The night I dissed LeBron James for the greatest basketball team in history

It’s not every day that the greatest team in the history of sports makes a trip into your backyard, but as a fan, when they do, you better take advantage.  So I did.

When I found out that UConn’s women’s basketball team, winners of 84 consecutive games, were coming to the South Florida Sun Dome, only minutes from my house, I decided to see what all the fuss was about.  My memorabilia-collecting buddy was salivating over the thought of what a handful of programs and ticket stubs would garner him on eBay after a USF victory.  I just wanted to see if this team was as good as advertised.  I wanted to see greatness.

On a Thursday night where most of the basketball world was focused on LeBron James’ return to Cleveland, over 5,000 fans gathered in North Tampa to watch an equally historic contest.

The all-time record for consecutive wins was set nearly forty years ago by the John Wooden-coached UCLA Bruins.  That streak, which UConn is about to smash, lasted from 1971 to 1974.  It included two undefeated seasons and three national championships.

Similarly, the Huskies have won the last two national championships and are gunning for a third.  They are led by their all-time leading scorer, senior Maya Moore, who drops in a cool 26 points per game.

As if their current winning streak isn’t enough of an indication of how dominant this program has been, this year UConn has already beaten LSU by 30, Lehigh by 43, and Howard by 61.  Earlier this season, they beat Holy Cross 117-37.  Yeah, they’re that good.

By the time we made our way through the traffic and into the arena, UConn was already up 6-0.  Minutes later, they were up 20-2.  So much for selling programs on eBay.

No disrespect to the Bulls, but they were as overwhelmed as the Cavs trying to guard LeBron.  UConn’s disciplined defense made driving the lane impossible.  They were machine-like in their execution.

Moore struggled to score, yet midway through the first half, she was actually on pace for a triple-double with four points, three assists and four rebounds.  Even on an off night, she managed to make her teammates better.

UConn won by 26 that night.  Can you say blowout?  I knew that you could.  But at least I can tell my imaginary grandchildren I once saw the most dominant sports team ever.

Besting UCLA’s streak is not a done deal yet.  UConn goes for their 88th straight win against Ohio State in Madison Square Garden on Dec. 19 and then Florida State to break the record in Hartford two days later.

Of course anything can happen on any given night, but from what I saw, my money’s on the Huskies making their mark on history.

40 thoughts on “The night I dissed LeBron James for the greatest basketball team in history

  1. Thanks, Seth.

    I will say this though about this team not getting any love.

    This game took place on a pretty big night in sports. There was NFL (Texans-Eagles) and LeBron was returning home for the first time.

    Had USF knocked off UConn, which they were nowhere close to doing, ESPN probably would have taken a break from their relentless LeBron coverage and led their broadcast with the upset. It would have been that big.

    UConn women’s basketball does get a fair amount of love from the four-letter, probably because they reside in the same state.

    If ESPN were headquartered elsewhere, UConn probably wouldn’t get the coverage.

    UConn made few, if any, mistakes that night. They are extremely WELL-coached. And to make life easier, I imagine they have their pick of the litter of the best female high school basketball players.

  2. Cool post Rev,
    I live fairly close to USF myself and I don’t no why I don’t attend more of their sporting events. Maybe I’ll start taking the grandkids next year. There’s just so many seasons left.

  3. Chris

    So what’s this about the Broncos blowin’ out Josh McDaniels ? I thought Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen wasn’t going to do anything rash ? Ah well he’s blown out Shanahan and still owes him another two years on what was his existing contract and now he owes McDaniels three years on his . Doesn’t anyone use a buyout clause anymore when it comes to these things ? Oh I forgot they only believe using that criteria for the players when they don’t decide to cut their a_s .

