Today, I’m going to talk about Roy Halladay. Ten years ago today, he pitched a perfect game against the Florida Marlins. Phillies won 1-0. It’s the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history.
Roy Halladay was magnificent. He earned the nickname “Doc” during his time with the Toronto Blue Jays. It’s still surreal and sad to me that he’s no longer around. Halladay died in a helicopter crash in Florida in November 2017.
In 2019, he got elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Seeing his wife give his speech was very emotional. It was bittersweet because he wasn’t there to give his speech.
After watching E:60 of the Roy Halladay story, his wife said that “Nothing was enough for him.” Roy was one of the best pitchers of his time and one of the most hard-working athletes. His work ethic was impeccable.
Aside from the perfect game, Doc would pitch a no-hitter in the postseason later that year. It would be the second no-hitter in postseason history. He did this against the Cincinnati Reds.
Hallaway is the 5th pitcher ever to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues. His first one came during his stint with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2003.
Hallaway was a very private person and introverted. What made him so loved is how he performed on the field. We never thought that Halladay was battling demons. I’m here to say that it’s okay to ask for help. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. We never know what someone else is going through. Halladay certainly got the help he needed.
After his baseball career, he coached his son’s High School team. They went 30-0 and won the state championship. Halladay didn’t win in the pros, but he got a ring being a High School coach.
We miss Roy Halladay. I feel for his family to go through such a tragedy. He was just 40 years old. It would’ve been interesting to see what else he could’ve accomplished off the field.
Today’s edition of Sports Throwback Thursday is about the 1983 Philadelphia Sixers. One of the most talented teams ever assembled.
The 1983 Sixers had a loaded roster led by the team captain, Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Bobby Jones, Andrew Toney, and free agent Moses Malone. All of them went on to the Hall of Fame. The Sixers dominated all season long as they won 65 games. Moses Malone would win his third league MVP. He also made First Team All-Defense that year. Teammates Maurice Cheeks and Bobby Jones would also join Malone and received First Team All-Defense honors. Bobby Jones would also win NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award. Erving and Malone would receive First Team All-NBA honors.
Jones was a terrific defender. Very admired and respected. While most other players depended on the occasional thrown elbow, hip-check, or grab of the uniform to gain an advantage, Jones relied on hustle and determination. Jones’ stellar defense and his other specialties, such as leadership, made him a standout sixth man.
Opposing teams couldn’t afford to relax on the defensive end when Jones came off the bench, and they also had to work a lot harder on offense to get the ball in or even near the basket. He was a nine-time All-NBA Defense and a four-time All-Star.
In the playoffs, Moses Malone predicted that the Sixers would sweep all three rounds. His prediction was off by just one game. In the semifinals, the Sixers swept the New York Knicks. In the following round, they beat the Milwaukee Bucks in five games. In the NBA Finals, Sixers swept the defending champions, Los Angeles Lakers. Moses Malone would go on to win Finals MVP.’
Malone was a tireless and physical player who led the NBA in rebounding six times. Malone was nicknamed “Chairman of the Boards” for his rebounding. He was known for rebounding and scoring off his misses, possessing the strength, quickness, and zeal to recover the ball before his opponents. Malone died in his sleep at the age of 60, on the morning of September 13, 2015.
Julius Erving is one of the most talented players in the history of the NBA, and one of the game’s best dunkers. He massively impacted the game. Erving helped popularize a modern style of play that emphasizes leaping and playing above the rim. In his ABA and NBA careers combined, he scored more than 30,000 points. He won league MVP in 1981 and won championships in the ABA with the New York Nets in 1974 and 1976.
I can’t forget to mention Pat Williams. He was the general manager of the Sixers that season. Williams spent 12 seasons as the Sixers general manager. He made trades for Julius Erving and Moses Malone and drafted Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney. After his accomplishment with the Sixers, Williams would have more success with the Orlando Magic. He was responsible for the creation of the Magic. I learned from watching “30 for 30: This Magic Moment.” Orlando won draft lottery picks in 1992 and 1993, which they ended up getting Shaq and Penny Hardaway, and made the Orlando Magic a legitimate contender. Although they didn’t win championships, they went to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1995 and ’96 and reached the NBA Finals in 1995.
The 1983 championship is the Sixers’ second NBA championship in their franchise history. Sixers still haven’t won since 1983. Meanwhile, another Philadelphia team won a championship 25 years after the Sixers did: The Philadelphia Phillies.
Stephanie Montero was born and raised in Washington Heights, New York, to a Dominican mother and Ecuadorian father.
Montero did her undergraduate program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in English and History.
“I’m currently enrolled at Baruch College pursuing my Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration,” Montero says.
She’s a Student Life Coordinator at the School of General Studies at Columbia University.
“I help support the office of Student Life with Logistic Support,” Montero says. “A well as I am a part of the Special Events team where I support my team planning special events such as New Student Orientation, Graduations, and Academic Affairs events. I have worked at Columbia for four years.“
Stephanie also decided to pursue her new business endeavors as a Mom influencer on social media. She would go on to explain more about her business.
“Last year, I also decided to pursue my new business endeavors as a Mom influencer on social media,” Montero says. “I started my business page with the company LIKEtoKnow.it company.
This page allows me to source the items that I recommend to my family, friends, and followers on social media. I enjoy this business because it allows me to share with other women the items that make my life easier and fashionable. I love sharing tips and tricks that help the momma on the go have a more organized and happy life.”
Stephanie realized that she found what she loved to do when people began asking her where to purchase the items.
“As an influencer, I was constantly asked of where I would purchase a certain item I posted on social media, whether it was kids’ items, home décor, or organization tips,” Montero explained. “I’m a mom on a mission to improving my life while impacting others. I love helping people, whether at my job or personal life, naturally nurturing at heart, and it is what drives me to help people,” she continued. “Helping others brings happiness to my life. I believe that this was something ingrained in me because my family is the same. ”
Stephanie is married to her husband, Namel. They have been together for eight years. Stephanie would go into detail on how they met.
“I met my husband through my college friend, who happened to be his sister,” Montero says. “My friend, Namely, and I became super close in such a short time. She became my sister before I even started dating her brother. I met him at a get-together. Namely, was hosting at her house, and we exchanged social media information,” she continued. “We started talking but never pursued anything more. A couple of months later, we decided to give a try and went on a date. Since that date, we have made a beautiful life together.”
They certainly did create a beautiful life together. Stephanie and Namel have a daughter together. Stephanie said that motherhood didn’t change her, but made her stronger.
“I feel like motherhood didn’t change me but enhanced the attributes I already had. Motherhood made me stronger, more emotional, and happier woman,” Montero stated. “I was blessed to have this opportunity. I’m forever grateful to God for allowing me to carry my child and be her mommy. Motherhood made me think quicker on my feet and multi-task 3 million times at the same time,” she continued.
“I’m very detail-oriented with everything I do in life, but Motherhood made me pay even more attention to the smaller things. I was in a dark place before Emma since I was recently diagnosed with Lupus, an autoimmune disease. I didn’t have any motivation and was sad all the time. Emma gave me a life back. Motherhood has motivated, inspired, and pushed me to love life again.“
What were some of the challenges Stephanie faced at the beginning of Motherhood?
One of the biggest challenges at the beginning of Motherhood was me questioning my every move,” Montero said. “I kept second-guessing myself whether I was doing anything right for her. This is where the support of my friends and family helped a lot. As a first time mom, you question your every move because it’s all new to you,” she continued.
“I wanted to be the best mom for my daughter. Another challenge was that my family lived far away. So I didn’t have that in-person support. I wasn’t able to drop off Emma at my family’s house for a quick nap. They would constantly call, which was very helpful, but there were times where I wanted to nap or take a break, but I couldn’t. Every mom experiences this, and I think this was the hardest challenge.“
When Stephanie has some free time on her hands, she enjoys exploring new places with her daughters and other hobbies.
