As 2013 winds to a close, TSN. Johnny Unitas Colts Jersey
.ca looks back at the stories and moments that made the year memorable.
TSN.cas writing staff reflects on the best basketball moments from the
past 12 months including the return of Kobe, the fall of the Raptor,
D-Roses poor luck and more!
The Kobe Bryant Saga
By: Isaac Owusu
The year for the LA Lakers went from bad, to worse to maybe optimistic,
back to bad again.
With their star studded lineup that included Dwight Howard, Steve Nash,
Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant they fell way below
expectations. The team created in 2012 with aspirations of an NBA Finals
appearance opened the calendar year with a 24-28 record.
As the team found themselves pushing for the eight seed in the western
conference, Bryant willed himself to lead the Lakers until his body
wouldnt allow him to do it anymore.
On April 12 facing the Golden State Warriors, he finished with 34
points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists but it was the final two points that
are mostly remembered. He limped to the free throw line and made his
final two free throws under obvious pain in his legs. and after the game
it was revealed that he had torn his Achilles.
The NBA and sports community took a morose tone when news hit and the
immediate question was if Kobe could return and at what capacity. The
Lakers never wavered in their belief of Bryants return, extending him to
a two-year, 48.5 million dollar contract extension.
On December 8, He made his triumphant return to the court against the
Raptors. He started the game, logging 28 minutes and finished with 9
points and 8 rebounds.
But on December 17, in his sixth game of the season, he seemed to be
coming back to form. He finished with 21 points, 5 rebounds and 4
assists against the Memphis Grizzlies. There was a scary moment in the
third quarter when he appeared to have been favouring a hurt left leg
but came back into the game.
It was announced on December 19 that he would have to miss 6 weeks going
forward due to a fracture in that knee. Surgery is not required, but
this is another chapter, in possibly the finality of his Hall of Fame
Toronto Raptors lose their beloved mascot to injury
By: Ryan Horne
Toronto Raptors fans have said goodbye to some crowd favourites over the
years. Jerome "The Junk Yard Dog" Williams, Morris Peterson,
Matt Bonner, Jose Calderon.
But when their beloved mascot - The Raptor - went down with a torn
Achilles tendon in October that will likely cost him the season, it was
as if they had lost their franchise player.
And thats not too far from the truth.
The Raptor has been with the organization since 1995 and has arguably
become the most popular mascot in the Association (and maybe the best
thing about going to a Raptors game), entertaining crowds with acrobatic
slam dunks, eating referees and rollerblading down stairs.
Not often does a head coach talk about the teams costumed cheerleader
during a presser, but Dwane Casey did.
"The Raptor will be back," he said after a pre-season game.
When Casey told his daughter of the bad news, she cried.
Stripes - The Raptors younger cousin - stepped in to replace the fallen
hero for the 2013-2014 season, but will be in tough to provide half the
joy of his predecessor.
Now we must wait until next season when The Raptor hopefully makes his
return. Sadly this could be the most exciting thing Raptors fans have to
look forward to.
Derrick Rose cant catch a break
By: Ken Rodney
At this point it doesnt even really seem fair.
Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is not only one of the most
dynamic and talented players in the NBA, but is by all accounts also a
very well-liked teammate and member of a community where he not only
plays but was born and raised.
It was with league-wide excitement that Rose finally returned to the
court to start the 2013-14 season after missing the entire 2012-13
campaign recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee.
On Nov. 22, Just as his game was starting to show sparks of returning to
the form that already has one MVP trophy in his cabinet case, the
25-year-old point guard suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee once
again causing him to go under the knife, ending his season prematurely
and stealing more games from the prime of his career.
Those around Rose - former and current teammates and coaches - believe
that he will make it back from this latest injury just as he did the
previous one, but how much of this promising career was lost on that
November night in Portland?
Jason Kidd says "Hit Me!"
By: Isaac Owusu
Theres often an idea of a coach "dropping the ball" in regards to a bad
job, but dropping the cup? Thats a brand new low.
Theres no denying that Jason Kidd will be a Hall of Famer for his
contributions in the NBA as a point guard. NBA Champion, 10-time NBA
All-Star, perennial All-NBA team member, second on the all-time assist
list, second on the all-time steals list, third on the all-time three
pointers made list and Olympic gold medalist
Kidds coaching career however hasnt been as glorious, and can be
exemplified by one night in Brooklyn.
During the late stages of losing a game to the Lakers inside the
Barclays Center, and out of timeouts Coach Kidd executed probably the
most creative play of his career.
Who knew spilling some diet soda on hardwood would cost you $50,000!
Stephen Curry torches the Knicks, then loses
By: Shane McNeil
In the grand scheme of things, Stephen Currys night at Madison Square
Garden on Feb. 27 wasnt really that historic. After all, whats 54 points
in a game where Wilt Chamberlain can drop 100 or Kobe Bryant can torch
the Raptors for 81?
