Top 10 Sporting Moments in 2020
10. Lavar Ball Correctly Predicts that ALL three sons will play professional basketball
Lavar Ball made headlines back in 2017 when his eldest son, Lonzo Ball was the No.2 pick in the NBA draft.. He went toe to toe many heavyweights in sports media including Charles Barkley. Many called him out for creating his own lane and pulling his youngest sons out of high school and playing professional basketball.Some even called out his parenting but Lavar got the last laugh. He created his own league called the Junior Basketball Association, which was an alternative to the NCAA to allow kids to become professionals straight out of highschool. And in 2020, he made history! Having two sons go in the Top 3 in the NBA draft with LaMelo and Lonzo. His middle son went a different route and played in the G-league, He signed a contract with the Detroit Pistons in December 2020 but was released 11 days later before even playing a game.
9. The Washington Redskins FINALLY changed their name
With the protest happening in wake of the George Floyd murder, A LOT of change happended around the world. Sports league saw some of the greatest changes including right in the nation’s capital of Washington DC. Since the team arrived in 1937, they have held the name Redskins and many have been calling for the name change for YEARS, Not only with the name but the imagery of Native Americans as the logo as well. Owner Dan Synder's hand was forced when sponsors started to pull out of support of the team. They are now called the Washington Football Team temporarily
8. Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl for the 1st time in 50 years
Patrick Mahomes became a household name in the NFL after carrying his team to the Super Bowl after an epic comeback. Mahomes was the NFL MVP last year and the Super Bowl MVP, joining Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger as the only quarterbacks to win the MVP, The Chiefs were the comeback kids during the NFL playoffs after being down by 10 points or more points in the last three games making NFL history as the only time to do so.
7. NBA teams boycott games after the shooting of Jacob Blake
In August, Jacob Blake was shot by the Kenosha police department just months after George Floyd was murdered. The NBA had games scheduled and when news broke of Blake’s shooting, the Milwaukee Bucks decided to boycott which created a domino effect for other teams in the NBA and other professional leagues as well. Inside the NBA analyst Kenny Smith walked off set on live TV standing in solidarity with the players as a former player and NBA champion himself.
6. The Lakers win the 2020 NBA championship
COVID-19 changed the way sports will be played for a very long time and the NBA laid the blueprint. When NBA commissioner Adam Silver shut down play in March and worked up a way for play to return. In July, teams returned to play in Orlando, Florida in the bubble. Only essential personnel were able to travel with teams and they were not able to leave the bubble unless it was an emergency. The Lakers were slated to win the championship prior to the shutdown and they did not disappoint in the bubble. There was a lot riding on this championship and was a bittersweet moment after the death of Kobe Bryant in January.
5. Culture Shift, Big Time Athletes leave PWIs to head to HBCUs
Protesting and the call for justice in America shifted this country especially in sports; More athletes began to voice their opinions and show more support for Black community. Many players decided to de-commit from their PWIs and head to HBCUs which is groundbreaking because more HBCUs will be at the forefront for major sporting events. Highly recruited high school athletes such as Mikey Williams announced that 5 HBCUs were in his top 10 for colleges. Deion Sanders is the head coach for Jackson State and his son. Shedeur, also a top recruit, decided to follow him there as well.
4. LeBron James passed Kobe Bryant on the NBA’s All Time Scoring List
Throughout LeBron James 18 year career has always spoken very highly of Kobe Bryant and how he has influenced his career. Bryant and James have played together on Olympic Teams and have grown to have a great relationship over the years. On January 25th, 2020, James passed Bryant and became third on the NBA’s All Time scoring after making a layup giving him 33,644 points. Bryant finished his career with 33,643.
3. Nate Robinson KO’ed by boxer Jake Paul
Nate Robinson has made history in the NBA as being one of the shortest players ever to win the dunk contest. The man has even dunk on Yao Ming who is 7ft 6in, Out of highschool similar to LeBron James and Allen Iverson, he was also heavily recruited to play football as well. Robinson is an athlete and has confidence like none other, When he announced that he was going up against Jake Paul, many were routing for him. Paul has been boxing for three years but had his start on Disney Channel and became a big YouTube star. And with the antics leading up to the fight, he was highly anticipated. Robinson was knocked out in the second round! He didn’t stand a chance against Paul. It was evident Paul had the experience and was very well trained. Maybe, next time Nate!
2. Tom Brady takes his talents to Tampa Bay
Tom Brady has been the face of the Patriots for 20 years, playing in nine SuperBowls and winning six of them, both of which are the most of any NFL player. He also has won a record four Super Bowl MVP awards as well as three NFL MVP awards. Many credit him as the greatest Quarterback of All-Time. After the 2019-2020 NFL season, Brady became a free agent and many thought his time was up in New England. It was one of the biggest free agencies in sports history and the Patriots tried everything humanly possible to get their golden child to stay but it wasn’t enough. On March 20, 2020, Brady announced he was heading Tampa Bay and even brought out his former tight end Rob Gronkowksi out of retirement to come with him. The Patriots missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years. The Buccaneers on the other hand, ended a 13 year playoff drought.
1. Kobe and Gianna Bryant untimely death
January 25th, 2020, Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gigi were in Philadelphia to watch LeBron James pass him on the NBA All Time scoring list. Everyone was giving Kobe so much love on the historic night. Then the next day, the world stopped. News broke that Kobe was killed in a helicopter crash. Then news broke that his daughter Gigi was with them. Many different stories went around surrounding the crash. Some reports were saying his whole family was with him and some said Rick Fox was on the helicopter. Later on in the day, the manifest was released. Kobe Bryant, Gigi Bryant, John Altobeli, Keri Altobeli, Alyssa Altobeli, Christina Mausser, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester and Ara Zobayan. Bryant was traveling to his gym, The Mamba Facility. The Altobeli family, Chester, and Mrs Mausserwere all a part of his team he coached.