”I like to explore new places with Emma. She’s a little version of me, so we both love exploring new places, whether it is a park, museum, beaches, or amusement parks,” Montero says. “My little firecracker loves roller coasters, so we try to go to amusement parks as much as we can. I also enjoy listening to a podcast,” she continued. “It’s my favorite thing to do in my free time. I love listening to other people’s perspectives on life. I truly enjoy taking advantage of every learning opportunity.”
Stephanie is planning many things for the future. She’s hoping to finish her Master’s degree by Spring 2021.
“I’m hoping that this degree will help me gain the tools that I need to become a better Higher Education Student Affairs professional,” Montero says. “I enjoy working with students and help them plan out their events. I genuinely enjoy planning special events for our students.“
As far as her influence career, Stephanie hopes to continue to inspire women to do their best at anything they’re working at.
“I will continue to use my social media platform to keep inspiring women to achieve whatever they want in life. I have a daughter who looks up to me, and I plan on continuing to inspire her,” Montero continued. “There are so many new plans that are under construction, and we are so excited. I will share more once it’s all approved. I’m a firm believer in putting things into action first before sharing.”
Before listening to hip hop, there was Merenguehouse or Merenrap. This era was trendy in New York City in the 1990s. When I think of Merenhouse, I think of four groups: Ilegales, Proyecto Uno, Fulanito, and Sandy y Papo.
Growing up in Washington Heights, this kind of music, you could hear it in the neighborhood and house parties back then. We used to play this at my house back then.
For those of you who don’t know what this genre means, it’s a blend of Dominican merengue music with rap, dancehall reggae, and hip hop.
The mix of Latin music, house music, and dancehall started in NYC in the late 80’s in club mainly by Puerto Rican DJs.
Merenhouse usually combines a rap style of talk-singing with actual singing. The genre originated during the 1990s in New York City by Puerto Ricans.
In 1995, the Ilegales broke into the scene with their debut album. Vladimir Dotel leads the group. The group started with four members. Ilegales had great music to dance, such as “La Morena” and “Fiesta Caliente.” One of my favorite tracks came from their 1997 album, Rebotando. The song I’m talking about is “El Taqui Taqui.”
Ilegales had early success, but I felt that the group was never the same after one of their members, Jason González, died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic in 1998.
Next up is Proyecto Uno. What can I say about Proyecto Uno? They were responsible for popularizing the style of merengue with techno, dancehall, reggae, and hip-hop/rap music
When it comes to Proyecto Uno, two words come to my mind: El Tiburon.
The single, “El Tiburon,” released in 1993 and became the group’s biggest hit. I still listen to this song to this day. Magic Juan is the group’s leading vocalist. Proyecto Uno had other good tracks such as “Esta Pegao,” “Latinos,” and “Otra Noche (Another Night).
During the group’s run, they won Billboard Latin Music Awards, Premios Lo Nuestro, and an Emmy award.
Sandy y Papo
Oh boy! Sandy y Papo! In my opinion, the most unforgettable and likable duo from the Merenhouse era. I was just listening to “Es Hora De Bailar” not too long ago. The most popular hit of their career. It takes me back to when I was living on 177th and Pinehurst Avenue. Another favorite song of mine from the duo is “Mueve, Mueve.” Nice beat to dance too.
Just like Ilegales, there was a tragic end of the group. Papo, from the duo Sandy y Papo, died is a fatal car accident on July 11, 1999. I remember hearing the news in the show, El Gordo y La Flaca. The damage of the car sends chills down my spine. Rest in Peace, Papo. Your music lives on forever.
Lastly, we have Fulanito that represented the genre. Fulanito is a group of five members from my hometown, Washington Heights.
Their debut/my favorite Fulanito album, El Hombre Mas Famoso De La Tierra, had my favorite song, which is “Guallando.” Following Guallando, they also had good songs such as “La Novela,” “El Cepillo,” and “Cometela Ripia.” We had this album in my house back then. I think my dad still has it. Not sure, haha. “El Cepillo” was played several times at my sister’s 17th birthday party, back in 1999. Good Times, Good Memories!
