Legends Blog

11 Things You Didn't Know About Wilt Chamberlain February 11 2016, 3 Comments

Wilt Chamberlain's accomplishments are widely known, from his 100 points in a game, 25,000 woman or never fouling out of a basketball game. Here are some facts you might not have known about the dipper.

1. Wilt didn't sleep the night before he scored 100.

Chamberlain spent the night before the game in New York, partying all night with a woman. Eventually he dropped her off at 6 am the next morning. With no sleep and a hangover, he boarded the train to Philadelphia at 8 AM. Then he met several friends at the Philadelphia train station and had lunch with them. After Lunch he boarded the team bus to Hershey. He arrived several hours before the game and played an arcade shooting game in the area before tip off.

Wilt Chamberlain & Arnold

2. He was Great friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Wilt and Arnold stared on the movie Conan the Destroyer together. The two quickly became friends. Schwarzenegger once remarked that "Wilt was the strongest Human being I have ever seen". He goes on to explain how he would lift up Arnold and Andre the Giant with one hand. Chamberlain and Arnold also had several different encounters in the weight room. "He would a tricep extesion, the biggest strongest guys would do 120 and he would come and do 150, 170 pounds."

Kansas Track Champion

3. Wilt was big 8 high jump and shot put champion in college.

Legend has it that Wilt went up to the University of Kansas track coach and asked if he could compete. The coach argued that without any practice their was no way he could be competitive. Wilt disagreed, he then proceeded to perform the high jump. In which he out jumped all of Kansas current high jumpers. In the big 8 conference Chamberlain dominated, he ran the 100 yard dash in 10.9 seconds, shot-putted 56 feet and triple jumped more than 50 feet. In the end he was able to win the Big 8 track and field championships three straight years.

Wilt Chamberlain Harlem Globetrotters

4. Wilt skipped his Senior season at Kansas choosing instead to play with the famed Harlem Globetrotters. 

Instead of facing triple teams his senior season in college, Wilt signed a one year contract with the Harlem Globetrotters. He then wrote and sold a story titled "Why I'm forgoing my senior year of basketball" to Look magazine for 10,000 dollars (most NBA players made 9,000 at the time). So Chamberlain spent the season touring the world with the likes of Medowlark Lemon and other Globetrotters Legends. Wilt credits the Globetrotters for advancing his basketball growth helping him to improve his overall ball handling skills. He believed that playing w the Globetrotters had a positive impact on his abilities on and off the court.

5. Wilt spent his High School summers at Kutshers resort.

In its heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s, you could go to Kutsher’s resort and see Muhammad Ali training for a fight, Mickey Mantle playing golf and a teenage Wilt Chamberlain playing basketball.

Red Auerbach the coach of the Boston Celtics spotted the talented teenager at Kutsher's and had him play 1-on-1 against Kansas University star and MVP of the 1953 NCAA Finals, BH Born. Chamberlain won 25-10; Born was so dejected that he gave up a promising NBA future and became a tractor engineer ("If there were high school kids that good, I figured I wasn't going to make it to the pros"). Auerbach wanted Chamberlain to go to a New England university, so he could draft him as a territorial pick for the Celtics, but Chamberlain didn't agree. Still Auerbach was a great mentor to Chamberlain at Kutshers during the summer. Putting him through countless basketball drills and explaining the ins and outs of life. At Kutshers Wilt used his unique height as a bellhop to hand the suitcase and luggage from guests directly to the second story of the hotel, making it easier for other Bell boys to transfer for more click here. - Wilt Chamberlain: Borscht Belt Bellhop

Wilt Chamberlain Volleyball

6. After Retirement Wilt got heavily into Volleyball

After his basketball career, volleyball became Chamberlain's new passion. He became board member of the newly founded International Volleyball Association in 1974 and became its president one year later. The following year the IVA All-Star game was televised only because Chamberlain played in it. He rose to the challenge and was named the game's MVP. He played occasional matches for the IVA Seattle Smashers before the league folded in 1979. Chamberlain promoted the sport so effectively that he was named to the Volleyball Hall of Fame, he became one of the few athletes who were enshrined in different sports. Here is a clip of Wilt playing volleyball. 

Big Wilt Smalls Nightclub

7. Wilt owned a famous nightclub in NY during the 60s and 70s

Located in the basement of 2294 Seventh Avenue near 135th Street in Harlem, New York City. Renamed Big Wilts Smalls Paradise, after Chamberlain purchased the club. The spot in Harlem was frequented by the elite during the 60s and 70s. Stars like Bumpy Johnson, Sammy Davis Jr., Malcom X, Frank Lucas, Nicky Barnes, Willie Mays, Sonny Liston Langston Hughes, Muhammad Ali were all known to hang around Smalls Paradise. The club featured dancing waiters and waiters on roller skates. It also had a reputation of closing well into the AM. Often times the day would end with Breakfast dances at 8 am. Legend has it that it featured the only working air-conditioning in Harlem. Living in New York during his playing days, Wilt was a regular at Big Small's. The club was finally closed in 1986.

Wilt Chamberlain Track Club

8. Starting in the 1970s, he formed Wilt's Athletic Club,

Wilt Chamberlain started his own Track Club in the 1970s. The team featured several prominent track athletes. They had both men and women teams that competed nationally. The club helped many of them train to compete in the Olympics. The club was located in Los Angeles and was ran by UCLA assistant coach Bob Kersee. Some of the prominent members were Florence Griffith, Greg Foster, Andrew Phillips, Alice Brown and Jeanette Bolden. At its peak the club featured more than 100 athletes. Chamberlain even thought about a return to competition. Claiming that he had never been beat in shot put and only been beaten in high jump by Olympic Gold Medalist Charles Dumas.

