Russell Westbrook during the 2016-17 season (Getty Images)
After eight seasons playing alongside NBA All-Star Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook had the Oklahoma City Thunder all to his own in the 2016-17 NBA Season. Everyone knew how incredibly athletic and skilled Westbrook was but I don’t know if any body would predict this season he would achieve all he did this season.
The most important stat for Russell Westbrook during the 2016-17 NBA Season are his 42 triple-doubles. Yeah that’s right, he had a triple-double in more than half of his teams regular season games. During the course of the season there was much doubt as to whether he could break the record of 41 triple doubles.
As a fan it seemed as almost every night he was ending a game with a triple-double. This was one of the best regular season performances by any player in NBA history.
Russell Westbrook’s historic achievement was made on April 9, 2017 in Denver Colorado against the Nuggets. In this game where he had his 42 triple-double of the season he did it in style by scoring 50 points. He moved ahead of NBA Legend Oscar Robertson that night who held the previous record of 41 triple-doubles in a single season.
He finished the season with an average of 31.6 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 10.4 assists. It’s insane to thing about the fact he averaged a triple-double per game. At 28 years old he still has many more great years ahead of him and who know how many other records he will break before his career is over.
Posted in NBA, sports
Tagged 2016, 2017, all star, April, average, Denver, historic, history, mvp, NBA, nuggets, oklahoma city, Oscar Robertson, russell westbrook, season, season 42, thunder, triple-double, what, when, where
Stephen Curry celebrates during the Warriors/Thunder game on February 27, 2016. (Getty Images)
On February 27, 2016 in a game between the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder Stephen Curry made history yet again. Curry broke his own single season record for three-pointers made which was 286 by hitting 12 shots from beyond the arch to bring his season total to 288. In what many are calling the game of the season the Warriors were able to leave Oklahoma City with a 121-118 overtime victory in large part to Curry’s incredible play. Curry scored 46 points in this contest and his 12 three-pointers tied the single game record.
Stephen Curry became the record holder for this statistical category during the 2012-13 season when he broke Ray Allen’s record of 269, Curry made 272 that season. He would break his own record two seasons later by making 286 three-point buckets during the 2014-15 season. This accomplishment of breaking the record again is even more amazing when you consider that fact there are about two more months left in the season. It will be exciting to see where this new record will end up and AmericanSportsHistory.com will keep you updated as the season comes to a close in April.
Posted in History Now, NBA, sports, Sports History
Tagged 3 pointer, broke, history, holds, made, ray allen, record setting, season, shots, single, stephen curry, three point, thunder, warriors, when, where, who
On this day in 1991, Oakland Athletics outfielder Rickey Henderson broke Lou Brock’s career stolen bases record. This historic event happened in a day game against the St Louis Cardinals in Henderson’s home stadium in Oakland, CA. Henderson stole his 939th career base breaking Brock’s previous record of 938. Immediately the game was stopped and a ceremony was performed to commemorate the record breaking moment. Henderson was given the base he stole just moments before and an address to the fans in attendance were he proclaimed “I am the greatest of all time”.
Rickey Henderson was drafted by the A’s in the 4th round of the 1976 MLB Draft. He would make his Major League debut for the A’s after about 3 years in the Minor Leagues. During his debut against the Texas Rangers on June 24th 1979 Henderson stole his very first base in the Majors. It was just a preview of what would become and incredible career.
Rickey Henderson played from 1979-2003. During his 4th season he stole a record 130 bases, it became the new record for a single season that still stands today. Henderson stole the most bases in Major League baseball 12 different seasons. He was on two World Series Championship teams the first in 1989 (Oakland A’s) and the second in 1993 (Toronto Blue Jays). One of his most outstanding achievements other than breaking career stolen bases record would have to be being named the American League MVP in 1990 while playing for the A’s.
Rickey Henderson’s amazing career came to an end on September 19th, 2003. When he hung up those blazing cleats he had stolen 1,406 bases during his career. Henderson will go down in history as the most amazing base stealer ever. His career stolen bases record is one that will be very hard to break.