From the ages of 4 to 8, these were the four groups that I witnessed representing the Merenhouse/Merenrap era. I want shout out to Puerto Rican rapper and singer, Lisa M. She was the first artist to combine merengue with rap in her second album, No Lo Derrumbes, released in 1990. Lisa M is also the first female rapper artist to debut in Latin America.
The Lance story is sad and unfortunate. He was considered the most remarkable story on the planet. Lance Armstrong is a seven-time winner of the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005. He became a sports icon for this accomplishment. The 30 for 30 film, “LANCE” focuses on the rise and fall of Lance Armstrong. A doping scandal destroyed his reputation. Stripping away all of his titles.
When it comes to Lance, there are only a few things I know about him. His battle with cancer, his success in Cycling, and him admitting to using illegal substances. However, I’m learning more about his personal life and anything else that I didn’t know about him.
The film got off to a crazy start when fans told Lance, “Fuck you. You fucking cheater!” It immediately grabbed my attention. Many fans will forever be mad at him for cheating at the Tour de France. Can’t say I blame them. Lance let a lot of people down. He will have to deal with this for the rest of his life.
Lance Armstrong began his life in Texas. One of the things that stood out to me from the first part of the documentary is the relationship between Lance and his stepfather, Terry.
Terry pushed Lance to the limit, using corporal punishment and the disciplinary style of a taskmaster to shape his future personality, for better or worse. Terry Armstrong made these statements in the film.
“Lance would not be the champion he is today without me, because I drove him,” Terry Armstrong said. “I drove him like an animal. That’s the only thing I feel bad about. Did I make him too much `win at all costs’?”
Terry never puts his arm about Lance Armstrong and told him that he loves him. Terry said that he should’ve done that. He knew that he was tough on him.
At 21 years old, Lance began his first professional season in Cycling. He started illegal doping too. By 1993, Lance won the championship, became very outspoken, and was just 22 years old. Cycling wasn’t much for Americans in the early 90s, but Lance changed all of that. Lance hated losing. It would make him extremely upset if he finished second place.
In the film, I learned about the steroid drug, EPO; EPO stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow and regulates the concentration of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the blood. Cyclists were using this, but at the same time, it scared a lot of athletes. By 1996, Lance looked much different physically and never complained about athletes doping.
Before Lance Armstrong found out that he had cancer, he was experiencing pain in his testicles. It got serious when he started coughing out blood all over the place. He had Stage Four Cancer. Chances were slim for Lance. He battled cancer, and he beat it. After his recovery, he founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation.
Sloan was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and dementia in 2016. I knew he was sick, but it’s still sad because it’s Jerry Sloan. An exceptional coach.
Sloan was only the fifth coach in NBA history to reach 1,000 victories and is one of two coaches in NBA history to record 1,000 wins with one club. He’s also coached for one team longer than anyone in NBA history. He’s never won Coach of the Year, which is a surprise to many of us, but he is one of only four coaches in NBA history with 15-plus consecutive seasons with a winning record.
Sloan was also known for his toughness. As a player, he played for the Chicago Bulls. During his time with the Bulls, Sloan was a 2-time All-Star and 6-Time All-Defense Team. It’s crazy to think that he played with Bulls, and little did he know that in the future, the Bulls would stop him from winning two titles (1997, 1998).
In 1988, Jazz hired Sloan as the team’s head coach. He enjoyed a successful run of 16 consecutive seasons of taking his team to the playoffs. He coached two Hall of Famers: John Stockton and Karl Malone. Sloan believed in the system called “The Pick & Roll Offense.” No one thrived better with the pick and roll than Stockton and Malone. Karl Malone scored a lot of points in his career because of this system.
Coach Sloan is one of those coaches that should’ve had a ring. The Jazz had a chance to win it all in 1999, but they lost to a young team with fresher legs, the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Semifinals.
After the Stockton and Malone era, Sloan had a Stockton and Malone 2.0 with Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. With this duo, the Jazz went to the Western Conference Finals in 2007. Although they lost to the Spurs in five games, it was exciting to watch this Jazz team play with so much heart and passion.
