The Atlanta Hawks played their first season in Atlanta in 1968. They played the inaugural season in the NBA as the Buffalo Bisons in 1946. The Hawks played in three different cities before finding a permanent home here in Atlanta. The Hawks have worn at least 10 different jerseys since moving to the ATL and I will discuss the top three they worn.
The Hawks blue and neon green jerseys I would rank third. These jerseys were worn from 1970-72. “Pistol” Pete Maravich was drafted by the Hawks with the third pick in the 1970 NBA Draft and the Hawks started wearing these jerseys Maravich’s Rookie season. Walt Bellamy and Lou Hudson also wore these jerseys during that era. Hudson number 23 jersey is retired by the Hawks now. Lou Hudson was a NBA All-Star for both years these jerseys were worn and the Hawks did reach the playoffs each year in these jerseys.
The Hawks red and yellow jerseys I would rank as their second best jersey. These jerseys were worn from 1982-1992. These jerseys featured the “Pacman” logo which was one of the Hawks most famous logos. The Hawks debuted these jerseys during Dominique Wilkins Rookie year and Wilkins won two Slam-Dunk Contest in these jerseys. Dominique was known as “The Human Highlight Film”, in this jersey Wilkins was a Seven-Time NBA All-Star and lead the league in scoring the 1985-86 season. Wilkins number 21 jersey is retired by Atlanta now. The Hawks only missed the playoffs three seasons in these jerseys and some consider these the best throwback jerseys in Atlanta history.
In my opinion, I would rank the black and red jersey as the Hawks best throwback jersey. These were worn by the Hawks from 1995-99. The Hawks logo was big on the front, the number was at the top left and the logo was actually scary to some people. The Hawks actually won 50 or more games twice in these jerseys and Dikembo Mutombo won back to back NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards. Steve Smith and Dikembo Mutombo were the face of the Hawks during this era of the black jerseys and Smith made his only appearance in the NBA All-Star Game in 1998.
The Hawks made the playoffs every year in these jerseys and were defeated by the Chicago Bulls, who went on to the win the NBA Finals and the Knicks another year who lost in the NBA Finals. The Hawks still wear these jerseys as throwbacks and eventually the current jersey will become a throwback. The current navy road jersey and the red ATL jersey could eventually become the Hawks best throwback jersey. They definitely should rank in the top three in Hawks history.
Photo Credits: NBA Store, The League News, SportsLogos, HoopsHabit
Allen Iverson recently had his Number 3 jersey retired by the Philadelphia 76ers on March 1, 2014. Iverson was the number one overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the 76ers after a stellar two-year career at Georgetown University. The 96 NBA Draft may be the best draft in NBA history, top three at least that included two MVP’s Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash, All-Stars Ray Allen, Stephon Marbury, Jermaine O’Neal, Antoine Walker, Ben Wallace, Peja Stojakovic and Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Iverson was named the Big East Rookie of the Year and was also a First-Team All-American at Georgetown. Iverson became the shortest number one pick in NBA history listed at 6’0 and Iverson went on to win the Rookie Challenge MVP (changed to Rookie/Sophomore game), 1996-97 NBA Rookie of the Year and made the 1996-97 All-Rookie First Team in his Rookie year. Iverson averaged 23. 5 points, 7.5 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 steals as a rookie. He ranked 7th in the NBA in scoring and steals.
Iverson went on to lead the 76ers to the playoffs during the 1998-99 season; his third year in the league and he led the NBA in scoring with 26.8 points a game. Iverson and the six seed 76ers upset the number three seed Orlando Magic 3-1 in the first round and lost to the Indiana Pacers 4-2 in the conference semifinals. Iverson averaged a career-high 4.9 rebounds that season to go along with 4.6 assists and 2.3 steals. In the 1999-00 season Iverson averaged 28.4 points, 4.7 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.1 steals and the 76ers made the playoffs and was eliminated by the Pacers again in the conference semifinals. Iverson made his first All-Star Game appearance in 2000 and was voted in by fans as a starter.
In the 2000-01 season which was Iverson best season, he was selected as a All-Star starter again, won his first All-Star Game MVP and Iverson was named the 2001 NBA Most Valuable Player. Iverson led the league in scoring with 31.1 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and led the league with 2.5 steals a game. Iverson led the 76ers to their first NBA Finals since they won their last championship in 1983, the 76ers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. The Lakers team featured Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe and the Lakers went undefeated in the first three rounds of the playoffs. Iverson scored 48 points in game one of the Finals in 107-101 victory and the 76ers was the only team that handed the Lakers a playoff loss that season.
Iverson never made it to the NBA Finals again and won his last playoff series in the 2003 playoffs. After that win in the first round and loss in conference semifinals, Iverson never made it past the first round for the rest of his NBA career. Iverson was traded to the Denver Nuggets in December of 2006 where he teamed up with rising star Carmelo Anthony. The Nuggets made the playoffs but were eliminated in the first round by San Antonio Spurs who went on to become the 2007 NBA Champions. The Nuggets made it to the playoffs again the next year and were swept in the first round by Lakers who went on to become Western Conference Champions.
Iverson was traded to the Detroit Pistons in November of 2008 and Iverson only played one season with the Pistons. In 2009, Iverson signed with the Memphis Grizzlies as a free agent, Iverson had his shortest NBA tenure with Memphis only playing in three games after his contract was terminated with a mutual agreement. Two weeks after that, Iverson returned to play for Philadelphia and left the 76ers for personal reasons in February 2010. Iverson also didn’t play in the All-Star game after being voted in. Iverson never returned to the NBA and officially announced his retirement from the NBA on October 30, 2013.