9. Wilt played against a bevy of hall of fame big men.

One myth surrounding Chamberlain was that he played against no height, that is far from the truth. The average center in Wilt's prime was taller and heavier than they are now. Back then their was far more talent inside. During his career he played Hall of Fame Centers Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Willis Reed, Nate Thurmond, Artis Gilmore, Bob Lainer, Walt Bellamy, Wes Unseld and Dave Cowens.

10. Wilt dominated basketball in his 40's and 50's against the NBA's best in famed UCLA open runs.

On a early summer day in the 1980s Chamberlain decided to play some pick up basketball at UCLA. In his mid-forties, he was able to humble rookie Magic Johnson in practice. the story goes Magic made a game ending foul call that angered Wilt greatly. Hall of fame coach Larry Brown retells the rest "Magic Johnson used to run the games and he called a couple of chintzy fouls and a goal tending on Wilt," Brown said. "So Wilt said, 'There will be no more layups in this gym,' and he blocked every shot after that. That's the truth, I saw it. He didn't let one [of Johnson's] shots get to the rim."

Chamberlain's late age dominance is well documented. In the 1980 season Cleveland offered Chamberlain a contract and at age 50 New Jersey offered him a contract, but he again declined.

11. Wilt Chamberlain almost boxed Muhammad Ali

During his time with the Lakers, Wilt got into a negotiation with Muhammad Ali. Both were interested in a fight due to its huge financial potential. The Chamberlain-Ali fight would have had an unbelievable draw, Chamberlain was offered more money than he had ever made as a basketball player. Ali's trainer was skeptical of the fight mainly because of Chamberlain's size and reach. At the time he stood 7’1, tipping the scales at 275 pounds. Wilt's greatest dream was to fight for the Heavyweight Championship of the world. So he signed a contract to fight Ali on July 26, 1971 in the Houston Astrodome. Famous trainer D"amato was fascinated by Wilt’s athletic gifts and offered to train him for the fight. Soon after Ali lost to Joe Frazier and their was no championship for Wilt to fight for. Plans started to fall through.

Wilt's best friend Sonny hill even has his doubts "I'm not sure that even a great athlete like Wilt, with limited training as a boxer, could have gone into such a bout and been competitive with someone like Muhammad Ali who undoubtedly is one of the greatest fighters of all time." Chamberlain commented "From the time I entered sports, guys tried to get me to become a fighter". He continued "Ask any boxing manager, if they had to pick an athlete from another sport to develop who they would choose, and they'll say a basketball player. That's because of some very basic things basketball players have - size, speed, quickness and hand eye coordination. And I always thought that if I had to fight somebody, it would be Ali for two reasons. "First, he was the greatest of his era. And two, he was a kind person.

While many see the fight as a gimmick there were few that questioned Chamberlains athletic prowess. It seemed as though he was successful with just about anything he chose to do athletically. While his ability is world class we are not under the impression that Wilt would have stood a chance against Ali. You can find their press conference here.

Best Vintage Sports T- Shirts of All Time November 19 2015, 2 Comments

 

Grateful Dead Lithuania Tie Die Shirt

1) Tie Die Lithuania

The Grateful Dead sponsored the Lithuania national team in the 1992 Olympics. They rocked these on their way to the bronze metal. They were perfect shirts for Lithuania at the time, the country was  undergoing political changes that allowed for new freedoms and liberties not previously granted. The team wore the shirts religiously at the 92 games, making them a fan favorite. Soon after, the shirt would become one of the best selling t-shirts of all time. The tie die colors represented the new found freedom their country has gained. The front graphic shows a skeleton in a Lithuania jersey dunking a basketball.


 



Ken Griffey Jr and Ken Griffey Sr

2) The Griffeys

Baseballs first family could not be a more accurate description for the father and son duo of Ken Griffey Junior and Senior. This is one of many shirts celebrating the pair, although it is our favorite. The shirt came out in the late 80s and illustrates the Griffey's at a presidential desk with both an American flag and a Mariners flag.



Jordan Playground Shirt

3) Jordan Playground

On looks alone its easy to see why the shirt had so much popularity. The classic picture of Jordan was shot at a Chicago playground. The t shirt has had a cult following since. Easily going for over 100 dollars on Ebay. The shirt itself help to popularize the idea of printing an entire image on the front of a t-shirt.



Mean Joe Green Shirt

4) Mean Joe Green

The Infamous Mean Joe Green of the Pittsburgh Steelers. While it may not have the prestige of his famous Pepsi commercial, the shirt has plenty of Mean Joe spirit. Featuring his 4 rings from the 1970, this was easily one of the coolest NFL shirts of all time.



Pearl Jam - Mookie Blaylock
5) Mookie Blaylock Pearl Jam
For a considerable amount of time, the band Pearl Jam was known under the name "Mookie Blaylock". That's right the swift point guard from the Nets and the Hawks. Corporate powers prevented the name Mookie Blaylock from ever seeing the light of day. So instead the band switched their name to Pearl Jam. This shirt celebrates celebrates the bands original name.

Nike Bol Ball



6) Nike Bol Ball

The late great Manute Bol and Nike teamed up for a awesome shirt. At the time Manute was a member of the Washington Bullets. The shirt features Bol in his Washington Uniform with print below that reads "Bol Ball".

Dallas Cowboys World Champs 1994 Shirt



7) Dallas Cowboys World Champs

These caricature type shirts were very popular in the 80's and 90's. This shirt celebrates Dallas and their championship in 1994. Shirt features Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith, Ken Norton Jr, Charles Haley and Jay Novacek.

The Fridge Shirt



 8) The Fridge

The Fridge was a colorful figure both on and off the field for the iconic Chicago Bears teams of the 1980s. Perhaps no big man in NFL history was as popular as the Fridge during the 80s. Shirt features an illustration of the Fridge running the ball along with his autograph and "The Fridge" printed below.



The Bash Brothers Shirt

9) Bash Brothers

The iconic Oakland Bash Brothers from the late 80s and early 90s. The nickname was truly fitting of their powerful long ball style. This Oakland team was also known for their habitual steroid use, making them a fan favorite. Shirt features McGwire, Canseco, Dave Parker and Don Baylor. The group is illustrated on the shirt performing the legendary bash bros hand shake.



