Basketball is one of the world’s most favourite sports. The National Basketball Association (NBA) makes hundreds of millions of dollars every year through selling tickets and merchandise to fans all over the world.
While we have all heard plenty about the sport, and most of us are familiar with some of the NBA’s most legendary players, there is also plenty of stories that you probably don’t know about the NBA. Let’s take a look at some of them below.
Air Jordans Were Once Banned
Born in 1985, Air Jordans remain one of the most popular, top-selling basketball sneakers of all time. Each year, dozens of new designs are made and fans flock to shoe stores in droves in the hopes of securing a fresh pair. However, when the shoe first came out, they weren’t nearly as popular as they are today.
Most Air Jordans were made in white, and players were told to stick to the strict dress code and wear shoes that matched their basketball uniforms. Some Jordans were manufactured in red and black, but Former Commissioner David Stern was against the use of them as they matched the uniform of the Chicago Bulls.
For every game played in a pair of Nike Air Jordans, Stern would fine Michael Jordan around $5,000. However, this was no big deal for Jordan, as Nike paid the fines on his behalf and gained millions of dollars’ worth of publicity in exchange.
Kobe Bryant’s Parents Signed His First NBA Contract
In 1996, legendary NBA player, Kobe Bryant, was the 13th pick in the NBA draft. He was originally selected by the Charlotte Hornets and then immediately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, quickly becoming one of the most recognisable faces in the NBA. However, the rules for NBA eligibility at the time stated that players must be at least 18 years old.
In 1996, Kobe Bryant was just 17. His parents had to co-sign his contract as he was underage, and it was a legally binding document. However, once he turned 18 in 1997, he was able to sign his contract all on his own. His young daughter Gianna, who tragically passed away in a helicopter accident alongside her father, was set to follow in his footsteps of becoming a teenage professional basketball player.
LeBron James Is Ambidextrous
As one of the most recognisable NBA players on the planet, people are always watching LeBron James and wondering what his next move might be. Because of this, it didn’t take long for spectators to realise that the basketball player is actually ambidextrous. Whilst playing in the biggest gaming events in the world, he is considered right-handed because that is his dominant hand in basketball.
However, when he eats and writes, he uses his left hand. LeBron James has since claimed that this is because he wanted to be just like his basketball icons Penny Hardaway and Michael Jordan when he was younger. Because they would shoot with their right hands, he learnt how to play that way too.