NBA Countdown: Which player wore No. 51 best in league history?

Which NBA player wore No. 51 best?
Which NBA player wore No. 51 best?

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 51 days until the season opener on Oct. 22. So, who wore No. 51 best?



Keyon Dooling, a former first vice president of the NBA players’ union and genuine dude, who wore No. 51 in one of his 13 seasons — the lone season he spent in Boston, where he had a moment for a team that nearly stunned the Miami Heatles.


Jim Eakins toggled between six different numbers for eight different teams and landed on No. 51 once, but it was not the year he earned an ABA All-Star invite.

Metta World Peace, a.k.a. The Panda’s Friend, wore No. 51 in his only season on the New York Knicks, not during his 2004 Defensive Player of the Year campaign.


Boban Marjanovic, a 7-foot-3 specimen with hands the size of foam fingers, has worn No. 51 at his last three NBA stops. With respect to Ryan Arcidiacono, nobody can challenge Boban for the title of best active 51, because everyone loves Boban.


Michael Doleac, who I always referred to as The Doleac Attack and thought everyone else did, too, won a title wearing No. 51 off the bench for the 2006 Heat.

Lawrence Funderburke, who I could have sworn was going to be a stud when he was coming out of Ohio State in 1994, wore No. 51 for the entirety of a seven-year NBA career that included a stay with the lovable early 2000s Sacramento Kings. Unfortunately, he did not wear 51 in Greece, where he won a dunk contest in 1996.

The Jersey Champion

Reggie King wore No. 51 for all six of his NBA seasons, two of which saw him average double-digit points, including the 1980-81 season, when he posted 15 and 10 per game for a Kansas City Kings team that made the Western Conference finals. It is not great for 51 that Reggie King is the best to ever wear the number, so here’s an opportunity for LeBron James when he passes No. 23 to Anthony Davis.

Anyway, hail King of the Kings.

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Ben Rohrbach is a staff writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach