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* '''Creator/KareemAbdulJabbar''' is another one of the players in serious contention for "best ever". He has six [=MVP=] awards, six championships, and is currently the league's all-time leading scorer. He was born Lew Alcindor, but converted to Islam during his legendary college career at UCLA, and changed his name after his second season in the league with the Milwaukee Bucks. In 1975, he was traded to the L.A. Lakers, and played there for the remaining 13 years of his career. Best known for the [[SignatureMove "sky hook" shot]], being [[TheJuggernaut nigh-unto-unstoppable]], and playing co-pilot Roger Murdock in Film/{{Airplane}}.

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* '''Creator/KareemAbdulJabbar''' is another one of the players in serious contention for "best ever". He has six [=MVP=] awards, six championships, and is currently the league's all-time leading scorer. He was born Lew Alcindor, but converted to Islam during his legendary college career at UCLA, and changed his name after his second season in the league with the Milwaukee Bucks. In 1975, he was traded to the L.A. Lakers, and played there for the remaining 13 years of his career. Best known for the [[SignatureMove "sky hook" shot]], being [[TheJuggernaut nigh-unto-unstoppable]], and playing co-pilot Roger Murdock in Film/{{Airplane}}.Film/{{Airplane}}



* '''Ricky Rubio''' was a Spanish star point guard for the Timberwolves before being traded to the Jazz in the 2017 offseason, and moving from there to the Suns during the 2019 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. Internationally, he's led ''[[FanNickname La ÑBA]]'' to two Olympic medals (silver in 2008, bronze in 2016), four medals at [=EuroBasket=] (including two golds), and a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, also being named World Cup MVP. Rubio has one major weakness as a player, however—despite his savant-level passing skills and solid defense, he's a quite limited shooter by NBA standards.

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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, and moving from there to the Suns during the 2019 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. Internationally, he's led ''[[FanNickname La ÑBA]]'' to two Olympic medals (silver in 2008, bronze in 2016), four medals at [=EuroBasket=] (including two golds), and a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, also being named World Cup MVP. Rubio has one major weakness as a player, however—despite his savant-level passing skills and solid defense, he's a quite somewhat limited shooter by NBA standards.



* '''Ben Simmons''' is a slightly smaller version of Embiid in that he also did great in college, though in his case it was wasted on a mediocre LSU team, and also sat out his intended rookie year of 2016–17 due to a foot injury. The similarities, however, end there. The Australian, the son of an African American player who settled in the country, is a point guard in a stretch four's body (6'10"), and was the top overall pick in his year to Embiid's #3. When Simmons finally got to play in 2017–18, he had by some advanced statistical measures the best rookie season by any player in the '10s, and was named Rookie of the Year. Yet another reason why the Sixers are showing hope of becoming a future power.

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* '''Ben Simmons''' is a slightly smaller version of Embiid in that he also did great in college, though in his case it was wasted on a mediocre LSU team, and also sat out his intended rookie year of 2016–17 due to a foot injury. The similarities, however, end there. The Australian, the son of an African American African-American player who settled in the country, is a point guard in a stretch four's body (6'10"), and was the top overall pick in his year to Embiid's #3. When Simmons finally got to play in 2017–18, he had by some advanced statistical measures the best rookie season by any player in the '10s, and was named Rookie of the Year. Yet another reason why the Sixers are showing hope of becoming a future power.



* '''Tom Chambers''' was an athletic white forward (no, not an oxymoron) who started off with the (then) San Diego Clippers and Seattle [=SuperSonics=] before joining the Phoenix Suns. A high flyer with a nice shooting touch, he is most known for [[EightiesHair his mullet]] and using Mark Jackson as a springboard for a near free-throw line two-handed dunk (this dunk is also a GameBreaker in Lakers vs. Celtics).
* '''Steve Nash''' was an extremely skilled veteran point guard out of Canada [[note]]Although he was really born in Johannesburg, South Africa and is often listed from Santa Clara, California due to his time at Santa Clara University[[/note]] best known for his astounding "no look" passes, his [[ImprobableAimingSkills 50-40-90 status]] (has made 50% of his shooting, 40% from the three-point line, and 90% from the free throw line more times than ''Larry Bird'', the former leader) and ability to carry the entirety of the Phoenix Suns through matches, as shown by his 2 MVP awards. Although drafted by the Suns, and having played the majority of his career there, it was at Dallas where his ball-handling skills were discovered — he was paired with Dirk Nowitzki in a Malone-Stockton fashion. Was sometimes criticized for a lack of talent on the defensive end of the floor, but remained one half perhaps of the top scoring+passing duo threats in the league (with Nowitzki; with Amar'e Stoudemire [[AndZoidberg and Shaq]]) even at the age when most players would be showing strong signs of decline, which places him as a legit comparison to John Stockton. Hell, he doesn't even ''need'' the other half to win an assist title! (Although the same probably can't be said for success in the playoffs...) As an unrestricted free agent, Nash decided to join forces with Kobe Bryant's Lakers in the summer of 2012 in exchange for 4 of the Lakers' picks (two in the first round for 2013 & 2015, two in the second round for 2013 & 2014). However, during his first season in L.A., he broke his leg in a freak collision with Portland's Damian Lillard (see below), which in turn aggravated long-standing back, nerve, and muscle issues. Nash only played a total of 65 games in his first two seasons with the Lakers, and was unable to play at all in 2014–15, officially retiring near the end of that season. Yet another member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2018.

