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Top 5 Most Historic NBA Photos of All-Time

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In the history of the NBA, we’ve had many historic moments & before social media, a lot of those moments were only able to be remembered by a stand-still picture. Some of the most memorable moments in NBA history were only seen by the human eye without video footage to look back on. Thankfully, for moments dating all the way back to the 1960’s, and even now in 2017, we have these photos to remember some of the most historic moments in the history of the game.

5. Larry Bird’s Jersey Retirement (1993)

Photo from Hoopsvibe

In 1993, just a year after the retirement of Boston Celtics All-Time Great, Larry Bird was being rewarded with his jersey number, 33 retired at the Boston Garden. There would be no greater person to honor him than long time rival, Earvin “Magic” Johnson. The two met in the NBA Finals on 3 separate occasions (1984, 1985, 1987), all which ended in 6 games or more. After having one of the biggest rivalries in sports history, it seemed like the two had a vendetta against one another, that was until when Magic Johnson came on to the court, he revealed a Boston Celtics shirt underneath his Lakers warm up showing he has nothing but love & respect for Bird, as well as the Celtics organization.

4. Jerry West: The Logo (1969)

Photo From Logo Design Love

This NBA photo’s significance doesn’t have to do much with the date as all of these other legendary photos. We all know Jerry West was one of the greatest players to ever wear purple & gold, but he’s more well known for being the official logo of the NBA. This photo of West driving to the basket slowly became a huge picture in NBA history when Alan Siegel was put in charge of finding a new logo, as he came across this photo & labeled it as “vertical” and that “it captured the essence of the game.” Jerry West became the face of the NBA for decades on decades.

3. Kobe Bryant vs LeBron James: ASG 2016

Photo From Zimbio

Regardless of how fans want to say Drake “ruined” this photo, if you think about how Drake’s presence brings a significance to the date & his stature as the hottest artist in the year 2016 (multi-platinum album Views broke the internet becoming the first album to accumulate one-billion streams); this photo shows the 2 biggest icons in the NBA since Michael Jordan & the only players who are respectfully in comparison with Jordan, along with the biggest music mogul of that historic year. LeBron James is still in his prime & in the historic year he brought his first championship to Cleveland by coming back down 3-1 in the NBA Finals to the 73-9 Golden State Warriors; while Kobe Bryant is on his last leg during his farewell tour, as seen on Drake’s “Farewell Mamba” jacket. As time goes on … this photo could make a sudden move all the way to # 1.

2. Michael Jordan: Free Throw Line Dunk (1988)

Photo from YouTube

The GOAT, in many fans’ eyes, Michael Jordan had many honorable photos that were deserving to be on this list. It was only right to put his most iconic moment here at number two to show his greatness. Jordan was just in his fourth year in the NBA where he would become the NBA Dunk Contest champion for the second year in a row. Hall of Famer, Dominique Wilkins had 145 points in the final round to Michael Jordan’s 97. Jordan would have one more dunk to be able to capture the 1988 Dunk Contest trophy. Jordan had to score a minimum of 49 points to have a better score than Wilkins & become the champion. MJ would defy gravity by gliding in the air after jumping from the free throw line to create the most famous dunk in contest history & be awarded a perfect 50 to become Dunk Contest champion once again.

1. Wilt Chamberlain: 100 Points (1962)

Photo From Still Ballin Blog

This picture is pretty self explanatory … the ONLY record in NBA history that has close to no chance of ever being broken. Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game was amongst the biggest moments in sports history. Chamberlain was so ahead of his time with his height & athleticism. It’s impressive in any era for any individual player to break triple digits in a single game. After the crowd swarmed the court & Chamberlain went back to the locker room, a reporter had written “100” on a sheet of paper & it was only right for Chamberlain to pose with it for one of the most legendary pictures in sports history.

About Juwan M. Davis

Editor/Writer for NBALEAD. Born and raised in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Living in Los Angeles. Minnesota Timberwolves fan. Twitter: @JuwanMalikDavis

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