I Hate Danny Ainge Shirt

10) Danny Ainge Shirt

The story goes Ainge spotted a group of Pistons fans wearing" I hate Danny Ainge" shirts before the 1986 playoffs. Ainge went up to the group and asked if he could haave one of them to wear. He then proceeded to wear the shirt through warm ups.



Bo Jackson Nike Shirt

11) Bo Jackson Knows

Nike's classic Bo Jackson campaign. Bo was the do everything athlete Nike put behind their cross trainer series. The front graphic features an intense Bo Jackson with his entire face covering the shirt. One of the first shirts featuring a big face.



93 Bulls Shirt

12) Bulls 93 champs

During the 90s every kid on the block had a Bulls championship shirt. There are probably over 500 different Bulls championship shirts made in the 90s. This is our favorite, featuring comic book like illustrations. This shirt celebrates the 1993 championship, all members of the team are present.



Brian Bosworth NCAA Shirt

13) Bosworth NCAA

Ahead of its time in terms of relevance and popular opinion. The great showman Brian Bosworth was punished during his senior season by the NCAA. Bosworth's response was classic, as he sported a shirt that read "N-C-A-A National Communisit Against Athletes". At the time the shirt caused national outrage, quickly cementing Bosworth as a villain in the sports community.



Magic Johnson Back to Back Shirt

14) Back 2 Back World Champs Magic

When the Lakers won the 1988 NBA Championship, these shirts were printed up for Magic Johnson. Magic is pictured above wearing the shirt during their championship celebration. He even wore it during his TV interview during the celebration. The TV cameo gave the shirt instant popularity in the 80s, quickly selling out at local retailers.



Mike Ditka Chicago Shirt

15) Ditka

The supreme coach Mike Ditka is celebrated here. Ditka's name is illustrated in Classic Bears font and lines. A simple yet effective celebration of Mike Ditka.



Hulk Hogan WWF Champ Shirt

16) Hulk Hogan

An American folk hero Hulk Hogan reigned supreme during the 80s. He was wrestling's Golden boy with his trademark hot dog skin and silkened hair. Hulk dominated the WWF for years and is illustrated raising his championship belt.



Pete Rose Shirt

17) Pete Rose Charlie Hustle

Shirt celebrates Rose's Historic national league record in baseball. Charlie Hustle was an iconic athlete in his time, his popularity only seem to get higher as Rose was caught for betting.

Detroit Bad Boys Shirt



18) Bad Boys Original

The Bad Boys was a concept thought up in 1987 by the fans and sports writers of the Detroit Pistons. This design became the Bad Boys trademark design. Rick Mahorn and Bill Lambeer even put out a limited edition poster as part of this whole bad boys promotion. This shirt is still rather popular among NBA fans.



76ers 1983 Championship Shirt

19) 83 Sixers Championship

In a classic interview, a 76ers fan with the shirt on uttered the phrase "Big Mo, Little Mo, The Doctor, Andrew Toney, Iavaroni, No Bologna, Sixers all the way." See that video here. An iconic shirt during the NBA Finals and for decades after. A Philadelphia fan favorite.



Stan "The Man' Musial Shirt

20) Stan the Man

 Stan "The Man" Musial was one of the coolest athletes of his time. During his playing years he was only seldom seen because of his slim media coverage nationally. Shirt features old fashion type and a caricature drawing of Stan.

 


Larry's Birds Best Trash Talk October 27 2015, 3 Comments

Larry Bird Trash Talk
Victim: Portland Trailblazers
The Celtics were at the end of a long west coast road trip. The trip had been a huge success as Boston won six games in a row. Bill Walton tells the rest “He had accomplished every goal, we hadn’t lost a game on the trip and Larry told all of us players and the media too, we were all standing around waiting to leave, he said “Tomorrow night’s the last game of the trip, I’m going to play this one left-handed, at least through three quarters”. “At the end of three quarters, the next night in Portland against poor Jerome Kersey, he had 27 points. It was a remarkable performance.” Bird finished with 47 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out 11 assists (21-34 FG). For good measure, he hit the game tying shot to send the game to OT, and then made the game winning shot.

Victim: Doctor J
The infamous fight between Larry Bird and Dr J, supposedly started because of Bird continually repeating a single phrase repeatedly. The phrase? ’42-6′ or the number of points each had scored during an easy Boston victory. During the game, Bird had continuously informed Erving of their tallies with every chance he got to score. Eventually a shoving match ensued, before turning into a full on brawl. Bird denies this claim in his book, insisting it was ML Carr saying it from the bench.



Victim: Ben Poquette
The legend goes Poquette a forward for Chicago was matched up on Bird during a 1984 game. Bird took this is a personal insult, he laughed at Chicago’s coach Doug Collins and remarked “Ben Poquette? Are you fucking kidding me?” Bird had 33 at the half. And ended the game with 41 points.



Victim: Kent Benson
As a college freshman Larry Bird had a brief stint at Indiana University but he left due to Kent Benson’s (IU starting center) bullying. When the Celtics went up against Kent Benson in 1985 Bird got his revenge. Kent Benson was assigned to guard Kevin McHale. Bird went on to feed McHale over and over. Needless to say McHale finished with 56, a Celtic Record at the time. Kent Benson was embarrassed once again on his way to a mediocre career. “He should have gone for 60” Bird grumbled after the game.

