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 00.
There are currently 49 days until the season opener on Oct. 22. So, who wore No. 49 best?
Nobody! It’s my understanding that Andre Iguodala, James Harden and Kevin Durant are all San Francisco 49ers fans. Not one of you guys wants to be the greatest No. 49 in NBA history? It’s right there sitting on a silver platter for you.
Mel McCants, an Illinois prep legend who played 13 regular-season games for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1989-90 and appeared in garbage time of a pair of playoff games, is the biggest challenger to the No. 49 throne. He has 22 career points!
The Jersey Champion
Shandon Anderson, who wore No. 49 for the final five seasons of a 10-year career, came off the bench for the 2006 champion Miami Heat. He also went to the Finals with the Utah Jazz in his first two NBA seasons, nearly making history in 1997.
In the final minute of a tied Game 6 in the ’97 Finals, Scottie Pippen appeared to commit goaltending just prior to Anderson’s missed layup, but officials determined that Pippen’s hold on the rim had no bearing on the miss. Michael Jordan found Steve Kerr for a go-ahead jumper on the other end, and Pippen stole the ensuing inbounds pass intended for Anderson. Series over. Had Anderson worn No. 49 then instead of 40 back then, maybe the course of NBA history would have been altered.
At least he has this jersey championship as consolation. Anderson, who opened a vegan restaurant upon retirement, is surely celebrating with some tofu right now.
A tip of the couscous to him.
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