z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs
c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs
y – Clinched division title
x – Clinched playoff spot
The Los Angeles Lakers clinched #2 seed over Dallas upon winning the Pacific Division.
New Orleans clinched #7 seed over Memphis based on winning percentage in the Southwest Division (the Hornets' 0.563 to the Grizzlies' 0.500).
The 2011 NBA Playoffs began on Saturday April 16, and concluded on Thursday, May 26. The NBA Finals began on Tuesday, May 31, due to both conference finals ended in five games. ESPN began their playoff broadcast on April 16, and continued every Friday and Saturday thereafter, with the Sunday-Thursday schedule reserved for TNT (some Saturday first-round games apply) and NBA TV. ABC continued broadcasting early-round playoff coverage every Sunday afternoon, with select Saturday afternoon broadcasts. The first round playoff coverage was non-exclusive except for ABC-covered games, in which local sports networks (e.g. Fox Sports Net, Comcast SportsNet) still aired the game in their home market. TNT aired the Eastern Conference Finals while ESPN aired the Western Conference Finals. The NBA Finals were shown on ABC. Nationwide radio coverage was on ESPN Radio for select playoff games, the entire Conference Finals and NBA Finals.
2010–11 marked Shaquille O'Neal's last pro season, as the 15-time All-Star, who played with the Boston Celtics this season, announced his retirement on June 1, 2011, one day after one of his former coaches, Mike Brown, was introduced by one of his former teams, the Los Angeles Lakers.
Phil Jackson announced his retirement as head coach after the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers were swept 4–0 by the eventual champion Mavericks in the conference semifinals. This marked the first time that Jackson had been on the wrong side of a playoff sweep.
The Memphis Grizzlies won the franchise's first playoff game and series in a 4–2 victory over the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round. They became the fourth team (and second in the seven-game first round era) to topple the top seed in the first round of the playoffs.
November 11: Youngest player to 26,000 points. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant became the youngest player to score 26,000 points in a 118–112 loss to the Denver Nuggets. Bryant achieved the mark at the age of 32 years and 80 days, surpassing Wilt Chamberlain by 34 days.
November 19: San Antonio Spurs franchise records; career points and games played. San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan became the Spurs' all-time leading scorer and all-time leader in games played, passing his former "Twin Towers" teammate David Robinson in the Spurs' 94–82 win over the Utah Jazz. Duncan played in his 988th game, surpassing Robinson's 987 career games, while also surpassing Robinson's career total of 20,790 points.
November 27: Golden State Warriors franchise record; most three-pointers in a game. In a 104–94 road victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Golden State Warriors guard Dorell Wright set a franchise record with nine three-point field goals made, surpassing Jason Richardson's record of eight three-pointers set on March 29, 2007.
November 30: 34th player in history to 10,000 rebounds. In a 79–90 loss at the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace became the 34th player in NBA history to surpass the 10,000 rebound mark for his career.
December 10: Seventh coach in history to 1,000 wins. Denver Nuggets head coach George Karl became the seventh head coach in NBA history to win 1,000 games in the Nuggets' 123–116 road victory over the Toronto Raptors.
December 12: 94th player in history to 1,000 games. San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan played in the 1,000th regular season game of his career, becoming the 94th player in NBA history to play in one thousand games.
December 12: New York Knicks franchise record; consecutive 30 point games. In a 129–125 home victory against the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire set a franchise record with eight consecutive 30 point games, surpassing Willie Naulls's record of seven set from February 22 to March 4, 1962. He would end up with nine straight 30-point games.
December 22: 95th player in history to 1,000 games. Detroit Pistons center Ben Wallace played in the 1,000th regular season game of his career, becoming the 95th player in NBA history to play in one thousand games.
December 22: 3rd coach in history to win 1,211 games. Utah Jazz head coach Jerry Sloan has won his 1,211 games in his career of coaching after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves, with the victory Jerry surpasses Pat Riley for the third all-time in career wins.
December 29: Los Angeles Clippers franchise record; consecutive double-double games. In a 95–103 home loss against the Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin set a franchise record with 20 consecutive double-double games, surpassing Michael Cage's record of 19 set from December 10, 1986, to January 16, 1987. He would end up with 27 straight double-double games.
January 16: 37th player in history to 20,000 points. Phoenix Suns guard Vince Carter scored his 20,000th career points in a win over the New York Knicks. Carter finished the game with 29 points on 11-for-20 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds.
February 8: Minnesota Timberwolves franchise record; consecutive double-double games. In a 112–108 home win against the Houston Rockets, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love set a franchise record with 38 consecutive double-double games, surpassing Kevin Garnett's record of 37.
