History UsefulNotes / NationalBasketballAssociation

23rd Oct '17 11:45:22 PM KYCubbie
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* Agua Caliente Clippers (Clippers): One of four new teams that launched in 2017; owned by the Clippers. Named for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians through a [[ProductPlacement sponsorship deal]]. Plays in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.



* Erie [=BayHawks=] (Hawks): Another 2017 entry. Originally planned to launch in 2019–20 in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, Georgia, the Hawks are instead temporarily placing their team in Erie, Pennsylvania to replace the original [=BayHawks=] franchise (now the Lakeland Magic), while a new arena in College Park is built.



* Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): Another 2017 entry, an expansion team purchased by the Grizzlies after their former affiliate, then the Iowa Energy, was bought by the Timberwolves. Playing in the Memphis suburb of Southaven, Mississippi.




!! Future Teams (for the 2017–18 G League season)
* Agua Caliente Clippers (Clippers): Named for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians through a [[ProductPlacement sponsorship deal]]. Plays in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.
* Erie [=BayHawks=] (Hawks): Originally planned to launch in 2019–20 in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, Georgia, the Hawks will temporarily place their team in Erie, Pennsylvania to replace the original [=BayHawks=] franchise (now the Lakeland Magic), while a new arena in College Park is built.
* Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): After the Timberwolves purchased the then-Iowa Energy, the Grizzles purchased an expansion team and will place them in the Memphis suburb of Southaven, Mississippi.
* Wisconsin Herd (Bucks): To be based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.


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\n!! Future Teams (for the 2017–18 G League season)\n* Agua Caliente Clippers (Clippers): Named for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians through a [[ProductPlacement sponsorship deal]]. Plays in the Los Angeles suburb of Ontario, California.\n* Erie [=BayHawks=] (Hawks): Originally planned to launch in 2019–20 in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, Georgia, the Hawks will temporarily place their team in Erie, Pennsylvania to replace the original [=BayHawks=] franchise (now the Lakeland Magic), while a new arena in College Park is built. \n* Memphis Hustle (Grizzlies): After the Timberwolves purchased the then-Iowa Energy, the Grizzles purchased an expansion team and will place them in the Memphis suburb of Southaven, Mississippi. \n* Wisconsin Herd (Bucks): To be based Started play in 2017 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

a couple of hours north of the parent team.

!! Future Team (for the 2018–19 G League season)
* Washington (Wizards): An expansion team that will be owned by the Wizards and will play in a new facility being built in southeast D.C. which will include an arena that will also house the WNBA's Mystics, plus a new practice facility for the Wizards.




* '''Dave Bing''' was a Hall of Fame guard who arrived from Syracuse in 1966 and immediately became a star, earning Rookie of the Year honors and leading the league in scoring in his second season. Bing made seven All-Star appearances in his nine seasons in Detroit before short stints in his hometown of Washington (two seasons) and finally Boston (one season). Though listed as a point guard, his playing style was somewhat ahead of his time, as he was much more of a scorer than typical ballhandlers of his era. After his retirement, he went into business supplying parts for the auto industry, with noticeable success. He later went on to serve as mayor of Detroit for a bit more than a full term,[[note]](he was initially elected to serve out the final months of the term of the previous mayor, who resigned after pleading guilty to perjury, and was then elected to a full term)[[/note]] but during that time the city declared bankruptcy (though in fairness, the city was falling apart long before he became mayor).

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* '''Dave Bing''' was a Hall of Fame guard who arrived from Syracuse in 1966 and immediately became a star, earning Rookie of the Year honors and leading the league in scoring in his second season. Bing made seven All-Star appearances in his nine seasons in Detroit before short stints in his hometown of Washington (two seasons) and finally Boston (one season). Though listed as a point guard, his playing style was somewhat ahead of his time, as he was much more of a scorer than typical ballhandlers of his era. After his retirement, he went into business supplying parts for the auto industry, with noticeable success. He later went on to serve as mayor of Detroit for a bit more than a full term,[[note]](he was initially elected to serve out the final months of the term of the previous mayor, who resigned after pleading guilty to perjury, and was then elected to a full term)[[/note]] but during that time the city declared bankruptcy (though in (in fairness, the city was [[WretchedHive falling apart apart]] long before he became mayor).



* '''Ron Artest''', who changed his name to '''Metta World Peace''' (and briefly changed it ''again'' to '''The Pandas Friend''' for the Chinese Basketball Association), is a rather controversial character, infamous for his tendency toward violence, most especially in the infamous [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacers%E2%80%93Pistons_brawl Malice in the Palace]] where as a member of the Pacers he ''jumped onto the stands and sucker-punched a Pistons fan'', leading to a massive fight. In the aftermath, he was suspended for the whole season and became an unapologetic loudmouth while out of action. He became a pariah in Detroit, and was traded to Sacremento shortly thereafter. He eventually got into anger management therapy, and it has largely helped mellow him out, but he still has his temper, leading to him elbowing James Harden in the neck during a regular season game. A CloudCuckoolander to the max, he got his start with the Pacers, but went to the Lakers and got a ring with Kobe in 2010, shooting a game-winning three-pointer after Kobe passed him the ball. Amnestied by the Lakers after the 2012–13 season to clear his salary from the books, and then signed by the Knicks. After one season there, he couldn't catch on with an NBA team and left for China; after the 2014–15 Chinese season ended in February, he then went to a short-term stint in Italy's Serie A (no, not [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball ''that'' one]]). Returned to the Lakers in 2015 for bench depth and mentoring the team's young talent. The team was reportedly considering putting him on its coaching staff in 2016–17, but those plans were put on hold when he made the opening-day roster.

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* '''Ron Artest''', who changed his name to '''Metta World Peace''' (and briefly changed it ''again'' to '''The Pandas Friend''' for the Chinese Basketball Association), is a rather controversial character, infamous for his tendency toward violence, most especially in the infamous [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacers%E2%80%93Pistons_brawl Malice in the Palace]] where as a member of the Pacers he ''jumped onto the stands and sucker-punched a Pistons fan'', leading to a massive fight. In the aftermath, he was suspended for the whole season and became an unapologetic loudmouth while out of action. He became a pariah in Detroit, and was traded to Sacremento shortly thereafter. He eventually got into anger management therapy, and it has largely helped mellow him out, but he still has his temper, leading to him elbowing James Harden in the neck during a regular season game. A CloudCuckoolander to the max, he got his start with the Pacers, but went to the Lakers and got a ring with Kobe in 2010, shooting a game-winning three-pointer after Kobe passed him the ball. Amnestied by the Lakers after the 2012–13 season to clear his salary from the books, and then signed by the Knicks. After one season there, he couldn't catch on with an NBA team and left for China; after the 2014–15 Chinese season ended in February, he then went to a short-term stint in Italy's Serie A (no, not [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball ''that'' one]]). Returned to the Lakers in 2015 for bench depth and mentoring the team's young talent. The team was reportedly considering putting him on its coaching staff in 2016–17, but those plans were put on hold when he made the opening-day roster. He finally retired after that season, but stayed in the Lakers organization as a member of its G League coaching staff.
17th Oct '17 11:36:33 PM KYCubbie
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* The '''Detroit Pistons''' are remembered for the infamous "Bad Boy" teams of the late 80s and early 90s. Led by Isiah Thomas, and with players such as Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman and Rick Mahorn, the "Bad Boy" Pistons used ''brutal'' defense to win two straight championships in 1989 and 1990 [[note]] Knocking out UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan and his Bulls in the process.[[/note]] The Pistons actually predate the NBA itself by five years, having been founded in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana [[note]] The Fort Wayne Pistons moved to Detroit in 1957. [[/note]]. In their almost 70 years, the Pistons have won the NBA championship three times, the two back-to-back "Bad Boy" titles, and the 2004 championship, led by the core of Chauncey Billups, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshawn Prince, and Ben Wallace who dominated the Eastern Conference for most of the 2000s. After nearly 40 years based in Detroit's northern suburbs, the team is returning to the city of Detroit in 2017; they will play one season in the league's newest arena—until it's no longer the newest arena, with new venues set to open in Milwaukee in 2018 and San Francisco in 2019.

