Friday, September 15, 2017

Bill Sharman

William Walton Sharman

May 25, 1926
Abilene, TX

October 25, 2013
Redondo Beach, CA

1942-43 Central High School - Porterville, CA (High School)
1943-44 Central High School - Porterville, CA (High School)
1946-47 University of Southern California (College)
1947-48 University of Southern California (College)
1948-49 University of Southern California (College)
1949-50 University of Southern California (College)
1950-51 Washington Capitols (NBA)
1951-52 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1952-53 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1953-54 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1954-55 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1955-56 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1956-57 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1957-58 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1958-59 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1959-60 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1960-61 Boston Celtics (NBA)
1961-62 Los Angeles Jets (ABL) Head coach / player
1961-62 Cleveland Pipers (ABL) Head coach / player
1962-63 Los Angeles State (College) Head coach
1963-64 Los Angeles State (College) Head coach 
1966-67 San Francisco Warriors (NBA) Head coach
1967-68 San Francisco Warriors (NBA) Head coach
1968-69 Los Angeles Stars (ABA) Head coach
1969-70 Los Angeles Stars (ABA) Head coach
1970-71 Utah Stars (ABA) Head coach
1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (ABA) Head coach
1972-73 Los Angeles Lakers (ABA) Head coach 
1973-74 Los Angeles Lakers (ABA) Head coach
1974-75 Los Angeles Lakers (ABA) Head coach 
1975-76 Los Angeles Lakers (ABA) Head coach 


Sharman entered the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school, serving during World War 2. He went to USC, playing both baseball and basketball there. After graduating, Sharman played through 1955 in the Brooklyn Dodgers farm system. However, it was basketball where he made his biggest impact. After one season with the Washington Capitols, he played with the Celtics for 10 seasons and was one of the best shooters of all-time. He was a part of four NBA Championship teams and was an 8-time All-Star.

Sharman quit the Celtics in 1961 to become player and head coach for the Los Angeles Jets in the new ABL. However, the team folded in January of 1962, and Sharman moved to take over the Cleveland Pipers when their coach, John McLendon, abruptly quit (he had frequently argued with Pipers owner George Steinbrenner). Longing to return home to California, Sharman took the head coaching job at Los Angeles State, but resigned after a two years to broadcast for the St. Louis Hawks. This lasted until 1966, when he returned to the bench to lead the NBA's San Francisco Warriors. He moved to take over the Los Angeles Stars in the ABA in 1968, and after two years in LA and one year when the franchise moved to Utah (winning the ABA title), he returned one last time to Los Angeles and the NBA. He coached the Lakers for five seasons, leading the club to their first title in L.A. He stepped down from coaching in 1976 to become the Lakers' GM, and in 1983 was named the club's president, retiring in 1990.

Sharman was elected to the Hall of Fame both as a player and a coach.

He and his wife, Joyce, ha two sons and two daughters.

Minor League Baseball Stats:


L.A. Times, October 22, 1961
Sandusky Register, January 31, 1962 
Obituary, N.Y. Times, October 25, 2013



  1. Sharman's baseball career was brief, and he got no major league at bats when he was called up at the end of the 1951 season, he was on the Dodgers bench when Bobby Thompson hit his famous home run to win the 1951 pennant.

    Sharman's tenure running the Lakers built them into the showtime dynasty, surrounding Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with players like Jamal Wilkes (1976), Norm Nixon (1977), Michael Cooper (1978), Magic Johnson (1979) and Kurt Rambis (1981) and hiring coach Pat Riley (1981).

  2. Interesting that he was what is known as a "phantom player" in baseball. (On a major league roster but never made it into a game.)