Tag Archives: all star game

Historic Rookies: Oscar Robertson In 1960-61

With the 1st overall pick in the 1960 the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals selected Guard Oscar Robertson.  Robertson stared in college at the University Of Cincinnati.  During his college days Roberston became a 3-time scoring leader and a 3-time first team All-American.  When the 1960 season began he was kicking off what would become a Hall Of Fame career.

NBA Hall Of Famer Oscar Robertson. (Getty Images

NBA Hall Of Famer Oscar Robertson. (Getty Images

On October 19, 1960 Oscar Robertson made his NBA debut in Cincinnati against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.  The Lakers squad who also had a rookie who would go on to be considered one of the greats, Jerry West.  Robertson’s team was victorious at home on opening night and defeated the Lakers by a score of 140-123.  Robertson scored 21 points, 10 assists and had 12 rebounds in his debut as a professional.

When his rookie season was finished in March of 1961 Oscar Robertson had led his team to a fourth place finish in the NBA’s Western Division.  Robertson was the leading scorer for the Royals with 2,165 points.  He finished with a scoring average of 30.5 points, 10.1 rebounds and 9.7 assists.  Robertson also made his first All-Star appearance in 1961 where he was named the All-Star MVP.  On top of all of his accomplishments during the 1960-61 seasons was being named the Rookie Of The Year.

Eleven season after his debut Oscar Robertson would win his first and only NBA Championship with the Milwaukee Bucks during the 1970-71season.  Robertson played with the Royals from 1960-1970 and finished his career with the Bucks from 1970-1974.  He was elected into the Hall Of Fame in 1980.

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Historic Rookies: Michael Jordan In 1984-85

During the 1984 NBA Draft a player would be selected by a team that needed a super star to lead them into the future. The NBA was also about to gain a future legend that is still talked three decades later. This player was none other than the University of North Carolina guard Michael Jordan. Jordan was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 3rd overall pick that year. His rookie season was a peak into what the future of basketball and American sports was about to become.

Michael Jordan during his rookie season. (Getty Images)

Michael Jordan during his rookie season. (Getty Images)

Michael Jordan made his NBA debut on October 26, 1984. His Chicago Bulls were hosting the Washington Bullets. Much was expected from this rookie from North Carolina. Jordan had a solid game putting up 16 points, 7 assists, and went 6 for 7 at the free throw line. The Bulls beat the Bullets by a score of 109-93. As the season went on Jordan popularity would rise just like he would glide to the basket for one of his highlight reel dunks.

The Sports Illustrated cover that would add to Michael Jordan's superstar status. (Sports Illustrated)

The Sports Illustrated cover that would add to Michael Jordan’s superstar status. (Sports Illustrated)

Before the end of 1984 Michael Jordan graced the cover of the iconic Sports Illustrated Magazine with the quote “A Star Is Born”. In early 1985 before the NBA All-Star Game the fans voted Jordan into the mid season classic featuring the leagues best players. Jordan faced some jealousy from his fellow players for the success he had achieved just a few months into his career. The most notable was Detroit Pistons star Isiah Thomas who has been the previous years All Star Game MVP. It has been said over the years that Thomas was trying to get the players on the Eastern Division Team to keep the ball out of Jordan’s hands and make him look like less of a star in the game. Jordan was was able to contribute in the game but hardly was the star of the game. Jordan scored only 7 points in his All Star debut.

The Chicago Bulls ended the regular season with a record of 38-44 and received a playoff birth. The Bulls lost their first round playoff series to the Milwaukee Bucks 3-1.

Michael Jordan played all 82 games for the Bulls in his debut season and put up outstanding numbers for a rookie. Jordan scored 2,313 points, 481 assists and had a free throw percentage of .845. He was also named the NBA Rookie of the year. Jordan would not win his first NBA Title until the 1990-91 season. He retired from the game for the third and final time following the 2002-2003 NBA Season. Jordan scored 32,292 points, won 6 NBA Titles and 6 NBA Finals MVP Awards during his career among many of his other accomplishments. He is considered by many to be the most popular American athelete since Babe Ruth and the greatest basketball player ever.

1992 NBA All Star Game “The Greatest All Star Moment”

The NBA has had an All Star game since 1951.  With the greatest of all time having competed in this contest it is no surprise it has been the place for great moments.  The greatest NBA All Star moment came in the 1992 game.

The game took place in Orlando, Florida and featured a class of superstars the likes of which will never be seen again.  Great players like Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone and David Robinson just to name a few.   The roster was so stacked that 11 of the 12 players that would make up the 1992 “Dream Team” were on the floor that day.

Image(Photo: Magic Johnson with the MVP trophy/Getty Images)

The biggest name in the lineup was Magic Johnson.  Magic had retired from the game of basketball in November of 1991.  This came at the same time he made a shocking announcement that he had contracted HIV.  The sports world was devastated by this news.

Magic Johnson had been revered as one of the greatest players of all time.  He transformed the point guard position into what it has become today.  The tragic news also brought the realization that he would never play again. There was however one thing that everyone forgot about, Magic’s determination and drive.

Magic Johnson came back to basketball after 3 months out of the game to a standing ovation.  The stage was set for Magic to steal the show and boy did he.  Magic played 29 minutes and scored a total of 25 points in this game for the ages.  He battled it out with Michael Jordan who was also a mega star at that time.  Magic played with a youthful spirit.  You can watch now in 2013 and still feel the excitement and energy that was alive in the Orlando Arena.

Magic Johnson finished the game by going one on one with both Isaiah Thomas and Michael Jordan.  He sank a 3 pointer with 14 seconds left on the clock to score the final points of the game.  The final 14 seconds were not played.  There was no reason the game was already out of reach for the East who lost by a score of 153-113.  It was an incredible moment and the right way to end the game, with Magic on top.  Magic was awarded the MVP trophy and lauded by all of his peers and the fans in the Arena.