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* The '''Detroit Pistons''' are remembered for the infamous "Bad Boy" teams of the late 80s and early 90s. Led by Isiah Thomas, and with players such as Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman and Rick Mahorn, the "Bad Boy" Pistons used ''brutal'' defense to win two straight championships in 1989 and 1990 [[note]] Knocking out UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan and his Bulls in the process.[[/note]] The Pistons actually predate the NBA itself by five years, having been founded in 1941 in Fort Wayne, Indiana [[note]] The Fort Wayne Pistons moved to Detroit in 1957. [[/note]]. In their almost 70 years, the Pistons have won the NBA championship three times, the two back-to-back "Bad Boy" titles, and the 2004 championship, led by the core of Chauncey Billups, Richard "Rip" Hamilton, Rasheed Wallace, Tayshawn Prince, and Ben Wallace who dominated the Eastern Conference for most of the 2000s. After nearly 40 years based in Detroit's northern suburbs, the team is returning returned to the city of Detroit in 2017; they will 2017 to play one season in the league's newest arena—until it's no longer the newest arena, with arena... which will only have this distinction for one season, as new venues are set to open in Milwaukee in 2018 and San Francisco in 2019.



* The '''Orlando Magic''' have only been around since 1989, yet they have competed at or near the the top of the East for a good part of their history, with players like Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Tracy [=McGrady=] and Dwight Howard leading the Magic to five division titles and two trips to the NBA finals in 1994 and 2009. Unfortunately, Orlando has been closer to the bottom of the league since Dwight Howard left in 2012, and are currently in the midst of a rebuilding process.

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* The '''Orlando Magic''' have only been around since 1989, yet they have competed at or near the the top of the East for a good part of their history, with players like Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, Grant Hill, Tracy [=McGrady=] and Dwight Howard leading the Magic to five division titles and two trips to the NBA finals in 1994 and 2009. Unfortunately, Orlando has been closer to the bottom of the league since Dwight Howard left in 2012, and are currently in the midst of a rebuilding process.



* The '''Minnesota Timberwolves''' are best known for having been Kevin Garnett's main team. Founded in 1989, the T-Wolves' successes are tied with the prime years of Garnett, which culminated in 2004 with an MVP award and the team's only division title and only trip to the Western Conference Finals. Ever since then, the T-Wolves have finished at or near the bottom of a hyper-competitive Western Conference. Even though Kevin Garnett left Minnesota for Boston in 2007 [[note]]where he finally won a championship[[/note]], an older Garnett returned to the T-Wolves in 2015 for one final season as a mentor to the current young roster, which is now anchored by Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Jimmy Butler.

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* The '''Minnesota Timberwolves''' are best known for having been Kevin Garnett's main team. Founded in 1989, the T-Wolves' successes are tied with the prime years of Garnett, which culminated in 2004 with an MVP award and the team's only division title and only trip to the Western Conference Finals. Ever since then, the T-Wolves have finished at or near the bottom of a hyper-competitive Western Conference. Even though Kevin Garnett left Minnesota for Boston in 2007 [[note]]where he finally won a championship[[/note]], an older Garnett returned to the T-Wolves in 2015 for one final season as a mentor to the current young roster, which is now anchored by Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Jimmy Butler.



* The '''Dallas Mavericks''' were founded in 1980, and was home to some OK basketball in the 80s, and some [[DorkAge truly awful basketball]] in the 90s. That was until [[AscendedFanboy dot-com bubble billionaire Mark Cuban]] bought the team in 2000. Since then, the Mavs have consistently been one of the best teams in the NBA led by players like Steve Nash, Michael Finley, Jason Terry, and Dirk Nowitzki. Despite being one of the toughest teams to play in the 21st Century, the Mavs could never seem to win it all until 2011, when they upset [=LeBron=] and the Miami Heat to give the franchise its first NBA championship. Interestingly, the Mavericks got their name because ''Series/{{Maverick}}'' star [[InJoke James Garner was a part of the founding ownership]].

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* The '''Dallas Mavericks''' were founded in 1980, and was home to some OK basketball in the 80s, and some [[DorkAge truly awful basketball]] in the 90s. That was until [[AscendedFanboy dot-com bubble billionaire Mark Cuban]] bought the team in 2000. Since then, the Mavs have consistently been one of the best teams in the NBA led by players like Steve Nash, Michael Finley, Jason Terry, and Dirk Nowitzki. Despite being one of the toughest teams to play in the 21st Century, century, the Mavs could never seem to win it all until 2011, when they upset [=LeBron=] and the Miami Heat to give the franchise its first NBA championship. Interestingly, the Mavericks got their name because ''Series/{{Maverick}}'' star [[InJoke James Garner was a part of the founding ownership]].



* The '''San Antonio Spurs''' are arguably the most consistently dominant team in NBA history. In the almost 40 years since entering the NBA from the ABA in 1976, they have won a total of 18 division titles and only missed the playoffs ''four times''!!! While the Spurs saw moderate successes with George Gervin in the 80s and David Robinson in the 90s, it was the arrival of Tim Duncan in 1997, alongside the arrivals of Tony Parker in 2001 and Manu Ginóbili in 2002 and the coaching brilliance of Gregg Popovich, that propelled the Spurs into one of the most premier franchises in sports. The Spurs have won five championships, and have consistently won 50 games or more year in and year out. The Spurs have seen soaring victories [[note]] Sean Elliott's Memorial Day Miracle in 1999, and Robert Horry's 2005 Finals Game 5 takeover [[/note]], and heart-wrenching losses [[note]] Derek Fisher's 0.4 second shot in 2004 and Ray Allen's dagger three-pointer 2013 [[/note]]. Interestingly, they are NOT among the NBA's most popular teams, with their play frequently described as [[BoringButPractical "Boring"]], and in recent years the team labeled as "Old" as well. No matter what, the Spurs just keep on winning. And with the acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and [=LaMarcus=] Aldridge, the Spurs are getting younger as well.

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* The '''San Antonio Spurs''' are arguably the most consistently dominant team in NBA history. In the almost 40 years since entering the NBA from the ABA in 1976, they have won a total of 18 division titles and only missed the playoffs ''four times''!!! While the Spurs saw moderate successes with George Gervin in the 80s and David Robinson in the 90s, it was the arrival of Tim Duncan in 1997, alongside the arrivals of Tony Parker in 2001 and Manu Ginóbili in 2002 and the coaching brilliance of Gregg Popovich, that propelled the Spurs into one of the most premier franchises in sports. The Spurs have won five championships, and have consistently won 50 games or more year in and year out. The Spurs have seen soaring victories [[note]] Sean Elliott's Memorial Day Miracle in 1999, and Robert Horry's 2005 Finals Game 5 takeover [[/note]], and heart-wrenching losses [[note]] Derek Fisher's 0.4 second shot in 2004 and Ray Allen's dagger three-pointer 2013 [[/note]]. Interestingly, they are NOT among the NBA's most popular teams, with their play frequently described as [[BoringButPractical "Boring"]], "{{boring|ButPractical}}", and in recent years the team labeled as "Old" "old" as well. No matter what, the Spurs just keep on winning. And with the acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and [=LaMarcus=] Aldridge, the Spurs are getting younger as well.



* '''Karl-Anthony Towns''' is a center drafted No. 1 overall in 2015 by the Timberwolves. After a prolific year at Kentucky, Towns was considered one of the best big man prospects in years, but not even the most optimistic fans would've predicted how dominant he would be right off the bat. Towns played every game in his rookie year, becoming a dominant two-way force in the paint and being just the fifth player to a unanimous vote for Rookie of the Year. Still just 20 years old after one NBA season, the sky is the limit for Towns. Though born and raised in New Jersey, he represents his mother's homeland of the Dominican Republic in international ball.

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* '''Karl-Anthony Towns''' is a center drafted No. 1 overall in 2015 by the Timberwolves. After a prolific year at Kentucky, Towns was considered one of the best big man prospects in years, but not even the most optimistic fans would've predicted how dominant he would be right off the bat. Towns played every game in his rookie year, becoming a dominant two-way force in the paint and being just the fifth player to a unanimous vote for Rookie of the Year. Still just 20 21 years old after one two NBA season, seasons, the sky is the limit for Towns. Though born and raised in New Jersey, he represents his mother's homeland of the Dominican Republic in international ball.