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* '''Tom Chambers''' was an athletic white forward (no, not an oxymoron) who started off with the (then) San Diego Clippers and Seattle [=SuperSonics=] before joining the Phoenix Suns. A high flyer with a nice shooting touch, he is most known for [[EightiesHair his mullet]] and using Mark Jackson as a springboard for a near free-throw line two-handed dunk (this dunk is also a GameBreaker in Lakers ''Lakers vs. Celtics).
Celtics'').
* '''Steve Nash''' was an extremely skilled veteran point guard out of Canada [[note]]Although he was really born in Johannesburg, South Africa and is often listed from Santa Clara, California due to his time at Santa Clara University[[/note]] best known for his astounding "no look" passes, his [[ImprobableAimingSkills 50-40-90 status]] (has made 50% of his shooting, 40% from the three-point line, and 90% from the free throw line more times than ''Larry Bird'', the former leader) and ability to carry the entirety of the Phoenix Suns through matches, games, as shown by his 2 MVP awards. Although drafted by the Suns, and having played the majority of his career there, it was at Dallas where his ball-handling skills were discovered — he was paired with Dirk Nowitzki in a Malone-Stockton fashion. Was sometimes criticized for a lack of talent on the defensive end of the floor, but remained one half perhaps of the top scoring+passing duo threats in the league (with Nowitzki; with Amar'e Stoudemire [[AndZoidberg and Shaq]]) even at the age when most players would be showing strong signs of decline, which places him as a legit comparison to John Stockton. Hell, he doesn't even ''need'' the other half to win an assist title! (Although the same probably can't be said for success in the playoffs...) As an unrestricted free agent, Nash decided to join forces with Kobe Bryant's Lakers in the summer of 2012 in exchange for 4 of the Lakers' picks (two in the first round for 2013 & 2015, two in the second round for 2013 & 2014). However, during his first season in L.A., he broke his leg in a freak collision with Portland's Damian Lillard (see below), which in turn aggravated long-standing back, nerve, and muscle issues. Nash only played a total of 65 games in his first two seasons with the Lakers, and was unable to play at all in 2014–15, officially retiring near the end of that season. Yet another member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2018.



* '''Arvydas Sabonis''', a Lithuanian great who is also in the Hall of Fame, is another example of WhatCouldHaveBeen (though infinitely less tragic than Dražen Petrović in that [[FanNickname Sabas]] is very much alive). During the last half of the 1980s, he was arguably the best center in the world, notably leading the Soviet national team to Olympic gold in 1988. However, he suffered numerous Achilles and knee injuries, and by the time he finally arrived in Portland in 1995, he had lost virtually all of his mobility.[[note]]When Portland's general manager consulted with the team doctor before signing him, the doctor said that Sabonis' leg X-rays would ''qualify him for a {{handicapped|Badass}} parking space!''[[/note]] Nonetheless, he remained an effective scorer, rebounder, and (for a big man) passer for seven seasons in Portland before he returned to Lithuania to finish his career. His son Domantas played two seasons of college basketball at Gonzaga before declaring for the 2016 NBA draft, and is now with the Pacers.

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* '''Arvydas Sabonis''', a Lithuanian great who is also in the Hall of Fame, is another example of WhatCouldHaveBeen (though infinitely less tragic than Dražen Petrović in that [[FanNickname Sabas]] is very much alive). During the last half of the 1980s, he was arguably the best center in the world, notably leading the Soviet national team to Olympic gold in 1988. However, he suffered numerous Achilles and knee injuries, and by the time he finally arrived in Portland in 1995, he had lost virtually all of his mobility.[[note]]When Portland's general manager consulted with the team doctor before signing him, the doctor said that Sabonis' leg X-rays would ''qualify him for a {{handicapped|Badass}} parking space!''[[/note]] Nonetheless, he remained an effective scorer, rebounder, and (for a big man) passer for seven seasons in Portland before he returned to Lithuania to finish his career. His son Domantas played two seasons of college basketball at Gonzaga before declaring for the 2016 NBA draft, and is now a rising star with the Pacers.



* '''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 was a frequent target of Website/TheOnion. Wanted to be a pro swimmer as a child, but 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]]. JustForFun/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. Duncan's Hall of Fame induction in 2020 is pretty much a foregone conclusion. While he's occasionally worked with the Spurs' bigs since his retirement, he'll return to the team in 2019–20 as a full-time assistant.
* '''Tony Parker''' spent 17 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs before leaving for the Charlotte Hornets as a free agent in the 2018 offseason, retiring during the 2019 offseason. Originally more into soccer, Parker grew an interest in basketball after seeing UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan in action ([[PromotedFanboy sensing a pattern here]]). Moreover, Parker's two younger brothers, T.J. and Pierre, would go on to play basketball at college and professional levels. When he first joined the Spurs, he trained with ex-player Lance Blanks, but he was overwhelmed by Blanks' tough physical defense that coach Gregg Popovich almost gave up on him - the only thing that kept him from cutting him was by seeing a highlight reel of Parker's best plays. Deciding that Parker was worth the gamble, the Spurs drafted Parker as the 28th overall; his relative no-name kept him from being mentioned that much in pre-draft predictions, allowing the Spurs to take him under the radar. Parker then grew into one of the most skilled players in the league, slowly replacing Duncan as TheHero for the Spurs and then becoming the team's sole captain after Duncan's retirement. He's also one of the relatively few European NBA players - he was born in Belgium, but he was raised in France; his father was African-American, and his mother was a Dutch model. While he's waiting for a likely Hall of Fame call in 2023, he's staying busy as owner of ASVEL, a team in France's top pro league playing in Lyon, where he was raised. Parker is opening a basketball academy in Lyon in fall 2019, and has publicly expressed hopes of owning an NBA team in the future.

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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 was a frequent target of Website/TheOnion. Wanted to be a pro swimmer as a child, but 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]]. JustForFun/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. Duncan's Hall of Fame induction in 2020 is pretty much a foregone conclusion. While he's occasionally worked with the Spurs' bigs since his retirement, he'll return he returned to the team in 2019–20 as a full-time assistant.
* '''Tony Parker''' spent 17 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs before leaving for the Charlotte Hornets as a free agent in the 2018 offseason, retiring during the 2019 offseason. Originally more into soccer, Parker grew an interest in basketball after seeing UsefulNotes/MichaelJordan in action ([[PromotedFanboy sensing a pattern here]]). Moreover, Parker's two younger brothers, T.J. and Pierre, would go on to play basketball at college and professional levels. When he first joined the Spurs, he trained with ex-player Lance Blanks, but he was overwhelmed by Blanks' tough physical defense that coach Gregg Popovich almost gave up on him - the only thing that kept him from cutting him was by seeing a highlight reel of Parker's best plays. Deciding that Parker was worth the gamble, the Spurs drafted Parker as the 28th overall; his relative no-name kept him from being mentioned that much in pre-draft predictions, allowing the Spurs to take him under the radar. Parker then grew into one of the most skilled players in the league, slowly replacing Duncan as TheHero for the Spurs and then becoming the team's sole captain after Duncan's retirement. He's also one of the relatively few European NBA players - he was born in Belgium, but he was raised in France; his father was African-American, and his mother was a Dutch model. While he's waiting for a likely Hall of Fame call in 2023, he's staying busy as owner of ASVEL, a team in France's top pro league playing in Lyon, where he was raised. Parker is opening opened a basketball academy in Lyon in fall 2019, and has publicly expressed hopes of owning an NBA team in the future.future. He's yet another example of non-soccer sportspeople who own shares in pro soccer teams; during the 2019–20 American soccer offseason, Parker bought a small stake in Reign FC, the Seattle-area representative in the National Women's Soccer League.


