10 Reasons Why 1984 Was the Greatest Year in Basketball History
10. Kurtis Blow releases the song "Basketball"
...and the world has never been the same.
9. Los Angeles gets a second team
24 years after the Lakers became the first West Coast team in the NBA, Donald Sterling relocates his newly-purchased San Diego Clippers north to L.A.
8. USA wins Olympic gold
Bobby Knight leads future Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and Chris Mullen to Olympic gold in Los Angeles.
7. Nike releases the Air Jordan 1
After Michael Jordan wears Nike Air Ships in a preseason game, the shoes are outlawed for not conforming to league rules on uniform color. The resulting ad campaign featuring the "banned" shoes is wildly successful and helps to create a billion-dollar sneaker industry.
6. Ewing vs. Olajuwon
Sandwiched in between the miracle runs of the '83 NC State Wolfpack and '85 Villanova Wildcats is this matchup of Goliath vs. Goliath. These two Hall of Fame centers and their Hall of Fame coaches face off in Seattle for the NCAA national championship.
5. David Stern becomes the 4th commissioner of the NBA
When David Stern first joined the NBA in 1978, the league was struggling with poor attendance, image problems and tape-delayed games. In his 30 years as commish, Stern improved the image of the league, secured quality advertising and TV deals, and helped turn professional basketball into a multi-billion dollar industry.
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar breaks the NBA scoring record
Fittingly, it is a skyhook that puts Kareem ahead of Wilt Chamberlain on top of the NBA all time scoring list with points number 31,419 and 31,420.
3. First NBA Dunk Contest
Just days before David Stern takes office as commissioner, the NBA commemorates the start of a new era with the re-creation of the ABA's slam dunk contest. Julius Erving attempts to defend his dunk champion status at the site of his '76 ABA contest victory, McNichols Sports Arena in Denver. Ultimately, it is Larry Nance who is victorious and claims the title of slam dunk champion.
2. The Draft
The 1984 NBA entry draft was one of the deepest in league history. Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and John Stockton were all selected on that mid-June night in Manhattan. When all was said and done, the '84 draft produced 8 NBA all-stars and 5 Hall of Famers.
1. Celtics/Lakers NBA Finals
In the greatest year in basketball history, the pinnacle was the greatest NBA Finals to date. The '84 championship series had everything: 2 iconic franchises, 7 games, 9 Hall of Fame players and 2 Hall of Fame coaches. You had McHale clotheslining Rambis, Kareem throwing wild elbows, Bird knocking Cooper into photographers row and the Lakers bench sucking on oxygen masks in a 97° Boston Garden. There were no shortage of memorable moments in this meeting of old rivals.