NBA is a 71 years old league now and one of the most popular sporting events in North America. With such a huge history the league has some amazing facts and events that not every fan is aware of. There are hundreds of interesting facts to share about teams and players, but for the list, we have picked the top 10 NBA facts you must know.
1. NBA banned Air Jordans once
If you play basketball at any level, then most probably one of the best all-time basketball sneakers are on your wish list. Born in 1985 Air Jordans were a sensation but not without a patchy start. During those players were told to wear only shoes that matched their uniforms. Although most sneakers were white during that time, Jordan’s came in red and black combinations that matched the uniform a Chicago Bull, a similarity that former NBA commissioner David Stern hated.
Michael Jordan was fined $5000 by Stern for every game he played in those sneakers. However, Jordan never cared as the fine was paid by Nike on his behalf, a small price for what the brand gained.
2. The tallest player and the shortest player in NBA history were on the same team once
The tallest player ever in NBA, Manute Bol (7’ 7”) and the shortest one Muggy Bogues (5’ 3”) both played for Washington Bullets in 1987-1988 season.
While Bol was an amazing shot-blocker and rebounder, he remains an underrated three-point shooter in NBA history. Bogues, on the other hand, was famous for his steals and known for his amazing athletic performance. He was so small for the game that during one of the matches he went through the legs of a player.
3. LeBron James is ambidextrous
Arguably one of the most dominant NBA players presently, LeBron James is always seen using his right hand for shooting but outside the court, he does pretty much everything with his left hand. He can be usually seen writing or eating with his left hand.
Speaking on the same James told, during his childhood he tried to imitate his idols Penny Hardaway and Michael Jordan which led him to shoot with his right hand because they did the same. This fact leaves us wondering what might happen if LeBron starts shooting with his left hand too!!
4. Paul Pierce played every game in 2000-01 season even after getting stabbed 11 times
In a late-night brawl at a club on the fateful night of 25 September 2000, Paul Pierce was stabbed 11 times when he tried to stop a fight in a club in Boston. He was stabbed in his neck, back and face, but was taken to hospital on time by his teammate Tony Battie. He has to undergo lung surgery.
However, his injuries were not enough to keep the player with a concrete mind from playing. Remarkably, he was back on the court just 3 days after the surgery. He played 82 games in 2001-02 period for the Boston Celtics, crazy, isn’t it! But his shows how dedicated Pierce was to the game and his team.
5. Almost 60% of NBA players go broke after 5 years of retirement
Based on a study by Sports Illustrated it was found that around 60% of NBA players got into financial troubles within 5 years post-retirement.
But the question comes to mind, how NBA players who earn millions go broke, that too in such a short span? The answer is obvious if you look at their lifestyle and spendthrift nature. Cars, shoes, houses and parties are a common part of their luxurious lifestyle along with poor money investments. It makes it easy to imagine how all that money vanishes.
Every NBA player can take a page from LeBron’s book who is financially smart and knows the value of money. He has hired people to look after his business and finance.
6. NBA has never witnessed a quintuple-double
If you follow the NBA, you know that double-doubles and triple-doubles are common, but what about quadruple-double?
In entire NBA history, only four players ever had a quadruple-double-Nate Thurmond (22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, 12 blocks), David Robinson (34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 blocks), Alvin Robertson (20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 steals), and Hakeem Olajuwon (18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists, 11 blocks).
As we mentioned the any of the NBA courts are still to witness a quintuple-double.
7. Shaquille O’Neal made only one three-point shot out of 22 attempts
It’s hard to believe that a four-time NBA champion and 15-times NBA All-Star player who dominated all the aspects of the game will have such low score in three-point shooting. During his career, Shaq attempted 22 three-pointers but was able to convert only one.
8. The shortest player in NBA history blocked 39 shots
If you bet on NBA games, then most probably you will never pick the shortest player on the court as your favorite. But NBA odds aside, the shortest player in NBA history, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues who stood only 5’ 3” fought his way into the NBA. Not only he made it to the prestigious league but blocked 39 shots throughout his career. Now, that’s extraordinary!
9. Kobe Bryant’s parents co-signed his first NBA contract
For the 1996 NBA draft, Kobe Bryant was the 13th pick, selected by the Charlotte Hornets. However, he was immediately traded by the team to Los Angeles Lakes and as most of us know rest is history. But what some of you might now know is that Bryant was under 18 when he was drafted. His parents had to co-sign his contract on his behalf.
10. Shaq challenged Hakeem to a one-on-one
Back in 1995 when the 22 years old Shaq was leading Orlando Magic, the team reached finals. However, another fate awaited Shaq, where he was about to face one of the best all-time NBA centers, Hakeem Olajuwon. Not only Hakeem scored more than 30 points in each game but also outscored Shaq in every department that left the 22 years old frustrated.
Shaq was so humiliated that out of aggression he sent a note challenging Hakeem for a one-on-one after the finals ended.