Bill Cartwright


Position: Center


  • University of San Francisco (1976-1979)
  • New York Knicks (1979-1988)
  • Chicago Bulls (1988-1994)
  • Seattle Supersonics (1994-1995)


Cartwright played at the University of San Francisco where he led the Dons to 3 straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including 2 Sweet Sixteens. He was a 2-time All-American and finished his career as USF’s all-time leading scorer. Here are his complete collegiate statistics (courtesy of Wikipedia):

Year W-L G FG FGA FG% FT FTA FT% RBs Avg Pts Avg
1976 22-8 30 151 282 53.0 72 98 73.5 207 6.9 374 12.5
1977 29-2 31 241 426 56.6 118 161 73.3 262 8.5 600 19.4
1978 23-6 21 168 252 66.7 96 131 73.3 213 10.2 432 20.6
1979 22-7 29 268 443 60.6 174 237 73.4 455 15.7 710 24.5
Total 96-23 111 828 1406 58.9 460 627 73.4 1137 10.2 2116 19.1

Note the monster senior year statistics (24.5 ppg, 15.7 rpg) and the incredibly consistent free throw percentage. I can only imagine the consistency at the line came from his picture perfect form:


Cartwright was selected #3 overall in the 1979 NBA Draft, behind Magic Johnson and Dave Greenwood. He got off to a fast start in the NBA, averaging 21.7 points and 8.9 rebounds in his rookie season for the New York Knicks. He was named to the 1979-’80 NBA All-Rookie Team alongside Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Calvin Natt, and the aforementioned Dave Greenwood. He also made the All-Star Game as a rookie, the only All-Star appearance of his career. His rookie season ended up being his best season statistically. His second year he averaged 20.1 ppg, but he never again reached the 20 ppg mark. (Cartwright’s career statistics)

After the 1988 season he was traded to the Chicago Bulls for Charles Oakley. Cartwright was the starting center for the Bulls when they won back-to-back-to-back NBA championships in 1991, 1992, and 1993.

Cartwright ended his career with one uneventful year with the Seattle Supersonics and retired in 1995.


Cartwright eventually won two more championships with the Bulls, this time as an assistant coach in 1997 and 1998. He also served as head coach for the Bulls from 2001 to 2003. He was replaced just 14 games into the 2003-2004 season. He is now an assistant for the Phoenix Suns.

He has a very hoarse voice that is the result of an elbow to the throat that damaged his larynx in a game against the Indiana Pacers.

In case you care, Cartwright is one of 5 players Tirico Suave “sort of still wishes were in the NBA”


Bill Cartwright has no tolerance for child abuse:

Watch Cartwright drain 3’s on Tecmo Basketball (starts about 25 sec. in):

>>Return to RFP Homepage


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