Today in Sports History: December 18

By Jonah Sharf

On December 18, 1977, the Cleveland Cavaliers retired Nate Thurmond’s jersey number 42 despite him playing only 114 games in his career with them. Thurmond averaged only 5 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game, as compared to his 15 point and 15 rebound career averages. Despite the low numbers, Cleveland found it appropriate to retire Thurmond’s number as he provided a veteran presence in the young team’s first-ever playoff appearance and first-ever playoff series win. In addition, the fact that he was born and raised in nearby Akron, Ohio helped.

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