Looking back: This week in sports history February 11-17


February 12, 1958: During just his second season in the NBA, legendary Celtic Bill Russell grabbed 41 rebounds in a game against Syracuse on February 12, 1958. Russell added another 18 points in the 119-101 win over the Nationals. The Hall of Fame center averaged 22.7 rebounds per game that season.

February 13, 1976: On February 13, 1976, American figure skater Dorothy Hamill won her first and only Olympic figure-skating gold during the games in Innsbruck, Austria, with 193.8 points. She scored three more points than silver medalist Dianne de Leeuw (An American with a Dutch citizenship who was competing for the Netherlands).

February 13, 1990: On Tuesday, February 13, 1990, Boston Celtic Larry Bird’s 71-consecutive free throw streak came to an end, just a few shy of a new record. Bird failed to connect on his fourth free throw attempt of the night. His streak lasted over 18 games. The veteran forward scored 38 points in the 107-94 win over the Houston Rockets, adding another 14 rebounds.

February 14, 1966: Wilt Chamberlain can score a lot. On February 14, 1966, while a member of the Philadelphia 76ers (his seventh season in the league) Chamberlain scored point number 20,844, a new record for the NBA. How many points did he score in his career? We’ll get to that later in this recap of the week in history.

February 14, 1995: On February 14, 1995, the Portland Trail Blazers finalized a trade with the Houston Rockets to send Clyde Drexler to Houston, along with Tracy Murray, for Otis Thorpe, the rights to Marcelo Nicola and a first round pick. He was in the midst of his 12th season in Portland. Drexler averaged 21.4 points in 35 games for Houston during the 1994-95 season, and won his first and only NBA title. He remained in Houston for the rest of his career (until the end of the 1997-98 season).

February 15, 1932: Winning one Olympic gold is a huge accomplishment. Could you imagine winning another 12 years later in a completely different sport? On February 15, 1932, Eddie Eagan and the US bobsled team won the gold medal at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. Twelve years earlier, Eagan won a gold medal in boxing during the summer Olympics in Antwerp. He is the only person in history to win a gold medal at both the Summer and Winter Games.

February 15, 1996: New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has five Super Bowl rings. But Belichick wasn’t always the successful coach he is today. Back on February 15, 1996, Belichick was fired by the Cleveland Browns after five seasons, finishing with an overall record of 36-44. Five years later he was hired as the head coach of the Pats, and the rest, as they say, is history.

February 16, 1972: Remember we mentioned Wilt Chamberlain’s scoring? Six years after he set a new scoring record in the NBA, Chamberlain reached the 30,000 career point mark, the first player to ever reach 30k. At that point, no other player had even reached 25,000 points. The milestone point came during the third quarter of a game against the Phoenix Suns. With 2:09 left in the third, Chamberlain scored on a goaltending call. The clock was then stopped, Wilt was given the ball and received a standing ovation from the Phoenix crowd. He scored 31,419 throughout his career, and is still fifth on the all-time point scorer list.

February 16, 1992: On February 16, 1992, Magic Johnson’s #32 Lakers jersey was retired by the franchise, just a year after he retired due to illness. Of course as we all know, Magic returned to the hardwood several years later, and was even allowed to wear his old number.

February 16, 2013: On February 16, 2013, the great Leo Messi scored his 300th goal for Barcelona, during his 365th consecutive appearance for the club. The 25-year-old at the time had scored 205 goals in La Liga, 56 in the Champions League, 24 in the Cup, ten goals in the Spanish Super Cup, four goals in the Club World Cup and another goal in the European Super Cup.

February 17, 1998: Women’s ice hockey was played at the Winter Olympics for the first time in 1998. Which makes the US women’s gold medal win over Canada on February 17, 1998 all the sweeter. The women won 3-1 with two goals scored in the final period.

Notable birthdays

February 11, 1972 American surfer Kelly Slater was born in Cocoa Beach, FL
February 12, 1934 Legendary NBA star and longtime Celtic Bill Russell, was born in West Monroe, LA
February 13, 1947 Duke basketball and Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, was born in Chicago, IL
February 13, 1977 Recently elected Hall of Fame football player Randy Moss was born in Rand, WV
February 14, 1960 Former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, PA
February 14, 1988 Argentine footballer Ángel Di María was born in Rosario, Argentina
February 15, 1964 Former NBA player and basketball coach Mark Price was born in Bartlesville, OK
February 16, 1959 Tennis legend John McEnroe was born in Wiesbaden, West Germany
February 17, 1936 Legendary NFL fullback Jim Brown was born in St. Simons, GA
February 17, 1963 NBA legend and arguably the GOAT Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn, NY

We bid farewell to…

February 12, 2000 Longtime head coach of the Dallas Cowboys Tom Landry passed away from Leukemia, he was 75 years old
February 17, 1959 The co-founder of the New York Giants, Tim Mara passed away