Key dates in NBA history:
June 1, 1979
The Seattle SuperSonics, who dropped the championship series opener, beat Washington 97-93 in Game 5 for their fourth consecutive Finals victory, capturing their only NBA Championship, as Gus Williams scored 23 points and Jack Sikma grabbed 17 rebounds.
June 1, 1993
Dan Majerle of Phoenix set a then-playoffs record by sinking eight 3-pointers during the Suns’ 120-114 victory over Seattle in Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. Majerle finished the game with 34 points.
June 1, 1994
Indiana’s Reggie Miller drilled an NBA playoffs record five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter of the Pacers’ 93-86 win over host New York in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. Miller finished with a game-high 39 points, shooting 6-for-11 from 3-point range. Five players have since tied Miller’s record of five 3-pointers in one quarter of a playoff game.
June 1, 2005
The original dominating big man and Hall-of-Famer George Mikan dies at 80.
June 2, 1985
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers became the all-time leading scorer in NBA playoff history, surpassing Jerry West’s total of 4,457 points, as the Lakers beat Boston, 136-111, in Game 3 of the NBA Finals — a series they would win in six games. Abdul-Jabbar was eventually passed for total playoff points by Chicago’s Michael Jordan.
June 2, 1996
Seattle, led by 26 points from Shawn Kemp and 21 from Gary Payton, defeats visiting Utah, 90-86, in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, earning the SuperSonics a trip to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1979.
June 2, 2000
The New Jersey Nets name Rod Thorn, who had been serving as the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, as the team’s new president. Thorn, who served as an assistant coach with the Nets between 1973-75 and then again between 1976-78, had been in professional basketball for more than four decades as a player, assistant coach, head coach, general manager and league official. He joined the league office in February 1986, and was in charge of all on-court operations, including scheduling, officiating, game conduct and discipline.
June 2, 2020
Washington Bullets legend and Hall of Famer Wes Unseld dies at 74. Unseld was the NBA’s MVP and Rookie of the Year in 1969 and led the Bullets to an NBA title in 1978. One of the NBA’s Top 50 Players, Unseld retired in 1981 and moved into a front-office job with the Bullets and also coached the team for seven seasons (1987-94).
June 3, 1977
Portland’s Bobby Gross scored 25 points while center Bill Walton controlled the boards with 24 rebounds, enabling the Blazers to defeat the Sixers, 110-104, in a crucial Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Philadelphia.
June 3, 1984
Magic Johnson handed out an NBA Finals-record 21 assists as the Los Angeles Lakers beat Boston, 137-104, in Game 3 of a championship series the Celtics would eventually win in seven games.
June 3, 1992
Host Chicago defeated Portland, 122-89, in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan, who finished with a game-high 39 points, set NBA Finals records for points scored in a half (35) and 3-pointers made in one half (six). After the sixth trey, Jordan turned to the midcourt TV camera and shrugged as if to say, “I guess everything’s going in.”
June 3, 1999
Utah’s Karl Malone becomes the ninth player in NBA history to win the Maurice Podoloff trophy twice when he is named the league’s MVP for the 1998-99 season. He previously won the award for his play during the 1996-97 season.
June 4, 1976
Boston’s Jo Jo White scored 33 points as the Celtics outlasted Phoenix, 128-126, in triple-overtime in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, at the time the longest Finals game ever. Phoenix forward Gar Heard, who set a then-Finals record by playing 61 minutes, hit a buzzer-beater to force the third overtime. Phoenix and Chicago went to triple-overtime in Game 3 of the 1993 Finals, a game won by the Suns, 129-121. Kevin Johnson of Phoenix broke Heard’s previous Finals record for minutes played with 62.
June 4, 1987
The Lakers shot a then-NBA Finals record 61.5% from the field and Michael Cooper set what was then a Finals record by sinking six 3-pointers in a 141-122 victory over Boston in Game 2 of their championship series — eventually won by the Lakers in six games. The Lakers’ field-goal percentage remains the second-highest in Finals history. Magic Johnson’s 20 assists were one shy of his own NBA Finals record, and the Lakers’ 44 assists tied the team single-game NBA Finals record set by another Lakers’ team on May 6, 1970.
June 4, 1995
The Orlando Magic advanced to the NBA Finals in only the sixth year of the franchise with a 105-81 win over visiting Indiana in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Shaquille O’Neal had a game-high 25 points to lead the Magic and Dennis Scott set NBA playoff records for a seven-game series for the most 3-pointers attempted (65) and the most treys made (28).
June 4, 1997
The NBA announced that the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets would play an NBA regular-season game in Mexico on December 6, 1997. The event marked the first time the NBA has staged a regular-season game in Mexico, which joined Japan as the only two countries outside of the United States and Canada to host an NBA regular-season game.
June 4, 2000
Down 15 points with 10:28 to go in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, the Los Angeles Lakers stage an epic comeback against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lakers outscore the Blazers 29-11 down the stretch, clinching the victory off a Kobe Bryant-to-Shaquille O’Neal alley-oop with 40 seconds left. The win sends the Lakers to their first Finals since the 1990-91 season.
June 4, 2009
Randy Smith, who played in a then-record 906 NBA games between 1972-82, dies at the age of 60.