Sloan is one of the greatest and most respected coaches in NBA history. Rest in Peace, Jerry Sloan.
Emanuel Steward is one of the most decorated boxing trainers ever. Steward trained 41 world champion fighters throughout his career.
Kronk Gym became a property of Steward’s and trained many of the nation’s top amateurs. His breakout star would be Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns. Steward was instrumental in changing Hearns from a lightweight puncher to one of the most devastating punchers in Boxing. They had a close relationship like a father and son. Together, they would go on to be part of many fights against boxers such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, and Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Hearns was Steward’s most successful fighter.
Emanuel would also train heavyweight Lennox Lewis. Emanuel corrected several of Lewis’ mistakes and guided him into a hall of fame career. Their most memorable moment together was in the most anticipated fight of the decade: Lewis vs. Tyson. Steward did some amazing corner work in that fight. Lewis knocked Tyson to win the bout.
Steward also trained other great fighters like Evander Holyfield, Miguel Cotto and Wladimir Klitschko. Aside from being a trainer, he spend years as a commentator for HBO Boxing. This is where I started becoming a fan of Emanuel Steward. He had so much knowledge of the sport of Boxing. I knew Emanuel Steward as a commentator first than as the Boxing trainer. So I did it in reverse, haha.
Steward passed away in 2012. He is deeply missed in the sport of Boxing. His legacy lives on forever.
It is Tuesday, and I have another exciting article piece to share with you. Today, it will feature the rising talented artist, Christian Bravo.
Bravo is an upcoming rapper and actor who is making power moves. Bravo was born and raised in Queens, New York. Bravo is very proud to represent Queens and prideful about his name.
“I use my last name as my artistic moniker,” Bravo says. “Not going to lie, I lucked out being born with this name. Good looks, mom and pops.“
Christian’s family is from Cali, Colombia. His father came to the United States in the mid-’80s, which is around the same time his mother’s family arrived.
“They met in Flushing Meadows, which was the center of my world growing up,” he said. “I was exposed to such a diverse array of cultures from birth. It has influenced my music immeasurably, and I will continue to pay homage to that.”
Picture was taken by photographer Novi Brown.
I’ve known Christian for almost five years. In Summer 2015, we met when we got cast in Shakespeare’s Othello. During our time in Othello, I instantly knew Christian’s knowledge about Hip Hop when we began to talk about the rapper AZ, one of the most underrated rappers/lyricists ever. We’re both fans of 90s hip hop. Since Othello, Christian has continued to grow with his music.
“My love for hip-hop is what ultimately led me here,” Bravo says. “For a while, acting was my main pursuit, but the music kept calling me in one form or another.”
Christian always have been exposed to music since his youth days and enjoys playing instruments such as congas.
“I played congas in my youth, and now that dream has been fully realized with our band (much love to my fam, the Boogie Down All-Stars),” Bravo says. “My father’s side of the family is very musically inclined, and he is an excellent percussionist. I was exposed to so much music growing up, but salsa and rap are the two forms that resonated with me the most,” he explained. “I decided to take rapping seriously about two years ago, and it’s already brought me to places and people that have become essential to me. Dropped a project in January called the “Samsara EP” all beats made two ridiculously gifted producers (Kyle & Sean, bless you all).”
Throughout his music career, Christian performed in several open mics and venues.
”I’ve done many open mics all around the city, and that was a critical part of my journey (shout out to NuBlaque),” Bravo says. “I’ve been part of showcases at Muchmore’s, Rubulad, and The Living Gallery Outpost; threw my show at the record store Cinderblock People in Harlem. With the Boogie Down All-Stars, I’ve had the privilege of performing at venues such as Soundview Park for Summerstage and El Museo Del Barrio.“
Christian’s material come from the decade of the 90s. Like I already mentioned, Christian is a big fan of that era.
