Mike Bibby's Dad - Henry Bibby


Mike Bibby New York Knicks
Credit: Jim McIsaac / Getty Images

Mike Bibby was a 6'1" point guard that played in the NBA for 14 years for six teams: the Vancouver Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, Atlanta Hawks, Washington Wizards, Miami Heat, and New York Knicks. Bibby started his career with the Grizzlies when they chose him with the second pick in the 1998 NBA draft. Although he did not live up to those expectations, Bibby would probably go fourth or fifth if we were to redraft the 1998 NBA draft.


Crazily enough, for how good he is, Bibby's only award is being a part of the All-Rookie First Team. He's one of the best players not to be an All-Star, averaging 18/3/5 (points, rebounds, assists) throughout his seven seasons with the Kings and almost won a championship with the Miami Heat in the 2010-11 NBA season.


However, Mike Bibby was not the first to step onto the NBA hardcourt. His father, Henry Bibby, was also an NBA player. Like Mike, Henry Bibby was also a 6'1" point guard. He was drafted by the New York Knicks as the 58th pick in the 1972 NBA draft and played in the NBA for nine seasons for four teams: the Knicks, New Orleans Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, and San Diego Clippers.


Henry Bibby was nowhere near as good as his son, averaging a career 9/2/3 while shooting 42.3% from the field and 78.2% from the free-throw line, but he was still a decent backup point guard that had some great highlights throughout his nine seasons in the NBA.

 

UCLA (1969-72)

Henry Bibby UCLA
Wikimedia Commons

Usually, I would not mention their college career for a player who had a long NBA career, but Henry Bibby's three seasons with the UCLA Bruins were impressive. He won the NCAA and Regular Season Championship every season, and in his last season, he was selected as a Consensus All-American and to the Second-Team All-Pac-8.


Henry Bibby's success was not only because of how good he was (which we'll talk about later) but also due to the surrounding cast. He was coached by undoubtedly, the best coach in NCAA history, John Wooden. To emphasize how good Wooden was, he has won:

  • 10x NCAA Championships

  • 5x AP College Coach of the Year

  • 7x Henry Iba Award

  • 5x NABC Coach of the Year

  • Presidential Medal of Freedom

The Player of the Year award, the NCAA equivalent of the MVP award, is even named after Wooden. The award is known as the John R. Wooden award!


In addition to being one of the best coaches in basketball history, Bibby has always had a future NBA/ABA All-Star or Hall of Famer on his team:

  • 1969-71: Sidney Wicks (4x All-Star) and Curtis Rowe (1x All-Star)

  • 1971-72: Bill Walton (Hall of Famer), Jamaal Wilkes (Hall of Famer), and Swen Nater (2x All-Star)

As for Henry Bibby, he immediately had an impact on the team. In his first season with the UCLA Bruins, he averaged 16 points and four rebounds while shooting 50.1% from the field and 83.3% from the free-throw line. He was already the team's third-best player. In addition, for most of the NCAA tournament, Bibby played amazingly. In the first three games, he averaged 18/5/3 while shooting 57.6% from the field and 85.9% from the free-throw line.


However, in the Finals, against the Jacksonville Dolphins, it was like Bibby forgot how to play basketball. In 38 minutes, he only put up 8/4/2 while shooting 2/11 from the field. The only bright side was that he shot 4/4 from the free-throw line and that his teammates ended up making up for his awful play and won the Championship.


Unfortunately, Henry Bibby's second season with the Bruins was bad. He went from averaging 16 points and four rebounds on good efficiency to averaging 12 points and four rebounds while shooting 37.6% from the field and 83.5% from the free-throw line. However, because of how stacked this Bruins team was, it did not matter as they would win another NCAA Championship, this time, against the Villanova Wildcats, 68-62.


To bring it back to a more positive note, Henry Bibby's third and last season with the Bruins was his best season. This season, he averaged the same stat-line as he did in his freshman season and got to play with two future Hall of Famers, Bill Walton, and Jamaal Wilkes. With two future HOFs on your team (and an All-Star, Swen Nater), it's no surprise that the team would go 30-0, winning EVERY regular-season game.

Bibby had his worst and best NCAA game during his third and last NCAA tournament appearance. He had his worst game against the Louisville Cardinals, only putting up 2/3/2 while shooting 1/5 from the field and no free throws. His best game was against the Long Beach State 49ers, where he put up a much better, 23/4/4 while shooting 10/17 from the field and 3/4 from the free-throw line.


1972-73: New York Knicks

Instead of highlighting every season that Henry Bibby played, I'll highlight his best season on each team. Bibby's best season with the Knicks was during the 1972-73 NBA season, his rookie season. It wasn't his best season because of his performance. In fact, this was probably his worst season when it came to individual performance. This was his best season with the Knicks because of how well the Knicks performed and his draft-day decision.


