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.
1974 – Moses Malone, 19 years old, signs with the American Basketball Association (ABA) Utah Stars. This deal – a seven-year contract worth up to $3 million – made Malone the highest paid teenager in sports history at the time. Moses Malone was the second player in the history of the NBA and ABA to play professional basketball out of high school.
1980 – David West is born in New Jersey. West currently plays for the Indiana Pacers, previously playing for the New Orleans Hornets (2003-2011). West was an NBA All-Star in 2008 and 2009). In his 9 years in the league, West is averaging 16 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.
2004 – Stephon Marbury scores 31 points in a game against Spain at the Athens Olympics. At the time, Marbury’s 31 points was a Team USA Olympic-record, this was passed by Carmelo Anthony’s 37 points against Nigeria in 2012 at the London Olympics.
1965 – Bill Russell signs a contract to make him the NBA’s highest paid player at the time. His $100,001 contract made him exactly $1 more than Wilt Chamberlain, Russell’s archrival.
1970 – Robert Horry is born in Maryland. Horry is one of the most known clutch plays in the history of the NBA. Big Shot Rob is a 7× NBA Champion (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2007).
1965 – Reggie Miller is born in California. Reggie Miller was the long time leader for the most three pointers made in NBA history with 2,560 makes until Ray Allen passed him recently. Miller is known for his amazing offensive skill sets and his rivalry with Spike Lee, a New York Knicks super fan. Miller was a 5x NBA All-Star and played 18 seasons in the NBA – all with the Indiana Pacers – and retired averaging 18.2 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
1979 – Michael Redd is born in Ohio. Redd was a member of the 2008 United States Men’s basketball team that won a Gold Medal in Beijing. Redd played his first 11 seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks and played last season with the Phoenix Suns. Currently he is an unrestricted free agent and has a career average of 19 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists.
2008 – The USA Men’s basketball team, A.K.A. The Redeem Team, beat Spain 118-107 in the Gold Medal Game at the Beijing Olympics.
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.
1936 – Wilt Chamberlain is born in Philadelphia. Wilt was also known as Wilt the Stilt and the Big Dipper throughout his career. Chamberlain is most known for being the only player in NBA history to score triple digits in a single game – a perfectly rounded 100 game. A member of the Hall of Fame, the Big Dipper ranks 1st all time in total rebounds (23,924), rebounds per game (22.9) and minutes per game (45.8). Wilt the Stilt finished his 13 year career as the 4th leading all time scorer (31,419 points), 2nd highest all time in average points per game (30.1) and 3rd all time in field goals made (12,681). One of the greatest players of all time, Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points and 25.6 rebounds in the 1961-62 NBA season, something unheard of ever since.
1969 – The Oakland Oaks of the American Basketball Association (ABA) move to Washington and are renamed to the Washington Capitals.
1996 – The Phoenix Suns trade Charles Barkley and a 1999 second round draft pick to the Houston Rockets for Robert Horry, Sam Cassell, Chucky Brown and Mark Bryant. This trade teamed up three 50 Greatest Players in Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. The Rockets, led by these three players, finished the 1997 season with a 57-25 record, falling in the Conference Finals to the Utah Jazz.
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).
1936 – The first basketball Gold Medal game is played in the Olympics at Berlin. USA defeat Canada 19-8 in front of 1,000 spectators – including Dr. James Naismith (the creator of basketball) – during a rainstorm on an outdoor court.
1959 – Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr. is born in Michigan. Magic was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996. Magic Johnson averaged 19.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 11.2 assists over 13 seasons, all with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers have had Magic’s #32 jersey retired since 1992. Magic is a 3x NBA MVP (1987, 1989, 1990) as well as a 12x NBA All-Star, winning 2 NBA All-Star MVPs in 1990 and 1992. Magic won 5 NBA championships (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, 1988) as well as being named the NBA Finals MVP in 1980, 1982 and 1987. Magic was drafted number 1 overall in the 1979 draft after 2 years at Michigan State University where he averaged 17.1 points, 7.6 rebounds and 7.9 assists.
1994 – The “Dream Team II” demolishes Russia 137-91 to win the Gold Medal in the FIBA World Championship in Toronto.