ESPN is a U. S.-based sports television channel owned by ESPN Inc. a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications. The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Ed Egan. ESPN broadcasts from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut; the network operates offices in Miami, New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles. James Pitaro serves as chairman of ESPN, a position he has held since March 5, 2018 due to the resignation of John Skipper on December 18, 2017. While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of ESPN, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts; as of January 2016, ESPN is available to 91,405,000 paid television households in the United States. Nielsen has reported a much lower number in 2017, below 90,000,000 subscribers, losing more than 10,000 a day. In addition to the flagship channel and its seven related channels in the United States, ESPN broadcasts in more than 200 countries, operating regional channels in Australia, Latin America and the United Kingdom, owning a 20% interest in The Sports Network as well as its five sister networks in Canada.
In 2011, ESPN's history and rise was chronicled in Those Guys Have All the Fun, a nonfiction book written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and published by Little and Company. Bill Rasmussen conceived the concept of ESPN in late May 1978, after he was fired from his job with the World Hockey Association's New England Whalers. One of the first steps in Bill and his son Scott's process was finding land to build the channel's broadcasting facilities; the Rasmussens first rented office space in Plainville, Connecticut. However, the plan to base ESPN there was put on hold because a local ordinance prohibiting buildings from bearing rooftop satellite dishes. Available land area was found in Bristol, with funding to buy the property provided by Getty Oil, which purchased 85% of the company from Bill Rasmussen on February 22, 1979, in an attempt to diversify the company's holdings; this helped the credibility of the fledgling company, however there were still many doubters to the viability of their sports channel concept.
Another event that helped build ESPN's credibility was securing an advertising agreement with Anheuser-Busch in the spring of 1979. Taped in front of a small live audience inside the Bristol studios, it was broadcast to 1.4 million cable subscribers throughout the United States. ESPN's next big break came when the channel acquired the rights to broadcast coverage of the early rounds of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, it first aired the NCAA tournament in March 1980, creating the modern day television event known as "March Madness." The channel's tournament coverage launched the broadcasting career of Dick Vitale, who at the time he joined ESPN, had just been fired as head coach of the Detroit Pistons. In April of that year, ESPN created another made-for-TV spectacle, when it began televising the NFL Draft, it provided complete coverage of the event that allowed rookie players from the college ranks to begin their professional careers in front of a national television audience in ways they were not able to previously.
The next major stepping stone for ESPN came over the course of a couple of months in 1984. During this time period, the American Broadcasting Company purchased 100% of ESPN from the Rasmussens and Getty Oil. Under Getty ownership, the channel was unable to compete for the television rights to major sports events contracts as its majority corporate parent would not provide the funding, leading ESPN to lose out for broadcast deals with the National Hockey League and NCAA Division I college football. For years, the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball refused to consider cable as a means of broadcasting some of their games. However, with the backing of ABC, ESPN's ability to compete for major sports contracts increased, gave it credibility within the sports broadcasting industry. In 1984, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA could no longer monopolize the rights to negotiate the contracts for college football games, allowing each individual school to negotiate broadcast deals of their choice.
ESPN took full advantage and began to broadcast a large number of NCAA football games, creating an opportunity for fans to be able to view multiple games each weekend, the same deal that the NCAA had negotiated with TBS. ESPN's breakthrough moment occurred in 1987, when it secured a contract with the NFL to broadcast eight games during that year's regular season – all of which aired on Sunday nights, marking the first broadcasts of Sunday NFL primetime games. ESPN's Sunday Night Football games would become the highest-rated NFL telecasts for the next 17 years; the channel's decision to broadcast NFL games on Sunday evenings resulted in a decline in viewership for the daytime games shown on the major broadcast networks, marking the first time that ESPN had been a legitimate competitor to NBC and CBS, which had long dominated the sports television market. In 19
Mayce Edward Christopher Webber III is an American former professional basketball player. He is a five-time NBA All-Star, a five-time All-NBA Team member, a former NBA Rookie of the Year, a former number one overall NBA draftee; as a collegiate athlete, he was a first-team All-American and led the Michigan Wolverines' 1991 incoming freshman class known as the Fab Five that reached the 1992 and 1993 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship games as freshmen and sophomores. However, Webber was indicted by a federal grand jury and stripped of his All-American honors by the NCAA as a result of his direct involvement in the Ed Martin scandal, he is a former National High School Basketball Player of the Year who led his high school Detroit Country Day to three Michigan State High School Basketball Championships, but never won any national championship in college or the NBA. Webber attended Detroit Country Day School and at the time was the most recruited Michigan high school basketball player since Magic Johnson.
