THE 75th season of the National Basketball Association (NBA) tips off on Wednesday (Manila time), with the league promising an eventful staging as it celebrates the landmark year.
Below is a by-the-numbers look at The Association’s rich history, taking note of some key moments and facts throughout the years.
1 – The NBA’s first regular-season game was played on Nov. 1, 1946, between the New York Knicks and the Toronto Huskies at the Maple Leaf Garden in Toronto. The Knicks won the game, 68-66, with New York’s Ossie Schectman scoring the first basket.
4 – The NBA is built around four professional sports leagues: the National Basketball Association (which has played 75 seasons to date), Women’s National Basketball Association (25 seasons), NBA G League (20 seasons) and NBA 2K League (four seasons).
5 – The NBA has had five commissioners: Maurice Podoloff (1946-63), J. Walter Kennedy (1963-75), Larry O’Brien (1975 – 84), David Stern (1984 – 2014), and Adam Silver (2014 – Present).
6 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won a record six NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards and Michael Jordan won a record six Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP awards.
8 – The Boston Celtics won eight consecutive NBA championships from 1958-59 – 1965-66, the longest such streak in league history.
10 – Michael Jordan led the NBA in points per game for a season a record 10 times and Shaquille O’Neal led the NBA in field goal percentage for a season a record 10 times.
11 – Bill Russell won a record 11 NBA championships as a player and Phil Jackson won a record 11 NBA championships as a head coach.
13 – The NBA has offices in 13 markets worldwide.
17 – The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers share the record for most NBA championships with 17 each.
19 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar earned a record 19 NBA All-Star selections.
20 – Since 1978, the NBA has played games in more than 20 countries outside of the US and Canada. A total of 205 games have been played outside of the US and Canada during that span.
24 – The 24-second shot clock was implemented for the 1954-55 season and remains in effect today.
26 – Gregg Popovich is entering his 26th season as the San Antonio Spurs head coach, the longest head coaching tenure with one team in NBA history. Mr. Popovich also begins the 2021-2022 season needing 26 victories to pass Don Nelson and become the winningest head coach in league history.
33 – The Los Angeles Lakers won 33 consecutive regular-season games in the 1971-1972 season, the longest winning streak in NBA history. The streak spanned Nov. 5, 1971 – Jan. 7, 1972.
41 – 2020-21 NBA MVP Nikola Jokić of the Denver Nuggets was the 41st overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the lowest-drafted player to be named NBA MVP.
45 – The NBA has had 45 franchises in its history (30 active franchises and 15 inactive franchises).
56 – The NBA Most Valuable Player Award was first presented in 1956, with the St. Louis Hawks’ Bob Pettit earning the inaugural honor.
70 – The NBA has played 70 All-Star Games, an annual tradition that dates to 1951.
72 – The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls won a then-record 72 regular-season games. They were the first team in NBA history to win at least 70 games in a season.
73 – The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors won an NBA-record 73 regular-season games.
75 – In the NBA’s first 75 regular seasons, there were more than 62,000 games played, more than 4,500 players who played in a game and more than 12.8 million points scored.
The defending champions Milwaukee Bucks play Eastern Conference powerhouse team Brooklyn Nets kicks off the new season at 7:30 a.m. and the retooled Los Angeles Lakers take on the Golden State Warriors at 10 a.m.
The NBA can be seen in the country over free TV on TV5 and One Sports and pay TV through Cignal TV as well as on NBA League Pass, Cignal Play and Smart GigaPlay. League-related content is also available over NBA.com/Philippines. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo