As the first African-American to play in the NBA, the late Earl Lloyd was an NBA pioneer. Now, his son Kevin is trying to honor his father with a postage stamp.
“We’re pushing it,” Lloyd told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears. “It’s very exciting. My family is helping me out. It’s overwhelming and it’s nice that a lot of people are showing this kind of love for my father. It means a lot to me and my family.”
While there have certainly been better NBA players, few have had careers as significant as Lloyd’s.
In 1950, he was one of the first three African-American’s to join the NBA. As his opening game was first on the calendar, Lloyd became the first to play a game when he suited up for the Washington Capitols.
In 1955, Lloyd won an NBA Championship with the Syracuse Nationals (now Philadelphia 76ers), becoming the first African-American to do that. From 1971 to 1972, Lloyd was hired as the Detroit Pistons head coach. Lloyd became the second African-American to hold that job (after only Bill Russell) with an NBA team and was the first to be a full-time coach, rather than a player-coach.
In 2003, Lloyd’s achievements were deemed Hall of Fame worthy when he was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame
The younger Lloyd has already taken some steps to honor his father, who passed away in February of 2015. He started a petition on Change.org, which has accrued just over half of the desired signatures. In the petition, Kevin said of his father that “Earl Lloyd’s groundbreaking achievements helped to pave the way for people of color and all minorities, not only in the world of sports but in all aspects of American life!”