February 10: Most three-pointers made in a career. In a 92–86 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen surpassed Reggie Miller as the all-time leader in three-point shots made with 2,562. Allen did this in three fewer seasons and with 300 fewer games.
February 15: 96th player in history to 1,000 games. Chicago Bulls center Kurt Thomas played in the 1,000th regular season game of his career, becoming the 96th player in NBA history to play in one thousand games.
March 9: NBA record; consecutive double-double games. Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love set the NBA record for most consecutive games with a double-double since the NBA-ABA merger, besting Moses Malone's record of 51. He recorded his 52nd consecutive double-double in a 101–75 win over the Indiana Pacers.
April 6: Golden State Warriors franchise record; most three-pointers in a season Golden State Warriors guard Dorell Wright made a Warriors franchise record of 3 pt shots made in a season with 184 in a home win versus the Los Angeles Lakers, beating Jason Richardson with the previous record of 183 in the 2005–06 season.
May 17: NBA record; Most free throws made in a gameDirk Nowitzki made 24 free throws without misses.
November 3: Orlando Magic franchise record: most points in first half. In a 128–86 victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Orlando Magic set a franchise record for most points in the first half with 78. On the other hand, the Timberwolves suffered their worst loss in franchise history.
November 9: Indiana Pacers franchise record: most points in a quarter. The Indiana Pacers scored 54 points in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets, the most points scored by a team in a quarter since the Phoenix Suns scored 57 in the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets on November 10, 1990. The team was also one field goal short of recording a perfect third quarter (the Pacers shot 20–21).
November 14: Phoenix Suns franchise record: most three-pointers in a game. In a 121–116 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns set a franchise record with 22 made three-point field goals in a game, one shy of the NBA record 23 in a game by the Orlando Magic on January 13, 2009.
December 12: New Orleans Hornets franchise record: fewest assists in a game. In a 70–88 loss at the Philadelphia 76ers, the New Orleans Hornets set a franchise record low with four assists, one shy of the NBA record of three.
NBA record: consecutive road wins in a calendar month, Miami Heat franchise record: most wins in a calendar month. The Miami Heat set a league record when they recorded 10 straight road wins in the month of December. The Heat also set a franchise record for most wins in a calendar month with 15.
January 7: Second team to win 3,000 games. The Boston Celtics became only the second team after the Los Angeles Lakers to win 3,000 games in a 122–102 win over the Toronto Raptors.
January 30: Cleveland Cavaliers single-season franchise record. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost their 20th straight game in the same season, breaking their old record of 19 straight within the same season in 1981–82. Their streak would end after 26 straight losses.
February 5: NBA record: longest single-season losing streak. With a 111–105 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, the Cleveland Cavaliers now hold the longest single-season losing streak with its 24th consecutive loss (streak ended at 26).
February 7: NBA record: longest losing streak. With a 99–96 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the Cleveland Cavaliers now hold the longest losing streak with its 25th consecutive loss (streak ended at 26).
March 11: NBA record: Most combined three-pointers in a game; Golden State Warriors franchise record: Most three-pointers in a game. The game between the Golden State Warriors and the Orlando Magic, a 123–120 overtime win by the Warriors, saw a combined 36 three-point shots made in an NBA game. The Warriors also set a franchise record by connecting 21 three-point shots.
On July 7, the NBA announced that the salary cap for the 2010–11 season would be $58.044 million, an increase of $0.344 million from previous season's $57.70 million, and would go into effect on July 8 as the league's "moratorium period" had ended and teams could begin signing free agents and making trades. The increase came as a surprise as the league initially predicted a decrease in the salary cap. On March, before the playoffs, the league projected that the salary cap would be around $56.1 million. The tax level for the season was set at $70.307 million, with each team paying a $1 tax for each $1 by which it exceeds $70.307 million. The mid-level exception was $5.765 million for the season and the minimum team salary, which was set at 75% of the salary cap, was $43.533 million. The maximum salaries for players are set at $13.604 million for players with zero to six years of experience, $16.324 million for players with seven to nine years of experience, and $19.045 million for players with more than 10 years of experience.
The 2010 National Basketball Association Summer League (NBA Summer League) was a pro basketball league ran by the NBA in the United States just following the 2010 NBA draft. Teams consisted of players who have been in the league for three years or fewer as well as newly drafted talent. It gives rookies a chance to practice against other players that are new to the NBA. All 30 NBA teams participated besides an NBA D-League Select team so the total number of teams is 31 with each team playing 5 games except Sacramento Kings which played 6 games. It was held in Las Vegas, Nevada and Orlando, Florida from July 5 through July 18. 2010.
