Posted by Justin Kubatko on January 24, 2012
Today I am pleased to announce that Basketball-Reference.com now has a box score for every game played in NBA history. Here are a few examples:
Now before you get too excited, let me explain: the box scores from 1946-47 through 1984-85 are scans of actual box scores. What that means is that we don't have those games in our database, so you can't search for things like the most points scored by a player during the the 1971-72 NBA season. I should also note that almost all of these box scores are abbreviated, i.e., they only contain field goals, free throws, and points for the players. That said, I think this is a valuable addition to the site that will be enjoyed by many.
I would be remiss in not thanking Dick Pfander, who did the lion's share of the work for this project. Several years ago we were referred to Dick by a third party. At first it sounded like an urban legend. I mean seriously, someone had made a scan of every box score for every game in NBA history? To our surprise, Dick had in fact done just that. Many thanks to Dick for his outstanding work.
Of course, it is our goal to one day have these games in a database-friendly format. However, given that the process would require a significant amount of data entry we're still thinking about the best way to accomplish that task. Until then, we hope you enjoy this new feature, and as always please let us know if you have any comments or questions.