March 2, 1951: In the first NBA All-Star Game, the Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference 111-94 at Boston Garden.
April 21, 1951: In the first Game 7 in NBA Finals history, the Rochester Royals defeated the New York Knicks 79-75. The Knicks remain the only team in Finals history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-0.
March 8, 1971: The Milwaukee Bucks extended their winning streak to 20 games with a 104-99 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics, making them the first team in NBA history to have a 20-game winning streak in a season. The streak ended the next day with a 110-103 overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls.
April 21, 1971: Bob Cousy and Bob Pettit were among those inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
April 30, 1971: The Milwaukee Bucks, led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson, clinched their first NBA championship, defeating the Baltimore Bullets 118-106 to sweep the 1971 NBA Finals in four games.
May 3, 1981: The Boston Celtics rallied from a double-digit deficit for the third consecutive game to defeat the visiting Philadelphia 76ers 91-90 in Game 7 of the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals, completing their comeback from a 3-1 series deficit. The last four games of the series were each decided by one or two points.
May 5, 1981: Called “the greatest play I’ve ever seen” by Red Auerbach, the Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird converted a remarkable shot in the fourth quarter of a 98-95 victory over the Houston Rockets in Game 1 of the 1981 NBA Finals. Anticipating that he had missed a jump shot from the right of the key, Bird raced to the right baseline, grabbed the rebound on the run with his right hand, switched the ball into his left hand as his momentum was taking him out of bounds, and laid the ball in the basket.
January 25, 1986
The Washington Bullets’ Manute Bol blocked 15 shots in a 111-103 win over the Atlanta Hawks, now tied for the second most in NBA history behind Elmore Smith’s 17 blocks.
Feb. 8, 1986: Rookie Spud Webb, a 5-7 guard for the Atlanta Hawks, edged teammate Dominique Wilkins to win the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest in Webb’s hometown of Dallas. On the same day, the Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird won the inaugural NBA All-Star Three-Point Contest.
Feb. 14, 1986: The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar became the NBA’s career leader in minutes played, passing Elvin Hayes’ record of 50,000. Abdul-Jabbar reached the milestone in a 141-117 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Feb. 18, 1986: The San Antonio Spurs’ Alvin Robertson recorded the second quadruple-double in NBA history, finishing with 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals in a 120-114 win over the Phoenix Suns.
May 21, 1986
Ralph Sampson made a miraculous turnaround shot at the buzzer as the Houston Rockets eliminated the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers 114-112 in Game 5 of the 1986 Western Conference Finals.
Jan. 15, 1991: The Utah Jazz’s John Stockton handed out 28 assists in a 124-102 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, finishing two assists shy of Scott Skiles’ NBA record of 30.
Feb. 9, 1991: The Chicago Bulls’ Craig Hodges made a record 19 consecutive shots during his semifinal round of the NBA All-Star Three-Point Contest in Charlotte. He went on to win the second of his three straight event titles.
March 18, 1991: The Philadelphia 76ers retired Wilt Chamberlain’s No. 13 jersey.
April 15, 1991: The Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson surpassed Oscar Robertson as the NBA’s all-time assists leader at the time, reaching the milestone in a 112-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. (John Stockton is now No. 1 in career assists and Johnson ranks fifth.)
June 5, 1991: The Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan made one of his signature baskets – a layup on which he switched hands in midair – during a 107-86 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals.
June 12, 1991: The Chicago Bulls won their first NBA championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 108-101 in Game 5 of the 1991 NBA Finals.
Jan. 30, 1996: Playing in his first regular-season game since the 1990-91 season, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson finished with 19 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in a 128-118 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Feb. 17, 1996: The Detroit Pistons retired Isiah Thomas’ No. 11 jersey.
Feb. 20, 1996: The Utah Jazz’s John Stockton became the NBA’s all-time steals leader, passing Maurice Cheeks during a 112-98 victory over the Boston Celtics.
March 1, 1996: The Atlanta Hawks’ Lenny Wilkens became the first coach in NBA history to record 1,000 career victories, reaching the milestone in a 74-68 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
April 6, 1996: The Charlotte Hornets’ Robert Parish passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leader in games played, reaching the milestone in a 93-89 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
April 16, 1996: The Chicago Bulls became the first team in NBA history to win 70 games in a season, reaching the milestone with an 86-80 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
April 21, 1996: The Chicago Bulls defeated the Washington Bullets 103-93 to finish the 1995-96 season with a 72-10 record and an .878 winning percentage, eclipsing the NBA records of 69-13 and .841 by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. (The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors broke the Bulls’ records by finishing 73-9 for an .890 winning percentage.)
