June 17, 2010 was the date Kobe Bryant got his fifth and final NBA ring.

The Los Angeles Lakers icon, who died in a helicopter crash earlier this year, helped his franchise beat the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

Two years ago Brooks Koepka became a back-to-back champion at the U.S. Open while in 1999 Australia and South Africa played one of the most thrilling Cricket World Cup contests ever.

We take a look at major sporting events that have happened on June 17 in previous years.

 

1999 - Australia edge past Proteas in dramatic semi

Until England's incredible Super Over win over New Zealand in last year's World Cup final, the 1999 semi-final between Australia and South Africa was perhaps the greatest ODI ever.

Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald managed to restrict Australia to 213 and though Shane Warne (4-29) kept his team in the match, South Africa entered the final over nine down but needing nine more to reach the final.

Successive fours from Lance Klusener (31 not out) tied the scores but, with the Proteas needing only one run from their final four deliveries, a mix-up between Klusener and Donald resulted in the latter being run out.

The game finished as a tie but Australia went through to the final because they had a superior run rate in the Super Six stage, with South Africa left to reflect on some all-too-familiar World Cup heartache.

 

2010 - Kobe leads Lakers past Celtics

Boston, who had beaten Los Angeles in the 2008 Finals, were 3-2 up after Game 5 but knew the series would be closed out in the City of Angels.

The Lakers, who were the defending champions, forced a Game 7 and came out on top 83-79 to clinch the franchise's 16th - and to date most recent - championship.

Bryant was voted Finals MVP for the second time in his career and scored a game-high 23 points in the decider.

 

2018 - Koepka wins U.S. Open again

Twelve months after he won by four strokes to claim his first major, Koepka proved to be unstoppable once more at the U.S. Open.

The American began the day in a four-way tie for the lead and his two-under-par 68 on Sunday was enough to earn him a one-stroke success over Tommy Fleetwood at Shinnecock Hills.

Koepka became just the third man since World War II - after Ben Hogan and Curtis Strange - to successfully defend the U.S. Open title.

Damian Lillard is willing to play when the NBA plans to return next month even though he does not feel 100 per cent comfortable about the decision.

The NBA hopes to restart the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World Resort via a 22-team format in Orlando after the campaign was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Players are reportedly divided about the season resuming amid the COVID-19 crisis and unrest in the United States, where there have been nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Commissioner Adam Silver admitted the league's planned resumption "may not be for everyone" but he is confident player concerns will be addressed.

Kyrie Irving and Dwight Howard are among those to have questioned whether the league should return amid the Black Lives Matter protests, and Portland Trail Blazers guard Lillard understands their point of view.

"I don't feel 100 per cent, but it's a risk that I'm willing to take," Lillard said to ESPN about playing when the NBA returns.

"This is what we do. This is our job and this is how we take care of our families. And also this is my way of providing for communities, impacting in my community. 

"So, to play the game I love, to resume the season, I guess this is a risk that I'm willing to take.

"With the pandemic that we've been in over the course of a few months, I think basketball would have been or will be great for that. 

"It will be us getting back to somewhat normalcy, of having our athletes on TV playing and doing what we do.

"But I think as far as the racial injustice, I think that is where a lot of the struggle is for a lot of athletes. 

"Our league is made up of so many African-American players and a lot of our hearts are with our people, our minds are with our people and we feel like we should be a part of that fight.

"That is what the struggle is. That's what you hear in a lot of guys coming out saying maybe we should be focused on that instead of worrying about going back in and jumping into this season.

"I can only speak for myself, but I think it goes for other guys as well, we are the financial support for our families and for a lot of our community.

"We bring a lot of that financial responsibility to support black businesses and black communities. So it makes a lot of sense for us from that standpoint.

"But a lot of guys in the league have a point. I think Kyrie and Dwight have a point. You know, so I understand it all."

Five-time All Star Lillard conceded it would be a strange feeling to return after all that has happened over the past few months.

"It's something that none of us have experienced in our lifetime," he said. 

"I mean, the world literally shut down - I don't know if that's ever happened or when was the last time it did, if it has happened. But I think it'll be difficult, to say the least, because a lot of our hearts are with our people.

"So that's hard to go out there and be your best self, or the best version of yourself as an athlete, when something isn't sitting right with you personally. 

"That's something that's not just going to go away. So we're not sure how it's gonna go. But we're gonna see when we get there."

The Golden State Warriors and Tiger Woods both became champions again on June 16 in previous years, while Didier Deschamps' France also started their road to glory in Russia.

