NBA Athlete Number 76 - Shawn Bradley

No one has worn, as of this post, numbers 74 and 75.  So we're on to number 76.  And there's one big man who has worn this number.  He's the only NBA athlete to wear this number as of this post.

Shawn Bradley, it just so happened was 7' 6" tall.  And it just so happened that the Philadelphia 76ers had drafted him.  So what number do you think he wore?  Naturally, number 76.

The 76ers took Bradley out of BYU with the second pick of the 1993 NBA draft.  Bradley would play two and change seasons with Philly, posting fairly strong rebound numbers and very strong
block numbers.

Bradley was dealt to the New Jersey Nets during the '95-'96 NBA season.  Parts of two seasons were spent by Bradley in the Meadowlands, before he was dealt once again, this time to the Dallas Mavericks.

Stability would be found in Dallas.  Bradley finished out the '96-'97 season as a Maverick, and would remain one through the 2004-05 season.  He would finish in the top 5 in blocks over 4 separate seasons in Dallas, leading the league for the 2000-01 NBA season with 228 swats.

For his career, Bradley wound up with 2,119 blocked shots and a 2.5 blocks per game average.

Did you know..............Bradley is a German-American dual citizen?

For more Shawn Bradley statistics, visit basketball-reference.com.

sources:  basketball-reference.com, wikipedia.com

Best Number 76 in Other Pro Sports
NFL Number 76
NHL Number 76

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Best Home Run Hitter by Decade - 1900 to 1909

Do you know, off the top of your head, the most prolific home run hitter of the first decade of the 20th century?  If you're a casual baseball fan, you almost certainly don't.  If you are a SABR member, you probably do know.

Well, let's end the suspense here.  The home run king of the 1900 to 1909 decade is none other than........Harry Davis.  He's not a Hall of Famer, but a case could certainly be made that he should be.  Davis hit 67 dingers between 1900 and 1909.  Doesn't sound like a lot based on today's homer totals does it?  Well, consider this:  Davis led the majors in home runs in four consecutive seasons in that decade.

Davis' single season high was 12 in that decade, when he led the Athletics, and the league in 1906.  Between 1904 and 1907, Davis was the home run champ every year.  In that same time span, Davis also lead the league in RBI twice, doubles twice and runs once.

Yes, Davis' numbers don't match up with the likes of Mickey Mantle.  But when you judge him against his peers in the same era, Davis ranks at the top in power.

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Best Performances - October 20, 2011

Unfortunately, his performance didn't translate into a win.  But it was a great pitching performance nonetheless.  Jaime Garcia allowed only 3 hits over 7 innings, with no earned runs, 7 strikeouts and only 1 walk.

In the NHL, Alex Ovechkin netted two goals on only 3 shots, to lead the Capitals past the Flyers.



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Best Performances - October 19, 2011

Lance Berkman went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI as the Cardinals won World Series game 1 at home over the Rangers.  Both Chris Carpeneter and C.J. Wilson pitched well, however Carpenter gave up one less earned run and that was enough to win the game.

Tony LaRussa used 5 relievers after Carpenter exited.  Combined, those 5 relievers gave up a total of one hit and one walk with no earned runs.    

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Carson Palmer - Oakland Raider Jersey Number...........

If the Raiders.com store is accurate, it looks like Carson Palmer will be wearing jersey number 3 for the Oakland Raiders, shedding the familiar number 9 he wore for the Bengals.

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Best Performances - October 18, 2011

The Rangers had no goals against the 2010-11 Western Conference Champion Canucks, through two periods of play. That didn't matter much, because their netminder, Henrik Lundqvist, denied all scoring attempts. Netted at 0-0 heading into the third, the blushirts broke out for four goals, while Lundqvist continued to deny all shots on goal. The result was 40 saves for the New York goalie wearing jersey number 30, and a 4-0 victory for the Rangers.

Vancouver dropped their third contest, while the Rangers got their first win of the 2011-12 NHL season.