* '''Russell Westbrook''' was TheLancer to Kevin Durant and the second wheel of the Thunder's former Big 3 (Durant, Westbrook, and Harden), playing at point guard, and is now the undisputed team leader after Durant left for Golden State (though in 2017–18, he'll have to share at least some of the spotlight with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George). Since 2011, he's often been the beacon of criticism due to his unconventional playing as a point guard. Namely, he focuses on a lot of jump shots and he tends to dribble the ball to run down the clock, which often backfires if his shot misses. While Durant and Westbrook are very close friends, Westbrook was not happy considering himself as the second best in the Thunder, leading to Westbrook garnering the image of a ball-hog during the 2011 season. Surprisingly, Durant ''let'' him try to lead the scoring, but when it became clear that Westbrook's streaky jump shots weren't gonna cut it, they eventually got into a power struggle, and ended up losing to the Mavericks in the 2011 Western Conference Finals. However, he started [[CharacterDevelopment growing out of both traits by the time of the 2012 playoffs]], dishing out a few more assists and driving the paint much more often. Although renowned for being exceptionally durable (he had not missed a game since high school), a freak injury in the playoffs against the Rockets left Westbrook sidelined with a torn meniscus, after which the Thunder sputtered their way to an early playoff exit. In 2016–17, he became a triple-double machine, becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for a season, and also passing The Big O for triple-doubles in a single season on his way to league MVP honors.

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* '''Russell Westbrook''' was TheLancer to Kevin Durant and the second wheel of the Thunder's former Big 3 (Durant, Westbrook, and Harden), playing at point guard, and is now the undisputed team leader after Durant left for Golden State (though in 2017–18, he'll have he's having to share at least some of the spotlight with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George). Since 2011, he's often been the beacon of criticism due to his unconventional playing as a point guard. Namely, he focuses on a lot of jump shots and he tends to dribble the ball to run down the clock, which often backfires if his shot misses. While Durant and Westbrook are very close friends, Westbrook was not happy considering himself as the second best in the Thunder, leading to Westbrook garnering the image of a ball-hog during the 2011 season. Surprisingly, Durant ''let'' him try to lead the scoring, but when it became clear that Westbrook's streaky jump shots weren't gonna cut it, they eventually got into a power struggle, and ended up losing to the Mavericks in the 2011 Western Conference Finals. However, he started [[CharacterDevelopment growing out of both traits by the time of the 2012 playoffs]], dishing out a few more assists and driving the paint much more often. Although renowned for being exceptionally durable (he had not missed a game since high school), a freak injury in the playoffs against the Rockets left Westbrook sidelined with a torn meniscus, after which the Thunder sputtered their way to an early playoff exit. In 2016–17, he became a triple-double machine, becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for a season, and also passing The Big O for triple-doubles in a single season on his way to league MVP honors.



* '''Connie Hawkins''' was a New York City high school star and playground legend playing on the University of Iowa's freshman team[[note]]In his day, freshmen were ineligible for varsity sports.[[/note]] when he became implicated in a point-shaving [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Molinas scandal]]. Despite no evidence being found against him, he was expelled from the school and banned from the NBA. He played for a year with the short-lived American Basketball League, winning the MVP award for that season. He then played with the Harlem Globetrotters for several years before joining the fledgling ABA with the Pittsburgh Pipers. He became the league's first MVP and playoff MVP when he led the team to the ABA championship in 1968. When the NBA lifted its ban on him in 1969, he joined the one-year-old Phoenix Suns at the age of 27; the team improved by 23 wins over the previous season and almost upset the Lakers (who had Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, ''and'' Elgin Baylor) in the playoffs. He was the original "palm the ball" guy, even before Dr. J, able to move the ball anywhere he wanted one-handed and throw defenders off their game before passing, shooting, or driving to the hoop. He played with the Suns for four years, making the All-Star team each year, before being traded to the Lakers and playing a few more years there and with the Hawks. Despite losing what many felt could have been some of his best years to the ban, he made it to the Hall of Fame, and the Suns retired his number.

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* '''Connie Hawkins''' was a New York City high school star and playground legend playing on the University of Iowa's freshman team[[note]]In his day, freshmen were ineligible for varsity sports.[[/note]] when he became implicated in a point-shaving [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Molinas scandal]]. Despite no evidence being found against him, he was expelled from the school and banned from the NBA. He played for a year with the short-lived American Basketball League, winning the MVP award for that season. He then played with the Harlem Globetrotters for several years before joining the fledgling ABA with the Pittsburgh Pipers. He became the league's first MVP and playoff MVP when he led the team to the ABA championship in 1968. When the NBA lifted its ban on him in 1969, he joined the one-year-old Phoenix Suns at the age of 27; the team improved by 23 wins over the previous season and almost upset the Lakers (who had Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West, ''and'' Elgin Baylor) in the playoffs. He was the original "palm the ball" guy, even before Dr. J, able to move the ball anywhere he wanted one-handed and throw defenders off their game before passing, shooting, or driving to the hoop. He played with the Suns for four years, making the All-Star team each year, before being traded to the Lakers and playing a few more years there and with the Hawks. Despite losing what many felt could have been some of his best years to the ban, he made it to the Hall of Fame, and the Suns retired his number. He went on to work for the Suns for decades after his retirement, and continued to live in the Phoenix area until his death in 2017.



* '''Tim Duncan''' played for the San Antonio Spurs for 19 seasons: many-time All-Star, 10-time first-team and 15-time overall All-NBA, eight-time first-team and 15-time overall Defensive Team member, two-time MVP, five-time champion and three-time Finals MVP - about the only thing missing is Defensive Player of the Year, which he surprisingly never won. Duncan has been said by many to be the greatest power forward in NBA history and is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the Spurs in 1997, a season in which Duncan not only won the Rookie of the Year award, but also teamed up with Hall of Famer David Robinson to create a legendary basketball duo – the so-called 'twin towers.' Duncan won his fifth ring in the 2014 NBA Finals, having claimed a championship in three different decades; he has carved his niche into NBA history by lifting his team into one of the Western elites: the only time in his career that the Spurs won fewer than 50 regular-season games was in 1999, where due to a lockout there only were 50 games played. Because of his calm and unassuming style of basketball – even in his younger years when he was quicker and stronger than most other players he was as likely to dominate with footwork and intelligence as with his natural talent, and he rarely showboated or let his emotions show while playing - Shaquille O'Neal nicknamed Duncan "The Big Fundamental." Also because his personality off the court is also [[TheStoic quiet and unassuming]], he's a frequent target of Website/TheOnion. Wanted to be a pro swimmer as a child, but the hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic-sized swimming pool of the Virgin Islands. He could have continued to swim in the sea, but was [[ThreateningShark afraid of sharks]]. So he began playing basketball at [[LateArrivalSpoiler age fourteen]]. OneOfUs at times, as he's a D&D fan. His retirement during the 2016 offseason matched his personality—no farewell tour, no hype, just a statement to the press.

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* '''Tim Duncan''' played for the San Antonio Spurs for 19 seasons: many-time All-Star, 10-time first-team and 15-time overall All-NBA, eight-time first-team and 15-time overall Defensive Team member, two-time MVP, five-time champion and three-time Finals MVP - about the only thing missing is Defensive Player of the Year, which he surprisingly never won. Duncan has been said by many to be the greatest power forward in NBA history and is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame. He was drafted by the Spurs in 1997, a season in which Duncan not only won the Rookie of the Year award, but also teamed up with Hall of Famer David Robinson to create a legendary basketball duo – the so-called 'twin towers.' Duncan won his fifth ring in the 2014 NBA Finals, having claimed a championship in three different decades; he has carved his niche into NBA history by lifting his team into one of the Western elites: the only time in his career that the Spurs won fewer than 50 regular-season games was in 1999, where due to a lockout there only were 50 games played. Because of his calm and unassuming style of basketball – even in his younger years when he was quicker and stronger than most other players he was as likely to dominate with footwork and intelligence as with his natural talent, and he rarely showboated or let his emotions show while playing - Shaquille O'Neal nicknamed Duncan "The Big Fundamental." Also because his personality off the court is also [[TheStoic quiet and unassuming]], he's he was a frequent target of Website/TheOnion. Wanted to be a pro swimmer as a child, but the hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic-sized swimming pool of the Virgin Islands. He could have continued to swim in the sea, but was [[ThreateningShark afraid of sharks]]. So he began playing basketball at [[LateArrivalSpoiler age fourteen]]. OneOfUs at times, as he's a D&D fan. His retirement during the 2016 offseason matched his personality—no farewell tour, no hype, just a statement to the press.



