News: And down the stretch they went, a fourth MVP for James
Story by Staff Sgt. Roger RyDell Daniels
FORT STEWART, Ga. -I was watching the Kentucky Derby this past weekend and, as the horses were rounding into the final turn, I told my daughters, “That horse right there is going to win.”
At that point, the horse I pointed to was near the outside, far off the lead. As it turned out, that horse, which I didn’t know was Orb at the time, did, in fact, come from behind to win the 139th Kentucky Derby. So, I correctly predicted Orb would come from behind to win the Derby.
My daughter asked me how did I know that the horse was going to win. I told her, “I’ve been watching horse racing for awhile now and, most of the time, a horse running in the back or middle of the pack will come from behind in the last seconds to win.”
I remember watching the very first race 139 years ago. At that time, I really didn’t think the Derby would grow into this big and grand event it is now.
I’m also amazed that after all these years, all of the winning horses have gotten away with not conducting a post-race interview. Every year, I wait to see what the winning horse has to say, but they never offer anything.
“How are these reporters letting them get away with this?” I ask.
I’m sure the reporters don’t like this one bit.
I also understand that 20 minutes after winning the derby, Nick Saban called to offer Orb a full scholarship to play running back for Alabama. That Saban guy has no boundaries.
Seriously, though, I haven't been around long enough to have seen all 139 races, but the Kentucky Derby has become a major yearly event as are the three races that make up the Triple Crown.
One of the facts that make the three races so intriguing is that no horse has won all three since 1978. Therefore, every year, people watch to see if they’ll witness history in the making.
Speaking of history, it was almost made this week when LeBron James came one vote short of unanimously winning his fourth NBA most valuable player award.
No player has received all of the votes before. James is only the second player to receive all but one vote needed to be an unanimous winner - that other player was Shaquille O'Neal.
By winning his fourth MVP award, LeBron James joined an elite group of five players who has won four or more MVP awards.
Do you know who the all-time leader is? Instead of me telling you in this column, I’ll wait until next week.
Ok, you convinced me. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has six, followed by Michael Jordan and Bill Russell with five each. James is tied with Wilt Chamberlain at four.
What’s more impressive: Winning the regular season MVP or the NBA Finals MVP?
Jordan leads with six finals MVPs, followed by Tim Duncan, Magic Johnson and O’Neal with three each. Four players including Kobe Bryant have two apiece. Abdul-Jabbar is the only one to win the finals MVP with two different teams.
Things that may only interest me
By winning the Derby, Orb won $1,439,800, which comes out to be $11,802 per in-race second.
Of the 28 players who have won NBA Most Valuable Player awards, nine have been traded by the team they were playing for when they won it. Wilt Chamberlain, Moses Malone and Shaquille O'Neal were each in this situation twice.
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics are both out of the NBA playoffs after the first round. The two teams have combined to win 33 of the 66 NBA championships. The last time both teams were out of the playoffs after the first round was after the 2006-07 season when the Lakers lost in the first round and the Celtics didn’t qualify. The last time both teams didn’t qualify for the playoffs was after the 1993-94 season.