Tag Archives: 1996

History Now: The Golden State Warriors Tie The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls Season Wins Record At 72

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On Sunday April 10, 2016 the Golden State Warriors added to an already amazing story by matching the single season wins record.  The Warriors are now tied withe the legendary Chicago Bulls team from the 1995-96 season with 72 regular season wins.

The Warriors did so with an impressive victory over a San Antonio Spurs team that until now was undefeated at home this season, which was 39 straight home wins.  The Spurs also had their 48 home game winning streak snapped that dated back to the 2014-15 season. Stephen Curry lead the Warriors to victory with 37 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.  The final total of the game was 92-86.

The Warriors have one shot at surpassing the Bulls record with only one game remaining on their schedule.  That game will take place on Wednesday at the Oracle Arena in Oakland,CA against the Memphis Grizzlies.  We will keep you updated on the results of this game.

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On This Day In 1998: “Kerry Wood Throws 20 Strike Outs”

On May 6, 1998 history was made at one of baseballs most historic ballparks Wrigley Field.  The game was between the visiting Houston Astros and the beloved home town heroes the Chicago Cubs.  Pitching for the Cubs that days was a young right handed pitch named Kerry Wood.  Wood had made his Major League debut just one month earlier and was about to shock the baseball world.

In front of the crowd of 15,758 fans Kerry Wood was set to face an Atros team with former All Stars and a couple of potential Hall Of Fame Players.  Players like Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio headlined the line up for the Astros that day.

Kerry Wood during his 20K performance in 1998. (Getty Images)

Kerry Wood during his 20K performance in 1998. (Getty Images)

Wood struck out every player in the Astros line up at least once during the game.  During his nine inning pitching clinic he gave up only one hit and his Cubs committed no errors.  When the smoke cleared Wood had thrown a record tying 20 strike outs.  The crowd was electrified from the excitement of this rare accomplishment.

Kerry Wood went on to have a respectable career with Cubs, Indians and the Yankees.  He had two stints with the Chicago Cubs and in the last half of his career was a closer.  He played his final game on May 18, 2012 with the Cubs, 14 years after making history.  He became the 1998 National League Rookie Of The Year and a two time All-Star (2003, 2008).  Wood retired with a career record of 86-75 , 3.67 and 1,582 strike outs.

Kerry Wood saying goodbye to the Wrigley Field crowd in his final game on May 18, 2012. (Getty Images)

Kerry Wood saying goodbye to the Wrigley Field crowd in his final game on May 18, 2012. (Getty Images)

The only other player to have struck out 20 batters in a single game was Roger Clemens, he did so in 1986 and 1996.  Only Eight players have pitched 18 or more strike outs in a game.  This record has not been matched or broken since Kerry Wood joined Roger Clemens on the top of this list.

Clint Malarchuk – Surviving The Worst Televised Sports Injury Ever

Many American professional sports can be brutal and very violent at times.  When most sports fans think of horrible sports injuries that were broadcast on American television they think of one particular injury.  That injury is the infamous Lawrence Taylor tackle on quarterback Joe Theisman in November of 1985 on Monday Night Football.  Theisman had his lower leg completely snapped in half and it was live for all of America to see.  There is an even worse sports injury that happened almost four years later.

On March 22,1989 the NHL match up between the St Louis Blues and the Buffalo Sabers began in Buffalo, NY.  Goal tending that night for the Sabers was the 8th year veteran Clint Malarchuk.  Nobody in the building had any idea what was about to happen, including Malarchuk.  During a fight for the puck at the net between Blues player Steve Tuttle and Sabers player Uwe Krupp both of them crashed into the goal.  When they did Tuttle’s skate caught Malarchuk in the throat.  Malarchuk immediately clutched his throat area.  Once every one of the Ice realized what was happening blood began pouring to the Ice from Malarchuk’s neck.  He was aided to by the referee and a few players.  The television broadcast went to a commercial break.  When they came back Malarchuk was being taken off of the ice.  Their were several pools of blood after he was taken into the back of the Arena.

Clint Malarchuk just seconds after his horrific injury. (Getty Images)

Clint Malarchuk just seconds after his horrific injury. (Getty Images)

One man was responsible for saving Clint Malarchuk’s life that night, team trainer Jim Pizzutelli.  Pizzutelli reached into Malarchuk’s neck and pinched off the bleeding until doctors could arrive.  It has been estimated that if the cut was just a little high on his neck he would have been dead by the time he received medical attention.  Malarchuk lost 1/3 of his entire blood supply and needed over 300 stitches to close the cut.

Clint Malarchuk would end up playing a few more season following his recovery.  During his seasons following this incident his play was never quite as good as it had been previous to the injury.  He would retire from Hockey 1996 and later found himself as a coach for a few NHL teams.

It’s Time For The Magic To Trade Dwight Howard

The NBA Draft is coming up this week and that means many story lines for many teams will take a twist through trades and picks.  The biggest possible trade story leading up to the Draft is will the Magic trade Dwight Howard away for some great picks or even top level players.  I have no faith that the Magic will take advantage of teams wanting Howard and wanting him now.   Teams like the Houston Rockets are trading players and moving up in the 1st round with 3 picks in the top 20 as of Tuesday.  Howard’s contract is up in 2013 and the Rockets want him prior to his contract expiring.  The Magic might have a good opportunity to do something about their “Dwight Drama”.

