The Best NBA Moments of All Time
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the National Basketball Association (NBA) – three-quarters of a century of Basketball action on courts across the world has led to some amazing moments, not least from gods of the sport such as Michael Jordan and LeBron James. So, just what are the most iconic moments in NBA history? And do they offer any clues for those interested in NBA and basketball betting? Let’s find out!
Wilt Chamberlain's 100-Point Game
Let's kick off with one of the first truly memorable moments of the NBA, when Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors set an all-time record by hitting triple digits in a late season game against the New York Knicks.
Chamberlain was well-known for his individual accomplishments on the court, but his team mates didn't seem to mind this - in this particular game, the higher his tally grew, the more they continued to feed him the ball, seemingly reveling in the lead he was continuing to produce over their struggling New York opponents.
The 1962 photograph on the left forever immortalizes this stunning achievement, which will live on forever in the history of the NBA.
Michael Jordan's Flu Game
Regarded as one of the greatest mysteries in NBA history, just what was the cause of Michael Jordan's mystery illness before Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals? Jordan himself has gone on record to say that he believes it was a bout of the flu, but his quick recovery seems at odds with such a suggestion.
Theories range from a simple hangover to a sabotaged pizza delivered by malicious fans of the opposing team - another possibility that Jordan has suggested in a documentary made about the incident years after the event. Whatever the cause, Jordan certainly wasn't looking his best before this pivotal game, which could have meant all the difference to Jordan in his quest for a fifth Larry O'Brien trophy.
As it turned out, it didn't matter - Jordan, as we all know, was a force unlike any other on the basketball court, and powered through whatever had afflicted him to drop 38 points and help the Bulls to a stunning victory, a momentum they carried through all the way to the finals, where MJ once again powered his team to success.
Cleveland fans didn't always love LeBron James - hard to believe in 2021, I know, but the turning point must surely be the infamous event known as "The Block", which occurred in 2016. Cleveland were down 3 to 1 in the NBA finals against the Warriors - a 73-9 deficit that many would say is impossible to overcome.
James, on the other hand, had other ideas - with the help of teammate Kyrie Irving, he dragged his team back from the brink in the last two minutes of the crucial game with a block that stunned ESPN commentator Mike Breen - LeBron seemingly came from nowhere, blocking what seemed to be an easy layout by Andre Iguodala, eventually leading to Cleveland's first championship in any sport in over fifty years.
Kobe's 81-Point Game
The late-great Kobe Bryant had a career filled with memorable moments and honors, but none greater than his 81-point showcase performance against the Raptors. Whilst the 81-point score is of course amazing, sitting behind only Chamberlain's 100-point total we discussed earlier, for many, it was the way he achieved this remarkable feat which truly makes this one of the NBA's greatest moments.
Let's not forget too that Kobe was on an incredible run at the time of this unforgettable moment – Bryant had averaged a score of 43.4 points per game during January 2006, marking the greatest scoring month of his career and not far shy of the very best monthly marks ever set within the NBA. Just four players have averaged more than 40 points per game for an entire month – the others being Chamberlain (see above), James harden, and Elgin Baylor.
Ray Allen's Three-Pointer
A three-pointer? What's so special about that? Ah, you see, this wasn't just any three-pointer. In the 2013 NBA Finals, with just 15 seconds left on the clock, Allen's team was three points short and down 3-2 against opponents the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron James missed a crucial three-pointer, and many thought the game was over at that point. Not so fast.
Fellow Miami Heat player Chris Bosh rebounded the ball, and made an unexpected pass to legendary sharpshooter Ray Allen, who didn't fail his team by sending a crucial three-pointer into the net forcing the game into overtime - the Heat kept up their momentum and went on to win the game and finished the job with another victory in Game 7. Talk about a close call!