Webber led Country Day to three MHSAA State championships. As a senior in high school Webber averaged 13 rebounds per game, he was named the 1990 -- 1991 National High School player of the year. He was named MVP in both the McDonald Dapper Dan All-Star games. After graduating from Detroit Country Day School, Webber attended the University of Michigan for two years. While a Michigan Wolverine, Webber led the group of players known as the Fab Five, which included himself, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson; this group, all of whom entered Michigan as freshmen in the fall of 1991, took the basketball team to the NCAA finals twice, losing both times. The Fab Five, sporting long, baggy shorts and black socks, became immensely popular as they were seen as bringing a hip hop flavor to the game. Four of the Fab Five made it to the NBA. In their first season, Michigan lost to Duke in the championship game. On April 5, 1993, at Michigan's second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship game with 11 seconds remaining, Webber brought the ball up the court into a half court trap.
Michigan was down 73–71. Webber attempted to call for a timeout while his team had none remaining, resulting in a technical foul that clinched the game for North Carolina. Webber continues to receive ridicule for his time-out error, his father has a license plate. The error was referenced in the 2018 sports comedy film Uncle Drew, in which Webber played the role of Preacher; the game marked the end of Webber's acclaimed two-year collegiate basketball career. In his second season, he was a first team All-American selection and a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award and Naismith College Player of the Year; these awards and honors have been vacated due to University of Michigan and NCAA sanctions related to the University of Michigan basketball scandal. In that scandal, Webber received over $200,000 from a local booster while playing basketball for Michigan. Webber was convicted of perjury and banned from any affiliation with the Michigan program until 2013. Despite the ban, Webber attended the 2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship game between Michigan and Louisville.
He watched the game from a private suite, rather than in the grandstands near courtside, where the other members of the Fab Five watched the game together. Webber posted on Twitter before the game: "I'm here at the Georgia Dome to show my support for the Michigan men's basketball team in its quest for a National Championship. I've known some of the players on the team since they were kids and I am excited for them and all of the student athletes on the court tonight who are wearing the Michigan uniform, it has been a great season and I wish them all the best." Webber was selected by the Orlando Magic with the first pick of the 1993 NBA draft, becoming the first sophomore since Magic Johnson to be a #1 overall draft pick. The Magic traded him to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for Penny Hardaway and three future first round draft picks. Over his 15-year NBA career, Webber made over $176 million. Webber had an outstanding first year, averaging 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game and winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
He was instrumental in leading the Warriors back into the playoffs where they were swept by the Charles Barkley-led Phoenix Suns in four games. However, he had a long-standing conflict with Don Nelson. Nelson wanted to make Webber a post player, despite Webber's superb passing ability and good ball handling skills for someone his size at 6 ft 10 in tall. Webber disliked playing a substantial amount of time at center, given Nelson's propensity towards smaller, faster line ups. In the 1994 off-season, the Warriors acquired Rony Seikaly so that Webber could play at power forward. However, at the time, the differences between Webber and Nelson were considered to be irreconcilable. Webber exercised a one-year escape clause in his contract, stating he had no intention of returning to the Warriors. With few alternatives, Golden State agreed to a sign-and-trade deal, sending Webber to the Washington Bullets for forward Tom Gugliotta and three first-round draft picks. Webber was traded in his second year to the Washington Bullets where he was reunited with his college teammate and friend, Juwan Howard.
