William Warren “Bill” Bradley (born July 28, 1943) is an American Hall of Fame basketball player, Rhodes scholar, and former three-term Democratic U.S. Senator from New Jersey. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in the 2000 election.
In Bradley’s rookie season, he joined the team late, having also missed the entire preseason. He was placed in the back court, although he had spent his high school and college careers as a forward. Both he and the team did not do well, and in the following season, he was returned to the forward slot. Then, in his third season, the Knicks won their first-ever NBA championship, followed by the second in the 1972–73 season, when he made the only All-Star Game appearance of his career.
During his NBA career, Bradley used his fame on the court to explore social as well as political issues, meeting with journalists, government officials, academics, businesspeople, and social activists. He also worked as an assistant to the director of the Office of Economic Opportunity in Washington, D.C., and as a teacher in the street academies of Harlem. In 1976, he also became an author by publishing Life on the Run. Using a 20-day stretch of time during one season as the main focus of the book, he chronicled his experiences in the NBA and the people he met along the way. He noted in the book that he had initially signed only a four-year contract, and that he was uncomfortable using his celebrity status to earn extra money endorsing products as other players did.
Retiring from basketball in 1977, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983, along with teammate Dave DeBusschere. In 1984, the Knicks retired his number 24 jersey; he was the fourth player so honored by the Knicks, after Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, and DeBusschere.
In 2008 Bradley was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
Career highlights and awards
2× NBA champion (1970, 1973)
1× Euroleague Championship (1966)
NBA All-Star (1973)
NCAA Final Four MOP (1965)
USBWA College Player of the Year (1965)
AP College Player of the Year (1965)
Helms Foundation College Player of the Year (1965)
2× Sporting News Player of the Year (1964–1965)
UPI College Player of the Year (1965)
2× Consensus first-team All-American (1964–1965)
No. 24 Retired by the New York Knicks
Points 9,217 (12.4 ppg)
Rebounds 2,354 (3.2 rpg)
Assists 2,533 (3.4 apg)
Competitor for the United States United States
Gold medal – first place 1964 Tokyo Team competition
Gold medal – first place 1965 Budapest Team competition