    I’m feelin’ a little giddy at the moment I replaying the Pats kicking the ass of the Jets from last night. The last time I was this happy let’s just say it was during an extreme moment of intimacy that was being shared with a very personal friend of mine. LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    On Revis’ island the present occupants are the crew of the SS Minnow headed up Gilligan and the ‘Skipper’. What more can I say ass whuppin’s like that certainly don’t come around like that too often .

    http://theoraclesays.wordpress.com/2010/12/06/creeping-with-the-best-of-them-fifa-and-the-ncaa-are-corrupt-but-then-again-ought-we-to-be-surprised-2/

    This is the piece I did on the latest concerning Cam Newton , the SEC and NCAA. Also it ties in with the fact that the US failed in its bid for the 2022 World Cup which was awarded to Qatar . FIFA is so friggin’ corrupt that no one should really have been at all surprised with their decision.

    😛

    tophatal ………. 🙂

  4. Had to listen to Dookie Vitale go on and on about Coach K and the 80 game home win streak vs non-conf opponents at Cameron. Didn’t mention Uconn women or coach or even Anson Dorrance for that matter. They both are greater accomplishments and don’t require all the qualifiers. Vitale’s senile

  5. Al…

    Isn’t that three NFL owners who said they’re not going to fire their coach, then did so weeks afterward. So much for a handshake agreement, huh? I’m reading that most Broncos fans wanted McDaniels gone anyway.

    Enjoy your Pats victory, man. Next week is another week, though home field in the playoffs will definitely serve them well.

    Be right over to check out your soccer piece.

  6. There has been a lot of love surrounding Coach K lately.

    Don’t let it get your Tar Heels in a bunch.

    Thanks for sending me the Zirin piece. And thanks for hooking me up with Sports Casualties. Could be the beginning of a long and beautiful friendship.

  7. Chris

    Well you know the owners in the NFL they waffle on almost as much as John Kerry has done since his multiple terms as a Senator began .

    Maya Moore once she’s done at U Conn will be signed by Riley and the Heat in order to make that team a great deal better. LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    http://topsplace.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/aint-nobodys-business-but-their-own-thats-how-they-do-it-in-baseball/

    If Jason Werth is said to be worth $126 million over 7 yrs and it was a contract negotiated by his agent Scott Boras . Then does that mean the starting point for Pujols’ next contract should be at least twice that mount ? I mean the guy is a multiple league MVP and has been at the top of his game since his entry into the ‘big leagues’ .

    tophatal ……. 🙂

  8. Nice man, sounds like the best womens game you could see. I did know they had a crazy streak going, but didn’t think it was past Wooden’s already. Maybe I’ll have to start betting on them on my bodog account since they seem to cover everytime!

  9. Chris

    McDaniels’ record with the Broncos is almost as impressive Lohan’s recurring stints for rehab ! This much I do know Pat Bowlem , his front office staff and legal counsel are a bunch of jerks ! Their outlay on coaches this year alone will be in excess of $ 8 million . I’m merely talking what they’ll pay McDaniels and Shanahan alone .

    When Pujols next contract is up for negotiation do you believe that he’ll paid gold bullion or platinum ? Just saying given the depreciation of the dollar that’s all .

    tophatal …….. 🙂

  10. Chris, great story on UCONN women’s basketball. They are a terrific team and deserve the attention. A note here about Title IX, the sports-world shattering legislative action proclaimed law in 1973 mandating equal funding for both men’s and women’s collegiate sports. Hardly any men coached women’s basketball back then. Now that the money is good, the majority of women’s team’s coaches are men. That doesn’t seem quite fair to me. I’d like to see more coaches like Pat Summitt get a chance to coach men’s teams. I think they would do equally as well.

  11. Al…

    There was so much attention paid to Moore that night that other UConn players were scoring at will. After a rough first half, she turned it on by the end of the game.

    And look out. The Heat are starting to play some steady ball.

    I don’t know when Pujols’ contract is up but he will definitely get paid and I’m pretty sure he’ll be staying put. St Louis won’t be letting him getting away, no matter the cost.

  12. Chap…

    I don’t know if the game itself was all that good but UConn definitely is.

    There was a time where at least Tennessee could hang with them, but this year, if Thursday night was any indication, they might just run the table once again.

