Vintage Basketball Autographs

Hoop Stars of the Past -- 1920s thru 1960s

Arnold “Red” Auerbach (1917-2006)

Coach—Washington Capitals (NBL) 1946-49, Tri-Cities Blackhawks 1949-50, Boston Celtics 1950-66   [938 wins/479 losses, .662; Auerbach Trophy 1965, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1968]

I remember one championship, actually two.  Don Nelson took a shot, the score was tied, it was overtime against the Lakers. It hits the rim, hits the backboard, bounces to the rim, hits the other rim, rolls around and goes in, and that makes me a hell of a coach. So if that's the difference between being a great coach and a not-great coach, why do you worry about these things?  There's no substitute for winning — that's the bottom line. When you win, you're a genius, regardless of what it took. Who knows how much I would've won without Bill Russell? Probably very little, but we were always competitive.
    Red Auerbach


This Bill Pevear cartoon appeared in newspapers in January 1958.

See video clip of Red Auerbach celebrating his 1,000th victory ala cigar lighting and getting game ball on January 12, 1966 in victory over Lakers.

Morris "Bucky" Buckwalter  (1933-    )

Coach (Utah) Seattle Supersonics 1972-73, Utah Stars (ABA) 1974-75,  President of Basketball Operations—Portland Trailblazers   [13 wins/24 losses (NBA), 24 wins/32 losses (ABA); NBA Executive of the Year 1991]

The personnel thing is a 24-hour-a-day job.  You're constantly evaluating players, thinking about trades. It's year-round. It never stops. The ulcers are there. They're both high-pressure jobs.
    Bucky Buckwalter



Howard Cann  (1895-1992)

Basketball Coach—(New York University) 1917-20; Mohawk Indians (NYL) Coach—NYU 1924-58  [All-American 1920; 409 W, 232 L, Coach of the Year 1947, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1967; Olympic Games 1920, shot put]

He had a warmth and a relationship with the players that was special. He was like a father to me.  He was demanding of you, but he got results. And you learned from him things that you carried out later in life.
    Ray Lumpp


Howard Cann autographed this 1936 Jack Sords cartoon. I also have a signed 1943 Sords cartoon. 

Lou Carnesecca  (1925-    )

Coach—St. John's 1965-70, 1973-92, New York Nets (ABA) 1970-73   [National Coach of the Year 1983, 1985, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1992]



Lou Carnesecca autographed this 1962 Tom Paprocki cartoon in January 2010.

Watch a video clip interview with Lou Carnesecca.  Watch a video clip of Carnesecca and St. John's basketball history. 

Jack Gardner  (1910-2000)

Coach—Kansas State 1940-53, Utah 1953-71   [Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1983]

The man was so well organized it was just amazing.  I still have records, and I can tell you exactly what we worked on at 4:20. If he said the drill would last eight minutes, and the whistle blew, that was it. That's the way he ran his program. He was that way about recruiting, scouting, you name it. . . . .  He was up and down a lot, but he wasn't a real shouter. He usually had something pretty specific to say. He wasn't a passive guy, but he wasn't a wild man, either. He operated on the theory that you got a lot more flies with syrup than you did with vinegar.
    Bob Rousey



This 1954 Ev Thorpe cartoon is one of two autographed by Jack Gardner. The other is a 1959 cartoon.

Paul D. "Tony" Hinkle  (1899-1992)

(Chicago) Coach—Butler University 1927-42,1946-50, Great Lakes Naval Training Station 1942-44   [All-American 1920; Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1964]

I don't know what other coaches do when they're not coaching.  Yes, I do, they're out chasing after players.  Basketball is a question of circumstances.  In basketball, all the kids are quarterbacks. They're all forward passers. They've all got to catch the ball and throw it.  Years ago, a kid didn't play unless he could play defense. Now, it's about the reverse.   Really, my job was my hobby, my entertainment, my everything,   I think if a coach can walk down the street and have the people speak to him, half the people, and they don't say, “There goes the s.o.b.,” that's about all a coach can ask for.
    Tony Hinkle


Hank "Iron Duke" Iba  (1904-1993)

Coach—(Westminster College/Northwest Missouri State) 1924-29; Colorado 1934, Oklahoma State 1935-70   [Coach of the Year 1945-46, U.S. Olympics 1964,1968, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1968; coached more college games (1,105) than anyone in major college history]

He'll always be known as the defensive wizard, and deservedly so.  But actually defense is ball control, and that's what he was a master of . . . .He was a coaching institution.  He was one of the greats.
    Jack Gardner



John Kundla  (1916-    )

Center/Guard/Forward—(Minnesota); Coach—Minneapolis Lakers 1947-59  [423 wins/302 losses, .583; Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1995]

Coach John Kundla led by example.
    Arnie Ferrin


Ray Meyer  (1913-2006)

Forward—(Notre Dame) 1936-38; Coach—De Paul 1942-84    [724 W, 354 L; UPI Coach of the Year 1980,1984, U.S. Basketball Writers Association Coach of the Year 1978,1980, A.P. Coach of the Year 1980,1984, National Association of Basketball Coaches Coach of the Year 1979, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1979]

I coached 1,078 games at DePaul from 1942 to 1984 and had the players and the good fortune to win 724 of them.  Anybody who coaches that long ought to be stuffed and put in a museum.  He is as extinct as a dinosaur.  Nobody is going to last that long anymore—I know I couldn't last with the pressure of today.  You gotta win.  Coaches are told they'll be fired if they don't make the NCAA tournament.  They're coaching with guns held to their heads.
    Ray Meyer


See brief video clip of Ray Meyer coaching 1954 College All Americans against the Harlem Globetrotters. 

Digger Phelps  (1941-    )

Coach—(Rider) Fordham 1970-71, Notre Dame 1971-91



Digger Phelps autographed this 1974 Alan Maver cartoon in February 2011. 

Johnny Orr  (1927-    )

Forward—(Illinois/Beloit) St. Louis Bombers 1950, Waterloo Hawks 1950; Coach—University of Massachusetts 1963-64, University of Michigan 1968-80, Iowa State 1980-94  [National Coach of the Year 1976, Henry Iba Award 1976]

I remember what those Iowa (football) teams were like when I was at Michigan. Michigan just drilled the Hawks. Even in basketball, my biggest thing was to get my guys to take the Hawks seriously.

    Coach Johnny Orr   



Johnny Orr autographed this 1976 Alan Maver cartoon in January 2010.

Watch a video clip focusing on Johnny Orr as the past coach of Iowa State.

Jack Ramsay  (1925-    )

Coach—St. Joseph's College 1955-66; Philadelphia 76ers 1968-72, Buffalo Braves 1972-76, Portland Trail Blazers 1976-86, Indiana Pacers 1986-88  [NBA Championship 1976-77, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1992]



Jack Ramsay autographed this 1965 Alan Maver cartoon in June 2010.

Jerry Tarkanian  (1930-    )

Coach—Riverside City College 1961-66, Pasadena City College 1966-68, Long Beach State 1968-73, University of Nevada-Las Vegas 1974-92, Fresno State 1995-2002; San Antonio Spurs 1992  [990 W, 228 L; NCAA Championship 1990]


I sent Tark a great cartoon to autograph, but he  liked it so much that he kept it--continuing his Tark the Shark reputation of gobbling things up.

Watch a video clip of an interview with Jerry Tarkanian.  Watch a video clip profiling Tarkanian's coaching career.

Stan Watts  (1911-2000)

Coach—Brigham Young University 1950-72 [Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame 1986]


Stan Watts autographed this 1951 Stan Watts cartoon. 

Watch a Video Clip of:

  • Red Auerbach (Coaches)
  • Louis "Boze" Berger  (Forwards)
  • Lou Carnesecca (Coaches)
  • Bob Cousy (Hall of Fame)
  • Tom Heinsohn (Hall of Fame)
  • Nat Holman  (Hall of Fame)
  • Hot Rod Hundley (Guards)
  • Sam Jones (Hall of Fame)
  • Ed "Moose" Krause  (Hall of Fame)
  • Bob Kurland  (Hall of Fame)
  • Hank Luisetti  (Hall of Fame)
  • Ray Meyer  (Coaches)
  • Johnny Orr (Coaches)
  • Togo Palazzi  (Forwards)
  • Bob Pettit  (Hall of Fame)
  • Frank Ramsey  (Hall of Fame)
  • Dolph Schayes  (Hall of Fame)
  • Frank Selvy  (Guards)
  • Larry Siegfried (Guards)
  • Jerry Tarkanian  (Coaches)

New Additions

George Bonsalle (Forwards)

Barney Cable (Forwards)

Lou Carnesecca (Coaches)

Len Chappell (Forwards)

Johnny Cox (Guards)

Dave Downey (Forwards)

Bill Evans (Guards)

Paul Judson (Guards)

Ed Kalafat (Centers)

Bob Kinney (Centers)

Tom Lillis (Centers)

Gale McArthur (Guards)

Jim McDaniels (Forwards)

Bill Melchionni (Guards)

Johnny Orr (Coaches)

Bob Peterson (Centers)

Jim Phelan (Coaches)

Digger Phelps (Coaches)

John Rudometkin (Forwards)

Gene Shue (Guards)

Dick Snyder (Forwards)

Hal Uplinger (Guards)

Nick Werkman (Forwards)