Steve Kerr's Warriors have dominated the NBA for much of the past half-decade, but five years ago they were trying to end a long championship drought.

Woods was already a multiple major winner by 2008, though his victory at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines while he essentially played on one leg was one of his most incredible successes.

Here we take a look at major sporting events that have happened on June 16 in previous years.

 

2008 - Wounded Woods wins U.S. Open play-off

The 2008 U.S. Open had been due to finish on Sunday, June 15 but 72 holes could not separate Woods and veteran Rocco Mediate, so the two came back for 18 more on Monday.

Woods had a three-stroke lead through 10 holes but, clearly hampered by a serious knee injury, he was reeled in by the world number 158 and needed a birdie at the last to force a sudden death.

After 91 holes, Woods eventually emerged victorious to claim his 14th major title - four short of record-holder Jack Nicklaus' haul - though it would be another 11 years before he tasted major success again at the Masters.

It was later revealed Woods had played on with a double stress fracture and a torn anterior cruciate ligament, making his victory all the more remarkable.

2015 - Warriors end title drought

Finals between the Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers would become a regular theme, and it was Stephen Curry and Co. who came out on top in 2015, as they did in 2017 and 2018 too.

The 2015 series had been tied at 2-2 but a 104-91 Game 5 win gave Golden State the chance to end a 40-year wait for another title on June 16, which they did with a 105-97 Game 6 victory.

Curry and Finals MVP Andre Iguodala scored 25 points apiece, with the latter winning praise for his defensive display against LeBron James, who would need to wait another 12 months before he brought a title to the long-suffering Cleveland fans.

2018 - VAR helps France edge past Australia

They may have undoubtedly been the best team at Russia 2018, but France had an underwhelming start to a campaign that would end with them winning the World Cup.

Les Bleus were thankful for VAR when it was used - for the first time ever in a World Cup match - to award them a controversial penalty after Josh Risdon's tackle on Antoine Griezmann originally went punished in Kazan.

Griezmann duly dispatched the penalty but Australia pulled level through Mile Jedinak's spot-kick, only for France to claim a 2-1 win 10 minutes from time courtesy of an own goal from Aziz Behich.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver admitted the league's planned resumption "may not be for everyone" but he is confident player concerns will be addressed.

The NBA is planning to restart the 2019-20 season at Walt Disney World Resort via a 22-team format in Orlando next month after the campaign was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, NBA players are reportedly divided about the season resuming amid the COVID-19 crisis and unrest in the United States, where there have been nationwide protests after the death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

Discussing the challenges facing the NBA as it tries to return, Silver told ESPN on Monday: "It may not be for everyone. It will entail enormous sacrifice on behalf of those players, for everyone involved – the coaches and referees.

"Listen, it's not an ideal situation. We are trying to find a way to our own normalcy in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of essentially a recession or worse with 40 million unemployed, and now with enormous social unrest in the country.

"And so as we work through these issues, I can understand how some players may feel, that it's not for them ... it may be for family reasons, it may be for health reasons they have, or it may be because they feel -- as some players have said very recently -- that their time is best spent elsewhere."

Silver added: "Things are changing around us. The social unrest in the country was -- in the same way we never could have predicted the pandemic would unfold, in the way it has -- what's happened since George Floyd's death is also unprecedented.

"I'm incredibly sympathetic and empathetic to what's happening in people's lives. And in the midst of all that, to say, 'We're looking for an opportunity to restart this league, to try to move forward with crowning a champion,' it's not top of mind for a lot of people."

"A lot of people pointed to the financial component of this," Silver said. "The incremental difference between, at this point, playing and not playing, isn't nearly as great as people think, especially given the enormous expense in putting this on.

"Really, it's more a sense from the entire NBA community that we have an obligation to try this, because the alternative is to stay on the sidelines ... in essence, give in to this virus ... For us, we feel that this is what we do: We put on NBA basketball. We think that for the country, it'll be a respite [from] the enormous difficulties people are dealing with in their lives right now.

"And in terms of social justice issues, it'll be an opportunity for NBA players in the greater community to draw attention to the issues because the world's attention will be on the NBA in Orlando if we're able to pull this off. What should this league, that may have a unique opportunity as compared to almost any other organisation in the world, be doing in response to George Floyd's death, to endemic racial issues in society? I've heard this loud and clear -- the statements have been issued, foundations have been announced, contributions.

"But there's an expectation that there's more that this league can do; and I think part of it's gonna require a fair amount of listening, something we've been doing already. But then engaging in very deliberate behaviour, together with the players, in terms of how can we use our larger platform, the NBA together with the players, really to effect change."

