|Born||March 8, 1926|
|Died|| July 4, 1979 53) (aged|
New York City, New York
|Spouse(s)||Susan (1973–his death)|
|Basketball Hall of Fame|
Marvin "Mendy" Rudolph (March 8, 1926 –July 4, 1979) was an American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 22 years, from 1953 to 1975. Regarded as one of the greatest officials in NBA history,[ citation needed ] Rudolph officiated 2,112 NBA games (a record held at retirement) and was the first league referee to work 2,000 games. He was also selected to referee eight NBA All-Star Games and made 22 consecutive NBA Finals appearances.
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.
In basketball, an official enforces the rules and maintains order in the game. The title of official also applies to the scorers and timekeepers, as well as other personnel that have an active task in maintaining the game. Basketball is regarded as among the most difficult sports to officiate due to the speed of play, complexity of rules, the case-specific interpretations of rules, and the instantaneous decision required.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men's professional basketball league in North America; composed of 30 teams. It is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.
Following his career as a referee, he was a color commentator for CBS Sports's coverage of the NBA on CBS for two seasons from 1975 to 1977 and he appeared in a television advertisement for Miller Lite. He was a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2007.
A color commentator or expert commentator is a sports commentator who assists the main commentator, often by filling in any time when play is not in progress. The phrase "color commentator" is primarily used in American English; the concept may also be referred to as a summariser or analyst. The color analyst and main commentator will often exchange comments freely throughout the broadcast, when the main commentator is not describing the action. The color commentator provides expert analysis and background information, such as statistics, strategy, and injury reports on the teams and athletes, and occasionally anecdotes or light humor. Color commentators are often former athletes or coaches of the sport being broadcast.
CBS Sports is the sports division of the American television network CBS. Its headquarters are in the CBS Building on West 52nd Street in midtown Manhattan, New York City, with programs produced out of Studio 43 at the CBS Broadcast Center on West 57th Street.
The NBA on CBS is the branding that is used for weekly broadcasts of National Basketball Association (NBA) games produced by CBS Sports, the sports division of the CBS television network in the United States. CBS aired NBA games from the 1973–1974 NBA season until the 1989–90 NBA season.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rudolph was raised in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.His father, Harry Rudolph, was a prominent basketball referee and baseball umpire. Mendy Rudolph played basketball as a child and eventually chose the same profession as his father. Upon graduating from James M. Coughlin High School, he began officiating basketball games at the Wilkes-Barre Jewish Community Center and later worked scholastic games. At age 20, he was recruited to referee games alongside his father, who served as Eastern Professional Basketball League (Eastern League) President from 1956 to 1970. During his career in the Eastern League, he officiated his first Eastern League President's Cup championship series in 1948 and was selected as a referee in at least one game in every President's Cup playoff and championship series between 1949 and 1953. At the same time, he also served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War.
Philadelphia, known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U.S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the sixth-most populous U.S. city, with a 2018 census-estimated population of 1,584,138. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U.S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is also the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis. The Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States.
Pennsylvania, officially the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle. The Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, and New Jersey to the east.
Wilkes-Barre is a city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Luzerne County. It is one of the principal cities in the Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Located at the center of the Wyoming Valley, it is second in size to the nearby city of Scranton. The Scranton–Wilkes-Barre–Hazleton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 563,631 as of the 2010 Census, making it the fourth-largest metro/statistical area in the state of Pennsylvania. Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding Wyoming Valley are framed by the Pocono Mountains to the east, the Endless Mountains to the west, and the Lehigh Valley to the south. The Susquehanna River flows through the center of the valley and defines the northwestern border of the city.
Rudolph was married twice during his life. His first marriage was to his childhood sweetheart and together they raised three children. But the relationship became troubled and eventually ended.In 1961, Mendy Rudolph met Susan, a receptionist at the WGN office in New York City, while both worked for the station. At the time, Rudolph worked at WGN as an additional job outside of officiating, which was common among referees from his era. Mendy and Susan Rudolph were married in 1973. Two years later, their first child, Jennifer Rudolph, was born.
A receptionist is an employee taking an office or administrative support position. The work is usually performed in a waiting area such as a lobby or front office desk of an organization or business. The title receptionist is attributed to the person who is employed by an organization to receive or greet any visitors, patients, or clients and answer telephone calls. The term front desk is used in many hotels for an administrative department where a receptionist's duties also may include room reservations and assignment, guest registration, cashier work, credit checks, key control as well as mail and message service. Such receptionists are often called front desk clerks. Receptionists cover many areas of work to assist the businesses they work for, including setting appointments, filing, record keeping, and other office tasks.