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Best Performances - October 17, 2011

4 passes defended, 2 interceptions and a 100-yard TD return for one of those INTs.  Yeah, I'd say that's the best performance, offensive or defensive, of the night in the NFL.  Darrelle Revis once again proved why he's one of the best, if not the best, defensive backs in the NFL, as number 24 led his Jets to a 24-6 victory over Miami in East Rutherford, NJ.

In the NHL, Kris Versteeg was one of 3 Panthers to score 4 points as he netted 2 and assisted on 2 more with a plus one on-ice rating in under 10 minutes of ice time and only 4 shots on goal.  Florida topped Tampa Bay 7-4.  

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Best Performances - October 16, 2011

In what may have been Prince Fielder's last outing with the Brew Crew, the St. Louis Cardinals clinched the NL pennant with a 12-6 victory.  The best performance of the game came from David Freese, who "froze" the Brewers pitching staff (sorry, couldn't resist that one).  Freese, the Cardinals third baseman wearing jersey number 23, went a hefty 3 for 4 with a homer, 3 runs and 3 RBI.

In the NFL lineup, Ahmad Bradshaw led his G-Men past the suprising Buffalo Bills, 27-24.  Bradshaw rushed for 104 yards and found the end-zone 3 times.  This was the first 3 TD performance for Bradshaw in his NFL regular season career dating back to 2007.

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Best Performances - October 15, 2011

John Tavares is heating up.  He propelled the Isles over that other New York hockey team, 4-2 on Saturday, with a hatrick. He's now got 5 goals on the season.  Here's just one of his three goals from Saturday.

And of course, the other Rangers won the ALCS and advanced to the World Series for the second straight year. It was in large part due to Michael Young and his 3 for 6, 5 RBI peformance.

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NBA Athlete Number 73 - Dennis Rodman

Another number worn by only one NBA athlete.  Dennis Rodman, who is also the best NBA athlete to ever wear the number 10, wore number 73 in his brief stint in L.A.

As a Laker, he played in 23 regular season games, pulling down 258 boards.

Best Number 73 in Other Pro Sports
NFL Number 73
NHL Number 73

source:  basketball-reference.com

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NBA Athlete Number 72 - Jason Kapono

Number 72 has only been worn once in the NBA. Jason Kapono has worn this number during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 NBA seasons spent in Philadelphia.

He hasn't had a ton of playing time with the Sixers in his stay in the City of Brotherly Love, but
he has contributed, especially as usual, from behind the arc.

For his career spent with Cleveland, Charlotte, Miami, Toronto and Philly, Kapono has a .437 3-point shooting percentage. He twice led the league in that category: 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Did you know............Kapono won the NBA 3-point shootout twice?

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NBA Athlete Number 71 - Willie Naulls

I was really hoping I could name McCoy McLemore as the best to ever wear number 71. Why? Just so I could write about that name. How cool!? Okay, at least I got to put it in print. Now I can move on.

The best NBA athlete to ever wear jersey number 71 is Willie Naulls.   Naulls only wore number 71 for part of one season in his career.  He spent the 1962-63 second half playing with the San Francisco Warriors.  Naulls scored 518 points in 47 games for the city by the

Over his career, however, spent mostly with the New York Knicks, Naulls would accumulate a hefty 11,305 points and 6,508 rebounds.  He currently stands at 75th all-time in the NBA for career rebounds.

Did you know............that Naulls was once named Mr. Basketball in the state of California?

Best Number 71 in Other Pro Sports
NFL Number 71
NHL Number 71

sources:  wikipedia.com, basketball-reference.com

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Best Sports Photos of the Day

Who let this guy onto the field to watch this play at second so closely?  At least he's wearing the proper uniform.

If Holliday's elbow is just a bit higher, Weeks is going to have a problem here.

Another view of that guy with the good seat.

You gotta be agile to play second base in this league.

One of the best hitters of all-time in high definition mid-swing.

Ya think this dude means business?  Take a look at his eyes.

Here's your NHL player of the day, in my opinion, in a full stretch.

