Michael Jordan said the greatest part of playing for the US Olympic team was "learning the weaknesses" of his teammates for when they returned to the NBA.
Former NBA star, Dr. Shaquille O’Neal, owns 10% of all ‘Five Guys Burgers’ restaurants in the US.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar only made one 3-point shot in his entire 20-year career.
The Boston Celtics have won slightly more than one out of every four NBA Championships, making them the most successful sports franchise in North American history.
Coach Stan Van Gundy was fined for saying NBA shouldn’t be playing games on Christmas Day.
NBA star Bill Laimbeer came from a very wealthy family. Before he got a raise, the basketball player claimed: "I'm the only player in the NBA who makes less money than his father".
Tim Duncan (14 times NBA All-Star) started out as a swimmer and only began playing basketball in ninth grade after Hurricane Hugo destroyed the only Olympic-sized pool in his home St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.
Only 0.03% of high school basketball players make it to the NBA, and only 0.003% play at that level for longer than 4 years.
NBA player Steven Adams is the youngest of 18 children. The boys in his family have an average height of 6 feet 9 inches and the girls average at 6 feet. One of his sisters is an Olympic Gold Medalist in shot put.
There is data that suggests that the more 3 Pointers an NBA player takes, the more likely he is to go broke.
Until 1966, the NBA had Territorial Draft Picks. A team could forgo its first round pick and take any player within 50 miles of its location. They included Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson.
NBA’s Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs sacrificed money and stayed in college for four years instead of going directly to the NBA because, in her last days, his dying mother made him promise to graduate college with a degree.
Former NBA star Dennis Rodman claims he is the oldest of ~46 children. His father says it's "only" ~29.
Standing at 7”6’, 19-year-old teen basketball giant Robert Bobroczky is already taller than any current NBA player.
The Washington NBA team the "Bullets" changed their name to the "Wizards" because of the notoriously high murder rate in Washington DC at the time.
Pat Riley, former NBA player and now NBA executive with the Miami Heat, trademarked the word "Three-Peat" in 1988. When the Chicago Bulls won three straight championships in the 1990s, he was paid $300,000 dollars in royalties.
NBA Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing frequently faced racist chants while he played in college. In one game after an orange was thrown at him, the opposing coach borrowed a microphone and threatened to forfeit the game if fans continued to throw objects at Ewing.
In the 1986 NBA draft, Len Bias, the #2 pick by the Boston Celtics died of cocaine overdose 2 days after his draft night. He is considered by some sportswriters to be one of the greatest players not to play at the professional level.
Kobe Bryant holds the record for the most missed shots in the NBA.
In 1977, NBA player Kermit Washington punched opponent Tomjanovich so hard that he needed facial reconstruction surgery. The damage was so bad that Tomjanovich tasted spinal fluid leaking into his mouth and the bone structure of his face detached from his skull.
In 1994, NBA MVP Hakeem Olajuwon released a $35 sneaker instead of endorsing shoes from Nike or Reebok because "How can a poor working mother with three boys buy Nikes or Reeboks that cost $120?...She can't. So kids steal these shoes from stores and from other kids. Sometimes they kill them."
There is not one openly gay athlete in the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL. The only openly gay professional athlete plays Rugby.
If you are a 7+ foot tall American male between the ages of 20 and 40, there is a 17% chance you currently play for the NBA.
North Korea wanted to be paid in wheat for allowing a 7'8½" (2.35m) tall Ri Myung-Hun to play in the NBA.
Michael Jordan was fined $5000 for every game that he wore Air Jordans (as shoes violated NBA league policy). He made an estimated $90 million in 2013, more than any other active or retired athlete, largely from Nike royalties.
The average annual salary of a professional NBA cheerleader is $56,000.
NBA player Rick Barry led the league seven times in free throw percentage by shooting the ball underhanded. His free throw percentage was 89.99 at the time of his retirement. Despite the effectiveness of his technique, almost no other basketball player has followed it.
Until the shot clock was introduced, some NBA players used to literally sit on the ball to keep their lead and just wait for time to run out.
Magic Johnson was so good at every position that he won an NBA title playing at polar opposite positions a center in his rookie year and then as a point guard later in his career.
After Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV, many NBA players claimed he shouldn't play because there could be a risk of contamination if he had an open wound.
Former NBA Star Elton Brand co-founded a film production company, Gibraltar Films which produced Werner Herzog's "Rescue Dawn". He's also credited as a producer on Rescue Dawn.
Spectators in Sacramento's new solar powered NBA stadium can use an app to adjust the temperature at their own seat.
The first non-white player in the NBA was Wataru Misaka an Asian American from Utah.
The bird on the Twitter logo is named Larry the Bird, named after Larry Bird of the NBA's Boston Celtics fame.
Within five years of retirement, an estimated 60% of former NBA players are financially broke.
NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabaar (with 38,387 points) has become an author and prominent historian since retiring from NBA. He is also a cultural ambassador for the USA.
An NBA player had to retire because he fell asleep with a pack of ice on his knee.
LeBron and MJ are the only players to win a regular-season MVP, NBA Finals MVP, and an Olympic gold medal in the same year.
The drunk driver who killed NBA star Malik Sealy was arrested twice more for drunk driving after the fatal crash.
In 1978, then-NBA center Clifford Ray saved a dolphin’s life by using his 45-inch hand reach to grab a screw the dolphin had swallowed. He received instruction over the phone from a veterinarian, who told him how to reach up and into the dolphin’s second stomach to extract the screw.
If five or more NBA players on a team die or become dismembered, the league enacts a "disaster draft" which allows the affected team to select five new players from any team in the NBA. Each team owner is permitted to protect only five of their players during the disaster draft.
In 1948, before the NBA had any black players, the Harlem Globetrotters beat the NBA Champion Lakers in a straight up game.
No NBA player has ever worn #69 while playing professionally.
NBA players do not tend to come from poverty. Contrary to stereotype, "Growing up in a wealthier neighborhood is a major, positive predictor of reaching the N.B.A." Black NBA players are about 30% less likely to have an unwed or teenage mother.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that the manager of officials of the NBA “wouldn't be able to manage a Dairy Queen.” Dairy Queen was offended by this and invited him to manage a Dairy Queen for a day. Cuban accepted the company’s invitation and worked for a day at a Dairy Queen.
In the 1977 NBA Draft, the New Orleans Jazz selected Lusia Harris, but she was pregnant at the time & declined to attend training camp. She remains the only woman ever officially drafted into the NBA.
NBA player Michael Kidd-Gilchrist watches the Lion King once a week because he used to watch it every day with his father until he was 3 years old when his father was shot and killed.
NBA player Pete Maravich said in an interview when he was 26 that he "didn't want to play in the NBA for 10 years, then die of a heart attack at 40.” He proceeded to have a 10-year NBA career, and then die of a heart attack at 40.
There are two statues in Beijing, China in the image of former NBA pro-Stephon Marbury. There's also a Stephon Marbury museum, a Chinese musical about his life, and a Chinese movie soon to be released.
Only 3 white guys have won NBA MVP in the last 30 years.