TBT

Throwback Thursday: Magic Johnson


VIDEO: Magic Johnson’s top 10 career clutch moments

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Magic Johnson gets drafted

When the Lakers moved from Minneapolis to Los Angeles before the 1960-61 season, the team had every reason to believe its tradition of championship runs and NBA titles would continue in its new digs. To be sure, the Lakers were successful in California, sporting superstars like Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Yet for all that star power, the Lakers were 1-8 in their Finals appearances from 1961-73. When the team acquired Abdul-Jabbar before the 1975-76 season, it was thought he could get the team back on the championship track, but he never even led L.A. to a Finals by himself. The 1978-79 team made it to the Western Conference semifinals and entered the offseason with some hope. It held the rights to the Utah’s first-round pick in the 1979 Draft as compensation for the Jazz signing Goodrich as a free agent a few summers earlier.

That pick ended being the No. 1 overall choice and with it the Lakers selected Earvin “Magic” Johnson. From there, L.A.’s championship ways were restored as he led the Lakers to nine Finals (and five championships) during his storied L.A. career.

On this date in 1979, Johnson was selected No. 1 overall in the 1979 Draft and in honor of that, we look back on his career:


Gallery: Magic Johnson’s career

What are your favorite Magic memories? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Bulls win first NBA championship


VIDEO: Relive the Bulls’ top 10 plays from the 1991 Finals

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Chicago Bulls win 1991 Finals

Entering the 1990-91 season, the Chicago Bulls had experienced playoff success and also bitter playoff losses. Years upon years of failing to get past the Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons culminated in the 1991 East finals, where Chicago exorcised its demons against Detroit. In sweeping the Pistons, the Bulls reached their first Finals, squaring off against Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers.

After falling in Game 1 at home, the Bulls rebounded and rattled off four straight wins, clinching the title on June 12, 1991 to claim their first NBA championship. Little would Chicago know at the time, but a dynasty would begin with that Finals series win as the Bulls were crowned champions in ’92, ’93, ’96, ’97 and ’98.

In honor of the Bulls’ first title, we take a look back at the storied career of the best player on that team, Michael Jordan:


Gallery: Michael Jordan’s career

What are your favorite Jordan memories? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Celtics Win Finals Thriller


Gallery: Celtics win 1976 Finals Game 5 thriller

What are your favorite NBA Finals moments? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Celtics win 14th championship


VIDEO: Celtics win Game 6 over Rockets to capture 14th NBA championship

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Celtics win 14th NBA championship

On May 14, 1981, Larry Bird delivered for the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the 1981 NBA Finals to score 27 points with 13 rebounds as Boston dropped Houston to win the franchise’s 14th NBA championship.

Bird, 24 years old at the time, was already a dominant force during his second season in the league. He averaged 21.9 points, 14.0 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 2.3 steals during the 1981 Playoffs and 15.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 2.3 steals during the 1981 Finals. His late 3-pointer during Game 6 was key to the Celtics’ winning their first of three championships in the 1980s, but Cedric Maxwell’s steady performance during the Finals was good enough for him to win 1981 Finals MVP. Maxwell averaged 17.7 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists to go along with stifling defense throughout the series. The Celtics’ acquisition of Maxwell along with Kevin McHale and Robert Parish during the summer of 1980 was critical to Boston’s success in the 1980-81 season and for years to come. That, along with the continued rise of three-time MVP (1984-86) Larry Bird.

This Throwback Thursday, we honor the 1981 Celtics by looking back at the historic career of Larry Bird.


Gallery: Larry Bird’s Career

What are your favorite Larry Bird and/or Boston Celtics memories? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Reggie Miller scores 8 points in 9 seconds


VIDEO: Reggie Miller scores 8 in 9 seconds

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Reggie Miller wills Pacers to victory

Reggie Miller ripped the collective heart out of New York Knicks fans 20 years ago today when he erupted for eight points in nine seconds to power the Indiana Pacers to a 107-105 win in Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals (here’s the box score from that game).

The sold out Madison Square Garden crowd was sure the hometown Knicks had a victory in hand as they led 105-99 with 18 seconds left. But Miller had other ideas as he sank a 3-pointer with 16.4 seconds left, stole the in-bounds pass and sank another three to tie the game with 13.2 seconds left, then grabbed a defensive rebound, drew a foul and sank two game-winning free throws to give Indiana the lead with 7.5 seconds remaining. Miller finished the game with 31 points and lifelong animosity from New York Knicks fans.