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Best Performances - October 14, 2011

Matt Holliday continues to produce for the Cardinals, and if he and the Redbirds keep it up for one more game, they'll find themselves in the World Series, hosting game one on October 19.  Holliday went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI, as the Cards defeated the Brew Crew 7-1 on Friday night.  He has a .500 on-base-percentage in the NLCS and a sturdy .692 slugging percentage.

In the NHL, Cam Ward blocked a hefty 39 shots as his Hurricanes defeated the Sabres 4-3.  Ward led the NHL in saves last year with 2,191.  Here's one of Ward's 39 shot denials from last night.

sources:  sports.yahoo.com, nhl.com, hockey-reference.com, baseball-reference.com

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Is He the Best NFL Quarterback Ever?

Naming the best NFL quarterback ever will always be subjective.  There's really no way around it.  Until we see someone just destroy all the passing numbers in a short period of time, you can make an argument for more than a handful of quarterbacks as the best of all-time.

And that's kind of what's so cool about this topic.  You can debate and continue to debate about the best there ever was.  Is it my pick or your pick?  Do the experts agree?  Will there ever be another to throw 50 TDs in a season?  (Yes.)   

So, you can look at the numbers, but it doesn't tell the entire story.  If we're looking at straight up numbers, then you'll find the best NFL QB ever right here.  But, the fans and the readers of this blog tell a different story.  They don't think, as a majority, that he's the best of all-time.

Well, who is then, at least according to readers of this blog?  If you scroll to the bottom center of the blog, you'll find out.  But I won't keep you in suspense that long.  It's Joe.  Not Broadway Joe, but that other Joe that played for the Niners, Mr. Joe Montana.

I remember Joe Montana winning all those big games in the eighties.  The big pass to Dwight Clark.  The comeback in the Super Bowl, where he supposedly noticed John Candy in the stands on the final drive.

He was King of the Comeback.  And maybe that's why so many people remember him as the best quarterback of all-time.

And as of this post, he has more wins than any other NFL quarterback in the post-season.  He has the most Super Bowl TDs thrown, and the highest passer rating of any Super Bowl quarterback.  So, yeah, he's one of the best.  Can't really argue with that.

He did have the best wide receiver to ever play as his main target for much of his career.  And he had some not-too-shabby backfield mates in Roger Craig and Tom Rathman.

Joe Montana Magazine Covers
Sports Illustrated

Joe Montana Books
Joe Montana's Art and Magic of Quarterbacking: The Secrets of the Game from One of the All-Time Best
The Winning Spirit: 16 Timeless Principles That Drive Performance Excellence
Audibles My Life in Football

Joe Montana Career Stats

Joe Montana's Autograph

Joe Montana's rank in the Top 100 by NFL Network

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NBA Athlete Number 70 - Frank Selvy

Frank Selvy wore several numbers in his professional basketball career. Of those, he wore the number 70 briefly for the Minneapolis / L.A. Lakers. He also played for the Bullets, Hawks, Knicks, and Nationals.

Selvy was picked number 1 by the Baltimore Bullets in 1954 out of Furman University, and would play with them for one year before being selected by the Milwaukee Hawks in the dispersal

Over a pro basketball career spanning the years 1954 to 1964, Selvey racked up a cool 6,120 points, and 2,097 rebounds.

Did you know.............Selvy once scored 100-points in a college basketball game?!

Best Number 70 in Other Pro Sports
NFL Number 70
NHL Number 70
sources:  wikipedia.com, basketball-reference.com

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Best Performances - October 13, 2011

Ilya Kovalchuk is once again proving his offensive prowess in New Jersey.  Watch this sweet move as his Devils topped the L.A. Kings in a shootout.

With Nelson Cruz hitting another homer for the Rangers, let's take a look at his impressive 5 ALCS shots.  If the Rangers win this thing, it will be in large part due to Cruz' power.

Check out this follow-through on a dinger by Matt Holliday in game 4.  That's how you do it.  Holliday went 2 for 3 with the homer providing a run and RBI, and he also walked.  It wasn't enough for his Cardinals however as they dropped game four to the Brew Crew.  

