The history of basketball has always belonged to champions like the Celtics, the Lakers, and the Bulls. Yet the game's history cuts much deeper than that. The bottom line, the record books and retired jerseys, can never fully do justice to this wild, chaotic, and energetic game. In between the championships, there's the sight of Earl Monroe, spinning and cajoling his way to every corner of the court; or Allen Iverson, driving headlong into players twice his size.
The real history of the game is not its championships, which are indisputable, but the personalities of its heroes, which are, at least, undisputed. It's in the larger-than-life pathos of Wilt, the secret ties that bind Larry Bird to the flashy ABA, and Michael Jordan when he flew a little too high. From the prehistoric teachings of Dr. James Naismith to pioneering superstars such as LeBron James and Kevin Durant, you'll never see roundball the same way again.