Alex Hannum
Alex Hannum 1969.jpeg
Hannum in 1969
Personal information
Born(1923-07-19)July 19, 1923
Los Angeles, California
DiedJanuary 18, 2002(2002-01-18) (aged 78)
San Diego, California
Listed height6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High schoolAlexander Hamilton
(Los Angeles, California)
CollegeUSC (1942–1943; 1946–1948)
NBA draft1948 / Round: – / Pick: –
Selected by the Indianapolis Jets
Playing career1948–1957
PositionPower forward / Center
Number10, 11, 20, 4, 6, 33, 18
Coaching career1956–1974
Career history
As player:
1948–1949Oshkosh All-Stars
19491951Syracuse Nationals
1951–1952Baltimore Bullets
19521954Rochester Royals
19541956Milwaukee / St. Louis Hawks
1956Fort Wayne Pistons
1956–1957St. Louis Hawks
As coach:
19561958St. Louis Hawks
19601963Syracuse Nationals
19631966San Francisco Warriors
19661968Philadelphia 76ers
1968–1969Oakland Oaks
19691971San Diego Rockets
19711974Denver Rockets
Career highlights and awards
As player:

As coach:

Career NBA playing statistics
Points3,078 (6.0 ppg)
Rebound2,013 (4.5 rpg)
Assists857 (1.7 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Career coaching record
ABA & NBA649–564 (.535)
Basketball Hall of Fame as coach

Alexander Murray Hannum (July 19, 1923 – January 18, 2002) was a professional basketball player and coach. Hannum coached two National Basketball Association (NBA) teams and one American Basketball Association (ABA) team to league championships. He had a combined NBA-ABA record of 649–564 (.535) in the regular season and 61–46 (.570) in the playoffs over 16 seasons. In 1998, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach.

High school career

Hannum prepped at Hamilton High School in Los Angeles.

College career

Hannum played at USC, where he was captain of the 1948 team.

Professional career

Hannum played in the NBA between 1949 and 1957. After a season with the Oshkosh All-Stars, followed by the formation of the National Basketball Association, he played for several NBA teams and scored more than 3,000 points.

Hannum is one of only three NBA players to receive more than six personal fouls in a single game (Don Otten and Cal Bowdler are the others). On December 26, 1950, Hannum received seven personal fouls in a game against the Boston Celtics.[1]

Coaching career

Midway through the 1956–57 season, Hannum was named player-coach of the St. Louis Hawks. He was actually the Hawks' third head coach that year. Red Holzman had been fired midway through the season in favor of Hannum's teammate, Slater Martin. However, Martin didn't want to be a coach and a player, and gave up the reins after only eight games. Hannum led the team to a 15–16 record for the rest of the season. Despite a losing overall record, the West was so weak that year (no team finished with a winning record) that the Hawks actually won the division title. They advanced all the way to the NBA Finals and lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games.

Hannum retired as a player after that season. A year later, led by Bob Pettit and Martin, the Hawks won their only NBA Championship over the Celtics in the NBA Finals. It is one of the only two seasons in Bill Russell's 13-year career in which the Celtics' center did not win an NBA championship.

Hannum coached the Wichita Vickers of the AAU National Industrial Basketball League in the 1958–59 and 1959–60 season.[2][3] He returned to the NBA in 1960 with the Syracuse Nationals, advancing to the Eastern finals in his first season and losing in the first round two years in a row.

In 1964, Hannum was named NBA Coach of the Year while with the San Francisco Warriors after leading them to the Finals against the Celtics.

In 1966, Hannum was named the head coach of the Philadelphia 76ers. That team had moved from Syracuse three years earlier. He succeeded Dolph Schayes, who had been named coach after the move from Central New York. During his first season as coach, the 76ers had a record setting season as they started 46–4,[4] en route to a record of 68–13, the best record in league history at the time.[5] After a 129–103 win over the Pistons on March 3, 1967, he joined Red Auerbach as the only coaches to have won 60 games in a season at that period.[6] Hannum led the Sixers towards the 63rd victory, breaking the NBA-record for most wins in a single season, in an OT win over the Boston Celtics.[7] On March 14, 1967, he became the first coach to have won 65 games in a season.[8] Hannum then coached the Wilt Chamberlain-led Philadelphia 76ers to the NBA championship, ending the eight-year title streak of the Boston Celtics.[9] The 1967 Championship made him the first of only three head coaches in NBA history to win championships with two different teams (the other two are Phil Jackson and Pat Riley).