Allen Iverson definitely changed the culture of the NBA and started trends during his tenure in the NBA. Iverson made cornrows popular, he was the first player to wear the arm sleeve, him and Shaq made tattoos famous. Iverson should be one of the top five shooting guards in NBA history, in my opinion behind Michel Jordan, Kobe, and Jerry West. Iverson had heart, he gave 110% every night on the court and rarely missed games due to injury. He did take a lot of shots and his field goal % wasn’t always good but he could take over a game at any time by himself.
Iverson Reebok “The Question” shoes he wore his Rookie year made a big impact in the shoe game and some of his other signature shoes. Reebok is still releasing his shoes today and Iverson was the face of Reebok shoes that were cool to wear. Iverson made 10 straight All-Star Game appearances; on the All-NBA First Team and Second Team three times each; a Four-time NBA Scoring Champion and led the league in steals three times. Iverson was a icon that brought hip-hop to the NBA, and definitely will become a future Hall of Famer.
Photo Credit: CBSNews, NiceKicks, CounterKicks, Victoryin3
Tony Parker returned from injury to lead the San Antonio Spurs to 112-106 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. Parker had 22 points and 7 assists for the Spurs. The Spurs had six players to score in double-figures. Boris Diaw came off the bench with a double-double to score 14 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Spurs and Tim Duncan scored 17 points and grabbed 9 rebounds for the Spurs. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavs with 22 points to go along with 7 rebounds; Vince Carter came off the bench to score 21 points for the Mavs. The Spurs improve to 43-16 and the Mavs are 36-25. The Spurs are leading their division and have the second best record in the Western Conference.
DeMar DeRozan scored 12 out of his team-high 32 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Toronto Raptors to a 104-98 victory over the Golden State Warriors. DeRozan made an impressive 10 out of 16 shots, 11 out of 12 free throws to go along with 6 assists and 4 rebounds. Kyle Lowry had 13 points and a game-high 8 assists for the Raptors. Amir Johnson had 9 points, a team-high 9 rebounds and 5 assists for the Raptors. Stephen Curry had a game-high 34 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds for the Warriors. David Lee had 20 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Warriors. The Raptors improve to 33-26 and the Warriors are 36-24, the Raptors are leading their division and Golden State trail their division leader by 4.5 games.
Photo Credit: NBC Sports
LeBron James returned from missing the previous game with a broken nose to score a game-high 31 points and lead the Miami Heat to a 108-82 victory over the New York Knicks. James has scored 30 points or more in five straight games. James also had 4 assists and 4 rebounds. Dwyane Wade scored 23 points and made a impressive 10 out of 13 shots for the Heat. The Heat shot an impressive 60.8% from the field compared to the Knicks 37.3% from the field. The Heat also had their way with the Knicks inside, scoring 66 points in the paint.
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 29 points and 7 rebounds. Tyson Chandler had a double-double for the Knicks with 19 points and a game-high 16 rebounds. The Heat starting line-up combined to grab 20 rebounds. J.R. Smith scored 11 points for the Knicks, the Knicks only had three players to score in double-figures. Rookie Tim Hardaway Jr returned home to Miami with a horrible shooting night, only making 2 out of 15 shots. This game was over in the third quarter and the Heat dominated the Knicks on both ends of the court. The Heat are starting to look unstoppable and if the Knicks don’t improve by April they won’t be making any playoff plans.
Photo Credit: Miami Herald
Jackie Robinson was a pioneer for all of sports and one of the best to ever play Negro League and Major League Baseball. In 1945, Robinson played one season in the Negro League for the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson was a shortstop and he was also selected to play in the Negro League All-Star Game. In 1946, Robinson was assigned to the Montreal Royals of the International League, which was the AAA league for minor league baseball – the highest level of minor league baseball. Robinson became the first black player to play for a minor league team since the 1880s when the color line was implemented. Robinson led the International League in his only season with a .349 batting average and was awarded the league Most Valuable Player.
In 1947, Robinson was promoted to the Brooklyn Dodgers. On April 15, 1947, he made his major league debut at the age of 28 at Ebbets Field. Robinson broke the color barrier that same day for Major League Baseball, as stated, becoming first player since 1880 to break the MLB color line. Robinson made an impact on the Dodgers his Rookie year. The Dodgers won the pennant and they reached the World Series to lose to the New York Yankees in a seven-game series 4-3. Robinson batted .297 with 175 hits, 125 runs, 31 doubles, 29 stolen bases, 12 home runs and 48 runs batted in (RBI’s). Robinson also won the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award and led the National League in Stolen bases.
Robinson third year with the Dodgers his batting average was .342, which was his career-high. He had 203 hits a career-high, 122 runs, 124 RBI’s a career-high, 38 doubles, 37 stolen bases a career-high and 16 home runs. Robinson won the National League MVP, his only MVP award in his professional baseball career and he also led the National League in stolen bases again. Robinson was voted by the fans to start at second base in the 1949 All-Star Game. This was the first ASG to include Black players. The Dodgers went on to win a second pennant, their second in three years since Robinson arrived. The Dodgers lost again to the Yankees in the World Series, 4-1.