June 4, 2020
The NBA Board of Governors today approves a competitive format to restart the 2019-20 season with 22 teams returning to play and a tentative start date of Thursday, July 30. The 22 returning teams were the 16 teams (eight per conference) in playoff positions and the six teams that were six games or fewer behind the eighth seed in their respective conferences. Those two groups comprise teams with the NBA’s 22 best records.
June 5, 1977
The phenomenon known as Blazermania reached a peak as Bill Walton blocked eight shots, a record for an NBA Finals game (since tied by three players), and Portland beat Philadelphia 109-107 in Game 6 to win its only NBA championship.
June 5, 1991
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls drove the lane against the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals. As he moved past Byron Scott with the ball in his right hand, Jordan took off for the basket intending to dunk. The Lakers’ Sam Perkins came over to try to contest the shot, but Jordan switched the ball into his left hand while in midair and gently flipped it in off the glass. The vintage Jordan effort helped the Bulls beat the Lakers 107-86 en route to their first title. Chicago set a Finals record for team shooting percentage at .617 (50-for-81). Bulls guard John Paxson also tied a Finals record by shooting 1.000 (8-for-8) from the field, tying Scott Wedman, who was 11-for-11 for Boston in Game 1 of the 1985 Finals against the Lakers.
June 5, 1992
Portland defeated Chicago 115-104 in overtime in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Danny Ainge was a key factor for Portland in OT, tying a Finals record set by John Havlicek (1974) and Bill Laimbeer (1990) by scoring nine of the Blazers’ 18 points in the extra session.
June 5, 1994
New York, led by Patrick Ewing’s 24 points and 22 rebounds, defeated Indiana 94-90 at Madison Square Garden in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals, sending the Knicks to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1973.
June 5, 1996
Global television coverage of the 1996 NBA Finals between Chicago and Seattle reaches a record 169 countries on six continents in 40 different languages. The Bulls’ 107-90 win in Game 1 at the United Center earns a 16.8 rating and a 31 share on NBC and is viewed in a record 16,111,200 homes.
June 6, 1946
The National Basketball Association was founded at the Commodore Hotel in New York. Maurice Podoloff was the league’s first president, a title later changed to commissioner.
June 6, 1982
Philadelphia held Los Angeles center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to his all-time playoff low of six points and trounced the Lakers 135-102 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
June 6, 1989
The Pistons beat the Lakers 109-97 in Game 1 of the 1989 NBA Finals, snapping the Lakers streak for consecutive wins during one postseason at 11.
June 6, 1996
At a press conference in Chicago, NBA Commissioner David J. Stem announces plans for the “NBA at 50” celebration, which commemorated the league’s 50th anniversary during the first half of the 1996-97 season.
June 6, 1997
Scottie Pippen of the Chicago Bulls tied an NBA Finals record when he made seven 3-pointers in Chicago’s 104-93 Game 3 loss to the Utah Jazz. Kenny Smith of the Houston Rockets had set the record with seven treys vs. Orlando on June 7, 1995.
June 6, 2000
The NBA announced that effective July 1, Stu Jackson, the NBA’s Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations, would assume the responsibilities previously held by Rod Thorn as head of the NBA’s Basketball Operations department. His duties were to include chairing the league’s Competition and Rules Committee, overseeing officiating, and imposing discipline for misconduct by players and coaches. It was announced Jackson would report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Russ Granik.
June 6, 2000
Joe Dumars, a six-time NBA All-Star and 1989 Finals MVP with the Detroit Pistons, was named the team’s President of Basketball Operations. Dumars was hired as Vice President of Player Personnel on June 14, 1999, and served in that capacity during the 1999-2000 season.
June 6, 2001
For only the second time in NBA Finals history, two opposing players scored 40 or more points in the same NBA Finals game. Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers (48 points) and Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers (44 points) each surpassed the 40-point mark in Game 1 of NBA Finals 2001, a 107-101 Philadelphia win in overtime.
June 6, 2001
In the 2001 Finals, Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson uses his trademark crossover dribble against Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyronn Lue. Iverson then stepped back and hit a fadeaway jumper as Lue fell down. After the shot went through, Iverson took an exaggerated step over the prone Lue on his way back up the court. That basket gave the Sixers a 105-103 lead in overtime as they would go on to win Game 1.
June 7, 1978
The Washington Bullets traveled to Seattle and defeated the SuperSonics 105-99 in Game 7 to win the NBA Championship. During this series, Washington coach Dick Motta famously proclaimed, “The opera isn’t over until the fat lady sings.”
June 7, 1990
Terry Porter of the Portland Trail Blazers made all 15 of his free-throw attempts in Portland’s 106-105 overtime win over Detroit in Game 2 of the NBA Finals. Porter’s perfect performance set an NBA Finals record for most free throws made without a miss.
June 7, 1992
In Game 3 of the NBA Finals, Chicago and Portland combined to score only 31 points in the third quarter, the lowest-scoring third quarter in Finals history. The Blazers’ 94-84 loss was the ninth straight homecourt defeat suffered by a Western Conference club, dating back to 1989, also an NBA Finals record.
June 7, 1993
New Jersey guard Drazen Petrovic, a 1993 All-NBA Third Team selection and a member of the Croatian team that won a silver medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, was killed in an automobile accident in Germany.