To honor this remarkable performance, this Throwback Thursday we look back at the Hall of Fame career of Reggie Miller.


Gallery: Reggie Miller’s Career

What are your favorite Reggie Miller memories? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Recent McDonald’s All-Americans turned NBA All-Stars

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Former McDonald’s All-Americans

The 36th annual McDonald’s High School All-American basketball game took place in Chicago on Wednesday night. This yearly showcase highlights the best high school players from around the country and is often a stepping stone for careers in the NBA.

This Throwback Thursday, we look back at the 10 NBA All-Stars who made their mark on the McDonald’s All-American Game.


Gallery: Future All-Stars in All-American Game

Which players do you remember from their high school days? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: John Stockton


VIDEO: Great plays marked John Stockton’s storied career

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: John Stockton

When the 1984 Draft was held, the big names from the college ranks were well known by most: Michael Jordan, Sam Bowie, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Willis, Sam Perkins and Charles Barkley, just to name a few. Those players were all off the board by the time the Utah Jazz made their first-round pick at No. 16, when they chose Gonzaga point guard John Stockton.

Few would have guessed it at the time, but the Jazz were picking a player who would go on become the NBA’s all-time leader in two major statistical categories: assists (15,806) and steals (3,265). In his 19 seasons with Utah, Stockton led the NBA in assists nine consecutive seasons, was a 10-time All-Star, a two-time gold medal-winner with Team USA, one of the 50 Greatest Players of All-Time and played in the playoffs every season of his career (as well as in two NBA Finals).

In honor of Stockton turning 53 today, we take a look back at the storied career of one of the best playmaking point guards in NBA history:


Gallery: John Stockton’s career

What are your favorite Stockton memories? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: MJ’s return in 1995


VIDEO: Take a look back at Michael Jordan’s career

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Michael Jordan returns to the NBA

On June 20, 1993, Michael Jordan scored 33 points on 13-for-26 shooting as the Bulls beat the Suns 99-98 in Game 6 of The Finals to clinch a third straight championship. Several months after that win, Jordan retired from the NBA to pursue a career in baseball and the Bulls tried their best to carry on without their marquee star. Chicago reached the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals losing in a Game 7 to the New York Knicks behind the MVP-caliber play of Jordan’s old sidekick, Scottie Pippen.

Then came March 17, 1995 and things became right again in the NBA world for the Windy City. With a simple faxed message stating “I’m Back”, Jordan was on his way back to Chicago once again. Two days later against the Indiana Pacers, Jordan suited up (albeit in a No. 45 jersey instead of his usual No. 23) and had 19 points on 7-for-28 shooting in a 103-96 road loss.

With Jordan’s return to the court in mind, we take a look back on the career of perhaps the greatest player ever in NBA history.


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Michael Jordan’s career

What’s your most lasting Jordan memory? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: NBA Statues


VIDEO: The Starters: Dominique Wilkins Statue

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: NBA Statues

The Atlanta Hawks will immortalize legendary forward Dominique Wilkins with a statue unveiling at Phillips Arena on Saturday. Wilkins was a 9-time All-Star and averaged 26.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.4 steals during his 12 seasons with the Hawks.

As Atlanta prepares to set Wilkins’ history in stone, this Throwback Thursday, we look back at other NBA legends who have been immortalized through statue.


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: NBA Statues

Which NBA statue do you like best? Leave your comments below!

Throwback Thursday: Cousy Tallies 28 Assists


VIDEO: Best Point Guards: Bob Cousy

Welcome to Throwback Thursday here on the All Ball Blog. Each week, we’ll delve into the NBA’s photo archives and uncover a topic and some great images from way back when. Hit us up here if you have suggestions for a future TBT on All Ball. Suggestions are always welcome!

Today’s Topic: Cousy Tallies 28 Assists

On February 27, 1959, Boston Celtics’ legend Bob Cousy dished an NBA-record 28 assists in an 173-139 win over the Minneapolis Lakers. To go with the record, Cousy added 31 points and five rebounds during the high-scoring affair.

This single-game assist record was later topped by Kevin Porter with 29 in 1978 and Scott Skiles with 30 in 1990.

To honor Cousy’s historic game, this Throwback Thursday we look back at his Hall-of-Fame career.


Gallery: Throwback Thursday: Bob Cousy

How would Bob Cousy fare in today’s NBA? Leave your comments below!