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Sports Then and Now



“The Decision” Is Not the Only Reason for the NBA’s Success 21

Posted on July 08, 2011 by A.J. Foss

The Miami Heat were must-see TV this year, but there were many other teams that NBA fans tuned in to watch.

It has now been one year since “The Decision”, the infamous one-hour show on ESPN where LeBron James announced that he would be “taking my talents to South Beach” to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami to play for the Heat.

According to some members of the media, it was this one hour that was the sole reason for the NBA to have their best season since Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the late 1990s.

But in my opinion, the league had been gaining momentum in the previous few years prior to “The Decision”.

The NBA’s resurgence really began during the 2007-08 season when the league’s two most legendary franchises, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers, returned to championship prominence and ended up meeting in the Finals.

Ratings for that year’s playoffs and NBA Finals increased significantly from the year before where ratings for the NBA Finals reached an all-time low when the San Antonio Spurs swept the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Celtics and the Lakers have remained title contenders in the three seasons after their meeting in the 2008 Finals as Los Angeles would go on to win the next two NBA championships, including a seven-game series win over the Celtics in 2010. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
      Tony Oliva

      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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