From Kobe to Maradona, a year of staggering losses in sports
Not long after came a seismic jolt, the helicopter crash of Kobe Bryant in the fog-shrouded California hills that reverberated across sports and across continents. Deep into the year, a bookend to Bryant, Diego Maradona died from a heart attack in Argentina weeks after brain surgery, the waves of grief rippling across soccer. The losses, of course, came against a backdrop of a pandemic, its number of fatalities rolled out daily on TV screens. Niekro won 318 games and pitched until he was 48, his knuckleball dancing and mystifying batters across the decades. Kurt Thomas in 1978 became the first U.S. male gymnast to win a world title but lost an Olympic shot in 1980 because of the boycott.
Final goodbye: Recalling influential people who died in 2020
The world also said goodbye to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a lion of the civil rights movement who died in July. Other former political figures who died this year include Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak, New York Mayor David Dinkins, Arizona Gov. Here is a roll call of some influential figures who died in 2020 (cause of death cited for younger people, if available):___JANUARY___David Stern, 77. The guitarist who supplied the scratching, seething sound that fueled the highly influential British punk band Gang of Four. He fused African rhythms with funk to become one of the most influential musicians in world dance music.
Del Harris receives 2020's Chuck Daly achievement award
Harris was revealed Friday as this year’s winner of the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award, as presented by the National Basketball Coaches Association. Harris coached in the NBA for 32 seasons, 14 of them as a head coach with Houston, Milwaukee and the Los Angeles Lakers. “I get introduced as Kobe’s first coach, Magic’s last coach and in the movie Space Jam,” Harris said. ON OLYMPICSSilver, in the same NBA TV interview, also addressed how the planned Tokyo Olympics next summer could affect next season's NBA calendar. GAME 2 REFSThe NBA selected James Capers as crew chief for Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Friday night.
Healthy George Karl starts podcast, may someday coach again
Basketball: The longtime NBA coach who has fought cancer three times is keeping the door open for getting back into the business, maybe as a head coach or possibly as an assistant. George Karl caught quite a few of his son's games in person before the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. He received the Melanoma Research Foundation's Courage Award in 2019 for recognition of the bravery he has shown in facing ocular melanoma.I dont wake up worrying about cancer," Karl said. Jerry was a very loyal and very demanding old-school coach, Karl said. Delving into specific topics is a reason why Karl enjoys the podcast: We can go a little deeper and be a little more soulful," Karl mused.