WGN-TV, virtual channel 9, is an independent television station licensed to Chicago, Illinois, United States. It serves as the flagship television property of the Tribune Broadcasting subsidiary of Tribune Media and is one of the company's three flagship media properties, alongside news/talk/sports radio station WGN and local cable news channel Chicagoland Television (CLTV). The station's second and third digital subchannels respectively serve as owned-and-operated stations of Tribune's two national over-the-air multicast services, classic television network Antenna TV and movie-focused general entertainment network This TV, both of which are headquartered at the WGN studios.
The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.
Throughout his life, Rudolph suffered from a gambling problemand was labeled a "compulsive gambler". He would often spend his leisure time placing bets at race tracks and Las Vegas, Nevada and Puerto Rico casinos. At that time, NBA referees were allowed to gamble, but this practice has since been prohibited. As he incurred gambling losses, Rudolph was once offered by a Las Vegas gambler to erase his outstanding debt by participating in point shaving. However, he refused to accept the offer and said to his wife, "It goes against all my principles. I love the game too much, respect it too much. I couldn't do it to you. I couldn't do it to the memory of my father, and I couldn't do it to myself. If I have to go into bankruptcy, something I'd hate to do, I'd do it," according to in a 1992 New York Times interview with Susan Rudolph. Rudolph had cashed in his $60,000 pension fund to pay debts and he still owed an additional $100,000. While he refused to seek professional help, Rudolph cut back on his gambling habit later in his life.
A race track is a facility built for racing of vehicles, athletes, or animals. A race track also may feature grandstands or concourses. Racetracks are also used in the study of animal locomotion. Some motorsport tracks are called speedways.
Puerto Rico, officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and briefly called Porto Rico, is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeast Caribbean Sea, approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 km) southeast of Miami, Florida.
A casino is a facility which houses and accommodates certain types of gambling activities. The industry that deals in casinos is called the gaming industry. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. There is much debate over whether the social and economic consequences of casino gambling outweigh the initial revenue that may be generated. Some casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy, concerts, and sporting events.
Rudolph was recommended by Eddie Gottlieb, coach and owner of the NBA's Philadelphia Warriors at the time, to then-NBA commissioner Maurice Podoloff, after observing Rudolph officiate an exhibition game.Rudolph was hired by the NBA in February 1953, midway through the 1952–53 NBA season and he became the youngest official in the league. In his early years with the NBA, Rudolph quickly became an established official as he worked playoff games within his first two years in the league.
Edward Gottlieb, known as "Mr. Basketball" and "The Mogul", was the first coach and manager of the Philadelphia Warriors in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the former owner and coach of the team from 1951 to 1962. A native of Kiev, Ukraine, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor on April 20, 1972. The NBA Rookie of the Year "Eddie Gottlieb Trophy" is named after Gottlieb.
Maurice Podoloff was an American lawyer and basketball and ice hockey administrator. He served as the president of the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1946–1949, and the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1949–1963.
The 1952–53 NBA season was the seventh season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Minneapolis Lakers winning the NBA Championship, beating the New York Knicks 4 games to 1 in the NBA Finals.
Rudolph officiated the 1955 NBA Finals between the Syracuse Nationals and Fort Wayne Pistons, which was notable for its actions by fans, fights between players, and attacks on referees.Game 3 of the series, played in Indianapolis, Indiana, was interrupted by a fan who threw a chair on the floor and ran on the court to protest calls made by Rudolph and referee Arnie Heft. Six years later, he made history by officiating the entire 1961 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks with his colleague Earl Strom.
Rudolph and Strom officiated another notable game in the 1964 NBA Finals.In Game 5 of the championship series, Wilt Chamberlain, playing for the San Francisco Warriors, knocked out Clyde Lovellette of the Boston Celtics with a punch. Celtics head coach Red Auerbach stormed onto the court and demanded that Chamberlain be thrown out of the game. The latter told Auerbach if he did not "shut up", he would be knocked down to the floor with Lovellette. Auerbach countered the threat, "Why don't you pick on somebody your own size." Rudolph intervened the discussion and told Auerbach, "Red, do you have any other seven-footers who'd like to volunteer?"
As his career progressed in the league, Rudolph took on responsibilities beyond officiating. In 1966, he was named referee-in-chief and worked alongside Dolph Schayes, who was hired as the league's supervisor of officials that year to replace Sid Borgia.In this position, he oversaw areas that pertained to referee mechanics, techniques, and rule interpretations. It was in this role that he authored the NBA Official’s Manual and Case Book.
While he served as head of officials, the NBA lost four veteran officials—Norm Drucker, Joe Gushue, Earl Strom, and John Vanak to the rival American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1969 over salary and benefits.At the time of transaction, Rudolph told Strom, "(Deputy Commissioner) Carl [Scheer], (NBA Commissioner) Walter [Kennedy], and I were prepared to offer you guys the greatest contract in the history of pro basketball."
By the early 1970s, Rudolph successfully encouraged the league to adopt a plain gray referee uniform over the traditional "zebra" shirt to de-emphasize the presence of officials in games.