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NBA Athlete Number 68 - Milt Schoon

The Detroit Falcons must have been giving out only high jersey numbers, because here we have another number to be worn only once, and again in the NBA predecessor BAA.

Milt Schoon, out of Valparaiso, wore number 68 for the Falcons during the 1946-47 BAA season, scoring 120 in 41 games.

source:  basketball-reference.com

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Best Performances - October 10, 2011

Best NFL Performance
Jahvid Best - 163 yards on 12 carries with an 88 yard run and a TD
There were several strong performances in the Bears vs. Lions Monday night matchup.  Calvin Johnson, Jay Cutler and Matt Forte all showed their stuff.  But an 88 yard TD run?  Tough to beat that.  You can view video of the run here. It looks like he has a turbo booster, he accelerates so quickly.

Best MLB Performance
Nelson Cruz - Hit 1st walk-off Grand Slam in MLB postseason history
Nothing else needs to be said here except..........Awesome.

Best NHL Performance
Zach Parise - 2 goals in 4-2 Devils win over the Hurricanes
After being injured last year, Parise showed just how valuable he is to the New Jersey Devils as he notched two in the back of the net to help lead his team to victory.

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NBA Athlete Number 67 - Moe Becker

And we continue with the seldom worn jersey numbers.  Surprising, actually, the amount of jersey numbers that have been worn by only one athlete.  In this case, it's number 67, and technically again, it wasn't worn in the NBA.  It was the BAA.  So, you could argue that this number should be vacant.  I'd entertain that discussion.

But, more information, for those of us who can't get enough of it, is always better.

Moe Becker, out of Duquesne University, wore number 67 for the Detroit Falcons in 1946-47.  He tallied 41 points in 20 games for the Falcons.    

Did you know............Moe Becker also played for the Boston Celtics and the Pittsburgh Ironmen in the BAA?

sources:  basketball-reference.com, wikipedia.com

Best Athlete to Wear Number 67 in Other Pro Sports
NFL Number 67
MLB Number 67
NHL Number 67

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NBA Athlete Number 66 - Scot Pollard

Didn't we just see Scot Pollard, as the best NBA athlete to wear number 62? Yeah, we did. But he's also the best to wear number 66. Why? Well, for one, he's the ONLY NBA athlete to ever wear the number 66. And why did he choose that number when he landed in Boston? Let's just say that the Celtics have retired a number or two over their illustrious history.

Best to Wear Number 66 in Other Pro Sports

sources:  bleacherreport.com, basketball-reference.com,  

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Number 21 Retired in Colorado

Number 21 will never be worn again for the Colorado Avalanche. 21 was raised to the rafters in honor of Peter Forsberg recently. Although I've picked another NHL great as the best to ever wear the number 21, Forsberg certainly deserves consideration and the honor he recently received.

His 1.25 points per game puts him 10th all-time in that category. The '94-'95 Calder Trophy winner sits 4th all-time on the list of assists-per-game with .90.

He won two Stanley Cup Championships with the Avalanche and was named league MVP in 2002-03.

Did you know........Forsberg was drafted by the Flyers and traded (with others) for Eric Lindros?

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Best TD Catch of the Day?

Which TD catch from today's games was better?

This one?

Or this one?

I'm going with the second TD catch. But they're both amazing.

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Best Sports Photos of the Day

I haven't done this for a while, and I figured it was about time I did.  Checking out all the sports photos on Yahoo!, I picked the best, in my opinion, and linked to them with a little commentary below.  Enjoy!

Ya think this guy's not pumped? He just may be his team's new QB.

Great picture here of Mark Sanchez in mid-throw.  Check out the wrist action.  So fast, his fingers are a blur. And then check out that brace on the left knee.  Can't be too mobile with that bulky thing on.

He put up over 400 yards and 3 TDs, but it wasn't enough to get his team past Seattle.  That's certainly a look of frustration.