!Notable Coaches and Executives
The list of big names in NBA history doesn't stop with players. The league has also been home to many famous coaches and executives through the years.

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!Notable Coaches Coaches, Executives, and Executives
Other Figures
The list of big names in NBA history doesn't stop with players. The league has also been home to many famous coaches and executives coaches, executives, announcers, superfans, etc. through the years.


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* Without '''Daniel Biasone''' and '''Leo Ferris''', the NBA might not have survived the 1950s.
** Biasone was an Italian immigrant who grew up in Syracuse, New York, becoming a successful businessman and founding owner of the Syracuse Nationals (today's Philadelphia 76ers) of the Basketball Association of America (the main predecessor to the NBA). The early years of the NBA saw many games degenerate into stall-fests, with the most infamous being a ''19–18'' game (not a misprint!) in 1950. Biasone knew something had to change, which is where Ferris came in.
** Ferris, also a successful businessman, was the founder and owner of the Buffalo (later Tri-Cities) Bisons in the BAA's rival, the National Basketball League. He soon became president of the NBL with one mandate from the league's owners: force a merger with the BAA. Ferris convinced the NBL owners to outbid the BAA for top college players, and then came up with the idea of giving ''an entire team'' to a group of prominent college players, namely Kentucky's "Fabulous Five" of the late 1940s. That move led to the merger of the two leagues in 1949. He then went on to become Biasone's general manager in Syracuse, where together they devised the modern 24-second shot clock. That led to an immediate increase in scoring and fan interest, securing the league's survival and setting the stage for its future growth. Interestingly, while Biasone is remembered in basketball history for this innovation—to the point that he's in the Hall of Fame—newspaper accounts of the day gave more credit to Ferris. On top of that, Ferris' role in the creation of the NBA was also widely covered at the time. However, Ferris left basketball for good just a few months before the shot clock was introduced, and by the time his contributions were becoming recognized, he was suffering from Huntington's disease, an incurable and fatal genetic neurological disorder. Ferris didn't even get ''nominated'' for the Hall untl the late 2010s, and still isn't in. [[https://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2017/04/07/leo-ferris-shot-clock-nba-founder-hall-of-fame This story]] provides a good overview of Ferris' contributions.


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[[folder:Other Figures]]
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* The '''New York Knicks''' are one of the NBA's most valuable franchises in terms of net worth[[note]]Both the Knicks and the Lakers are worth over $2.5 billion[[/note]]. A charter member of the NBA [[note]] The Knicks beat the Toronto Huskies 68-66 on 11/1/1946 in what is now considered the first NBA game ever [[/note]]. The Knicks won two titles in 1970 and 1973 led by Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, and Willis Reed. In the 90s, the Knicks were led by Patrick Ewing and went to two Finals in 1994 and 1999. More recently, the Knicks have been the victim of several seasons of mismanagement and horrible front office moves. They tried to shed this image in more recent seasons with Carmelo Anthony and Latvian forward Kristaps Porziņģis on the court, and Phil Jackson in the front office. However, none of the three fully panned out. Age caught up to Anthony and he was dealt to the Thunder in 2017 as a salary cap move; Jackson turned into a front-office disaster, and he and the Knicks parted ways after the 2016–17 season; and Porziņģis tore an ACL during the 2017–18 season and apparently fell out with the front office during his rehab, being dealt to the Mavericks late in that season as a cap move. Currently play in what in building terms is the oldest arena in the league (Madison Square Garden opened in 1967), but with a comprehensive early 2010s renovation, is a relatively new facility.

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* The '''New York Knicks''' are one of the NBA's most valuable franchises in terms of net worth[[note]]Both the Knicks and the Lakers are worth over $2.5 billion[[/note]]. A charter member of the NBA [[note]] The Knicks beat the Toronto Huskies 68-66 on 11/1/1946 in what is now considered the first NBA game ever [[/note]]. The Knicks won two titles in 1970 and 1973 led by Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, and Willis Reed. In the 90s, the Knicks were led by Patrick Ewing and went to two Finals in 1994 and 1999. More recently, the Knicks have been the victim of several seasons of mismanagement and horrible front office moves. They tried to shed this image in more recent seasons with Carmelo Anthony and Latvian forward Kristaps Porziņģis on the court, and Phil Jackson in the front office. However, none of the three fully panned out. Age caught up to Anthony and he was dealt to the Thunder in 2017 as a salary cap move; Jackson turned into a front-office disaster, and he and the Knicks parted ways after the 2016–17 season; and Porziņģis tore an ACL during the 2017–18 season and apparently fell out with the front office during his rehab, being dealt to the Mavericks late in that during the 2018–19 season as a cap move. Currently play in what in building terms is the oldest arena in the league (Madison Square Garden opened in 1967), but with a comprehensive early 2010s renovation, is a relatively new facility.


