The National Basketball Association (NBA), a stage for dazzling feats and ground-breaking performances, has been delivering amazing surprises to its fans for over 75 years. This article unravels some of the most peculiar and astounding NBA facts that speak volumes about the evolution of the game and the extraordinary accomplishments of its iconic superstars.
The Rising Era of Three-Pointers
The introduction of the three-point shot in the NBA in 1979 marked the inception of a new playing style. During the 1979 NBA finals, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers collectively made a solitary three-pointer from 20 attempts over six games. Fast forward 40 years to the 2020 NBA finals, where the Miami Heat and the LA Lakers, combined, scored 153 three-pointers from 428 tries in six games.
Considered the maestro of shooting, Larry Bird scored 649 three-pointers throughout his 12-year NBA stint. However, the shooting landscape has changed drastically with Steph Curry, the new king of three-pointers, who made 688 threes in just two of his MVP seasons. This demonstrates the dynamic nature of the game and highlights the increasing emphasis on three-pointers in contemporary basketball.
Jordan’s Misadventure in Three-Point Shooting
Despite being the NBA’s biggest star in the ’90s and an all-round player, Michael Jordan had one notable flaw – his three-point shooting skills were less than impressive. He managed to make only 58 threes in his first five NBA seasons with a modest 20% success rate. However, his three-point shooting improved in the 1989-1990 season. Unfortunately, when he decided to participate in a three-point shooting contest, his performance did not improve. He made just five shots out of 25, resulting in the worst record ever in such a contest.
Astonishing Comebacks and Trades in the NBA
The Epic 36-Point Comeback by the Utah Jazz
On November 27, 1996, a game between Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets marked one of the most incredible comebacks in NBA history. The Jazz, with Stockton and Malone, found themselves trailing by an enormous 36 points in the first half. However, a tremendous second-half performance turned the tables, with the Jazz outscoring the Nuggets 73-33 and eventually winning the game 107-103.
Trevor Ariza’s Trade History
Trevor Ariza made headlines during the 2020 offseason, having been traded more times than any other player in NBA history. Despite being traded to and from various teams, Ariza only suited up for nine franchises, which is three short of the NBA record. This record of playing for 12 different teams is shared by Chucky Brown, Jim Jackson, Tony Massenburg, and Joe Smith.
The NBA’s Unique Achievements
Dennis Rodman’s Rebounding Prowess
Dennis Rodman, popularly known as ‘The Worm,’ is arguably the best rebounder the NBA has ever seen. Rodman led the league in rebounding for seven straight years, despite playing in an era characterized by slower pace. Out of the total 10 games in NBA history where a player recorded 20 or more rebounds without scoring a point, Rodman accounts for seven of them.
LeBron James’s Consistent Scoring
Emphasizing the saying “the best ability is availability,” LeBron James, the ‘King,’ has consistently averaged over 25 points per game for 16 straight seasons. He is the only player in NBA history to achieve this feat, excluding his rookie year. The second closest player to this achievement has only 12 seasons averaging over 25 points. LeBron’s consistent performance puts him in a prime position to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
Westbrook’s Season of Triple-Doubles and More Unique NBA Facts
Russell Westbrook’s Unprecedented Season
Russell Westbrook’s 2016 season was nothing short of phenomenal. After Kevin Durant’s departure, Westbrook averaged 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists for the entire season. This meant that even a 30-point, 10-rebound, and 10-assist game would lower his average stats for that season.
Phoenix Suns’ Rollercoaster Season
In the 1996-1997 season, the Phoenix Suns achieved a unique feat by recording both 10-game winning and losing streaks within a single season. Following a 13-game losing streak, the acquisition of Jason Kidd sparked a turnaround, culminating in a 10-game win streak and a playoff spot.
H3: Jordan’s Three-Game Streak Record
Michael Jordan, renowned for his unparalleled skills and competitiveness, never lost three consecutive games in the ’90s while playing with the Chicago Bulls. His unbeaten streak and his six out of six wins in the finals are just a few of the numerous testaments to his greatness.
Denver Nuggets: The High Scoring Powerhouse
Denver Nuggets, known for their high-paced ‘run and gun’ style of play, holds several NBA scoring records. Perhaps the most unusual record is their 136-game streak of scoring over 100 points, lasting from January 21, 1981, to December 8, 1982.
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Q: How many three-pointers did Larry Bird and Steph Curry score in their careers? A: Larry Bird scored 649 three-pointers throughout his career. In contrast, Steph Curry made 688 three-pointers in just two of his MVP seasons.
Q: What was the Utah Jazz’s biggest comeback? A: On November 27, 1996, the Utah Jazz made the biggest comeback in NBA history, overcoming a 36-point deficit to win against the Denver Nuggets.
Q: How many seasons did LeBron James average over 25 points per game? A: LeBron James averaged over 25 points per game for 16 straight seasons.
Q: Who holds the NBA record for the most trades? A: Trevor Ariza holds the record for being traded the most times in NBA history.
From the three-point revolution led by players like Steph Curry, the remarkable comebacks, trades, and rebounding records, to the consistent scoring of LeBron James and Russell Westbrook’s extraordinary season of triple-doubles, the NBA has always been a stage for astonishing feats and record-breaking performances. The thrilling legacy of the NBA continues to create mesmerizing moments, keeping fans on the edge of their seats.