Robinson went on to play in six consecutive All-Star Games from 1949-1954 and six World Series. Robinson finally won his only World Series in 1955 when the Dodgers beat the Yankees 4-3. Robinson retired the following year in 1956, at the age of 37, and at a time when Robinson was starting to feel the effects of diabetes. In 1962, Robinson became the first Black player inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame. He was elected on the first ballot. Robinson died on October 24, 1972 of a heart attack at the age of 53. In June of 1997, the Dodgers retired Robinson uniform number (42) and his jersey has been retired by all MLB teams since April 15, 1997.
In 1999, Robinson was chosen by fans on the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He was the top vote-getter for second basemen. Robinson has been honored numerous times after his death. Buildings, stadiums, museums, awards, etc. all have been named in honor of Jackie Robinson. Robinson paved a way for all races and ethnicities to play in all of sports. He will always be a pioneer for all the hate and racism he went through to pave a way for all athletes that weren’t white. In April 2013, “42” was released (a film about Jackie Robinson’s rise to the majors and the daily struggles he endured). Any Robinson fan should definitely watch “42”, it shows why he is a hero in all of sports and why he was chosen to break the color barrier.
The WWE Network will launch today, at 9 a.m. EST, and WWE will be offering a free trial for the first week. It will become the first ever streaming network and featuring all WWE live pay-per-events. Fans will pay $9.99 a month and required to have a six-month commitment. There will be live (pre and post) shows during pay-per-views and also for Monday Night Raw and Friday Night Smackdown. WWE Network will have original programming shows and a huge library of every pay-per-view from WWE, ECW and WCW.
WWE Network will also be available through the WWE app on Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy; iOS devices such as: Apple iPad and iPhone; Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices; Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation 4 and Xbox 360; Roku 2 and Roku 3 streaming devices.
Most pay-per-views are usually around $50.00, so the six-month agreement is definitely worth the price. WrestleMania XXX will be the first pay-per-view aired on the WWE Network on April 6, 2014. Vince McMahon has found another way to bring in more WWE fans, make more money in the process, and make it more affordable for the WWE Universe.
The Philadelphia 76ers traded Forward/Guard Evan Turner and Forward Lavoy Allen to the Indiana Pacers, and acquired Forward Danny Granger. Turner was averaging a career-high 17.4 points for the 76ers before the trade and will bring a scoring presence to the Pacers. Turner will most likely become the Pacers Sixth Man; Turner is also averaging 6 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Granger was only averaging 8.3 points and 3.6 rebounds for the Pacers before the trade. Granger has only appeared in 29 games this season and has averaged 22.5 minutes a game.
Granger has been battling injuries again this season; he appeared in a career-low 5 games last season. Allen averaged 5.2 points and 5.4 rebounds for the 76ers before the trade in 18.8 minutes a game. Turner will become a restricted free agent this offseason and Pacers Guard Lance Stephenson will become a free agent this off-season. Stephenson has been averaging career-highs in points, rebounds and assists, Stephenson also leads the NBA in triple-doubles.
The Pacers will have a decision to make on which player to keep or they can make a costly decision and keep Turner and Stephenson. The Pacers have been adding pieces to their team to hopefully be able to beat the Miami Heat in the playoffs. Turner is a versatile all-around player that can make an immediate impact with the Pacers, his impact against the Heat will determine if the trade was worth it.
Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers helped led the East All-Star team to a 163-155 over the West All-Star team, scoring 24 of those in the second half. The 318 combined points scored set an All-Star game record and the East victory ended the West three-game winning streak. Irving was named the MVP after finishing with 31 points, 14 assists and 5 rebounds. Carmelo Anthony, of the New York Knicks, set an All-Star record by making eight 3-pointers, Anthony finished with 30 points and 5 rebounds for the East. LeBron James of the Miami Heat finished with 22 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists for the East.
The West led by as many as 18 points in the 3rd quarter; the East outscored the West by 21 points in the second-half. Blake Griffin, of the Los Angeles Clippers, made a All-Star record 19 field goals, finishing with 38 points and 6 rebounds for the West. Griffin scored a All-Star game record nine field goals in the 1st quarter, eight of those coming off dunks. Kevin Durant, of the Oklahoma City Thunder, had 38 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and a team-high six 3-pointers for the West; becoming the first player to score 30 points or more in four straight All-Star games. Chris Paul, of the Clippers, came the bench to score 11 points with a West team-high 13 assists.
The Stars for both teams put on show for the crowd and played more defensive in the fourth quarter. The East was just too strong for the West in the second half.
The city of New Orleans will host their second NBA All-Star Game on February 16, 2014. New Orleans hosted it February 17, 2008 when the Eastern Conference defeated the Western Conference 134-127 in the 57th All-Star Game. This was the first major professional event held in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 besides regular season games for area teams. LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, won the All-Star game MVP scoring 27 points, with 9 assists and 8 rebounds. This was James second All-Star Game MVP trophy. Ray Allen, of the Boston Celtics, came off the bench to score a game-high 28 points, a game-high 5 three-pointers. Also, Allen scored 14 points in the 4th quarter to help lead the East to victory.
Carmelo Anthony (Denver Nuggets), first-time All-Star Brandon Roy (Portland Trail Blazers) and Amare Stoudemire (Phoenix Suns) led the West with 18 points each. Chris Paul, of the host New Orleans Hornets, making his first All-Star appearance had 16 points and a game-high 14 assists and 4 steals; Carlos Boozer of the Utah Jazz had 14 points and game-high 10 rebounds for the West. Kobe Bryant, of the Los Angeles Lakers, only played three minutes for the West due to a torn ligament in his right pinky finger and Bryant was the leading vote-getter in the West. Allen Iverson, of the Denver Nuggets, scored 7 points, had 6 assists and 4 steals; and Steve Nash (Phoenix Suns) had 8 points and 6 assists for the West. The West had six players in double-figures compared to the East with seven players in double-figures.