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant is the latest sports star to invest in a Major League Soccer team.

The 10-time NBA All-Star has acquired a five per cent ownership stake in Philadelphia Union, with an option to purchase an additional five per cent in the near future.

''I've always been a soccer fan and have wanted to get into it in a meaningful way. My team and I felt an instant connection with the Philadelphia Union ownership and staff and their vision for a partnership,'' Durant said in a statement on Monday.

''While you won't get to see me at games for now, my team and I will be taking an active role in the community, where I can help give back to Chester [Pennsylvania] and Philadelphia.''

Durant is the second former NBA MVP to invest in an MLS team, with the Houston Rockets' James Harden owning a stake in Houston Dynamo. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson also owns a stake in Seattle Sounders.

The MLS season, which has been on pause since mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, is set to restart on July 8 with a 26-team tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at the Walt Disney Resort in Florida.

The NBA season is also slated to resume at Disney World at the end of July.

Durant, however, has said he will not play when the season resumes as he continues his recovery from the Achilles tendon tear he sustained with the Golden State Warriors in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors.

 

June 15 is a momentous sporting date that the Detroit Pistons and their fans will not forget in a hurry.

Sixteen years ago on this day, the team earned an emphatic 4-1 win over favourites the Los Angeles Lakers to seal glory in the NBA Finals.

This date also represents the 40-year anniversary of a famous day in golfing history, when Jack Nicklaus broke a record at the U.S. Open.

We look back at some of the top moments to occur on June 15 in the world of sport.


2004 - Pistons top Lakers 4-1 in NBA Finals

The Pistons sealed a stunning 4-1 series win over the Lakers on this day in 2004, with a 100-87 win in Game 5 ensuring they secured glory in Michigan.

Richard Hamilton top-scored with 21 points, Ben Wallace starred with 22 rebounds and Chauncey Billups had a game-high six assists.

Billups was named Finals MVP as coach Larry Brown savoured his first championship, his underdog team having won three straight after going down to an overtime loss in Game 2.

Game 5 was notable as the last game for Shaquille O'Neal, Karl Malone and Gary Payton for the Lakers, who had won previously three straight titles between 2000 and 2002.

This remains the Pistons' most recent NBA title, as they lost a thrilling Finals series 4-3 to the San Antonio Spurs the following year and have not returned since.

The Lakers, meanwhile, reached three straight Finals when coach Phil Jackson returned to the team later in the decade, winning two, including their last triumph in 2010.

Kobe Bryant top-scored with 24 points in a losing effort against the Pistons in Game 5.

He would go on to be named NBA Finals MVP in each of their 2009 and 2010 successes, moving on to five rings in the process.


1980 – Nicklaus sets record in U.S. Open triumph

Jack Nicklaus' fourth and final U.S. Open victory was a special one in 1980.

The American set a new tournament scoring record with an eight-under par score of 272 to win his fourth title at the event, finishing two shots clear of Japanese challenger Isao Aoki.

Nicklaus had started the week with a magnificent 63 to take a share of the first-round lead, and led by two after a more steady effort of 71 on day two.

After moving day, he was in a share of the lead with Aoki while four other players, including Tom Watson, were within two shots.

A thrilling finale was in store for June 15 and Nicklaus delivered with a 68 to claim his 16th major, 18 years after winning his first U.S. Open.

He romped to US PGA glory later that year, before his 18th and final major arrived six years later at the 1986 Masters.
 

1974 - Evert wins first of seven French Opens

American Chris Evert holds the women's singles record with an astonishing seven French Open titles.

She won the first of her Paris crowns on this day in 1974, emphatically defeating the third seed, Russian Olga Morozova, 6-1 6-2.

In the absence of Margaret Court, who had beaten her in a three-set thriller in the previous year's final, top seed Evert thrived.

She went through the whole tournament without losing a set, with German Helga Masthoff, the fourth seed, seen off in the semi-finals in a tougher test than she ended up having in the showpiece.

Evert also won Wimbledon that year as part of a sensational 55-match winning streak.

She successfully defended her French Open title the following year, and her third success in 1979 started a streak of five wins in the space of five years.

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard has not decided whether to play if the NBA resumes amid the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, according to his agent Charles Briscoe.

The NBA is planning to restart the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season via a 22-team format at Walt Disney World Resort in July after the campaign was suspended in March.

However, eight-time All-Star Howard believes the return of the NBA would be an unwelcome distraction from the importance of the anti-racism and social injustice protests in the United States as Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving leads calls for basketball not to resume.

