Basketball’s popularity is increasing across the globe as countries from Switzerland to Australia to the Philippines established professional leagues. But the sport first found a major audience in the United States.
The NBA was founded in 1946 and it didn’t take long for the league to spawn a number of Legends that still live in infamy from success stories through tragedies. We are counting down the top 15 NBA facts.
6. 5000$ Penalty
Michael Jordan is one of the most iconic figures in sports. With the Chicago Bulls, he won six NBA championships and was named the league’s Most Valuable Player six more times.
He is also famous for his hugely successful shoe imprint air Jordan. So it might come as a surprise that his basketball career was in direct conflict with his clothing line for a number of years. Back in 1984, the NBA’s dress code was extremely strict. Players were mandated to wear black and white shoes in addition to their league issued jerseys. That made it especially rebellious when Jordan started wearing black and red Nikes two games.
NBA commissioner David Stern was so furious that he immediately banned the shoes and imposed a $5,000 penalty for any player who dared to wear them. But the promotional value was too high for Nike to give up the signature shoes. So they paid Jordan’s fines as he continued to wear them for the rest of the season.
5. 38,387 Career Points
Kareem Abdul Jabbar is a legend on the court for his prolific offense. In fact, he is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 career points. Unlike many players who sit back and enjoy their millions in retirement, Kareem has been incredibly active. You may recognize him from one of his many notable acting roles most famously as a co-pilot in Airplane and including smaller roles in Full House, Everyone loves Raymond, The Fresh Prince of bel-air scrubs and 21 Jump Street.
Abdul Jabbar is an accomplished historian and author as well. In addition to his autobiography, he has several bestsellers with subject matter ranging from the Harlem Renaissance to world war two. On top of all of this, Abdul Jabbar served as a cultural ambassador under President Obama. He traveled across the world to promote the importance of education fitness and nutrition.
4. Kareem’s 3-Point Shot
For all his impressive achievements it seems that Kareem Abdul Jabbar has at least one weakness. Across his 20 season career, Abdul Jabbar only scored a single three-point shot. The shot came in 1987 just after Kareem had scored his 36,000 points in the NBA.
However, it’s clear that three-pointers were not Karim’s priority. In his entire NBA career, he only made 18 attempts from the three-point line. In his defense, Kareem says that player’s mentality has shifted to value three-pointers more highly.
In 1985 when the Lakers won the World Championship they only scored 90 three-pointers all season to contrast when the Golden State Warriors won the championship in 2015 they had scored 1077 three-pointers collectively.
3. Tim Duncan’s Secret Life
Tim Duncan is an absolute legend on the basketball court. He played his entire 19-year career with the San Antonio Spurs and is widely considered to be the greatest power forward of all time.
In addition, he’s a five-time NBA champion, two-time NBA MVP, three-time NBA Finals MVP, and an NBA all-star game MVP.
But many are surprised to learn about Duncan’s life off the court. To begin with he never intended to be a basketball player. Living in st. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, Duncan had ambitions to be an Olympic swimmer. All throughout his youth, he trained exhaustively in the 400 freestyle hoping to someday attain Olympic gold.
But a natural disaster changed his fate. In 1989 Hurricane Hugo devastated the Virgin Islands and destroyed the only Olympic sized swimming pool in saint Roy. With their only training facility ruin, the swim team had to move to the ocean for practice.
There was one problem as Duncan had a mortal fear of sharks and refused to practice in the ocean. This premeditated his switched to basketball in the ninth grade. Well, he succeeded in his new focused life continued to be difficult for Duncan.
When he was still in high school his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and ultimately passed away. But this tragedy had a silver lining as well under deathbed Duncan’s mother made him promise to get a college degree years later as he received dozens of offers from NBA talent scouts. Duncan turned them all down and stayed at Lake Forest University all four years to earn a degree in psychology.
2. Kyrie Irving Flat Earther Support
The past few years have seen a huge surge in the flat earther movement. Though the earth was proven to be round by Aristotle almost 2500 years ago, there are many people who claim that the theory is some sort of conspiracy.
Celebrities such as Tila Tequila and Bob have made statements supporting a Flat Earth theory. Unfortunately, this misinformation is also spread to Boston Celtics star Kyrie Irving. On a podcast, Erving stated they lie to us from what I’ve been taught is that the earth is round but if you really think about it from the landscape of the way we travel and the way we move can you really think of us rotating around the Sun.
This sparked a major controversy and many people attacked Irving’s intelligence. But he came on Jimmy Kimmel in 2018 to assert that his mind is unchanged.
1. Michael Jordan’s Racist Past
We have already learned about Michael Jordan in this countdown he’s debatably the sports greatest player and certainly has the stats to back it up. But Jordan also has an unfortunate past in which he fell prey to certain racist thoughts.
In 2014, book biographer Rowland Lazenby recounts how Jordan was suspended from school in 1977 for throwing a soda at a girl who called him the n-word. Jordan admits I considered myself a racist at the time basically I was against all white people.
But it’s easy to understand Jordan’s frustration at the time he was growing up North Carolina. His home state had the largest number of Ku Klux Klan members anywhere in the U.S. Jordan had many run-ins with violent racism that colored his view of the world. After leaving North Carolina Jordan to renounce racism choosing to concentrate on racial harmony rather than violence.
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