Under the system adopted prior to the 1985 NBA Draft, the NBA Lottery determines the order of selection for the non-playoff teams (or the teams holding their picks through trades) for the first round only. Teams pick in inverse order of their records in the second round in all succeeding rounds.
In 1985, the jackpot of the very first NBA draft lottery was 7-0 Georgetown center Patrick Ewing. All seven teams that didn’t make the playoffs had an equal chance of landing the No.1 pick and thereby, Ewing. A lucky bounce of the ping pong balls made the New York Knicks the first draft lottery winner and then-general manager (and Hall of Famer) Dave DeBusschere rose from his seat with a celebratory fist pump.
The Shot is the name of the series-winning basket hit by Michael Jordan in Game 5 of the 1989 Eastern Conference First Round against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Coliseum at Richfield. It is considered to be one of Jordan’s greatest clutch moments, and in the game itself, a classic.
Prior to the 1980 season, Al Davis attempted unsuccessfully to have improvements made to the Oakland Coliseum, specifically the addition of luxury boxes. That year, he signed a Memorandum of Agreement to move the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles. The move, which required three-fourths approval by league owners, was defeated 22–0 (with five owners abstaining).
When Davis tried to move the team anyway, he was blocked by an injunction. In response, the Raiders not only became an active partner in an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (who had recently lost the Los Angeles Rams), but filed an antitrust lawsuit of their own. After the first case was declared a mistrial, in May 1982 a second jury found in favor of Davis and the Los Angeles Coliseum, clearing the way for the move. With the ruling, the Raiders finally relocated to Los Angeles for the 1982 season to play their home games at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The following changes were adopted to add tempo and action to the game:
One sudden death overtime period (15 minutes) was added to all preseason and regular season games; if no team scored in this period, the game would result in a tie. This rule was enacted to decrease the number of tie games. The first ever regular season overtime, a September 22 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Denver Broncos, ended in a 35–35 draw. It was not until November 10, when the New York Jets defeated the New York Giants, 26–20, that an overtime game would produce a winner.
Goal posts: moved from the goal line to the end line, where they were in 1932. This was to reduce the number of games being decided on field goals, and to increase their difficulty, as well as to reduce the risk of player injuries. Uprights were extended to 30 feet above the crossbar.
Missed field goals: The defensive team takes possession of the ball at the line of scrimmage or the 20-yard line, whichever is farther from the goal line. (In 1994, that reference to the line of scrimmage was changed to the kick spot, which is usually 7 yards behind the line of scrimmage.) Notice that the 20-yard line is where the defense takes possession after a touchback.
Kickoffs: moved to the 35-yard line (from the 40-yard line) to reduce touchbacks, promoting more excitement with kickoff returns. In 1994, the kickoff would be moved farther back, to the 30-yard line, where it would stay until it was moved back to the 35 for the 2011 season.
Punt returns: members of the kicking team cannot go beyond the line of scrimmage until the ball is kicked, except the player at the farthest end of each side of the snapper. The original rule change would have prohibited any player from crossing the line of scrimmage prior to the ball being kicked.
An eligible pass receiver can only be contacted once by defenders after the receiver has gone 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
When the defensive team commits an illegal use of hands, arms, or body foul from behind the line of scrimmage, the penalty will be assessed from the previous spot instead of the spot of the foul.
The penalties for offensive holding, illegal use of hands, and tripping were reduced from 15-yards to 10-yards.
Wide receivers blocking back towards the ball within three yards from the line of scrimmage may not block below the waist.
Kevin Durant dawns Sports Illustrated cover, tired of always being second and knows his motivation.
“I’ve been second my whole life. I was the second best player in high school. I was the second pick in the draft. I’ve been second in the MVP voting three times. I came in second in the finals. I’m tired of being second. I’m not going to settle for that. I’m done with it.” - Kevin Durant
“I think,” Larry Bird said after the game, “it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
Jordan was able to play in only 18 regular-season games in his second year in the NBA, after breaking a small bone in his foot in Chicago Bulls third game of the year. Although he was encouraged to sit out the end of the season in order to make sure he was fully healed for the next, he insisted on coming back late in the season and led the Bulls to the 1986 NBA Playoffs.
It was in Game 2 of Chicago’s first round matchup against the eventual NBA champion Boston Celtics that Jordan showed just how thoroughly he had recovered. In the hallowed halls of the Boston Garden, he set a playoff record by scoring an amazing 63 points against what many considered to be one of the greatest NBA teams ever. The Celtics won the game, 135-131 in double-overtime, and went on to sweep the Bulls, but Jordan’s playoff record still stands.
“It was a phenomenal performance, what Michael was able to do against a team like that,” Bill Walton said of the champion Celtics, who won 67 games and were a record 40-1 at home; with five of their top six players Hall of Famers. “That team could win any type of game, a speed game, a power game, a shooting game, a defensive game, a physical game, a cerebral game. It had balance, depth and talent, coaching experience, great leadership, top management with Red Auerbach, a great legacy as a franchise on top and a legend in Larry Bird.”
In the first game of a first-round playoff matchup against the Montreal Canadians, Martin Brodeurfired the puck the length of the ice and into the Canadiens’ empty net to ensure a 5–2 victory. It was only the second time in NHL history that a goaltender had scored in the playoffs, and the fifth time overall. The Devils went on to win that series, but lost in the second round to the rival New York Rangers.