2000: The Big MVP: Shaq sweeps MVP Awards
Shaquille O’Neal is named unanimous Most Valuable Player of NBA Finals 2000 following the Lakers’ 116-111 Game 6 victory, receiving all seven votes from a national media panel. O’Neal averaged 38 points, 16.7 rebounds and 2.67 blocks in the six-game Finals series. He became just the third person to sweep MVP honors for the season, capturing the All-Star Game MVP, which he shared with San Antonio’s Tim Duncan, NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP awards. O’Neal joined Willis Reed (1970) and Michael Jordan (1996). The Lakers tied the NBA Finals single game record with only five turnovers.
2000: Stockton Makes Another Pass
John Stockton appeared in his 1,271st NBA game, all in a Utah Jazz uniform, passing previous record-holder John Havlicek of the Boston Celtics for most career games played for one team. “I have such great respect for John Havlicek, I can’t even express it,” said Stockton.
2002: The Mailman Delivers 34,000 Points
By scoring 18 points in a 90-78 triumph over Chicago at the Delta Center, Utah’s Karl Malone became the second player in NBA history to register 34,000 career points, trailing only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points).
2002: How Sweep it is: Lakers Capture Third Straight Title
With a 113-107 victory at New Jersey, the Los Angeles Lakers completed a sweep of the 2002 NBA Finals and won their third consecutive title. The Lakers became the fifth team in NBA history to win at least three straight titles. With the victory, Coach Phil Jackson tied Red Auerbach’s mark of nine titles. With 34 points, MVP Shaquille O’Neal set the mark for most points (145) in a four-game Finals series, eclipsing Hakeem Olajuwon’s 131, which he set in 1995 against O’Neal-led Orlando.
2002: Yao Goes to the Head of the Rookie Class
Yao Ming was selected by the Houston Rockets with the draft's first pick, the first time a player who had played neither high school or college basketball in the United States was the top selection.
2004: Fisher One Ups Duncan, Lakers Capture Game 5
Derek Fisher's remarkable fadeaway jumper with .04 left in regulation gave the Los Angeles Lakers a 74-73 victory over the San Antonio Spurs that may have tilted the NBA's balance of power back in their favor. Fisher's miracle followed an off-balance, improbable basket by Duncan with less than a second to go to put the Spurs up by one. In a highly anticipated showdown of the last five champions, the Lakers stole the pivotal fifth game of the Western Conference semifinals, taking a 3-2 lead. They are one win from securing the series and dethroning the Spurs, who did the same to them a year ago.
2004: 2 – 2 = 4 Knotted Semifinals
All four 2004 conference semifinal series are knotted at 2-2 for the first time in NBA history (the current playoff format began in 1984). So far in the playoffs, home teams are 41-14 (.745). In this round, home teams are 14-2, with Minnesota and Sacramento the only teams to register road victories.
2004: One the Road to China – Rockets, Kings arrive
The Yao Ming-led Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings arrive in China Tuesday in preparation for the first-ever NBA games in China. The Rockets and Kings will play two preseason games October 14 and 17 in Shanghai and Beijing, respectively. The NBA is the first American professional sports league to stage games in China. The historic NBA China Games 2004 will be played at Shanghai Stadium, with a capacity of 11,333 seats, and at Capital Stadium in Beijing, with a capacity of 17,903 seats.
2006: Lakers – Hornets tip off First Major Sports Event Post-Katrina
In the first major professional sporting event in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city more than six months ago, the Lakers defeat the Hornets 113-107. A sellout crowd of 17,744 showed up at New Orleans Arena, which encountered flooding problems following one of the worst storms in American history on Aug. 29.
2006: Red Passes Away at 89
Arnold “Red” Auerbach, the coach of eight consecutive Boston Celtic NBA Champions as well as the architect of multiple Celtics dynasties, dies at the age of 89 in Washington D.C.
2006: Rosters feature Record 83 International Players
The NBA opens its regular season with a record total of 83 international players on team rosters. The Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs and Toronto Raptors lead the NBA with six International players each.
2007: The Great Eight: No. 8 Warriors upset top-seeded Mavs
The #8 seeded Warriors beat the No. 1 seeded Mavericks 4-2 to win their first round Western Conference Playoff series. It is the third time that a
#8 seed has beaten a #1 seed, but the first time in a seven-game series.
The Mavericks won 67 games in the regular season, while the Warriors won 42 games.
2007: NBA lends hand in Rebuilding New Orleans
Commissioner David Stern announced a league-wide, season-long effort to help in the on-going rebuilding of New Orleans. The NBA Cares initiative will feature all members of the NBA Family, including players, teams, the National Basketball Players Association, and all of the NBA's media and marketing partners. Together, they will perform more than 30,000 hours of hands-on community service as all visiting NBA teams will participate in community activities when they travel to New Orleans to take on the Hornets during the regular season.