The 2010 NBA draft was held on June 24, 2010, at the Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. The draft, which started at 7:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (2300 UTC), was broadcast in the United States on ESPN. In this draft, National Basketball Association (NBA) teams took turns selecting amateur U.S. college basketball players and other eligible players, including international players. This draft set a record with five players being drafted from the same school in the first round. The players were John Wall (first), DeMarcus Cousins (fifth), Patrick Patterson (fourteenth), Eric Bledsoe (eighteenth), and Daniel Orton (twenty-ninth), all from the University of Kentucky. This draft also marked the second time that an NBA D-League player was drafted, with the first case coming in 2008.The Washington Wizards, who won the draft lottery on May 18, 2010, used their first overall draft pick to draft John Wall from the University of Kentucky. The Philadelphia 76ers, who also beat the odds in the draft lottery to obtain the second pick, selected Evan Turner from Ohio State University. The New Jersey Nets, who had the worst win-loss record in the previous season, used the third pick to select Derrick Favors from Georgia Tech.
The 2010 NBA draft is the last draft conducted at Madison Square Garden. The 2011 and 2012 NBA drafts were temporarily moved to Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, while the 2013 NBA draft would be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York as the Garden underwent renovations during those summers of 2011–2013. After 2014, the draft would continue being hosted at the Barclays Center despite the renovations being done by the 2014 deadline.
Interestingly, this draft class had no Rookie of the Year because Blake Griffin, who was drafted first overall in the previous year's draft, missed his first season with an injury, but played in the 2010-2011 season and won Rookie of the Year.
The 2010–11 Denver Nuggets season was the 44th season of the franchise, its 35th in the National Basketball Association (NBA). After half a season of rumors and speculation, the Nuggets granted Carmelo Anthony his wish by trading him to the New York Knicks on February 21 as part of a three-team trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The blockbuster trade also sent Chauncey Billups, Anthony Carter, Renaldo Balkman, Shelden Williams and Corey Brewer to the Knicks for Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos, New York's first round pick in the 2014 draft and Golden State's second round picks in 2012 and 2013. Minnesota received Denver's 2015 second round pick, Eddy Curry and Anthony Randolph.
After the trade, Nuggets coach George Karl said, "I'm glad its over. I'm glad it's an opportunity to reinvent", expressing relief at the end of the months of speculation preceding the trade.
The 2010–11 Houston Rockets season was the 44th season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the 40th based in Houston. This season was Yao Ming's last in the NBA as he played only 5 games because of recurring injuries that interrupted his career. Despite his injuries, he was selected to play in the 2011 NBA All-Star Game as a starter, but he was unable to participate. Yao would then retire during the 2011 NBA lockout after playing only nine seasons in the NBA.
The Rockets ended the season with a 43–39 record without the playoffs. After the season, head coach Rick Adelman was fired after four seasons with the team.
The 2010–11 Indiana Pacers season was Indiana's 44th season as a franchise and 35th season in the NBA. With a victory over the Washington Wizards on April 6, 2011, the Pacers clinched their first playoff berth since 2006.
However, a first round loss to eventual league MVP Derrick Rose and the top-seeded Chicago Bulls ended the season for the Pacers.
On January 30, head coach Jim O'Brien was fired. Replacing him was interim head coach Frank Vogel, who would be named as permanent during the lockout following the season.
The 2010–11 New York Knicks was the 65th season of the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
With the respective offseason and midseason acquisitions of Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, the Knicks returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2004 and indeed achieved their first winning season since 2000–01. However, without fellow midseason acquisition Chauncey Billups for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury, the Knicks would go on to be swept in four games by the Boston Celtics.
The 2011 NBA All-Star Game was an exhibition basketball game that was played on February 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, home of the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers. This game was the 60th edition of the National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game and was played during the 2010–11 NBA season. The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers served as the hosts. The Clippers and Lakers were both awarded the All-Star Game in an announcement by commissioner David Stern on June 9, 2009. This was the second time that the Staples Center had hosted the All-Star Game; the arena had previously hosted the event in 2004. This will be the fifth time that Los Angeles had hosted the All-Star Game; before Staples Center opened in 1999, the city had previously hosted the event in 1963, 1972, and 1983. Rihanna, Kanye West and Drake were the halftime performers, while Keri Hilson, Lenny Kravitz and Bruno Mars were the entertainment for pre-show festivities.
The 2011 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2010–11 season of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in which the Western Conference champion Dallas Mavericks defeated the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat 4 games to 2 to win their first NBA championship. The series was held from May 31 to June 12, 2011. German player Dirk Nowitzki was named the Finals MVP, becoming the second European to win the award after Tony Parker (2007) and the first German player to do so. The series was a rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals, which the Heat had won in six games.