* '''Gordon Hayward''', a 6-8 (white) small forward, became the face of the Jazz in the mid-10s before opting out of the final year of his contract in 2017 and jumping ship to the Celtics (where he's now reunited with his college coach, Brad Stevens). Hayward first entered the national consciousness as a college player at [[UsefulNotes/{{Indianapolis}} Butler]], where he led the Bulldogs to [[DownToTheLastPlay within an eyelash]] of a national title in 2010. He then declared for the NBA draft that spring, going to the Jazz as a lottery pick, and has steadily gone from good player to All-Star level. Notably, he has improved his scoring average in each season he's been in the league. Also OneOfUs, as he's a gaming enthusiast, even dabbling in [[UsefulNotes/ProfessionalGaming professional e-sports]].

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* '''Gordon Hayward''', a 6-8 (white) small forward, became the face of the Jazz in the mid-10s before opting out of the final year of his contract in 2017 and jumping ship to the Celtics (where he's now reunited with his college coach, Brad Stevens). Hayward first entered the national consciousness as a college player at [[UsefulNotes/{{Indianapolis}} Butler]], where he led the Bulldogs to [[DownToTheLastPlay within an eyelash]] of a national title in 2010. He then declared for the NBA draft that spring, going to the Jazz as a lottery pick, and has steadily gone from good player to All-Star level. Notably, he has improved his scoring average in each season he's been in the league. Sadly, he suffered a gruesome leg injury in the Celtics' 2017–18 season opener in Cleveland, dislocating an ankle and breaking the tibia in the same leg. Also OneOfUs, as he's a gaming enthusiast, even dabbling in [[UsefulNotes/ProfessionalGaming professional e-sports]].
11th Oct '17 3:07:37 AM KYCubbie
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* '''Rajon Rondo''', until being dealt to the Mavericks during the 2014–15 season, and still later moving to the Bulls, was a point guard for the Celtics, seen as one of the best of this generation. While Pierce, Allen and Garnett were touted as Boston's Big 3, it was Rondo that regularly coordinated their plays during games. This was made especially evident during 2010, when the Celtics defied expectations and met the Lakers in the Finals instead of the 1st seed, Cleveland. His first major drive into stardom, media coverage and fan recognition was when he kept playing Game 3 against the Heat in 2011 (which was ultimately won by the Celtics), even when his arm was ''dislocated''. As Pierce, Allen and Garnett reach their twilight years as NBA players, Rondo's quickly become their trump card and the face of their future, along with defensive specialist Avery Bradley. On a more personal note, Rondo is noted for his [[http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1163528-rajon-rondo-does-weird-things-after-tip-off-stays-awesome weird on-court antics]], off-court quirkiness (arriving to Chicago in the 2009 playoffs in a ''Red Bull NASCAR car'') and his relative HairTriggerTemper.

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* '''Rajon Rondo''', until being dealt to the Mavericks during the 2014–15 season, and still later moving to the Bulls, Bulls and now the Pelicans, was a point guard for the Celtics, seen as one of the best of this generation. While Pierce, Allen and Garnett were touted as Boston's Big 3, it was Rondo that regularly coordinated their plays during games. This was made especially evident during 2010, when the Celtics defied expectations and met the Lakers in the Finals instead of the 1st seed, Cleveland. His first major drive into stardom, media coverage and fan recognition was when he kept playing Game 3 against the Heat in 2011 (which was ultimately won by the Celtics), even when his arm was ''dislocated''. As Pierce, Allen and Garnett reach their twilight years as NBA players, Rondo's quickly become their trump card and the face of their future, along with defensive specialist Avery Bradley. On a more personal note, Rondo is noted for his [[http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1163528-rajon-rondo-does-weird-things-after-tip-off-stays-awesome weird on-court antics]], off-court quirkiness (arriving to Chicago in the 2009 playoffs in a ''Red Bull NASCAR car'') and his relative HairTriggerTemper.



* '''Isaiah Thomas''', [[NamesTheSame not to be confused with]] Hall of Fame guard and Hall of Shame executive Isiah Thomas (see the "Detroit Pistons" folder below), arrived from Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade. A point guard out of Washington, he was a three-time All-Pac-10[[note]]now the Pac-12[[/note]] selection, but was the very last pick in the 2011 draft by the Kings, mainly due to his size—or lack thereof (being all of 5'9"/1.75 m). He became a regular with the Kings before being traded to the Suns in 2014. Late in the 2014–15 season, he was dealt again, this time to the Celtics, where he would emerge as an All-Star in 2016 and 2017, as well as second-team All-NBA in 2017. (By comparison, at the time of the deal, Irving was a four-time All-Star, but has the same number of All-NBA selections, with his coming in 2014 on the third team.) Thomas and Irving are very similar in playing style—point guards who function best in isolation; slashers with a knack for scoring, especially at the rim; and major defensive liabilities, with Thomas even more so than Irving due to being 6 inches shorter.

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* '''Isaiah Thomas''', [[NamesTheSame not to be confused with]] Hall of Fame guard and Hall of Shame executive Isiah Thomas (see the "Detroit Pistons" folder below), arrived from Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade. A point guard out of Washington, he was a three-time All-Pac-10[[note]]now the Pac-12[[/note]] selection, but was the very last pick in the 2011 draft by the Kings, mainly due to his size—or lack thereof (being all of 5'9"/1.75 m). He became a regular with the Kings before being traded to the Suns in 2014. Late in the 2014–15 season, he was dealt again, this time to the Celtics, where he would emerge as an All-Star in 2016 and 2017, as well as second-team All-NBA in 2017. (By comparison, at the time of the deal, Irving was a four-time All-Star, but has the same number of All-NBA selections, with his coming in 2014 on the third team.) Thomas and Irving are very similar in playing style—point guards who function best in isolation; slashers with a knack for scoring, especially at the rim; and major significant defensive liabilities, with Thomas even more so than Irving due to being 6 inches shorter.



* '''Bob Lanier''' was a Hall of Fame center who arrived from St. Bonaventure in 1970, becoming the face of the Pistons for the next decade. An eight-time All-Star, he averaged just over 20 points and 10 rebounds during his 14-year career. Was dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks during the 1979–80 season, and helped lead the Bucks to division titles in each season until retiring in 1984. Also notable for his ''gigantic'' feet—visitors to the Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts can compare their feet to Lanier's U.S. ''size [=22s=]''.[[note]]The American shoe company Allen Edmonds, in business since 1922, made its largest-ever pair of shoes for him.[[/note]]

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* '''Dave Bing''' was a Hall of Fame guard who arrived from Syracuse in 1966 and immediately became a star, earning Rookie of the Year honors and leading the league in scoring in his second season. Bing made seven All-Star appearances in his nine seasons in Detroit before short stints in his hometown of Washington (two seasons) and finally Boston (one season). Though listed as a point guard, his playing style was somewhat ahead of his time, as he was much more of a scorer than typical ballhandlers of his era. After his retirement, he went into business supplying parts for the auto industry, with noticeable success. He later went on to serve as mayor of Detroit for a bit more than a full term,[[note]](he was initially elected to serve out the final months of the term of the previous mayor, who resigned after pleading guilty to perjury, and was then elected to a full term)[[/note]] but during that time the city declared bankruptcy (though in fairness, the city was falling apart long before he became mayor).
* '''Bob Lanier''' was a Hall of Fame center who arrived from St. Bonaventure in 1970, becoming joining Bing as the second face of the Pistons for and becoming ''the'' face after Bing's departure from the next decade.Motor City. An eight-time All-Star, he averaged just over 20 points and 10 rebounds during his 14-year career. Was dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks during the 1979–80 season, and helped lead the Bucks to division titles in each season until retiring in 1984. Also notable for his ''gigantic'' feet—visitors to the Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts can compare their feet to Lanier's U.S. ''size [=22s=]''.[[note]]The American shoe company Allen Edmonds, in business since 1922, made its largest-ever pair of shoes for him.[[/note]]



* '''Gordon Hayward''', a 6-9 (white) small forward, became the face of the Jazz in the mid-10s before opting out of the final year of his contract in 2017 and jumping ship to the Celtics (where he's now reunited with his college coach, Brad Stevens). Hayward first entered the national consciousness as a college player at [[UsefulNotes/{{Indianapolis}} Butler]], where he led the Bulldogs to [[DownToTheLastPlay within an eyelash]] of a national title in 2010. He then declared for the NBA draft that spring, going to the Jazz as a lottery pick, and has steadily gone from good player to All-Star level. Notably, he has improved his scoring average in each season he's been in the league. Also OneOfUs, as he's a gaming enthusiast, even dabbling in [[UsefulNotes/ProfessionalGaming professional e-sports]].