* The '''Brooklyn Nets''' were formerly known as the New Jersey Nets [[note]]And before that the New York Nets, and before ''that'' the New Jersey Americans[[/note]]. They were one of four teams to merge into the NBA in the 70s from the merger with the rival ABA. In the Nets' ABA days, they were led by Dr. J himself, Julius Erving, and won two ABA titles. Their years in the NBA, however, have not been as fruitful as the Nets have been mired in mediocrity throughout much of their history, with the only notable exception coming in the form of back to back trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003 [[note]] The Nets lost both times, to the Lakers in 2002, and to the Spurs in 2003[[/note]]. In 2012, the Nets moved to Brooklyn to give the borough its first team since the Dodgers left for California in the 50s.[[note]]The NHL's New York Islanders would move into the same building a few years later.[[/note]] After three good seasons in Brooklyn, the aging\expensive roster combined with a lack of draft picks saw them bottom out in 2015-16 and 2016-17. They've since climbed out of the abyss, and then signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the 2019 offseason, making them potential title contenders in the near future—though Durant will miss the entire 2019–20 season to a torn Achilles. Notably one of three teams with non-white majority owners; Joseph Tsai, the Taiwanese–Canadian cofounder of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, is set to finalize his purchase of the 51% of the team he didn't already own in September 2019, pending expected league approval. He spent $2.35 billion in all to buy complete control, the highest price to date for an NBA franchise.
* The '''New York Knicks''' are one of the NBA's most valuable franchises in terms of net worth[[note]]Both the Knicks and the Lakers are worth over $2.5 billion[[/note]]. A charter member of the NBA [[note]] The Knicks beat the Toronto Huskies 68-66 on 11/1/1946 in what is now considered the first NBA game ever [[/note]]. The Knicks won two titles in 1970 and 1973 led by Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, and Willis Reed. In the 90s, the Knicks were led by Patrick Ewing and went to two Finals in 1994 and 1999. More recently, the Knicks have been the victim of several seasons of mismanagement and horrible front office moves. They tried to shed this image in more recent seasons with Carmelo Anthony and Latvian forward Kristaps Porziņģis on the court, and Phil Jackson in the front office... but Jackson turned into a front-office disaster, and he and the Knicks parted ways after the 2016–17 season. Currently play in what in building terms is the oldest arena in the league (Madison Square Garden opened in 1967), but with a comprehensive early 2010s renovation, is a relatively new facility.

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* The '''Brooklyn Nets''' were formerly known as the New Jersey Nets [[note]]And before that the New York Nets, and before ''that'' the New Jersey Americans[[/note]]. They were one of four teams to merge into the NBA in the 70s from the merger with the rival ABA. In the Nets' ABA days, they were led by Dr. J himself, Julius Erving, and won two ABA titles. Their years in the NBA, however, have not been as fruitful as the Nets have been mired in mediocrity throughout much of their history, with the only notable exception coming in the form of back to back trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003 [[note]] The Nets lost both times, to the Lakers in 2002, and to the Spurs in 2003[[/note]]. In 2012, the Nets moved to Brooklyn to give the borough its first team since the Dodgers left for California in the 50s.[[note]]The NHL's New York Islanders would move into the same building a few years later.[[/note]] After three good seasons in Brooklyn, the aging\expensive roster combined with a lack of draft picks saw them bottom out in 2015-16 and 2016-17. They've since climbed out of the abyss, and then signed Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the 2019 offseason, making them potential title contenders in the near future—though Durant will miss the entire 2019–20 season to a torn Achilles. Notably one of three teams with non-white majority owners; Joseph Tsai, the Taiwanese–Canadian cofounder of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, is set to finalize finalized his purchase of the 51% of the team he didn't already own in September 2019, pending expected league approval.2019. He spent $2.35 billion in all to buy complete control, the highest price to date for an NBA franchise.
* The '''New York Knicks''' are one of the NBA's most valuable franchises in terms of net worth[[note]]Both the Knicks and the Lakers are worth over $2.5 billion[[/note]]. A charter member of the NBA [[note]] The Knicks beat the Toronto Huskies 68-66 on 11/1/1946 in what is now considered the first NBA game ever [[/note]]. The Knicks won two titles in 1970 and 1973 led by Walt Frazier, Earl Monroe, and Willis Reed. In the 90s, the Knicks were led by Patrick Ewing and went to two Finals in 1994 and 1999. More recently, the Knicks have been the victim of several seasons of mismanagement and horrible front office moves. They tried to shed this image in more recent seasons with Carmelo Anthony and Latvian forward Kristaps Porziņģis on the court, and Phil Jackson in the front office... but office. However, none of the three fully panned out. Age caught up to Anthony and he was dealt to the Thunder in 2017 as a salary cap move; Jackson turned into a front-office disaster, and he and the Knicks parted ways after the 2016–17 season.season; and Porziņģis tore an ACL during the 2017–18 season and apparently fell out with the front office during his rehab, being dealt to the Mavericks late in that season as a cap move. Currently play in what in building terms is the oldest arena in the league (Madison Square Garden opened in 1967), but with a comprehensive early 2010s renovation, is a relatively new facility.



* The '''Detroit Pistons''' are remembered for the infamous "Bad Boys" 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 returned to the city of Detroit in 2017 to play in what for one season was the league's newest arena. (The "newest" distinction passed to Milwaukee's new arena in 2018, and then passes to the Warriors' new San Francisco home in 2019.)

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* The '''Detroit Pistons''' are remembered for the infamous "Bad Boys" 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 returned to the city of Detroit in 2017 to play in what for one season was the league's newest arena. (The "newest" distinction passed to Milwaukee's new arena in 2018, and then passes to the Warriors' new San Francisco home in 2019.)



* The '''Golden State Warriors''' are the Bay Area's team and have one of the deepest histories in the league. Originally the Philadelphia Warriors, the franchise has won six championships in its history[[note]] Two in Philly in 1947 and again 1956, and four in California in 1975, 2015, 2017, and 2018[[/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-seeded Dallas Mavericks as an eight seed in 2007.[[/note]] [[TookALevelInBadass Things changed dramatically for the Warriors]] when they drafted [[BashBrothers "Splash Brothers"]] UsefulNotes/StephenCurry (2009) and Klay Thompson (2011). With the additions of power forward [[LightningBruiser Draymond]] [[BloodKnight Green]] in 2012 and head coach UsefulNotes/SteveKerr 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. They didn't have the league's best record in 2017–18 (that going to Houston), but got to the conference finals with little trouble, survived a seven-game dogfight with the Rockets, and then swept the Cavs in the NBA Finals. The Dubs had less luck in the 2019 Finals, in which they lost 4–2 to the Raptors, with Durant playing only in Game 5 before tearing an Achilles (also his last game with the Dubs, as he left for Brooklyn in free agency), and Thompson tearing an ACL in the series finale. Game 6 of that series was also their last in Oakland; they'll open a new arena in San Francisco for the 2019–20 season.