June 7, 1995
Bolstered by the outside shooting of guard Kenny Smith, who set NBA Finals records for most 3-pointers made in a game (seven) and quarter (five), Houston overcame a 20-point first-half deficit and defeated host Orlando 120-118 in overtime in Game 1 of the ’95 Finals. Hakeem Olajuwon’s tip-in with only three-tenths of a second left in OT gave the Rockets their comeback victory and a 1-0 series lead. The teams also combined to fire up an NBA Playoff and Finals record 62 3s, with the Rockets hitting 14-for-32 attempts and the Magic 9-for-30.
June 7, 1998
The Chicago Bulls defeat the Utah Jazz 96-54 in the most lopsided game in the history of the NBA Finals. The 54 points by the Jazz is also an NBA record for fewest points in a game since the inception of the 24-second shot clock.
June 7, 2000
Shaquille O’Neal scores 43 points against the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of NBA Finals 2000, using a variety of dunks, spin moves and jump hooks. In doing so, he continued a trend established at the start of NBA Playoffs 2000. In the Lakers’ first game in the first round against Sacramento, O’Neal exploded for 46 points. In a second round series opener against Phoenix, he posted a 37-point effort. In the Western Conference Finals opener against Portland, he came out of the box with 41 points. In all, O’Neal averaged 41.8 ppg in the year’s playoff openers. O’Neal’s domination in Game 1 nearly landed him in the NBA Finals record book. He finished the night with 21 field goals, one shy of the NBA Finals mark of 22, co-held by Elgin Baylor and Rick Barry. O’Neal joins Baylor, Barry, Jerry West and Michael Jordan as the only players in NBA Finals history to hit at least 21 field goals in a game.
June 8, 1979
The New Orleans Jazz moved to Salt Lake City, thus becoming the Utah Jazz.
June 8, 1982
Jamaal Wilkes scored 27 points and Magic Johnson posted three 13s — 13 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists — as the Los Angeles Lakers beat Philadelphia 114-104 in Game 6 of the Finals to win their second NBA title in three years.
June 8, 1984
As a courtside thermometer registered 98 degrees, Boston’s Larry Bird answered the challenge by shooting 15-for-20 from the field and scoring 34 points in Boston’s 121-103 Game 5 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. “I love to play in the heat” said Bird. “I just run faster and create my own wind.”
June 8, 1986
Larry Bird’s 29 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds helped Boston beat Houston 114-97 in Game 6 to wrap up the Celtics’ 16th NBA title and Bird’s second NBA Finals MVP in three years.
June 8, 1999
Utah’s Karl Malone is voted to an NBA record 11th All-NBA First Team.
June 8, 2001
Shaquille O’Neal of the Los Angeles Lakers tied the NBA record for most blocked shots in an NBA Finals game when he rejected eight shots in Game 2 of NBA Finals 2001, a 98-89 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. O’Neal tied eight block-performances by Bill Walton, Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing.
June 8, 2021
Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic is named NBA MVP, becoming the first Nuggets player and the lowest-drafted player ever to collect the honors. He is also the first player from Serbia to be selected as MVP and, at the time, joined Dirk Nowitzki (Germany) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (Greece) as NBA MVP winners from Europe.
June 9, 1980
Red Auerbach cemented his reputation as one of the greatest executives in NBA history with his second-most famous trade. Auerbach obtained center Robert Parish and a 1980 first round draft choice that would become forward Kevin McHale from the Golden State Warriors for a pair of 1980 first round draft choices that became Joe Barry Carroll and Rickey Brown. Parish, McHale and Larry Bird are considered by many NBA experts to be the greatest starting frontcourt in NBA history. The trio won three NBA titles in their first six seasons together.
June 9, 1985
The Los Angeles Lakers beat Boston 111-100 in Game 6 to win the NBA Finals. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was unanimously voted NBA Finals MVP — at 38, the oldest player ever to gain that honor.
June 9, 1987
Magic Johnson borrowed a weapon from Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to beat the Boston Celtics in Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals. With the Celtics clinging to a one-point lead, Johnson got the ball on the left side and drove toward the middle, then lofted what he called a “junior junior sky-hook” for a 107-106 victory. The Lakers went on to win the series in six games.
June 9, 1991
Chicago (five) and the Los Angeles Lakers (10) combined for a then NBA Finals low 15 turnovers, in Game 4 at the Great Western Forum, a 97-82 win for the Bulls that gave them a 3-1 series lead. On June 19, 2000, the Lakers (5) and Indiana Pacers (9) broke the mark by combining for only 14 turnovers in the Lakers’ clinching 116-111 Game 6 victory.
June 9, 1995
With a 117-106 victory in Game 2 of the NBA Finals at Orlando Arena, the Houston Rockets set a then playoff record for a single season with their seventh straight road win. Hakeem Olajuwon’s 34 points and 11 rebounds, Sam Cassell’s 31 points off the bench and Robert Horry’s NBA Finals single game record seven steals lifted the Rockets to a 2-0 series lead.
