The NBA has long been one of the biggest sports to follow. Although others such as football or baseball have their own loyal army of supporters, basketball fans know their sport has the most to offer. This is no surprise when you think about what it delivers. Not only do you have top franchises like the Lakers to get involved with but there is also plenty of drama and gossip, and some big personalities. With players such as LeBron James and James Harden around, it will always be a great sport to follow.

The NBA also attracts many fans because it is a top sport to bet on. With sports betting becoming more popular in the US and on a global scale, this is a major plus point for basketball. With so many markets to bet on and so many games when the season is running, there are always plenty of betting opportunities to take advantage of. If you like to bet on this sport, it is absolutely worth doing some research first – working out which are the best NBA bets today is key to a consistent betting strategy.

Of course, the hard-hitting and fast-paced action to enjoy in games is another big reason for the NBA’s popularity. Without this to keep fans hooked, basketball would just not be as big as it is today. Over time, this has seen some truly awesome matches take place and some magical moments occur. Some of these moments have stood the test of time and live in fans’ memories to this day.

But which of these special moments are the most unforgettable?

Jordan’s 1989 stunner for the Bulls

All basketball fans know just what a legend Michael Jordan is and how much he meant to Chicago Bulls fans while still a player for them. As befits such an iconic figure, he is involved in one of the most unforgettable NBA moments in the history of the sport.

The setting was a 1989 first-round Eastern Conference playoff matchup between the Bulls and the Cavs. With only a few seconds left, Jordan somehow escaped the close attention of Larry Nance and got off a perfect mid-range shot over Craig Ehlo to hand the Bulls a 3-2 series win. The celebrations from MJ that followed are also an iconic moment in NBA history.

100-point game from Wilt Chamberlain

Chamberlain was also a true great of the NBA and enjoyed a stellar career at center. One of the most legendary basketball moments is still his 100-point game against the Knicks in 1962, while playing for the Philadelphia Warriors. To say no one else on court could match his talent, desire or sheer physicality is an understatement!

Chamberlain ran the show and went 28-32 from the free throw line, and took 63 shots over the whole game. The picture of a jubilant Chamberlain holding up a piece of paper with ‘100’ scrawled on it after the game only added to the magic.

Malice at the Palace

Although most iconic NBA moments are positive, some stories linger in fans’ memories because they are so shocking. A case in point is the recent Nikola Jovic – Markieff Morris incident. Perhaps the best example, though, is the so-called ‘Malice at the Palace’ in 2004. This happened during a tense game between the Pacers and Pistons at Auburn Hills Palace. With only a few seconds left to play, Pacers small forward Ron Artest fouled Pistons player Ben Wallace hard from behind.

This led to a brawl involving several players, which was eventually calmed down – but not for long. A Pistons fans threw beer at Artest from the stands and the player (plus teammate Stephen Jackson) jumped into the crowd to start fighting them! This led to an infamous brawl that has never been forgotten. Indeed, it left such a lasting mark that a Netflix documentary Untold: Malice at the Palace has now been released!

NBA has so many unforgettable moments to choose from

Trying to choose a definitive list of iconic NBA moments in history is like trying to choose your favorite child – it’s impossible! As well as those listed above, there are also Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game and Magic Johnson’s stunning hook shot against the Celtics in 1987, for example. This just shows what a great sport the NBA is to follow and the kind of thrilling action it delivers to fans.