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* '''Gordon Hayward''', a 6-9 6-8 (white) small forward, became the face of the Jazz in the mid-10s before opting out of the final year of his contract in 2017 and jumping ship to the Celtics (where he's now reunited with his college coach, Brad Stevens). Hayward first entered the national consciousness as a college player at [[UsefulNotes/{{Indianapolis}} Butler]], where he led the Bulldogs to [[DownToTheLastPlay within an eyelash]] of a national title in 2010. He then declared for the NBA draft that spring, going to the Jazz as a lottery pick, and has steadily gone from good player to All-Star level. Notably, he has improved his scoring average in each season he's been in the league. Also OneOfUs, as he's a gaming enthusiast, even dabbling in [[UsefulNotes/ProfessionalGaming professional e-sports]].
30th Sep '17 2:05:55 AM KYCubbie
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* '''Dwyane Wade''' is a shooting guard who played his entire career with the Heat before joining the Bulls, his hometown team, in the 2016 offseason. Selected fifth overall during the 2003 NBA draft, instantly propelling the Heat into the playoffs, but he was often overshadowed by Carmelo and [=LeBron=]. On the other hand, Wade was the first to deliver a championship to the team that drafted him (unless you count Darko Miličić, but he barely did anything). He was the 2006 Finals MVP for averaging ''34 points'' in the final four games versus the Dallas Mavericks. Since then, he's been one of Miami's best players; in 2009, he led the league in scoring and even placed second in MVP voting, behind only to [=LeBron=] himself. Recognized as one of the premier veterans of the NBA, Wade was easily considered the face of the Miami Heat (being its official captain certainly didn't hurt), despite publicly endorsing [=LeBron=] as the leader during the latter's four years in Miami. His tendency to receive injuries is a constant concern, however, and old age (he turned 35 during the most recent 2016–17 season) is creeping along his way, but he can still score in double-digits. He's also one of the few sports players [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROP7U9Er-bE&feature=related who detailed]] his DarkAndTroubledPast, and he admits that he pretty much went through hell during the 2012 playoffs (almost lost his kids, had his knee drained and so forth). He's lauded for his determination and heart as a player, even though it leads to him having a HairTriggerTemper on the court.

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* '''Dwyane Wade''' is a shooting guard who played his entire career with the Heat before joining the Bulls, his hometown team, in the 2016 offseason.offseason, and later rejoining his former teammate [=LeBron=] in 2017, this time in Cleveland. Selected fifth overall during the 2003 NBA draft, instantly propelling the Heat into the playoffs, but he was often overshadowed by Carmelo and [=LeBron=]. On the other hand, Wade was the first to deliver a championship to the team that drafted him (unless you count Darko Miličić, but he barely did anything). He was the 2006 Finals MVP for averaging ''34 points'' in the final four games versus the Dallas Mavericks. Since then, he's been one of Miami's best players; in 2009, he led the league in scoring and even placed second in MVP voting, behind only to [=LeBron=] himself. Recognized as one of the premier veterans of the NBA, Wade was easily considered the face of the Miami Heat (being its official captain certainly didn't hurt), despite publicly endorsing [=LeBron=] as the leader during the latter's four years in Miami. His tendency to receive injuries is a constant concern, however, and old age (he turned 35 during the most recent 2016–17 season) is creeping along his way, but he can still score in double-digits. He's also one of the few sports players [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROP7U9Er-bE&feature=related who detailed]] his DarkAndTroubledPast, and he admits that he pretty much went through hell during the 2012 playoffs (almost lost his kids, had his knee drained and so forth). He's lauded for his determination and heart as a player, even though it leads to him having a HairTriggerTemper on the court.
26th Sep '17 1:07:29 PM KYCubbie
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* '''Isaiah Thomas''', [[NamesTheSame not to be confused with]] Hall of Fame guard and Hall of Shame executive Isiah Thomas (see the "Detroit Pistons" folder below for more details), arrived from Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade. A point guard out of Washington, he was a three-time All-Pac-10[[note]]now the Pac-12[[/note]] selection, but was the very last pick in the 2011 draft by the Kings, mainly due to his size—or lack thereof (being all of 5'9"/1.75 m). He became a regular with the Kings before being traded to the Suns in 2014. Late in the 2014–15 season, he was dealt again, this time to the Celtics, where he would emerge as an All-Star in 2016 and 2017, as well as second-team All-NBA in 2017. (By comparison, at the time of the deal, Irving was a four-time All-Star, but has the same number of All-NBA selections, with his coming in 2014 on the third team.) Thomas and Irving are very similar in playing style—point guards who function best in isolation; slashers with a knack for scoring, especially at the rim; and major defensive liabilities, with Thomas even more so than Irving due to being 6 inches shorter.

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* '''Isaiah Thomas''', [[NamesTheSame not to be confused with]] Hall of Fame guard and Hall of Shame executive Isiah Thomas (see the "Detroit Pistons" folder below for more details), below), arrived from Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade. A point guard out of Washington, he was a three-time All-Pac-10[[note]]now the Pac-12[[/note]] selection, but was the very last pick in the 2011 draft by the Kings, mainly due to his size—or lack thereof (being all of 5'9"/1.75 m). He became a regular with the Kings before being traded to the Suns in 2014. Late in the 2014–15 season, he was dealt again, this time to the Celtics, where he would emerge as an All-Star in 2016 and 2017, as well as second-team All-NBA in 2017. (By comparison, at the time of the deal, Irving was a four-time All-Star, but has the same number of All-NBA selections, with his coming in 2014 on the third team.) Thomas and Irving are very similar in playing style—point guards who function best in isolation; slashers with a knack for scoring, especially at the rim; and major defensive liabilities, with Thomas even more so than Irving due to being 6 inches shorter.



'''Kristaps Porziņģis''' is emerging as the Knicks' star of the future. The 7'3" Latvian, who had been playing for Sevilla in the Spanish league, was the #4 pick in 2015, which drew boos from Knicks fans. He soon turned the boos to cheers with a style of play reminiscent of a more athletic Dirk Nowitzki, complete with legitimate three-point range. While he lost out on Rookie of the Year honors to Karl-Anthony Towns, he became the first NBA player ever with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 100 blocks, and 75 threes as a rookie. After improving in most key stats in his second season, the sky looks to be the limit for Porziņģis (pun not intended).

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'''Kristaps *'''Kristaps Porziņģis''' is emerging as the Knicks' star of the future. The 7'3" Latvian, who had been playing for Sevilla in the Spanish league, was the #4 pick in 2015, which drew boos from Knicks fans. He soon turned the boos to cheers with a style of play reminiscent of a more athletic Dirk Nowitzki, complete with legitimate three-point range. While he lost out on Rookie of the Year honors to Karl-Anthony Towns, he became the first NBA player ever with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 100 blocks, and 75 threes as a rookie. After improving in most key stats in his second season, the sky looks to be the limit for Porziņģis (pun not intended).
26th Sep '17 1:05:35 PM KYCubbie
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* The '''Golden State Warriors''' are the current NBA champs, the Bay Area's team, and have one of the deepest histories in the league. Originally the Philadelphia Warriors, the franchise has won five championships in its history[[note]] Two in Philly in 1947 and again 1956, and three in California in 1975, 2015, and 2017[[/note]] The Warriors are notable for being the first team for UsefulNotes/WiltChamberlain before he joined the Philadelphia 76ers. Rick Barry led the Warriors to the title in 1975, which marked the beginning of a long dark period of mediocre basketball.[[note]]Although they did take out the top ranked Dallas Mavericks as an eight seed in 2007.[[/note]] [[TookALevelInBadass Things changed dramatically for the Warriors]] when they drafted [[BashBrothers "Splash Brothers"]] Stephen Curry (2009) and Klay Thompson (2011). With the additions of power forward [[LightningBruiser Draymond]] [[BloodKnight Green]] in 2012 and head coach Steve Kerr in 2014, the Warriors established themselves as arguably [[ImprobableAimingSkills the greatest shooting team]] in NBA history, winning the title in 2015, and followed that up by [[TheJuggernaut going 73–9]] in the 2015–16 regular season, surpassing the 1995–96 Bulls for the best regular-season record in league history (though unlike the Bulls, [[DownerEnding they were defeated in the finals]], despite at one point having a 3-1 series advantage over the Cavaliers). At this moment, the "Dubs"[[note]]A play on W, as in"[=DOUBle=] u"s[[/note]] are one of the greatest teams the league has ever seen, and thanks to their core's relative youth, a title threat for years to come. And [[FromBadToWorse that]] was ''before'' they [[OhCrap added Kevin Durant]] [[TookALevelInBadass in the 2016 offseason...]] They didn't do ''quite'' as well in the regular season in 2016–17, but still had the league's best record, and then went on a historic rampage through the playoffs, with their only postseason loss coming in Game 4 of the Finals in Cleveland. Currently building a new arena in San Francisco and plan to open it in 2019.

