Discover more from Statitudes
On This Day (Dec. 7)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on December 7.
Larry Bird’s Birthday
On this day in 1956, Hall of Famer Larry Bird was born in West Baden, Indiana. A 12-time All-Star, three-time MVP, three-time NBA champion, and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Bird had career averages of 24.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, and 6.3 APG in 897 games.
Bird won the following major awards in his career:
Rookie of the Year (1980)
Most Valuable Player (1984–1986)
Finals Most Valuable Player (1984, 1986)
All-Star Game Most Valuable Player (1982)
Coach of the Year (1998)
Executive of the Year (2012)
No other person has won more than four of those awards. Bird is the only person in NBA history to be win both the Most Valuable Player and Coach of the Year Awards.
Bird is the only player in NBA history with career averages of at least 20 PPG, 10 RPG, and 5 APG. He reached those marks in five seasons. Only Kevin Garnett (six) recorded more such seasons.
Statitudes is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
100 Triple-Doubles for Magic
On this day in 1988, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Magic Johnson had 19 points, 18 assists, and 12 rebounds in a 125-111 victory over the Phoenix Suns. It was the 100th triple-double of his career. At the time, Johnson was just the second player in NBA history to reach that mark, joining Oscar Robertson.
Johnson now stands third on the NBA’s all-time list with 138 triple-doubles:
194 — Russell Westbrook
181 — Oscar Robertson
138 — Magic Johnson
107 — Jason Kidd
105 — LeBron James
Jazz Can’t Miss
On this day in 1982, the Utah Jazz set a still-standing NBA record for most free throws made in a game without a miss, shooting 39-39 from the line in a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers. They easily broke the previous record of 30 set by the Buffalo Braves on Nov. 18, 1975.
Danny Schayes (14-14) and Adrian Dantley (12-12) led the way, combining for 26 of the 39 makes. It’s one of only six times in NBA history teammates have each made at least 12 free throws without a miss in the same game.
Nique Surpasses Pettit
On this day in 1991, the Atlanta Hawks’ Dominique Wilkins scored 52 points in a loss to the New York Knicks. It was the seventh 50-point game of Wilkins’ career, breaking a tie with Bob Pettit for the most such games in franchise history:
7 — Dominique Wilkins
6 — Bob Pettit
2 — Pete Maravich
2 — Trae Young
Wilkins also became the oldest player in franchise history to record a 50-point game, a distinction he still holds (age in years-days):
31-329 — Dominique Wilkins (Dec. 7, 1991)
30-339 — Bob Pettit (Nov. 16, 1963)
30-064 — Cliff Hagan (Feb. 11, 1962)
28-359 — Pettit (Dec. 6, 1961)
On this day in 1976, the Buffalo Braves' Bob McAdoo scored 42 points and grabbed a career-high 29 rebounds in a loss to the Indiana Pacers. McAdoo is one of only three players since the ABA-NBA merger to record a 40-point, 25-rebound game (a total of four instances):
Bob McAdoo (Dec. 7, 1976)
Moses Malone (Oct. 17, 1979)
Malone (Oct. 21, 1980)
Chris Webber (Jan. 5, 2001)
Just two days later, McAdoo was traded to the New York Knicks. According to sources, a young Marc Stein wept.
Franchise Record for West
On this day in 1973, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Jerry West set a franchise single-game record with 10 steals in a loss to the Seattle SuperSonics. That mark still stands today.
Since the NBA began tracking steals in 1973-74, West is the oldest player to record at least 10 steals in a game (age in years-days):
35-193 — Jerry West (Dec. 7, 1973)
34-132 — Clyde Drexler (Nov. 1, 1996)
31-085 — Lou Williams (Jan. 20, 2018)
31-025 — Mookie Blaylock (April 14, 1998)
30-313 — Kendall Gill (April 3, 1999)
West also contributed 27 points, five rebounds, and five assists. He’s one of only five players to record at least 25 points, 10 steals, five rebounds, and five assists in a game (a total of six instances):
Jerry West (Dec. 7, 1973)
Clyde Drexler (Jan. 10, 1986)
Alvin Robertson (Nov. 22, 1986)
Ron Harper (March 10, 1987)
Drexler (Nov. 1, 1996)
Michael Finley (Jan. 23, 2001)
Two Career Highs for Noah
On this day in 2012, the Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah scored a career-high 30 points and snagged a career-high 23 rebounds in a 108-104 win over the Detroit Pistons. He connected on 12 of his 19 shots from the field (63.2%) and six of his seven free throws (85.7%).
Noah also contributed six assists, two steals, and two blocks, leading to a career-high Game Score of 36.4. It was one of only two career games in which Noah recorded a Game Score of 30.0 or higher.