No. 33

by Nathan Hague

Over the years, the Lakers and Celtics have developed quite the rivalry, meeting 13 times in the NBA Finals where it was Boston who dominated, winning 10 of those series. However, it was a Laker who came out on top over a Celtic at No. 33 in our Jersey Countdown.

There’s a reason Larry Bird was nicknamed “Larry Legend” because he was just that, but the greatest athlete to ever wear No. 33 goes to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Jabbar is a 19-time all-star, a six-time MVP, a two-time NBA Finals MVP and a 6-time NBA Champion. Oh, did I mention that he’s the NBA’s all-time-leadings scorer? His 38,387 points have to count for something.

Jabbar is underrated when talking about the history of the game. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969 where he spent his first his first six seasons before becoming a Laker. It was in L.A. that he finished his career and both his teams have retired his No. 33.

He will own his scoring record for a while. Kobe Bryant is the close active player with 32,482 points but Bryant is approaching the end of his career.

At any rate, it’s pretty darn near impossible to argue against Jabbar as the greatest athlete to ever wear No. 33.

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No. 34

by Ben Dieter

nolan ryanI have debated back and forth on who exactly to give the best to ever wear number 34 to, and I have finally come to a conclusion. For those wondering, the choice was between Nolan Ryan, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, and Walter Payton, one of the greatest athletes of all time, and the decision is not as easy as I thought it would be. The final decision was made when Nathan and I got the chance to ask Tom Grieve what his opinion was on the Hague Sports Podcast.

“I don’t know how you can pick between those, all different sports, all different kind of athletes, it depends on what you’re defining. For pure athlete, I find it hard to believe that there are many better than Walter Payton, but as far as being at the top of his sport and what he’s accomplished, it’s pretty hard to go against Nolan…” Tom Grieve on The Hague Sports Podcast

 

Tom Grieve did go on to say that since he has worked for and been friends with Nolan, he may be a little biased, and I think I am too being a baseball guy myself. How can you argue against the guy with the most strikeouts in major league history, the guy with the most no hitters in major league history, and a guy that, as Grieve said, was at the top of his game for such a long time. Nolan compiled 5,714 strikeouts, won 324 games, had a career ERA (spanning 27 seasons in the majors, by the way) of 3.19, and averaged 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

 

Nolan Ryan also had seven no hitters, and he had multiple game where he struck out 19 batters in one game. Not only that, but Ryan is a Texas legend. During his career, he pitched for the Mets, Angels, Astros and Rangers, and he was good for all of those teams. He spent the most time in Houston, and he is beloved by both Rangers fans and Astros fans. He was also the president of the Texas Rangers for a number of years, including the two seasons that the team made it to the World Series.

 

It is hard to argue against either of the men I mentioned at the top of the piece, but I feel like Nolan is the best to ever wear number 34. Agree or disagree, You still have to say he is one of the greatest pitchers of all time.

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ESPN takes “courage out of award

The following was a post written for the Marshall News Messenger ESPN missed the boat again, big time. I know enough people have already written and ranted about it but quite honestly, it’s insulting to the people who actually deserve an honor such as the Arthur Ashe Courage Award which will be handed out at […]

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No. 35

There haven’t been too many athletes in our countdown who are still playing but that’s the case here at No. 35 which has to go to Kevin Durant. Durant chose to wear No. 35 in honor of a high school coach and mentor who passed away at the age of 35. The Oklahoma City Thunder […]

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No. 36

Jerome Abram Bettis, better known as “The Bus,” leaves little room for argument about being the best athlete to ever wear No. 36. Bettis is sixth all time when it comes to NFL rushing yard leaders. He retired in 2006 after helping his Pittsburgh Steelers win Super Bowl XL in his hometown of Detroit. Bettis […]

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No. 37

No. 37 was a tough one, there were not as many to chose from as some of the other numbers, and I decided to go with Doak Walker. The native Texan played his entire career with the Detroit Lions, where he was a all-star four times, led the NFL in scoring twice, and led the […]

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The Curse of the Ryan Express

The Following post was written by Nathan Hague for the Marshall News Messenger. If he wanted to, Nolan Ryan could probably run for the governor of Texas and win in a landslide. He’s beloved by Houston Astros fans and deeply missed by Texas Rangers fans. Back in 2010, I attended a game in Houston while […]

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No. 38

Curt Schilling didn’t get his call from Cooperstown, much to the surprise of many people. You’d be hard-pressed to find too many people who have played the game better than Schilling and you’d be even more hard-pressed to find a better athlete in all of sports to wear No. 38. One of the things Schilling […]

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NFL to use Nerf footballs?

The following may not be true, but how big of a stretch is it really? GLENDALE AZ — In the wake of what many are calling “DeflateGate”, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell proposed his own solution: “Nerf or Nothing”. “There are many advantages to using Nerf footballs and to quickly dismiss the ideas of implementing them […]

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No. 39

In 1968, Akron, Ohio native Larry Csonka took his talents to South Beach when he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. It was there that the fullback sported No. 39 and helped lead the 1972 Dolphins to a perfect 17-0 record on their way to win Super Bowl VII. The Dolphins went back the following […]

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