Thursday, June 28

Today in NBA History: June 28

Welcome to 'Today in NBA History'; which will feature all and every highlight news that had happened on this same day in history. Birthdays, drafts, brawls, scandals, the Simpsons, trades, and any other happenings. 'Today in NBA History' will appear every single day from today save for weekends or lazy days unless history is too good to pass up for that day. Feel free to point out erroneous or additional information.

June 28 in NBA History:

1988: The Los Angeles Clippers select Danny Manning as the first overall pick. It wasn't such a bad idea back then, as Manning led Kansas to the NCAA title along with being the College Player of the Year. Manning tore his ACL in his rookie season, and continued to be hampered by injuries all throughout his career which bumped his career off the road, despite a few flashes of greatness including one nifty self-inbound play, which leaves one thinking on "what could have been" had Manning stayed healthy. He went on to win the Sixth Man Award in '98, an achievement but from the bench nonetheless, uncharacteristic of a 1st overall pick.

2000: The New Jersey Nets select Kenyon Martin as the 1st overall pick for the draft. Kenyon Martin also made history by being one of the wettest eyes in the history of the draft, unfortunately there seems to be no video nor pictures out in the net. A truly emotional guy, which is also shown through his play on the court. With the addition of Jason Kidd to the Nets, Martin and company would go on to two straight NBA Finals appearances. Martin, despite being forgotten last season due to a season-long injury, can be known as the angriest player in the NBA since Latrell Sprewell with vicious and powerful dunks and blocks while screaming like a humanoid gorilla. At least everyone can rest assure that he has a passion for winning.

2002: The Houston Rockets select Yao Ming as the 1st overall pick for the draft. Yao went off to a rocky start to the season, prompting critics to believe he was another huge bust, but finally rose to expectations once given ample time to adjust and improve. He is regarded to as one of the best, if not the best, centers in the league today. Standing 7'5 feet tall, Yao has been included in the All-Star team each and every year since he was a rookie, and will remain there until his retirement as the billion Yao-fans from China will continue to support the country's face in the world's most popular basketball league. In addition, for being a world icon in the basketball realms, Yao can also be one of the most commercialized player in the league. LeBron James might have Nike, but Yao Ming has Visa, Jackie Chan, the Olympics, and over a billion members of the Chinese community.

2006: The NBA decided to introduce a new game ball. It was manufactured by Spalding, and along with the new design and material, it was made for better grip, feel, and consistency as compared to the leather ball. In the following season, NBA players and coaches complained about the new ball and started petitions and unions asking for the old leather ball back. The league had no choice but to withdraw all the new balls; and the old leather ball was re-introduced on January 1, 2007.

Enjoy your piece of history.

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