NBA: Do You Know What Happened on These Dates That Changed the League?

KarlCorrespondent IFebruary 23, 2011

DENVER - NOVEMBER 16:  A detail photo of the ball as it falls through the rim as the Denver Nuggets face the New York Knicks at the Pepsi Center on November 16, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Knicks 120-118. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The ten dates listed below are, I believe, the ten watershed moments that were decisive in shaping the latest era of the NBA.  Rather than immediately write up my accounts of what happened on those days and why the events were formative for the NBA, I thought I'd do this as a two-part article, and that this first part could be a sort of quiz for those interested in playing (and assuming B/R doesn't bury my article).  I'll give everyone a few days, and then I'll do the second part of the article as a slideshow centered on the events of those ten dates.  Here they are:

1. July 1, 1996

2. July 18, 1996

3. December 23, 1996

4. January 13, 1999

5. September 4, 2002

6. June 26, 2003

7. February 19, 2004

8. July 14, 2004

9. July 31, 2007

10. February 1, 2008

Some of these are going to be pretty easy for people to get (especially in the Google age); others, like No. 3, might be a little tricky.  No. 4 is the most important date because it's the one that marks the boundary between our current-era of NBA basketball and the previous one.  An Associated Press story said of one of the dates that the basketball universe changed on that day, but the same thing could probably be said of most of the ten dates.

As you proceed, remember that these dates are forward-looking rather than retrospective—so in other words, the recent day on which Ray Allen broke the all-time record for three-pointers won't be on there, nor will any particular date on which an NBA championship was won, etc.  No, the dates above are the dates that changed what was to come.  They're the dates on which something happened that would later lead to championships, records, MVPs, etc.

Good luck, and have fun.