He spent the next three years with the Bullets, although in the 1995–96 season inj
2003–04 NBA season
The 2003–04 NBA season was the 58th season of the National Basketball Association. The season ended with the Detroit Pistons defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 4–1 in the 2004 NBA Finals; this was the final season for the original two-division format in both the Eastern and Western Conferences, before each of the conferences added a third division the following season. As a result, this would be the final season for the NBA Midwest Division, as the Minnesota Timberwolves were that division's last champion, the only division title the franchise has won in their twenty-nine seasons in the NBA; the All-Star Game was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The West won 136-132. For the first time in 21 years the Portland Trail Blazers did not make the playoffs, ending the second longest streak in NBA history. For the first time in 20 years the Utah Jazz did not make the playoffs, ending the third longest streak in NBA history. Prior to the start of the season, Karl Malone and Gary Payton took major paycuts to leave their teams and join Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal on the Lakers for a chance at a possible NBA title.
However, that title chase came to an end in the NBA Finals, as the Detroit Pistons won 4-1. The Minnesota Timberwolves, behind their "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett, Latrell Sprewell, Sam Cassell, amassed the best record in the Western Conference, were expected to win a first round playoff series, they advanced to the Western Conference Finals, which they lost to the Lakers. It would be their last playoff appearance until the 2017–18 season. LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, among others, formed one of the strongest drafts in NBA history. Among the touted rookies and Wade led their teams to the playoffs, Wade's play pushed the Heat into the second round. James went on to win NBA Rookie of the Year. Anthony became the first NBA rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1989–90 season. Tracy McGrady was the first scoring leader since Bernard King in 1984–85 whose team did not make the playoffs. Notes z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs y – Clinched division title x – Clinched playoff spot Teams in bold advanced to the next round.
The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record. * Division winnerBold Series winnerItalic Team with home-court advantage Most Valuable Player: Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves Rookie of the Year: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers Defensive Player of the Year: Ron Artest, Indiana Pacers Sixth Man of the Year: Antawn Jamison, Dallas Mavericks Most Improved Player: Zach Randolph, Portland Trail Blazers Coach of the Year: Hubie Brown, Memphis Grizzlies Executive of the Year: Jerry West, Memphis Grizzlies Sportsmanship Award: P. J. Brown, New Orleans Hornets J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award: Reggie Miller, Indiana Pacers The following players were named the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month.
The following players were named the Western Conference Rookies of the Month. The following coaches were named the Western Conference Coaches of the Month. Http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,695268141,00.html
NBA on TNT
The NBA on TNT is a branding used for broadcasts of the National Basketball Association games, produced by Turner Sports, the sports division of the Turner Broadcasting System subsidiary of WarnerMedia and televised on TNT since 1989. TNT's NBA coverage includes the Inside the NBA studio show, weekly doubleheaders throughout the regular season on Thursdays, as well as Tuesdays in the second half of the season, a majority of games during the first two rounds of the playoffs, one conference finals series. TNT airs many of the NBA's marquee games. In recent years, fans have reckoned it as what NBC was doing throughout that network's coverage of the league. TNT would seem to be the NBA's preferred carrier as well. TNT airs most of the big games during the regular season, TNT studio content is streamed to NBA.com via the TNT Overtime section. Ernie Johnson Jr. has been TNT's NBA studio host since the 1990-1991 season. Johnson is joined by Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal; the NBA postgame show which features the four, Inside the NBA, has gained popularity in recent years for the chemistry and banter they have.