This guy wears an odd jersey number for a feature back.  That's okay.  His yardage numbers and ability to find the end-zone will make that number popular up in Massachusetts.

Number 57 helped his Brew-crew upend the Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS.

The Jets are back.  In Winnipeg.  Sportin' new uni's.

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Number 28 Puts One Deep

He may have quite a way to go before he can be called MLB's best to wear number 28, but if  he keeps hitting bombs like this one in clutch moments, he'll be there sooner rather than later.

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Best NHL Save of the Day

With a hat tip to Bleeding All Blue, check out this sick save by Lundqvist against the Ducks.

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Don't Be So Sure He's Wax

Troy Polamalu may one day be considered the best NFL athlete to ever wear the number 43.  And what he did in the video below can only help his cause.

Hat tip to The Last Angry Fan.

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NBA Athlete Number 65 - George Ratkovicz

NBA numbers 63 and 64? Not gonna find them. They haven't been worn. But, there was one NBA athlete who wore the jersey number 65.

George Ratkovicz played for the Syracuse Nationals in 1949-50 while wearing 65. That was the first of his six NBA seasons, where he would score 3,141 points and pull down 1,937 boards.

sources:  wikipedia.com, basketball-reference.com

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Congrats to Number 68 on 1600

The best professional athlete to ever wear number 68 has now scored 1600 points in his NHL career.  Playing in the first NHL game of the 2011-12 season for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, Jaromir Jagr assisted Claude Giroux on the game-tying goal by the Flyers in the first period.

The right-winger, who last played in the NHL during the 2007-08 season, now has 646 career goals and 954 career assists.  He stands at ninth all-time in the NHL with his 1600 career points.

The Flyers would go on to win this game 2-1.  

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2011 ALDS Top Performers - Yankees vs. Tigers (Tigers win in 5)

So, with the 2011 ALCS now set between the Tigers and Rangers, lets take a look at who performed the best in the Yankees vs. Tigers series.  Some of this might surprise you.


Experience counts.  You can just take a look at the Yankees top hitter in the ALDS.  Jorge Posada, whose had his share of post-season highlights, led the team with a .579 OBP (for batters with more than 2 at-bats;  Posada had 14 by the way), and led the team with a .429 batting average.  He also led in OPS with a 1.150 mark.

Now, the Yankees didn't win, but I'd bet the brass in the Bronx isn't unhappy that they kept Mr. Posada on the roster.

For the Tigers, Magglio Ordonez led the team in both OBP, with a .500 mark, and batting average, with a .455 mark.  Delmon Young, the Tigers August pickup, was the slugging leader with a 1.170 mark supported by three dingers.


Of the Yankees starters, the much maligned A.J. Burnett was their top performer.  In his one start, lasting 5.2 innings, he notched a 1.59 ERA and 1.412 WHIP.  (Note:  5 of the 7 Yankee relievers did not let up a single run, and the two who did let up only one run each).

For the Tigers, Max Scherzer was the man.  In 7.1 innings pitched, he had a minuscule 1.23 ERA and 1.091 WHIP.  (He was second on the Tigers in the regular season in wins, with 15, behind Verlander).

It's extremely interesting to note that the two Yankees who performed so well in this series, Posada and Burnett, were the two who arguably struggled the most during the regular season.

Note:  All statistics referenced in the post are courteous of www.baseball-reference.com.

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Squirrel Comes to Bat in Phillies-Cardinals Game

Have you seen this yet?  If not, check it out.  Pretty funny.

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Best Sports Debates - Best NFL Defensive Back Ever

A defensive back, a cornerback or safety, has a few jobs. You gotta be able to defend passes. It's even better if you can pick them off. You gotta be able to tackle, both the receivers, if you let them catch the ball, and all rushers if they get that far. And on blitzes, you gotta be able to bring down the QB.

Unlike some of the other sports debates, this one can't be done with stats alone. Why? Well, the NFL didn't start tracking some of these stats until "recent" times. For example, a sack wasn't tracked as a stat until 1982. So, I'll state right here that this "best ever" will be a bit subjective.

One of the stats that has been tracked for a while, which we can look at here, is interceptions. So, who are the all-time leaders?

Paul Krause - 81 total, 0.36 per game (regular season)
Emlen Tunnel - 79 total, 0.47 per game
Rod Woodson - 71 total, 0.30 per game

Dick "Night Train" Lane - 68 total, 0.43 per game
Ken Riley - 65 total, 0.31 per game

Okay, so once a defensive back makes the interception, what do you want him to do? If you're like most coaches, you want him to fall to the ground so your offense can take over! But, some coaches actually do want them to run with the ball, and gain as many yards as possible. So, of the five DBs above, who has gained the most yards on INTs?

Rod Woodson - 1,483 yards, 20.89 yards per INT (regular season)
Emlen Tunnel - 1,282 yards, 16.23 yards per INT
Dick "Night Train" Lane - 1,207 yards, 17.75 yards per INT
Paul Krause - 1,185 yards, 14.63 yards per InT
Ken Riley - 596 yards, 9.17 yards per INT

Incidentally, Ed Reed, Darren Sharper and Deion Sanders are all in the top 5 all-time for INT return yards. And, you can make a case that they have less interceptions total, due to the fact that QBs didn't throw their way as much. It's a valid argument. But, without the stat going back in NFL history to look at how many times the receiver they were covering was "targeted", we won't be able to look at the argument objectively. But we can certainly take the subjective view into consideration for this discussion.

Now let's look at some more subjective stuff, while we're on that topic. First off, you've probably heard of the NFL's 75th anniversary all-time team, right? It was voted on by media and NFL personnel in 1994. So which defensive backs made that list? Here they are:

Rod Woodson
Dick "Night Train" Lane
Mel Blount
Mike Haynes
Ken Houston
Ronnie Lott
Larry Wilson

Okay, so there's one list combining cornerbacks and safeties. And we see that Dick Lane and Rod Woodson are on both lists.

Let's now look at one NFL expert and writer's list. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, who has spent many years covering the NFL, and has proven his NFL knowledge, ranked his top all-time NFL cornerbacks. Who were the top 5?

1. Dick "Night Train" Lane
2. Mel Blount
3. Mike Haynes
4. Rod Woodson
5. Deion Sanders

There are those Dick Lane and Rod Woodson guys again.

A list put together by SI.com's Peter King in 2007 lists Dick Lane and Deion Sanders as the two best cornerbacks ever.

So, with the above information, two things have cleared up for me. Number 1: Dick "Night Train" Lane can be considered the best defensive back of all-time. (Rod Woodson comes in a close second).  Number 2: I am probably going to have to put out a separate list just for safeties. Look for that in a future post.

Other Best Sports Debates
Best NFL QB Ever
Best NFL Running Back Ever

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NBA Athlete Number 62 - Scot Pollard

Leave off the second t in Scot for "toughness".   Scot Pollard was a rebounding machine in his NBA days, pulling down 129 more boards than points scored over his career.

The Utah native played his college ball at Kansas, pulling down 850 boards in his four years as a Jayhawk.  He was taken by the Pistons with the 19th pick of the 1997 NBA draft, but would play with them only briefly, before being sent to Atlanta in a deal involving Duke alum Christian Laettner.

The Hawks waived him less than a month after the trade, but he was very quickly picked up by the Sacramento Kings, where he would have a lengthy stay.  He spent five solid seasons in California's capital, before being sent to the Pacers.

It was in Indiana where Pollard would wear jersey number 62 over three NBA seasons.  He would see court time in three seasons of NBA playoffs with the Pacers.

Pollard would bounce to Cleveland and Boston before winding up his NBA playing career.

Over 11 NBA seasons, he pulled down 2,351 rebounds.

Did you know............that Pollard was known for his unique hairstyles, wearing a Mohawk and shaving his head as two of them?

sources:  bleacherreport.com, wikipedia.com, basketball-reference.com

Best Number 62 in Other Pro Sports
NFL Number 62
MLB Number 62
NHL Number 62

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