Dwight Howard on draft day 2004 after being selected with the 1st overall pick by the Magic.
(Getty Images)

The Story of Dwight Howard and the Magic has been a complicated one.  The Magic drafted Howard out of high school in 2004 with the 1st overall pick.  Howard over the years has developed into one of the best big men in the game and has had some success with the team.  Howard led the Magic to the 2009 NBA Finals where they were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games.  The Magic have been contenders in the Eastern Conference for the last few years in large part to Howard.  Dwight Howard has however also brought a lot of controversy to Orlando with his talent.  He had a very public feud with the Magic’s former Head Coach Stan Van Gundy.  It got really ugly during last season and Van Gundy was fired earlier this summer.  Howard also brought drama near the trade deadline when he was not signing his clause to come back for his final year of his contract.  He ended up signing hours before the deadline and the Magic did not trade him.  It was a smart move for the Magic to put the pressure on Howard and to not trade him at the time when a trade for him would not yield enough in return for the Magic.

I say the time to pull the trigger is on draft night.  The Magic could possibly be offered some really good deals and should strongly consider every one they receive.  The Magic need not look to far into their past to be reminded why they should get rid of Howard before his contract expires.

In 1996 Shaq left the Magic for the Lakers in a similar situation where the team was not willing to give him exactly what he wanted and headed elsewhere.  Shaq left and the Magic had nothing to show for it, they would have gotten a mega trade if they would have just looked around instead of fooling themselves that they could resign him.

Dwight Howard has made it no secret that he would like to play for the soon to be Nets of Brooklyn or for the Dallas Mavericks.  The relationship between the Magic and Howard is just too volatile for it to continue.  The Magic for a long time have been fooling themselves again that like Shaq that they can resign the star.  I think there is no way he would sign with the Magic again even if the money was right.  Howard is an awesome talent but he is just not going to stay with the team any longer than he needs to. The Magic cannot afford to have Howard leave and get nothing in return.  He is too good of a talent and a player of his caliber could yield players that could build this team for the future. The Magic owe it to the city of Orlando and their fans to send Howard packing.  So as the saying goes “THE TIME IS NOW!”

Magic Out Stan Van Gundy

Ex Orland Magic Head Coach Stan Van Gundy
Photo credit:
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Stan Van Gundy era came to an end in Orlando on Monday when the Orlando Magic fired their coach.  The firing has to be both a blessing and a curse for Van Gundy.    He doesn’t have a job but at the same time he no longer has to deal with Dwight Howard drama.  Van Gundy and the Magic’s star center Dwight Howard have been feuding all year both behind the scenes and in front of the media.  Their were rumors that Howard was calling for Van Gundy’s firing by the middle of this past season.  Even though Magic front office staff had confirmed those rumors, Howard has repeatedly denied such allegations.  Well Monday it came to pass and Van Gundy was gone, whether it was due to the pressure Howard put on the Magic is hard to say.

Stan Van Gundy came to the Magic in 2007.  He was essentially a back up plan when the Florida Gators head coach signed with the Orlando Magic and then 5 days later quit and went back to the Gators.  There have been a lot of ups and downs for the team during Van Gundy’s tenure.  Van Gundy leaves the Magic with a 259-135 record and a 31-28 record in the playoffs.  He was with the team for a total of 5 seasons.  The Magic made it all the way to the NBA Finals in 2009, only to fall victim quickly to the Los Angeles Lakers.  The Magic also made an Eastern Conference Finals appearance in 2010 losing the series 4-2 to the Boston Celtics.

The timing is very strange to me though, with the NBA Draft is coming up next month.  The Magic need to find their new head coach and they need to find him soon.  It is imperative to have a new coach in time to have him on board for the draft and helping the team set for in a new and hopefully successful direction.

This next season will be a very interesting and probably very stressful on for the Orland Magic.  Dwight Howard’s contract is up at the end of the season.  The Magic will definitely want to either sign Howard or trade him away.  The Magic almost traded Howard this past season when it was unclear whether he would accept his team option for another season to close out his contract.  The Magic have never forgotten the situation Shaq put them in after the 1996 season.  Shaq left the team for The Lakers and the Magic got nothing in return due to the fact Shaq was a free agent.

Howard is a fantastic player and has potential to be an NBA Finals MVP.  Howard will however need to tone down the drama that plagued last season in order for that to be possible.  He would need to make a decision and resign or have the team deal him away way before the trade deadline if he wants to contend for the NBA Championship this season.  One has to hope that with Van Gundy gone Howard can focus more on the court and lead the Magic the way he has shown himself capable of doing.

So will we see Dwight Howards final game with the Magic this year or the continuation of the good career he has had with the Magic.  Is a championship in the Magic’s future?  I think Dwight Howard’s season and decision has a lot to do with the answer to that question.