Johnson, O'Neal and Barkley are joined by Chris Webber, Kevin McHale, David Aldridge, Reggie Miller or Isiah Thomas. TNT's playoff coverage is nicknamed 40 Games in 40 Nights. In previous years, TNT and TBS aired doubleheaders opposite each other on each night of the first round of the playoffs, with one network airing a doubleheader at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and the other network airing a doubleheader at 8:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.. TNT carries exclusive coverage of one NBA Conference Final. Since the 2004 NBA Playoffs, TNT has aired the Eastern Conference Finals in odd-number years and the Western Conference Finals in even-number years, a pattern which will continue until the expiration of its television contract. ESPN airs the other Conference Final, with weekend coverage of the ESPN-covered series and the Finals being broadcast on ABC. For the first round, TNT's coverage of the playoffs is not exclusive. After the first round, only national coverage from TNT or ESPN/ABC is produced. Starting in 2000, the NBA spread out playoff series.
TNT would air doubleheaders on most weekdays. With the advent of the new NBA television deal in 2003, TNT has aired playoff games alone, including some weekday tripleheaders; the tripleheaders, which were criticized by both fans and many in the media, consisted of one game at 6:00 p.m. another at 8:30 p.m. and a final game at 11:00 p.m. After 2003, the NBA and TNT discontinued the tripleheaders, instead settling for a doubleheader on TNT and a single game on NBA TV simultaneously. However, when Turner Sports acquired NBA TV in 2008, the network abandoned airing the lone non-national Thursday game, instead leaving it up to the local sports networks. However, TBS may still air the start of the second game in case the ongoing first game on TNT extends beyond the tip-off time of the second game. Other than their regular Thursday schedule, TNT airs NBA regular season games on Martin Luther King Day, during which tripleheaders were still used. However, in 2011, ESPN opted to air one matinee game on MLK Day, NBA TV on the second matinee, leaving TNT to air the remaining two night games.
In 2008, TNT broadcast on Christmas Day for the first time as Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Craig Sager broadcast the game between the Washington Wizards and the Cleveland Cavaliers in Quicken Loans Arena and Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller and Cheryl Miller broadcast the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Portland Trail Blazers in Rose Garden. TNT broadcast on Christmas Day again in 2011, when it broadcast the game between the Boston Celtics and the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, the first game of the 2011–12 season, as a result of a lockout. Albert and Steve Kerr called the game. Due to TNT's part in coverage of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament beginning in March 2011, the league shifted over what would have been the Thursday night games in the third week of that month to Monday nights and they aired as part of ESPN's coverage instead. In addition, NBA TV's ` Fan Night'; the studio crew of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley would stay in the TNT Atlanta studios for all of the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs.
However, in the 2010-11 NBA season the studio crew started taking their pre-game and Inside the NBA shows on the road in the regular season select games involving the Miami Heat on TNT, due to the heightened media coverage surrounding the Heat's acquisitions of LeBron James and Chris Bosh. The substitute studio hosts will be on hand for Inside the NBA and the other game's pre-game and halftime presentations. On May 11, 2011, Turner Sports broadcast its 1,000th playoff telecast. In July 2011, it was announced that Shaquille O'Neal would join as an analyst and he signed a multi-year agr
2015 NBA All-Star Game
The 2015 NBA All-Star Game was the 64th edition of the NBA All-Star Game, an exhibition basketball game played on February 15, 2015 in New York City and hosted by both of the city's teams, the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets. The NBA awarded the game to New York City in 2013, the logo for the 2015 All-Star Game was unveiled on July 10, 2014; the All-Star Game itself was played at Madison Square Garden. The current Garden last hosted the game in 1998, the Knicks' previous home, the third Madison Square Garden, hosted three earlier All-Star Games; the Saturday activities conducted as part of NBA All-Star Weekend were held at the Nets' home arena, the Barclays Center. The Nets hosted the 1982 All-Star Game at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey; the game was televised nationally by TNT and TBS in the United States, The game was televised nationally by TSN in Canada. Mike Budenholzer, coach of the Atlanta Hawks, Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, were selected as the East and West head coach, respectively.