In 1968 Hannum was named head coach and executive vice president of the Oakland Oaks of the American Basketball Association. Hannum coached the Rick Barry-led Oaks to the 1969 ABA Championship, becoming the first of two coaches to win championships in both the NBA and ABA. Hannum won the ABA Coach of the Year honors the same season.

Hannum left his position as head coach of the San Diego Rockets of the NBA to become president, general manager and head coach of the ABA's Denver Rockets on April 8, 1971.[10] In his first season the Rockets lost their opening playoff match to the Texas Chaparrals. On June 13, 1972, Hannum bought control of the Rockets with A.G. "Bud" Fischer and Frank M. Goldberg. In the 1972–73 season Hannum coached the Rockets to the 1973 ABA Playoffs where they lost in the first round of the Western Division playoffs to the Indiana Pacers, 4 games to 1. Hannum returned the Rockets to the 1974 ABA Playoffs where they lost to the San Diego Conquistadors. On April 30, 1974, Hannum was dismissed as president, general manager and head coach of the Rockets.

Hannum's combined record (NBA and ABA), was 649–564 (.535) with a 61–46 record (.570) in the playoffs on 11 trips in 16 seasons.


Hannum was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Thirteen Hall-of-Famers played for Hannum. In addition to Pettit, Chamberlain and Barry, he had also coached Cliff Hagan, Ed Macauley, Slater Martin, Dolph Schayes, Nate Thurmond, Billy Cunningham, Hal Greer, Elvin Hayes, Calvin Murphy and Chet Walker.

Personal life

Hannum, a native of Los Angeles, and graduate of the University of Southern California, died at the age of 78 in San Diego.[11]

Head coaching record

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
St. Louis 1956–57 31 15 16 .484 1st in Western 10 6 4 .600 Lost in NBA Finals
St. Louis 1957–58 72 41 31 .569 1st in Western 11 8 3 .727 Won NBA Finals
Syracuse 1960–61 79 38 41 .481 3rd in Eastern 8 4 4 .500 Lost Division Finals
Syracuse 1961–62 80 41 39 .513 3rd in Eastern 5 2 3 .400 Lost Division Semifinals
Syracuse 1962–63 80 48 32 .600 2nd in Eastern 8 4 4 .500 Lost Division Semifinals
San Francisco 1963–64 80 48 32 .600 1st in Western 8 4 4 .500 Lost in NBA Finals
San Francisco 1964–65 80 17 63 .213 5th in Western Missed playoffs
San Francisco 1965–66 80 35 45 .438 4th in Western Missed playoffs
Philadelphia 1966–67 81 68 13 .745 1st in Eastern 15 11 4 .733 Won NBA Finals
Philadelphia 1967–68 82 62 20 .756 1st in Eastern 13 7 6 .538 Lost Division Finals
Oakland 1968–69 78 60 18 .769 1st in Western 16 12 4 .750 Won ABA Finals
San Diego 1969–70 56 18 38 .321 7th in Western Missed playoffs
San Diego 1970–71 82 40 42 .488 3rd in Pacific Missed playoffs
Denver 1971–72 84 34 50 .405 4th in Western 7 3 4 .429 Lost Division Semifinals
Denver 1972–73 84 47 37 .565 3rd in Western 5 1 4 .200 Lost Division Semifinals
Denver 1973–74 84 37 47 .440 4th in Western Missed playoffs
Career 1,213 649 564 .535   107 61 46 .570


  1. ^ The Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia. Villard Books. 1994. p. 388. ISBN 0-679-43293-0.
  2. ^ "Wichita Vickers Oilers Rosters".
  3. ^ "Wichita Vickers Oilers Rosters".
  4. ^, Top 10 Teams in NBA History Archived May 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine, accessed January 16, 2007
  5. ^ Sachare, Alex (2008). "NBA Encyclopedia Playoff Edition: The Best Team Ever".
  6. ^ "Philadelphia 76ers vs Detroit Pistons Box Score, March 3, 1967". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  7. ^ "Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics Box Score, March 8, 1967". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  8. ^ "Philadelphia 76ers at San Francisco Warriors Box Score, March 14, 1967". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  9. ^ Corpuz (August 29, 2008). "1967 Philadelphia 76ers: Greatest NBA Championship Team Ever?". Bleacher Report. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  10. ^ "Hannum Will Head A.B.A. Denver Club," United Press International (UPI), Thursday, April 8, 1971. Retrieved November 16, 2020
  11. ^ "NBA, ABA Coach Alex Hannum Dies". AP News. January 20, 2002. Retrieved March 22, 2022.