It was to be Magic Johnson’s swan song.  However he would end up on the 1992 Olympics Basketball team.  Even though his career had more moments that followed that All Star game.  His greatest came on that court in Orlando.

Bryce Harper Headed to The All Star Game

The rookie phenom that is 19 year old Bryce Harper will continue his whirl wind season by going to the All Star Game.  Harper was not originally slated to attend the game which takes place this week in Kansas City.  Harper will be taking the spot of injured Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton.  Harper will be the 3rd youngest player to play in the MLB All Star Game.  While Harper will be playing off of the bench the eyes of all of the fans will be on him for sure.

Harper has had a solid start to his MLB career since his debut in April.  He is an excellent outfielder fielder with a rocket arm.  His offensive play has been very good for his experience level.  Harper has a batting average of .283, hit 8 home runs and had 25 RBI’s and scored 43 runs in just 62 games for the 1st place Washington Nationals.

Harper going deep at Fenway Park earlier this season.
(Getty Images)

Harper came in with a lot of hype and has been living up to it.  He has displayed a maturity on and off the field, the later many thought he would be able to do.  He has shown a lot of personality and has a charisma that a lot of players don’t have.  He has created great moments already in his young career, like when he hit a home run in the historic Fenway Park during his first game on that field.  He is in the right spot now to really display his skills in front of a national audience.  Harper is a strong contender for Rookie of the Year in the National League.

Harper will probably get at least 1 at bat and play 2 innings or so.  Many players have created unforgettable moments in All Star Games.  I have a feeling Bryce Harper will have a chance to make one of those moments.  When he gets he will more than likely take advantage of it.  If Harper continues to play the way he has been and develop into the player that he has been billed to be than this is just the beginning.

 

Should The Fans Vote For MLB All Star Game Starters?

The 2012 All Star Game will be held in Kansas City at Kaufman Stadium on July 10th.  The votes are in and we now know who will make up the MLB All Star Game starting line ups.  Many fans and media disagree with some of the results.

As usual there were some that got snubbed.  Players like the New York Mets David Wright for example will not be starting at Third Base for the National League team.  Wright has a batting average of .354 with 9 Home Runs and 50 RBI’s.  Wright lost the chance to be a starter in the fan voting to the San Fransisco Giants Pablo Sandoval.  Sandoval is batting .300 with 6 Home Runs and 25 RBI’s.  Wright not only has better numbers but is better a fielder.  This is not the first year there has been controversy over starters.

This years All Star Game will have many of baseballs best players starting the game from the bench, all because of fan voting.
(Getty Images)

The debate has rage on for many years whether the fans should be allowed to dictate the starters.  The All Star Game is really just a popularity contest.  Many of the teams in bigger markets get more players voted in.  More importantly many of the teams get their players named as starters.

The All Star Game was created as an exhibition of the best players from the first half of the season.  The one problem is that it is no longer just exhibition game now.  The winning team whether it be the National League or the American League gets home field advantage in the World Series.  Who knows how many World Series Champions were crowned based on their league winning the game played in all the way back in July.  All Star teams that were not comprised of the best in each league.

Something needs to change and boy does baseball commissioner Bud Selig have a lot of things on his list to fix.  When it comes to the All Star Game the fan voting needs to be taken away if baseball wants the winner to have such an advantage in the World Series.  The All Star squads should be picked by the players and managers only.  There is way too much riding on the game for it to be up to fans that only vote for their favorites rather than the players who really have dominated the first half of the season.

Let’s think about the example of David Wright that I brought up previously.  David Wright has put up incredible season numbers and will most likely win the MVP trophy at the end of the year.  It is not right that a player that has been playing the way Wright has would not start the All Star Game.

If the All Star Game is going to be considered an exhibition it should not have important ramifications like it has now.  I am all for making it fun but if its going to be it needs to be just a game in July with baseballs best player and only that.  So Bud Selig a decision should be made.  Either you have a fan vote or a game that could dictate the next World Series Champion not both.

Bring Back The Smart Puck!

RIP "Smart Puck" 1996-1999

The NHL playoffs have been heating up and the first round has almost come to a close.  I have been able to watch some of the action in the last couple of weeks, and I have really enjoyed the coverage.  But there is something missing from the television coverage, the “Smart Puck”.

It was a brilliant creation of The Fox Network.  It was debuted on FOX during their coverage of the 1996 NHL All Star game.  It was used by FOX until 1999 when their  contract with the league expired.  It allowed the fan to keep better track of the hockey puck.  The puck had integrated electronics to track its position on screen.  During normal play the puck would glow blue, when hit hard the puck would turn red and streak across the screen.

The Smart Puck received mixed reactions.  The hard core fans did not like the concept, many believed it took away from the game and hurt its tradition.  Almost all of the casual fans loved it.  For many of the casual fans up to that point they could not track the puck well and became disinterested.  It brought a lot of attention to the FOX broadcasts and made fans feel more involved.  It probably even boosted ratings for a while.

Oh how I miss the glowing puck.  I say bring the Smart Puck back!  I understand that it was a concept developed and owned by FOX, but it should be used still today at whatever the cost to the current broadcasting companies all over the world. Don’t get me wrong I still really like watching hockey, especially the playoffs.  The Smart Puck helped me keep better track of what was going on during the game.  It is hard at times to track the puck when you are watching on television.  You usually have to just watch were the players are looking or where the groups of players go.  Not as fun as watching with technology on the ice.

Football still has the digital first down marker after over a decade.  No complaints from fans there.  There should have been none by this development either.  For now and probably forever we will be watching hockey without this awesome glowing object flying around the screen.  Rest in peace FOX’s Smart Puck.