There have been nationwide protests after George Floyd – an African-American man – was killed in police custody in Minneapolis last month when a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Responding to Howard's statement on Sunday, Briscoe told ESPN: "The statement was about social injustice and racism. Yet everybody is still talking about whether basketball should be played.

"He isn't saying that basketball shouldn't be. He's just saying that you should not be taking attention away from what's going on in the country to talk about basketball. Basketball is just a sport, at the end of the day.

"But what's going on with people dying in the streets, that's something real. That statement, it had nothing to do with sports. It had everything to do with racism and social injustice."

Howard issued a statement via his agent to CNN, which read: "I agree with Kyrie. Basketball, or entertainment period, isn't needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction.

"Sure it might not distract us players, but we have resources at hand [the] majority of our community don't have. And the smallest distraction for them can start a trickle-down effect that may never stop. Especially with the way the climate is now.

"I would love nothing more than to win my very first NBA Championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger Championship, that's just to [sic] beautiful to pass up.

"What better time than now for us to be focusing on our families. This is a rare opportunity that, I believe, we as a community should be taking full advantage of.

"When have we ever had this amount of time to sit and be with our families. This is where our Unity starts. At home! With Family!! European Colonisation stripped us of our rich history, and we have yet to sit down and figure us out. The less distractions, the more we can put into action into rediscovering ourselves.

"Nations come out of families. Black/African American is not a Nation or Nationality. It's time Our Families became their own Nations. No Basketball till we get things resolved."

Los Angeles Lakers star Dwight Howard believes the return of the NBA would be an unwelcome distraction from the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The league is still negotiating the details of a 2020 restart over three months after the coronavirus pandemic forced the season to be suspended.

There are said to be plans to resume the regular season from July 30 on a modified schedule, although a handful of players reportedly expressed concerns about injury risks during a conference call this week.

On the same call involving 80 players on Friday, Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving is said to have led calls for basketball not to return while protests against racial injustice and police brutality continue across the United States.

Anti-racism demonstrations have been held across the world following the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed in police custody in Minneapolis last month when a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Renewed protests have occurred in Atlanta after African-American man Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police at a drive-through on Friday, an incident that led to the resignation of the city's police chief.

On Sunday, eight-time All-Star Howard issued a statement via his agent to CNN in which he made it clear he would give up the chance to win a first NBA Championship for "the unity of my people".

"I agree with Kyrie. Basketball, or entertainment period, isn't needed at this moment, and will only be a distraction," the statement said.

"Sure it might not distract us players, but we have resources at hand [the] majority of our community don't have.

"And the smallest distraction for them can start a trickle-down effect that may never stop. Especially with the way the climate is now.

"I would love nothing more than to win my very first NBA Championship. But the unity of My People would be an even bigger Championship, that's just to [sic] beautiful to pass up.

"What better time than now for us to be focusing on our families. This is a rare opportunity that, I believe, we as a community should be taking full advantage of.

"When have we ever had this amount of time to sit and be with our families. This is where our Unity starts. At home! With Family!!

"European Colonisation stripped us of our rich history, and we have yet to sit down and figure us out. The less distractions, the more we can put into action into rediscovering ourselves.

"Nations come out of families. Black/African American is not a Nation or Nationality. It's time Our Families became their own Nations. No Basketball till we get things resolved."

Michael Jordan raced back on defense after a drive to the basket saw him bring the Chicago Bulls back to within a point of the Utah Jazz with 37 seconds remaining.

It was June 14, 1998, Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals and victory would see the Bulls clinch a historic second three-peat and Jordan get his sixth championship ring in what would be their 'Last Dance'.

Jordan's next pivotal play saw him steal the ball from Karl Malone in the post with 18 seconds left. He then carried the ball forward, crossed up Bryon Russell and made an iconic mid-range jumper to put Phil Jackson's team in front.

When John Stockton failed to make a three-pointer at the buzzer, history was made.

But how do Jordan's performances, and those of his team-mates, in the 1997-98 season compare to players in the modern era?

That is what Stats Perform's AI analysts attempted to find out.

By looking at player statistics compared to the league averages rather than raw values, they developed a similarity score metric.

It uses a host of era-adjusted per-30-minute stats and more advanced rate metrics, and calculates the Euclidean distances between the seasons of each of the 1997-98 Bulls and every other player since the start of 2010-11.

From those results, a relative similarity percentage can be calculated i.e. the player since 2010-11 with the greatest similarity to one of the 1997-98 Bulls would score closest to 100 per cent.

By looking at player seasons since the start of 2017-18, we can see who in the NBA's modern era is the nearest equivalent to Jordan and the rest of the Bulls in that historic season.

Michael Jordan

Jordan's closest contemporary is Kawhi Leonard, with the Los Angeles Clippers star's 2019-20 season registering a relative similarity percentage of 28.7.

Leonard's NBA championship-winning campaign with the Toronto Raptors in 2018-19 is a close second (26.7 per cent), while Bradley Beal this season ranks third at 24 per cent.

DeMar DeRozan rounds out the top five, though his 2018-19 output had just 16.5 per cent relative similarity. His efforts the year prior produced a score of 23.7 per cent, close to Beal.

When looking at all players since 2010, though, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant in 2010-11 is the top comparison at 46.8 per cent.

Bryant played all 82 games that year but was unable to emulate Jordan and lead the Lakers to a second three-peat under Jackson, with the Dallas Mavericks sweeping them in the Western Conference semi-finals.

 

Dennis Rodman

It is tough to find a modern comparison for what Rodman did with the Bulls in 1997-98.

Marcin Gortat's 2018-19 season with the Clippers is the nearest but has a relative similarity percentage of just 9.7, with Noah Vonleh in 2017-18 a close second at 9.3. Vonleh's past two seasons rank fifth and fourth, behind Ed Davis this term at 7.4 per cent.

When looking beyond the past three seasons, a player who made his name in Chicago comes in as Rodman's closest contemporary: Joakim Noah.

Noah was a two-time All-Star and the 2014 NBA Defensive Player of the Year during his time with the Bulls, but it is his production in the 2016-17 season – his first with the New York Knicks – that compares best, though his relative similarity percentage is still just 16.3.

 

Scottie Pippen

After electing to delay having surgery on his foot so he could enjoy the offseason as his contract dispute with the Bulls continued, Pippen missed almost half of the 1997-98 regular season.

Tyreke Evans in 2018-19, a season that ended with him being kicked out of the league for two years for violating the NBA's anti-drug programme, provides the nearest resemblance of Pippen's performances during the Last Dance with a relative similarity score of 64.7 per cent.

Evans (52.4 per cent) also ranks second thanks to his 2017-18 season, ahead of Caris LeVert of the Brooklyn Nets. LeVert has a score of 50.3 per cent for this season and 48 per cent for 2018-19.

When looking at all players since 2010, J.R. Smith features highly. His 2012-13 campaign has a relative similarity score of 53.7 per cent, which is one of three entries for him in the top six.

 

Luc Longley

Domantas Sabonis helped the Indiana Pacers reach the playoffs in 2017-18, and with a relative similarity mark of 45.4 per cent he has the nearest modern comparison to Longley.

There is little to separate Jordan Mickey (2017-18) and Zach Collins (2018-19) in second and third, with the former's 43.8 just beating the latter's 43.

When widening the scope to include all player seasons since 2010-11, however, two players dominate the top 10: Spencer Hawes and Jason Smith.

Hawes' second year with the Philadelphia 76ers (2011-12) takes first place with a relative similarity percentage of 63.6, while his last season with the Charlotte Hornets (2016-17) is second at 59.1.

Smith takes up the next four places (2015-16, 2012-13, 2014-15 and 2011-12 respectively) and also eighth, which is sandwiched by Hawes in 2010-11 and 2012-13.

The top eight seasons all have a relative similarity score in excess of 50 per cent.

 

Ron Harper

Over the past three seasons, Garrett Temple is the closest you can get to Harper.

Temple's output with the Nets this year most closely corresponds to Harper at 60.1 per cent relative similarity.

His two prior seasons also scored within 0.5 per cent of that mark, with Trevor Ariza rounding out the top five on 56.1 per cent for both this season and 2018-19.

Since the start of the last decade, though, Damien Wilkins in 2010-11 is the nearest comparison at 68.3 per cent.

 

Toni Kukoc

Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics this season comes in as the top modern comparison for Kukoc at 65.2 per cent.

MarShon Brooks in 2018-19 has a relative similarity of 62 per cent, while Bogdan Bogdanovic this year is at 59.8 per cent.

Chandler Parsons in 2017-18 is fourth on the list, and he certainly has a lot in common with the Croatian when you look back further.

Parsons provides the top four comparisons to Kukoc since 2010-11 and his efforts in the 2014-15 season have a relative similarity percentage of 99.9, which is the nearest equivalent of all data analysed.

 

Steve Kerr

Kerr may have moulded Stephen Curry into a two-time MVP and three-time NBA champion, but the Golden State Warriors star's brother Seth Curry is his closest comparison.

