This Date in the NBA: July

Take a day-by-day look back at iconic NBA moments, milestones and more from the month of July.

Key dates in NBA history:

Jan | Feb | Mar | April | May | June | July | Aug | Sept | Oct | Nov | Dec


July 1, 2011

The NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expired and without a new agreement, the league imposed a lockout. This was the fourth lockout in the NBA’s history. It would last 161 days, ending on December 8, 2011.

July 2, 2001

In the NBA’s first-ever Basketball without Borders final, Zan Tabak’s Indiana Pacers upset Vlade Divac and Bruno Sundov’s heavily favored Sacramento Kings team 50-48. This event united children from (the former) Yugoslavia through basketball.

July 2, 2008

Professional Basketball Club LLC (PBC), led by Clay Bennett, reached a settlement agreement in the lawsuit filed by the city of Seattle, finalizing the move of the Seattle SuperSonics to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

July 3, 2001

The NBA Board of Governors approved the move of the Grizzlies franchise from Vancouver to Memphis beginning with the 2001-02 season. The Grizzlies’ move was the first franchise relocation in the NBA since the Kings moved from Kansas City to Sacramento for the 1985-86 season.

July 3, 2021

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Atlanta Hawks, 118-107, in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. In doing so, the Bucks clinched their first NBA Finals berth since 1974.

July 5, 1992

The Dream Team won the final game of the Basketball Tournament of the Americas against Venezuela 127-80. Team USA won all six games by an average of 51.5 points.

July 6, 2000

E. Stanley Kroenke, a national real estate developer, announced he had completed the acquisition of the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche and the Pepsi Center from Ascent Entertainment Group, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation. Kroenke made the announcement at a news conference at the Pepsi Center following recent approvals of the $450 million acquisition by the NBA, NHL and the City and County of Denver, as well as receipt of all required governmental approvals and all other customary conditions.

July 6, 2019

In a long-awaited move, the Los Angeles Lakers acquire New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis in a three-team trade.

July 7, 1978

The NBA approved a franchise swap in which Buffalo Braves owner John Y. Brown and Harry Mangurian acquired the Celtics, while the Celtics owner Irv Levin got the Braves, who were later moved to San Diego to become the Clippers.

July 7, 2016

Four-time scoring champ Kevin Durant, a sought-after free agent, signs with the Golden State Warriors.

July 7, 2019

Two-time MVP and former scoring champ Kevin Durant moves on to the Brooklyn Nets via a sign-and-trade deal with the Golden State Warriors. His move there comes a day after free-agent guard Kyrie Irving signed his deal with Brooklyn.

July 8, 2010

LeBron James shocked the sports world by announcing via a live ESPN special, The Decision, that he would be leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers and “taking his talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.” This set off a firestorm of criticism and drama heading into the upcoming NBA season. Cleveland fans heavily lambasted James and some even burned his jersey in a public display. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote an open letter to fans, denouncing James’ actions and claiming the Cavs would win a NBA title before James.

July 8, 2011

Yao Ming, after nine seasons, retires from the NBA. He is credited as a critical force behind the growing popularity of the NBA in China.

July 9, 1968

The Philadelphia 76ers traded Wilt Chamberlain to the Los Angeles Lakers for Darrell Imhoff, Archie Clark and Jerry Chambers plus an undisclosed amount of cash.

July 9, 2004

Five-time All-Star Rudy LaRusso, known as “Roughhouse Rudy,” dies at the age of 66.

July 9, 2006

Andrea Bargnani of the Toronto Raptors, the top pick in the 2006 NBA Draft, becomes the first player ever to foul out of an NBA Summer League game, picking up ten personals in a game against the Sacramento Kings team.

July 9, 2020

NBA training camps for the restart of the 2019-20 season open at the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando, Fla. The 22 teams that participated in the restart are: Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets, Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Lakers, LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns.

July 9, 2018

LeBron James moves to the Western Conference for the first time in his career, signing as a free agent with the Los Angeles Lakers.

July 9, 2019

The LA Clippers undergo a massive roster overhaul, starting with signing free-agent forward and reigning NBA Finals MVP, Kawhi Leonard. A day later, they would acquire former All-Star swingman Paul George via a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder to give the Clippers a superstar tandem.

July 10, 1975

The Philadelphia 76ers signed forward George McGinnis after Commissioner Larry O’Brien revoked the contract McGinnis had signed with New York Knicks (May 30, 1975).

July 10, 2010

In separate sign-and-trade deals, the Miami Heat complete their roster makeover by picking up Chris Bosh and LeBron James from the Toronto Raptors and Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively. They joined up with Dwyane Wade, who in free agency opted to re-sign with the Heat.

July 11, 1996

The National Basketball Association announced that a new collective bargaining agreement extending through the 2000-2001 season was signed with the National Basketball Players Association.

July 11, 2014

LeBron James explains in a Sports Illustrated “as-told-to” article that he’s coming home to Cleveland to lead the Cavaliers.

July 12, 2006

Brandon Roy of the Portland Trail Blazers scores 35 points against the Phoenix Suns to set a new NBA Summer League scoring record.

July 13, 2000

Mike Jones scored 19 points, and Rasul Salahuddin and Wayman Strickland each added 16 to lead the NBA Ambassadors to a 103-68 victory over China’s CBA All-Stars in the decisive third game of the Asian Basketball Association League championship series. The NBA Ambassadors represented the NBA’s new developmental league, the National Basketball Development League, which formed in November 2001.

July 14, 2004

The Phoenix Suns sign point guard Steve Nash in free agency. Nash would go on to be named NBA MVP in each of the next two seasons and become one of the top players at his position throughout the rest of the decade with Phoenix.

July 14, 2004

Shaquille O’Neal was traded by the Los Angeles Lakers to the Miami Heat for Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Brian Cook and a future first-round choice. This marked the official end to the Shaq-Kobe era in L.A.

July 14, 2021

Devin Booker finishes with 42 points in Game 4 of The Finals, bringing his playoff scoring total at that point to 542 points. In reaching that mark, Booker set the NBA record for most points scored in a player’s first postseason run. Booker passed Hall of Famer Rick Barry, who had held the mark since 1967 when he piled up 521 points.

July 15, 1991

Sandhi Ortiz-Del Valle became the first woman to officiate a men’s professional basketball game, working a United States Basketball League game between the New Haven Skyhawks and the Philadelphia Spirit.

July 16, 2008

Brandon Jennings signs a contract with Italian team Virtus Roma, becoming the first American to go directly from high school to a European pro team.

July 16, 2016

Seven-time All-Star Nate Thurmond, a Hall-of-Famer and Warriors legend, dies at the age of 74.

July 16, 2019

All-Star guard Chris Paul is dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder in a blockbuster swap that sends former Kia MVP Russell Westbrook to the Houston Rockets. In the trade, the Thunder also receive four future first-round picks from Houston.

July 17, 2000

Vancouver Grizzlies forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim is named to the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Abdur-Rahim’s addition to the USA team came after previously named team member Grant Hill withdrew because of a broken ankle suffered during the NBA playoffs.

July 18, 2018

In a blockbuster offseason trade, the San Antonio Spurs deal former Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors. In the swap, the Spurs receive DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first-round pick while the Raptors also get Danny Green from the Spurs.

July 19, 1923

Alex Hannum is born in Los Angeles.

July 19, 2005

The National Basketball Development League changes its name to the “NBA Development League” to better reflect the role of the league within the new NBA-NBPA Collective Bargaining Agreement.

July 20, 2000

Isiah Thomas is named head coach of the Indiana Pacers, replacing Larry Bird, who stepped down following the 1999-2000 NBA season. Thomas, 39, was a 12-time All-Star and led the Pistons to two NBA championships and was the Finals MVP in 1990. He also led Indiana University to the NCAA championship in 1981. As with Bird, who was the 1997-98 NBA Coach of the Year, the Pacers’ job is Thomas’ first coaching experience.

July 20, 2011

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming announced his retirement from the NBA. He averaged 19.0 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game during his career.

July 20, 2021

Giannis Antetokounmpo finishes with 50 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to power the Milwaukee Bucks past the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 for their first NBA title since 1971. Antetokounmpo becomes the fourth international player to win Finals MVP honors and the second to score 50 in a Game 6 series-clinching win (joining Hall of Famer Bob Pettit).

July 22, 2020

The Orlando Magic take on the LA Clippers in the first of four scrimmage games at the Walt Disney World campus in Orlando, Fla., as a part of the 2019-20 season restart. The scrimmage games would take place from July 22-28 as teams and players work to get into game shape for the seeding games in the 2019-20 restart.

July 24, 1963

Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone was born in Summerfield, La.

July 25, 1941

Nate Thurmond is born in Akron, Ohio.

July 25, 1988

The Atlanta Hawks became the first NBA team to play in the Soviet Union when they defeat the Soviet Georgia All-Stars 85-84 in an exhibition game.

July 25, 2015

Three-time All-Star Bob Kauffman, a Buffalo Braves star, dies at the age of 69.

July 28, 2010

Memphis star and Cleveland Cavalier Lorenzen Wright is found dead just outside of Memphis.

July 30, 1993

Les Alexander purchased the Houston Rockets from Charlie Thomas.

July 30, 2020

Rudy Gobert sank two free throws with 6.9 seconds left to cap a 14-point, 12-rebound and three-block performance, giving the Utah Jazz a 106-104 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in the first game of the NBA’s 2019-20 season restart in Orlando, Fla.

July 31, 2007

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Kevin Garnett was traded to the Boston Celtics for Al Jefferson, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green, Theo Ratliff, and two first-round draft picks (one of which was acquired in a trade with Minnesota a year prior). The deal marked the largest NBA trade ever for one player, giving Boston a new “Big Three.”