By 1975, Rudolph's health condition began to deteriorate and he was forced to retire after suffering a blood clot in his lung during a 1975 NBA playoff game between the Buffalo Braves and Washington Bullets, played April 25, 1975.In his final game, he had to be carried off the court. On November 9, 1975, Rudolph officially ended his career as a referee in the NBA, in which he officiated more games (2,113) than any official in league history at the time. Earl Strom later broke Rudolph’s record and officiated over 2,400 games in his 30-year career.
Following his officiating career, Rudolph transitioned to a career in broadcasting. During the 1975-76 and 1976-77 NBA seasons, he worked as a television analyst for CBS Sports covering The NBA on CBS .During his first season, he was paired with Brent Musburger and Rick Barry for the 1976 NBA Finals. This championship series was most memorable for a triple-overtime Game 5, which has been labeled the "greatest game" in NBA history. In this game, Celtic John Havlicek made an apparent game-winning field goal at the conclusion of the second overtime. The game clock had expired, but Rudolph, along with Musburger and Barry, noted that the shot was made with two seconds remaining. Referee Richie Powers, however, decided that one second remained in the second overtime period.
In 1976, Rudolph was featured in a Miller Brewing Company television advertisement along with then-Celtics head coach Tom Heinsohn to promote Miller Lite's "Tastes Great, Less Filling" advertising campaign.Rudolph and Heinsohn debated whether Miller Lite was less filling or tastes great in a bar room scene. After Heinsohn refused to agree that Lite was, first and foremost, less filling, Rudolph threw his thumb in the air and screamed, "You're out of the bar." This advertisement popularized Miller's campaign slogan and the campaign was named eighth best of the 20th century by Advertising Age in 1999.
Rudolph died on July 4, 1979 from a heart attack in New York City.Mendy and Susan Rudolph were standing outside a movie theatre entrance when Mendy collapsed. After unsuccessful attempts at mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, he was taken to a hospital where he died an hour after arrival. At the time of his death, then-NBA Commissioner Larry O'Brien said of Rudolph, "Mendy's contributions to the integrity of pro basketball are legendary." Officials wore a patch with Rudolph's uniform number, 5, on their sleeves the following season after his death, the 1979-80 NBA season, to honor him. No other official in the NBA has worn this number to the present day.
Known for his charisma, personality, and iconic stature on the court, Rudolph symbolized NBA officiating during the early years of the NBA to fans of professional basketballand became the most recognizable official during the NBA's first four decades. Bob Ryan of The Boston Globe said of Rudolph, "If any man other than Red Auerbach ever earned the title of NBA institution, it was certainly Mendy Rudolph." Upon retirement, he set a precedent for the standards that future referees are judged. Early in his officiating career, Joe Crawford (later hired by the NBA in 1977) attended games that Rudolph worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and studied his style and approach. Earl Strom credited Rudolph for being an influence on the development of his career in the NBA. In his autobiography, Calling the Shots, Strom described Rudolph as "one of the most prominent referees because of his style, courage, and judgment. He had excellent judgment. He made the call regardless of the pressure, whom it involved, or where it was." Strom later told The New York Times that "Mendy Rudolph was simply the greatest referee of all time."
Strom was also an advocate to get Rudolph enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.On April 2, 2007, Rudolph was announced as one of the seven members of the Basketball Hall of Fame's Class of 2007 to be enshrined in September 2007, twenty-eight years after his death. It was reported that the length of time for Rudolph to become elected was the result of his gambling lifestyle. He became the thirteenth referee to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach was an American basketball coach of the Washington Capitols, the Tri-Cities Blackhawks and the Boston Celtics. After he retired from coaching, he served as president and front office executive of the Celtics until his death. As a coach, he won 938 games and nine National Basketball Association (NBA) championships in ten seasons. As general manager and team president of the Celtics, he won an additional seven NBA titles, for a grand total of 16 in a span of 29 years, making him one of the most successful team officials in the history of North American professional sports.
John Joseph "Hondo" Havlicek is an American retired professional basketball player who competed for 16 seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning eight NBA championships, four of them coming in his first four seasons.
Earl "Yogi" Strom was an American professional basketball referee for 29 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and for three years in the American Basketball Association (ABA). Strom is credited as one of the greatest referees in the history of the NBA and was known for his flamboyant style and ability to control the game. Nicknamed "The Pied Piper", the assertive Strom made foul calls with his whistle by using a "tweet-pause-tweet-tweet" tune and pointing at the offending player. In addition to calling fouls with flair, he was known for ejecting players from games with style and he sometimes supported his rulings with physical force.