April 21, 1996: The Houston Rockets’ Hakeem Olajuwon passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA’s all-time leader in blocked shots, reaching the milestone in a 118-110 victory over the Phoenix Suns in the final regular-season game of the 1995-96 season.
April 24, 1996: The NBA Board of Governors approved the concept of a Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) to begin play as a summer league in 1997.
May 14, 1996
The Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson permanently retired as an NBA player.
June 26, 1996: The famed 1996 NBA Draft took place at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J. The draft featured three NBA MVP winners: No. 1 Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers), No. 13 Kobe Bryant (Charlotte Hornets) and No. 15 Cheap Steve Nash Jersey (Phoenix Suns).
July 11, 1996: The Los Angeles Lakers acquired Kobe Bryant’s draft rights from the Charlotte Hornets for Vlade Divac.
Jan. 5, 2001: The Sacramento Kings’ Chris Webber scored 51 points and grabbed 26 rebounds in a 93-91 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers.
Jan. 13, 2001: The Atlanta Hawks retired Dominique Wilkins’ No. 21 jersey.
Feb. 11, 2001: The Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson scored 15 of his game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter as the Eastern Conference rallied from a 19-point deficit after three quarters to stun the Western Conference 111-110 in Washington, D.C., in the 50th NBA All-Star Game.
March 6, 2001: The Portland Trail Blazers retired Clyde Drexler’s No. 22 jersey.
March 23, 2001: The Toronto Raptors blocked an NBA-record 23 shots in a 112-86 victory over the Atlanta Hawks. The Raptors’ Keon Clark blocked 12 shots off the bench.
March 24, 2001: The Utah Jazz’s Karl Malone passed Moses Malone to become the NBA’s career leader in free throws made, reaching the milestone in a 119-93 victory over the Washington Wizards.
March 30, 2001: The Philadelphia 76ers retired Cheap Charles Barkley Jersey No. 34 jersey.
April 5, 2001: The Dallas Mavericks’ Wang Zhizhi became the first Chinese player to play in an NBA regular-season game, scoring six points and grabbing three rebounds in eight minutes in a 108-94 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
April 18, 2001: The Miami Heat’s Cheap A.C. Green Jersey played his final NBA regular-season game and extended his record streak of consecutive games to 1,192. Green finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds in Miami’s 103-91 victory over the Orlando Magic.
May 20, 2001: The Philadelphia 76ers edged the visiting Toronto Raptors 88-87 in Game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference Semifinals after Toronto’s Vince Carter narrowly missed a potential game- and series-winning jump shot at the buzzer.
June 6, 2001: Allen Iverson scored 48 points as the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 107-101 in overtime in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals, marking the Lakers’ only loss in 16 games in the 2001 NBA Playoffs. The Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neal finished with 44 points and 20 rebounds.
Jan. 22, 2006: The Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a 122-104 home victory against the Toronto Raptors. Bryant recorded the second-highest point total in NBA history, behind Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game on March 2, 1962.
March 8, 2006
In the first major professional sporting event in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city more than six months earlier, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets 113-107 before a capacity crowd of 17,744 at New Orleans Arena.
March 23, 2006: The Utah Jazz retired Karl Malone’s No. 32 jersey.
March 30, 2006: The Indiana Pacers retired Reggie Miller’s No. 31 jersey.
June 13, 2006: Trailing 2-0 in the series and facing a 13-point deficit with less than seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Miami Heat rallied to defeat the Dallas Mavericks 98-96 in Game 3 of the 2006 NBA Finals. Miami’s Dwyane Wade finished with 42 points and 13 rebounds in the first of four consecutive victories for the Heat, which won its first NBA championship.
Feb. 15, 2011: Bill Russell, an 11-time NBA champion, five-time NBA MVP and one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
March 4, 2011: In the first NBA regular-season game in Europe, the New Jersey Nets defeated the Toronto Raptors 116-103 at The O2 in London.
April 1, 2011: The Detroit Pistons retired Dennis Rodman’s No. 10 jersey.
May 3, 2011: The Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose was named the 2010-11 NBA MVP at age 22, the youngest winner in league history.