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YouTube Gold: Nate Archibald

A brilliant talent, Archibald was one of the best small guards in the history of the game

Washington Bullets v Kansas City Kings
 BALTIMORE, MD - CIRCA 1970’s: Nate Archibald #1 of the Kansas City Kings is guarded tight by Phil Chenier #45 of the Washington Bullets during a early circa 1970 NBA basketball game at the Capital Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Archibald played for the Kings from 1972-76.
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

One of the things about basketball - well, sports in general really - is that there is always someone new coming along and as a result, you forget some of the older guys.

So it is with Nate “Tiny” Archibald.

A native of the South Bronx, Archibald was not terribly interested in school and nearly dropped out. But some older mentors realized that he had talent and eventually, Archibald got his grades up and went to a JUCO. After that, he transferred to Texas Western, arriving the year after the Miners shocked Kentucky in the historic 1966 NCAA title game and had a terrific three-year career there.

As the 1970 draft approached, Bob Cousy, then the coach of the Cincinnati Royals and a legendary point guard himself, took a shine to the still little-known Archibald, and the Royals took him with the 19th pick in the second round.

Wise move: Archibald led the NBA - we think he’s still the only one to do this - in both scoring and assists in 1972-73.

Injuries disrupted his career but he ended up with the Celtics from 1978 to 1983 where he helped Larry Bird and company win the 1981 title.

Archibald was unbelievably quick and daring. He was the template for future guards like Isiah Thomas and Alan Iverson and helped point the way to what the NBA would become in the 1980’s and beyond.