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* The '''Golden State Warriors''' are the Bay Area's team and have one of the deepest histories in the league. Originally the Philadelphia Warriors, the franchise has won six championships in its history[[note]] Two in Philly in 1947 and again 1956, and four in California in 1975, 2015, 2017, and 2018[[/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-seeded Dallas Mavericks as an eight seed in 2007.[[/note]] [[TookALevelInBadass Things changed dramatically for the Warriors]] when they drafted [[BashBrothers "Splash Brothers"]] UsefulNotes/StephenCurry (2009) and Klay Thompson (2011). With the additions of power forward [[LightningBruiser Draymond]] [[BloodKnight Green]] in 2012 and head coach UsefulNotes/SteveKerr 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, Through 2018–19, the "Dubs"[[note]]A play on W, as in"[=DOUBle=] u"s[[/note]] are were one of the greatest teams the league has ever seen, and thanks to their core's relative youth, appeared to be 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. They didn't have the league's best record in 2017–18 (that going to Houston), but got to the conference finals with little trouble, survived a seven-game dogfight with the Rockets, and then swept the Cavs in the NBA Finals. The Dubs had less luck in the 2019 Finals, in which they lost 4–2 to the Raptors, with Durant playing only in Game 5 before tearing an Achilles (also his last game with the Dubs, as he left for Brooklyn in free agency), and Thompson tearing an ACL in the series finale. Game 6 of that series was also their last in Oakland; they'll open they opened a new arena in San Francisco for the 2019–20 season.season. Said season, however, looks to be something of a lost season, with both Splash Brothers out to injury for much of it (Thompson to the ACL, and Curry to a broken wrist suffered early in the season).



* 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, 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]]. With Nowitzki having retired in 2019, the Mavs are now led by Luka Dončić and Kristaps Porziņģis.



* College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Another 2017 entry; originally planned to launch in 2019–20 in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, Georgia, the Hawks launched their franchise early, becoming the second incarnation of the Erie [=BayHawks=], temporarily replacing the original franchise who had moved to central Florida, while their permanent arena in College Park was under construction. Named for a former Hawks mascot. In May 2019, the Hawks announced that rapper and College Park native Music/TwoChainz would join the ownership group for the Skyhawks.

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* College Park Skyhawks (Hawks): Another 2017 entry; originally planned to launch in 2019–20 in the Atlanta suburb of College Park, Georgia, the Hawks launched their franchise early, becoming the second incarnation of the Erie [=BayHawks=], temporarily replacing the original franchise who had moved to central Florida, while their permanent arena in College Park was under construction. Named for a former Hawks mascot. In May 2019, the Hawks announced that rapper and College Park native Music/TwoChainz would join the ownership group for the Skyhawks. The Skyhawks are the other G League team that shares an arena with a WNBA team; the Atlanta Dream will move in starting with that league's 2020 season.



* Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Play just north of NYC, in White Plains. They originally used a modernized version of the "Father Knickerbocker" logo before switching to a logo similar to the parent club's.

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* Westchester Knicks (Knicks): Play just north of NYC, in White Plains. They originally used a modernized version of the "Father Knickerbocker" logo before switching to a logo similar to the parent club's. For two seasons, they shared their arena with the WNBA's New York Liberty, but that arrangement ended after the WNBA's 2019 season, when Nets owner Joseph Tsai, who had bought the Liberty before that season, moved the team into the Nets' home of Barclays Center.

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!Notable Coaches and Executives
The list of big names in NBA history doesn't stop with players. The league has also been home to many famous coaches and executives through the years.

[[folder:Coaches]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Executives]]
* '''David Stern''' may be the most influential figure in the modern history of the NBA. He made his first major impact on the league as a young attorney for the NBA's law firm, when he negotiated a settlement of the Oscar Robertson lawsuit that paved the way for player free agency. He would move into the NBA front office in 1978, where he helped institute the league's first player drug testing program and successfully negotiated its first salary cap. After these successes, he became commissioner in early 1984, the same year that saw four of the league's marquee players for the next two decades enter—Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, and John Stockton. When Stern's tenure started, the league had just come out of a decade-long DorkAge, but by the middle of the 2000s, the league had expanded to 30 teams and had a major TV presence throughout the world. He retired in 2014 with the NBA firmly cemented as one of the world's most financially successful leagues, and its players having the highest average salaries of any league in any world sport (though the small size of NBA rosters relative to those of other major sports contributed to that). He became a Naismith Hall of Fame member later in 2014, passing on New Year's Day 2020.
[[/folder]]


* '''Vince Carter''' was a shooting guard / small forward drafted by the Raptors out of the University of North Carolina in 1998. He quickly made a name for himself due to his awe-inspiring and borderline superhuman dunks, gaining the nicknames "Vinsanity" and "Half-Man, Half Amazing". His athleticism took him to the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest where he wowed the crowd with a dazzling array of finishes, and even further into the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where '''[[HolyShitQuotient he actually jumped over a seven-foot player in-game for a dunk]]'''. In his twilight years with the Raptors, he became a pariah to the franchise, sandbagging games due to his falling out with the front office. He was traded to the New Jersey Nets after a few years of inefficient play, then became a journeyman, currently playing for the Atlanta Hawks. Carter's 22 years in the league are the most of any player. To put in perspective just how long Carter has been in the league, on the opening night of the 2019–20 season...

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* '''Vince Carter''' was a shooting guard / small forward drafted by the Raptors out of the University of North Carolina in 1998. He quickly made a name for himself due to his awe-inspiring and borderline superhuman dunks, gaining the nicknames "Vinsanity" and "Half-Man, Half Amazing". His athleticism took him to the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest where he wowed the crowd with a dazzling array of finishes, and even further into the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where '''[[HolyShitQuotient he '''he actually jumped over a seven-foot player in-game for a dunk]]'''.dunk'''. In his twilight years with the Raptors, he became a pariah to the franchise, sandbagging games due to his falling out with the front office. He was traded to the New Jersey Nets after a few years of inefficient play, then became a journeyman, currently playing for the Atlanta Hawks. Carter's 22 years in the league are the most of any player. To put in perspective just how long Carter has been in the league, on the opening night of the 2019–20 season...



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!!Future team (for 2020-21)
* Capitanes de Ciudad de México[[labelnote:translation]]Mexico City Captains[[/labelnote]]: An existing team in Mexico's top professional basketball league, the Capitanes will join the NBA G League in the 2020-21 season, becoming the first Mexican team to join any US-based league.