June 9, 2000
Shaquille O’Neal spent a large portion of Game 2 of NBA Finals 2000 at the free-throw line, and spent that time shattering an NBA record for most free throws in a playoff game. His 39 free-throw attempts dwarfed the playoff record of 32 attempts by Boston’s Bob Cousy in a four-overtime game vs. Syracuse on March 21, 1953. The previous Finals mark was 24, set by St. Louis’ Bob Pettit against Boston on April 9, 1958. O’Neal’s 18 free throws made in Game 2 were one less than Pettit’s 19 against the Celtics.
June 9, 2021
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. In doing so, he becomes the fourth player to win the award at least three times, joining Dikembe Mutombo (four), Ben Wallace (four) and Dwight Howard (three).
June 10, 1977
Lucy Harris of Delta State is drafted by the New Orleans Jazz in the seventh round of the NBA Draft, becoming the first woman eve selected by an NBA team.
June 10, 1986
Nancy Lieberman became the first woman to play in a regular-season men’s professional game as the United States Basketball League’s Springfield Fame downed Staten Island 122-107.
June 11, 1987
Five Boston players scored 20 points or more, led by Dennis Johnson with 25, to tie an NBA Finals record as the Celtics beat Los Angeles 123-108 in Game 5. The Lakers, however, bounced back to win the NBA championship in six games.
June 11, 1993
Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls and Charles Barkley of the Phoenix Suns each scored 42 points in Chicago’s 111-108 victory, marking the first time in NBA Finals history that opposing players each scored 40 or more points in a Finals game.
June 11, 1999
The New York Knicks defeated the Indiana Pacers 90-82 in the series-clinching Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. They became the first number eight seed to reach the NBA Finals when they faced the San Antonio Spurs for the championship.
June 11, 2000
Shawnelle Scott scored 18 points and former University of South Carolina standout B.J. McKie notched 16 points to lead the NBA Ambassadors to a 107-77 victory over Hong Kong at Southorn Stadium in Hong Kong. The triumph improved the Ambassadors’ record to 3-0 in the Asian Basketball Association League. The Ambassadors, coached by NBA legend Nate “Tiny” Archibald, represented the National Basketball Development League, slated to begin play in North America in November 2001.
June 11, 2009
In Game 4 of the NBA Finals with Lakers down by 3 points to the Orlando Magic, Derek Fisher hit a 3-pointer over Jameer Nelson sending the game into overtime. In the overtime he hit a tie-breaking three pointer with 31.3 seconds remaining in overtime to help send the Lakers to a 3-1 series lead and the eventual championship.
June 12, 1984
Cedric Maxwell scored 24 points and Boston outrebounded Los Angeles 52-33 to beat the Lakers 111-102 in a Game 7 Finals showdown at Boston Garden, giving the Celtics their 15th NBA championship.
June 12, 1991
The Chicago Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 108-101 at the Great Western Forum to capture the NBA Finals in five games. NBA Finals MVP Michael Jordan scored 30 points and teammate Scottie Pippen hit for 32. It was the Bulls’ first-ever NBA title in their 25th anniversary season in the league. Magic Johnson’s 20 assists were one shy of his own NBA Finals record.
June 12, 2000
Philadelphia’s Eric Snow was named the winner of the 1999-2000 NBA Sportsmanship Award, which honors a player who best represents the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.
June 12, 2002
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.
June 12, 2011
The Dallas Mavericks take home the franchise’s first ever NBA championship after defeating an overwhelmingly favored Miami Heat team 4-2 in the NBA Finals after trailing 2-1 in the series.
June 12, 2017
The Golden State Warriors dominated the Cleveland Cavaliers with new addition Kevin Durant and regained the NBA title with a 4-1 series win. Former Oklahoma City player Durant, who signed with the Warriors as a free agent, was the Finals MVP, averaging 35.2 points per game.
June 13, 1989
The Detroit Pistons completed a Finals sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers with a 105-97 Game 4 victory, winning the first NBA title in franchise history.
June 13, 1993
The Phoenix Suns downed the host Chicago Bulls 129-121 in triple-overtime in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, only the second triple-OT game in Finals history. The other was in the 1976 NBA Finals, when the Celtics defeated Phoenix 128-126 in Game 5 at Boston Garden. Kevin Johnson of Phoenix set a Finals record by playing 62 minutes and teammate Dan Majerle set a mark by playing 59 minutes without committing a personal foul.
June 13, 1997
The Chicago Bulls defeat the Utah Jazz, 90-86, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals to seal their fifth NBA title. Michael Jordan is named Finals MVP and delivers the game-winning assist when he finds Steve Kerr for a foul-line jumper with five seconds left.
June 13, 2000
Atlanta Hawks center Dikembe Mutombo was named one of the 20 winners of the President’s Service Awards, the nation’s highest honor for volunteer service. The honor was presented to Mutombo during ceremonies at the White House. Sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation and the Corporation for National Service, the Awards are the most prestigious national recognition given for volunteer community service directed at solving the country’s critical social problems. Created in 1982, the President’s Service Awards also provide the opportunity to focus public attention on the important efforts made by the nation’s volunteers, who now number more than 109 million people of all ages. In addition to the 20 award winners, 31 individuals and organizations have been named citationists or finalists. Mutombo established the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to aid poor and disadvantaged people in his native country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire). He personally donated $3 million for construction of a 300-bed general hospital in Kinshasa, Congo’s capital, and spearheaded the effort to raise another $12 million needed to complete the project. Additionally, he was actively involved in the country’s efforts to vaccinate 10 million children under the age of five.