Victim: Atlanta Hawks
Doc Rivers recalls “Bird got in the zone and he started calling the shots, he started saying “off the glass”, that was the one game I think he tortured Dominique. “He saw Dominique as this up and coming player and he just tortured him, mentally. He tortured all of us, he was calling shots,”off the glass” “who’s next”, “where you want this one from” and he just made one after another. When he got to about the 55th point you knew it was something special.” “Even as a player, and that usually doesn’t happen, but we were down so much at the time, you got time to realize the game. The last shot, he said “in the trainer’s lap” coming down the court, which meant it was going to be a three and it was going to from deep, and then he said “who wants it?”. Then I think Reggie Brown, I’m not sure who it was, ran out after him, he shot this high rainbow, it goes in, Reggie bumps into him and accidentally knocks him on our trainer’s lap. “So it was exactly what he said, it was an accident but it was almost fate. They show a shot of our bench, Cliff Livingston and Eddie Johnson are standing up giving each other high fives, it was pretty awesome. “That night was not awesome. We had to go back to the room, and Mike Fratello, instead of going out to eat, he had a team meeting and put the film in and says “it’s one thing to be in awe, it’s another thing to cheer for the other team”. And he shows this back and forth, and kept rewinding the high five. It was awesome.”
Victim: Los Angeles
This story comes via a cabbie in Los Angles during the mid 1980s. Legend has it that at 1985 All Star weekend in LA, Bird wanted to do some sightseeing. So he took a cab down to Venice Beach, where he instructed the cab driver “stay here for a couple hours and I will make it worth your while”. Bird proceeded to play down at the Venice Beach Basketball Courts. He played for 5 dollars a game and didn't come of the court once in 6 hours. He took the cash back to the cab driver and told him “Tell everyone what you say here today, tell your friends who really runs LA”.

Michael Jordan's Number 12 October 07 2015, 0 Comments

Michael Jordan 12 jersey

           The Chicago Bulls visited the new franchise Orlando Magic on Valentine's day 1990. Returning to the arena after shoot around, Michael Jordan noticed his number 23 jersey was missing. In those days the Bulls did not carry extra 23 jerseys on the round. So the team staff went out in the crowd before the game and went searching for a 23 jersey in Jordan's correct size. The search came up unsuccessful, and Jordan was forced to wear a black nameless number 12 jersey carried by the Bulls in case of emergency.
           The nameless 12 jersey did not effect Jordan's play. Over 47 minutes of action, Jordan scored a game-high 49 points. However Chicago ended up with a loss after they led by double digits in the third quarter. The Magic mounted comeback to force overtime, where they pulled out a 135-129 win.
           Michael's 23 jersey was found a few days after the game in the visiting teams locker room ceiling tiles. No one will ever know just exactly how the jersey got into the locker room ceiling.
 

Greatest Uniforms of All Time September 21 2015, 1 Comment

This week we bring you the greatest jerseys in sports history. Our ratings took five things into consideration. Color, design, popularity, relevance & city influence. Drop a comment below and let us know who we missed.
 Blackhawks Greatest Jersey of All Time
Chicago Blackhawks

We usually don't show much love to the NHL, but we couldn't resist these. Their uniform has not changed all that much throughout the years, making only small changes when deemed nessasary. With their trademark alternate "C" logo with crossed tomahawks on the shoulders. Along with the classic image of the Blackhawk Indian across the front of the jersey it is enough for number one.

Warriors The City Jersey
San Francisco Warriors 1970

No uniform in NBA history better symbolized a city in which a team resided. The jersey features great geographic landmarks used within their design. The logo featured a silhouette of the Golden Gate bridge on a circle. "The City" was a popular term used for San Francisco in Northern California. The back of the jersey features a trolley car (which was popular in SF during the time period), with numbers inside the trolley car. Worn by Hall of Famers Rick Barry & Nate Thurmond.

New York Yankees Greatest Jersey of All Time
New York Yankees
If your uniform has been relevant for almost a century, it is safe to say you will make the top 5. The classic pinstripes have been a Bronx bombers mainstay since the early part of the 1900's. The pinstripes have been donned by some of the best ballplayers of all time Ruth, Gerihg, Dimaggio, Mantle, Maris, Mattingly, Rivera, Jeter and many more. Need I say more?
Atlanta Braves Greatest Jersey of All Time
Atlanta braves 1973
Their white home jerseys featured raglan-sleeve design with royal blue and red accents. There sleeve featured a classic feather logo in blue and red. Cursive royal blue font with white and red outline. Hank Aaron would go on to hit home run number 715 in these. One of the best selling throwback jerseys in the 2000s.
Oakland Raiders Greatest Jersey of All Time
Oakland Raiders

When you think Black and Silver, you think Raiders. One of the only sports teams to be synonymous with a color scheme. The first pro franchise to feature strictly black and silver in their uniform scheme. Al Davis became iconic because of the move. The awesome Raider shield logo didn't hurt their cause.

Chicago Bulls Greatest Jersey of All Time
Chicago Bulls 1996
Their jerseys rarely change much and that's for good reason. The red, white and black works in a perfect harmony. The classic bulls font highlighted by an arch. The black numbers are highlighted by white outline along with the red background.
LA Dodgers Greatest Jersey of All Time
Los Angeles Dodgers 1977
The team has changed their uniform little since moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1957. Their classic blue Dodger cursive along with the red lettering makes for a classic uniform look that has stood the test of time. Not to  mention the classic LA logo sported on the hats.
Orlando Magic Greatest Jersey of All Time
Orlando Magic 1996
Maybe its the pinstripes, maybe its the star in place of the letter a. Maybe its the awesome color scheme. These magic jerseys have always been an NBA fan favorite. Featuring white pinstripes on their black away jerseys, the magics letter script was unique among NBA teams. Worn by Shaq & Penny's team of the mid 1990's, these uniforms made an appearance in the 1995 NBA Finals.
San Francisco 49ers Greatest Jersey of All Time
San Francisco 49ers 1994
Blessed with a great color combo the 49ers added depth to their numbers in 1994, making the uniform pop. The 94 versions also featured the NFL's 75th anniversary patch. The team also went on to win the Superbowl in these during the 94 season.
Philly 76ers Greatest Jersey of All Time
Philadelphia 76ers 1977
There are few cities with more history than Philadelphia. The 77 Sixers jersey played great homage to a historic American city. Featuring stars down the side, the patriotic scheme. Unique Sixers font also helped to showcase the flashy team that donned the Jerseys. The 77 team would go on to the NBA Finals where they lost to a more team oriented Portland Trailblazers team.
San Diego Chargers Greatest Jersey of All Time
San Diego Chargers 1967

Classic powder blue Chargers uniforms became an instant hit in San Diego. They remain one of the most popular throwback jerseys in the NFL. The unique helmets featured the letters below the lightning bolt. Their sleeve featured a horizontal lightning bolt above the numbers. The pants had a vertical thunder bolt along the side.

