12 surprising things I learned from “The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History”
As a sports chronicle, “The Undisputed Guide to Pro Basketball History” is not your father’s Oldsmobile.
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3. Despite their fierce on-court rivalry, Russell and Chamberlain actually were quite chummy otherwise. Chamberlain hosted Russell at Thanksgiving six times and Russell would invite Chamberlain to his Boston home, where they would enjoy Russell’s model trains.Skip to next paragraph
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4. Nate Thurmond, a Hall of Famer whose career was largely spent with the Golden State Warriors, was the first player to ever record a “quadruple double,” by turning in a double-digit statistical line in four categories in a game. Thurmond’s feat occurred in 1974 with the Chicago Bulls, when in an overtime game he registered 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 blocked shots.
5. Lakers forward Elgin Baylor, whose name was inspired by his father’s wristwatch, was considered a pioneer in breaking the game’s “vertical plane.” Baylor skipped his final year of college eligibility to join the lowly Lakers as the league’s top draft choice when they were still based in Minneapolis. He and Jerry West would transform the Lakers into a perennial power in Los Angeles, but a frustrated one that lost six times to the Celtics in the finals between 1962 and 1969.
6. The 1975, Los Angeles Lakers are described as the hairiest team in NBA team history, with four players sporting full beards, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Cazzie Russell. Pat Riley, then a player, had long hair and a Fu Manchu mustache.
7. In an effort to maximize his endorsement potential, Darryl Dawkins of the Philadelphia 76ers had contracts with two different sneaker companies simultaneously. In an effort to honor both, he wore a Nike shoe on one foot and a Pony shoe on the other in the 1980 finals.