(Boulder-CO) WOW, I really disappeared for a few days there! Things have been busy, Nuggets Nation, and with little to talk about concerning the Denver Nuggets things have been lean. I hope that all of the hoops aficionados out there haven't been too upset with Today's Date in NBA History falling a little behind. Here's what is memorable from the last few days:
May 31, 1983 “Fo’ Fo’ Fo’,” declared Moses Malone predicting that the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers, who had dominated the regular season with a 65-17 record, would sweep their three rounds in the 1983 NBA Playoffs. They came close but the Milwaukee Bucks spoiled Malone’s prediction by winning Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals 100-94. Otherwise Philadelphia was perfect, sweeping New York, beating the Bucks in five and then sweeping the Lakers in the Finals. Their 12-1 record and .923 winning percentage stood as the best in playoff history until the Lakers went 15-1 (.938) in 2001. The 76ers commemorated Malone’s prediction, with one slight alteration, on their championship rings: “Fo’ Fi’ Fo’.”
May 31, 1984 Gerald Henderson of the Boston Celtics stole a crosscourt pass by Los Angeles’ James Worthy and laid the ball in with 13 seconds left in regulation to send Game 2 of the 1984 NBA Finals into overtime. The Celtics, who had dropped Game 1 and would lose Game 3, managed to pull out a 124-121 overtime win in Game 2 and eventually won the series in seven games.
May 31, 1991 The New York Knicks named Pat Riley head coach.
June 1, 1979 The Seattle SuperSonics, who dropped the championship series opener, beat Washington 97-93 in Game 5 for their fourth consecutive Finals victory, capturing their only NBA Championship, as Gus Williams scored 23 points and Jack Sikma grabbed 17 rebounds.
June 1, 1993 Dan Majerle of Phoenix set a then NBA Playoff record by sinking eight three-pointers during the Suns’ 120-114 win over Seattle in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. Majerle finished the game with 34 points.
June 1, 1994 Indiana’s Reggie Miller drilled an NBA Playoff record five three-point field goals in the fourth quarter of the Pacers’ 93-86 win over host New York in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Miller finished with a game-high 39 points, including 6-of-11 from three-point range. Five players have since tied Miller’s record of five three-pointers in one quarter of a playoff game.
June 2, 1985 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers became the all-time leading scorer in NBA Playoff history, surpassing Jerry West’s total of 4,457 points, as the Lakers beat Boston 136-111 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, a series they would win in six games. Abdul-Jabbar was eventually passed for total playoff points by Chicago’s Michael Jordan.
June 2, 1996 Seattle, led by 26 points from Shawn Kemp and 21 from Gary Payton, defeats visiting Utah 90-86 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, earning the SuperSonics a trip to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1979.
June 2, 2000 The New Jersey Nets name Rod Thorn, who had been serving as the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, as the team’s new president. Thorn, who served as an assistant coach with the Nets between 1973-75 and then again between 1976-78, had been in professional basketball for more than four decades as a player, assistant coach, head coach, general manager and league official. He joined the league office in February 1986, and was in charge of all on-court operations, including scheduling, officiating, game conduct and discipline.
June 3, 1977 Portland’s Bobby Gross scored 25 points while center Bill Walton controlled the boards with 24 rebounds, enabling the Blazers to defeat the Sixers 110-104 in a crucial Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Philadelphia.
June 3, 1984 Magic Johnson handed out an NBA Finals record 21 assists as the Los Angeles Lakers beat Boston 137-104 in Game 3 of a championship series the Celtics would eventually win in seven games.
June 3, 1992 Host Chicago defeated Portland 122-89 in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan, who finished with a game-high 39 points, set NBA Finals records for points scored in a half (35) and three-point field goals made in one half (6). After the sixth trey, Jordan turned to the midcourt TV camera and shrugged as if to say, “I guess everything’s going in.”
June 3, 1999 Utah’s Karl Malone becomes the ninth player in NBA history to win the Maurice Podoloff trophy twice when he is named the leagues MVP for the 1998-99 season. He previously won the award for his play during the 1996-97 season.
Enjoy your day!