Blazers Greatest Jersey of All Time
Portland Trailblazers 1988
Featuring two parallel lines running diagonal on the jersey. The design created a unique look for the Blazers. The 1988 version of the jersey featured the blazers script in lower case lettering.
Bullets Greatest Jersey of All Time
Washington Bullets 1977
Another great jersey illustrates the American feel of the political capital Washington DC. The Bullet uniform payed homage to our American flag. The jersey featured flag like striped on the upper, while the shorts featured stars on the sides.
LA Rams Greatest Jersey of All Time
Los Angeles Rams 1984
The helmet ram design is simple and refined. Circling Ram horns form the best helmet design in the entire NFL. The sleeve featured a ram horn and the color scheme makes it all come together.
Houston Oilers Greatest Jersey of All Time
Houston Oilers 1983

The iconic powder blue uniforms wore by none other than Earl Campbell. The jersey featured a great use of number script outlined by red. The contrast between the powder blue, white and red worked great. The helmets featured an oiling tower. An image that is synonymous in Houston, Texas.


Best Hair in the History of Sports September 04 2015, 0 Comments

Best Hair in Sports
(L-R) Darnell Hillman - AC Green - Randy Johnson - Oscar Gamble - Allen Iverson
Kenny "Sky" Walker - Reggie Theus - Dennis Rodman - Broadway Joe - Tom Brady
Jaromir Jagr - Andre Agassi - Iman Shumpert - Julius Erving - Mike Ditka
Larry Bird - Pete Rose - Jerry Rice - Chris Anderson - Ben Wallace

Top 15 NFL Team Nicknames Ever August 31 2015, 0 Comments

Best NFL Nicknames

In celebration of the new NFL season we bring you the top 15 team nicknames of all time. Drop us a comment and let us know who we missed.
 
Killer B's Dolphins
15. Killer B's
The 1982 Miami Dolphins defense, six of their 11 starters had last names that began with the letter "B" (Bob Baumhower, Bill Barnett, Lyle Blackwood, Kim Bokamper, Glenn Blackwood, Charles Bowser, Doug Betters, and Bob Brudzinski). They allowed only 131 points in the strike-shortened, nine-game regular season.

Dome Patrol
14. Dome Patrol
The New Orleans Saints were the first team to send all four LB to the Pro Bowl and they were known as the Dome Patrol. Their linebackers were Rickey Jackson, Sam Mills, Vaughan Johnson & Pat Swilling.

Legion of Boom
13. Legion of Boom
The most contemporary name on this list, the Legion of Boom was a name given to the secondary of the Seattle Seahawks. The members of the Legion are Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and whoever plays the other corner position. They are known for their ball hawking passing defense and physical hitting style.  In their short time together they were able to reach two Superbowls (winning one). They have also led the NFL in multiple passing defense categories. The future is bright in Seattle.

Air Coryell
12. Air Coryell

Nicknamed for coach Don Coryell’s offensive scheme. Coryell was one of the first coaches to utilize the vertical passing attack. His reign in San Diego went from 1978 to 1983, his teams included Dan Fouts, Charlie Joiner, Kellen Winslow, John Jefferson and Chuck Muncie.

Crunch Bunch
11. Crunch Bunch
The Crunch Bunch was the nickname for the group of New York Giants defensive linebackers in 1981, 1982 and 1983. Their core featured Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Brian Kelley and Brad Van Pelt. The linebackers invented their own moniker, then created a company, The Board of Dewreckers, whose sole product was a 16x20” color poster of the four players on a bulldozer, wearing hard hats and looking mean. According to a New York Times article, the profits from the $5 poster became “pocket money” for the Giant’s linebackers. Taylor and Carson would go on to the lead the Giants to a Super Bowl in 1986.

Doomsday Defense
10. Doomsday Defense
Dominant defensive line from the 1970s featuring Ed "Too Tall" Jones, the "Manster" Randy White, John Dutton and Harvey Martin. They dominated opposing offenses, and lead the Cowboys to a Super Bowl win over Denver. Later linemen Harvey Martin and Randy White became the first (and only) teammates (co-MVPs) to win the awar in 1978 when they defeated Denver 27-10.

The Hogs Redskins
9. The Hogs
The nickname Hogs was born in 1982 when offensive line coach Joe Bugel told Russ Grimm and Jeff Bostic “Okay, you hogs, let’s get running down there.” From there a revolution was born, the powerful offensive line even had their own cheerleaders known as the Hogettes. The Hogs were made up of Jefff Bostic, Russ Grimm, Mark May, Joe Jacoby and George Starke. In 1982 the line weighed in at an average of 273 pounds. They helped lead the Redskins to the 1982 Superbowl Title. They provided key blocking for power back John Riggins and quarterback Joe Theisman. .The Hogs were known to get together in a shed after practice to share a few cold ones. They even made John Riggins an honorary Hog, only of course if Riggins provided the beer.

Purple People Eaters
8. Purple People Eaters
Purple People Eaters were the great defensive line of the Minnesota Vikings from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. The term is a reference to a popular song from 1958. The line featured Alan Page, Jim Marshall, Carl Eller and Gary Larsen. Both Eller and Page would eventually be named to the Hall of Fame. The quartet would help lead the Vikings to four Super Bowl appearances from 1969 to 1976.