“There’s no hiding that I’m a 90’s boom-bap at my core, and much of my material has reflected that,” Bravo says. “The past few months have been transformative ones for me, however, I’ve been blessed with the beats,” he continued. “The beats have pushed me to expand the variety of my flows and cadence. A very exciting feeling as I was already very confident in my abilities before. I can see the growth in my process, and I’m hype for the next round of projects I plan to release.”
Christian speaks about whatever is on his mind. His themes touch on serious topics such as oppression, justice, and the list goes on.
“Lately, my themes have centered on things like self-determination, fate, loss of autonomy, mental fortitude, the organization of the oppressed, justice, and the damage done to our planet. Highlighting incidents throughout history that have led us to where we are now,” Bravo explained.
Christian came out with a track called “Samsara.” Attached below, you can see the cover. He would go on to explain the meaning of his latest project.
“Samsara is the title track of my last project, and that song captures the essence of the whole EP,” Bravo says.
” Samsara is a central belief in Hinduism and Buddhism, where our existences are a never-ending cycle of life, death, and rebirth,” Bravo explained. “The circumstances of rebirth are determined by the actions of your past life (karma). Here are a few words regarding the concept of Samsara from Georgetown University Berkeley Center to help explain, “Believing in the illusion of separateness that persists throughout Samsara leads one to act in ways that generate karma and thus perpetuate the cycle of action and rebirth. By fully grasping the unity or oneness of all things, the believer has the potential to break the illusion upon.”
Christian goes into more depth that Samsara has played a role in his own life.
“About the track, I acknowledge the role Samsara has played in my own life and express my intentions to break free from it, to break the cycle,” Bravo expressed. “I feel I should mention that I’m a not practitioner of either religion, but that particular view has held some sway with me.”
Every hip hop artist have artists they looked up too or had a significant influence on them. When I asked Christian about which artists had an effect on him, he mentioned some of the greatest lyricist in hip hop history.
“There are quite a few, some of my biggest is A Tribe Called Quest (RIP Phife Dawg), Nas, Gangstarr (RIP Guru), Rakim, Big Pun, Black Thought, Talib Kweli and those are just of a few off the top of my head,” Bravo continued. “Common is up there too. I have also been influenced by some rappers younger than I am, Joey Bada$$ and Earl Sweatshirt in particular.”
When are we expecting another song or album from Bravo? Well, this is what he had to say.
“There will be a follow up to my last project coming over the summer, and that will wrap up the narrative I started with “Samsara EP,” Bravo says. “I’m also putting out a music video for a dope track called “Fools Gold” (shoutout Profesa FX and Sean Hawkins Jr., they are both featured) and that will be released Memorial Day Weekend. There are few other surprises in store too, gotta stay tuned for those though.”
Music has been massive for Christian. Although things are going great with music, he’s not losing his sight with acting. Christian is working on a couple of projects.
“I am currently in the series called “New York Minute” (created, directed, and written by the mastermind ILLA GHEE), and you can check that out on YouTube,” Bravo says. “The show has a devoted following that is constantly growing, and I’m grateful to have seen the rise from the beginning,” he explained. “Shoutout to ILLA and the whole cast ✊🏾 Checkout the IG for more: @nyminute_series.”
To check more of his music, hit the link down below:
Last night was the Season Finale of the 10-part documentary series of “The Last Dance.” This has been a great documentary series, and I enjoyed tuning in every Sunday night on ESPN. I’m going to discuss my thoughts about both episodes 9 and 10.
Episode Nine got off to a great start. I love that the filmmaker started the episode with the Bulls vs. Pacers. Reggie Miller said that he never feared Jordan like the rest of the league would. The man even got into a fight with Jordan in 1993. They were Central Division rivals. The 1998 Pacers don’t get talked about often. The Pacers came very close in dethroning the Bulls that year. Pacers had depth with Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Chris Mullin, the Davis boys, Jalen Rose, and Rik Smits. Jordan said in the documentary that the Pacers were his toughest matchup in the East outside of the Bad Boy Pistons. I’m glad that the documentary focused a lot on this series.
