1953 – Robert Parish is born in Louisiana. Parish is a Hall of Famer who played 1,611 games in the NBA over 21 seasons. Parish has played in more games than any other player in the NBA and ABA combined, with the 2nd ranked player being Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on 1,560 games. Parish is a 4x NBA Champion (1981, 1984, 1986, 1997), a 9x NBA All-Star and was also inducted into the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
1997 – The first WNBA Finals are held in Houston in a single game series – the following season the WNBA changed to a best of 3 series. The Houston Comets defeated the New York Liberty 65-51 on their way to becoming the first WNBA Champions. Cynthia Cooper, who was the regular season MVP, won the Finals MVP after scoring 25 points.
1978 – Current Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant is born in Philadelphia. Kobe has played all 16 years Lakers and is a 5x NBA champion (2000-2002, 2009, 2010) as well as a 2x NBA Finals MVP (2009, 2010). Kobe was the MVP of the league in 2008, has appeared in 14 NBA All-Star Games (winning the All-Star MVP in 2002, 2007, 2009 and 2011) as well as being on 14 All-NBA Teams.
1890 – Maurice Podoloff is born in the Russian Empire, now called Ukraine. Podoloff was the first president of the NBA in 1946 and stepped down from the position in 1963. The NBA regular season MVP is named in his honour.
1992 – Larry Bird announced his retirement after 13 seasons in the NBA – all playing for the Boston Celtics. Larry is still one of the most known basketball players in the history of the NBA, mostly for his famous on-court rivalry with Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Bird was a 3x NBA champion (winning the Finals MVP in 1984 and 1986), a 3x NBA MVP and a 12 time NBA All-Star. Larry Legend was a member of the 1992 Dream Team in the Barcelona Olympics as well as a member of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and eventually having his number 33 retired by the Boston Celtics. When Bird retired, his career numbers stand around with the legends of the game. His free throw percentage of 88.6% is still ranks 10th in NBA history and his 21,791 points have him as the 29th all time leading scorer – 24.3 points per game (16th in NBA history).
1928 – Bob Cousy was born in New York City, New York. Known as the “Houdini of the Hardwood” and “Mr. Basketball”, Cousy was considered ahead of his time when he played for the Boston Celtics in the 1950s and 60s.
Cousy was a 6x NBA Champion, a 13 time NBA All-Star (winning the All-Star MVP award in 1954 and 1957). Cousy was also a member of the All-NBA First Team (1952-1961) and All-NBA Second Team (1962 and 1963).
Mr. Basketball was named to the NBA 25th and 35th Anniversary Team as well as the 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.