Nate Thurmond

Nate Thurmond

Nate Thurmond: A Brief Biography

Nathaniel Thurmond is a retired American basketball player who played primarily for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known to the fans as "Nate the Great", Thurmond played the center and the power forward positions. He is a 7-Time All-Star, 2-Time All-NBA Defensive First Team, 3-Time All-NBA Defensive Second Team, and NBA All-Rookie First Team.


Thurmond played his high school basketball at Akron's Central High School alongside future NBA Star, Gus Johnson. He chose to play his college basketball at Bowling Green. He led the Mid-American Conference in rebounds during all three of his varsity seasons with 17 rebounds per game. In his final two years, he helped the Greens reach the NCAA Tournament and set a school record with 31 rebounds in his final college game.


In the 1963 NBA Draft, Thurmond was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors, now known as the Golden State Warriors. Playing second fiddle to Wilt Chamberlain’s first, Thurmond averaged 7 points and 10.4 rebounds in his first NBA season and was named to the NBA All-Rookie Team in 1964. With Chamberlain traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in the next season, Thurmond blossomed as he took the starting center position.


Thurmond averaged 21.3 and 22.0 rebounds per game in the 1966–67 and 1967–68 seasons and set a regular season record for rebounds in a quarter with 18. He averaged 20 points per game in each season from 1967–68 through 1971–72 and came in second place to Chamberlain in the MVP balloting in the 1966–67 season. The Warriors faced the Chamberlain's 76ers in the 1967 NBA Finals but were unable to win a championship even with contributions from star teammates like Rick Barry. Prior to the 1974–75 season, Thurmond was acquired by the Chicago Bulls.


In his debut match for the Bulls, he recorded 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 blocks, becoming the first player in NBA history to officially record a quadruple-double. Thirteen games into the 1975–76 season, Thurmond was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He came off the bench for the injured Jim Chones to help the Cleveland's "Miracle at Richfield" team to the 1976 NBA Eastern Conference Finals before they lost to the Boston Celtics. Thurmond was voted as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996 and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.


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