Posted in MLB, sports
Tagged 1406, 1976 mlb draft, 1979, 1991, 2003, 939, a's, athletics, break, broke, cardinals, career, did, end, first, he, how, last, lou brock, MLB, record, rickey henderson, season, st louis, stole, stolen bases, when, where, who
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
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.
Posted in Historic Rookies, NBA, Sports History
Tagged 1960, 1961, 1971, all star, all star game, BASKETBALL, cincinnati, Cincinnati royals, college, draft, hall of fame, los angeles lakers jerry west, Milwaukee Bucks, mvp, NBA, nba championship, nba finals, Oscar Robertson, rookie, season, university, western division, what, what year, when, where, who
On August 11, 1994 the final game of the 1994 MLB Season was played between the Montreal Expos and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates were victorious on that day winning by a score of 4-0. Twenty years ago today the history of baseball changed forever. There have been strikes in the game of baseball before but none of them were as damaging to the game as this one.
Here is the short story of what transpired prior to August 11, 1994. The MLB Players Association had been going back and forth with the MLB Oweners for almost one year over a proposed salary cap. The Owners claimed it was necessary to have a salary cap in place for small market teams to survive the current state of MLB. The salary cap combined with local television revenues would sustain the smaller market teams and thus benefit all of MLB. The players were not willing to agree to the terms the owners had set and after numerous negotiations decided as a group to sit out the rest of the season. On top of all of the problems between the two sides there had not been an official commissioner presiding over baseball since 1992. Baseball needed a commissioner that could moderate between the two sides.
The locked gate of a MLB stadium during the 1994 Players Strike. (Getty Images)
On August 12, 1994 The strike officially began and America would not see Major League Baseball action until the strike ended on April 2, 1995. Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the United States District Court for the Southern District, New York, issued an injunction that ended the strike. Judge Sotomayor ruled that the players and owners were bound by the expired collective bargaining agreement until a new deal could be reached. The strike lasted a total of 232 days and reduced the 1995 season to 144 games from the traditional 162 games.
The sight that awaited the players when they returned to the diamond following the 1994 Players Strike. (Getty Images)
Throughout the 1995 MLB Season the fans showed their displeasure with the strike that had tainted the game that they love. Many fans saw it as two greedy side fighting for more money. Fans all over the country showed their disdain for the players in their own ways. Many fans decided not to go to games or buy any MLB merchandise, while other fans decided to show up and let the players know how they felt by throwing objects at them and taunting them. Baseball did not see much gain in popularity until the steroid driven home run fest of the late 1990’s. The “Steroid Era” further damaged the game of baseball when it was made public in the mid 2000’s.
Because of the 1994 MLB Players Strike there was no World Series played that year, it was the first season without a World Series since 1904. There were many casualties of the strike of the 1994 Strike. The most notable were the Montreal Expos who were having their best season in team history and lead baseball with a 74-70 record when the strike ended. The Expos would have likely reached the MLB Playoffs and possibly even the World Series but instead faded into obscurity. The franchise would not reach the post season until the team became the Washington Nationals more than a decade later.
There are many lessons that have been learned from the 1994 Players Strike. The most important of those lessons is that no League can disregard the fans and still profit greatly from them. Many felt the financial impact that the strike had on the game due to raising the fans ire. Baseball was considered America’s most popular sport prior to the strike. It fell behind the NFL in popularity a few years after the strike and has never grabbed its old position back from football since. The game of baseball is a beautiful game but in 1994 it was tainted by greed and the fans were the biggest victims of the dispute between the owners and the players.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged 11, 12, 144 game, 144 games, 1904, 1994 players strike, 232, anger, august, baseball, commisioner, days, end, ended, fans, game, greed, how many days, judge, lasted, MLB, montreal expos, no, owners, played, players, season, sotomayor, steroid era, team, teams, was a, what date, when did, where, who, world series
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 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)
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.
Posted in Historic Rookies, NBA, sports, Sports History
Tagged 3rd, all star game, best basketball, bucks, champion, chicago bulls, debut, game, legend, Michael jordin, mvp scoring, NBA, nba finals, of the year, overall, pick, player, playoffs, points, rookie, season, title, was, what year, when, who
With the 4th overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft the Chicago Bears selected running back Gale Sayers from the University of Kansas. Sayers had been a two time All American and was highly touted coming out of college. The Bears were in need of a solid running back following the 1964 season in which the teams leading rusher was Jon Arnett who finished the season with 400 yards on the ground. Ronnie Bull was the second rusher in terms of yards with 320. Sayers would come in and rush for more yard than both backs combined.
