball player from the 1950s to the 1970s, and is now a memory education expert. In 1996, the NBA’s 50th anniversary, he was named one of the 50 greatest players in National Basketball Association history.[2] He was named to Sports Illustrated’s five-man College All-Century Team in 1999. Lucas was born in Middletown, Ohio, a community of 50000+ halfway between Dayton and Cincinnati which in the 1940s and 1950s boasted one of the most respected high school basketball programs in the United States. Lucas was already a playground legend by age 15, as he was already at almost his full-grown height of 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m). He had developed shooting accuracy as far out as 25 feet, and had trained his leaping ability and timing to become an amazing rebounder. Lucas was gifted with great hands, which he could use to dazzle onlookers with an array of magic card tricks, as well as with 20-10 eyesight. With a glut of big men on the team, the Warriors sent Lucas to the New York Knicks in 1971 for small forward Cazzie Russell. All the years and time on court made Lucas appear an old 31 years old. But New York expected Lucas to back up Willis Reed and Dave DeBusschere, two players he had often outplayed as a Royal. Lucas was willing to do nearly anything to win a championship at this point. So the All-Pro became a reserve. But early that year, Reed was injured, forcing Lucas into the lineup at his natural center position. Playing a style of
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29 thoughts on “Jerry Lucas – Mr. Tough Guy

  1. I tought the song fit in pretty good. Jazz goes perfect with basketball.

  2. That was true in college. In the pros, you need talk to his teammates from Oscar Robertson and Nate Thurmond. They admired his intelligence and talent but his outside interests really hurt his career till he went to the Knicks. He is the first NBA player to lose a million dollars in 1970 for various financial mishaps.

  3. yes yes your right, the second game. BUT, I saw the game. Jerry frustarated both. He could learn ever move and every play of every player and every team. He was incredible in that game.

  4. Jerry lost money in his business during his NBA days from the 60’s. He lost millions. After his career, same thing. Terry Dischinger, successful orthodontist practice. Now his son is running it.

    But as Earl Weaver once put. I like guys who make decisions. “There are smart guys and dumb guys who make good decisions. The there are dumb guys and smart guys who make dumb decisons.

  5. Terry Dischinger was not as smart though a brilliant person.Jerry Lucas memorized the WHOLE NY telephone book. He wrote a book about catogorizing each Bible passage and where it belongs by offering a complex Greek mathematic formula that is beyond most people’s comprehension. Henew where the ball was going a foot after a shooters release. He would count the yellow lines when a child going from Middletown to Cleve. when driving and count them on the way back making sure he counted the same amount

  6. I would say Terry Dischinger was smart too if not smarter. I know this he was a better athlete. Unfortunately, Terry used basketball to pay for dental school. He had three great years before the U.S. army called him and really slowed his career down.

  7. Jerry Lucas was the smartest athlete who ever lived. He memorized the N. Y. telephone book. He practiced an hour a day studying where the ball would go after the shot. Mel Nowell would watch him when getting apotential rebound then fast break when he knew Lucas was in position. His rebound average was simply amazing both in college and the pros yet he was not that tall and not a great jumper.

  8. Lucas led Ohio State to 3 consecutive NCAA finals. In 1960, they beat Cal. But in 1961 and 1962, they lost to Cincinnati. Must have been great times in the state of Ohio. Interestingly, the ’61 and ’62 teams did NOT have Oscar Robertson, who graduated in 1960. The star of those ’61 and ’62 teams was a player named Paul Hogue. Sadly, the 6’9″ Hogue died just a couple of weeks ago. He had a brief NBA career with the Knicks/bullets. Apparently, the career was cut short by injuries.

  9. Yes, the 1973 playoffs must have been especially painful to the Celtics because they had finished the regular season with a very impressive 68-14 record, 11 games ahead of the Knicks. But Hondo Havlicek was hurt in the playoffs, and the Knicks – after leading 3-1 – had to win game 7 at the Boston Garden. And they won big 94-78.

  10. In the 1964 a/s game, Lucas has 11pts and 8reb. Wilt had 19 and 20. So you must be talking about Lucas’ 2nd a/s game in 1965, where he was the MVP. He had 25pts and 10reb. Wilt, playing for the Warriors in the West, had 20 and 16. But my guess is that Wilt spent most of the game matched up against Russell, who was the starting center for the East.

  11. Lucas had terrible knees with surgeries to both. Cousy was a little guy and very scrappy, He could dive easy, Lucas could not.

  12. yes

    I saw the book accidentily in a Library on display. I ended up reading the whole book there that day. As a rookie in the all star game he was MVP, just humiliated Wilt. I SAW THAT GAME I see someone here mentioned stats. I spent hours one day online looking those up. WOW!!! And Jerry invented the baby hook, left n right to beat Wilt. Long before others claimed credit. On one list of 50 of the all time greatest NBA players he was the only person mentioned TWICE. Forward & at Center

  13. Did WIlt really write that? Doesn’t sound like Wilt. Which book? In the ’72 finals, Lucas had a great 1st game against Wilt scoring 26 points while Wilt had 12. For the series, Wilt averaged 19.4ppg and 23.2rpg while Lucas had 20.8ppg, 9.8rpg and 6.2apg. Wilt shot 60% from the field and Lucas 50%. The following year, the Lakers and Knicks met again in the finals. This time it was the two-headed monster of Lucas/Reed. Wilt averaged 11.6ppg and 18.6rpg and Reed/Lucas had 24ppg and 13.8rpg.

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