One week ago, one of the most successful owners in sports history passed away. Jerry Buss had just recently celebrated his 80th birthday, but unfortunately his battle with cancer came to a close last Monday at 5:55 a.m.. Ironically, the all-star owner died just hours after the end of the weekend’s All-Star game festivities.
Jerry Buss bought the Lakers in 1979 for $67.5 million dollars and turned them into the billion dollar team that they are today. Buss has built a tradition of success within the Lakers’ locker room which few teams in sports can compare to. In his 33 seasons with the team, the Lakers won 10 NBA titles, 19 division titles, eclipsed 50 wins 24 times, and eclipsed 60 wins nine times.
Buss brought to Los Angeles some of the greatest talent the NBA has ever seen. In his first season with the team he drafted Magic Johnson number one overall in the 1979 draft. Johnson ended his career averaging 19.5 points, 11.2, and 7.2 rebounds per game, and is known as one of the top five players in the history of the league. Alongside Magic was the man with the most points in NBA history, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Lakers established themselves as a powerhouse in the 80′s, and in the 90′s it continued. In 1996, Buss signed coveted big man Shaquille O’Neal and then drafted high school guard Kobe Bryant in the first round of the draft. The rest is history, as Kobe and Shaq became the most feared duo in sports.
It’s only fitting that in Buss’ final year with the Lakers he was able to reel in two of the biggest acquisitions of the offseason, signing Steve Nash and trading for Dwight Howard. Although the team has struggled mightily this year, they are starting to find their groove and I can not help but think that something will start to click as they play the rest of this season for their late, great owner.
This week’s number is 31 in honor of the 31 seasons the Lakers made the playoffs under Jerry Buss. If they revive and make a push into the playoffs this year, the Lakers will have made the playoffs in 32 of Buss’ 34 years owning the team. Holding Jerry Buss in the light, I give you 31 of the most interesting statistics from the past week in sports.
0 18th holes Matt Kuchar had to play in his six matches this weekend in the WGC-Accenture Championship. He played phenomenal golf all week and was in the driver’s seat throughout every match.
.129 seconds was the difference in Jimmie Johnson’s Daytona 500 victory, barely edging out Dale Earnhardt Jr..
First time ever the Orlando Magic were outscored by 10+ points in each of the first two quarters of a game. They lost the first 37-27 and then continued to play poorly, only to get outscored 26-16 in the second quarter.
3 consecutive games Shea Weber found the back of the net for the Predators. He is the first Predator defenseman ever to accomplish that feat.
4 assists for Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers against the Islanders on Monday. He is only the second NHL player all season to record four assists in a game.
7 weeks in a row at least two of the top five teams in College Basketball has lost. Last week it was Michigan State, Florida, and Miami who got stunned. It also was the fourth week in which at least three teams in the top five lost.
7 blocks in 15 minutes for Bernard James on Friday in the Mavericks 104-100 win. He only averages 1.1 blocks in 12.1 minutes per game.
7 goal shutout win for the Flyers in New York over the Islanders on Monday. The Sabres are the only team who became a team before 1979 who haven’t surrended that bad of a shutout loss at home.
8 straight games no player on the Bulls roster has tallied 20+ points, marking it the longest streak in team history.
10 straight overtime wins for the Nets after a 113-111 win against Milwaukee on Tuesday night.
11th career hat-trick for Alex Ovechkin on Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.
12 hits for Zac Rinaldo on Saturday in the Flyers 5-3 win against the Jets. That’s the most hits in a game by any player in the NHL this year.
13 people in the history of racing have led a lap at both the Indy 500 and Daytona 500. Danica Patrick was the newest addition to that list on Sunday.
13 of the Detroit Pistons losses have come after they held a 10+ point lead at some point in the game. Led Memphis by 11 on Tuesday before coughing up the lead and losing by 14.
18 straight games the Chicago Blackhawks have recorded a point, still yet to be pointless in a game this season. Simply remarkable.
18 consecutive wins for the Memphis Tigers. You will see them on this list every week until they lose.
20 of the Sacramento Kings’ 38 losses have come by 15+ points, tying them for the most in the league with the Bobcats.
27 points is the average margin of victory for the Pacers over their past four games, that includes a 34-point domination of the Knicks. They have won nine of their last eleven games and both of those losses were in overtime. This is team is smoking hot right now.
27 turnovers for the Chicago Bulls against the Miami Heat on Thursday night. They lost 86-67.
30 points and 10 assists for Jarrett Jack on Friday night off the bench. He is the first player to have 30+ points and 10+ assists off the bench since Magic Johnson in 1996.
31 times Kobe Bryant and the Lakers have beaten Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks in 45 matches between the two players. Only twice have they scored 30 points in the same game.
33 points for D’Vauntes Smith Rivera in Georgetown’s 90-66 win over Depaul on Wednesday. He shot 10-12 from the field and 5-6 from three, and tallied the most points by a Hoya freshman since 1996.
33 points for Smith’s teammate Otto Porter in Saturday’s win over Syracuse. No other Georgetown player had above seven points and Porter’s 33 matched the point total of all of the Orange’s starters combined. Porter shot 63% from the floor and made 12 shots while his teammates made just seven shots and shot 20% from the floor.
40-17 fourth quarter beat down the Heat gave the Hawks after trailing by ten at the end of the third quarter. It ended up being a convincing 103-90 victory for Miami.
45 seconds. The time between the Staal brother’s goals on Sunday. Eric scored first and then Jordan scored to notch the score at two a piece. the Hurricanes went on to beat the Islanders 4-2.
46 points for James Harden against his former team on Wednesday night. It was the highest point total for a player who was playing his former team from the previous season since Tony Delk‘s 53 point performance in 2001.
46 points for New Mexico wingman Kendall Williams in the Lobos’ 91-82 win on Saturday. He made 10 threes and shot 12-16 from the field.
100 goals for Dion Phaneuf in his eight-year NHL Career. On Thursday night he scored in the Leafs victory over the Sabres, becoming only the second active defenseman with 100 career goals, sitting three behind Shea Weber.
135 points in the Kansas-Oklahoma State game on Wednesday. The two teams combined for a miserable 15% from behind the arc. In their first meeting of the season they combined for 165 points and shot 38% from three.
355 games for Jakub Voracek and he only had two games with three or more assists. On Monday he had four, and Saturday he had three, doubling his total to four.