Wayne Embry Speaker Profile
Wayne Embry Biography
Wayne Embry was born March 26, 1937 in Springfield, Ohio andis a retired American basketball player; a center/forward whose 11-year careerspanned from 1959 to 1969. He played for the Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celticsand Milwaukee Bucks all of the NBA.
He attended Miami University and Tecumseh High School (bothin Ohio) before that.
He played in the NBA All-Star game for five consecutiveseasons (19611965) and won the NBA Championship with the Celtics in 1968.Embry was originally drafted by the St. Louis Hawks in 1958. He was then tradedcloser to home weeks later to the Cincinnati Royals. The Royals were rebuildingdue to the collapse of the team following the hospitalization of team starMaurice Stokes. Star center Clyde Lovellette was traded to St. Louis for Embryand four others. Not always a starter initially, Embry stuck around long enoughfor Oscar Robertson to arrive in 1960, reviving the fallen team. Embry,Robertson and Jack Twyman were all NBA All-Stars for Cincinnati over the nextthree years. Embry's play was notable for his pick and roll play withRobertson, whose encouragement improved Embry's game. A powerful 6'8 and240 pound, Embry at times appeared to be a blocker on the court, a protector ofteammates. But he also had a fine all-around game. In 1963, he was named TeamCaptain of the Royals. The 196364 Cincinnati Royals surged to the second-bestrecord in the NBA, with teammate Jerry Lucas now added. But the team was notable to surpass the Boston Celtics of Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, or thePhiladelphia 76ers with Wilt Chamberlain in their quest for a NBA title.Perhaps unfairly, Embry was heavily criticized for not helping All-ProsRobertson and Lucas to a title in Cincinnati. He was also worn out from theracial divide he felt on the team by early 1966. Retiring to be a regionalsales leader for Pepsi-Cola, Embry was talked out of retirement by friend BillRussell, the new player/coach for Boston. Embry played crucial reserve minutesfor Russell and aided that team's surprising 196768 NBA title run. When theMilwaukee Bucks were formed, they claimed Embry from the Celtics and Embrycentered the Bucks for the 196869 season. He later became an assistant managerfor the team, keeping an eye for former Royals teammates he could lure to therising contender. He was instrumental in numerous signings to aid the team,including Robertson. His remarkable teaming with then-named Lew Alcindorquickly produced a NBA title, with Embry by then rising into Milwaukee's frontoffice.
After retiring as a player he became the first AfricanAmerican NBA general manager, managing Milwaukee Bucks (19721979), ClevelandCavaliers (19861999), and Toronto Raptors (2006). He was selected NBAExecutive of the Year in 1992 and 1998.
In 2004, Embry was hired to be the Senior Basketball Advisorto the rookie General Manager for the Toronto Raptors' Rob Babcock. After oneseason, Embry was elevated to Senior Advisor to the President, bypassingBabcock in the chain of command when the board cited a lack of confidence inBabcock's moves. On January 26, 2006, Wayne was named the interim generalmanager for the Raptors after the firing of Babcock.
During his one month tenure as interim G.M., Embry completedtwo trades. His first one involved trading disgruntled center Aaron Williams tothe New Orleans Hornets for second round draft picks in 2006 and 2009.Out of respect to Aaron, I thought it best for him to be with a teamwhere he has a chance to play and that is in a playoff hunt, Embry said.
His second trade involved dealing Jalen Rose, a first rounddraft pick, and an undisclosed sum of cash (believed to be around $3 million),to the New York Knicks in exchange for 38 year-old ex-Raptor Antonio Davis. Themotivation behind this trade was apparently to free up cap space (Rose earnedclose to $15 million a year) as well as to acquire an experienced center whocould relieve some of Chris Bosh's rebounding duties.
When the Raptors signed Bryan Colangelo as their newpresident and general manager on February 28, 2006, Embry returned to his roleas Senior Advisor.
He was enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall ofFame in 1999 (not as a player, but as a contributor).
Embry is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
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