On December 18, 1977, the Cleveland Cavaliers retired the number 42 in honor of Nate Thurmond.
Thurmond’s career started when the San Francisco Warriors chose him as the third pick in the first round of the 1963 NBA draft. The team moved to Oakland and became the Golden State Warriors. After 11 seasons with the Warriors he went to Chicago to play with the Bulls. He was traded to the Cavaliers early in the 1975-76 season and stayed there until his retirement at the end of the 1976-77 season.
The Warriors retired Thurmond’s number on March 8, 1978. He was named 1963-64 NBA All-Rookie as well as NBA All-Defensive at the conclusion of the 1968-69 and the 1970-71 seasons. At the end of his career he totaled 14,464 rebounds and played in the playoffs in nine different seasons. He is credited with the NBA’s first ever quadruple-double. In 1985 he was inducted as a player to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and he was honored by being named to the 50th anniversary All-Star team in 1996.
The Akron, Ohio native grew into a 6 foot 11 inch center at Central Hower High School. He played on the varsity team for Bowling Green University for three years where he averaged 17.8 points and 17 rebounds per game.