Seth Curry's performances for the Mavericks this season registered a 50.1 per cent relative similarity score, while his 2018-19 campaign with the Portland Trail Blazers was second at 44.4.

Reggie Bullock (2017-18), Langston Galloway (2019-20) and Courtney Lee (2017-18) also feature in the top five from the past three years.

 

What about the others?

Bill Wennington

Since 2017: Jon Leuer in 2018-19 (37.9 per cent)
Since 2010: Jon Leuer in 2018-19 (37.9 per cent)

David Vaughan

Since 2017: Domantas Sabonis in 2017-18 (70.8 per cent)
Since 2010: Thomas Robinson in 2013-14 (88.4 per cent)

Dickey Simpkins

Since 2017: Caleb Swanigan in 2019-20 (31.8 per cent)
Since 2010: Samardo Samuels in 2011-12 (45.4 per cent)

Jason Caffey

Since 2017: Domantas Sabonis in 2017-18 (62.9 per cent)
Since 2010: Samardo Samuels in 2011-12 (78.6 per cent)

Joe Kleine

Since 2017: Wilson Chandler in 2019-20 (40.9 per cent)
Since 2010: Juwan Howard in 2010-11 (40.9 per cent)

Jud Buechler

Since 2017: Danny Green in 2019-20 (59.1 per cent)
Since 2010: Wesley Johnson in 2013-14 (56.9 per cent)

Randy Brown

Since 2017: Shaquille Harrison in 2018-19 (51.1 per cent)
Since 2010: Ronnie Price in 2010-11 (52.8 per cent)

Scott Burrell

Since 2017: Sterling Brown in 2017-18 (68 per cent)
Since 2010: Wesley Johnson in 2015-16 (82.8 per cent)

Asafa Powell broke the 100 metres world record on this day 15 years ago, and the New York Rangers ended a 54-year NHL title drought in 1994.

No man has ever run faster than Usain Bolt over 100m, but Powell was Jamaica's sprint king in 2005.

The Rangers were celebrating at Madison Square Garden 26 years ago, while Canada's cricketers will not want to be reminded of this date in 1979.

We go back in time to look at some memorable sporting moments that have taken place on June 14.

 

1979 - Canada crumble at Old Trafford

A Cricket World Cup contest between England and Canada always looked like it was going to be a mismatch.

That was very much the case in Manchester, where the minnows were skittled out for only 45 - the lowest ODI score in history at the time.

Bob Willis (4-11) and Chris Old (4-8) wreaked havoc, Franklyn Dennis making almost half of Canada's runs before England took just 13.5 overs to seal an eight-wicket win.

 

1994 - Rangers rule in New York

The Rangers had not been crowned NHL champions since way back in 1940 and it looked like they may have blown their chance in the Stanley Cup Finals against the Vancouver Canucks.

Mike Keenan's side led the series 3-1 after losing the opening match, but the Canucks rallied to force a decider.

The tension was almost unbearable for Rangers fans, but Brian Leetch, Adam Graves and Mark Messier were on target to secure a 3-2 victory and spark a huge party.

There has been no NHL glory for the Rangers since that triumph.

2005 - Powell keeps true to his word in Athens

A 22-year-old Powell said he was ready to break Tim Montgomery's 100m world record in Athens.

His confidence was certainly not unfounded, as he set a new mark of 9.77 seconds at the Olympic Stadium.

"It shows no-one knows how fast a man can run." Powell said after making history. He went faster another three times after Justin Gatlin had gone quicker in 2005.

Bolt holds the current record of 9.58, set in Berlin 11 years ago.

 

2007 - Imperious Spurs sweep Cavs

The NBA Finals 13 years ago proved to be one-sided, with the San Antonio Spurs dominating the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In their 40th season as a franchise, the Spurs wrapped up a 4-0 series victory with an 83-82 win in Cleveland.

Manu Ginobili scored a game-high 27 points as LeBron James' 24-point haul was in vain, with Tony Parker named Finals MVP for Gregg Popovich's side.

Kyrie Irving was the first star player to publicly express hesitation about the NBA's plan to finish the season in Orlando, worried about the optics of playing during a time of national unrest, and others now reportedly have other concerns too.

Five young stars from the 2017 draft class are worried about the injury risk of returning to the court nearly five months after the coronavirus pandemic caused the league to shut down, ESPN reported on Saturday.

Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics, Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz, Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat, De'Aaron Fox of the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Lakers' Kyle Kuzma had a call on Friday with National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) executive director Michele Roberts and senior counsel Ron Klempner about special insurance policies for injury.