June 13, 2000
The Joint Leadership Commission of the United States Congress and the Board of Directors of The Congressional Award Foundation presented Bob Lanier, the NBA’s TeamUp Chairman, with the Horizon Award for his outstanding leadership and commitment to improving the lives of young people. Lanier received the Horizon Award at The Congressional Award Gold Medal Ceremony, in which 63 young people from across the U.S. received Congress’ highest youth honor. The ceremony wass held in Statuary Hall at the United States Capitol in Washington. The Congressional Award Foundation is a public-private partnership created by the United States Congress to promote and recognize volunteer service, initiative and achievement. The Horizon Award is presented to individuals who have made an exceptional impact on the lives of America’s young people. Lanier, who was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1991, was honored before more than 100 members of Congress during the annual Gold Medal Ceremony, hosted by NBC’s Tim Russert.
June 13, 2019
The Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors, 114-110, in Game 6 to seal the franchise’s first NBA championship. Kawhi Leonard was named Finals MVP, becoming the third player in league history to win the award with two different franchises.
June 14, 1987
The Los Angeles Lakers wrapped up their fourth NBA title in eight years as they beat Boston 106-93 in Game 6 of the Finals, behind 32 points from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and 16 points and 19 assists from Finals MVP Magic Johnson.
June 14, 1990
The Detroit Pistons defeated the host Portland Trail Blazers 92-90 in Game 5 of the Finals. Vinnie Johnson hit a 14-foot jumper in the final second, helping the Pistons become only the third franchise (joining the Celtics and Lakers) to, successfully defend an NBA title. It was the Pistons’ fifth straight Finals road win, an NBA record later tied by the Chicago Bulls.
June 14, 1992
Chicago set an NBA Finals record by overcoming a 15-point deficit (79-64), after three quarters, scoring 33 points over the final 12 minutes to defeat, Portland 97-93 in Game 6 and clinch its second straight NBA Championship. Michael Jordan, who averaged 35.8 ppg, was named Finals MVP, becoming the first player to win it in consecutive years. Portland’s 21-for-21 performance from the free throw line set an NBA Finals record.
June 14, 1995
The Houston Rockets became the first sixth-seeded playoff team to win an NBA title, following a 113-101 Game 4 triumph over Orlando at The Summit. Houston also became the first NBA team to ever defeat four consecutive opponents (Utah, Phoenix, San Antonio and Orlando) in the playoffs that had won 50 or more games during the regular season. Houston and Orlando combined to set a Finals record for the most 3-pointers made (25), with the Magic sinking 14 long-range shots (led by five each from Anfernee Hardaway and Brian Shaw) and the Rockets hitting 11 (with Mario Elie and Robert Horry collecting four apiece).
June 14, 1998
The Chicago Bulls clinched their sixth NBA championship in eight seasons in a thrilling 87-86 win at the Delta Center. Michael Jordan hit the game-winning shot in the final seconds and earned himself his record sixth NBA Finals MVP after averaging 33.5 points per game in the series. (The NBA Finals MVP Award debuted in 1969.)
June 14, 2000
After spraining his ankle with seven minutes gone in Game 2 of NBA Finals 2000, Kobe Bryant returned to play Game 4 in Indiana. After Shaquille O’Neal fouled out with 2:33 remaining in overtime, Bryant made four of five shots and scored eight of his team’s 16 points in overtime. He finished with 28 points on 14-for-27 shooting. Remarkably, Bryant had no free-throw attempts. By scoring eight of his team’s 16 points in overtime, Bryant came up a point short of the NBA Finals record of nine in overtime, held by three players.
June 14, 2000
Former Long Beach State star Rasul Salahuddin scored 18 points and former South Carolina standout B.J. McKie added 17 to lead the NBA Ambassadors to a 114-99 triumph over the KBL All-Stars of Korea in Seoul, South Korea. The victory improved the Ambassadors’ record to 5-0 in the Asian Basketball Association League. The Ambassadors, coached by NBA legend Nate “Tiny” Archibald, represented the NBA’s new developmental league (the National Basketball Development League), slated to begin play in North America in November 2001.
June 14, 2009
With the Lakers 99-86 win over the Magic in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Phil Jackson collects his 10th title and passes Red Auerbach for the most coaching championships in NBA history.
June 15, 2001
The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 108-96 in Game 5 of NBA Finals 2001, completing the most dominating playoff run in NBA history. The Lakers posted a 15-1 record and .937 winning percentage in NBA Playoffs 2001, both NBA records. Shaquille O’Neal was named NBA Finals MVP for the second consecutive season, joining Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon as the only players to win consecutive NBA Finals MVP awards.
June 15, 2001
The NBA set a playoff attendance record, as 1,460,086 attended games during the playoffs.
June 15, 2003
Argentina’s Manu Ginobili and France’s Tony Parker share in the celebration of the San Antonio Spurs’ victory over the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals. The two players became the first from their respective countries to win an NBA Championship.
