Basketball is one of the most popular sports worldwide, played in 213 countries by over 450 million people. It is one sport that has gathered a lot of fans over the years. While basketball is immensely popular, one country that has dominated and defined the game over the last five decades and produced many stars is the United States Of America. The NBA (National Basketball Association) is the most-watched basketball league, entertaining over 2.2 billion people worldwide.
With the NBA preseason already underway, the new 82-game regular season is kicking off on the 19th of October, 2021. Now will be a great time to look at some present and past players everybody should know.
Magic Johnson was born with the name Earvin Johnson Jr in 1959. A legend of the game and known for his on and off-the-field exploits. They drafted him as the first pick in 1979, where he exploded to the scene in his first year with the Los Angeles Lakers. In his debut season, he averaged 18 PPG, 7.7 RPG, and 7.3 APG. Standing at 6ft 9, Johnson played for the Lakers for 13 seasons, where he won 5 NBA championships, took part in 12 NBA All-Star Games, and won many individual awards.
We often credit him and Larry Bird with reviving the love of basketball in the mid to late ’80s. With their rivalry attracting nationwide attention. His record after 13 years stands at Games played 906, 19.95 PPG, 7.2 RBG, and 11.2 APG. Magic Johnson had to cut his playing career short when he announced he was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, but since then, is living a fulfilling life so far.
Willam Felton Russell was known for his outstanding defensive capabilities during his 13-year career with the Celtics. He was born in 1934 and stood at 6’9. In his rookie season, Bill got an average of 20 rebounds, making him the first person in the NBA to accomplish such an achievement. He had a glittering career winning 11 NBA Championship, appearing in 11 All-Star NBA teams, and winning an All-Star MVP award in the 1962-1963 season.
Bill still holds the record for most rebounds in a match which stands at 40. He is second in the all-time ranking behind Wilt Chamberlain for his average career rebound. His career record stands at 963 Games, 15.1 PPG, 22.5 RPG, and 4.3 APG.
Timothy Duncan is a legend who played all his 19 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. He was born in 1976, standing at 6’11. Duncan was the 1st overall pick in the 1997 draft. Tim won the “Rookie of the Month” award every month in his first season before also winning the “Rookie of the Year.” Duncan played primarily as a center or power forward and had the nickname “twin towers” while playing with his former teammate David Robinson for their rock-solid defense.
He won five NBA championships, three NBA Finals MVPs, the NBA All-defensive team fifteen times, and won NBA Most Valuable Player twice. At the end of his career, Tim’s record stood at Games played 1,392, 19 Points Per Game, 10.8 RPG and 3.0 APG, cementing his place as one of the greats.
Stephen Curry is one of the few active players on the list who has created a legacy for himself and the Golden State Warriors. Curry was the overall 7th player in the 2009 NBA draft. Curry suffered from ankle injuries at the beginning of his career, which threatened to end his basketball journey, but thanks to surgery in 2012, he could kick start his career, and boy did it fly. He has revolutionized the game with his three-point shots.
Stephen Curry helped his team win their first championship in 2015 in 40 years and led the Golden Warriors to a best regular-season record with 73-9. He was top in points scored and steals in the 2016 season and has won three NBA championships and two NBA MVP awards. Curry’s record stands at Games Played 762, 24 PPG, 6.5 APG, and 4.6 RPG.
Antetokounmpo is a Greek-born basketball player with Nigerian parents. He currently stands at 6’11 and was born in 1994. Giannis started his career in the Greek 3rd division before getting drafted into the NBA as the 15th best overall in 2013. He currently plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, leading them to their first NBA Championship since 1941. Giannis’ breakout season came in 2016 and, the season after that, he appeared in his first NBA All-Star game, also making the all-defensive selection and taking the most improved player award.
Today, Giannis has won the NBA Championship, was selected as NBA’s most valuable player in 2019 and 2020, and has five times NBA All-Star appearances. He also achieved one MVP All-star award. He is the first player in NBA history to finish in the top 20 for all the five statistics. At only 26 years, Gianni’s career so far stands at 589 Games, 20.9 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 4.5 APG.
Julius Erving was known for his athleticism and credited with redefining dunks. Usually seen floating in the air before he dunks the ball, Julius started his professional career in 1971 with Virginia Squires, winning the AMA Rookie of the Year. He spent two years in the Virginia Squires before moving to New York Nets and moving again to Philadelphia 76ers, where he ended his career.
Julius played at a time where two basketball federations existed. While playing for the New York Nets under the American Basketball Association (ABA), he won two championships before joining Philadelphia after the NBA and ABA merged in 1976. Julius appeared eleven times in the playoffs and won the 1982-83 season final. He received the NBA MVP award four times, the AMA MVP Award twice, and was inducted into the 1993 Hall of Fame. His career record stands at 1243 Games played, 24.2 PPG, 8.5 RPG, and 4.2 APG.
Reaching Out To Them
When it comes to people in the basketball business, having the right contacts is everything. Knowing who to talk to is more important than everything—and decision-makers are usually the ones who pull the strings from the background. You can contact them for sponsorship deals or any other endorsement if you want to do NBA-related business. SignalHire is the app for you in this case—get in touch with them today.
In conclusion, these are some players anyone should know, including those who don’t follow the sports. Because of their efforts, the spotlight has continued to shine on the game, and this is all that matters for fans of this sport. We hope you enjoyed the post, and let’s hear some of your must-know players in the comment section.