Spud Webb played 12 seasons in the NBA. He averaged almost 10 points a game, but the fete that he is best known for was when showed off his 42″ vertical leap and lifted his 67″ frame above the rim, and the competition, to win the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, on February 8, 1986.
Spud Webb finds himself back home for the National Basketball Association’s All-Star Game weekend, a 5-feet-7-inch David preparing to trade slams and jams with the Goliaths of the game in the league’s Slam-Dunk championship Saturday…Webb bristles at suggestions that he is just part of the N.B.A. hype for the weekend that also includes an old-timers’ game and 3-point- field-goal shootout Saturday, as well as the All-Star Game on Sunday. Read more NYTimes.com
LITTLE SPUD IS BIG STUFF : 5-7 Webb Goes High Enough to Be a ‘Spudnik’ as He Wins NBA’s Slam-Dunk Contest
DALLAS — The National Basketball Assn. slam-dunk competition, a celebration of an art form that only a few tall and extraordinary athletes have mastered, had become somewhat routine after two seasons as the main sideshow of the league’s All-Star weekend. Read more LAtimes.com
Pistol Pete Maravich broke the NCAA single game scoring record (Breaking Niagra’s Calvin Murphy’s mark of 68 points) as he dumped in 69 points on February 7, 1970. Despite Maravich’s record breaking performance, his LSU team lost the game to Alambama, 106-104.
“The Pistol” was coached by his father Press Maravich for the three seasons that he played for LSU (1967-68 through 1969-70). He was a first team All American all three seasons, while averaging 44.2 points a game.
Jan. 5, 2013, marks the 25th anniversary of the death of the great Pete Maravich, one of the most remarkable athletes in the history of all of sports. In an era when players were only eligible for three years – and there was no three-point shot – Pistol Pete became, and remains, the highest scoring player in the history of college basketball. No one has ever challenged his records and there is no reason to believe anyone ever will. Read more LSUsports.net
Paul Pierce and Vince Carter made their NBA debuts against each other in Boston on February 5, 1999. Because of a labor dispute there were no games played that season until that date.
Pierce started the game for the Boston Celtics. He played 39 minutes and scored 19 points. Carter started for the Toronto Raptors (who won the game 103-92). Carter played 31 minutes and scored 16 points.
Both Carter and Pierce had been first round draft picks the previous spring. The Golden State Warriors chose him as a number five pick, but traded him to Toronto who had selected Carter’s University of North Carolina team mate Antawn Jamison. Carter was the number 10 pick for the Celtics.
On February 4, 1987 a basketball team scored only four points in the first quarter of a game. Mind you, this wasn’t a middle school girls JV squad. This was an NBA team, the Sacramento Kings. In addition to scoring only four points (all foul shots) here are some of the Kings other dubious achievements that they racked up that quarter.
- They let their opponents, the Los Angeles Lakers, take a 29-0 to nothing lead
- They scored fewer first quarter points than any other team since the introduction of the 24-second clock
- At 3:47 of the first quarter, and with the score 16-0, announcer Chick Hearn declared “This game is in the refrigerator.”
- They let Magic Johnson deliver 15 assists. (To the Kings credit, Magic got 17 for the game. Then again, he only played 13 minutes during the last three quarters.)
- They were outscored by Byron Scott 17-4.
If this had been on the playground, Shirts vs. Skins, instead of at the Forum, Lakers vs. the Sacramento Kings, they would have picked new teams after the first four minutes Wednesday night.
After the first 12 minutes, the Forum scoreboard read Lakers 40, Kings 4. On the playground, someone would have picked up the ball and gone home. Read more LA Times
David Stern became the commissioner of the NBA on Februay 1, 1984, a position he held until he stepped down on the same date, 30 years later. Stern has by far, the longest tenure of any NBA commissioner (Maurice Podloff, the league’s first commissioner, previously held the record. He served from 1946-1963.)
According to NBA.com “As commissioner, Mr. Stern built the model for professional sports in league operations, public service, global marketing and digital technology. He oversaw the NBA’s extraordinary growth with seven new franchises, a more than 30-fold increase in revenues, a dramatic expansion of national television exposure and the launch of two leagues, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League. He implemented the first anti-drug agreement in professional sports and introduced the salary cap system and revenue sharing to the NBA.”
Stern announced his intention to resign on October 25, 2012. At that time ESPN wrote:
Stern’s fingerprints can be found across the league’s operations, most notably on strong revenue growth, the expansion from 23 to 30 teams, the movement into small markets such as Sacramento, Memphis and Oklahoma City, the spreading global reach spurred on by the league’s backing of letting its players take part in the Olympics, and the establishment of the WNBA.
Stern also oversaw the implementation of drug testing that helped root out a major league issue in the 1980s. Repeating on Thursday something he’s said often in the past, Stern said some of the lowest moments of his time as commissioner were banning players from the league because of positive drug tests.
He developed a reputation for being a ruthless negotiator even before he took over as commissioner, working as one of the league’s top attorneys starting in 1966. That carried over during negotiations with players over the years, which featured a strengthening — if expanding — salary cap and ultimately led to two work stoppages.
Meanwhile, the value of franchises soared. When Stern took over, teams were being sold in the $20 million range. In 2010, the Golden State Warriors set a record when they were sold for $450 million.
Magic Johnson and Larry Bird faced each other in the NCAA championship game on March 9, 1979. Johnson’s Michigan State team defeated Indiana State, led by Bird.
The following June, the Los Angeles Lakers with the first pick in the draft, selected Johnson. Bird had already been drafted in 1978 by the Boston Celtics. Even though he had only completed his junior year, Bird was eligible because he had originally enrolled at the University of Indiana, but he dropped out during his freshman year and sat out a season.
Johnson and Bird both played their first NBA games on October 12, 1979. Bird and the Celtics opened their season against the Rudy Tomjanovich led Houston Rockets. Bird had a respectable 14 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists, but he had to sit out the last 6.5 minutes, having committed five fouls. The Celtics won 114-106.
Even with Johnson’s 26 points in his debut game, the Lakers needed a Kareem Abdul Jabbar last second sky hook to edge the Los Angeles Clippers 103-102.