Oakland Soul Patrol
7. Soul Patrol
Soul Patrol - Secondary of the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s. They consisted of safeties Jack Tatum and George Atkinson, and cornerbacks Willie Brown and Skip Thomas. Known for their vicious hits on defenders. Their explosive play in the secondary helped them to the 1976 Superbowl crown.

Greatest Show on Turf
6. Greatest Show on Turf
The Greatest Show on Turf was the nickname for St. Louis Rams' record-breaking offense during the 1999, 2000, and 2001 National Football League seasons. The offense was designed by attacking offensive coordinator Mike Martz who was heavily influenced by Air Coryell of the late 70s. The nickname stolen from Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth and was coined by ESPN’s Chris Berman during the 2000 season. 1999 Super Bowl champs and their high octane offense that featured 5 pro bowlers: Kurt Warner, Issac Bruce, Marshall Faulk, Orlando Pace and Tory Holt. Together they formed the nucleus of the only team in NFL history to score 500+ points in 3 consecutive seasons. Quarterback Kurt Warner and running back Marshall Faulk finished first and second in MVP voting each of the three years, an achievement unmatched in NFL history.

Buffalo Electric Company
5. Electric Company
The Electric Company was the nickname of the offensive line of the Buffalo Bills during the mid-1970s that helped running back O.J. Simpson establish numerous NFL records. The nickname for the offensive line was a reference to O.J. "Juice" Simpson. They were known for their ability to "turn on the juice," which was a metaphor for unleashing Simpson. Members of the famed line were All-Pro Joe DeLamielleure, All-Pro Reggie McKenzie, Dave Foley, Mike Montler, Donnie Green and Paul Seymour.

Fearsome Foursome Los Angeles Rams
4. Fearsome Foresome
Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen, Rosey Grier and Lamar Lundy of the Los Angeles Rams were the most dominant defensive line of their era, and perhaps ever. Dick Butkus called them "the most dominant line in football history.” The nickname has been used before and since but no one has been more deserving of the nickname.

Gang Green Defense Philadelphia
3. Gang Green Defense
The 1991 Philadelphia defense is considered by many to be a top 3 defense of all time. Gang Green was stacked on talent under Buddy Ryan. They terrorized offenses and quarterbacks into fear and submission. The Eagles featured GOAT Reggie White along with Pro Bowlers Jerome Brown, Clyde Simmons, Seth Joyner, Mike Golic, Eric Allen and Wes Hopkins. They led the NFL in rush defense, pass defense and total defense in 1991.

Monsters of the Midway
2. Monsters of the Midway
This was an original nickname for the Bears of the late 1940s. During the 1985 season the nickname saw a revival. In 85 the bears went 15-1, dominating their way to a Super Bowl. The defense featuring Mike Singletary, Richard Dent and Dan Hampton, posted two shutouts in the playoffs. Although the Monsters of the Midway nickname is sometimes applied to the Bears team as a whole it is primarily applied to the defensive side of the ball. Where their Tampa 2 and 46 defense embarrassed offensive minded teams. Often referred to as the best defense of all time, and maybe best team ever.

Steel Curtain Steelers
1. Steel Curtain
Iconic nickname of the dominant Steelers defense of the 70s. The steel curtain went on to win 4 Superbowls. In 1978 the league had to make rule changes for offenses to be able to combat the Steel Curtain. These rules included allowing offensive linemen to use their hands to block pass rushers like "Mean" Joe Greene, and restricting defensive backs like Mel Blount from being able to bump receivers more than five yards past the line of scrimmage. In 1976 during a nine game stretch, the Steel Curtain allowed only 28 points, including five shut-outs. The Steel Curtain of the 1970s produced four Hall of Fame players: Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, Joe Greene, and Mel Blount. LC Greenwood and Donnie Shell have both been Hall of Fame finalists several times.

Restock Trippsburgh LSD No Hitter July 23 2015, 1 Comment

LSD No Hitter Dock Ellis
If you were not lucky enough to get the Trippsburgh shirt the first time around, now is your chance. Celebrate the Pittsburgh Pirates Dock Ellis and his amazing LSD no hitter more than 45 years ago. We just restocked in all sizes, enjoy.

New Heavy Hitters T-Shirt Available June 04 2015, 1 Comment

Check out our new Heavy Hitters T-Shirt featuring the best hitters from baseball history.
L-R, T-B - Gehrig, Ruth, Musial, Cobb, Robinson, Dimaggio
Banks, Mays, Mantle, Williams, Aaron, Berra
Clemente, Robinson, Maris, Jackson, Rose, McCovey
Bonds, Sosa, McGwire, Jeter, Griffey, Rodriguez.

20 Events That Would Have Changed NBA History June 01 2015, 1 Comment

The NBA Finals are among us, we look back at 20 events that didn't happen but could have changed NBA history (had they happened). Each of these none moves had several future implications and would change the fate of the NBA.
Clyde Drexler to the Sonics 1995
In February 1995, Drexler was traded to Houston to play with his college teammate Hakeem Olajuwon. The two ended up winning a title that year over the Orlando Magic. But just weeks earlier, a deal sending Drexler from Portland to Seattle was close to happening. The Trail Blazers wanted Kendall Gill from Seattle. Seattle would have paired Drexler with a forming dynamic duo in Payton & Kemp. The Sonics would go on to reach the Finals in 1996, would Drexler have been enough for Seattle to take down the Bulls?


Isiah Thomas Knicks
Isiah Thomas to Knicks 1994
During the 1993-1994 season the New York Knicks tried to trade for Isiah thomas. The Knicks had offered Tony Campbell, Tim McCormick, and a 1994 first-round draft pick. The deal would have given New York a point guard who has led a team to a championship. Despite being 32 years old, Thomas had averaged 14.5 points and 9 assists at the time of the offer. The deal fell through because Thomas had expressed a desire to end his career with the Pistons, and he had business interests in Michigan. Thomas was intrigued by the opportunity of playing in New York City, but decided it would be best to remain with the Pistons. The Knicks would go on to the 1994 NBA Finals where there subpar guard play lead to a series loss to the Houston Rockets. Could Isiah have made the difference? Probably but we'll never know.