Norm Drucker was a major influence in professional basketball officiating for over 35 years. His NBA and ABA officiating career as both a referee and Supervisor of Officials spanned the careers of all-time pro basketball greats, from George Mikan, Bob Cousy, Dolph Schayes and Bob Pettit in the 1950s, to Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Bill Russell in the 1960s, to Julius Erving, Rick Barry, Bill Bradley and Walt Frazier in the 1970s and to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the 1980s.
Richard W. Bavetta is an American retired professional basketball referee for the National Basketball Association (NBA). Since starting in 1975, he had never missed an assigned game and holds the league record for most officiated games. His game on April 12, 2013 in Washington was his 2,600th consecutive game as an NBA official.
Steve Javie is an American retired professional basketball referee who refereed in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from the 1986–87 NBA season to the 2010–11 season. As of the beginning of the 2006–07 NBA season, Javie has officiated 1,264 regular season, 190 playoff, and 18 NBA Finals games. According to Referee magazine, Javie was a highly regarded referee in the NBA, and he was respected within the officiating community for his game management skills. He was also notable during his NBA officiating career for his quickness in assessing technical fouls.
John "Jake" Ireland is a former referee in the Canadian Football League, who wore uniform number 62, and current lead replay official for the league's instant replay command centre.
Joseph Crawford, born August 30, 1951 in Havertown, Pennsylvania is an American retired professional basketball referee who worked in the National Basketball Association (NBA) between 1977 and 2016. Crawford, who wore uniform number 17, was one of the strictest and most controversial officials in the NBA and developed a reputation for assessing technical fouls against both players and coaches. As of the conclusion of the 2014–15 NBA season, Crawford worked more playoff (313) and NBA Finals games (50) than any other active referee in the league and appeared in the Finals every year between 1986 and 2006. He appeared in 29 of the last 30 NBA Finals series, missing only the 2007 NBA Finals, due to suspension. In addition to playoff games, Crawford has officiated the NBA All-Star Game in 1986, 1992 and 2000, as well as the 1993 McDonald's Championship in Munich, Germany.
James Michael "Jake" O'Donnell is a former sports official who worked as a National Basketball Association (NBA) referee for 28 seasons from 1967 to 1995, and also as an umpire in Major League Baseball for four seasons from 1968 to 1971. He is the only person to officiate All-Star games in both Major League Baseball and the NBA.
Richard F. "Richie" Powers was a professional basketball referee in the NBA from 1956 to 1979. He worked 25 NBA Finals games, including the triple-overtime Game 5 contest in the 1976 NBA Finals between the Suns and the Celtics, considered "the greatest game ever played" in the NBA, as well as three All-Star Games. Following his career in the NBA, Powers was a sportscaster for WABC-TV.
Darell Lee Garretson was an American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for 27 years from 1967 to 1994, and he later served as NBA Supervisor of Officials for 17 years from 1981 to 1998. During his career, Garretson officiated over 2,000 games, including 1,798 regular-season NBA games, 269 playoff games, 41 Finals games and five All-Star games.
Bernie W. Fryer has been Vice President and Director of Officials for the National Basketball Association since July 2008. He was a player in the NBA and American Basketball Association (ABA) from 1973 to 1975 before serving as a referee from 1978 to 2007.
Robert J. "Bob" Delaney is a former undercover New Jersey state trooper and professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) who officiated from the 1987-88 NBA season up until the 2010-11 NBA season. Beginning the 2006-07 NBA season, Delaney had officiated in 1,182 regular season games, 120 playoff games, and seven NBA Finals games. In addition, Delaney was assigned to the 1998 NBA All-Star Game. He wore the uniform number 26.
Ronnie Nunn is a former professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for nineteen seasons and served for five years as the league's Director of Officials, until being reassigned in 2008 in the wake of the Tim Donaghy scandal. More recently he was host of Making the Call With Ronnie Nunn for seven seasons on NBA TV. He officiated 1,134 regular season, 73 playoff, four NBA Finals games, and the 1996 NBA All-Star Game.. Nunn continues his career in basketball by serving as a consultant to the Euroleague and the (NBL) National Basketball League of Australia, along with being a guest analyst for BBallbreakdown.com and Operation administrator with the newly established professional league,(TBL), The Basketball League. His NunnBetterRefs Camps (nunnbetterrefs.com) provide instruction, training and development for enhancing the performance of basketball officials. His Twitter account @NunnBetterRefs also provides commentary and answers to referee decisions and calls for all aficionados of basketball worldwide. Additionally, Nunn created an innovated program, NewHoopsIQ (ronnienunn.com) designed to maximize player time and productivity while targeting to minimize fouling tendencies. Nunn implemented his program with the NY Knicks during the 2012-13 season as a "specialty coach" assisting them in their return to the playoffs from considerable long term absence.
Sid Borgia was an American professional basketball referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 1946 to 1964 and later was the league's supervisor of officials from 1964 to 1966. Borgia also served as chief of officials in the American Basketball Association.
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