The rosters for the All-Star Game were chosen in two ways. The starters were chosen via a fan ballot. Two guards and three frontcourt players who received the highest vote were named the All-Star starters. NBA head coaches voted for the reserves for their respective conferences, none of which could be players on their own team; each coach selected two guards, three frontcourt players and two wild cards, with each selected player ranked in order of preference within each category. If a multi-position player was to be selected, coaches were encouraged to vote for the player at the position, "most advantageous for the All-Star team", regardless of where the player was listed on the All-Star ballot or the position he was listed in box scores. If a player is unable to participate due to injury, the commissioner will select a replacement. Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors topped the ballots with 1,513,324 votes, which earned him a starting position as a guard in the Western Conference team.
Kobe Bryant earned a record 17th consecutive All-Star selection, Anthony Davis, Marc Gasol, Blake Griffin completed the Western Conference starting positions. The first-time All-Stars in the West were the Warriors’ Klay Thompson and the Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins, selected as a replacement for the injured Bryant; the Oklahoma City Thunder were represented by two players: Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, both of whom were reserves. Sending a pair of players to the All-Star Game as reserves were the Portland Trail Blazers, represented by LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard; the remaining Western Conference reserves were Thompson, Tim Duncan, James Harden, Chris Paul, Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook. Golden State had two All-Star representatives for the first time since 1993, when Tim Hardaway and Chris Mullin were both All-Stars, it was the first time the Warriors had a pair of starters since 1967, when Rick Barry and Nate Thurmond were both starters. The Eastern Conference's leading vote-getter was Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James, who finished with 1,470,483 votes.
John Wall, Kyle Lowry, Pau Gasol, Carmelo Anthony completed the Eastern Conference starting positions. The Eastern Conference team featured four first-time selections: Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver; the Atlanta Hawks were represented by four players: Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Korver, all of whom were reserves. Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Kyrie Irving completed the remaining Eastern Conference reserves; the Gasol brothers Marc and Pau were selected to start in the West and the East marking the first time in NBA history two brothers were picked to start in an All-Star Game. The Gasols were the first brothers to appear in the same All-Star Game since Tom and Dick Van Arsdale played in the 1970 and 1971 games. Russell Westbrook was named the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, he scored 27 points in 11 minutes in the first half, setting an All-Star record for points in a half. He finished one point shy of the All-Star game record set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962; the 2015 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game was played on Friday, February 13, 2015.
It was held at Madison Square Garden in home of the New York Knicks. This was the first celebrity game played at an NBA arena in the event's history; the game was televised nationally by ESPN. This game featured 20 players including Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan, 2014 Little League World Series female pitcher Mo'ne Davis, WNBA player Skylar Diggins, Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper, NBA hall of famer Chris Mullin, Memphis Grizzlies owner Robert Pera; this game featured two All-Star Celebrity Game MVPs. ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg coached the West and East teams respectively; the West team assistant coaches were tennis legend John McEnroe. New York Knicks' small forward Carmelo Anthony and former Baylor Bears center Isaiah Austin was the assistant coaches for the East team. Actress and singer Keke Palmer sang the national anthem, Canadian reggae fusion band Magic! Performed at halftime. Although the West led by Atlanta Dream point guard Shoni Schimmel with 17 points beat the East 57-51, Kevin Hart of the East who scored 15 points and won the MVP award.
This was Hart's fourth MVP award in a record for the Celebrity Game. Hart would announce his retirement from the annual celebrity game; the World team won against the U. S. 121-112 at the Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star weekend. Canada's Andrew Wiggins scored 22 points, Rudy Gobert added 18 points, 12 rebound
LeBron Raymone James Sr. is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association. He is considered the best basketball player in the world and regarded by some as the greatest player of all time, his accomplishments include four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals. James has been named NBA All-Star MVP three times, he won the 2008 NBA scoring title, is the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader, is fourth in all-time career points scored. He has been voted onto the All-NBA First Team twelve times and the All-Defensive First Team five times. James played basketball for St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, where he was touted by the national media as a future NBA superstar. A prep-to-pro, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 as the first overall draft pick. Named the 2003–04 NBA Rookie of the Year, he soon established himself as one of the league's premier players. After failing to win a championship with Cleveland, James left in 2010 to sign as a free agent with the Miami Heat.