The East was coached by Doc Rivers, of the Boston Celtics, and the West was coached by Byron Scott of the New Orleans Hornets. There will be five players from the East (Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and Joe Johnson) and it will be four players from the West (Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dirk Nowitzki) that will be participating in this year’s All-Star Game. Only Wade, Kobe, and Nowitzki are still with the same team when the 57th game was played. A lot has changed in the NBA since NOLA hosted the game six years ago. All-Stars Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen help led the Boston Celtics to defeat Kobe and the Lakers to win the 2008 NBA title.
Kobe led the Lakers to back to back championships from 2009-10, beating Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic in 2009 and Doc Rivers’ Boston Celtics in 2010. Nowitzki has led the Mavs to their first championship in 2011 when they defeated the Big three in Miami. James and Bosh joined Wade in Miami and have won back to back championships. Ray Allen signed with the Heat last season and won a title also. In 2008 Kobe was the Regular season MVP, and Kevin Durant, of the Seattle SuperSonics was the Rookie of the Year. Kevin Garnett was the Defensive Player of the Year. Kobe is no longer the best player in the NBA. The torched has been passed to LeBron James and Kevin Durant is the second-best player in the league.
Kobe will not play in the ASG this year due to injury, NOLA is the only city that doesn’t get to see him in ASG action and his competiveness will be missed. James hasn’t won a ASG MVP since 2008 and will look to snap the East three-game losing streak against the West. Durant, James, Anthony, James Harden (Houston Rockets), Paul George (Indiana Pacers) and first year All-Star Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors) will look to lead the East or West to victory and possibly win the 2014 ASG MVP trophy.
Photo Credit: NBA.com, Theonba.com
The NBA All-Star Weekend is approaching in two days and all teams have played 50-52 games out of the 82 game season. The Indiana Pacers have the best record in the NBA and the Oklahoma City Thunder have the second-best record in the league. The Pacers are 40-11 and the Thunder are 42-12 – both teams have a impressive home record – the Pacers are 25-2 at home and the Thunder are 23-3 at home. Kevin Durant, forward for Thunder, is currently leading the league in scoring with a career-high 31.2 points. Durant is also averaging 7.6 rebounds, a career-high 5.5 assists and 1.4 steals.
DeAndre Jordan, center for the Los Angeles Clippers is leading the league with 14.1 rebounds. His previous career-high was 8.2 rebounds. Jordan is also leading the league in field goal % shooting 65.6% from the field. Jordan is averaging 10 points and is fourth in the league in blocks shot with 2.37 blocks a game. Clippers point guard, Chris Paul, would be leading the league in steals and assists. Paul is ineligible due to not playing in enough games because of an injury. Paul is averaging 11 assists and 2.49 steals a game; he recently returned from injury and still could lead the league in both categories. Stephen Curry, point guard of the Golden State Warriors, is leading the league with a career-high 9 assists and averaging a career-high 24.5 points.
Ricky Rubio, point guard of the Minnesota Timberwolves, is averaging a career-high 2.46 steals a game and is fourth in the league with 8.3 assists a game. Anthony Davis, of the New Orleans Pelicans, is leading the league with a career-high 3.12 blocks a game. Davis is a candidate for Most Improved Player and has improved in every statistically category this season and became a first-time All-Star. Durant is the front runner to win his first regular season MVP award and Jordan could win his first Defensive Player of the Year award. The Miami Heat, San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trail Blazers all round out the top five records in the NBA.
It will probably be a Eastern Conference Finals rematch with the Heat and Pacers this year. The Thunder should be in the Western Conference Finals this year. Once the Spurs get healthier, they have a good chance at returning to the Western Conference Finals. The Trail Blazers have been one of the hottest teams this season after not making the playoffs last season. Portland is a young team and the Spurs deep roster and experience gives them an edge over Portland. The playoffs start in April and the Heat have a tough road ahead of them if they wish to three-peat as NBA Champions.
Kevin Durant scored 41 points to help the Oklahoma City Thunder defeat the New York Knicks 112-100. Durant had 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 1 assist away from recording a triple-double. Reggie Jackson had 19 points and 6 assists for the Thunder and Serge Ibaka scored 16 points, had 9 rebounds and 3 assists for the Thunder. Raymond Felton and Amare Stoudemire led the Knicks in scoring with 16 points each, Felton had a team-high 7 assists. Knicks Star Carmelo Anthony had a horrible night, making only 5 out of 19 shots for 15 points, to go along with 7 rebounds and 5 assists. The Knicks had six players in double-figures, but it wasn’t enough for a win. And the Knicks have lost four of their last five games. The Thunder improve to 41-12 with the best record in the West and the Knicks are 20-31, two games behind the #8 seed in the East.
The Chicago Bulls barely held on to a 19-point lead to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 92-86. Joakim Noah had 20 points,13 rebounds and 3 blocks, all game-highs for the Bulls. Taj Gibson had 18 points and 6 rebounds for the Bulls and Kirk Hinrich had 17 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds for the Bulls. Chris Kaman came off the bench to score a game-high 27 points and a team-high 10 rebounds in 27 minutes of action for the Lakers. Kendall Marshall came off the bench for the Lakers with 13 points and a game-high 11 assists. The Lakers were missing Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Jordan Farmar, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young and Xavier Henry all out due to injuries. The Bulls improve to 24-25 and the Lakers are 18-32; both teams have been battling injuries most of the season.
Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway was drafted by the Golden State Warriors - with the 3rd overall pick in the 1993 NBA Draft – and was traded to the Orlando Magic on a draft night trade. Penny left Memphis State after his junior season in which he averaged 22.8 points, 8.5 rebounds, 6.4 assists. 2.4 steals and 1.2 blocks. Penny made immediate strides with the Orlando Magic his Rookie season. He was the MVP of the inaugural Rookie Game, which is now the Rookie/Sophomore game. He and Shaquille O’Neal helped lead the Magic to their first 50-win season and to their first playoff berth. He averaged 16 points, 6.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.3 steals a game as Rookie and made the 1993-94 NBA All-Rookie First Team. Penny’s popularity grew in the NBA with his signature Air Penny shoes and with the Nike commercials the Lil’ Penny doll (Voice of Chris Rock).
Penny was selected to his first All-Star game as a starter and to the All-NBA First Team in his second year, in which he averaged 20.9 points, 7.2 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.7 steals. The Magic went on to win a franchise record 57 games. Also, the Magic made their first NBA Finals appearance in which they were swept by the Houston Rockets. Hardaway did average 24.5 points, 8 assists and 4.8 rebounds in the NBA Finals. His third season, the Magic won a franchise 60 games. He was selected to his second All-Star Game as a starter and was selected to his second All-NBA First Team. The Magic lost to the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Finals (who went on to become NBA Champions). That summer, Free Agent Center Shaquille O’Neal joined the Los Angeles Lakers and Penny became the Star of the Magic. The next season the Magic lost in the first round to the Miami Heat 3-2. Penny did score 42 and 41 points in back to back elimination games, showing signs that he was a top-five player in the league.
During the 1997-98 season, Penny suffered a devastating knee injury. He returned the next season and played the whole season for the Magic. He was eventually traded to the Phoenix Suns in the Summer of 1999. His first season with the Suns, he averaged 16.9 points, a career-high 5.8 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. After his first season with Phoenix, Hardaway never averaged more than 12 points in his career. Penny was traded to the New York Knicks during the 2003-04 season and only appeared in 83 games in 2 ½ seasons with the Knicks. Penny was traded back to the Magic in 2006 and was waived for salary cap reasons. He was signed by the Heat as a Free Agent. He appeared in 16 games – starting in 8 of those – and was eventually cut to never played another game in the NBA.
Penny wasn’t your average Point Guard. He was 6’7 with quickness, speed, and could create his own shot - and could take over a game when his team needed him too. He could shoot, score, pass, rebound, steal and wasn’t a bad 3-point shooter. If Penny stayed healthy, I truly believe he would have been one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest players. Before his first major injury with the Magic, Penny averaged 19.8 points, 6.6 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals in his first four seasons for the Magic. Hardaway was selected to four All-Star Games from 1995-98 and he was selected to the 1996-97 All-NBA Third Team.
Penny also finished in the Top 10 in steals three seasons in his career. He was a member of the 1996 USA Olympic Basketball Team that won a gold medal and Hardaway averaged 9 points, 4.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals a game during the Olympics. Hardaway’s Nike Foamposites and his Nike Signature shoes are still popular in today’s shoe game and he is still one of the best players in Magic history. He is currently coaching at Lester Middle School as the boys’ basketball coach. Penny attended the same middle school.
Word on the street is that businessman and NBA Hall of Fame inductee, Magic Johnson, is not part owner of the Lost Angeles Sparks (WNBA).
“We’re totally thrilled,” WNBA President Laurel Richie told The AP. “When Magic chooses to enter into a partnership with a WNBA team, that’s a great thing. He’s a legend within basketball. He’s very knowledgeable about the game. He’s a larger-than-life personality. He’s an extremely successful businessman. He cares about the community the way that the WNBA does.”
Johnson is part of a small group of investors who’s previously acquired the Los Angeles Dodgers. The group comprised up of Johnson, Mark Walter, and Peter Guber (who did not partake in this recent acquisition) purchased the Dodgers for $2.15 billion.
It was only recently that Walter and Johnson discussed the idea of purchasing the L.A. Sparks.
“He is looking forward to coming to games,” Richie said. “He is a fan already and now I think he’s going to have a heightened interest in this team all together. There will be lots of opportunity to see him and interact with him.”
The Seattle Seahawks scored a safety on the first play of the game and went on to crush the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII to earn their first Super Bowl title.
Seattle safety was the fastest score in Super Bowl history (12 seconds). Seattle went on to score 36 unanswered points and the Broncos finally scored their only touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Seahawks Linebacker Malcolm Smith was awarded Super Bowl MVP. Smith had 10 tackles, returned a interception for a touchdown, and recovered a fumble in the second half. Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 18 out of 25 passes for 206 yards and 2 touchdowns for Seattle. Wide Receiver Percy Harvin returned from injury to lead the Seahawks in rushing with 45 yards and Harvin also scored on a 87-yard kickoff return.
Regular Season MVP Peyton Manning completed 34 out of 49 passes for 280 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions and Manning 34 completions was a Super Bowl record. Manning has a 11-12 postseason record and he is 1-2 in the Super Bowl, his 12 losses is the most by a starting Quarterback. Broncos Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas had a game-high 13 catches for 118 yards and 1 touchdown. Wide Receiver Wes Welker had 8 catches for 84 yards for the Broncos. The Broncos only had 27 yards rushing compared to the Seahawks 135 yards rushing. The Broncos had the number one ranked offense in the NFL and that offense was nowhere to be found against the Seahawks number one ranked defense. The Seahawks clearly showed that the statement defense wins championships is true.
