On this date: the deadliest sports catastrophe in U.S. history occured

On this date 45 years ago,ย the deadliest sports catastrophe in U.S. history occurred when Southern Airways Flight 932 crashed in Huntington, West Virginia.

The flight was chartering the 1970 Marshall Football team, which included 37 players, eight coaches, 25 boosters and five flight crew members. All 75 passengers were killed in the crash.

If you have never watched the movie “We Are Marshall” starringย Matthew McConaughey, I highly recommend it.

Here’s a archived video of the crash:

Visiting universities is one of my hobbies and visiting Marshall University is definitely on the bucket list.

 

On this date: An NBA Draft that transformed the association

On a day where college kids become professionals at the NBA Draft, it can be a tough task to accurately speculate or predict the future of 21-year-old college phenoms.

That task was especially true 31 years ago at the 1984 NBA Draft, held on June 19, 1984 at “The Mecca of Basketball” Madison Square Garden in New York. The draft turned out to not only be the most talented draft class, but a class that innovated and impacted the game of basketball in a way that no one could’ve imagined, and transformed the National Basketball Association as a whole.

“The history of basketball cannot be written without that group of guys. The class of ’84 ought to go down as the greatest class of all time.” -Michael Wilbon, sports journalist.

The Houston Rockets, Portland Trailblazers and Chicago Bulls held the top three picks, which as we all know, were Hakeem Olajuwon, a Center out of University of Houston; Sam Bowie, a Center out of Kentucky; and Michael Jordan, a Guard out of North Carolina.

The draft produced

  • five Hall of Fame inductees
    • Hakeem Olajuwon
    • Michael Jordan
    • Charles Barkley
    • John Stockton
    • Oscar Schmidt
  • seven All-Star players
    • Charles Barkley
      • 11x NBA All-Star (1987-1997)
    • Michael Jordan
      • 14x NBA All-Star (1985-1993, 1996-1998, 2002-2003)
    • Hakeem Olajuwon
      • 12x NBA All-Star (1985-1990, 1992-1997)
    • Alvin Robertson
      • 4x NBA All-Star (1986-1988, 1991)
    • John Stockton
      • 10x NBA All-Star (1989-1997, 2000)
    • Otis Thorpe (1992)
    • Kevin Willis (1992)
  • Three NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award winners
    • Michael Jordan
      • 5x NBA MVP (1988, 1991-1992,1996,1998)
    • Hakeem Olajuwon
      • NBA MVP (1994)
    • Charles Barkley
      • NBA MVP (1993)

The Hall of Famers John Stockton and Hakeem Olajuwon hold all-time NBA records in assists, steals, and blocks respectively as well as combinedย 12 trips to the Finals, 8 championships and two Defensive Player of the Year winners among Stockton, Olajuwon, Jordan and Barkley.

Much has been questioned and debated whether or not the Houston Rockets made the correct decision in drafting Olajuwon over Jordan. What strikes me is not only the Rockets had the option of drafting Jordan over Olajuwon, but the Blazers were willing to trade the Rockets the second pick plus Clyde Drexler for Ralph Sampson, which means the Rockets would’ve had the first pick, the second pick, and Drexler. Had the Rockets gone along and accepted the trade offer, they could’ve had a big three of Olajuwon, Drexler and Jordan. Talk about a dream team.

But all we can do is hope that a “Dream” comes true, which is exactly what the City of Houston received on the night of the 1984 NBA Draft followed by their two championships 10 years later in 1994 and 1995.

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23 years ago today, Michael Jordan gave the world a shrug

On this date 23 years ago on June 3, 1992, Michael Jordan gave the world a shrug after scoring 35 points in the first half of Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals vs the Portland Trailblazers.

18 of the 35 points came from the three-point line as Jordan knocked down six three pointers in the first half, and after the sixth three-pointer fell, Jordan shrugged to the world because even he could not believe what was happening.

The shrug went on to become an iconic NBA Finals moment as well as one of Jordan’s iconic moments of his career.

On this date: featuring Muhammad Ali and Eddie Johnson

-On this date 50 years ago, Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston by knockout in the first round.

Ali’s knockout of Liston was timed right at a minute.

Not only was the knockout impressive, but it would go down as one of the greatest iconic moments in sports history with Ali standing over Liston.

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-Also on this date 18 years ago, Eddie Johnson of the Houston Rockets hit the game winning buzzer beater giving the Rockets a 95-92 Game 4 victory over the Utah Jazz in the 1997 Western Conference Finals.

 

Clutch NBA playoff performances on this date

-On this date in 1988, two NBA legends and Hall of Famers in Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird and Atlanta Hawks forward Dominique Wilkins combined for 81 points in a eastern Conference semifinals game 7 dual.


-On this date in 1995, Houston Rockets forward Robert Horry hit the 17-foot jump shot to give the Rockets a 94-93 Game 1 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals.