Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"What If" Wednesday

The End of Kobe-Shaq

And just like that, it was over. One of the greatest duos in the history of the NBA (Shaq would say THE greatest) Kobe-Shaq teamed up for the Lakers from 1996 to 2004. Kobe drafted by the Charlotte Hornets (which most of you don’t remember or have forgotten) 13th overall in the 1996 NBA Draft, Shaq came to town via free agencies in the Summer of ‘96 from the Orlando Magic. Kobe-Shaq would enjoy plenty of success, winning NBA Championships in 3 straight seasons (2000, 2001, 2002) or what most of us like to call, a “Three-Peat”. The final season for the “dynamic duo” ended soar, when the LA Lakers would be defeated by the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals (4-1 series). Following the Finals, everyone knew someone had to go (“Shaq-Kobe” feud), that person was Shaq, and he was traded in July 2004 to the Miami Heat for Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and a future first-round draft choice. After their years together, Kobe would go onto win two more NBA Championships (2009, 2010), while Shaq collected one more with the Miami Heat (2006).

“What If”

Why can’t we just all get along? Say after the 2004 NBA Finals, as disappointing as it was, along with that whole 03-04 season with the feud between the two players, what if they could of got together and buried their personal issues and stayed together as teammates? Using the lose in the 2004 NBA Finals as motivation, they could of regrouped and went after another (or more) NBA Championships. Without Shaq, do the Heat win a NBA title in 2006? How many more years, would Shaq-Kobe been able to exist together? Would the Lakers still have won back-to-back championships in 2009, 2010? What if…

The 1994 MLB Strike

The 1994 MLB season was cut short on August 12, 1994, and there would be no post-season, no World Series, and a little boy (Me) would be denied seeing his favorite player (Ken Griffey, Jr.) play up in Cleveland vs. the Indians (I eventually did years later). The strike has been considered the worst work stoppage in sports history and it left the fans and the sports world outraged. Several teams/players were on pace to set single-season records, most notability the Montreal Expos had the best record in baseball at the time (74-40) and what most people believe, had the best chance in franchise history to win a World Series. The Montreal Expos would never get that chance, and after several years of being the basement team of the league moved to Washington D.C. forming the team now called the Washington Nationals. A lot of things were lost due to the strike in 1994; however, the sport has recovered and is still enjoyed by fans across the world to this day (well, if anything its fun to take in a game in person).

“What If”

What if the ’94 season was not cut short due to the player’s strike, does Ken Griffey, Jr. break the single-season HR record (61, he was on pace to hit 58), do the Expos actually win the World Series? What do the record books and baseball encyclopedia’s read if there were a full 1994 season played? It’s sad to think, so many historical things were cut short due to the strike that season. What If…