Top 10 NBA Myths and Theories People Believe Are True

Tags: #NBA ,   #NBABasketball ,   #MichaelJordan ,   #LeBronJames

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2022-12-05 18:00:12

Basketball is one of the world's most favored sports, and the NBA offers the highest level of basketball. Throughout the years, the league has set the highest basketball standards with outstanding players on the court. But after over 75 years, many legends have grown around the players and the teams. That has led to many misconceptions, and false info people usually buy in without reconsideration. This top ten list features some beliefs, myths, and assumed truths that are, well, not true.

10. Distracting Free Throw Shooters Actually Works 

Distraction does nothing

There are a couple of reasons why free throws got the name. When a player gets a free throw, he's free from defenders, but it could also mean free points because they are relatively easy to make unless you are Shaquille O'Neal. That means someone should try to distract the players from scoring free throws easily - usually the fans sitting behind the opponent's basket. 

Therefore, they scream, shout, and do creative things to distract the opposing player. While it's entertaining to watch, it doesn't do much good. This is as the brain processes motion by focusing on a fixed point, the basketball hoop. Everything else is just a visual white noise and doesn't do any distraction. 

9. Chicago Bulls Would Surely Keep Winning if Jordan Stayed 

What if Jordan stayed with the Bulls?

Chicago Bulls in the 90s might be the best NBA team of all time. They earned this status when they "three-peated" twice, which means they won three titles in a row. The Bulls would probably make eight titles in a row had Michael Jordan not made a two-year hiatus so he could play pro baseball. Jordan retired again in 1999, and the Bulls fans still talk about what would have happened if Jordan stayed. 

When Jordan quit in 1999, he was already 36, and his statistics started to decline. He briefly returned to playing for the Washington Wizards in 2001 and was just a shell of his former self. The other Chicago Bulls stars, Rodman and Pippen, weren't doing much better. Also, the rookie pick in the 1998/99 season was below average. While Bulls could still do it, it would depend significantly on bringing some fresh blood and staying healthy.

8. Trailblazers Made a Big Mistake for not Picking Michael Jordan

The Blazers don't regret not picking Jordan

During the 1984 NBA draft, Portland Trail Blazers had the #2 pick. Yet, they infamously nabbed Sam Bowie from the University of Kentucky. This was as Bowie was the best center player available, and the Trailblazers needed one desperately. However, they overlooked a certain shooting guard from North Carolina. His name? Michael Jordan. 

On paper, this sounds like the dumbest decision in the history of dumb decisions. However, no one could predict that Jordan would become the best player in NBA history. Furthermore, the Trailblazers already had a promising shooting guard, Clyde Drexler, who was later part of the Dream Team and NBA Hall of Famer. Therefore, they made what looked like the most logical decision.

7. Jay Z Is the Owner of the Brooklyn Nets 

Jay Z owns a lot but not The Nets

Jay Z is one of these guys that seemingly owns everything. He has a masterful flow, vast amounts of money, millions of records sales, Brooklyn Nets, and Beyonce. However, out of these things, one is not in Jay-Z's ownership. And no, we didn't refer to Beyonce. J-Hov is exceptionally wealthy, but his riches are still insufficient to buy an entire sports franchise

At one moment, Jay-Z owned just 1/15 of a percent of the Nets, costing him $1 million. That means that the absolute rights for The Nets would require around 700 million dollars. In 2013 Jay-Z sold his share, but he still owns 1/5 of a percent in Barclays Arena.

6. Orlando Magic Got Its Name After Disney 

Disney World attraction didn't give a name to the Orlando team

The Orlando area grew exponentially since 1971 with the opening of Disney World. Eighteen years later, Orlando Magic hit the court in 1989 as the first major American pro sports franchise in the area. Magic is a totally appropriate name for the Orlando team, and many think they got it after the Magic Kingdom in Disneyland. 

However, the truth is much more interesting. During the meeting about forming an Orlando basketball organization, there was a contest in local media to name the team. Out of more than 4000 suggestions, the committee narrowed the choice to four. The names were the Tropics, the Juice, the Heat (that was before Miami Heat), and the Magic. Yet, on the final day, the daughter of one of the committee members described her visit to Orlando as "magic."