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* The '''Golden State Warriors''' are the current NBA champs, the Bay Area's team, and have one of the deepest histories in the league. Originally the Philadelphia Warriors, the franchise has won five championships in its history[[note]] Two in Philly in 1947 and again 1956, and three in California in 1975, 2015, and 2017[[/note]] The Warriors are notable for being the first team for UsefulNotes/WiltChamberlain before he joined the Philadelphia 76ers. Rick Barry led the Warriors to the title in 1975, which marked the beginning of a long dark period of mediocre basketball.[[note]]Although they did take out the top ranked Dallas Mavericks as an eight seed in 2007.[[/note]] [[TookALevelInBadass Things changed dramatically for the Warriors]] when they drafted [[BashBrothers "Splash Brothers"]] Stephen Curry UsefulNotes/StephenCurry (2009) and Klay Thompson (2011). With the additions of power forward [[LightningBruiser Draymond]] [[BloodKnight Green]] in 2012 and head coach Steve Kerr in 2014, the Warriors established themselves as arguably [[ImprobableAimingSkills the greatest shooting team]] in NBA history, winning the title in 2015, and followed that up by [[TheJuggernaut going 73–9]] in the 2015–16 regular season, surpassing the 1995–96 Bulls for the best regular-season record in league history (though unlike the Bulls, [[DownerEnding they were defeated in the finals]], despite at one point having a 3-1 series advantage over the Cavaliers). At this moment, the "Dubs"[[note]]A play on W, as in"[=DOUBle=] u"s[[/note]] are one of the greatest teams the league has ever seen, and thanks to their core's relative youth, a title threat for years to come. And [[FromBadToWorse that]] was ''before'' they [[OhCrap added Kevin Durant]] [[TookALevelInBadass in the 2016 offseason...]] They didn't do ''quite'' as well in the regular season in 2016–17, but still had the league's best record, and then went on a historic rampage through the playoffs, with their only postseason loss coming in Game 4 of the Finals in Cleveland. Currently building a new arena in San Francisco and plan to open it in 2019.



* '''Paul George''' was the tenth pick of the 2010 Draft. Although he had two solid seasons in his first two years, he would break out in his third season following an injury to Danny Granger. He made the All-Star game, the All-NBA team, and broke Reggie Miller's franchise record for most three-pointers made in a game on his way to win the 2013 Most Improved Player award. However, he suffered a gruesome broken leg while preparing for the 2014 Basketball World Cup, and didn't return until the last month of the 2014–15 regular season. George has since returned to close to his pre-injury self. He was then traded in the 2017 offseason to the Thunder, mainly so the Pacers would get something in return for him, since he's set to become a free agent in 2018 (and has expressed a desire to play in L.A.).

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* '''Paul George''' was the tenth pick of the 2010 Draft. Although he had two solid seasons in his first two years, he would break out in his third season following an injury to Danny Granger. He made the All-Star game, the All-NBA team, and broke Reggie Miller's franchise record for most three-pointers made in a game on his way to win the 2013 Most Improved Player award. However, he suffered a gruesome broken leg while preparing for the 2014 Basketball World Cup, and didn't return until the last month of the 2014–15 regular season. George has since returned to close to his pre-injury self. He was then traded in the 2017 offseason to the Thunder, mainly so the Pacers would get something in return for him, since he's set to become a free agent in 2018 (and has expressed a desire to play in L.A.).; he grew up in the northern L.A. County suburb of Palmdale).



* '''Ricky Rubio''' was a Spanish star point guard for the Timberwolves before being traded to the Jazz in the 2017 offseason. Rubio formed a power-duo with his captain, Kevin Love, before Love was traded to Cleveland. Rubio first gained international fame in 2005, when his club put him on the main roster and played him in Spain's top pro league days before his 15th birthday. He would then gain more star power by playing in the Euroleague at 16, and then play for Spain's Olympic team at 17, where he would the respect of Dwyane Wade along the way. He was drafted by Minnesota in 2009, but he decided to wait a few years since he thought he could improve in Spain. In spite of returning in a lockout season, it appeared to have been a wise decision since he impressed the league with a style that's similar to that of Steve Nash or Jason Kidd.

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* '''Ricky Rubio''' was a Spanish star point guard for the Timberwolves before being traded to the Jazz in the 2017 offseason. Rubio formed a power-duo with his captain, Kevin Love, before Love was traded to Cleveland. Rubio first gained international fame in 2005, when his club put him on the main roster and played him in Spain's top pro league days before his 15th birthday. He would then gain more star power by playing in the Euroleague at 16, and then play for Spain's Olympic team at 17, where he would the respect of Dwyane Wade along the way. He was drafted by Minnesota in 2009, but he decided to wait a few years since he thought he could improve in Spain. In spite of returning in a lockout season, it appeared to have been a wise decision since he impressed the league with a style that's similar to that of Steve Nash or Jason Kidd. Rubio has one major weakness as a player, however—despite his savant-level passing skills, he's one of the league's worst shooters.


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'''Kristaps Porziņģis''' is emerging as the Knicks' star of the future. The 7'3" Latvian, who had been playing for Sevilla in the Spanish league, was the #4 pick in 2015, which drew boos from Knicks fans. He soon turned the boos to cheers with a style of play reminiscent of a more athletic Dirk Nowitzki, complete with legitimate three-point range. While he lost out on Rookie of the Year honors to Karl-Anthony Towns, he became the first NBA player ever with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 100 blocks, and 75 threes as a rookie. After improving in most key stats in his second season, the sky looks to be the limit for Porziņģis (pun not intended).
23rd Sep '17 11:35:04 AM KYCubbie
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* '''Carmelo Anthony''' is a native New Yorker who plays at the small forward position. Largely seen as TheRival to [=LeBron=] James, and not just for their frequent, physical [[http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/article/media_slots/photos/000/422/314/143966544_crop_650x440.jpg?1336428971 on-court duels]] during game. They parallel one another rather eerily - both were drafted (among the top three) in the same year; both were the go-to All-Star rookies of their time; both garnered controversy regarding trade deals; and both propelled their rookie-year mediocre teams into playoff contenders, short of actually winning championships. However, Melo's far from a carbon copy of [=LeBron=] - they differ in their style of play, the time of their inception to the NBA, the fallout of their trades (Denver just wanted him to make a decision already; [=LeBron=] was portrayed as the proponent of a FaceHeelTurn), and the overall perception of their characters by the NBA, with Melo as a ball-hog. He immediately became co-leader of the Knicks on his arrival, and after Stoudemire's departure from the team is now the undisputed leader.

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* '''Carmelo Anthony''' is a native New Yorker Yorker, though raised in UsefulNotes/{{Baltimore}}, who plays at the small forward position.position. After spending one season at Syracuse, where he led the then-Orangemen[[note]]Cuse didn't change their nickname to "Orange" until 2004.[[/note]] to their first national title, he went third in the 2003 draft to the Nuggets. While he has actually spent more of his career with the Nuggets than the Knicks (8 seasons to 6), he had most of his best years in the Big Apple. Largely seen as TheRival to [=LeBron=] James, and not just for their frequent, physical [[http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/article/media_slots/photos/000/422/314/143966544_crop_650x440.jpg?1336428971 on-court duels]] during game. They parallel one another rather eerily - both were drafted (among the top three) in the same year; both were the go-to All-Star rookies of their time; both garnered controversy regarding trade deals; and both propelled their rookie-year mediocre teams into playoff contenders, short of actually winning championships. However, Melo's far from a carbon copy of [=LeBron=] - they differ in their style of play, the time of their inception to the NBA, the fallout of their trades (Denver just wanted him to make a decision already; [=LeBron=] was portrayed as the proponent of a FaceHeelTurn), and the overall perception of their characters by the NBA, with Melo as a ball-hog. He immediately became co-leader of the Knicks on his arrival, and after Stoudemire's departure from the team is now became the undisputed leader.leader until the 2017 offseason, when the team wanted to unload him and attempt to rebuild around a younger core. His move was hampered by a big contract and a no-trade clause, and he initially would only waive it for Houston (with James Harden and Chris Paul). After he expanded his list to Cleveland ([=LeBron=]) and Oklahoma City (Russell Westbrook and Paul George), the Knicks made a deal to send him to OKC.