* '''Ben Wallace''' was an undersized center[[note]]listed at 6'9"/2.06 m, not including the Afro he wore while in Detroit, but admits to being closer to 6'7"/2.01 m[[/note]] who went undrafted in 1996, but made the roster of the then-Washington Bullets. After three seasons in Washington, the Wizards traded him to the Magic, and Wallace arrived in Detroit a year later as part of the Grant Hill trade. In Detroit, Wallace emerged as one of the league's most prolific rebounders and biggest defensive stars, leading the league in rebounding twice and blocks once and also being named the league's Defensive Player of the Year four times[[note]]a record shared with Dikembe Mutombo[[/note]]. Later had stints with the Bulls and Cavaliers before returning to Detroit[[note]]thanks in part to a money saving trade Phoenix made involving Shaquille O'Neal[[/note]] to finish his career, retiring in 2012. Has played more games than any other undrafted player in NBA history.

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* '''Ben Wallace''' was an undersized center[[note]]listed at 6'9"/2.06 m, not including the Afro he wore while in Detroit, but admits to being closer to 6'7"/2.01 m[[/note]] who went undrafted in 1996, but made the roster of the then-Washington Bullets. After three seasons in Washington, the Wizards traded him to the Magic, and Wallace arrived in Detroit a year later as part of the Grant Hill trade. In Detroit, Wallace emerged as one of the league's most prolific rebounders and biggest defensive stars, leading the league in rebounding twice and blocks once and also being named the league's Defensive Player of the Year four times[[note]]a record shared with Dikembe Mutombo[[/note]]. Later had stints with the Bulls and Cavaliers before returning to Detroit[[note]]thanks in part to a money saving trade Phoenix made involving Shaquille O'Neal[[/note]] to finish his career, retiring in 2012. Has played more games than any other undrafted player in NBA history. Now part of the ownership group of the Pistons' G League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive.



** Carter was nearly 12 years older than any of his Hawks teammates.[[note]]The next-oldest, Chandler Parsons, was born in October 1988.[[/note]]
** [[WhileYouWereInDiapers Four of Carter's Hawks teammates had yet to be born when Carter was drafted; one of these had yet to be ''conceived'' when Carter played his first NBA game.]]

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** Carter was nearly 12 years older than any of his Hawks teammates.[[note]]The next-oldest, Chandler Parsons, was born in October 1988. Evan Turner was born two days after Parsons.[[/note]]
** [[WhileYouWereInDiapers Four of Carter's Hawks teammates had yet to be born when Carter was drafted; one of these had yet to be ''conceived'' when the youngest wasn't born until nearly 7 months after Carter played his first NBA game.]]]][[note]]Carter's rookie season was shortened by a player lockout, and didn't start until early February 1999.[[/note]]


* '''Mike Conley''' is the point guard who was triggerman of the Grizzlies' "Grit and Grind" era, spending his first 12 seasons in Memphis before being traded to the Jazz in the 2019 offseason. The son of Olympic triple jump gold medalist Mike Conley Sr., he was picked #4 overall out of Ohio State in 2007, and established himself as a reliable scorer, passer, and team leader. Unfortunately, he's been a classic example of OvershadowedByAwesome—he's never made an All-Star roster, given that he's spent his entire career in the same conference as undeniably great [=PGs=] such as Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, just to name a few. Conley is also noted as a class act on the court—he's received the NBA Sportsmanship Award three times, was named the league's Teammate of the Year, and has never received a technical foul once.

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* '''Mike Conley''' is the point guard who was triggerman of the Grizzlies' "Grit and Grind" era, spending his first 12 seasons in Memphis before being traded to the Jazz in the 2019 offseason. The son of Olympic triple jump gold medalist Mike Conley Sr., he was picked #4 overall out of Ohio State in 2007, and established himself as a reliable scorer, passer, and team leader. Unfortunately, he's been a classic example of OvershadowedByAwesome—he's never made an All-Star roster, given that he's spent his entire career in the same conference as undeniably great [=PGs=] such as Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, just to name a few. Conley is also noted as a class act on the court—he's received the NBA Sportsmanship Award three times, was named the league's Teammate of the Year, and has never received a technical foul once.[[note]]Technically, he ''did'' get T'd up once, but it was rescinded. (The NBA routinely reviews technical foul calls.)[[/note]]


* '''Luol Deng''' — A 6'7" small forward from what's now South Sudan by way of Egypt, UsefulNotes/{{London}} and Duke, Deng has played for four teams in his career, but is best known for his 10 seasons with the Bulls (2004–2014). During his time in Chicago, he occupied much the same role as Scottie Pippen (only starter playing with 4 bench players). Much like Pippen (the only player constant throughout Phil Jackson's coaching tenure), Deng was on the roster for every Bulls playoff run post-MJ (though missing out on the 2005 and 2009 series due to late season-ending injuries) until being traded to the Cavaliers during the 2013–14 season, signing with the Heat in 2014, and then moving to the Lakers in 2016. Made his first All-Star Appearance back in 2012. Has been praised for his defense on [=LeBron=] James. Was the first Bull since Michael Jordan (who also did twice in consecutive seasons) to lead the league in minutes per game, despite not being in the top ten of total minutes in either of the past two seasons.

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* '''Luol Deng''' — A 6'7" small forward from what's now South Sudan by way of Egypt, UsefulNotes/{{London}} and Duke, Deng has played for four teams in his career, but is best known for his 10 seasons with the Bulls (2004–2014). During his time in Chicago, he occupied much the same role as Scottie Pippen (only starter playing with 4 bench players). Much like Pippen (the only player constant throughout Phil Jackson's coaching tenure), Deng was on the roster for every Bulls playoff run post-MJ (though missing out on the 2005 and 2009 series due to late season-ending injuries) until being traded to the Cavaliers during the 2013–14 season, signing with the Heat in 2014, and then moving to the Lakers in 2016.2016, retiring after the 2018–19 season. Made his first All-Star Appearance back in 2012. Has been praised for his defense on [=LeBron=] James. Was the first Bull since Michael Jordan (who also did twice in consecutive seasons) to lead the league in minutes per game, despite not being in the top ten of total minutes in either of the past previous two seasons.



* '''Giannis Antetokounmpo'''[[note]]Rough pronunciation: YAHN-iss (or YAHN-ees) ah-day-toh-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. 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. And he didn't stop there, going on to claim MVP honors in 2019. He's now joined the rarefied club of NBA players instantly identifiable by their {{first name|Basis}}s.

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* '''Giannis Antetokounmpo'''[[note]]Rough pronunciation: YAHN-iss (or YAHN-ees) ah-day-toh-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. 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. And he didn't stop there, going on to claim MVP honors in 2019. He's now joined the rarefied club of NBA players instantly identifiable by their {{first name|Basis}}s.