June 15, 2014
Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs win their fifth NBA title, defeating the Miami Heat 104-87 in Game 5 and taking The NBA Finals 4-1. Rising star Kawhi Leonard is the Finals MVP.
June 16, 1975
The Milwaukee Bucks traded Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and reserve center Walt Wesley to the Los Angeles Lakers for center Elmore Smith, forward David Meyers, guard Brian Winters and swingman Junior Bridgeman.
June 16, 1988
A crowd of 41,732, the largest ever to attend an NBA playoff game, turned out at the Pontiac Silverdome to see the Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers 104-94 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals to take a 3-2 lead in the series won by the Lakers in seven games.
June 16, 1993
Chicago defeated Phoenix 111-105 in Game 4 of the NBA Finals at Chicago Stadium, as the Bulls’ Michael Jordan erupted for 55 points (21-of-37 FGs, 13-of-18 FTs). Jordan’s 55-point effort matched the second-highest single-game point total in Finals history. Elgin Baylor of the Los Angeles Lakers holds the Finals scoring record, with 61 points on April 14, 1962 against Boston. Rick Barry scored 55 points for San Francisco against Philadelphia on April 18, 1967.
June 16, 1996
Chicago’s series-clinching victory over Seattle draws an 18.8 rating and a 35 share on NBC, with the game pulling in an estimated 60 million viewers, making it the most-watched NBA game ever on television. The six games of the Chicago-Seattle series average a 16.7 rating, ranking second all-time behind the six games of the 1993 Chicago-Phoenix series, which averaged a 17.9 rating.
June 16, 1996
Paced by Michael Jordan’s 22 points and seven assists, Dennis Rodman’s 19 rebounds and Scottie Pippen’s 17 points and four steals, Chicago defeated visiting Seattle 87-75 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, winning the series 4-2 and clinching the Bulls’ fourth NBA championship in six seasons. Jordan became the only player ever to win the NBA Finals MVP Award four times, after averaging 27.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game in the championship series.
June 16, 1999
39,514 fans were in attendance in San Antonio’s Alamodome for Game 1 of the 1999 NBA Finals versus the New York Knicks. The fans saw the Spurs win 89-77 as they marked the second highest attendance mark in NBA Finals history. The record of 41,732 was set when the Los Angeles Lakers played the Detroit Pistons on June 16 of the 1988 NBA Finals.
June 16, 1999
The Los Angeles Lakers named Phil Jackson as head coach, replacing Kurt Rambis. Jackson returned to the NBA after a year off from coaching after leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles in eight years.
June 16, 2000
Reggie Miller’s four-point play at the 4:46 mark of the first quarter of Indiana’s 120-87 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of NBA Finals 2000 is the sixth four-point play in NBA Finals history and the second this series. The Lakers’ Glen Rice accomplished the feat in Game 4, marking the second time the feat has been accomplished twice in the same series.
June 16, 2015
The Golden State Warriors close out the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 6 of the 2015 Finals, 105-97, for the first championship for the Bay Area team since 1975. Andre Iguodala is the Finals MVP.
June 17, 1976
Four former ABA teams — Denver, Indiana New York and San Antonio — were officially admitted into the NBA, raising the league to 22 teams.
June 17, 1994
In New York’s 91-84 win over Houston in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, Patrick Ewing tied the NBA Finals record with eight blocked-shots. He shares the record with Bill Walton, Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’Neal.
June 17, 2008
The Boston Celtics win their 17th NBA Championship, defeating the Lakers 4 games to 2. Boston’s 131-92 win in Game 6 is the most lopsided closeout win in NBA Finals history. Paul Pierce is named Finals MVP.
June 18, 1924
George Mikan is born in Joliet, Illinois.
June 18, 1932
The Federation Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA), the world governing body for basketball, was founded in Geneva, Switzerland.
June 18, 2013
In the 2013 Finals, Ray Allen hits the tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send Game 6 between the Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs into overtime, with the Heat winning 103-100. The Heat would go on to win Game 7 and the championship.
June 19, 1988
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sank two free throws with 14 seconds left as the Los Angeles Lakers edged the Detroit Pistons 103-102 to even the NBA Finals at 3-3. Isiah Thomas scored 43 points for the Pistons, including a Finals record 25 in the third quarter, despite suffering a sprained ankle early in the game. Thomas’ 11 field goals in the quarter is an NBA Finals record.
June 19, 1994
Hakeem Olajuwon scored 30 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and partially blocked the final shot of the game (by John Starks), leading the Houston Rockets to an 86-84 win over the New York Knicks in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. The win by Houston forced a deciding seventh game of the NBA Finals for the first time in six years and the only time in the 1990s.
June 19, 2000
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.
June 19, 2016
LeBron James fulfills his promise to Cleveland and brings the Cavaliers their first championship ever. The Cavaliers come back from 3-1 down and take The Finals, 4-3, with a 93-89 Game 7 win. LeBron is the Finals MVP, averaging 29.7 points per game.
June 20, 1993
John Paxson’s 3-pointer with 3.9 seconds left and Horace Grant’s block of a Kevin Johnson shot in the lane in the final second lifted Chicago to a 99-98 win over host Phoenix in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, clinching the Bulls’ third consecutive NBA Championship. Chicago became only the third NBA franchise (along with Boston, 1959-66, and Minneapolis, 1952-54) to win three straight titles. Michael Jordan of Chicago was named the NBA Finals MVP for the third straight year after averaging a Finals record 41.0 points per game, along with 8.5 rebounds and 6.3 assists. Magic Johnson is the only other player in NBA history to win at least three NBA Finals MVP awards.
