Hoops Trivia: LaMelo Ball and Dejounte Murray Edition.
To this point in the 2021-22 NBA season, LaMelo Ball and Dejounte Murray are looking to join a pretty exclusive list. If they continue their levels of production, then they will become the tenth and eleventh names on this list… all-time. What qualifies one for this list, you ask? Well, scoring 19 or more points, averaging 7 or more rebounds and assists per game, and 1.3 steals or more for an entire season will get you on this list. This trivia question is going to be a two-parter, by the way.
Now, assuming that Ball and Murray finish this season with those averages, that would make 30 seasons in all of NBA history that match the criteria. Eleven names and 30 individual seasons. This leads me to part one! What two teammates account for exactly half (15) of those seasons, but never while they were actually teammates? They have four championships between them and, of course, never as teammates. Likewise, they have amassed three scoring titles among the pair.
Okay, now for part two, which will be a little bit more involved, as far as hints or background information go.
During the 1988-89 season, this player averaged 19.8 ppg, 9.3 rpb, 7.9 apg, and 2.7 stpg. He is tied with one of the teammates from part one as the shortest (listed at 6’3”) player to achieve a season such as this. A point and shooting guard from Arizona State University, he was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 11th pick in the 1982 NBA Draft. After his second season in Portland, mostly coming off the bench behind Clyde Drexler, he was part of a package traded to the Denver Nuggets to acquire Kiki Vandeweghe. He would make two All-Star teams while with Denver, ironically bookending this excellent 88-89 season (when he was not selection).
Some career numbers.
This oft-overlooked guard is currently in the top 100 all-time in career assists (4,696), top 50 in assists per game (6.2), top 30 in total steals (1,666), and fifth all-time in steals per game (2.2). He is also in the top 10 in career triple-doubles with 43, just one behind Luka Dončić. That’s ten more than the next guy on the list, Bob Cousy! He recently had his jersey retired by the Nuggets. Think you can figure out who this is? An analogue for his name is “heavy switch.”
Look HERE for the answer when you’re gassed (for part two). Reply in the comments or on Twitter with the answer to part one.