Those five players, along with the rest of the 2017 draft class, will be eligible for large extensions in October of the coming offseason.

While Tatum, Mitchell, Adebayo, Fox and Kuzma lobbied to protect their own potential contracts, they also proposed additional injury insurance policies for all players going to Orlando.

The NBA is still negotiating the details of its restart, with plans to include 22 teams and resume the regular season – with a modified schedule – on July 30.

Irving, playing his first season with the Brooklyn Nets, told over 80 players on a Zoom call on Friday that he did not support the NBA returning while the United States is still so deeply tangled in debates about social justice and racial equality.

Later in the call he said he would travel to Orlando if the rest of the players deemed a resumption of play appropriate.

"If it's worth the risk, then let's go and do it," Irving said on the call, according to Yahoo Sports. "But if you're not with it, it's OK, too. We've got options for both ways. Let's just come to a middle ground as a family."

The Houston Rockets' Austin Rivers, however, is in favor of returning to the court and took to social media to respond to Irving's stance against playing.

"Us coming back would be putting money in all our pockets," Rivers said on Instagram. "With this money you could help out even more people and continue to give more importantly your time and energy towards the [Black Lives Matter] movement, which I'm 100% on board with.

"Not to mention there are plenty of NBA players I know who need them paychecks. 99% of the NBA hasn't made the money a guy like Kyrie has."

Rivers went on to say that uniting to finish the 2019-20 season could set a good example for the country to heal and that failing to report to Orlando could hurt the players in the next collective bargaining agreement."

The NBA players were never formally polled on whether or not they would like to continue the season, and some players reportedly have felt powerless during the process of discussing a restart.

Mitchell and Irving – along with the Lakers' Dwight Howard and the Portland Trail Blazers' C.J. McCollum and Carmelo Anthony – were among those who shared doubts about restarting on the players' Zoom discussion.

The players-only call lasted nearly two hours, according to Yahoo Sports, and included trusted veterans Kevin Durant of the Nets, Russell Westbrook of the Rockets and the Miami Heat's Andre Iguodala.

Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill said the NBA is the "last thought on my mind" amid the fight against racism following George Floyd's death.

There have been nationwide protests in the United States after Floyd – an African-American man – died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.

A police officer was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck during an arrest after he was crying out for help as he was handcuffed and pinned to the ground.

The NBA season, which was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic in March with the Bucks topping the standings, is set to restart via a 22-team format in Orlando, Florida next month.

But Hill talked down the league's planned return in the midst of protests over social injustice and racism in the country.

"I've been working every day since this all started with my body, my game and things like that, but as a whole, I can care less about basketball right now," an emotional Hill said during a video conference on Friday as he shared his own experiences.

"That's like my last worry. That's just the game I'm blessed to play. When the ball goes up in the air, I'm ready to play, I love the competitive side of it, but that's not who I am.

"So, that's my last thought on my mind is basketball. I can care less what's going on. I think there's bigger issues and bigger things to tackle in life right now than a basketball game, but that's just my personal opinion."

"If I didn't have that talent, I possibly would've been that George Floyd. I possibly would've been all my family members that got gunned down in the streets in Indianapolis," Bucks veteran Hill, 34, added.

"So, yes, this for me, it impacts me even more because I've seen the killing going on, and I've seen the police brutality.

"I've seen that my cousin is laying in the street for an hour and a half before another police officer gets there. I've seen that. So, I get emotional because it really hurts. I've got interracial kids, and I'm scared just for my whole life."

June 12 was a day when Michael Jordan finally became an NBA champion, while the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors also enjoyed Finals celebrations.

Jordan became widely regarded as the greatest player of all time but had to endure a couple of heartbreaks before finally tasting glory with the Chicago Bulls in 1991.

Shaquille O'Neal made history with the Lakers on this day 18 years ago, while you only have to go back to 2017 for Kevin Durant's moment to shine.

The St. Louis Blues also had reason to celebrate 12 months ago as their long wait for Stanley Cup glory came to an end.


1991 - MJ and the Bulls earn first of six

Having been beaten twice in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Detroit Pistons, the Chicago Bulls finally bested their rivals in the 1990-91 playoffs.

That led to a Finals series with the LA Lakers and Jordan was not about to miss his opportunity.

The Bulls wrapped it up in five with Jordan the fulcrum of their success en route to being named Finals MVP.