June 20, 2013
LeBron James and the Miami Heat won their second straight NBA championship, taking an epic series 4-3 with a Game 7 win over the San Antonio Spurs, 95-88. LeBron was named Finals MVP for the second straight year. It was the third straight Finals appearance for the Heat and its Big Three of Lebron, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
June 21, 1988
James Worthy posted the first triple-double of his career with 36 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists as the Los Angeles Lakers defeated Detroit 108-105 in Game 7 of the Finals to become the first NBA team to successfully defend its title since the Boston Celtics in 1968 and 1969. The Lakers also became the first team in NBA history to win three consecutive seven-game series (4-3 over Utah, Dallas and Detroit).
June 21, 1997
The WNBA, the new women’s professional basketball league, played its first regular season games. New York beat Los Angeles 67-57, Houston beat Cleveland 76-56 and Sacramento beat Utah 70-60.
June 21, 1999
The New York Knicks defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 89-81 in Game 3 of the NBA Finals, snapping San Antonio’s record 12-game playoff win streak in one playoff series. The Spurs rebounded with two more wins to capture their first NBA championship, posting a 15-2 record in the 1999 playoffs.
June 21, 2012
The Miami Heat defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-106 in Game 5, winning the NBA Finals 4-1. It was the first title for LeBron James, who was named Finals MVP, and the second for the Miami Heat.
June 22, 1994
Led by Hakeem Olajuwon’s 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, Houston defeated New York 90-84 in Game 7 of the NBA Finals at The Summit, giving the Rockets their first NBA championship in the 27-year history of the franchise. Olajuwon averaged 26 9 points, 9.1 rebounds and 3.86 blocks for the series and was unanimously voted the Finals MVP, the first player to ever win the Defensive Player of the Year and both the regular season and Finals MVP awards in the same season. The game was the Knicks’ 25th game of the 1994 postseason, an NBA record. Derek Harper set a Finals record for the most 3-point field goals made (17) in a seven-game series and Patrick Ewing set a Finals record for the most blocks in a series with 30.
June 22, 2000
The Indiana Pacers announced that Larry Bird, the team’s head coach for three seasons, would not return to the franchise in any capacity for the 2000-2001 season. In his three seasons with the Pacers, Bird compiled a 147-67 record for a winning percentage of .687, the best three-year winning percentage in team history. The Pacers also won two Central Division championships, an Eastern Conference championship, reached the Eastern Conference finals three times and in 2000, advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. In postseason play, the Pacers were 32-20 (.615) under Bird.
June 22, 2023
The San Antonio Spurs select center Victor Wembanyama from Metropolitans 92 in France No. 1 overall in one of the most anticipated NBA Drafts ever. Wembanyama, who is 7-foot-5 and skilled like a guard, is seen as a transcendent pro basketball talent.
June 23, 1972
In one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history, the Houston Rockets traded future Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes to the Baltimore Bullets for forward Jack Marin and future considerations. Hayes scored 15,551 of his 27,313 career points in a Bullets’ uniform, averaging 21.2 points and 12.7 rebounds over his nine seasons with the Bullets.
June 23, 1999
The Naismith Basketball Memorial Hall of Fame announced that Kevin McHale, Wayne Embry, Fred Zollner, John Thompson and Billie Moor had been inducted into the Hall of Fame, with enshrinement taking place in October.
June 24, 1901
Chuck Taylor was born in Brown County, Indiana. Although Taylor played professional basketball for 11 seasons, he is best known as the creator of the first basketball clinic in 1922, and the designer of the famous Converse basketball sneaker in 1931 that was named after him. Taylor was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 as a contributor to the game.
June 24, 1992
Portland became the first city outside of New York to host the NBA Draft. The 1992 NBA Draft was held at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum, and the Orlando Magic tabbed 7-1 center Shaquille O’Neal of LSU with the first overall pick.
June 24, 1995
The Toronto Raptors selected Chicago guard B. J. Armstrong with the first pick and the Vancouver Grizzlies chose guard Greg Anthony with the second selection in the Expansion Draft, as the NBA’s two newest clubs began preparation for the 1995-96 season. The Raptors drafted a total of 14 players off the 27 NBA rosters and the Grizzlies chose 13.
June 25, 1997
San Antonio selects Tim Duncan from Wake Forest with the first pick in the 1997 NBA Draft at the Charlotte Coliseum.
June 25, 1999
The San Antonio Spurs defeat the New York Knicks in five games to capture the 1999 NBA Finals, thus becoming the first former ABA franchise to win a title in the NBA. Tim Duncan was named the 1999 NBA Finals MVP after contributing 27.4 points and 14.0 rebounds per game in the series.
June 26, 1991
The Charlotte Hornets selected forward Larry Johnson of UNLV with the first pick in the 1991 NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden. Johnson went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year honors after averaging 19.2 ppg and 11.0 rpg.