But what was impressive was how Curry racked up his points. The Knicks
kept giving him open looks and he kept draining threes, winding up with
11 on 13 attempts. As if that wasnt enough, when he wasnt launching from
behind the arc, he was driving the lane or hitting pull-up jumpers.
Yet, in the dying minutes, J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony come through
and the Knicks win by four, 109-105. Its one thing to have a career
night. Its oddly exceptional to do it and not even get a W out of it.
Raptors blow 27-point lead against the Warriors
By: Ryan Horne
There have been plenty of moments in Toronto Raptors history that fans
wish they could forget.
Kobe Bryant dropping 81 points in 2006, trading Vince Carter for spare
parts in 2004 and the drafting of Rafael Araujo are all memories that
On Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, the Dinos added to that list in sunny
The Raptors led the Golden State Warriors 75-48 with 9:20 remaining in
the third quarter.
Up 27 points with less than half of the game remaining. Surely theyd be
able to close it out, right?
After an onslaught of three-pointers, Toronto was outscored 42-15 in the
final quarter and lost by nine.
It was arguably the worst - most miserable loss - in franchise history
and may or may not have led to the trading of the trigger-happy Rudy Gay
a week later.
The pill was made even tougher to swallow when it was reported former
Raptor, Jermaine ONeal, apparently made an inspirational halftime speech
that led to the dramatic and historic comeback.
Just more salt in the wound.
The supporters of Canadas lone NBA franchise must be wondering how many
more years of suffering will they have to endure before things improve.
Heres hoping 2014 is the start of something better.
T.Y. Hilton Jersey . LOUIS -- Tampa Bay pitcher Alex Cobb threw 10 pitches off the mound on Tuesday and was unhappy. Adam Vinatieri Colts Jersey .Rookie coach Mike Pettines decision to start Brian Hoyer instead of
first-round pick Johnny Manziel wasnt popular among fans, but the Browns
are 5-3 and in the mix in the AFC North.RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - With a
narrow one-goal advantage, the Western Sydney Wanderers are confident
they can upset Saudi powerhouse Al Hilal in Saturdays final to become
the first Australian club to win an Asian Champions League.Tomi Juric
netted the only goal in last weekends first leg in Sydney to give the
tournament newcomers a 1-0 win over the two-time Asian champions.Despite
a 16-hour journey for the return leg, Tony Popovics squad was in a
relaxed mood after arriving in the Saudi capital on Wednesday
morning.Now we have played against them we know a lot more about them
and we are familiar with them, Sydney defender Antony Golec said. So for
us, it is just fix the little things, and as long as we are mentally
tough and we are strong, we have that belief nothing can stand in our
way.Al Hilal, meanwhile, will be seeking to join South Koreas Pohang
Steelers as the only three-time winners of the competition, adding to
the titles it won in 1991 and 2000.Western Sydney has had trouble
winning away from home in its debut season in the continental
competition, but did manage to score in defeats to Sanfrecce Hiroshima
in Japan and 2013 champion Guangzhou Evergrande in China in the
quarterfinals before sharing a 0-0 draw with FC Seoul in South Korea in
the semifinals.Having the win and a one-goal advantage means we are
ahead on aggregate and we have to take a lot of positives from that,
Golec said. We know it is going to be hard, but we are going to work
hard to get it.Australian clubs have rarely featured highly toward the
end of the competition which has been dominated by South Korean and
Japanese teams in the last eight years, with clubs from Qatar and China
also winning during that span. Cheap Peyton Manning Jersey. But the Wanderers have put together a remarkable run for such a young
club to reach the final.After topping its group, including 2012 Asian
title holder Ulsan Horangi in its debut appearance in the Asian
Champions League, Western Sydney had three tough encounters in the
knockout stage.The Wanderers beat Japanese champion Sanfrecce Hiroshima
in the second round and, most surprisingly, eliminated Marcello Lippis
star-studded Guangzhou Evergrande squad in the quarterfinals.Al Hilal
has been consistent and very solid in defence, and will get a boost from
the return of striker Yasser Al Qahtani.Al Qahtani, who was forced to
watch from the stands at Parramatta Stadium due to a suspension, will be
eligible, giving coach Laurentiu Reghecampf an additional option in
attack after the visitors struggled to equalize during the first leg
defeat.We lost the first game, but I think we will win the trophy in the
second game, said Al Qahtani, who has scored twice for Al Hilal in the
Asian Champions League this season.Al Hilal have lost back-to-back games
after also losing the second leg of their semifinal with Al Ain in the
United Arab Emirates, but are unbeaten at King Fahd International
Stadium this season — winning their last five outings while scoring 13
goals and not conceding any.
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