From Wilt "The Stilt" to Air Jordan to "The King," basketball has had no shortage of memorable legends and historic moments. It's come a long way from boys at the YMCA throwing a ball into a peach basket. High-flying acrobats, circus shots and wild passes are a normal part of today's spectacle. Do you know what player's dunks forced the NBA to change its rims? Do you know who has the most three-pointers in a season? How about the first-ever three-pointer? If you think normal trivia is too easy for you, it's time to put your wacky trivia skills to the test.
Kobe Bryant and LeBron James were not the first players to get drafted out of high school, and Michael Jordan played his entire college career without a three-point line. Thank goodness the league eventually implemented the shot clock, but do you know when? Who received the longest suspension in history and who committed the most personal fouls in his career? The NBA is today's most compelling soap opera and reality show, but it didn't get so cool until it "borrowed" a lot of ideas from rival leagues like the NBL and ABA. Today it has some of the most recognizable athletes in the world and it's probably the least controversial sport in the country. Take a stab at some of these wacky facts and test your knowledge of the game.
How many basketball teams are in the NBA?
The NBA is comprised of 30 professional teams. Twenty-nine of them are located in the U.S. and one of them (the Toronto Raptors) is located in Canada. The 30 teams are split between the Eastern and Western conferences, each with 15 teams.
In the 1984 NBA draft, when did Michael Jordan get selected?
In the 1984 NBA draft, Michael Jordan was infamously passed over by the first two teams - the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers - to become the third overall pick in the draft. The Chicago Bulls drafted him and he ultimately won six championships with the franchise.
Kobe Bean Bryant entered the 1996 NBA draft straight out of high school and was selected 13th overall by the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets then immediately traded him to the LA Lakers where he played his entire 20-year career.
Which of these NBA stars recorded rap songs with The Notorious B.I.G and Jay-Z?
In 1996, Shaquille O'Neal released a rap album called "You Can't Stop the Reign" and the title song on the album featured The Notorious B.I.G., who is regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop artists of all time. Rap legends Mobb Deep, Rakim and Jay-Z are also featured on the album.
Who was the first NBA player to get drafted right out of high school?
In 1962, Reggie Harding became the first player drafted by the NBA directly out of high school when the Detroit Pistons selected him in the fourth round. He was not allowed to play right away and had to play a year of minor league ball before being drafted again the following year. In 1974, the ABA, drafted Moses Malone, who was signed by the Utah Stars. Malone, however, began playing professional ball right away.
Who was the tallest person to ever play in the NBA?
The tallest players to ever play in the NBA were 7-foot, 7-inch tall Manute Bol and Gheorghe Muresan. Muresan was a Romanian player who played several seasons in the league and Bol is Sudanese and played 10 seasons in the league.
The game of basketball was invented in 1891 by a Canadian man named James Naismith while he worked as a physical education teacher at the YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Naismith Trophy is awarded to the top men's and women's college basketball players each season.
What two players averaged a triple double for an entire season?
Wilt Chamberlain & Bill Russell
Russell Westbrook & Oscar Robertson
The only two players in NBA history to average a triple double for an entire season are Russell Westbrook and Oscar Robertson. Robertson did it for the 1961-62 season and it didn't happen again until 2016 when Westbrook did it. Westbrook has done it three times, from 2016 to 2019.
Which of these players has the most NBA championships?
Bill Russel holds the record for most NBA championships with 11. He played 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics, from 1956 to 1969. Abdul-Jabbar and Jordan each have six rings and Chamberlain has two. The player with the second-most rings is Sam Jones with 10. He played with Russell on the Celtics.
The newest team to join the NBA is the Oklahoma City Thunder who moved to Oklahoma City in 2008. The team moved from Seattle, where it was known as the Seattle SuperSonics. The New Orleans Pelicans were established the prior year.
Which of these teams has been in the same city since the NBA's founding?
New York Knicks
The NBA was founded in 1946 and the only two teams that have stayed in the same city since then are the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks. Several teams, like the Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Bobcats, have never moved locations, but they also haven't been around since 1946.
Who holds the record for most points ever scored in a game?
On March 2, 1962, Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors as he led the team to victory over the New York Knicks 169-147. Kobe dropped 81 against the Raptors in 2006, Robinson's high is 71 and Jordan's is 63.
Larry Kenon of the San Antonio Spurs holds the record for most steals in a game with 11 against the Kansas City Kings in 1976. He also had 29 points and 15 rebounds to complete the triple double. Jordan, Iverson and Drexler have all had 10-steal games.
How many points were scored in the highest-scoring game of all time?
The highest scoring game of all time was between the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets in 1983 where both teams combined to score - after three overtimes - 370 points. The Pistons defeated the Nuggets 186–184.
Which of these players was a first overall draft pick?
