Thursday, January 27

What are the classic NBA matchups? League to celebrate the 75th anniversary season with five games



The NBA is celebrating its 75th anniversary during the 2021-22 season.

As part of the celebration, the league will honor both the history of the league and its current stars with various “classic matchups” that will occur throughout the season.

MORE: Nike Unveils City Edition Jerseys for 75th Anniversary Season

Below you will find a list of the classic NBA matchups for the 2021-22 season.

What are the classic NBA matchups?

(All times and dates are Eastern).

Monday, November 1: Toronto Raptors vs. New York Knicks

On November 1, 1946, the New York “Knickerbockers” traveled north to face the Toronto Huskies at Maple Leaf Gardens in what was the first NBA game.

When the Huskies disbanded after one season, it would be another 48 years before NBA basketball returned to Toronto, as the Raptors played their first NBA game in 1995. The league’s modern Toronto franchise will serve as one one by one. substitute for the Huskies on their trip to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks to mark the actual 75th anniversary of the first meeting.

Specifically for the Raptors and Knicks, November 1 also marks 25 years to the date of the two teams’ meeting in Toronto in commemoration of the NBA’s 50th anniversary season. In that game, the Raptors wore Huskies throwback while the Knicks wore “fauxback” uniforms to enhance the anniversary aesthetic.

This season, the Knicks are one of three charter franchises in the league to wear vintage uniforms to honor their first season. According to LockerVision of NBA.com, the Knicks will use their throwbacks against the Raptors, who will wear their black “Statement Edition” uniforms.

MORE: Have the Knicks fixed their offensive woes?

Classic week: December 14-18

Tuesday, December 14: Golden State Warriors at New York Knicks | Friday, December 17: Golden State Warriors at Boston Celtics | Saturday, December 18: New York Knicks vs. Boston Celtics

In addition to the Knicks, the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors (who started in Philadelphia), complete the three teams that were active during the 1946-47 season, the first in NBA history.

To commemorate their position as the league’s charter franchises, each team will meet in mid-December around an Eastern Conference road trip for the Warriors, who will travel to Madison Square Garden and TD Garden.

To close the week, the Knicks will travel to Boston in a classic confrontation and rivalry between two enemies of the Atlantic Division. This will be another showcase for the classic uniforms of these teams, except for the Celtics-Knicks confrontation, since both teams have the local whites as their classic for this year.

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Friday, January 7: Atlanta Hawks vs. Los Angeles Lakers

The 1971-72 Lakers set a seemingly untouchable NBA record with a 33-game winning streak. The 33rd victory? A 44-point beating by the Hawks on January 7, 1972.

50 years later, Los Angeles’ record remains intact, and the feat will be commemorated by a meeting between the two teams at the Staples Center on the same date the all-time record was set.

While the 1971-72 Lakers featured players like Jerry West, Gail Goodrich and Wilt Chamberlain, this year’s team features three greats from Russell Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. 50 years ago, the Hawks were led by a striking guard named Pete Maravich and now, they will be joined by a young superstar in Trae Young.

As some of the parallels are hard to ignore, the intrigue of this classic showdown skyrockets.

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Bonus game

Wednesday, March 2: New York Knicks vs. Philadelphia 76ers

On March 2, 1962, the Knicks traveled to Hershey, PA to face a Philadelphia Warriors team featuring an unstoppable big man named Wilt Chamberlain.

That fateful night saw Chamberlain set an NBA record by scoring 100 points on 36 of 63 shots from the field and 28 of 32 shots from the free throw line. While not officially considered among the league’s five classic matchups, the NBA’s current Philadelphia franchise, the 76ers, will host the Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center on the 60th anniversary of that game.

This time around, New York will have its hands full trying to stop Philadelphia’s dominant center of the day, Joel Embiid, who set a career-high 50 points last season alone. 100 may be unattainable, but there could be a great night in store.

Views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA or its clubs.




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