June 26, 1996
The Philadelphia 76ers selected Georgetown guard Allen Iverson with the first pick in the 1996 NBA Draft at the Continental Airlines Arena in New Jersey.
June 26, 2000
Twelve-year NBA veteran Hersey Hawkins and second-year WNBA pro Dawn Staley received the Citizenship Through Sports Award at the Gannett Building in Arlington, Va. The Citizenship Through Sports Award is given by the professional, college, school and Olympic communities to collectively recognize athletes for outstanding citizenship, sportsmanship, ethical conduct and community service. The award is an effort by the largest sports partnership, the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance, to salute athletes who have demonstrated the values of citizenship through sportsmanship and ethical play. The Citizenship Through Sports Alliance (CTSA) is an organization of 10 members representing the NBA, WNBA, Major League Baseball, NFL, NHL, NCAA, NAIA, National Federation of State High School Associations, (NFHS), National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).
June 26, 2002
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.
June 26, 2003
LeBron James is selected No. 1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Draft.
June 26, 2008
Derrick Rose is selected No. 1 overall by the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Draft. Rose would go on to be named Rookie of the Year that season and was NBA MVP in the 2010-11 season.
June 27, 1989
For the first time ever, the NBA Draft was broadcast live in prime time by TBS from the Felt Forum in New York. Louisville center Pervis Ellison was the first player selected overall, by the Sacramento Kings.
June 27, 2001
Kwame Brown of Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia became the first high school player selected No. 1 overall in the NBA Draft when the Washington Wizards selected him at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Pau Gasol of Spanish League powerhouse F.C. Barcelona, chosen third overall by the Atlanta Hawks, became the highest selection ever who had not played high school or college basketball in the United States.
June 28, 1988
The Los Angeles Clippers used the first pick in the 1988 NBA Draft to select Danny Manning of Kansas, the College Player of the Year who had led the Jayhawks to the NCAA title.
June 28, 1995
Before a record crowd of 21,268 fans at SkyDome in Toronto, Golden State made Maryland forward Joe Smith the first overall pick in the 1995 NBA Draft.
June 28, 2000
The New Jersey Nets selected Kenyon Martin of Cincinnati with the No. 1 overall pick in NBA Draft 2000.
June 28, 2000
Former University of South Carolina star B.J. McKie scored 23 points, former Chicago Bull Matt Steigenga scored 22 and all nine active NBA Ambassadors scored in double figures on the way to a 150-99 victory over the HKBA All-Stars of Hong Kong at Southorn Stadium in Hong Kong. The triumph, coupled with China’s 103-81 victory over Korea, ensured a meeting in the Asian Basketball Association League championship series between the Ambassadors and China. Both teams are now 13-1 in the 20-game season, and the loss by third-place Korea (6-8) clinched at least the second-best record in the league for both China and the Ambassadors.
June 28, 2005
Larry Brown becomes the NBA’s highest paid coach when he signs a five-year deal with the New York Knicks worth a reported $50 to $60 million. He would be fired less than one year later.
June 28, 2007
Ray Allen was traded from the Seattle SuperSonics to the Boston Celtics in a trade involving five players and a future second-round pick. Allen would go on to help Boston to an NBA title in the 2007-08 season.
June 28, 2017
All-Star point guard Chris Paul is traded from the LA Clippers to the Houston Rockets in an offseason blockbuster swap. In return, the LA Clippers received seven players, cash and a future first-round pick.
June 29, 1982
The Boston Celtics honored paralyzed Indiana University star Landon Turner by drafting him in the 10th round of the NBA Draft. Turner, a starter on the 1981 Indiana University team that captured the NCAA championship, was paralyzed in a car accident prior to his senior year in college.
June 29, 1994
Milwaukee selected Purdue forward Glenn Robinson with the first pick in the 1994 NBA Draft, before a crowd of 19,833 at the Hoosier-Dome in Indianapolis. Dallas took California point guard Jason Kidd with the second pick, and Detroit tabbed Duke swingman Grant Hill with the third pick.
June 29, 2004
Orlando Magic star Tracy McGrady is traded to the Houston Rockets for three players in an offseason blockbuster trade.
June 29, 2006
The NBA announces that a new official game ball would be used in the 2006-07 season. In response to numerous complaints and a Players Association suit, the new ball would cease to be used as of January 1, 2007.
June 30, 1969
NBA great Bill Russell announced his retirement from the Boston Celtics after a stellar 13-year career that included 11 NBA championships. In 1980, Russell was named the “Greatest Player in the History of the NBA” by the Professional Basketball Writers Association of America.
June 30, 1993
Orlando selected Michigan forward Chris Webber with the first pick in the 1993 NBA Draft, held before 15,324 fans at the Palace of Auburn Hills. The Magic, however, traded Webber’s rights to Golden State for the third pick in the Draft, Memphis State guard Anfernee Hardaway and three future first round draft picks. Philadelphia tabbed 7-foot-6 center Shawn Bradley from Brigham Young with the second overall pick.
June 30, 1999
The Chicago Bulls selected Duke’s Elton Brand with the first overall selection in the 1999 NBA Draft.
June 30, 2021
The Phoenix Suns defeat the LA Clippers, 130-103, in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals. In doing so, the Suns reach their first NBA Finals since 1993.