The National Basketball Association (NBA) is one of the best sporting leagues worldwide. Each new season brings excitements, more fans, more legacies and more drama to look forward to.
Fans know about the dramatic Magic Johnson and Larry Bird battles of the 80’s, the Michael Jordan Bulls era, the Lakers phenomenon and the recent Cavaliers and Houston Rockets rivalry. However, some facts and tales are less well known but all the more fascinating.
- Pete Maravich in 1974, at 26 said in an interview “I don’t want to play 10 years in NBA and die of a heart attack at 40.” He proceeded to have a 10 year NBA career and then died of a heart attack at 40.
- Air Jordan’s were banned upon introduction by the NBA. However, Jordan continued to wear them anyways, as Nike was willing to pay the fine each game. (That’s the real definition of owning it!)
- NBA’s all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (with 38,387 points) only made one 3-point shot in his entire 20-year career.
- Michael Jordan is regarded as the greatest to have ever played basketball, but the 1984 NBA Draft, he didn’t get selected in the first round and was passed over by the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers.
- The creator of NBA Jam hated the Chicago Bulls so much that he embedded a special code that made them miss last-second shots.
- Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are financially broke.
- Former NBA star Calvin Murphy has 14 illegitimate kids by 9 women. (2face isn’t looking so bad now abi?)
- In 1987-88, the shortest man (Muggsy Bogues) to ever appear in the NBA at 5’3″, blocked 39 shots throughout his career including one on Patrick Ewing (7’0″).
- Manute Bol, the tallest player in the history of the NBA and born into the Dinka tribe of the Nile Valley region of Africa, was also the only player in the NBA to have killed a lion with a spear and to have paid 80 cows for his wife.
- There is a Chinese company by the name of Qiaodan (pronounced cheow-DAN) that illegally named itself after Jordan and used a modified ‘jumpman’ logo to sell basketball shoes. They have grown so big that they advertise in actual NBA games.