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Bob Davies

Ask even the most dedicated NBA fan who invented the behind the back dribble and they’re likely to say Bob Cousey, but they’d only be partially right. A Bob did invent the behind the back dribble but it was Bob Davies not Bob Cousey who invented it.

Davies originally untenanted to play baseball at Seton Hall, but was convinced to play basketball While at Seton Hall he lead them to 43 consecutive wins, and in a game in 1941 18,403 people turned out at Madison Square Garden to see him play. He was never a scorer, his high in college was only 12 points a game, but he was a wizard with the basketball and was a great influence to many of the early point guards.

Like many Americans Davies felt the urge to join the military after the attack on Pearl Harbor and joined the Navy in 1942. While with the Navy he continued to play basketball and lead his Naval team to a 34-3 record.

Following the he joined the Rochester Royals in 1945. In his first year in the NBL he won Rookie of the year honors and lead the Royals to the 1946 NBL title. The Royals would reach the NBL finals the next two years but lose both times to George Mikan lead teams, first the Chicago American Gears than the Minneapolis Lakers. The NBL and BBA would merge in 1948 to form the NBA with the Royals as one of it’s charter members.

Davies because the NBA’s first ever assists leader averaging 5 assists a game in 48-49. His scoring also went up from his college days and got as high as 16 points a game in 1951-52. He was also a four time all-star, he was only a four time all-star because the game only existed in his last four years in the NBA.

In 1950-51 Davies helped guide the Royals to their first and only NBA championship when they defeated their instate rival the New York Knicks in 7 games. The Royals continued to be a contender for the remainder of Davies career but never got back to the finals, in fact the closest the franchise has gotten to make the NBA finals was in 2002 when as the Sacramento Kings they lost in 7 games in the Western Finals to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Davies retired in 1955 at age 34 having spent his entire career with the Royals. He accumulated a career average of 14 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds while leading his team to two championships. In 1970 he was elected to the basketball hall-of-fame and his #11 is still hanging in the rafters of Arco Arena in Sacramento. Davies died in 1990

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