Game Four is the most memorable game of the series. After Scottie Pippen missed two free throws late in the game, Reggie Miller gave Jordan a push to create some space and let him hit a huge three-pointer. Jordan almost won the game for the Bulls, but the ball pinned out. Pacers won Game 4 to tie the series. In Game 7, Pacers played the Bulls very well until the mid-4th quarter when a jump ball shifted the momentum of the game. I feel that the Pacers were the better team in that series, but when you have championship pedigree and experience, you have an advantage over the other team. That’s what the Bulls had over the Pacers.
The saddest moment of this episode is Steve Kerr. I had no idea about Steve Kerr’s father being murdered. Watching this documentary, you can see that it still hurts Steve to talk about his father’s death. He even got emotional. Steve used basketball as his distraction. He didn’t think he would make it to the NBA. Look at him now. He’s got five championships as a player and found more success as a coach winning three titles with the Golden State Warriors.
This episode focused on the 1998 NBA Finals. For the second year in a row, the Utah Jazz faced the Chicago Bulls. Every game was a close and exciting game, except for Game 3. The Bulls annihilated the Jazz and held them to just 54 points. Every Bulls player had scored points. The only one that was missing was Bill Wennington. While being up by 40 points, with a couple of seconds left to go in the 4th quarter, Wennington scored a basket. I’m bringing this up because none of the Jazz players or coaches reacted. In today’s NBA, players and coaches would’ve complained or start a problem. It’s too soft and sensitive nowadays. During the Golden Era of the NBA, it was truly a MAN’S GAME.
The funniest part of this episode was Dennis Rodman. I found it so funny how the media chased Dennis Rodman. The media was trying to get a hold of Rodman. With the help from an assistant, Rodman was able to escape the press. I’ll never forget when Rodman appeared on WCW Monday Night Nitro. He brought so much attention to himself and the Bulls. Rodman would miss practice, but Phil Jackson knew that when he’s on the court, he gives it 100%. Dennis Rodman was all business on the basketball court.
As for the conclusion, Scottie Pippen proved so many people wrong who called him “soft” by what he contributed in Game 6 of the Finals. Scottie was hobbling throughout the whole game. His back pain was severe, but he gave everything he had. The Bulls used him as a decoy for the entire game. There wasn’t going to be another migraine headache situation. Pippen knew that his team needed him. He knew that this was the end of an era. He rose to the occasion. Bulls would clinch their 6th title in 8 years.
Jordan still feels anger that the Bulls couldn’t come back the following year for a 7th championship. Jordan said that all of them would’ve taken a 1-year deal to go back and repeat, but management got in the way of that. Overall, the Bulls represented everything that the 90s were—a team for the ages.
Twenty-two years ago today, Yankees pitcher David Wells pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins.
The 1998 Yankees were a special team. They destroyed opponents. Yankees were outscoring opponents that year by 309 runs. Yankees also won a major-league record 125 total games (114 in the regular season), en route to their 24th World Series title in franchise history.
The 1998 Yankees had many memorable moments like Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez debut and Shane Spencer’s September magic by hitting three grand slams. However, in my opinion, Wells’ perfect game is the most memorable moment of that season.
At that point, Don Larsen was the only Yankees pitcher ever to throw a perfect game, but that would soon change.
We’ve all heard the stories of what Wells was doing the night before his perfect game, but he took the mound unfazed.
Wells retired all 27 batters he faced. He struck out 11 batters. I can’t forget to mention that he got some help offensively and defensively. Bernie Williams hit the only homer in the game. Darryl Strawberry and Chad Curtis also had RBIs in the game. Defensively, the name that comes to my mind is Chuck Knoblauch.
At the top of the 8th inning, Knoblauch knocked down Twins’ Ron Coomer’s hard grounder and threw to first for the out to keep the perfect game alive.
Paul O’Neill caught the final out of the game. The perfect game is now a reality. Yankees won 4-0. Wells improved to 5-1. 1998 became his best season. He finished the season with a 18-4 record, named 1998 ALCS MVP, and earned his second championship.