5. Jordan Had a Flu During the "Flu Game." 

Flu game was actually a food poisoning game

Michael Jordan has a career full of remarkable moments. However, the famous Flu Game in the final of 1997 against Utah Jazz is the one that takes the cake. Despite the sickness, Jordan had a terrific performance and led the Bulls to victory, scoring 38 points. The final score was Bulls 90, Jazz 88, in one of the most clutch displays in history. 

The thing is, Jordan felt terrible the entire game, which was initially associated with flu, naming it the Flu Game. However, it's more likely that Jordan had food poisoning. The night before the game, Jordan ordered the pizza delivered to his hotel room in Utah by five guys. MJ was the only one who ate it and only had a nasty reaction. Seems that Utah Jazz fans wanted to ensure the victory the dirty way!

4. Kobe Bryant Was Always In the Lakers 

Kobe Bryant wasn't drafted by the Lakers

The NBA league is the place where free agency rules everything. Big market and big money teams can score the best players, and the players are traded on a yearly basis. In these circumstances, it looks like nobody plays their entire career for one team anymore. The days of the "franchise players" such as Larry Bird or John Stockton are seemingly gone. 

Kobe Bryant is the last great player that spent his entire career with the Lakers. He was always a Laker from his rookie year in 1996 to his retirement 20 years later. Well, technically, he played for the Lakers his entire career, but in 1996 he was drafted by the Charlotte Hornets. He was a #13 pick and was soon traded to the Lakers; the rest is history.

3. Wilt Chamberlain's 100 Points Game Is Unbelievable Achievement

Chamberlain's 100 points is not such a big deal

The Philadelphia Warriors hosted the New York Knicks in 1962, defeating them 169 to 147. Out of those 169 points for Philadelphia, Wilt Chamberlain scored 100, which seems an unbelievable achievement. But with some closer inspection, that legendary deed seems more grounded. 

The Warriors were an elite team as opposed to The Knicks, who were at the bottom of the Eastern division. The New York Knicks also lacked starter Phil Jordan, who was officially out due to flu. Therefore, the Knicks' defense featured players much smaller than Chamberlain, so he could rack up 41 points by half-time. After that, all Warriors players passed the ball to Chamberlain to achieve a triple-digit score.

2. LeBron James Isn't a Clutch Player 

LeBron James is a decisive player

There is a lot of hate going on about LeBron James, and most of it is unjustified. The most ridiculous myth about him is that he's inefficient in the clutch and can't perform when it matters the most. The clutch refers to the game's last five minutes, often deciding the winner. 

The concept of the clutch is often arbitrary in definition, depending on the time, the score, and the final result. According to the score, LeBron James has more buzzer beaters than the man himself, Michael Jordan. Now that LeBron is not the "ringless king" anymore, maybe this myth should retire for good.

1. Bigger is Better 

The game is not centered around big guys anymore

A big center is one of the key player positions in the NBA style of basketball. There's always a big and bulky guy who would lead the defense and organize the play. The players like Hakeem Olajuwon, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar presented irreplaceable assets to their teams. However, in recent years we realized that size is not crucial, at least the traditional size of a central player. 

The NBA game changed a lot in the last decade. The adaptations were both in rules and in the undercurrents of the basketball culture. Therefore, the main scuffle of the game shifted from the paint to the perimeters. However, that doesn't mean basketball teams should stop hiring 7-foot centers - it's just that their role has changed.

For seven decades, the NBA grew into a sort of modern American mythology, with players and teams pushing the boundaries of the game. However, sometimes the mythology of the NBA ventures into the realm of exaggerated or false stories. We fans should avoid believing in every story about our favorite teams or players to keep their legacy clean.   

What is the best false NBA myth you believed in? Which ones would you add to the list?

Cover photo: tookapic/Pixabay


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Jordan Brews Says:

Media pushed the narrative that Jay Z was like a major owner of the Nets. At least it was some free promotion for the team.

August 17 at 09:04:22 AM

Starynight Says:

I still believe that Bulls would win at least one more, especially as the 1999 season was shortened. With some fresh blood, they could add even more.

August 04 at 09:24:55 AM

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