As said earlier, Henry Bibby was drafted by the New York Knicks as the 58th pick in the 1972 NBA draft. However, I didn't mention that the Carolina Cougars also drafted him as the 69th pick in the 1972 ABA draft. However, Bibby ended up going with the Knicks.


His decision to join the Knicks instead of the Cougars would pay off as the Knicks would finish with a good record, 57-25 (69.5 W/L%), and win the Championship! On the other hand, although the Cougars also had a good record, 57-27 (67.9 W/L%), they did not win a Championship.


Bibby would only play six games in the playoffs and averaged three points and one assist while shooting 44.4% from the field. Surprisingly, this is a lot better than his regular-season stats, where he averaged 4/1/1 but shot 38.0% from the field.


1975-76: New Orleans Jazz

Henry Bibby's best season with the New Orleans Jazz (now Utah Jazz) was the 1975-76 season. Unlike his best season with the Knicks, this was his best season because of his performance. He played 22.4 minutes a game and averaged 9/2/3 while shooting 42.8% from the field and 79.7% from the free-throw line. On the other hand, the Jazz went 38-44 (46.3 W/L%) and finished second-to-last in the Eastern Division.


He was still not a full-on starter yet since he was sharing minutes with rookie Jim McElroy, but in games where Bibby got more than 30 minutes, he went off. In a 40 minute game against the Golden State Warriors, Bibby went 21/9/7 and got two steals while shooting 10/24 from the field and 1/1 from the free-throw line.


1976-77: Philadelphia 76ers

Henry Bibby's best season with the Philadelphia 76ers was the 1976-77 season. This was not his best regular-season performance, but overall performance (including the playoffs). His best regular-season performance with the 76ers was in the 1978-79 season, where he played 31 minutes a game averaging 12/3/5 while shooting 42.3% from the field and 79.4% from the free-throw line.


When Bibby joined the 76ers, he would finally get the chance to be a starting point guard for a team. Throughout his four seasons with the 76ers, he averaged 29.8 minutes a game. Specifically, in the 1976-77 season, he played 32.6 minutes and averaged 10/3/4 while shooting 43.0% from the field and 78.4% from the free-throw line. The 76ers would also do good, having a record of 50-32 (61.0 W/L%) and finishing as the first seed in the Eastern Conference.


Bibby's best game was on January 11th, 1977, against the Kansas City Kings. The 76ers won, 117-115. Bibby put up:


28 Points, 5 Rebounds, 1 Assist

12/17 FG, 4/4 FT

46 Minutes


As for the playoffs, Bibby and the 76ers would make it to the Finals, where they would go against the Portland Trailblazers and unfortunately lose in Game 6. Bibby played 36.4 minutes a game throughout the playoffs and averaged 11/4/4 while shooting 42.1% from the field and 76.3% from the free-throw line.

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Bibby's best game in the playoffs was in Game 2 of the first round against the Boston Celtics. Bibby put up 22/7/6 while shooting 9/14 from the field and 4/4 from the free-throw line. On a more negative note, his worst game was in Game 3 of the Finals against the Portland Trailblazers. He put up 9/3/2 while shooting 3/11 from the field and 3/5 from the free throw.


Although Bibby had a good performance for most of the playoffs, he played poorly during the Finals. He didn't shoot over 37.0% from the field except in any game except for Game 6. In Game 4, the 76ers lost by 32 points!


A fun fact about Henry Bibby's time with the 76ers was that he played with another NBA player's dad, Joe Bryant (aka Kobe Bryant's dad).


1980-81: San Diego Clippers

Henry Bibby's best season with the San Diego Clippers was the 1980-81 season. This was his best season with the Clippers because it was his only season with them. This was also his last season in the NBA. He only played 15.2 minutes a game and averaged 5/1/3 while shooting 38.6% from the field and 68.4% from the free-throw line.


Bibby's best game with the Clippers was on November 30th, 1980, against the Golden State Warriors. The Clippers won, 120-100. He put up:


18 Points, 1 Rebound, 9 Assists

7/11 FG, 1/2 3P, 3/4 FT

30 Minutes


Another fun fact, Bibby was still playing with Joe Bryant when he was on the Clippers. He also got to play with his former UCLA Bruins teammates, Sidney Wicks and Swen Nater!


After retiring from the NBA, Henry Bibby would become a coach in the CBA and for the USC Trojans. He became a 2x CBA Champion with the Winnipeg Thunder and would have an overall record of 132-120 (52.4 W/L%) within ten seasons with the USC Trojans.



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