This move was announced in an ESPN special titled The Decision, is one of the most controversial free agent decisions in American sports history. James won his first two NBA championships while playing for the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, he was named NBA Finals MVP in both championship years. After his fourth season with the Heat in 2014, James opted out of his contract to re-sign with the Cavaliers. In 2016, he led the Cavaliers to victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, delivering the team's first championship and ending Cleveland's 52-year professional sports title drought. In 2018, James opted out of his contract with the Cavaliers to sign with the Lakers. Off the court, James has accumulated additional fame from numerous endorsement contracts, his public life has been the subject of much scrutiny, he has been ranked as one of America's most influential and popular athletes. He has been featured in books and television commercials, he has hosted the ESPY Awards and Saturday Night Live, appeared in the 2015 film Trainwreck.
James was born on December 30, 1984, in Akron, Ohio to a 16-year-old mother, Gloria Marie James, father Anthony McClelland. Anthony was not involved in their life; when James was growing up, life was a struggle for the family, as they moved from apartment to apartment in the seedier neighborhoods of Akron while Gloria struggled to find steady work. Realizing that her son would be better off in a more stable family environment, Gloria allowed him to move in with the family of Frank Walker, a local youth football coach who introduced James to basketball when he was nine years old. James started playing organized basketball in the fifth grade, he played Amateur Athletic Union basketball for the Northeast Ohio Shooting Stars. The team enjoyed success on a local and national level, led by James and his friends Sian Cotton, Dru Joyce III, Willie McGee; the group dubbed themselves the "Fab Four" and promised each other that they would attend high school together. In a move that stirred local controversy, they chose to attend St. Vincent–St.
Mary High School, a private Catholic school with predominantly white students. As a freshman, James averaged 6 rebounds per game for the St. Vincent-St. Mary varsity basketball team; the Fighting Irish went 27–0 en route to the Division III state title, making them the only boys high school team in Ohio to finish the season undefeated. As a sophomore, James averaged 25.2 points and 7.2 rebounds with 5.8 assists and 3.8 steals per game. For some home games during the season, St. Vincent-St. Mary played at the University of Akron's 5,492-seat Rhodes Arena to satisfy ticket demand from alumni and college and NBA scouts who wanted to see James play; the Fighting Irish finished the season 26–1 and repeated as state champions. For his outstanding play, James was named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, becoming the first sophomore to do either. Prior to the start of his junior year, James was featured in Slam, an American basketball magazine, writer Ryan Jones lauded him as "the best high school basketball player in America right now".
During the season, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, becoming the first high school basketball underclassman to do so. With averages of 29 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 3.3 steals per game, he was again named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team, became the first junior to be named male basketball Gatorade National Player of the Year. St. Vincent-St. Mary finished the year with a 23–4 record, ending their season with a loss in the Division II championship game. Following the loss, James unsuccessfully petitioned for a change to the NBA's draft eligibility rules in an attempt to enter the 2002 NBA draft. During this time, he used marijuana, which he said was to help cope with the stress that resulted from the constant media attention he was receiving. Throughout his senior year and the Fighting Irish traveled around the country to play a number of nationally ranked teams, including a game against Oak Hill Academy, nationally televised on ESPN2.
Time Warner Cable, looking to capitalize on James's popularity, offered St. Vincent-St. Mary's games to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis throughout the season. For the year, James averaged 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 3.4 steals per game, was named Ohio Mr. Basketball and selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team
The Celtics–Lakers rivalry is a National Basketball Association rivalry between the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics and the Lakers are the two most storied franchises in the NBA, the rivalry has been called the best in the NBA; the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers have met a record 12 times in the NBA Finals, starting with their first Finals meeting in 1959. They would both go on to dominate the league in the 1960s and 1980s, facing each other six times in the 1960s, three times in the 1980s, two times in 2008 and 2010; the two teams have won the two highest numbers of championships in the NBA: the Celtics have won 17, the Lakers have won 16. Together, they account for 33 of the 72 championships in NBA history; as of 2018, the Celtics and Lakers have a..596 all-time winning records respectively. As of the end of the 2017–18 season, Boston is the only team with a winning overall record against the Lakers; the rivalry had been less intense since the retirements of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the early 1990s, but in 2008 when the two teams met in the Finals for the first time since 1987, with the Celtics winning the series 4–2.
