We are inside of one month 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 the final 55 days by arguing over who wore each jersey number best until we reach No. 00.
There are currently 24 days until the season opener on Oct. 22. So, who wore No. 24 best?
Mark Aguirre, the No. 1 overall pick in 1981 ahead of his childhood friend and future teammate Isiah Thomas, wore No. 24 for his three All-Star appearances with the Dallas Mavericks and No. 23 en route to two titles with the Detroit Pistons.
Marvin Barnes, two-time All-Star, Bad News.
Spencer Haywood, a Hall of Famer, wore No. 24 for all five of his All-Star campaigns. For that, the jersey number was retired by the Seattle SuperSonics.
Bobby Jackson, the 2003 Sixth Man of the Year.
Dennis Johnson, a Hall of Famer, wore No. 24 for his first four All-Star seasons and his 1979 Finals MVP campaign, but switched to No. 3 on the Boston Celtics, with whom he won a couple more titles and converted Larry Bird’s famous steal.
Ron Boone, a four-time All-Star and big proponent of stretching, never missed a game in a record-setting 13-year career. Unfortunately, his streak wearing No. 24 did not survive all 1,041 games, as he sported alternatives in a quarter of them.
Bill Cartwright, a 1980 All-Star, wore No. 24 during his early 1990s stint with the Chicago Bulls as the starting center for Michael Jordan’s first three-peat.
Richard Jefferson, famed podcaster and 2016 NBA champion.
Jimmy King, my guy on the Fab Five.
Jeff Malone, a two-time All-Star and buzzer-beating legend.
Jack Marin, a two-time All-Star turned lawyer for the National Basketball Retired Players Association.
Jamal Mashburn, a 2003 All-Star whose career could have been so much more.
Bob Netolicky, a four-time ABA All-Star, two-time ABA champion, sex symbol and owner of a lioness, wore No. 24 for his entire nine-year career.
Cincinnatus Powell, cut from the Atlanta Hawks before emerging as a double-double machine in the ABA, wore No. 24 for one of his two All-Star campaigns.
Reggie Theus, a two-time All-Star and “Hang Time” star.
Jimmy Walker, a two-time All-Star and the biological father of Jalen Rose.
Mack Calvin, a five-time ABA All-Star, only turned to No. 24 on the San Antonio Spurs for a portion of a 1976-77 NBA season spent between three teams.
Nat Clifton, a Hall of Famer and the first African-American to sign an NBA contract, only wore No. 24 in his eighth and final season, a year after his only All-Star nod.
Red Robbins, a ginger not to be confused with Red Robin, wore 24 for a portion of his final season, well after his three ABA All-Star bids and 1971 ABA championship.
Paul Seymour, a three-time All-Star and 1955 NBA champion, only wore No. 24 for 22 games as a seldom-used rookie on the Baltimore Bullets.
George Thompson, a wonderfully mustachioed three-time ABA All-Star, wore Nos. 23 and 25 during his peak seasons, and then settled into No. 24 on his way out.
Antoine Walker, a three-time All-Star, 2006 NBA champion and four-point shot proponent, only wore No. 24 for the Minnesota Timberwolves in his final season.
Buddy Hield, the Sacramento Kings sharpshooter, gets the nod for best active No. 24, narrowly edging fellow up-and-comers Lauri Markkanen and Anfernee Simons, if only because Buddy has shown us a complete season bordering on stardom.
Kobe Bryant, a future Hall of Famer, made a mid-career change from No. 8 to 24, seeking “a clean slate” with the Los Angeles Lakers after the departure of Shaquille O’Neal and his sexual assault trial. Ten of his 18 All-Star appearances, two of his five championships and his lone MVP award came wearing a No. 24 jersey. In an unprecedented move, the Lakers retired both of his numbers in December 2017.
Bill Bradley, a Hall of Famer, three-term Democratic U.S. Senator, 2000 presidential hopeful and the guy my dad swears was the best college player he has ever seen, wore 24 for his entire 10-year career with the New York Knicks, which saw one All-Star appearance and a pair of titles. His jersey hangs in Madison Square Garden.
Bobby Jones, a Hall of Famer and anti-whiskey guy, wore No. 24 throughout his 12-year career, including five All-Star appearances, 11 All-Defensive selections and a 1983 campaign that resulted in the Sixth Man of the Year award and an NBA title. The most honest man in NBA history’s No. 24 is retired by the Philadelphia 76ers.
Sam Jones, a Hall of Famer and the forgotten Celtics legend, donned 24 for his 12-year career in Boston, featuring five All-Star bids and 10 championships. One of the most clutch shooters in NBA history, Jones has his No. 24 retired at TD Garden.
Moses Malone, a Hall of Famer and underrated legend, wore No. 24 for five seasons with the Houston Rockets, making five of his 13 All-Star appearances and earning two of his three Most Valuable Player awards wearing the jersey number. He too has a pair of jerseys retired — No. 24 in Houston and No. 2 in Philadelphia.
The Jersey Champion
Rick Barry, the Hall of Famer, underhand free throw artist, father to three NBA players and player empowerment pioneer, wore No. 24 for all but his final two NBA seasons, including all 12 of his All-Star bids, his 1966 Rookie of the Year campaign, the 1967 scoring title, 1969 ABA championship run and 1975 NBA title season, which ended in a Finals MVP. His No. 24 is retired by the Golden State Warriors.
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