  13. Al…

    I haven’t heard who Denver’s looking at as their next coach but there’s a lot of solid coaches out there. Unfortunately, most of them are happy with their jobs in the booth.

    And I would imagine Pujols will be getting ARod money.

  14. Jim…

    Funny you mention that. I just read about the development of Title IX in Dave Zirin’s “People’s History of Sports in the United States.” I lent it to John. Feel free to borrow it when he’s done.

    A friend and I were just talking about whether Gino Auriemma or Pat Summit could coach in the NBA.

    Furthermore, isn’t it interesting how we never hear about improprieties in women’s collegiate sports but such stories run amok in the men’s game?

  15. So I was really enjoying this piece until I realized you were writing about women’s basketball, at which point, I tuned out. But seriously, thanks for reminding me that women can be great athletes, too, even if they can’t finish above the rim, shoot a convincing jump, or in general, do anything that makes basketball enjoyable.

    GEEZE, I’M FREAKING KIDDING, DUDE! TAKE A JOKE.

    Really though Chris, great read and I’m sincerely hoping I’ve not offended any of your readers in the way you offended John Wooden by calling UCONN “the most dominant sports team ever.”

    I leave you with good holiday tidings and a list of numbers.

    ’64, ’65, ’67, ’68, ’69, ’70, ’71, ’72, ’73, ’75

  16. RH…

    I’m assuming you’re not a regular at Lady Gator games.

    Trust me. I wouldn’t have gone to see this game if it weren’t for the streak. But to your point, I guess it depends on how we define dominance.

    I wasn’t around for those UCLA teams but I imagine college basketball got pretty boring to watch with Alcindor and Walton beating so much ass.

    It’s unlikely that any team will ever match what UCLA was able to accomplish over that time frame BUT there’s no arguing the success of this current UConn team.

    As Nick Bakay used to say, the numbers don’t lie. UConn also won three consecutive national championships in ’02, ’03 and ’04.

    Just because they have breastesses doesn’t mean they can’t ball. They may not be able to hang with the men’s teams but on a level playing field, they’re blowing teams away.

  17. Well said. Got nothing but respect for the Lady Huskies/Lady Gators… And how can we make “Just Because They Have Breastesses Doesn’t Mean They Can’t Ball” the new WNBA slogan?

  18. Chris

    Bowlem is now having write in candidates for coaching position in Denver so get out your pen and paper out and scribble off your merits as a coach.

    Pujols may well stay put but then again it’s dependent on what the front office will do to strengthen that roster . It’s still a little shaky and La Russa is something of an oaf at times when it comes to some on the field decisions.

    Is $100 million too much to pay for a continuing headache ? Albert Haynesworth is giving Dan Snyder a seizure and I’m sure that the Shanahan’s aren’t too far behind !

    Nolan Ryan says that he believes that the Rangers can beat out the Nationals and Yankees in re-signing Cliff Lee . Has the Obama administration decided to do George W Bush a favor by financially bailing out his old team as well ?

    tophatal ……… 🙂

  19. Chris

    Karl missed earning his 1000th victory as a coach in the NBA when the Nuggets played the Bobcats. And that’s all well and good . But he’ll end up notching that victory and before it’s all said and done I think he’ll bow out of the game. The team isn’t good enough to dethrone the Lakers much less beat out any of the other contenders in the Western Conference much less defeat the main contenders in the Eastern conference.

    tophatal ……… 🙂

  20. My buddy mentioned Billick to take that Broncos gig. I thought that would be a pretty good choice. Not sure if he’s in the running but I haven’t heard his name mentioned in a while.

    Do you think Cardinals fans are looking forward to the day when Mark McGwire becomes their manager? Surely I jest, but now that I mention it, who do we think will be the first player of the steroid era to become a major league manager.

    Re: Haynesworth, Al, the ‘Skins should have benched him long ago. Think of the savings, which also got me thinking. Do suspensions of high-salaried players such as him need to be cleared by the Commissioner?

    And uh… the Bushes have money so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they had a hand in helping keep Lee.

  21. Chris

    The list is impressive but how many of ’em have actually landed the big one in terms the NBA title ? Nelson I believe is the only one amongst them who didn’t win one as a coach.

    Maya Moore can throw down with the best of the female players to have played the game and that includes Lisa Leslie , Chamique Holdsclaw , Sherryl Swoopes and Cheryl Miller .

    tophatal ……….. 🙂

  22. You are INCORRECT, sir!

    And you lose “Old NBA coaches trivia.”

    Jerry Sloan also has over 1000 victories and has never won a title. The others who have include Wilkens, Riley, Jackson and Brown.

    And it’s tough to argue against Cheryl Miller as the greatest player ever, but from what I saw that one year where she tore through the final four, Swoopes was unstoppable.

  23. Swoopes was great but a Cynthia Cooper her teammate on the four time WNBA Houston Comets was more than her equal . As for Cheryl Miller one of her kind comes along perhaps once or twice a generation.

    Call me naive but what the hell is Urban Meyer all about ? I’ve never heard such a lame excuse for walking away from a team or organization ! This guy has done himself a great disservice even if he’s won the Gators two national championships .

    Nelson has over 1000 victories but he’s never won a title as a coach. Although he has done so as a player. Quid pro quo ?

    🙁

    😛

    tophatal …………. 🙂

  24. Chris

    I just want to gauge your thoughts on the matter but are you entirely happy with how Meyer has left the program this time around in terms of his re-signation ? To me it seems all too superfluous and as if he simply thought that’s it I can’t take the criticism being leveld at me !

    So Carl Crawford goes to the Bosox for 7 yrs $140 million ? And Maddon thinks that with an improved bullpen the Rays will be able to contend in the AL East ? Is he off his meds ?

    The only other shoe to drop now is who’s still in the running for Cliff Lee at this juncture ? Yankees ? Rangers or some other team ?

    😛

    tophatal ………… 🙂

  25. Chris

    Bob Stoops is not about to leave Oklahoma not when he’s got that many perks that the Gators simply cannot match financially !

    They will look for a ‘high profile coach’ but they’re going to have to make an enormous financial outlay and commitment with a great deal of financial incentives as well. Can you really see that happening with Stoops given his salary at present ?

    🙂

    tophatal ……….. 🙂

  26. In all honesty do you ever see another NFL team entrusting Brian Billick to be the coach of their team ? C’mon now !

    The guy was a one hit wonder as a coach !

    tophatal ………. 🙂

  27. I ran into Cooper one time, Al, in the Orlando airport. Very unassuming. But you’re right, she could most definitely ball.

    NBA fans still cry conspiracy about Patrick Ewing being drafted by the Knicks, yet how the hell did the Comets land both Swoopes and Cooper. That was quite unfair, don’t you think?

    Oh… and expect a piece about Meyer up shortly.

  28. Mixed feelings about Meyer, Al, as you’ll soon read. But, if his heart wasn’t in it, I’d rather have someone else more committed to the program.

    Have you seen the BoSox opening day lineup? I take back what I said about the Rays. They’re in trouble.

    And I still have no clue where Lee will end up. That Yankees offer has to be hard to turn down.

  29. With all due respect to both Florida and Oklahoma, I’ve always seen that as a lateral move. I’m not sure Stoops is THAT tied to Florida that he’d just pack up and leave Norman.

  30. Re: Billick, Al.

    I’m not sure you’re giving him enough credit. I’m sure there’s another team out there that will give him a chance. And I’m not so sure he won’t succeed.

  31. Sorry Sports Chump, but if we are including women’s sports, the most dominant team in history is undoubtably the Preston Rivulettes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preston_Rivulettes

    For the entire decade of the 30’s, they had a record of 348-2-3. They’d beat other teams by 20 goals regularly. Kudos to Uconn, but it’s just not close if we are talking all time, gender and sport. Cheers!

  32. Pingback: They said what? Volume 10: Dan Shaughnessy’s Twitter account and the UConn women’s basketball team | Sports Chump

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