Going into the series, the Heat were heavy favorites with their newly acquired superstars LeBron James and Chris Bosh along with returning superstar Dwyane Wade.The Dallas Mavericks became the first team in NBA history since the institution of the 2–3–2 format to enter Game 3 tied at one, lose Game 3 and still win the Finals. The previous 11 times this occurred, the Game 3 winner went on to win the series. The Mavericks also became just the 7th team, and the first since 1988, to come back and win the Finals after being down in the series two or more separate times (one game to none, and later two games to one). The previous six times this happened, the Finals ended in seven games; Dallas became the first team in NBA history to do it in six games.
ABC averaged a 10.1 rating, 11.7 million households and nearly 17.3 million viewers with the 2011 Finals, according to Nielsen.
The Big Three were a trio of professional basketball players - LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh - who played for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA) from 2010 to 2014. All three players were selected within the first five picks of the 2003 NBA draft, and became scoring leaders for their respective franchises over their first seven seasons.
After re-signing Wade following the 2009–10 season, the Heat secured the signings of both Bosh and James in free agency, with the latter being announced in the television special, The Decision. The trio led the Heat to the NBA Finals in each of their four seasons together, and won back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. After losing the Finals the following season, James opted out of a contract extension, and returned to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both Wade and Bosh continued to play for the Heat for two additional seasons after James' departure, before Wade departed Miami and signed with the Chicago Bulls, while Bosh left the game due to medical reasons. On September 27, 2017, Wade signed a one-year contract with the Cavaliers, reuniting him with James. On February 8, 2018, at the NBA trade deadline, the Cavaliers traded back Wade to the Miami Heat in exchange for a protected 2024 second-round draft pick. Beginning in the 2019-2020 NBA season, LeBron will be the last remaining active member from the Heat Big 3, as on September 16, 2018, Wade announced he'll retire from the NBA after the 2018-19 season and Chris Bosh announced his retirement on February 12, 2019 in a ceremony that also retired his No. 1 Heat jersey.
The trio have been credited for helping to revolutionize the NBA, with many more teams seeking to adopt the "Big Three" model of courting established NBA superstars to their franchises, in order to win championships.
The highest-paid NBA players by season has recently eclipsed $40 million. Larry Bird was the first player to earn $5 million or more with a salary of $7,070,000 in the 1991-92 season. Magic Johnson became the first player to earn $10 million or more in the 94-95 season with a salary of $14,660,000. Patrick Ewing became the first player to earn $15 million or more in the 95-96 season with a salary of $18,724,000. Michael Jordan was the first NBA player to sign a contract worth over twenty million and in fact it succeeded thirty million dollars as well in a season, this was a record he had held for 15 years. During the 1997–98 season, Jordan earned $33,140,000, which still stands as the most any NBA player has earned on a 1 year contract, Jordan also holds the record for the second largest 1 year contract at $30,140,000 in the 1996-97 season. Kobe Bryant become just the second player to reach this milestone when the 2013–14 season began. LeBron James became the third in the 2016–17 season. Stephen Curry became the first player to eclipse $40-Million per year when he signed a record 5-year contract worth $201-Million in 2017, starting with $34,682,550 in the 2017-18 season and ending with the largest earnings in the 2021-22 season with a record payout of $45,780,966.
Beginning in the 1984–85 NBA season, the NBA's first salary cap was introduced. The NBA salary cap is the maximum dollar amount each NBA team can spend on its players for the season. However, the NBA uses a "soft" salary cap, which means that significant "salary exceptions" allow NBA teams to exceed their allotted amount in order to sign players. The salary cap is determined during the offseason, but as stated earlier, it is liable to change.An exception is necessary to sign a player for a contract that would exceed the salary cap threshold of the "soft cap". The Larry Bird exception, more commonly known as Bird Rights, allows teams to re-sign a current player only if he has played for that particular team for a minimum of three years. Another exception known as the mid-level exception allows for teams that are over the salary cap to sign one or more players as long as they do not exceed the total amount of the average NBA salary. Next, the bi-annual exception can be used by teams every other year to sign a free agent(s) for up to two years at an amount set by the NBA. Finally, the rookie player exception allows any NBA team to sign their first-round draft pick to a contract based upon a scale previously set forth by the NBA. Another option for teams would be to assign players to a league-assigned minimum salary contract for a maximum of two years.
According to 2010–11 NBA season game performance, the league's best players were not its highest-paid players. Each year there are ten players selected to one of the two All-NBA Teams. Out of those ten players chosen that year, Kobe Bryant was the only player that was also among the game's ten highest-paid during the 2010–11 NBA season.
The Decision was a television special in which National Basketball Association (NBA) player LeBron James announced that he would be signing with the Miami Heat instead of returning to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. It was broadcast live on ESPN on July 8, 2010. James was an unrestricted free agent after playing seven seasons in Cleveland, where he was a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player and a six-time All-Star. He grew up in nearby Akron, Ohio, where he received national attention as a high school basketball star.
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