Sports have an extremely rich and diverse history in the United States. Throughout time, sports have had the unique ability to instill distinctive memories in people that last a lifetime. With the sports calendar as it is today, it is almost impossible to keep track of all of the various occasions and moments that happen throughout the major sports on a daily basis. Some facts and events often become lost to the mind, fading away with time or blocked by more recent eccentricities. There have been many recent and interesting sport facts that people seem to forget, which may one day prove useful in future sports trivia games or arguments over a couple of beers.
10. Stephen Curry was also born in Akron, Ohio
Many people know of Akron, Ohio because of LeBron James and his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. What many people seem to often forget is that an additional big NBA superstar has made his claim to fame on the streets of Akron. The Golden State Warriors dynamic playmaker Stephen Curry is another player who is seeking to bring a title to his hometown.
For Steph, family and faith come before almost everything in life. The reason he was born in Cleveland was because of his mother’s request to live closer to her husband. Stephen Curry was born in a Cleveland hospital because, at the time, his father Dell Curry was playing for the Cavaliers. In sheer coincidence, Curry was in fact born in the same exact hospital and on the same exact floor as LeBron James, only 39 months apart. Time will tell who can bring a championship to Akron first. For now, I would be thinking about patrolling the floors of that Akron hospital searching for the NBA’s next top talent.
9. Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning went Undrafted
You may know Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lightning as a hard-working, gritty scorer who burst onto the scene in 2014 and made his first all-star appearance a year later. Many do not know however that Tyler Johnson went completely undrafted in the NHL Draft. Going undrafted in the NHL is a lot harder than it is for top talent of the NBA, where there are only 60 players selected. The NHL doesn’t miss many all-star caliber players in their draft as players are picked before and during their playing careers oversees, professionally, or in the college game. His journey from the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL to the AHL and then finally NHL was long and winding, but it looks like Tyler is gliding to success.
Tyler Johnson may turn out to be one of the greatest undrafted players in the NHL. He amassed 50 points in his first full season with the Lightning in 2013-2014, and last year put up 72 points on the way to his first All-Star Game. This year, Tyler put up 38 points in an injury-plagued year, but make no mistake that his contribution is what helped lead his team to the playoffs. Johnson may very well have played himself into the international game as well with some key points in the 2014 IIHF World Championship, opening a chance for Tyler to lead the Team USA roster at the World Cup this September. The only groups of people who do not wish to see Tyler Johnson succeed are probably the General Managers and Coaches who passed on him in the NHL Draft.
8. Toronto Blue Jays traded Travis D’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard for R.A. Dickey in 2012
In what may go down as one of the worst trades in Blue Jays history, the Toronto Blue Jays in December of 2012 traded Noah Syndergaard along with John Buck, Travis D’Arnaud, and Wuilmer Becerra to the New York Mets for R.A. Dickey, Mike Nickeas, and Josh Thole. At the time, Toronto thought they won the deal because it helped booster their rotation to go along with a great lineup of hitters. The only problem was the almost historic demise of R.A. Dickey along with the meteoric rise of Noah Syndergaard into a potential Cy Young Winner. Noah has pitched lights out over much of the last two seasons, bolstering a Mets starting rotation that many say is the best in the major leagues these days. Along with the fact that Travis D’Arnaud has turned into a respectable catcher behind the plate, fans of the Jays were left wondering what could have been. Many publications consistently rank the trade as one of the worst moves of Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos’ career.
7. Shaq Played for 4 Different Teams after Leaving the Lakers in 2004
Everyone remembers the glory days of Shaquille O’Neil’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers. Shaquille and Kobe Bryant teamed up for eight tremendous years, capped off with three NBA Championships. However, turmoil between Bryant and Shaq came to a tipping point in his final 2004 season with the team. Shaquille eventually parted ways with Kobe as the two decided that separating would be easier than overcoming their differences. Most people remember Shaquille taking his talents to Miami to team up with Dwayne Wade, where Shaq showed Kobe that he could indeed win a championship without him in 2006.
However, most people forget that Shaquille O’Neil had an extended career even beyond Miami. Shaq went on to play for three more teams, the Phoenix Suns, the Cleveland Cavaliers (who had a young LeBron James at the time), and finally the Boston Celtics. He hoped to bring a ring to LeBron in Cleveland, and after significantly hurting his thumb, he shipped up to Boston to ride into the sunset. Make no mistake about it, Shaq was a relic of his former self with these teams and ended up playing limited minutes. However, for a sure fire first-ballot hall of fame player, it is interesting to note the way in which Shaq finished up his career. Who know what could have happened in Cleveland had Shaq stayed healthy and could help out LeBron down low in the paint.
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