Wilson become the fourth second year Quarterback to win a Super Bowl. Pete Carroll became the third coach to win a Super Bowl and an AP National Title. Broncos Head Coach John Fox is now 0-2 in the Super Bowl and the Broncos five losses in the Super Bowl is a NFL record. This game was clearly over after Harvin scored on a kickoff return to start the second half to give the Seahawks a 29-0 lead. Seattle is one of the youngest teams in the NFL, as long as Wilson is around and their top notch defense, this team will be a threat for the next few years to come.
Andray Blatche came off the bench to score a team-high 17 points to help lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 85-79 victory over the Boston Celtics. Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce returned to Boston for the first time since they were traded to the Nets. They both scored 6 points each and Pierce was a disappointing 2 out of 10 from the field. Boston did give both players video tributes and they received emotional standing ovations. Brandon Bass led Boston with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Rajon Rondo had 13 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. The Nets improve to 20-22 and have won 9 out of their last 10 games.
Carmelo Anthony and his 35 points led the New York Knicks to a 110-103 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. Knicks Center, Tyson Chandler, posted a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while Knicks Point Guard Raymond Felton had 20 points and 5 assists. Knicks Guards J.R. Smith came off the bench to score 16 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18 points off the bench. Pau Gasol had a double-double for the Lakers with 20 points and 13 rebounds and Guard Jodie Meeks led the Lakers with 24 points. The Knicks improve to 17-27 and the Lakers are now 16-29 and have lost 4 games in a row.
The 2014 NBA All-Star Game Starters were announced and LeBron James, star player of the Miami Heat, was the leading vote getter. James will be joined in the East front-court, by New York Knicks Star Carmelo Anthony and Indiana Pacers Paul George. In the East back-court, Heat’s Dwyane Wade will be starting with Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving. Heat Stars Wade and James will making their 10th All-Star appearances.
Star player Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder was the leading vote getter in the Western Conference. Durant will be joined by Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Wolves star player Kevin Love. In the West back-court, will be Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Kobe will be making his 16th All-Star appearance, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with 19 has more All-Star appearances. The 63rd NBA All-Star Game will be played at the New Orleans Arena on February 16th and televised on TNT.
This will be Curry, Irving, George and Love first time starting in the All-Star Game; Curry’s first appearance in the ASG. LaMarcus Aldridge of the Portland Trail Blazers should have replaced Blake Griffin and Houston Rockets Guard James Harden will most likely replace Kobe if he can’t play due to injury. Clippers Guard Chris Paul and Dwight Howard should be named reserves and they won’t be starting in the ASG for the first time in over five years. None of the East starters in their frontcourt can play the Center position.
The East will have speed, while the West will have more size and power. Heat Forward/Center Chris Bosh and Pacers Center Roy Hibbert will most likely make the East roster as reserves and give the East much needed size. The Reserves will be announced on January 30th and the Heat will most likely have the most players represented in the ASG. The ASG will be different without Kobe playing in it and this years game will feature the upcoming Stars of the NBA.
Kevin Durant scored 36 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 111-105 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The Thunder improve to 33-10 and have the best record in the West. The Spurs are now 32-10 with the second best record in the Western Conference. Reggie Jackson scored 27 points and had a game-high 8 assists for the Thunder. Spurs All-Star Tony Parker scored a game and season-high 37 points. The Spurs had five players in double-figures. The Thunder have beaten the defending Western Conference champions Spurs in all three matchups this year.
Evan Turner’s 34 points and 11 rebounds led the Philadelphia 76ers to a 110-106 victory over the New York Knicks. 76ers Rookie Michael Carter-Williams scored 19 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and had 7 assists. The 76ers had four players in double-figures and improved their record to 14-28. Star player Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 28 points and Tyson Chandler had 10 points and 14 rebounds for the Knicks. The Knicks are now 15-27 and have now lost five games in a row.
Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Denver Broncos to a 26-16 victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game. Manning will make his third Super Bowl appearance and has a 3-1 record in AFC Championship games. The Broncos make their first trip to the Super Bowl after winning back to back championships 15 years ago. Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady passed for 277 yards, and 1 touchdown to Wide Receiver Julius Edelman, who had 10 catches for 89 yards. Manning defeated Brady…something that rarely happens in their head to head matchup. Brady has a 10-5 career record against Manning. Denver will face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl and if the Broncos lose all the records Manning broke this season won’t mean a thing.
The Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 after Colin Kaepernick threw a interception with 22 seconds remaining in the NFC Championship game. Seattle Quarterback Russell Wilson threw for 215 yards and 1 touchdown that gave the Seahawks the lead for good. Seattle Running Back Marshawn Lynch rushed for 109 yards and had one rushing touchdown which resulted in a 40-yard run. Kaepernick threw for 153 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions and had a impressive 130 yards rushing.
Kaepernick played poorly today making costly mistakes and needs to play turnover free football if he would like to lead the 49ers to their sixth championship. Seattle top ranked defense will face the Broncos top ranked offense two weeks in the Super Bowl. The Broncos offense will be Seattle biggest obstacle to overcome this season.
Marc Gasol returned from injury to help the Memphis Grizzlies defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 90-87. Newly acquired Guard Courtney Lee led the Grizzlies with 24 points and Zach Randolph had a double-double for the Grizzlies with 23 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Gasol had 12 points and 4 rebounds in his first game since November 22, 2013. Star player Kevin Durant had a game-high 37 points and 4 assists for the Thunder. The Grizzlies improve to 18-19 and The Thunder are 28-10.
