Wayne Richard Embry (born March 26 1937 in Springfield, Ohio) is a retired American Basketball player; a center/forward whose 11 year career spanned from 1959 to 1969. He played for the Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks all of the NBA.
He attended Miami University and Tecumseh High School (New Carlisle, Ohio) before that.
He played in the NBA for five consecutive seasons (1961-1965) and won the NBA Championship with the Celtics in 1968.
After retiring as a player he became the first African American NBA General manager, managing Milwaukee Bucks (1971-1979), Cleveland Cavaliers (1986-1999), and Toronto Raptors (2006). He was selected NBA Executive of the Year in 1992 and 1998. His most remembered moves as a general manager was his controversial 1975 trade of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Los Angeles Lakers, and his disastrous 1989 Cavaliers trade of Ron Harper and two first-round draft picks to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for the rights to Danny Ferry. The latter trade effectively crippled the Cavaliers franchise during the '90s. Abdul-Jabbar went on to win five titles with the Lakers, comparing to his one with the Bucks. The Cavaliers had a winning regular season record during Embry's tenure, but were never able to succeed in the playoffs.
In 2004, Embry was hired to be the Senior Basketball Advisor to the rookie General Manager for the Toronto Raptors' Rob Babcock. After one season, Embry was elevated to Senior Advisor to the President, bypassing Babcock in the chain of command when the board cited a lack of confidence in Babcock's moves. On January 26, 2006, Wayne was named the interim General manager for the Raptors after the firing of Babcock.
During his one month tenure as interim G.M., Embry completed two trades. His first one involved trading disgruntled center Aaron Williams to the 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 team where he has a chance to play and that is in a playoff hunt," Embry said.
His second trade involved dealing Jalen Rose, a first round draft 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. The motivation behind this trade was apparently to free up cap space (Rose earned close to $15 million a year) as well as to acquire an experienced center who could relieve some of Chris Bosh's rebounding duties.
When the Raptors signed Bryan Colangelo as their new president and general manager on February 28, 2006, Embry returned to his role as Senior Advisor.
He was enshrined in the Basketball in 1999 (not as a player, but as a contributor).
Embry is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans.
- Basketball Hall of Fame bio
- Raptors.com bio
- Wayne Embry quotes
- Wayne Embry basketball stats
- "Cavaliers welcome back Wayne Embry" (Sportsline.com article)
- Embry key to Raptors success (Toronto Star article, Apr. 8, 2007)
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