Photos courtesy of the NBA and Getty Images.
Continued: NBA Finals
Riker, Boswell the only Gamecocks with an NBA ring
Should the Cavaliers win the NBA championship, Kinsey would join rarefied company as a former Gamecock on an NBA title team. Only Tom Riker and Tom Boswell hold that distinction. Riker was a 6-foot, 10-inch forward-center was a reserve player on the 1972-73 New York Knicks title team featuring Willis Reed, Jerry Lucas, Walt Frazier, and other greats. Boswell, a 6-foot, 9-inch forward-center, was a member of the 1976 Boston Celtics NBA title team. He played one season at Carolina in the mid 1970s.
Riker, an All-American, played on Frank McGuire's 1969-70 Gamecock team that finished 25-3 overall, including 14-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Teammates included Tom Owens and All-American guard John Roche, who led the 1974 New York Nets to an American Basketball Association title.
Other Gamecocks who were NBA standouts:
- Alex English, Nuggets, league’s most prolific scorer of the 1980s
- Brian Winters, Lakers and Bucks, 1970s
- Mike Dunleavy, 76ers, Rockets, Spurs, Bucks, 1970s-'80s; NBA runner-up with Rockets in '80-81; head coach of Lakers, Bucks, Trail Blazers, and currently coaches Clippers.
Kinsey says his chance to win an NBA title in a city long overdue for one would be the thrill of a lifetime.
“That would be pretty big, to do it in Cleveland, being a team that brings the city a ring,” he says.