On This Day (March 30)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on March 30.
Jerry Lucas’ Birthday
On this day in 1940, Hall of Famer Jerry Lucas was born in Middletown, Ohio. A seven-time All-Star, one-time NBA champion, and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, Lucas averaged 17.0 PPG and 15.6 RPG in 829 career games. He also won an Olympic gold medal playing for the U.S. men’s basketball team in 1960.
Lucas won Rookie of the Year honors in 1963-64, averaging 17.7 PPG and 17.4 RPG with 67 double-doubles. He also shot a league-leading 52.7% from the field as the Cincinnati Royals won a then-franchise-record 55 games, a mark that would stand for 37 years.
On February 29 of his rookie season, Lucas recorded a career-high 40 rebounds versus the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s one of only four players in NBA history to record a 40-rebound game:
Wilt Chamberlain (14 times)
Bill Russell (8 times)
Lucas and Chamberlain are the only players to accomplish the feat as a rookie.
Lucas averaged at least 15 PPG and 15 RPG in each of his first six seasons. The only other player in NBA history to reach those marks in at least six straight seasons to start his career is Wilt Chamberlain.
Lucas owns the fourth-highest career rebounding average in NBA history:
22.9 RPG — Wilt Chamberlain
22.5 RPG — Bill Russell
16.2 RPG — Bob Pettit
15.6 RPG — Jerry Lucas
15.0 RPG — Nate Thurmond
Chamberlain (12 times), Russell (10), and Lucas (three) are the only players in NBA history to record multiple 1,500-rebound seasons. Only three other players have even produced one such season: Bob Pettit, Walt Bellamy, and Dennis Rodman.
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