* '''Russell Westbrook''' was TheLancer to Kevin Durant and the second wheel of the Thunder's former Big 3 (Durant, Westbrook, and Harden), playing at point guard, and is now the undisputed team leader after Durant left for Golden State (though in 2017–18, he'll have to share at least some of the spotlight with Paul George). Since 2011, he's often been the beacon of criticism due to his unconventional playing as a point guard. Namely, he focuses on a lot of jump shots and he tends to dribble the ball to run down the clock, which often backfires if his shot misses. While Durant and Westbrook are very close friends, Westbrook was not happy considering himself as the second best in the Thunder, leading to Westbrook garnering the image of a ball-hog during the 2011 season. Surprisingly, Durant ''let'' him try to lead the scoring, but when it became clear that Westbrook's streaky jump shots weren't gonna cut it, they eventually got into a power struggle, and ended up losing to the Mavericks in the 2011 Western Conference Finals. However, he started [[CharacterDevelopment growing out of both traits by the time of the 2012 playoffs]], dishing out a few more assists and driving the paint much more often. Although renowned for being exceptionally durable (he had not missed a game since high school), a freak injury in the playoffs against the Rockets left Westbrook sidelined with a torn meniscus, after which the Thunder sputtered their way to an early playoff exit. In 2016–17, he became a triple-double machine, becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for a season, and also passing The Big O for triple-doubles in a single season on his way to league MVP honors.

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* '''Russell Westbrook''' was TheLancer to Kevin Durant and the second wheel of the Thunder's former Big 3 (Durant, Westbrook, and Harden), playing at point guard, and is now the undisputed team leader after Durant left for Golden State (though in 2017–18, he'll have to share at least some of the spotlight with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George). Since 2011, he's often been the beacon of criticism due to his unconventional playing as a point guard. Namely, he focuses on a lot of jump shots and he tends to dribble the ball to run down the clock, which often backfires if his shot misses. While Durant and Westbrook are very close friends, Westbrook was not happy considering himself as the second best in the Thunder, leading to Westbrook garnering the image of a ball-hog during the 2011 season. Surprisingly, Durant ''let'' him try to lead the scoring, but when it became clear that Westbrook's streaky jump shots weren't gonna cut it, they eventually got into a power struggle, and ended up losing to the Mavericks in the 2011 Western Conference Finals. However, he started [[CharacterDevelopment growing out of both traits by the time of the 2012 playoffs]], dishing out a few more assists and driving the paint much more often. Although renowned for being exceptionally durable (he had not missed a game since high school), a freak injury in the playoffs against the Rockets left Westbrook sidelined with a torn meniscus, after which the Thunder sputtered their way to an early playoff exit. In 2016–17, he became a triple-double machine, becoming the first player since Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double for a season, and also passing The Big O for triple-doubles in a single season on his way to league MVP honors.
11th Sep '17 12:28:40 AM KYCubbie
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The NBA has 30 teams split into two conferences (Eastern and Western). Each 15-team conference has three five-team divisions. Each conference sends 8 teams to the playoffs; before the 2015–16 season, the three division winners received automatic berths. Starting with the 2015–16 season, seeding in the playoffs is based purely on record, with no automatic berths for division winners at all. So a division winner could be as low as an 8th seed... or even miss the playoffs entirely. This makes the NBA the first major US professional league to eliminate automatic playoff berths for division winners. All playoff games are best-of-seven series.

The primary route from which new players enter the league is the NBA Draft, held each June. Players come mostly from college basketball, though increasingly overseas players are also chosen. The draft consists of 2 rounds, the shortest (by far) of any of the major sports.[[note]]The UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer [=SuperDraft=] is four rounds. The [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]] and [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague NHL]] drafts are seven rounds each. The [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams MLB]] draft lasts ''40 rounds''.[[/note]] Teams that miss the playoffs are entered into a weighted draft lottery, which determines the first 3 picks, meaning the team with the worst record is most likely, but not guaranteed to get the first pick. Subsequently, players scouted to go as early draft picks are said to be "lottery picks" (a good thing), while teams likely to miss the playoffs are said to be "lottery bound" (a bad thing, except that they're likely to get better players in the draft). The remaining first round picks are awarded in inverse order of record, so the reigning NBA champs get the 30th and last pick in the first round. The second round is purely inverse record.

The other major route for players to get to the NBA is through the league-run NBA Gatorade League ([[ProductPlacement corporately rebranded]] from the NBA Development League from 2017–18), known as the G League for short. It has 22 teams in the most recent 2016–17 season, with more on the way. Players are usually undrafted free agents or players previously cut from NBA teams. Such players are usually role players or backups. The G League fills the same role that the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association filled, and the rules for signing players from the G League to 10-day contracts (as fill-ins; they can be renewed once, after which the NBA team must either sign the player for the rest of the season or release them) are near-identical. The big difference is the G League is owned by the NBA, and teams can actually assign up players with less than three years experience to their affiliated G League team outright. Starting in 2017–18, NBA teams are allowed to sign two players to so-called "two-way contracts", allowing them to move the players freely between the NBA and G League without risk of losing rights to them. (Under current rules, which will not change for the bulk of G League players, any NBA team can call up any G League player, regardless of affiliation.) Players under two-way contracts do not count against the NBA team's roster limit, and will also receive a higher salary while in the G League than other players.

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The NBA has 30 teams split into two conferences (Eastern and Western). Each 15-team conference has three five-team divisions. Each conference sends 8 teams to the playoffs; before the 2015–16 season, the three division winners received automatic berths. Starting with since the 2015–16 season, seeding in the playoffs is has been based purely on record, with no automatic berths for division winners at all. So a division winner could be as low as an 8th seed... or even miss the playoffs entirely. This makes the NBA the first major US professional league to eliminate automatic playoff berths for division winners. All playoff games are best-of-seven series.

The primary route from which new players enter the league is the NBA Draft, held each June. Players come mostly from college basketball, though increasingly overseas players are also chosen. The draft consists of 2 rounds, the shortest (by far) of any of the major sports.[[note]]The UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueSoccer [=SuperDraft=] is four rounds. The [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]] and [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague NHL]] drafts are seven rounds each. The [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams MLB]] UsefulNotes/{{MLB|Teams}} draft lasts ''40 rounds''.[[/note]] Teams that miss the playoffs are entered into a weighted draft lottery, which determines the first 3 picks, meaning the team with the worst record is most likely, but not guaranteed to get the first pick. Subsequently, players scouted to go as early draft picks are said to be "lottery picks" (a good thing), while teams likely to miss the playoffs are said to be "lottery bound" (a bad thing, except that they're likely to get better players in the draft). The remaining first round picks are awarded in inverse order of record, so the reigning NBA champs get the 30th and last pick in the first round. The second round is purely inverse record.

The other major route for players to get to the NBA is through the league-run NBA Gatorade League ([[ProductPlacement corporately rebranded]] from the NBA Development League from 2017–18), known as the G League for short. It has 22 teams in the most recent 2016–17 season, with more on the way. Players are usually undrafted free agents or players previously cut from NBA teams. Such players are usually role players or backups. The G League fills the same role that the now-defunct Continental Basketball Association filled, and the rules for signing players from the G League to 10-day contracts (as fill-ins; they can be renewed once, after which the NBA team must either sign the player for the rest of the season or release them) are near-identical. The big difference is the G League is owned by the NBA, and teams can actually assign up players with less than three years experience to their affiliated G League team outright. Starting Almost all players in 2017–18, the G League are under contract to the league, not their individual team, regardless of NBA teams are affiliation. (Before the 2017–18 season, this was the case for all D-League players.) This means that any NBA team can call up any G League player... with one major exception. Each NBA team is now allowed to sign two players to so-called "two-way contracts", allowing them to move the players freely between the NBA and G League without risk of losing rights to them. (Under current rules, which will not change for the bulk of G League players, any NBA team can call up any G League player, regardless of affiliation.) Players under two-way contracts do not count against the NBA team's roster limit, and will also receive a higher salary while in the G League than other players.
players. Also, their salaries (whether in the G League or with the NBA team) do not count against the league's salary cap.