They met again in the 2010 NBA Finals. During the first decade of the NBA in the 1950s, the Minneapolis Lakers had the first NBA dynasty. Minneapolis would win the first Championship Series of the newly formed NBA in 1950. Under Hall of Fame head coach John Kundla, with the NBA's first superstar in George Mikan, they would win three more titles in 1952, 1953, 1954; the Celtics would emerge behind early NBA star Bob Cousy by winning the 1957 NBA Finals and losing in 1958. The first NBA Finals match-up between the two teams was in 1959 when on April 9, the Boston Celtics swept the Minneapolis Lakers 4-0 for the first sweep in the history of the NBA Finals; this would mark the first Finals loss for the dominant Lakers, the first of eight straight titles for Boston. The Lakers relocated to Los Angeles in 1960, it was after this move, during this decade, that the rivalry would escalate. The two teams emerged as the strongest in the NBA, featuring greats such as Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, John Havlicek, Sam Jones and head coach Red Auerbach for Boston and Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, coach/GM Fred Schaus for Los Angeles.
However, it would prove to be the decade of the Celtics, who won the finals every year in the 1960s except for 1967. The Lakers would be the Celtics opponent in six of those series: 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969; the Celtics won all of those match-ups. Three of those series went seven games; the Celtics win over the Lakers in 1966 marked an unprecedented eight consecutive championships, the longest streak of any North American professional sports team. The Lakers acquired Wilt Chamberlain in 1968, which brought the personal rivalry between him and Bill Russell a feature of the Celtics-76ers rivalry, to Celtics-Lakers; the Lakers posted the best record in the West during the 1968–1969 season. By contrast, the aging Celtics struggled to obtain the fourth seed, with Russell and Jones playing in their final seasons. Despite this, the Celtics upset the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks and made it to the Finals; the Lakers had home court advantage for the first time and won the first two games, but the Celtics rebounded to force and win a dramatic Game 7 at the Los Angeles Forum, defying Laker's owner Jack Kent Cooke's infamous prediction of a Lakers celebration.
West was named Finals MVP despite being on the losing team, but it was small consolation in a decade where the Lakers went without a championship, every one of their Finals' losses in that decade coming at the hands of the Celtics. The 1969 Finals caused a deterioration in the relationship between Russell and Chamberlain, friends despite their rivalry, into one of intense loathing, when Chamberlain took himself out of the decisive Game 7 with six minutes left, Russell thereafter accused Chamberlain of being a malingerer and of "copping out" of the game when it seemed that the Lakers would lose. Chamberlain saw him as a backstabber; the two men did not talk to each other for over 20 years until Russell attempted to patch things up, although he never uttered a genuine apology. When Chamberlain died in 1999, Chamberlain's nephew stated that Russell was the second person he was ordered to break the news to; the Celtics and Lakers both found success in the 1970s, but there would be no rematch between the two teams.
The start of the decade saw the Lakers' woes in the NBA Finals continue, with a loss to the New York Knicks in 1970. However, the Lakers rebounded two years to win the 1972 NBA Finals and their first championship in Los Angeles against the Knicks; this would prove to be Laker great Jerry West's only NBA title. The following year, the Lakers again lost, they would not make it to the Finals again in this decade, but in 1975 they acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Celtics won the NBA Finals in 1974, won again in 1976, under the leadership of coach Tom Heinsohn and players Dave Cowens, Paul Silas and Jo Jo White. Neither team won another championship until the 1980s. However, the foundation for the renewed Celtics–Lakers rivalry of the 1980s was laid down in college basketball of the late 1970s. During the 1978–79 NCAA season, Michigan State was led by Magic Joh