Michael Finley

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Michael Howard Finley (born March 6, 1973 in Melrose Park, Illinois) is an American professional basketball player who is currently with the NBA's San Antonio Spurs.

The 6' 7" shooting guard/small forward was originally drafted out of the University of Wisconsin by the Phoenix Suns as the 21st overall pick of the 1995 NBA Draft. Finley is the all-time leading scorer in Wisconsin basketball history, having surpassed Danny Jones during the 1994-95 season, his senior year. He had an impressive rookie season, being named to the 1995-96 (finishing third in Rookie of the Year voting) NBA All-Rookie First Team, after averaging fifteen points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He became only the third rookie in Suns history to score over 1,000 points in a season. Despite his solid play, he was traded by the Suns in 1997 to the Dallas Mavericks along with Sam Cassell, A.C. Green and a second-round draft pick for Jason Kidd, Tony Dumas and Loren Meyer. In his first season with the Mavericks, he led them in scoring, assists and steals. Along with another ex-Sun Steve Nash and forward Dirk Nowitzki, he became an integral part of the Mavericks' "run and gun" offense in no time, the trio often being called "The Big Three". In 2000, he was selected to represent the Western Conference in the 2000 All-Star Game, in which he scored eleven points. In 2001 he was again selected to represent the Western Conference on All-Star weekend. He was a member of Team USA at the 2002 World Championship which lost a record three games, failing to win a championship for the first time in a major competition since FIBA opened international competitions to NBA players. Finley began to play more of a supporting role as he aged and teammate Dirk Nowitzki blossomed. He remained a clutch player for the Mavericks. For financial reasons, however, in 2005 he was waived by Dallas to avoid luxury taxes (as part of the league's new labor agreement) on his $51.8 million USD salary over the next three years. Finley became an unrestricted free agent and after being aggressively pursued by high-calibre teams like Detroit, Miami, Minnesota and Phoenix, he elected to remain in Texas with the San Antonio Spurs. In San Antonio, he has adapted well to a secondary role as Manu Ginobili's backup. The Spurs were knocked out of the 2006 NBA Playoffs by his former team one year after he made the switch. During the series, Finley was punched below the belt by former teammate Jason Terry during Game 5, which earned the Maverick a suspension for the next game of the series.

Personal life Finley attended Proviso East High School in Maywood, Illinois, graduating in 1991. In Finley's senior season, Proviso East won the 1991 IHSA class AA boys basketball tournament [1], and Finley was named to the all-tournament team. Finley's teammates included future NBA draftees Sherrell Ford and Donnie Boyce. Finley married long-time girlfriend Rebekah Hosey on September 8, 2006 in Horseshoe Bay, Texas. They have a daughter Mikah. Finley maintains an off-season home in Chicago.