Six Hardcourt Legends Arriving in October
Friday, May 18, 2007

McFarlane Toys is proud to present our third series of NBA Legends Sports Picks. This series features five players from the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame, and one player considered a lock for enshrinement. Take a look at the "honor roll" we've put together for NBA Legends 3:

DOMINIQUE WILKINS: "The Human Highlight Film" was doubly lucky when the Utah Jazz traded him to the Atlanta Hawks. Not only was he coming home (he played his college ball at the University of Georgia), but his career would unfold in front of a national television audience on WTBS ("The SuperStation"). Basketball fans nationwide watched his classic duels with Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, as well as his breathtaking performances in the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Wilkins was a nine-time NBA All-Star and ranks ninth in career scoring. He was enshrined in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

BILL RUSSELL: NBA star Alonzo Mourning summed up Bill Russell's impact succinctly, stating, "The man's got more rings than fingers." The Celtics' indomitable center (and coach) played 13 NBA seasons, while making 12 All-Star teams and winning 11 NBA titles. His duel with fellow center Wilt Chamberlain is remembered as one of the greatest rivalries in all of sport. Tired of getting hacked and swiped at when he pulled down rebounds, Russell devised his own defense - he'd kick the foot nearest an opponent high into the air, which was enough persuasion to let him land without incident. When approached by McFarlane Toys about becoming part of our NBA Legends line, Russell agreed - but only if he was in his signature rebounding pose.

MOSES MALONE: One of the best centers in NBA history, Malone's dominance was only hampered by his career path - the three-time MVP and nine-time All-Star played for nine different teams during his 21 professional seasons. Malone was a basketball prodigy, the first high school player to jump straight to a professional league - joining the ABA's Utah Stars in 1974. Malone averaged more than 20 points per game for 11 consecutive seasons, led the league in rebounding six times and helped deliver the NBA title to Philadelphia in 1983. He was enshrined in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.

JAMES WORTHY: They called him "Big Game" James, and for good reason. After winning a national title at North Carolina, Worthy was selected by Los Angeles with the top selection in the 1982 NBA Draft. The goggle-sporting forward was a staple of the "Showtime" Lakers squads of the 1980s, playing in seven NBA Finals and winning a trio of championships. He was named to seven All-Star teams and enshrined in the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

EARL MONROE: You might not place the name Vernon Monroe, but no basketball fan in the 1970s will ever forget "Earl the Pearl." He averaged a staggering 41.5 points per game while winning a Division II national title in his senior season at Winston-Salem State. He was drafted by the Baltimore Bullets, and turned in 24.3 points per game while winning the NBA's Rookie of the Year award in 1968. Monroe was traded to the New York Knicks in 1971, where he teamed with Walt Frazier to form one of the most electrifying backcourts in NBA history. "Clyde" and "The Pearl" helped deliver the Knicks' the NBA championship in 1973. Monroe played on four All-Star teams and joined the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990.

DAVID ROBINSON: "The Admiral" was worth the wait. San Antonio selected David Robinson with the top selection in the 1987 NBA draft, knowing full well he'd need to fulfill two more years' commitment to the U.S. Navy. Robinson arrived in the NBA in the 1989-90 season, where he earned the Rookie of the Year award and delivered the best single-season turnaround in NBA history (the Spurs were 21-61 the year before, but 56-26 with the addition of Robinson). "The Admiral" was a member of the gold medal-winning "Dream Team" at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, and won a pair of NBA championships. Robinson was a 10-time All-Star and the 1995 NBA MVP, and is considered an absolute lock for the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.

NBA Legends 3 is scheduled to arrive at stores in early October. Until then, you'll have to watch the playoffs and enjoy the photography.