He scored 30 points and Scottie Pippen put up 32 as the Bulls defeated the Lakers 108-101 to win their first NBA title on this day. They would go on win six in eight years in one of sport's greatest dynasties.


2002 – 'Get ready for the Shaq attack!' Lakers rout Nets

It was a night of history for Shaq and Phil Jackson as the Lakers completed a 4-0 series of sweep of the New Jersey Nets in the NBA Finals.

Finals MVP Shaq put up 34 points in the 113-107 victory in New Jersey as the Lakers became the fifth team to win at least three straight NBA Championships.

With 145 points in the series, Shaq became the highest scorer in a four-game Finals, beating the 131 of Hakeem Olajuwon, which he achieved in 1995 for the Houston Rockets against O'Neal's Orlando Magic.

For legendary coach Jackson, it represented a ninth NBA title as a coach - levelling Red Auerbach's benchmark.


2017: Durant the Golden boy as James' Cavs beats

Just a year earlier, LeBron James had inspired the Cleveland Cavaliers to the 2016 NBA championship from a 3-1 deficit to avenge their loss to the Golden State Warriors the season before.

But in the third year of their fourth straight battle in the NBA Finals, it was the Warriors who celebrated a 4-1 series triumph.

Kevin Durant, signed as a free agent at the start of the 2016-17 season, was named Finals MVP after averaging 35.2 points, including putting up 39 in Game 5.

James had 41 but was unable to prevent the Cavs slipping to a 129-120 loss.


2019: St Louis finally end Stanley Cup Blues

In a back-and-forth Stanley Cup Finals series, it all came down to Game Seven between the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins.

But the Boston fans were left disappointed at TD Garden as St. Louis ran out 4-1 victors.

It marked the Blues' first Stanley Cup triumph in their 51st season as a franchise.

Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey insisted they would not have allowed the NBA to prevent elderly coaches like Mike D'Antoni from being on the sidelines.

The NBA, halted since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, is set to resume at the end of next month as a 22-team tournament that will take place near Orlando, Florida. 

Various measures are being implemented to protect players and reduce the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak, with teams to remain on the site where practices and games will take place.

Last week NBA commissioner Adam Silver had suggested those protocols could extend to keeping older personnel - like 69-year-old Rockets coach D'Antoni - off the bench during games because of their greater vulnerability to contracting the virus and developing complications.

However, Silver has since backtracked on those comments, with Morey noting there would have been pushback from Houston.

"Mike will be coaching our team," he said in quotes published on ESPN.

"It would be such a huge disadvantage to lose him. We would never stand for that.

"In fairness to the league, they set up a process whereby everyone will have to submit a medical record. I'm sure the doctors told them that some people over a certain age shouldn't go.

"But Mike is in great health. He's in better shape than some 40-year-old coaches we have. Besides, I think his dad lived to be 108 or something."

D'Antoni, whose Houston team have a 40-24 record in the Western Conference and have already secured a playoff berth, does not believe he will be kept away from the sidelines because of his age.

"I guess they were thinking it could affect us a little bit more because of our age, but we would catch it at the same rate as any player would," he said.

"If it's not safe for us, then it's not safe for them.

"I know the NBA is going to make it as safe as possible for everyone involved. But there's no such thing as zero risk. I'm not worried about it because I don't think [preventing older coaches from interacting with their players on the bench] will happen.

"I know Adam talked about that on TNT, but since then he's walked it back pretty quick. I think he got a little ahead of himself."

Harry Glickman, the founder and former president of the Portland Trail Blazers, died on Wednesday. He was 96.

Glickman has long been considered the father of professional sports in Oregon. His crowning achievement came when he assembled the Trail Blazers' original ownership group of Herman Sarkowsky, Larry Weinberg and Robert Schmertz when the NBA awarded Portland an expansion franchise in 1970.

Glickman served as the team's general manager from their inception until his retirement in 1994, when he became president. During his tenure, the Trail Blazers won their only NBA championship in 1977 and Western Conference titles in 1990 and 1992.

The team also set an American professional sports record by selling out 814 consecutive home games.

"The Trail Blazers have long been the beneficiary of Harry's vision, generosity and inspiration," said Jody Allen, chair of the Trail Blazers.

"As the team's founder and first general manager, his leadership was instrumental in igniting our city's pride and passion for sports. I am grateful for Harry's many contributions to the franchise over the years. He will be missed by many."

Glickman and other then-shareholders sold the Trail Blazers to Paul Allen in 1998.

Glickman is survived by his wife, Joanne, son Marshall, daughters Jennifer and Lynn, grandsons Joel and Laz and granddaughter Sydney.

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