We are inside of two months until the start of the 2019-20 NBA season, when the league’s many new superstar pairings will finally be unveiled. What better way to pass the time than to count down these final 55 days by arguing over who wore each jersey number best until we reach No. 00.
There are currently 30 days until the season opener on Oct. 22. So, who wore No. 30 best?
Kenny Smith, a two-time champion and member of the greatest studio show ever.
Joel Anthony, a.k.a. The Warden, another two-time champion.
Mark Blount, give me some gum, I’ll drop some points on you.
Jud Buechler, a three-time champion, and the NBA’s all-time leader in “trillions.”
M.L. Carr, yet another two-time champion, expert towel-waver.
Dell Curry, the 1994 Sixth Man of the Year and father to Steph and Seth.
Bob Gross, a 1977 champion whose No. 30 is retired by the Portland Trail Blazers.
Bo Kimble, the man who shot lefty free throws in honor of Hank Gathers.
Priest Lauderdale, 7-foot-4, named Priest.
Clifford Robinson, a.k.a. Uncle Cliffy, the 1993 Sixth Man of the Year, a 1994 All-Star and a weed entrepreneur whose cannabis business is called Uncle Spliffy.
Terry Porter, a two-time All-Star, who oddly also has his No. 30 retired in Portland.
David West, a two-time All-Star, two-time champion and not someone you ever wanted to cross once.
Guerschon Yabusele, Meme God.
Phil Chenier, a three-time All-Star and 1978 NBA champion, only turned to No. 30 for a half-season in Indiana, well after his heyday for the Washington Bullets.
Les Hunter, (more gatherer?), a two-time ABA All-Star, wore No. 30 on the Memphis Tams in his final season after sporting a handful of other numbers in his prime.
Sarunas Marciulionis, a Hall of Famer for his work as a FIBA legend and the man responsible for the Lithuanian national team’s tie-dyed jerseys sponsored by the Grateful Dead, only wore No. 30 for a single season with the Seattle SuperSonics.
Don Ohl, a.k.a. Waxie, a five-time All-Star with the Detroit Pistons and Washington Bullets in the 1960s, took No. 30 for half a season with the St. Louis Hawks.
LeVern Tart, incredibly nicknamed Jelly, wore No. 30 for one of his ABA All-Star campaigns, but sported a different number for the rest of his other three seasons.
Ben Wallace, he of the glorious Afro, a four-time All-Star and four-time Defensive Player of the Year, wore No. 30 for his first three seasons with the Washington Wizards before eventually taking No. 3 and winning a title with the Detroit Pistons.
Bernard King, a Hall of Famer bound for all-time greatness before a devastating knee injury ended a season in which he won the scoring title with 32.9 points per game, wore No. 30 for 11 of his 14 seasons, including all three of his All-Star bids.
George McGinnis, the Hall of Famer, 1975 ABA MVP and two-time ABA champion, has his No. 30 retired by the Indiana Pacers. He is a Hoosier through and through.
Rasheed Wallace, the NBA’s all-time leader in technical fouls and “ball don’t lie” utterances, wore No. 30 for all four of his All-Star campaigns and the 2004 title.
The Jersey Champion
Curry, climbing the all-time ranks with each season, was the best player ever to wear No. 30 before he even turned 30 years old. He took his dad Dell’s number and wore it so well that his brother Seth turned to No. 31 last season. There is no doubt the Golden State Warriors will retire his number. They might as well just hang it now.
Compliments to the Chef.
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