Gale Sayers was a very influential running back that changed how the game was played from the back field. Sayers was an explosive rusher with the ability to stop, move and go at practically any given moment. Sayers would also become one of the best kick returners the game had seen up to that point.
Gale Sayers had a phenomenal debut season in 1965. On the ground Sayers was practically unstoppable with 867 yards, 14 touchdowns. Sayers also gained 507 yards receiving and scored 6 touchdowns. Lastly Sayers returned 16 kicks for a total of 898 yards and 2 touchdowns on kickoffs and punt returns combined. Despite the incredible season Sayers had he could only help the Bears so much. The Bears finished that season with a record of 9-5 and placed 3rd in the NFL Western Conference.
Gale Sayers was named the NFL Rookie of the at the end of the 1965 season. That season he set the record for the most touchdowns scored by a rookie with 22, a record that still stands today, almost five decades later. Sayers would only play seven total seasons before retiring after the 1971 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1977.
Posted in Historic Rookies, NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1965, 1977, 22, 40, chicago bears, debut, gale sayers, hall of fame, historic, holder, how many, jon arnett, kick, legend, punt, record, returner, rookie, running back, rushing, season, td's, touchdowns, what, when, year
The NBA had long been the leader in American basketball. However they were slow to introduce a popular part of the game already being used in other professional leagues. The three-point line was first dreamed about in the 1930’s. By the end of the 1960’s the three-point line was being used in the American Basketball League, The Eastern Professional Basketball League and the American Basketball Association. It was not until the late 1970’s that the NBA gave in and decided to use this new rule that they had previously viewed as gimmicky.
On October 12, 1979 history was made when the Washington Bullets Kevin Grevey made the first three-pointer in an official NBA game. Grevey would retire after the 1984-85 season with 145 career three-point shots made. From this point on the game would never be the same. This addition to the game added a new level of excitement and suspense. Many NBA games over the last three decades have been ultimately decided by this dreaded shot.
From the 1979-80 season to the 1993-94 season the three point line was 23 feet 9 inches from the front of the basket and 22 feet at the corners. The NBA would try to address lower scoring games by bringing the line closer to the basket from the 1994-95 season through the 1996-97 season. At that time three-point line was 22 feet around the entire basket. The league brought back the three-point line back to its original dimensions in the 1997-98 season and it has remained there since.
Ray Allen shooting a crucial three-pointer in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals. (Getty Images)
Ray Allen is a player that has had a Hall Of Fame career mostly based on the fact he has been an excellent three-point shooter. His most recent heroics came from his favorite position on the court when he made a game tying 3-pointer in Game 6 of the NBA finals. His team the Miami heat won that game and later won Game 7 of the Finals to be three time NBA Champions. Allen is the all time leader in three-pointers with 2,963 at the time of this article. Ray Allen was also at one point in time the single season leader in this statistical category when he broke Dennis Scott’s record in the 2005-06 season with 269 three-pointers that year.
Stephen Curry is now the current single season record holder. He broke Allen’s record at the end of the 2012-13 season when he made his final three-point in the last game of the season, putting the new record at 272 three-pointers. Curry would break his own record two seasons later during the 2014-15 canpaign with 286 three-pointers. The story of Curry’s dominance does not end there. As of February 27, 2016 Curry has made 288 shots from the behind the arch setting a new record and with about two months remaining in the season that mark will continue to rise.
The three-point shot has been such a special part of the game since its creation. It is hard to even imagine the sport without it. It will forever be one of the most revolutionary parts of the game of Basketball.
Posted in NBA, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1979, 2005-06, 2012-13, 3 point, all time, dennis scott, distance, ever, evolution, first, history, holders, kevin grevey, line, most, NBA, nba finals, pointer, ray allen, record, records, season, shot, stephen curry, three, was where, washington bullets, when, who
The National Football League’s 48th season began on September 17th, 1967. It was the first season in the history of the NFL to have a playoff after the regular season had ended. The previous 34 seasons had only included one post season game which was the championship game consisting of two teams with the best record (the NFL champion was the team with the best record during the first 12 seasons of the NFL). The NFL expanded to 16 teams with the newest being the New Orleans Saints. This allowed for a post season that included a four team playoff for the championship. The 1967 season paved the way for the current 12 team playoff structure.
