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2020-21 NBA Opening Night: 10 amazing facts you might not know

LA Lakers vs LA Clippers
LA Lakers vs LA Clippers
Kunal Sethi
ANALYST
Modified 21 Dec 2020, 12:21 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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The NBA 2020-21 season officially commences on the 22nd of December after the shortest offseason in major sports history. The LA Lakers will aim to maintain their status as champions, whereas the LA Clippers will look to dethrone their crosstown rivals. Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Nets will host the Golden State Warriors and headline the NBA opening night games.

The Golden State Warriors and the Brooklyn Nets were chosen to be an NBA opening night game because fans around the world are eager to see Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry back on the floor after a long time.

Also, former teammates Durant and Curry won three titles with the Golden State Warriors, and everybody is excited to see them go head-to-head.

The LA Lakers are the defending champions, and their rivalry with the LA Clippers is one of the most famous rivalries in the NBA. The LA Clippers and LA Lakers have shared the same arena for years, and it has to be said that most Los Angeles basketball fans support the historic Purple and Gold.

Having an opening night matchup without "King James" doesn't feel right, and this matchup was chosen to be last season's opening night game as well.


10 interesting facts about the 2020-21 NBA Opening Night Games

NBA opening night games are often played between the best teams in the league. The most star-studded teams play each other to kick off the season with a series of incredible matchups.

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The season openers feature several All-Stars, future Hall of Famers, and former MVPs. The enthusiasm and excitement of the NBA opening night games are unparalleled.

Let's take a look at 10 amazing facts you might not know about the NBA opening night games.

#1 Four former 1st overall picks

LeBron James, 2003 NBA Draft
LeBron James, 2003 NBA Draft

It is an incredible honor to get selected 1st overall in the NBA draft, and we will see four such players playing on December 22nd in the opening night games.

LA Lakers' LeBron James was selected 1st in the 2003 NBA Draft, Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving in the 2011 NBA Draft, LA Lakers' Anthony Davis in the 2012 NBA Draft, and Golden State Warriors' Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 NBA Draft.

#2 Three multiple-time Finals MVPs

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Kevin Durant, 2017 NBA Finals MVP
Kevin Durant, 2017 NBA Finals MVP

Three players who have won multiple Finals MVPs will play in the NBA opening night games.

LeBron James is the only player to have won the Finals MVP with three different franchises, and has won the award in each of his four titles. Kevin Durant won back-to-back Finals MVPs with the Golden State Warriors in 2017 and 2018. Kawhi Leonard won his first Finals MVP with the San Antonio Spurs in 2014 and his second one with the Toronto Raptors in 2019.

#3 Two players going up against their former teams

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant as teammates in the Golden State Warriors
Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant as teammates in the Golden State Warriors
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Two players will be facing their former teams for the first time on December 22nd.

Montrezl Harrell left the LA Clippers in NBA free agency and joined a team in the same arena - the LA Lakers. Kevin Durant left the Golden State Warriors in NBA free agency last offseason and signed with the Brooklyn Nets.

The LA Lakers are hosting the LA Clippers, while the Nets are hosting the Warriors. Hence, this will be both players' first encounter with their former teammates.

#4 Coaching debut for a Hall of Fame point guard

Steve Nash with the Brooklyn Nets
Steve Nash with the Brooklyn Nets

Steve Nash is one of the best point guards the NBA has ever seen. He led the league in assists 5 times and was a member of the elite "50-40-90 club" a record 4 times in his career.

Nash was hired as the Brooklyn Nets Head Coach in the offseason and will make his official coaching debut on December 22nd.

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#5 LA Lakers to celebrate their 17th NBA title before the game

LA Lakers 2020 NBA Title
LA Lakers 2020 NBA Title

The LA Lakers will host the LA Clippers on NBA opening night, but before the game begins, they will celebrate their 17th title. The 2020 NBA Championship ring ceremony will take place before the game, and every player from last year's squad is expected to make an appearance.

#6 "NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays presented by NBA 2K21"

During the first half of the season, 20 games will be broadcasted during primetime in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This will be as part of the NBA's primetime initiative with 2K Sports, "NBA Saturdays and NBA Sundays presented by NBA 2K21".

#7 Historic night for NBA Broadcaster TNT

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Inside the NBA by TNT
Inside the NBA by TNT

TNT will air the opening night doubleheader for the 25th season in a row, making it Turner Sports' 37th consecutive year of NBA coverage.

#8 Two players who scored 50 points in their first game of the season

Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving scored 50 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds, and 1 block in his Nets debut in 2019-20. Anthony Davis scored 50 points, 5 assists, 15 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 blocks for the New Orleans Pelicans in the 2016-17 season opener.

Both players will be playing in the opening night games, and we might see another monster performance by the duo.

#9 Tyronn Lue's coaching debut for the LA Clippers

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Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue
Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue

Tyronn Lue, in his debut season as a head coach for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2016, led the team to their first NBA Championship. He will make his coaching debut for the LA Clippers in the NBA opening night game. We might even see his coaching talent lead the Clippers to their first NBA title this season.

#10 Stephen Curry is 5 shy of 2500 made three-pointers

Stephen Curry
Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry is one of the most lethal long-distance shooters the game has ever seen. He is credited with changing the game and is widely regarded as the best shooter in NBA history. Curry is currently third on the list of most three-pointers made in NBA history at 2495, and he is just 5 shy of touching the 2500-mark.

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Also Read: When does the NBA 2020-21 season start? | NBA Opening Night Schedule

Published 21 Dec 2020, 12:21 IST
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