The 2018 NBA Playoffs are here, and it’s getting intense! Whether you’re a “light-watcher” who peeks at the screen if the game is on or a die-hard fan who knows every player and recaps every move and every assist – we’ve collected some entertaining, exciting and amusing things you probably didn’t know (or forgot you knew) about our favorite basketball stars. Here are some unimportant yet critical facts every NBA fan needs to know.
The Only Player To Ever Average A Triple-Double In A Season Was Never Honored with an MVP Title
When we think of amazing games, moves, and players in the NBA we think of the famous stars who rightfully claimed their place. However, the only player who ever averaged a triple-double for a single season is Oscar Robertson. Robertson signed with the Cincinnati Royals in 1961 and in his second year with the team, he averaged 30.8 points, 11.4 assists, and 12.5 rebounds. This was the only year he topped assists in – and never received the title of MVP (Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics was awarded this honor that same year).
Kobe Bryant’s Middle Name Is…
Bean. Kobe Bean Bryant. It’s a little-known fact as the name is quite unusual. It might have originated from Bryant’s father’s nickname, Joe “Jelly Bean” Bryant. Yes – one of the biggest NBA legend’s middle name was actually his father’s nickname. Bean or no Bean, we don’t really mind – Bryant has performed incredibly on the court in the past two decades, and we are grateful for every moment.
LeBron James: Best Player of the 2000s – Yes. First NBA High School Star? Nope!
These days there have been many an online (and offline) debate if “The King” – aka LeBron James – is the greatest NBA player of all time. Needless to say, the discussion is ongoing. However, the following is not very well known: LeBron wasn’t the first high-school NBA star. That honor goes to Moses Malone who was first recruited in 1974 and played throughout the next 19 years.
Malone signed with the ABA (the ABA-NBA merging occurred a few years later) with the Utah Stars at the age of 18, without ever playing college basketball. Malone went on to be selected three times as MVP (same as LeBron!) and scored nearly 30,000 points throughout his career. His team in 1983 – the Philadelphia 76ers – won the NBA playoffs, and Malone retired as #24 in the Houston Rockets. The NBA legend passed away in 2015, at the age of 60 due to heart disease.
Not Everyone Loved Michael Jordan At First
To finish off with the basketball legend, we shall speak of His Airness Mr. Michael Jordan. Fun fact: MJ – was third (shock!) in the overall pick in 1984 for the Chicago Bulls. Picked ahead of him were Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets) and Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers). We can’t even imagine what the Blazers’ felt like after Jordan revealed his god-like talents! They must’ve kicked themselves in the you-know-where, especially after their loss to the Bulls in the 1992 NBA Finals. Talk about karma!
Shaq Has A Forgotten Rap Hit, And We’re Down For It
That’s right, folks. Shaquille O’Neal is also a rapper. The 7’1” NBA legend recorded this tune, titled “What’s Up Doc?” in 1992 with Fu-Schnickens. Just a reminder – Shaq’s professional basketball career began the same year with the Orlando Magic, and eventually he dominated the court for the next ten years. We wonder what would’ve happened if he had picked a career in music rather than basketball…