With the NBA entering its 77th season and fans anticipating another exciting campaign, there’s always an extra buzz surrounding the significant milestones and anniversaries that are set to unfold in 2023-24.
Fans and players are waiting Damian Lillard And James Harden Resolve trade requests. Both All-Stars are chasing the milestone as Lillard, the Portland Trail Blazers’ all-time leader in points and 3-pointers, is 169 assists away from tying the franchise record. Harden, in the midst of a play with the Philadelphia 76ers, also achieved a remarkable career record as he surpassed Ray Allen for second place on the NBA’s all-time 3-pointer list with 220 3-pointers.
From individual players to etching their names in the record books, eg LeBron James And Russell WestbrookTo remember iconic matchups and game-winning moments, here are the biggest milestones, streaks and anniversaries in the 2023-2024 NBA season.
James hit one of the biggest milestones in the NBA last season when he passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the all-time leading scorer. James has 38,652 points. He set another record this season as he is 1,348 points away from scoring 40,000 points, which would mark his name in the record books as the first player to do so. It’s a reasonable feat for King to do — he scored 1,590 points last season — and using James’ career average points per game (27.2), he could reach the milestone in his 49th game this season.
name He’s also looking to jump atop the all-time scoring leaderboard as he needs 518 points to pass Hakeem Olajuwon, Alvin Hayes and Moses Malone for 10th. Durant will look to settle down in his second year with the Phoenix Suns as he finished with 208 points last season while dealing with injuries most of the time. If he can stay healthy, consistent and hit his career average (27.3) in points per game, he’ll hit that mark in the 18th game of the season.
If Durant is to crack the top 10, he needs 1,705 points to surpass Shaquille O’Neal and Carmelo Anthony for eighth on the all-time scoring list. He could reasonably hit this mark by his 62nd game. However, Durant hasn’t played more than 55 games in a season since 2018-19.
Streaks in danger?
Two of the biggest names in the league will look to maintain their respective scoring streaks.
James is entering his 21st season and has scored 10-plus points in 1,151 consecutive regular-season games. He will look to extend the longest streak in NBA history in the Los Angeles Lakers’ season opener in October. 24 against the defending champion Denver Nuggets.
Stephen Curry — who holds the record for 3-pointers made (3,390) after passing Ray Allen in 2021 — will also look to extend his half-arc scoring streak. Curry has made at least one 3-pointer in 245 straight regular-season games, the longest 3-point streak in NBA history. He also holds the record for most made 3-pointers, making it in 56 consecutive regular-season contests. Curry and the Golden State Warriors open the season at home against the Suns in October. 24.
The importance of the triple-double
Westbrook holds the record for most career triple-doubles with 198. The All-Star point guard, entering his 17th season and first full season with the LA Clippers, is one, two triple-doubles shy of becoming the first player with 200.
The closest active player to Westbrook’s record is James, who has 107 triple-doubles and is just one shy of passing Jason Kidd for fourth. Anyway, the 2023 Finals MVP Nikola Jokic Not far behind with the 105.
Harden could also potentially move up the leaderboard; He is five triple-doubles away from Wilt Chamberlain for seventh on the list.
From record-breaking wins to the most memorable game-winning shots, here are some moments to celebrate this season.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich celebrates five years as the winningest coach in NBA history: On April 13, 2019, Popovich earned his 1,413th win, passing Lenny Wilkens to become the NBA’s winningest coach. Popovich has been the head coach of the Spurs since 1996 and has led the organization to five NBA championships. In early August, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He looks to lead the Spurs back to the playoffs this season after missing the past four postseasons.
20th anniversary of James’ (Cleveland Cavaliers), Carmelo Anthony’s (Nuggets) and Chris Bosh’s (Toronto Raptors) NBA debuts: On October 29, 2003, some of the most iconic players made their NBA debuts. James, the first overall pick in the 2003 draft, lived up to the hype, as the then-19-year-old had 25 points, nine assists and four steals in a 106-92 loss to the Sacramento Kings. Anthony played in 20 seasons, while Bosh played in 13 seasons.
30th Anniversary of Michael Jordan’s First Retirement: On October 6, 1993, Jordan announced for the first time that he was ending his time in the NBA. After nine seasons with the Chicago Bulls, he announced his retirement just four months before leading the Bulls to their third straight NBA championship — a six-game series win over Charles Barkley and the Suns.
35th Anniversary of “The Shot”: On May 7, 1989, Jordan hit his iconic buzzer-beater in the 1989 NBA Playoffs. In a Game 5 matchup against the Cavaliers, Jordan caught an inbounds pass and the Bulls won the series 101–100. Jordan famously jumped in the air and then punched his fists several times in celebration.