Newly acquired Luol Deng helped the Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the Los Angeles Lakers 120-118. Deng led the Cavs with 27 points to go along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Anderson had a double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds for the Cavs. Nick Young came off the bench to score a game-high 28 points for the Lakers and Jodie Meeks scored 26 points for the Lakers. Pau Gasol had a double-double for the Lakers with 20 points and 12 rebounds, this was the Lakers fifth straight loss. The Cavs improve to 14-24 and are still in the playoff race, the Lakers are now 14-24 and will most likely miss the playoffs.
Colin Kaepernick led the San Francisco 49ers to a 23-10 road victory over the Carolina Panthers to help the 49ers advance to their third straight NFC Championship game. Kaepernick threw for 196 yards, 1 touchdown and had a rushing touchdown. 49ers Receiver Anquan Boldin had a game-high 8 catches for 136 yards and 49ers Running Back Frank Gore had a game-high 84 yards rushing. Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton making his first career playoff start, threw for 267 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions and led the Panthers with 54 yards rushing. The 49ers will go on the road to face the Seattle Seahawks and try to return to their second straight Super Bowl.
The Denver Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers 24-17 to advance to the AFC Championship game. Broncos Quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 230 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and Running Back Knowshon Moreno led the Broncos with 82 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown. Chargers Quarterback Philip Rivers had a turnover free game throwing for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Broncos outrushed the Chargers 133 to 65 yards and the Broncos had twice as many first downs, 26 to the Chargers 13. The Broncos will host the New England Patriots next week and Manning will try to make this his third Super Bowl appearance.
The Brooklyn Nets defeated the Golden State Warriors 102-98 for their fourth-straight win. The Nets improved to 14-21 and is currently in 8th place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Nets are finally in the playoff race after assembling an All-Star starting lineup that has struggled with chemistry issues on the court and injuries. Joe Johnson led the Nets with 27 points and Star player Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 34 points and 7 assists. Golden State is now 24-14 and the Nets ended their 10-game winning streak.
The Atlanta Hawks ended their three-game losing streak to defeat the Indiana Pacers 97-87. The Hawks improve to 19-17 and the Pacers are 28-7 with the best record in the NBA. Kyle Korver led the Hawks with 17 points and the Hawks had five players in double-figures. Star player Paul George led the Pacers with 28 points and 12 rebounds, both game-highs. The Hawks started the game with a 12-0 lead and led by 25 points in the 3rd Quarter. This was a big win for the Hawks since Star player Al Horford is out the remaining of the season due to injury.
The No. 1 Florida State Seminoles scored 21 unanswered fourth quarter points to come from behind to defeat the No. 2 Auburn Tigers (34-31) in the final edition of the BCS National Championship game. Heisman trophy winner Jameis Winston threw a 2-yard touchdown to Running Back Kelvin Benjamin with 13 seconds remaining to give the Seminoles the lead for good. Auburn led 21-10 at halftime. For FSU, 18-points is the largest deficit to come from behind to win a BCS National Championship. Winston threw for 237 yards, 2 touchdowns and Devonta Freeman led the Seminoles with 73 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown.
Auburn Quarterback Nick Marshall threw for 217 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and had 45 yards rushing with a rushing touchdown. Tigers Running Back Tre Mason looked unstoppable and led the Tigers with 195 yards rushing, Mason had a rushing and receiving touchdown. Mason is a junior running back who has played like best running back in the nation and will have to make a decision to come back for senior season or enter the 2014 NFL Draft. Winston has had a freshman season that every player dreams about and will be a threat for the rest of his collegiate career.
The San Diego Chargers went on the road to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 in a Wild Card matchup. This was the Chargers fifth straight win and the Chargers become the only team to beat the Bengals at home this season. Chargers Quarterback Philip Rivers completed 12 out of 16 passes for 128 yards and 1 touchdown to Tight End Ladarius Green. Chargers Running Backs Ronnie Brown and Danny Woodhead each had a rushing touchdown, Brown led the team in rushing with 77 yards. Bengals Quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 334 yards, 1 touchdown, 2 interceptions and had 2 fumbles. The Chargers will go on to face the Denver Broncos for a third time next week and the winner will play in the AFC Championship game.
Phil Dawson kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a 23-20 victory over the Green Bay Packers in a Wild Card matchup. 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for 227 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception and led the team in rushing with 98 yards. 49ers Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree had 8 catches for 125 yards, both game highs and 49ers Running Back Frank Gore had 66 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown. Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 177 yards and 1 touchdown, Rookie Running Back Eddie Lacy led the Packers with 81 yards rushing. The 49ers travel to Carolina next Sunday to face the Panthers and try to advance to their third straight NFC Championship game.
Joe Johnson hit a jumper at the buzzer to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 95-93 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Nets outscored the Thunder 29-16 in the fourth quarter. Deron Williams had a season-high 29 points along with a game-high 5 steals, and 4 assists. Thunder Star Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 24 points and Serge Ibaka had a double-double for the Thunder with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Brooklyn improves to 11-21, the Thunder are 25-7 and have the second best record in the Western Conference.
