);
NBA

This Week in NBA History (Dec. 30 - Jan. 5): LeBron James' birthday, DeMar DeRozan's career-high and much more

There have been countless moments in the 74-year history of the NBA that stand the test of the time; performances and achievements that will never be forgotten.

Throughout the season, we'll take you back in time to relive some of the best moments from the past.

This week in NBA history for the week of December 30 - January 5:

December 30, 1985: LeBron James born

Need we say more?

One of the greatest basketball players in NBA history was born on Dec. 30 in 1985 at the Summa Akron City Hospital. The rest is history.

All of us should consider ourselves very been lucky to have witnessed The King's greatness!

December 30, 2016: IT scores 52 vs. the Miami Heat

The 2016-17 season was a magical one for Isaiah Thomas, to say the least.

In a year in which he finished fifth in MVP voting and was the league's third-leading scorer with 28.9 points per game, Thomas's best scoring performance came as the 2016 calendar year was coming to a close.

In a three-point win over the Heat, Thomas scored a regular-season career-high 52 points, shooting 15-for-26 from the field, 9-for-13 from deep and a perfect 13-for-13 from the charity stripe.

Even more impressive? The "King of the Fourth" scored 29 of his 52 points in the game's final quarter.

It still stands as the highest-scoring game from a Celtic since 1985.

December 31, 2016: Harden's 1st 50-pt Triple-Double

In March 2019, Harden recorded his fifth career 50-point triple-double - the most in NBA history.

27 months earlier, he had recorded his first 50-point triple-double. He put up a herculean stat line of 53 points (14-26 FG's; 9-16 3P), 17 assists, and 16 rebounds in 42 minutes.

While the tally of 9 3-pointers was later eclipsed, it was then a career-high. The assists tally still remains a career-high while the 16 rebounds are one of his career-high. It was at that moment the highest-scoring triple-doubles until Harden later recorded a 60-point triple-double.

January 1, 2018 - DeRozan explodes for career-high 52

Playing a crucial role in the Toronto Raptors recording their franchise-record 59 wins in the 2017-18 season, DeMar DeRozan averaged career-highs in assists (then-career-high) and steals while also expanding his range to become a respectable threat from beyond the arc.

During that season, DeRozan scored more than 40 points just four times but one of them was a career-high tally for the shooting guard.

In an overtime victory against the Milwaukee Bucks, he scored 52 (17-29 FG's; 5-9 3P) while also recording eight assists in a team-high 44 minutes on the floor.

Along with Kyle Lowry, DeRozan plays a huge role in the Raptors beginning to look competitive at the beginning of the 2010-19 decade. He leads the franchise leaderboard in games played, minutes played, field goals, and points.

January 1, 2012 - Jimmy Butler makes NBA debut

Before he was a four-time All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist, Jimmy Butler was a late first-round pick with plenty to prove.

After being selected 30th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft, Butler's debut was delayed by the 2011 lockout that resulted in the NBA season opening on Dec. 25. Even so, Butler didn't see any action in the team's first four games, with his debut coming in a blowout win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

In a game the Bulls won by 40 points, Butler scored two points and grabbed two rebounds in under six minutes of action. It's safe to say the 2015 Most Improved Player has come a long way.

January 4, 1985 - Red Auerbach jersey retirement

When you look in the rafters at TD Garden, you'll notice that 22 numbers have been retired to never be worn again by a Boston Celtic.

The retired numbers aren't just for players, either.

On Jan. 4, 1985, the Celtics retired No. 2 in honour of legendary head coach and executive Red Auerbach, signifying " the fact that Auerbach is second only to Walter Brown as the most significant person in the history of the Boston Celtics organization ."

Auerbach won nine titles with the Celtics as a coach and led the franchise to an additional seven as an executive.

January 4, 2002 - MJ joins 30,000 point club

It's a club that now has only seven members and at the time, Michael Jordan had become just the fourth.

In his first season with the Washington Wizards, Jordan entered a meeting against his former team needing just 15 points to join Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone as NBA players to have eclipsed the 30,000 point mark.

He did so midway in the second quarter with a pair of free throws.

Jordan would go on to finish the game with 29 points and a legendary block. He would retire in 2003 having scored 32,292 career points and has since been joined by Kobe Bryant, Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James in the illustrious club.

More from NBA.com

Kobe Bryant walks onto the STAPLES Center court during his jersey retirement ceremony.
Thank you, Kobe
Carlan Gay
norman-powell-012720-ftr-nbae-gettyimages
'If they want to retire 24, I’ll find a new number'
NBA.com Staff
Damian Lillard
Dame records 50 & 13 in win vs. Pacers
Yash Matange
Bradley Beal and Trae Young (wearing #8 for Kobe) as the Wizards hold the ball for a 24-second violation at the beginning of the game.
NBA teams pay tribute to Kobe Bryant
Yash Matange
#Zion
Zion records first career win, Pels edge Celtics
Benyam Kidane
Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in 1998
Jordan on Kobe: "like a little brother to me."
Micah Adams
More News