Watching “The Last Dance” on ESPN has made me think about the real last dance of Michael Jordan, when his career officially ended in 2003. A lot of historic events took place in sports in 2003.
Top NBA Moments
Michael Jordan plays final game on April 16, 2003 in Philadelphia as a member of the Washington Wizards. MJ scored 13 points.
Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Lebron James #1 overall in the NBA Draft. Other notable picks include Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Carmelo Anthony.
San Antonio Spurs win NBA Championship, defeating the New Jersey Nets in 6 games. It was the franchise’s second NBA title.
Spurs center David Robinson plays final NBA game as the Spurs won the NBA Finals. Robinson scored 13 points and grabbed 17 rebounds on June 15.
Jazz stars John Stockton and Karl Malone play their final game together – Stockton announced his retirement on May 2, after 19 seasons with the Jazz (made the playoffs every season. Malone played one more season, and did it with the LA Lakers.
Top NFL Moments
Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Raiders to win Super Bowl. This was the last time the Bucs won a playoff game.
Ravens RB Jamal Lewis sets single-game rushing yards record with 295 yards against the Browns on September 14.
Cowboys released Emmitt Smith, the all-time leading rusher in NFL history. After his “mutual” release, Smith went on to play two more seasons as a member of the Arizona Cardinals.
Bengals draft Carson Palmer #1 in the NFL Draft. Other notable picks include Andre Johnson, Terrance Newman, Terrell Suggs, Troy Polamalu, Jason Witten
Top MLB Moments
Florida Marlins beat Yankees to win World Series. Like the Bucs above, they haven’t won a playoff game (or made an appearance) since winning game 6.
Sammy Sosa hit his 500th career homerun out of 609 career HRs.
Alex Rodriguez hit his 300th career homerun out of 696 career HRs. He also played his final game as a Texas Ranger.
David Ortiz signed as a free agent with Boston Red Sox, and helped Boston win 3 World Series championships.
Cincinnati Reds open Great American Ballpark and Ken Griffey Jr got the first hit.
Top NHL Moments
NJ Devils beat Anaheim Mighty Ducks to win Stanley Cup in 7 games.
Legendary goaltenders Mike Richter (Rangers) and Patrick Roy (Avalanche) play their final games
Goalie Marc Andre-Fluery was the #1 pick in the draft. He later helped the Penguins win three Stanley Cups and helped lead the Vegas Knights to a Cup appearance.
Top College Football Moments
Ohio State beats Miami in the Fiesta Bowl to win an epic BCS Championship Game to end the 2002 season
Oklahoma and USC finished 1 and 2 in the 2003 season.
Oklahoma QB Jason White won the 2003 Heisman Trophy
Ole Miss QB Eli Manning won the Maxwell Award, given to college football’s player of the year.
The Big East consisted of 8 teams – Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Rutgers, Temple
Notable teams under .500 – Alabama 4-9, Penn State 3-9, Notre Dame 5-7
Top College Basketball Moments
Syracuse beats Kansas to win the NCAA Tournament led by Carmelo Anthony. Syracuse beat Texas and Kansas beat Marquette (led by Dwayne Wade).
Texas PG TJ Ford won Player of the Year Award (Naismith and Wooden)
Following Kansas’ loss, head coach Roy Williams resigned and took the job at North Carolina. Kansas replaced him with Bill Self.