* '''Afernee "Penny" Hardaway''' is one of the more notable instances of WhatCouldHaveBeen in the league. A point guard drafted in 1993, Penny quickly became one of the league's best players, making the All-Star team four times in his first five years. Penny was the first of Shaquille O'Neal's many [[BashBrothers superstar partners]], so much in fact that the Magic decided to make him the focus of their franchise instead of Shaq, who felt ousted by the team and left for the Lakers in free agency. In hindsight, this was a bad move, as injuries began to plague Hardaway, who was eventually traded to the Suns, bouncing around the league thereafter before reuniting with Shaq in Miami in one final stop.

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* '''Afernee '''Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway''' is one of the more notable instances of WhatCouldHaveBeen in the league. A point guard drafted in 1993, 1993 out of his hometown school, Memphis,[[note]]then known as Memphis State; the school dropped "State" a year later[[/note]] Penny quickly became one of the league's best players, making the All-Star team four times in his first five years. Penny was the first of Shaquille O'Neal's many [[BashBrothers superstar partners]], so much in fact that the Magic decided to make him the focus of their franchise instead of Shaq, who felt ousted by the team and left for the Lakers in free agency. In hindsight, this was a bad move, as injuries began to plague Hardaway, who was eventually traded to the Suns, bouncing around the league thereafter before reuniting with Shaq in Miami in one final stop. He's now the head coach at his alma mater.


** Four of Carter's Hawks teammates had yet to be born when Carter was drafted; one of these had yet to be ''conceived'' when Carter played his first NBA game.

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** [[WhileYouWereInDiapers Four of Carter's Hawks teammates had yet to be born when Carter was drafted; one of these had yet to be ''conceived'' when Carter played his first NBA game.]]

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* '''Alex English''' was the face of the high-scoring Nuggets teams of the 80s. Arriving in Denver at the turn of the decade, English thrived under the Nuggets' GlassCannon playstyle, averaging over 25 points for eight seasons straight, resulting in a scoring title in 1983 and being the highest scorer of the entire decade. He left Denver as the franchise's leader in points, assists, and games and minutes played, and was a member of the 1997 Hall of Fame class.


* '''Mike Conley''' is the point guard who was triggerman of the Grizzlies' "Grit and Grind" era, spending his first 12 seasons in Memphis before being traded to the Jazz in the 2019 offseason. The son of Olympic triple jump gold medalist Mike Conley Sr., he was picked #4 overall out of Ohio State in 2007, and established himself as a reliable scorer, passer, and team leader. Unfortunately, he's been a classic example of OvershadowedByAwesome—he's never made an All-Star roster, given that he's spent his entire career in the same conference as undeniably great [=PGs=] such as Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, just to name a few. Conley is also noted as a class act on the court—he's received the NBA Sportsmanship Award three times, and also was named the league's Teammate of the Year once.

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* '''Mike Conley''' is the point guard who was triggerman of the Grizzlies' "Grit and Grind" era, spending his first 12 seasons in Memphis before being traded to the Jazz in the 2019 offseason. The son of Olympic triple jump gold medalist Mike Conley Sr., he was picked #4 overall out of Ohio State in 2007, and established himself as a reliable scorer, passer, and team leader. Unfortunately, he's been a classic example of OvershadowedByAwesome—he's never made an All-Star roster, given that he's spent his entire career in the same conference as undeniably great [=PGs=] such as Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden, just to name a few. Conley is also noted as a class act on the court—he's received the NBA Sportsmanship Award three times, and also was named the league's Teammate of the Year Year, and has never received a technical foul once.



* '''Carmelo Anthony''' is a native New Yorker, though raised in UsefulNotes/{{Baltimore}}, who plays at the small forward 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), 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 became the undisputed 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. After the 2017–18 season, the Thunder's surprising re-signing of Paul George meant that keeping Melo would have cost the team tens of millions in luxury tax (charged to teams that exceed the league's salary cap). The Thunder then sent him to the Hawks in a three-way deal, and after the Hawks waived him, he signed on with the Rockets, where he didn't really fit in and barely played. He was then moved to the Bulls shortly before the 2019 All-Star break, but was let go without playing in a game. After nearly a year away from in-game action, he was signed by the Blazers, a team dealing with a rash of frontcourt injuries, early in the 2019–20 season.
** Carmelo has been vastly bombarded for his relative one-dimensionality as a player; his reliance on sharpshooting led to his forgoing of nearly everything else (rebounding, defense, assists), often leading people to call him a ball hog. Since he's only been out of the first round ''once'' in his nine-year career, they probably have a point. Even after making it all the way to the '09 Conference Finals, Carmelo [[YankTheDogsChain they was eliminated once again]], [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown on his birthday, no less]]. In 2013, he won the Scoring Title beating ''Kevin Durant''.

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* '''Carmelo Anthony''' is a native New Yorker, though raised in UsefulNotes/{{Baltimore}}, who plays at the small forward 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.Apple, the pinnacle of which was earning a scoring title in 2013 over perennial scoring champ Kevin Durant. 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), 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 became the undisputed 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. After the 2017–18 season, the Thunder's surprising re-signing of Paul George meant that keeping Melo would have cost the team tens of millions in luxury tax (charged to teams that exceed the league's salary cap). The Thunder then sent him to the Hawks in a three-way deal, and after the Hawks waived him, he signed on with the Rockets, where he didn't really fit in and barely played. He was then moved to the Bulls shortly before the 2019 All-Star break, but was let go without playing in a game. After nearly a year away from in-game action, he was signed by the Blazers, a team dealing with a rash of frontcourt injuries, early in the 2019–20 season.
** Carmelo has been vastly bombarded for
season. Despite all of his relative one-dimensionality as a player; his reliance on sharpshooting led to his forgoing of nearly everything else (rebounding, defense, assists), often leading people to call him a ball hog. Since individual accolades (10x All-Star, 6x All-NBA, the aforementioned scoring title), however, he's never been successful in the playoffs, only been winning three postseason series and getting out of the first round ''once'' in twice, which has inflated his nine-year career, they probably have image as a point. Even after making it all the way to the '09 Conference Finals, Carmelo [[YankTheDogsChain they was eliminated once again]], [[KickThemWhileTheyAreDown on his birthday, no less]]. In 2013, he won the Scoring Title beating ''Kevin Durant''.ballhog.


