On this day in sport: Jordan returns, history for Harden and McLain indicted

By Sports Desk March 19, 2020

Live sport is proving difficult to come by amid the coronavirus pandemic, so we looked back through sporting history to identify major events or news to occur on this day.

March 19 certainly wasn't short of options, though we managed to nail it down to five occasions that were particularly notable.

They include the indictment of one former baseball player and another returning to the basketball court where he made his name.

Below, take yourself on a trip down memory lane… Or just get a little sporting education.

 

1978 – Nicklaus wins his third Players Championship

Jack Nicklaus enjoyed many a famous victory during his sparkling golfing career, but his win at the 1978 Players Championship was a peculiar one. In demanding weather conditions, with wind wreaking havoc, Nicklaus won his third Players title, beating Lou Graham by a single shot. No one finished the tournament below par, with Nicklaus' one-over 289 incredibly enough to secure him the title.

1984 – Former MLB pitcher McLain indicted

Regarded as a great during his time as a professional pitcher in baseball, Denny McLain's life away from the sport was rather more chaotic. Having gone off the rails after his career ran its course, McLain was charged with racketeering and narcotics violations on March 19, 1984, before being sentenced to 23 years in prison. He served two-and-a-half years, before an appeals court threw out the verdict and set McLain free. He went back to prison in 1996 on charges of embezzlement, money laundering, mail fraud and conspiracy.

1991 – Phoenix stripped of 1993 Super Bowl

The 1993 Super Bowl was due to be held in Phoenix, Arizona. However, the state's lack of recognition for Martin Luther King Jr. Day saw them stripped of the event. President Ronald Reagan had declared Martin Luther King Jr. Day a national holiday eight years earlier and, at the time, Arizona adhered to the legislature. It wasn't until 1987 when Republican governor Evan Mecham took office that the MLK celebration was cancelled. The holiday returned to Arizona in 1993 following a vote the year before.

1995 – Michael Jordan returns

After 17 months away from basketball, during which time he had a spell in baseball, Michael Jordan was back on this day in 1995. Twenty-four hours after Jordan had announced "I'm back", he was playing once again for his beloved Chicago Bulls, scoring 19 points in an overtime 103-96 defeat to the Indiana Pacers.

2019 – Harden makes NBA history

Just last year, Houston Rockets guard James Harden made history when he became the first NBA player to score at least 30 points against every opponent in the league. He accomplished the feat with a haul of 31 in a win over the Atlanta Hawks. Just the game before, Harden had seen his 32-game streak of scoring 30 points or more end – that remains the second-longest such run in NBA history.

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    ESPN claimed Cohen has reached an agreement on a deal worth $17.25million in new money, with $9.53m fully guaranteed.

    Dual-threat back Cohen is in his fourth year in the NFL after being picked in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft.

    He has rushed for 1,068 yards and five touchdowns in his career, but has proved even more dangerous as a receiver, amassing 1,540 yards and nine touchdowns from 205 receptions.

    Cohen is also a factor as a returner and in 2018 he was named a First-Team All-Pro as a return specialist.

    In total he has amassed over 4,000 all-purpose yards having also thrown two touchdown passes.

    The Bears, who rallied for a come-from-behind victory over the Detroit Lions in Week 1, will now turn their attention to signing top wide receiver Allen Robinson to a new deal.

    Robinson is in the final year of his contract and earlier this week deleted references to the Bears on his social media accounts amid reports he was frustrated at the way negotiations were going.

    However, NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport reported talks have since resumed.

  • Jimmy Butler frustrated by Heat's slow starts: I think it gets old Jimmy Butler frustrated by Heat's slow starts: I think it gets old

    Jimmy Butler lamented another slow start from the Miami Heat as the Boston Celtics held on for a 117-106 win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

    Miami's lead in the series was cut to 2-1 as Boston raced out to an early lead and saw it out, with four Celtics players scoring at least 20 points.

    The Heat had overturned a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit to win Game 1, while they rallied from a 15-point hole in the third quarter to take Game 2, yet this time around Miami, who trailed by 20 points at one point in Game 3, were unable to muster another comeback.

    "I think it gets old, playing from behind consistently," Heat swingman Butler told reporters.

    "Especially against a great team like Boston and what they bring to the table."

    Boston led 31-22 after the first quarter and though Miami scored 32 fourth-quarter points it was a case of too little, too late.

    "We've got to start the game how we start the fourth," Miami's All-Star Bam Adebayo added.

    "I feel like we're not the type of team where we can go through the motions and try and figure out everything in the first half, and then in the third or fourth, we just try to turn it on. It's not like that. We are not that type of team."

    It was just Miami's second loss of this postseason and Adebayo is keen for the Heat to start hotter in Game 4 on Wednesday.

    "We've got to play with detail," he said.

    "I feel like we've got to work on our offense a little bit. They got us on our heels. They were out there hooping it up and having fun. I feel like that was the big difference in the game.

    "They jumped out on us, and I guess they got tired of us being down 13 and coming back and winning. We've just got to do a better job of not letting ourselves get in a big deficit."

  • You want to be upset at 0-2 – Tatum insists Celtics locker room 'normal' after Game 3 win You want to be upset at 0-2 – Tatum insists Celtics locker room 'normal' after Game 3 win

    Jayson Tatum insists things are "normal" in the Boston Celtics locker room after the team recorded a pivotal Game 3 win over the Miami Heat.

    Having lost second-half leads of 14 and 15 points respectively in the opening two games of the Eastern Conference finals, reports about heated disagreements between players were rife.

    Coach Brad Stevens reportedly held a late-night meeting with leading Celtics players to discuss any grievances and Game 3 saw his team get back into the playoff series with a 117-106 triumph in Orlando.

    With the series close again at 2-1, Tatum – who thrived with 25 points, 14 rebounds and 8 assists on Saturday – felt debate over their locker room had been overblown.

    "It's been normal," he said, per ESPN. "Anybody that's played sports, played in a team game, we're not supposed to be happy being down 0-2. If you are, then you don't care. We care about this.

    "Basketball is a game of emotions. So we want guys to be frustrated, be upset, to care. 

    "It's nothing personal. We just have to figure some things out. It's nothing more than that.

    "You're supposed to talk it out, figure it out and come together for the next game. Leave what happened in the past in the past because you can't change it."

    Gordon Hayward returned after a month out with an ankle injury, registering six points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block in 31 minutes.

    Discussing his return, Tatum added: "It meant everything.

    "Obviously, we played a while without him. And I've said it before: crazy that anyone would think we're better without him. 

    "We're so much better when he's out there and so much more dynamic, so much more versatile when he's out there.

    "It felt great to have the full team back. He played great in his first game, and he's going to continue to get better, get his feel back. So to have him back is everything."

    Four Celtics players topped 20 points, with Jaylen Brown, who echoed Tatum's comments on team cohesion, leading the way with 26, plus seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.

    "There's some great guys in that locker room," said Brown. 

    "A lot of emotion, a lot of passion, but we're a family and we're here for each other at the end of the day. We exemplified that when we came out together. We stayed together during some tough moments.

    "But we didn't hang our head. We kept our will high and persevered to win this game."

    Kemba Walker (21 points) and Marcus Smart (20 points) also had productive outings and the teams will now rest during a brief break in this series until Game 4 on Wednesday.

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