The first game of the playoffs took place on December 23 and pitted the Los Angeles Rams against Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers. The game was played at County Stadium in Milwaukee, WI. The Rams drew first blood with the first touchdown of the game but would give up four consecutive touchdowns before the game was finished. The Packers would win by a score of 28-7. With that win the Packers were on their way to the NFL Championship Game.
The second playoff game took place at the Cotton bowl in Dalls, TX on December 24th. The teams competing for a trip to the NFL Championship game were the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys won the game in blowout fashion with the final score being 52-17. With that win the Cowboys would advance to what would become one of the greatest games in NFL history.
The Packers Bart Starr’s game winning QB sneak to win the “Ice Bowl” (Getty Images)
The NFL Championship Game was held at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, WI on December 31st. The game was dubbed “The Ice Bowl” due to its game time temperature of -15 F, the wind chill was -48 F. The Cowboys took on the Packers in this epic contest. This game was a brutal and very close game that went into halftime with the Packers leading 14-10. The Cowboys took the 17-14 lead with a 50-yard touchdown pass by running back Dan Reeves to wide receiver Lance Renzel in the 4th quarter. But the biggest play of the game would be one of it last plays. With just 4:50 remaining in the game the Packers quarterback Bart Starr led his team down the field, Starr would be the man that won the game for the Packers when he ran the ball into the end zone with just seconds remaining on the clock. The final score was Packers 21 and the Cowboys 17. To this day it is considered by many the greatest game and from what the players endured and the result on the field there is no arguing that.
The Packers would not only go down in history that year for winning the first ever NFL Playoffs but would also win another important game in their history. Two weeks after the NFL Championship game the Packers played the American Football League Champions the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II. The Packers would be the victor in that contest as well and continued what is viewed now as a “Dynasty Team”.
The NFL took an important step in their history in 1967. A step that has lead to some of the most iconic games in the sports history. Who know the next great NFL Playoff game might be the next.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 16, 1967, 1968, 2, afl, bart starr, browns, championship, cleveland, cotton bowl, county stadium, dallas cowboys, Dan Reeves, expanded, expansion, first, greatest game, green bay packers, hall of fame, HOF, ice bowl, II, LA, lambeau field, Lance Renzel, los angeles, new orleans saints, NFL, playoff, playoffs, rams, season, super bowl, teams, texas, winner
Many know that Hank Aaron was the first player to tie and break Babe Ruth’s all time home run record. However most don’t know that the historic tying home run came on Opening Day. On April 4th, 1974 the Hank Arron and Atlanta Braves played the Reds in Cincinnati, Oh. It was in that game that Aaron hit his 714th career home run. The historic home run came in Hank Aaron’s first at bat of the 1974 season. Jack Billingham was the pitcher that gave up the home run.
Hank Aaron being congratulated after home run 714. (Getty Images)
There was no better place for this incredible moment to happen in Cincinnati. The city is home to the first ever professional baseball team, the Reds. Everyday until 1990 the Reds had thrown the first pitch in every baseball season. Opening Day is even an official holiday in the city, complete with a parade.
That great Opening day moment almost never happened. Prior to the season opener the Braves management was worried that Aaron would not only tie but break the record in Cincinnati. They were so concerned that he was going to sit out the first series of the season until the team returned to Atlanta. The Braves were forced to play Aaron in at least two games of the three game series.
Hank Aaron would not hit another home run until April 8th, 1974 in Atlanta. That home run would be his 715th and broke Ruth’s all time record. Aaron retired after the 1976 season with the Brewers. When his career was over Aaron had 755 career home runs.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1974, 1990, 2007, 4th, 714, 715, 755, all time, April, atlanta, babe ruth, baseball, braves, cincinnati reds, first at bat, first proffesional team, forced, hank aaron, home run, home runs, jack billingham, leader, managemant, opening day, parade, record, season, sit out, to play