All-Stars Stephen Curry and David Lee combined to score 68 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 123-114 win over the Miami Heat. Curry had 36 points and 12 assists, both game-highs. Curry was 8 out of 15 from 3-point range and the 123 points is the most scored against the Heat this season. Lee had a double-double for Warriors with 32 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Heat Star LeBron James led the Heat with 26 rebounds, 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Golden State improves to 21-13, the Heat are 24-8 and have the second best record in the Eastern Conference.
Photo Credit: ESPN
By: Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine
The No. 15 University of Central Florida Knights defeated the No. 6 Baylor Bears 52-42 in the BCS Fiesta Bowl. This was both schools first appearance in the final year of BCS bowl games. UCF was a 17 point underdog coming into the game, led the whole game except when the score was tied at 28. Star Quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 301 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions, had a rushing touchdown and ran for a career-high 93 yards for the Knights. Bortles was the Fiesta Bowl MVP and help the Knights become the Fiesta Bowl Champions. Bortles is projected be a top five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Knights Running Back Storm Johnson led the team with 124 yards rushing and 3 touchdowns. Knights Wide Receiver Rannell Hall had 4 catches, a game-high 113 yards receiving and a game-high 2 touchdown catches. Bears Quarterback Bryce Petty threw for 356 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and had 3 rushing touchdowns. Bears Running Back Lache Seastrunk led the team in rushing with 117 yards.
Baylor defense couldn’t stop Bortles or Johnson and clearly looked like the underdogs most of the game. UCF is finally on the map with a big-time football program and they have the second largest university in America. Hopefully this win can get them a top ten final AP poll finish and a top 10 recruiting class.
By: Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine
Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers returned from injury to lead the Packers to a 33-28 win over the Chicago Bears. Rodgers had missed the previous seven games and helped the Packers win the NFC North division and make the playoffs. The Packers finished the season 8-7-1, won their third straight division title and have made the playoffs five years in a row. Rodgers threw for 318 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions and his favorite target Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson had 10 catches for 161 yards. The Packers will host the San Francisco 49ers next week and with Rodgers healthy they have a better chance of beating the 49ers.
The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Dallas Cowboys 24-22 to win the NFC East division and make the playoffs. The Eagles won their first division title since 2010 and will host the New Orleans Saints next week. Eagles Quarterback Nick Foles threw for 263 yards and 2 touchdowns. Eagles Running LeSean McCoy had a game-high 131 rushing yards and won the NFL rushing title. The Eagles finished the season 10-6 and Chip Kelly became the second coach in NFL history to win a division title his first year coaching.
By: Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine
Heat stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each scored 23 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 101-95 victory against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Heat are now 5-0 against the Lakers on Christmas day. Bosh led the Heat with 11 rebounds and Wade and Mario Chalmers led the Heat with 7 assists. Heat star LeBron James had 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Nick Young came off the bench to lead the Lakers with 20 points and Pau Gasol had a double-double for the Lakers with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Houston Rockets scored 40 first quarter points and went on to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 111-98. Star player James Harden scored a game high 28 points and had 6 assists for the Rockets. Starting Forwards Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones each scored 21 points for the Rockets. Dwight Howard had a double-double for the Rockets with 15 points and a game-high 20 rebounds. Manu Ginobili came off the bench to lead the Spurs with 22 points and Spurs star player Tim Duncan had 11 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and a game-high 6 blocks.
By: Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine
The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-24 at the final regular season game at Candlestick Park. The 49ers improved to 11-4 and clinched a playoff berth. 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick passed for 197 yards, 1 touchdown and had a rushing touchdown. Running Back Frank Gore led the 49ers in rushing with 97 yards and had a rushing touchdown.
The Falcons are 4-11 now and this has been a very disappointing year for the Falcons. Falcons Quarterback Matt Ryan passed for 348 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Steven Jackson led the Falcons in rushing with 53 yards and a touchdown, his second straight game with a rushing touchdown. Falcons Wide Receiver Roddy White had a season-high 12 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown, his first touchdown in the last five games.
By: Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine.
Quarterback Cam Newton threw a 14-yard touchdown to Wide Receiver Domenik Hixon with 23 seconds remaining to lead the Carolina Panthers to a 17-13 win over the New Orleans Saints. The Panthers improve to 11-4 and have a one game lead over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South division. If the Panthers win their final game next week, they will receive a first-round bye in the playoffs. Newton threw for 181 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. Saints Quarterback Drew Brees threw for 281 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. The Saints are now 10-5, have lost five out of their last six games and can still clinch a playoff berth if the Arizona Cardinals lose another game.
The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Washington Redskins 24-23 to improve to 8-7. Cowboys Running Back DeMarco Murray caught a 10 yard touchdown pass from Cowboys Quarterback Tony Romo with 1:08 remaining to take the lead for good. Romo threw for 226 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Murray led the Cowboys in rushing with 96 yards and had one rushing and one receiving touchdown. Redskins Rookie Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for 197 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception. The Redskins are now 3-12. If the Cowboys defeat the Philadelphia Eagles next week, they will win the NFC East division and make the playoffs.
By: Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine
Kobe Bryant suffered a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau in his left knee and is scheduled to be out for six weeks. Bryant recently returned from a torn Achilles’ tendon that he suffered in April. Bryant has only played six games this season and is only averaging 13.8 points, a career high 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game. Bryant is also averaging a career high 5.6 turnovers per game and shooting a career low 18% from 3 point range.
Bryant is now sidelined with an injury along with Lakers Guards Steve Nash, Jordan Farmar and Steve Blake. The Lakers did sign Free Agent Guard Kendall Marshall who was the 13th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Submitted By: Abner Jackson III, Content Writer for STACKS Magazine