James Worthy Dallas Mavericks
James Worthy and Byron Scott for Mark Aguirre 1986
Before Mark Aguirre would help Pistons to back to back championships he was nearly a member of the Lakers. In an 1986 deadline deal the Lakers proposed sending James Worthy and Bryron Scott to Dallas for Mark Aguirre and Roy Tarpley. However Jerry West put a stop on this deal, he threatened to quit if Lakers owner Jerry Buss went through with the deal. Big Game James ended up staying put, helping the Lakers to the 1987 and 1988 NBA title.


Julius Erving Atlanta Hawks
Doctor J & Pistol Pete 1972
Julius Erving signed a contract with the Atlanta Hawks before the 1972 draft when he discovered his former agent Steve Arnold happened to work for the ABA's Virginia Squires, making him sign for a low paying contract. Erving enjoyed his brief time with Atlanta: "It really was one of the joys of my life to play with Pete, to be in training camp with him. We used to stay after practice and play one-on-one. We would play for dinner after practice." On September 23, 1972, Erving had 28 points and 18 rebounds in 42 minutes for Atlanta in a 112-99 win over the Kentucky. A week later he scored 32 points in a 120-106 win over the Carolina Cougars. Erving says, "I remember those exhibition games. I would just grab a rebound, throw it out to Pete and get on the wing. Pete would always find you. He got his points, but he loved to pass the ball. He could hit you in full stride in a place where you could do something with the ball. That was a measure of his greatness." The NBA fined Atlanta $25,000 per game for Erving's two Hawks appearances because Milwaukee owned his NBA rights--in a sense, the Hawks had "stolen" Erving from teams in both the ABA and NBA. A panel ruled that until the case was settled, Erving was contractually bound to the Squires. Erving returned to Virginia and led the ABA in scoring in 1972-73 (31.9 ppg).


 Tim Duncan Boston Celtics
Duncan to Boston 1997
In 1997 the Boston Celtics had the best chances of lading the number one pick entering the lottery. Following the lottery the Spurs jumped ahead of Boston and took the number one pick. Duncan instead would go on to be San Antonio's corner stone, leading the spurs to 5 NBA championships.


Dirk Nowitzki Milwuakee
Nowitzki to Milwaukee 1998
In 1998 Dallas made a draft day deal with the Milwaukee Bucks to aquire Dirk Nowitzki (9th pick) for the 6th pick (Robert "Tracktor' Taylor). The rest is history, Taylor ended his career with a 4.8 ppg and 3.7 rpg average. Dirk Nowitzki went on to become a top 50 player of all time, leading Dallas to the 2011 NBA crown. Milwaukee could have added Nowitzki to a team that already included Ray Allen, Glen Robinson and Sam Cassell. 


Kevin McHale Dallas Mavericks
McHale traded to Mavericks 1988
During the 1988-1989 season the Mavericks proposed a deal sending Sam Perkins and Shreimpf to Boston in return for Kevin McHale. Boston Gm Red Arbach ended up keeping McHale.


Kobe Bryant to the Bulls 2007
Kobe Bryant to the Bulls for Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas and Jokim Noah was a big time rumor in 2007. Kobe insisted on Deng staying in Chicago to make the deal work, however Los Angeles wanted Deng included in the deal. Kobe realized he would be in similar situations if he chose to leave for Chicago. He stayed in Los Angeles where he would win two more NBA Championships.


Tim Duncan Magic
Duncan, McGrady and Hill 2000
In the summer of 2000 the Orlando Magic signed both Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill. Orlando had just enough money left to offer Tim Duncan a max contract.  Meanwhile, David Robinson, on vacation from a long season receives a call from Spurs’ GM, RC Buford informing him that Duncan is meeting with Orlando. Popovich who is also on the call, tells Robinson to stay put, confidently stating that he and RC have it under control. (It is believed Robinson’s last minute pitch to Duncan  was what kept Duncan in San Antonio). The trio would have rivaled the construction of Miami's big three in 2011. Instead Hill would deal with chronic injuries and McGrady would fend for himself on an empty roster. Duncan would go on to win 4 more championships in San Antonio.


Jason Kidd Spurs
Kidd to San Antonio 2003
Jason Kidd was close to signing with San Antonio in July 2003. This just weeks after the Spurs defeated the Nets in the Finals. R.C. Buford, the Spurs GM, made visits to New Jersey during the regular season to sit prominently near the court, his presence noticed by Kidd, but shockingly not by the Nets front office. Then, the Spurs laid out a lavish itinerary for Kidd, escorted around the city by Tim Duncan. A Nets employee commented "San Antonio rolled out the red carpet and Jersey had nothing for him. We underestimated how much he wanted to be recruited, and probably got a little arrogant in thinking that he wouldn't leave. We dropped the ball." Kidd's ex wife, who thought she had a TV career in New York and didn't want to sacrifice the top US market for the 38th biggest market. The Nets then signed an ailing Alonzo Mourning. These two reasons were enough for Kidd to resign with New Jersey. Kidd eventually got his ring with the Maverick in 2011 but it is tough not to imagine what could have been.


Tracy McGrady 76ers
McGrady & Iverson 2000
Heres a passage from the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2000:"An NBA source confirmed last night that the Sixers placed another call yesterday to the Toronto Raptors to see if they were willing to part with swingman Tracy McGrady and a No. 1 pick for Hughes." The Sixers insisted on getting a first round pick with McGrady to complete the deal, as a result the deal fell through. Instead McGrady paired with an injury prone Hill, and had a few tough seasons in Orlando. Philadelphia went on to trade hughes to the Warriors and make an appearance in the 2001 NBA Finals. Could McGrady have pushed the Sixers over the top in 2001?


