The National Basketball Association has a long and varied history from its formation to the present day. It’s incredibly popular and has one of the youngest viewer demographics, with 45% of viewers aged under 35.
It has a small female audience with only 30%. Here’s five more interesting facts about the NBA that help make it such a unique league.
1. Michael Jordan was fined for wearing Nike Air Jordan shoes during games.
Jordan kept wearing them, and the NBA kept fining him. Nike was happy to pay the fines because of the marketing opportunities.
The NBA weren’t the only ones to ban Air Jordans. Mumford High School also banned Air Jordans following a spree of robberies, beatings and murders over a pair of the popular shoes. The most recent Air Jordans were released on July 20, 2016 and are called AJ XXXI. They are the 31st variation of the shoe.
2. With five years of retirement more than half of professional players are broke or bankrupt.
Around 60% of retired professional basketball players are broke or bankrupt within five years of retirement. This partly due to players continuing to spend as if they were still making the income of a professional basketball player, and partly due to choosing bad investments.
3. Players aren’t drug tested for off season marijuana use.
Former NBA player Jay Williams estimates that around 80% of basketball players smoke marijuana. Players have four random drugs tests throughout the year.
A first offense means that the player needs to enter a program. A second offense is a $ 25,000 fine, and a third offense is a five game suspension. Off season, however, players aren’t tested.
4. Tim Duncan wouldn’t sign an NBA contract until he’d graduated with a degree.
Tim Duncan is the brother of Olympic swimmer Tricia Duncan. He had planned to follow in her footsteps, but Hurricane Hugo destroyed the pool he was using for practice. His fear of sharks meant that he couldn’t swim in the sea, so he turned to basketball to keep fit.
He played basketball in college and was offered NBA contracts which would have meant leaving college, and a huge income. He refused them because he had promised his dying mother that he would graduate with a degree. He has a degree in psychology.
5. For a year, the tallest man in basketball and the shortest man in basketball played together on the same team.
Manute Bol is the tallest basketball player at 7 foot 7 inches. Muggsy Bogue is the shortest basketball player at 5 foot three inches. From 1987 to 1988, the two played together for the Washington Bullets.
Bol went on to play for the Golden State warriors, and Bogues joined the Charlotte Hornets. Bogues was also one of the players in the Space Jam movie, losing his talents to the villains.