Billy Paultz

Nickname: "The Whopper"
Ht. 6-11
Wt. 245
College - St. John's
ABA Teams: New York (1970-71 through 1974-75), San Antonio (1975-76)

3-Time ABA All-Star; In the Top Ten ABA All-Time in Rebounds and Blocked Shots; Led ABA in Blocked Shots in 1975-76 (3.05 bpg); Member of 1973-74 New York Nets ABA Championship Team; Never played on a losing team in the ABA; After the ABA/NBA merger, had one of the longest and most productive NBA careers of any former ABA player; Played for the Spurs (1976-1980), the Houston Rockets (1980-83), the Atlanta Hawks (1983-84) and the Utah Jazz (1984-85); Finally retired following the 1984-85 season, after 14-year pro career.

From Jim O'Brien's 1972-73 Complete Handbook of Pro Basketball:
Likeable giant. Just a big kid at heart . . . If he ever got mean on the floor the opposition would be flying around . . . Coach Carnesecca said he knew Paultz would be a pro the first time he saw him on the playground. "Because of that shot," allowed Looie. That shot -- Paultz puts it up from the top of the key, a flat-trajectory jump shot he's deadly with. You have to go out there to guard Paultz, and that used to open middle for Rick Barry. "You don't have to be a bully to play this game well," Paultz says. "You have to learn how to play it. And that's what I'm doing -- learning." . . . Ardent surfer, but the way he moved at the outset of his rookie season it was hard to envision him keeping his balance on shore let alone sea . . . "I was never known for my speed and quickness when I joined the Nets," Billy admits . . . "I didn't believe he could possibly make it," said teammate Rick Barry. "He wasn't aggressive and he seemed lost. He's really been a pleasant surprise. He'll be even better when he becomes a bit more aggressive." . . . Against Dallas, Paultz scored 27 points and grabbed 33 rebounds (a club record and only two short of the ABA mark) . . . "I'll never be an Artis Gilmore," he said, "but I think I can do the exact same things a Beaty does." . . . Has really caught on with kids. Late last year some of them carried a banner around the new Nassau Coliseum, which read: "Welcome to Paultz' Palace" -- Billy figured it was his mom and dad, who are visible at every game (they're both pretty tall, too) . . . Part-owner of The Salty Dog, a restaurant near the Coliseum . . . In 1972 game against the Squires, he hit his first eight shots, and finished with 13 field goals in 15 attempts. Rick Barry scored 43 points and John Roche 37 points that same evening. "I get 33 and I'm the third high scorer on the team, " complained Paultz. "Are you kidding me?"

Career ABA Totals 487 16762 3149 6276 .491 0 13 .000 1369 1891 .724 5406 1163 1574 180 751 7667 11.1 2.4 15.7
ABA Playoff Totals 56 2172 372 733 .508 1 3 .333 206 285 .723 682 115 216 13 65 951 12.2 2.1 17.0
ABA All-Star Totals 3 53 7 16 .438 0 0 .000 3 3 1.000 11 8 5 1 3 17 3.7 2.7 5.7

Before the 1975-76 season, the Spurs and the New York Nets swapped centers. Swen Nater went to the Nets, and Billy "The Whopper" Paultz became a Spur. While Nater struggled with his new team, Paultz flourished in San Antonio. Read Dan Pattison's article about Paultz' first year with the Spurs, "Shedding an Image."

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