“The best teams have chemistry. Good communication and they sacrifice personal glory for a common goal.”
Dave DeBusschere played in the NBA for 12 years (Detroit Pistons 1962-68; New York Knicks 1968-74). DeBusschere was an eight-time All-Star and was named to the NBA All-Defensive First Team six straight times. DeBusschere averaged 16.1 points; 11 rebounds and 2.9 assists in his career. Dave DeBusschere was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983, and in 1996 he was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary all-time team.
Dave DeBusschere was a player-coach for the Pistons for almost three seasons. Dave played professional baseball for four years; two of them with the Chicago White Sox. He gave up baseball after the 1965 season to focus on strictly on basketball.
In his post NBA playing career, Dave DeBusschere was General Manager of the Nets, Commissioner of the ABA and General Manager of the Knicks.
It was a privilege to watch Dave DeBusschere play basketball. Not only was DeBusschere a talented player, but he also was totally unselfish, a true “team man” and that added to his greatness. DeBusschere played hard, had a good outside shot, would drive to the basket, played tenacious defense, and was a fine rebounder. It should be mentioned that his fellow Knick teammates, Walt Frazier and Bill Bradley, also were completely unselfish. The Knicks’ Captain, Willis Reed, also was a “team guy.” With talented players and the concept of finding the “open man,” the Knicks won two Championships (1970 & 1973).
Dave DeBusschere also had the potential to be a fine Major League pitcher. His win total was in double digits in each of his two seasons with the Indianapolis Indians (1964 & 65). He gave up baseball after the 1965 season to focus on playing and coaching basketball. DeBusschere preferred the closeness and togetherness of the basketball court. He said there was a feeling of “being alone” on the mound.
Bill Bradley said Dave DeBusschere was like an older brother to him. Dave DeBusschere died much too young (age 62). He always will be remembered for what he taught us about teamwork, work ethic, and character. Dave DeBusschere was a real professional and a true champion.