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Vintage Video: Remembering the Greatness of Kobe Bryant 0

Posted on February 05, 2020 by Dean Hybl

While the shock over the tragic death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and seven others has started to wear off, the tributes to his basketball greatness will continue for a while, especially with the NBA All-Star game coming up soon and the Olympics later this year.

As most sports fan knows, Kobe’s legacy is a complicated one and it is okay to remember and recognize both his great strengths and his flaws.

However, given that Sports Then and Now is a site that celebrates sports history, we wanted to remember the basketball greatness of Kobe through our Vintage Video segment.

Below are some highlights from Kobe’s exceptional NBA career.

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Bob Cousy: The Houdini of the Hardwood 1

Posted on January 31, 2020 by Dean Hybl
Bob Cousy

As we reach the halfway point of the NBA season, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month the first in a long line of superstars to play for the Boston Celtics.

Before there was Bill Russell and Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics were powered by a 6-foot-1 inch guard from Holy Cross. Bob Cousy was the on-the-court leader for the Celtics in the era during which they emerged as a basketball power.

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Proof That Defense Matters In The NBA 0

Posted on January 25, 2020 by Dan Karpuc

As of Thursday night, the eight teams that lead the NBA in Defensive Rating have a combined 245-111 (.688 winning percentage). The bottom eight teams in that metric have a combined 120-235 (.358 winning percentage). Every bottom-eight team has a sub-.500 record and just one team (Orlando Magic: 21-24) has a sub-.500 mark from the top-eight group. Therefore, even in today’s offensive-oriented, perimeter-centric NBA, defense matters… a lot.

The top-eight teams (Milwaukee Bucks, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Magic and Utah Jazz) share some of the most crucial components of a sound defense. It is no surprise that the people who give out NBA expert picks are making a killing betting these teams this season. All of these teams do a great job with limiting high-percentage shots in the paint, creating turnovers, box out and grab boards and, in turn, limit opposing second-chance points. In many ways, their defensive prowess sets the tone for their offense. Creating turnovers often times leads to fast-break opportunities and high-percentage shots around the rim or wide-open looks on the perimeter. Repeatedly getting stops leads on defense also leads to some impressive scoring runs on the other end of the floor, where the offense can feed off of the momentum. 

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NBA – Our Favorites for the MVP 2020 Title 2

Posted on December 11, 2019 by Sarah Whitman

With the 2019/20 NBA season well underway, it is time to focus on one of the most debated topics each season: the Most Valuable Player trophy. While the NBA awards several trophies every year, none is as fiercely contested and coveted as the MVP. So, let’s take a look at its history and how it all works, and more importantly, at our 2019/20 favorites.  

Whats the MVP trophy?

The MVP trophy has existed since 1956 and the coronation of Bob Pettit, then a leading player for the Saint-Louis Hawks. It rewards the player who, both individually and collectively, has achieved the most solid season. Rewarded each year, it has allowed many players to build their respective legends. 

Thus, Kareem-Abdul Jabbar (formerly Lewis Alcindor) was appointed MVP six times during his extensive career. That is the record. A record that, let’s be sure, is not about to be equaled. Behind Jabbar are Bill Russell and Michael Jordan, who have each lifted the Maurice Podoloff trophy five times. Finally, there are Wilt Chamberlain and LeBron James, with four titles. 

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Are the Lakers the Western Conference Favorites? 0

Posted on November 21, 2019 by Dean Hybl

With the NBA season nearly a month old it seems safe to say that after nearly a decade of struggles the Los Angeles Lakers are back on top of the NBA and the Western Conference. Of course, adding Anthony Davis to a squad that already included one of the all-time greats in LeBron James certainly helped hasten their rebuilding.

Currently 17-3, the Lakers are clearly among the betting favorites and you can get your list of all betting offers to back them up. Other betting sites are anticipating the Lakers to win the playoffs at 3/1 in average, meaning stakes are high. You could use this fact to your early advantage and place a bet now on the LA Lakers.

In many ways, the start of this season is a reminder of how quickly things can change in professional sports.

After being the dominant team in the NBA over the last five years, the Golden State Warriors have been devastated by injury and are off to a league worst 4-18 start. With Klay Thompson likely out for the season and Stephen Curry expected to be sidelined for at least three months with a broken hand, their chances of returning to the playoffs is very doubtful and bookies are giving them odds as low as -450.

In a complete contrast, the Lakers were 37-45 last year and haven’t made the playoffs since the 2012-2013 season. However, their off-season acquisition of Davis has paid immediate dividends.

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How Fashion Has Taken Over the NBA 1

Posted on February 04, 2019 by Martin Banks

Perhaps no sport is more associated with fashion than the NBA. The competition among players to dress the best is fierce, and it’s become a big part of the news cycle surrounding the league.

Players receive a lot of chances to flaunt their fashion choices. The most notable is the pre-game walk through the tunnel. Traveling to and from games, press conferences and other events provide opportunities as well.

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Over the last few decades though, the story of the NBA and fashion has moved beyond just pre-game and press conference outfits. Players such as Russell Westbrook and James Harden make regular appearances at world-famous fashion shows and on the covers of style magazines. Many players also have their own fashion lines and brand collaborations. Westbrook even wrote a book, titled Style Drivers, about his relationship with fashion.

In 2017, the NBA officially recognized the importance of fashion for the league by introducing the NBA Style Award, which the league gave out alongside awards for most valuable player and rookie of the year. Westbrook took home first place, followed by Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert and Chicago’s Dwyane Wade. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Stan Jones – Weight Training Trailblazer
      October 11, 2020 | 1:48 pm
      Stan Jones

      The Sports Then and Now Athlete of the Month was one of the great linemen of his era and is considered a trailblazer for using weight training and conditioning to develop his skills.

      After a standout career at the University of Maryland, Stan Jones spent nine seasons as an offensive lineman for the Chicago Bears, making seven Pro Bowl appearances and earning first team All-Pro three times.

      In 1962, assistant coach George Allen suggested Jones move to defense to help solidify that unit for the Bears. He played both ways in 1962 and then in 1963 moved permanently to the defense.

      Read more »

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