Monthly Archives: February 2013

Feb. 28, 1999 – Venus and Serena, first sisters to win WTA events same week

Venus won in Oklahoma City and Serena gained her first victory, at the Paris Indoors. The next week Serena upset Steffi Graf in the final at Indian Wells. “I know I can win the big ones now,” Serena said.

Venus Williams (b. 1980), a seven-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), and Serena Williams (b. 1981), fifteen-time Grand Slam title winner (singles), both of whom were coached from an early age by their parents Richard Williams and Oracene Price. There is a noted professional rivalry between them – between the 2001 US Open and the 2009 Wimbledon tournaments, they have met in eight Grand Slam singles finals. They remain very close, often watching each other’s matches in support, even after one of them has been knocked out of a tournament.

Both sisters have had the honor of being ranked by the Women’s Tennis Association at the World No. 1 position. In 2002, after the French Open, Venus Williams and Serena Williams were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. During the 2010 French Open, they became the co-world no.1 players in women’s doubles, in addition to holding the top two positions in singles tennis as well.

Both players have won four gold medals at the Summer Olympics Games, one each in singles and three in doubles – which all they won together, the most of any tennis players. As a duo, they have also completed the Career Golden Slam in doubles.

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“When I step onto the court, I don’t have to think about anything. If I have a problem off the court, I find that after I play, my mind is clearer and I can come up with a better solution. It’s like therapy. It relaxes me and allows me to solve problems.” – Michael Jordan

Feb. 27, 1996 – Chicago Bulls set an NBA record with 50 wins in 56 games

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That season, the Chicago Bulls set an NBA record by becoming the first team to win 70 regular season games, easily finishing first overall in their division, conference, and the entire NBA. They finished the season with a record of 72–10 and would go on to defeat the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 NBA Finals, winning their fourth NBA title in six seasons.

Offseason:

Prior the 1995–96 NBA season, Dennis Rodman and Jack Haley were traded from the Spurs to the Bulls for Will Perdue and cash considerations to fill a large void at power forward left by Horace Grant, who left the Bulls prior to the 1994–95 NBA season.

Rodman stated that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen had to approve the trade before it took place. Rodman chose the number 91 (9+1=10 according to Rodman for why he chose that number) for his jersey since #10 was retired by the Bulls in 1995 in honor of Bob Love.

Regular season:

The Bulls finished 72–10 in the regular season to break the 1971–72 Lakers’ record of 69 wins in a season. In his first full season since returning to the NBA, Jordan won his eighth scoring title to break Wilt Chamberlain’s record of seven and also came away with a triple crown of awards: the MVP awards for the regular season, All-Star Game and NBA Finals.

The Bulls improved 25 games from the previous year’s 47–35 record to their all-time record 72 regular season wins. In addition, they would go on to set another regular season landmark by becoming the fastest team to 41 wins; by going 41–3 before losing their 4th game that year, which was also a record once held by the 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers, who got off to a 39–3 start.

The Bulls would win 33 road games, setting yet another NBA record. They also had a 39–2 home record, which was one win shy of tying the Boston Celtics for best home record in history.

Rodman, Jordan, and Scottie Pippen all made the All-Defensive First Team, the first time three players from the same team made it on the first team. Rodman led the league in rebounding for the fifth straight year, and Jordan won the scoring title, the second time that teammates had led the league in scoring and rebounding.

“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I’m very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.” – Bill Shankly

Feb. 26, 1935 – The New York Yankees released Babe Ruth

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Ruth signed with the Boston Braves for $20,000 and a share in the team’s profits.

“The Sultan of Swat” was known for his hitting brilliance as he set career records in his time for home runs (714 since broken), slugging percentage (.690), runs batted in (RBI) (2,213 since broken), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164). Ruth originally entered the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox as a starting pitcher, but after he was sold to the New York Yankees in 1919, he converted to a full-time right fielder. He subsequently became one of the league’s most prolific hitters and with his home run hitting prowess, he helped the Yankees win seven pennants and four World Series titles.

Ruth retired in 1935 after a short stint with the Boston Braves, and the following year, he became one of the first five players to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

“When I joined the Tour I studied the best players to see what they did that I didn’t do. I came to the conclusion that the successful players had the Three Cs: Confidence, Composure, Concentration.” – Bob Toski