** Pau, older by about 4 1/2 years, was developed in the youth system of FC Barcelona's basketball section.[[note]]Like its eternal rival Real Madrid (discussed with regard to Luka Dončić), FC Barcelona is also a multi-sport club that fields teams in a wide range of sports. And as with Real, only the equally legendary soccer team is well-known in the States.[[/note]] He played with the Barça senior side for three seasons, leading them to the ACB[[note]]the top Spanish league, then as now generally considered the world's second-best domestic league after the NBA[[/note]] and Spanish Cup titles in his final season there in 2000–01. Immediately after that season, he left for the NBA and the Grizzlies, winning Rookie of the Year honors. He went on to establish himself as an outrageously skilled player for his size, combining strong inside play, an even stronger midrange game, and very good interior defense. Moved to the Lakers after the 2007–08 season and had even greater success, with two championships. Declined somewhat due to age and the Lakers' collapse in the 2010s; moved to the Bulls after the 2013–14 season and had something of a resurrection there, earning his fifth All-Star and fourth All-NBA selections. Left Chicago for the Spurs after the 2015–16 season, where he partially filled the shoes of the now-retired Tim Duncan until shortly after the 2019 All-Star break. By that time, he was seeing fewer and fewer minutes, and the Spurs bought out his contract (with Gasol himself chipping in a couple of million to help their cap situation) so he could move to the Bucks and make a more serious Finals run with Giannis and company. Also known as one of the more cultured players in the league—speaks five languages (two of which he taught himself), deeply enjoys classical music and opera, and in fact wanted to be a doctor, going so far as to start medical studies in Barcelona before basketball got in the way.

to:

** Pau, older by about 4 1/2 years, was developed in the youth system of FC Barcelona's basketball section.[[note]]Like its eternal rival Real Madrid (discussed with regard to Luka Dončić), FC Barcelona is also a multi-sport club that fields teams in a wide range of sports. And as with Real, only the equally legendary soccer team is well-known in the States.[[/note]] He played with the Barça senior side for three seasons, leading them to the ACB[[note]]the top Spanish league, then as now generally considered the world's second-best domestic league after the NBA[[/note]] and Spanish Cup titles in his final season there in 2000–01. Immediately after that season, he left for the NBA and the Grizzlies, winning Rookie of the Year honors. He went on to establish himself as an outrageously skilled player for his size, combining strong inside play, an even stronger midrange game, and very good interior defense. Moved to the Lakers after the 2007–08 season and had even greater success, with two championships. Declined somewhat due to age and the Lakers' collapse in the 2010s; moved to the Bulls after the 2013–14 season and had something of a resurrection there, earning his fifth All-Star and fourth All-NBA selections. Left Chicago for the Spurs after the 2015–16 season, where he partially filled the shoes of the now-retired Tim Duncan until shortly after the 2019 All-Star break. By that time, he was seeing fewer and fewer minutes, and the Spurs bought out his contract (with Gasol himself chipping in a couple of million to help their cap situation) so he could move to the Bucks and make a more serious Finals run with Giannis and company. He would suffer a foot injury shortly after joining the Bucks, and then went to the Blazers, who waived him early in the 2019–20 season while he was rehabbing... though he may end up joining the Blazers' coaching staff, at least in the short term. Also known as one of the more cultured players in the league—speaks five languages (two of which he taught himself), deeply enjoys classical music and opera, and in fact wanted to be a doctor, going so far as to start medical studies in Barcelona before basketball got in the way.



* '''Carmelo Anthony''' is a native New Yorker, though raised in UsefulNotes/{{Baltimore}}, who plays at the small forward 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), 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 became the undisputed 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. After the 2017–18 season, the Thunder's surprising re-signing of Paul George meant that keeping Melo would have cost the team tens of millions in luxury tax (charged to teams that exceed the league's salary cap). The Thunder then sent him to the Hawks in a three-way deal, and after the Hawks waived him, he signed on with the Rockets, where he didn't really fit in and barely played. He was then moved to the Bulls shortly before the 2019 All-Star break, but was let go without playing in a game. After nearly a year away from in-game action, he was signed by the Blazers, dealing with a rash of frontcourt injuries, early in the 2019–20 season.

to:

* '''Carmelo Anthony''' is a native New Yorker, though raised in UsefulNotes/{{Baltimore}}, who plays at the small forward 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), 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 became the undisputed 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. After the 2017–18 season, the Thunder's surprising re-signing of Paul George meant that keeping Melo would have cost the team tens of millions in luxury tax (charged to teams that exceed the league's salary cap). The Thunder then sent him to the Hawks in a three-way deal, and after the Hawks waived him, he signed on with the Rockets, where he didn't really fit in and barely played. He was then moved to the Bulls shortly before the 2019 All-Star break, but was let go without playing in a game. After nearly a year away from in-game action, he was signed by the Blazers, a team dealing with a rash of frontcourt injuries, early in the 2019–20 season.


* '''Mike Conley''' is the point guard who was triggerman of the Grizzlies' "Grit and Grind" era, spending his first 12 seasons in Memphis before being traded to the Jazz in the 2019 offseason. The son of Olympic triple jump gold medalist Mike Conley Sr., he was picked #4 overall out of Ohio State in 2007, and established himself as a reliable scorer, passer, and team leader. Unfortunately, he's been a classic example of OvershadowedByAwesome—he's never made an All-Star roster, given that he's spent his entire career in the same conference as undeniably great [=PGs=] such as Steve Nash, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Tony Parker, just to name a few. Conley is also noted as a class act on the court—he's received the NBA Sportsmanship Award three times, and also was named the league's Teammate of the Year once.

to:

* '''Mike Conley''' is the point guard who was triggerman of the Grizzlies' "Grit and Grind" era, spending his first 12 seasons in Memphis before being traded to the Jazz in the 2019 offseason. The son of Olympic triple jump gold medalist Mike Conley Sr., he was picked #4 overall out of Ohio State in 2007, and established himself as a reliable scorer, passer, and team leader. Unfortunately, he's been a classic example of OvershadowedByAwesome—he's never made an All-Star roster, given that he's spent his entire career in the same conference as undeniably great [=PGs=] such as Steve Nash, Tony Parker, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, and Tony Parker, James Harden, just to name a few. Conley is also noted as a class act on the court—he's received the NBA Sportsmanship Award three times, and also was named the league's Teammate of the Year once.

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