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (formerly Lew Alcindor)
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (known as Lew Alcindor at the time) was selected first overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 1969 NBA draft. He has six championships and six MVP awards. Jordan was drafted third, Bird went seventh and Kobe was drafted 13th. Note: In 1971, Alcindor changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar after having converted to Islam.
Who holds the record for most three-pointers in a season?
Steph Curry has the NBA record for most three-pointers in a single season with 402. He holds three of the top five spots on the list. James Harden and Paul George round out the top five with 378 and 292, respectively.
Who holds the record for most points in a quarter?
Klay Thompson holds the record for most points scored in a quarter with 37. He shot 100% (13 for 13) with nine three-pointers in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings in 2015. Bryant and Jordan have 30-point quarters and Chamberlain put up a 31-point quarter in his 100-point game.
How many players have recorded a quadruple double in NBA history?
Only four players have recorded a quadruple-double in the history of the NBA: Nate Thurmond, Alvin Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and David Robinson. Robinson was the last to do it in 1994 when he recorded 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 blocks.
Who holds the record for the longest suspension in NBA history?
In 2004, Ron Artest charged after a fan he believed threw beer at him and ended up getting suspended 83 games, which is the longest suspension in NBA history. Latrell Sprewell was suspended for 68 games for choking his coach, P. J. Carlesimo, during practice in 1997.
The Sacramento Kings retired the No. 6 to honor its sixth man - the fans. Several teams honor the fans in similar ways and the Orlando Magic also retired the No. 6 for the same reason. NFL fans are commonly known as the 12th man.
Karl Malone holds the record for the most free-throws made with 9,787. Malone played 19 seasons (18 with the Utah Jazz) in the NBA and is a two-time league MVP. LeBron James holds the record for most playoff free-throws with 1,627.
The shortest player to ever play in the NBA is Muggsy Bogues who is 5 feet, 3 inches tall. He played 14 years in the league and was drafted 12th overall in the 1987 draft. Spud Webb is 5 feet, 5 inches tall. Thomas and Robinson are both 5 feet, 9 inches tall.
An NBA basketball court is 94 feet long and 50 feet wide. Court sizes vary in every other league and in high school, courts are usually 10 feet shorter. The free-throw line is 15 feet from the basket and the three-point line is 23.75 feet away around the arc and 22 feet away in the corners.
How many miles does the average basketball player run during a game?
An NBA player runs 2.55 miles per game, on average. A regulation NBA game is 48 minutes and the length of the court is 94 feet. You have to run baseline to baseline more than 140 times to reach 2.5 miles.
How much money did the NBA fine Michael Jordan each game for wearing Nike shoes?
Legend has it that NBA commissioner David Stern fined Michael Jordan $5,000 per game for wearing the infamous Air Jordan 1 sneakers in games. According to Nike's commercial for the shoes, the NBA banned them on October 18, 1985, because they reportedly broke the NBA's uniform rules.
The NBA officially began as the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in New York City in 1946. Its name wasn't changed to the NBA until 1949 when it merged with the National Basketball League (NBL).
The shot clock was introduced to the NBA in 1954 and it revolutionized the game. Before the shot clock, teams with the lead could dribble and pass around until the entire clock ran out. The other team could only foul or try to steal the ball.
The three-point line was added to the NBA in 1979, which was also Larry Bird's and Magic Johnson's rookie years. The first three-pointer was made by Bird's teammate, Chris Ford, on October 12 of that year.
Daryl Dawkins played 14 seasons in the NBA, mostly with the Nets and 76ers, and was known for breaking backboards with powerful dunks. After Dawkins broke two backboards in the 1979-80 season, the NBA began using breakaway rims.
The minimum NBA salary per season is $838,464 and some rookies can make more than $5 million in their first year. NBA G-League players who get called up to the NBA can make about $300,000. By contrast, the highest-paid player in the WNBA makes $113,000 a year.
Spalding has produced the official NBA game ball since 1983. The company's founder created the first official game ball at the request of the game's founder, James Naismith. Wilson produces the official game ball for many NCAA games and major tournaments.
Robert Parish holds the record for most NBA games played, 1,611 games in 21 seasons. He played most of his career for the Boston Celtics. Nowitzki, Stockton and Abdul-Jabbar each played in more than 1,500 games.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has committed the most personal fouls in NBA history with 4,657. Oakley, Malone and Shaq have all committed more than 4,000. John Stockton is the guard who committed the most fouls with 3,942.
The 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team was nicknamed "The Dream Team." It starred Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, David Robinson and Larry Bird, as well as other legends. They won every game by at least 38 points.
The silhouette in the NBA logo is based off Lakers legend Jerry West. The logo was designed in 1969 and has been in use ever since. West was the second overall pick in the 1960 NBA draft and played 14 seasons for the LA Lakers.