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Bill Cartwright

For other people named Bill Cartwright, see Bill Cartwright (disambiguation).
Bill Cartwright
File:Bill Cartwright Univ of San Francisco.jpg
Cartwright in 2011
Personal information
Born (1957-07-30) July 30, 1957 (age 62)
Lodi, California
Nationality American
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Career information
High school Elk Grove (Elk Grove, California)
College San Francisco (1975–1979)
NBA draft 1979 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3rd overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Pro career 1979–1995
Position Center
Number 25, 24
Career history
As player:
19791988 New York Knicks
19881994 Chicago Bulls
1994–1995 Seattle SuperSonics
As coach:
19962001 Chicago Bulls (assistant)
20012003 Chicago Bulls
20042008 New Jersey Nets (assistant)
20082012 Phoenix Suns (assistant)
2013–present Osaka Evessa
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 12,713 (13.2 ppg)
Rebounds 6,106 (6.3 rpg)
Assists 1,390 (1.4 apg)
Stats at

James William "Bill" Cartwright (born July 30, 1957) is a retired American NBA basketball player and a former head coach with the Chicago Bulls. A 7'1" (2.16 m) center, he played 16 seasons for the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and Seattle SuperSonics, helping the Bulls capture consecutive championships in 1991, 1992 and 1993. He attended Elk Grove High School in Elk Grove, California, and played college basketball at the University of San Francisco.

High school and college career

As a prep star, Cartwright was just as highly regarded as fellow preps Darryl Dawkins and Bill Willoughby.[citation needed]

Cartwright played college ball at the University of San Francisco and was a consensus second team all-American in 1977 and 1979. He graduated as the all-time leading scorer for the Dons, averaging 19.1 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Cartwright led San Francisco to three trips to the NCAA tournament, to the first round in the 1977 and to the Sweet Sixteen in both 1978 and 1979. [1]

Year Team W-L G FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% RBs Avg Pts Avg
1976 22-8 30 151 282 53.0 72 98 73.5 207 6.9 374 12.5
1977 29-2 31 241 426 56.6 118 161 73.3 262 8.5 600 19.4
1978 23-6 21 168 252 66.7 96 131 73.3 213 10.2 432 20.6
1979 22-7 29 268 443 60.6 174 237 73.4 455 15.7 710 24.5
Total 96-23 111 828 1406 58.9 460 627 73.4 1137 10.2 2116 19.1

NBA career


Cartwright was the third overall pick in the 1979 NBA draft selected by the New York Knicks. As a member of the Knicks, he made his only All-Star Game appearance in his rookie year of 1979-80. Cartwright averaged more than 20 points per game in his first two seasons for the Knicks. His playing time decreased during his time in New York, initially due to injury (he suffered four separate fractures to his left foot)[1] and then due to the arrival of number-one pick Patrick Ewing which changed Cartwright's role to that of a backup center.[citation needed]

On June 27, 1988, Cartwright was involved in a trade between the Knicks and Chicago Bulls, which included sending Cartwright to Chicago and Bulls forward Charles Oakley to New York.[2] The Bulls needed a tall center to counter the size in the Eastern Conference, and to complement Michael Jordan's scoring and Scottie Pippen's defense. The Bulls were willing to part with Oakley, the league's second-leading rebounder in the 1986-87 and 1987-88 seasons, because of the rapid development of Horace Grant.[citation needed] Three years later, the Bulls won their first NBA championship under the head coach Phil Jackson, himself a former Knick, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1991 NBA Finals. The Bulls went on to win the NBA title again in 1992 and 1993 with the same core team.

Jordan retired after the 1992-93 season, and the Bulls were defeated by the Ewing-led Knicks in the 1994 NBA Playoffs. Cartwright left the team as a free agent and signed with the Seattle SuperSonics. He only played in 29 games for the Sonics, and retired after the 1994–95 NBA season.

As a member of the Bulls, he took an elbow to the throat during a game against the Indiana Pacers. As a result of a damaged larynx, he now has a very hoarse voice.[3]


A few years after his retirement, Cartwright was added to the Bulls once again as an assistant coach under Phil Jackson, and the team was once again in the playoffs, winning the title in 1997 and 1998. The Bulls went through significant changes following the 1997-98 season, with not only Jordan and Pippen leaving, but Tim Floyd taking over as head coach from Jackson. The Bulls had a lengthy rebuilding effort, and Cartwright took over the Bulls 27 games into the 2001-02 season, going 17-38 after the team's 4-23 start under Floyd and interim head coach Bill Berry, the latter whom coached for two games before Cartwright was named interim head coach. The Bulls finished 21-61 on the year and the following season Cartwright was promoted from interim to permanent head coach. In the 2002-03 season the Bulls finished 30-52, but Cartwright would last only 14 games into the 2003-04 season — going 4-10 — before being fired. [4] Pete Myers and finally Scott Skiles coached the Bulls immediately following Cartwright's tenure.

In 2004, the New Jersey Nets hired Cartwright as an assistant coach under Lawrence Frank. In 2008, Cartwright was named as an assistant coach for the Phoenix Suns under Terry Porter. Suns general manager Steve Kerr hired the former big man to help coach veteran big man Shaquille O'Neal, all-star Amar'e Stoudemire and upcoming draft picks.[5] After the Suns dismissed Porter and promoted assistant Alvin Gentry, Cartwright stayed on as assistant coach with the team.

In January 2013, Cartwright was hired to coach Osaka Evessa in Japan.[6]

In September 2014, Cartwright was hired as the head coach of the Mexico National Basketball Team.


Cartwright married his junior high school sweetheart, Sheri, and together they have four children. He obtained a master's degree in organization development and as hobbies, plays guitar and collects transistor radios.[7][8]

See also

Official Website for Bill Cartwright


  1. ^ "CARTWRIGHT LIKELY TO BE LOST FOR SEASON". NY Times. 19 December 2013. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Bill Cartwright -- Elbowing Way To Top -- When Sonic Center's Around, Foes Have A Lot To Think About". The Seattle Times. 19 December 2013. 
  4. ^ "Cartwright Relieved as Bulls Head Coach". NBA. 19 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Coro, Paul (June 19, 2008). "Suns fill out coaching staff". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ Bill Cartwright to coach in Japan
  7. ^ Coro, Paul (July 1, 2008). "Cartwright a big-man coach, more". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  8. ^ Coro, Paul (December 30, 2010). "Suns Extra: Q & A with assistant coach Bill Cartwright". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved May 3, 2012.

External links