Larry Bird to the Pacers for Chuck Person and a Draft Pick 1988
In 1988, the Indiana Pacers tried to trade for state legend Larry Bird. The Pacers offered Chuck Pearson and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. However Red Auerbach turned down the offer. The Pacers treated the rejection as a blessing in disguise, saying, "We made our pitch, but I'd have to say we were very fortunate that they (the Celtics) didn't accept it." The pacers ended up using the 2nd overall pick in the draft for Rick Smits.


Scottie Pippen Sonics
Scottie Pippen for Shawn Kemp 1994
According to Seattle Coach George Karl, the Bulls offered to trade Scottie Pippen for Shawn Kemp straight up in 1994. Seattle turned the deal down, Karl cited Kemp's bright future as the reason for the rejected trade. Pippen didn't go anywhere, Jordan came back, and the Bulls won 3 more championships. Shawn Kemp stayed in Seattle and had some memorable years but ultimately would flame out early and be traded to Cleveland.


James Harden OKC Thunder
James Harden stays with OKC 2012
In the summer of 2012 a deal was made after OKC GM Sam Presti began to worry that they would not have enough money to keep their developing star James Harden. So Presti shopped around the league and made a deal with Houston. Rockets would recieve James Harden for two draft picks, Jeremy Lamb and Kevin Martin. Piror to trading Harden, the Thunder lost to Miami in the 2012 NBA Championship. The Thunder have not been back to the finals since the trade. In 2015 James Harden finished 2nd in MVP voting to Stephen Curry.


Ray Allen Timberwolves
 
Ray Allen & Kevin Garnett team on Minnesota 1996
Stephon Marbury was taken by the Milwaukee Bucks with the fourth overall pick, and Allen was taken fifth by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Later the two teams traded the two players for each other, with the Bucks also receiving a future first-round pick. Marbury spent only three seasons with Minnesota after he demanded a max contract. T-Wolves would not have had that problem had they gone instead with Ray Allen. Allen would go on to become the NBA's all-time leader in three-pointers made. We got to see how good Allen and Garnett could have been together as they teamed up on the Celtics and won it all in 2008. 


Carmelo Anthony Detroit Pistons
Carmelo to Pistons 2003
In the 2003 NBA Draft the Pistons would be selecting 2nd overall because of a trade two seasons prior. With NCAA Champion Carmelo Anthony on the board the Pistons chose to select foreign project Darko Milicic. While the move was heavily criticized, Detroit went on to win the 2004 NBA Championship. While many think that Anthony was the right pick, he could have had negative effects on the Pistons chemistry. Causing them to never win a championship in 2004.


Julilus Erving Dr J Milwuakee Bucks
Dr j & Kareem 1972
Milwaukee could have been the team of the 70s and possibly early 80s. In 1972, the Milwaukee Bucks had the 12th pick in the NBA draft. They would use their pick to select Julius Erving. Dr. J would of course choose to instead play for the ABA and the Virginia Spires averaging 27, 15, 4. Erving would go on to three ABA MVPs and two ABA championships. He would eventually join the NBA after the merger and finally win an NBA title in 1983 as part of the 76ers.
What could have been, though? Imagine Dr. J and Kareem on the same team for the majority of the 70s? They were two MVP candidates that were unlike any other player in the league at the time. You have to wonder if Erving joins the NBA in 1972. The Bucks won 60 games without him. Also, although he was on his way out of the league, does anyone else get excited about the Kareem, Dr. J and the Big O on the same team?


Michael Jordan & Clyde Drexler to Houston for Ralph Sampson 1984
A big 3 of Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. Trade talks began to surface for the 1984 NBA Rookie of the Year Ralph Sampson. The Portland Trail Blazers offered Clyde Drexler and the Number 2 Pick in the 1984 Draft for Sampson. The Trail Blazers wanted a center and instead of taking a chance on an unknown player (Sam Bowie). The Rockets would've given up somebody already proven for an unknown player. If the trade were to go down, Houston would've had the No. 1 and 2 picks in the 1984 Draft. They probably would've selected Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Perhaps forming a dynasty not seen since the likes of Bill Russells Celtics. 


Charles Barkley Lakers
Barkley to LA 1992
 A fed-up Charles Barkley entered the 1992 season dying to be traded from Philadelphia. Around February Barkley got news that he was headed to LA.. The Lakers were sending James Worthy and Elden Cambell in exchange for Charles. The Sixers ended up going back the deal. Barkley remarked"The Sixers back out. It was going crazy for two weeks so I knew it would come down to Portland, [the] Lakers or Phoenix," he continued. "So I get a call from my agent one morning and he said, 'Philly has traded you to the Lakers." "I went to lunch and started drinking," Barkley said. "Three hours later I get a phone call from my agent saying the Sixers backed out of the deal." Barkley would have to play in the game that night slightly intoxicated from lunch. The deal fell through and a few months later Barkley would be a member of the Suns.


Moses Malone Blazers Expansion Draft
Moses Malone Portland Trailblazers - ABA Dispersal Draft 1976
When the ABA and NBA merged in 1976, the Nuggets, Nets, Pacers and Spurs would be added to the NBA from the ABA. The St Louis and Kentucky players would become available via a dispersal draft. Portland used the No. 2 pick to grab Maurice Lucas and, three spots later, chose Moses Malone. The Blazers with Bill Walton at center, traded the 21-year-old Malone to Buffalo in October for a 1978 first-round pick that would become Mychal Thompson. A week later, the Braves sent Malone to Houston for two future first-rounders. Portland used Lucas, Walton and a strong supporting cast to beat Philadelphia in the 1977 Finals for its lone NBA title. Malone, though, became a three-time MVP, a 12-time All-Star and was named Finals MVP when he led the 76ers to the 1983 championship.