Happy (kinda) 60th birthday NBA!!!
Cool little factoid of which I was previously unaware: On this day sixty years ago, the NBA was- to some degree- "born." As SI's Steve Aschburner explains, the league is considered 63-years old by some roundball historians, what with the official formation of the Basketball Association of America. However, professional basketball didn't really come into its own- or simply carry the "NBA" name- until the BAA merges with the higher profile (but still in need of a goosing) National Basketball League on August 3, 1949. Or until Slava Medvedenko entered the league, depending on your ability to think outside the box.
I'm not enough of a true "expert" to debate Aschburner's take on the truly proper date to give the Association a cake. But hey, unless you have something bigger to celebrate today- perhaps the anniversary of Tiberius defeating the Dalmatians on the River Bathinus, although that's such a cliched, commercialized reason to party- why not send the league a "happy, happy?"
Aschburner also concocted a cool list of basketball by the numbers 1-60, definitely worth checking out if you loves you some trivia. Below the jump are the digits involving the Lakers on some level. As one might imagine, purple and gold are two very well represented colors.
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's rank in career minutes (57,446), points (38,387), fouls (4,657), MVP awards (six), All-Star berths (19), Milwaukee Bucks' scoring (14,211) and rebounding (7,161) and L.A. Lakers' blocked shots (2,694).
10. Losses for the Chicago Bulls in '95-96. Which means they won an NBA-record 72 times. This is also the Arabic numeral for "X," which is what former Bulls coach Phil Jackson had on his cap in June after the Lakers got him to 10 NBA championships as a head coach.
12. No NBA player has made more three-pointers in a game than Kobe Bryant (Jan. 7, 2003) and Donyell Marshall (March 13, 2005), who each sank a dozen.
15. Years between NBA Finals featuring the Lakers and the Celtics, 1969-84.
16. Washington's Gilbert Arenas,
locked in a scoring duel with Kobe, scored 16 of his 60 points in
overtime in a 147-141 victory over the Lakers in L.A. on Dec. 17, 2006.
20. Percent of their games from which Walter Dukes (21.9) and Vern Mikkelsen (20.1) fouled out during their careers. They're the only guys in league history (minimum 400 games) to be disqualified at a 1-in-5 pace.
(AK's note: I haven't done the math, but I'm willing to assume that if Travis Knight played just 29 more games over his career, he'd have bumped ol' Walt and Vern into respective second and third place spots.)
22. Number of playoff triple-doubles by which Magic Johnson leads Oscar Robertson, 30-8. Robertson holds the NBA career mark in regular-season games, 181 to Johnson's 138.
25. Points scored by Detroit's Isiah Thomas in the third quarter of Game 6 of the 1988 NBA Finals -- on a severely sprained ankle. But the Pistons lost and lost again two nights later when Lakers forward James Worthy picked Game 7 for the only triple-double of his career (36 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists).
28. Kobe sank 28 field goals in 43 tries, seven of them from three-point range, en route to scoring 81 points against Toronto on Jan. 22, 2006. It ranks second all-time in points scored to Chamberlain's 100-point bar-setter 44 years earlier.
34. In 34 road games in the NBA Finals, Milwaukee (4-1), Chicago (12-6) and San Antonio (7-4) are the only franchises with winning records. Everybody else is a combined 112-217, .340. That includes the Celtics (27-31, .466) and the Lakers (33-53, .384).
35. The Miami Heat didn't score 100 points in a game in 2001-02 until a 102-96 victory over the Lakers in L.A. on Jan. 16, 2002. Their streak of 35 games in double digits is the NBA's longest.
37. Fewest points, two teams, in an NBA game: Fort Wayne 19, Minneapolis 18 on Nov. 22, 1950.
38. Elgin Baylor
averaged 38.3 points in 1961-62, the most in NBA history by anyone not
named Wilt. But his average doesn't officially rate in the league's
record book because Baylor, with military obligations, played only 48
games, squeezing in his appearances on weekends.
40. Bill Russell grabbed 40 rebounds, a Finals record, in Game 2 of the 1960 series against St. Louis. Two years later, in OT against the Lakers, he grabbed 40 again.
42. Jerry West's
team lost Game 7 of the 1969 Finals, but his 42 points, with 13
rebounds and 12 assists, earned him the inaugural Finals MVP trophy. He
remains the only member of a losing team to win it.
50. Dominique Wilkins, Bernard King, Bob McAdoo, Alex English and Bob Lanier were among those feeling a little snubbed when the NBA honored its alleged 50 Greatest Players at NBA All-Star weekend in Cleveland in 1997 (celebrating an anniversary almost as forced as this one).