Cover Story | There are very few historical events that I can remember exactly where I was or what I was doing at the time they occurred. Maybe it’s because I have a bad memory or maybe I get too caught up in the moment to realize its significance. Either way, what always stands out to me is the way that I felt when certain news broke, or events took place. The majority of these occasions centered around sporting events. I’m sure I will dive deeper into all of these in the future but for now, here are a few that come to mind.
Magic Johnson Retires (The First Time)
Magic Johnson left the National Basketball Association in 1991 and came back in 1995. When he left it shocked basketball fans all over the country. But they weren’t shocked by his retirement (although I’m sure some people would have had questions about that as well) they were shocked by the reason he was leaving. Plenty of players had retired however, none had retired because they had HIV. I remember after the news broke everyone was talking about this virus he had and how he may have gotten it. I remember those conversations transforming him from an all-around nice guy (that I only rooted against when they played the Bulls) into something a lot scarier in a matter of hours. Of course, now we know much more about HIV than we did in 1991 (so don’t judge me too harshly, I was a child) but back then everyone looked viewed it like it was the boogeyman.
The Dream Team
Perhaps the greatest basketball team to ever be assembled, the Dream Team demolished their competition in the 1992 Olympics. Perhaps the United States was still pissed about their third-place finish in the 1988 games against our archrivals (the Soviet Union) or maybe it’s because this was the first time NBA players were allowed to compete in the games, but the U.S. didn’t play around with their competition. Beating opponents by an average of 46 points per game, the Dream Team seemed to be head and shoulders above the field. Perhaps the most intriguing part about their story is that the stars who played night after night, trying to beat each other down during the NBA season were able to play great together for their country. In fact, no individual player averaged 20 (Charles Barkley led the U.S. in scoring with just over 18 points per game) and as a team they still put up 110+ points in 7 of the 8 games played in the 1992 Summer Games (in the gold medal game they only scored 103 points).
June 28, 1997
Who can forget the rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield? After the first fight, I was distraught. I didn’t know much about boxing, but I knew Mike Tyson wasn’t supposed to lose and he definitely wasn’t supposed to get knocked out. And while it wasn’t a K.O., Holyfield whipped his ass and won in a T.K.O. called early in the 11th round if I’m not mistaken. But because of that I just knew Mike was gonna get his redemption on June 28th. I expected the fight to end early with Holyfield on the mat convulsing from a brain hemorrhage or something (y’all have to excuse me. I had issues). I didn’t get that, but what I did get was even more memorable. Mike Tyson bit a piece of Holyfield’s ear off! At first, I thought it had to be a mistake. But when the replay was shown, and I saw him spit that mouthpiece out… I knew he meant that shit.
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