* The '''Houston Rockets''' date back to 1967 [[note]]They were the San Diego Rockets for their first four seasons before moving to Houston; [[CaptainObvious obviously]] with Houston city's {{NASA}} roots, there was no reason for a name change[[/note]] and are the former team of Hakeem Olajuwon, who won two championships in the '90s. The Rockets made an international splash in 2002 when they won the right to draft Chinese superstar Yao Ming. Sadly, injuries shortened not only Yao's career, but also that of fellow superstar Tracy [=McGrady=], which also affected the Rockets' chances of competing against Kobe's Lakers, Dirk's Mavs, and Duncan's Spurs. After Yao retired in 2011, the Rockets were left in mediocrity limbo until a fortunate trade landed James Harden in Houston in 2012. Since then, the Rockets have established themselves as a true contender in the West, advancing to the Western Conference Finals in 2015.

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* The '''Houston Rockets''' date back to 1967 [[note]]They were the San Diego Rockets for their first four seasons before moving to Houston; [[CaptainObvious obviously]] with Houston city's {{NASA}} roots, there was no reason for a name change[[/note]] and are the former team of Hakeem Olajuwon, who won two championships in the '90s. The Rockets made an international splash in 2002 when they won the right to draft Chinese superstar Yao Ming. Sadly, injuries shortened not only Yao's career, but also that of fellow superstar Tracy [=McGrady=], which also affected the Rockets' chances of competing against Kobe's Lakers, Dirk's Mavs, and Duncan's Spurs. After Yao retired in 2011, the Rockets were left in mediocrity limbo until a fortunate trade landed James Harden in Houston in 2012. Since then, the Rockets have established themselves as a true contender in the West, advancing to the Western Conference Finals in 2015. The most recent NBA team to have changed ownership, having been sold in the 2017 offseason for $2.2 billion.
2nd Sep '17 3:53:11 PM KYCubbie
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* The original '''Denver Nuggets''' ('''1948-1950''') are Denver's first ''ever'' professional team. Unfortunately, they were probably the worst team they had. In their two years with the NBL/NBA, they ended up getting two losing records, the second of which being the worst. On the plus side, they were a great un-named Denver amateur team back in 1938-48, and they put the city on the map in terms of sports. Just like Baltimore, they shouldn't be confused with the current Denver NBA team of [[NamesTheSame the same name]], albeit ''that'' Denver Nuggets weren't originally named the Nuggets to begin with.

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* The original '''Denver Nuggets''' ('''1948-1950''') are Denver's first ''ever'' top-level professional team. Unfortunately, they were probably the worst team they had. In their two years with the NBL/NBA, they ended up getting two losing records, the second of which being the worst. On the plus side, they were a great un-named Denver amateur team back in 1938-48, and they put the city on the map in terms of sports. Just like Baltimore, they shouldn't be confused with the current Denver NBA team of [[NamesTheSame the same name]], albeit ''that'' Denver Nuggets weren't originally named the Nuggets to begin with.



* The '''Waterloo Hawks''' ('''1948-1951''') were the only sports franchise to ever hold a permanent home somewhere in Iowa. The original Hawks team started out as a more-or-less average team when they were in the NBL. When they moved to the NBA, however, they did a horrible job there. When the Hawks finally made it to the NPBL, they actually were a good team, setting out a 32-24 record. Unfortunately for the Hawks (as well as the Packers and the Red Skins), the NPBL failed without a champion truly being awarded, and the Hawks soon folded afterwards.

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* The '''Waterloo Hawks''' ('''1948-1951''') were the only major sports franchise to ever hold a permanent home somewhere in Iowa. The original Hawks team started out as a more-or-less average team when they were in the NBL. When they moved to the NBA, however, they did a horrible job there. When the Hawks finally made it to the NPBL, they actually were a good team, setting out a 32-24 record. Unfortunately for the Hawks (as well as the Packers and the Red Skins), the NPBL failed without a champion truly being awarded, and the Hawks soon folded afterwards.



* '''Giannis Antetokounmpo'''[[note]]Rough pronunciation: YAHN-ees ah-det-oh-KOON-boh. In the standard Greek-to-English transliteration system, "nt" represents the "d" sound, and "mp" represents the "b" sound.[[/note]], the "Greek Freak",[[note]]He was born and raised in Greece, but his parents were immigrants from Nigeria.[[/note]] joined the Bucks in 2013, and with his flashy style soon became a fan favorite even if the team was losing a lot at the time. And even more once they started winning the following year! His game developed to the point that Bucks head coach Jason Kidd announced that Antetokounmpo would see time at ''point guard'' in 2016–17, and just before that season the Bucks signed him to a 4-year, $100 million extension. See [[http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14927328/milwaukee-bucks-f-giannis-antetokounmpo-nba-most-exceptional-body this article]] from ''ESPN The Magazine'' for some astonishing physical facts. A teaser: His hands are even bigger than those of Kawhi Leonard (mentioned below), a player noted for his huge hands. During the 2016–17 season, he took a quantum leap into the league's elite, becoming the first player in NBA history to finish a season in the league's top 20 in total [[MasterOfAll points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks]], and one of only five to lead his team in the same statistics in a single season.

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* '''Giannis Antetokounmpo'''[[note]]Rough pronunciation: YAHN-ees ah-det-oh-KOON-boh. In the standard Greek-to-English transliteration system, "nt" represents the "d" sound, and "mp" represents the "b" sound.[[/note]], the "Greek Freak",[[note]]He was born and raised in Greece, but his parents were immigrants from Nigeria.[[/note]] joined the Bucks in 2013, and with his flashy style soon became a fan favorite even if the team was losing a lot at the time. And even more once they started winning the following year! His game developed to the point that Bucks head coach Jason Kidd announced that the 6'11" (2.11 m) Antetokounmpo would see time at ''point guard'' in 2016–17, and just before that season the Bucks signed him to a 4-year, $100 million extension. See [[http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/14927328/milwaukee-bucks-f-giannis-antetokounmpo-nba-most-exceptional-body this article]] from ''ESPN The Magazine'' for some astonishing physical facts. A teaser: His hands are even bigger than those of Kawhi Leonard (mentioned below), a player noted for his huge hands. During the 2016–17 season, he took a quantum leap into the league's elite, becoming the first player in NBA history to finish a season in the league's top 20 in total [[MasterOfAll points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks]], and one of only five to lead his team in the same statistics in a single season.
29th Aug '17 2:43:25 PM KYCubbie
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** Also noted as being the unwitting trigger for the 2015 sale of the Atlanta Hawks.[[labelnote:Explanation]]In the 2014 offseason, several Hawks executives held a conference call regarding potential free agent signees. During the call, general manager Danny Ferry read from a background report in which a scout used racial stereotypes in reference to Deng. This launched an internal investigation which uncovered an email in which principal owner Bruce Levenson made several racial comments, most notably expressing concern that white fans might be scared away by black fans. Because the email came out during the Donald Sterling controversy, Levenson didn't wait for the NBA to force him to sell his controlling stake in the team, immediately selling out. His other (often-squabbling) partners sold their stakes as well.[[/labelnote]]

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** Also noted as being the unwitting trigger for the 2015 sale of the Atlanta Hawks.[[labelnote:Explanation]]In the 2014 offseason, several Hawks executives held a conference call regarding potential free agent signees. During the call, general manager Danny Ferry read from a background report in which a scout used racial stereotypes in reference to Deng. This launched an internal investigation which uncovered an email in which principal owner Bruce Levenson made several racial comments, most notably expressing concern that white fans might be scared away by black fans. Because the The Levenson email came out during emerged in the middle of the Donald Sterling controversy, controversy; Levenson didn't wait saw the writing on the wall and put his majority stake in the team up for sale before the NBA to could force him to sell his controlling stake in the team, immediately selling out. His other (often-squabbling) partners sold their stakes as well.[[/labelnote]]
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