Tucker’s 63 year old NBA record broken (or has it?)

By Randy Lefko
Posted 2/28/18

FLEMING ISLAND – Fleming Island’s most famous NBA player, James Tucker, held one piece of basketball history for nearly 63 years.

“Do you know how long it has been since I did this,” said …

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Tucker’s 63 year old NBA record broken (or has it?)

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – Fleming Island’s most famous NBA player, James Tucker, held one piece of basketball history for nearly 63 years.

“Do you know how long it has been since I did this,” said Tucker, now 85, as he palmed a basketball for a photo shoot with Clay Today Sports Editor Randy Lefko on Sunday. “I don’t know if I can still shoot and dribble, but it feels good right now.”

Tucker, who set one of the longest National Basketball Association individual records in 1955, the fastest triple double achieved in a game, had to sit and read about a February 15 claim on the record by Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic.

Tucker, in 1955, came off of the bench for the then Syracuse Nationals, now the Philadelphia 76ers, to score 12 points, grab 10 rebounds and dish 12 assists in just 17 minutes to set the long-standing record. The Nationals won the game 104-84 over the New York Knicks, Feb. 19, 1955.

Tucker, a second year player out of Duquesne University, came off the bench where he shared time with teammate Earl Lloyd as one of just two African American players in the league. Tucker and Lloyd have the distinct honor being the first pair of African-American players to win an NBA title; also in 1955.

A documentary film title “Let ‘Em Know You’re There: The Story of Big Jim and the Triple Double” about Tucker’s record and his historic NBA career as a breakthrough African-American athlete will be presented Sat, March 3 at 5 p.m. at the Orange Park United Methodist Church.

Tickets are available online here. Ticket price is $11.00. There are only 200 tickets available and seating is first come first seated at the event. Limited tickets will be available at the door.

In his historic record setting game in 1955, Tucker recalls that he came off the bench, played through the first quarter break, stayed in as the second quarter started then was taken out in the middle of the second quarter as he set his record. Also, Tucker did not have a three-point stripe in 1955.

For Jokic, a Serbian-American 6’-10” center, the final digit in the new triple double record was an assist for a three-pointer that became his 10th assist after, according to a report in CBSSports.com, 14 minutes and 33 seconds of “court time.”

Jokic finished the half with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists while ending the game with 30 points, 17 assists and 15 rebounds.

Jim Tucker lives with his wife Jan in Eagle Harbor and is still an active golfer.

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