NBA 75th Anniversary Team

Earlier this winter, the NBA 75th Anniversary Team was announced by a diverse group of selectors including members of the media, players (current and former), coaches and front office executives to honor the best professional basketball players since the league’s founding in 1946. A total of 76 players were honored as part of this year’s anniversary team, the fourth such list that has been compiled, with 25th (1971), 35th (1980) and 50th (1996) Anniversary teams having been released in the past. Of the 76 players, 11 remain active currently in the league. Broken down positionally, 16 centers, 29 forwards and 31 guards make up the list with the players spanning all eras since the NBA’s inception.

At forward were Anthony Davis, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Elvin Hayes, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Carmelo Anthony, Charles Barkley, Paul Arizin, Rick Barry, Elgin Baylor, Larry Bird, Billy Cunningham, Dave DeBusschere, Kevin Durant, Julius Erving, John Havlicek, Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, Jerry Lucas, Karl Malone, Kevin McHale, Dirk Nowitzki, Bob Pettit, Paul Pierce, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Dolph Schayes, Dominique Wilkins and James Worthy. ... Read More

2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class

Last week, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Board of Selectors finalized who will be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, this upcoming August. The Class of 2022 was announced at NFL Honors on Thursday, February 10. The honorees include former coach, Dick Vermeil, wide receiver Cliff Branch, offensive tackle Tony Boselli, defensive back LeRoy Butler, defensive tackle Richard Seymour, defensive tackle Bryant Young, linebacker Sam Mills and officials supervisor Art McNally.

Dick Vermeil coached the Philadelphia Eagles from 1976-1982 and later the St. Louis Rams (1997-1999) and Kansas City Chiefs (2001-2005). Vermeil took over a Philadelphia football team that was far from successful, and by his third year at the helm in 1978, guided the Eagles to their first playoff appearance in 18 years. In 1979, Vermeil was named NFL Coach of the Year by Pro Football Weekly and Sporting News. Vermeil’s Eagles won an NFC East Division title in 1980, advancing to Super Bowl XV where they were defeated by the Oakland Raiders. ... Read More

Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame

On September 8, 2021, the National Baseball Hall of Fame held its induction ceremony celebrating its class of 2020, which was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Derek Jeter, who played his entire 20-year career from 1995-2014 with the New York Yankees, highlighted the inductee list. Jeter, a lifetime .310 batter, accumulated 3,465 hits in his career and served as Yankees team captain from 2003 until his retirement. A 14-time All-Star, Jeter led the Yankees to five World Series titles (1996-1998, 2000, 2009). His honors include World Series MVP (2000), American Rookie of the Year (1996) as well as five Gold Gloves (2004-2006, 2009-2010) in recognition of his defensive prowess at shortstop. In four consecutive seasons from 2006-2009, Jeter won a Silver Slugger Award, capturing a fifth in 2012. He won the Hank Aaron Award twice, in 2006 and 2009, in honor of his abilities as a hitter and also was named the recipient of the annual Roberto Clemente Award in 2009, recognizing his sportsmanship and community involvement. Jeter’s No. 2 jersey has been retired by the Yankees and he is a Monument Park honoree within Yankee Stadium. He was enshrined within the Baseball Hall of Fame having received 99.75% of the vote, good for the second-highest such percentage in baseball history, trailing only his former teammate, closing pitcher and fellow Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera. Jeter currently works as the chief executive officer of the Miami Marlins and is a minority owner of the team as well. ... Read More

28 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductees Cap Off A Memorable Weekend

This past weekend, the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrined 28 players, contributors and coaches, including eight members of the class of 2021. Below is an overview of the 2021 class…

Alan Faneca enjoyed a 13-year NFL career as an offensive guard, playing primarily with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1998-2007) during which time he earned six first-team All-Pro selections and won a Super Bowl XL ring. Faneca was named to nine consecutive Pro Bowls from 2001-2009 and finished his playing days with the New York Jets (2008-2009) and Arizona Cardinals (2010). In nine of his 13 years in the NFL, Faneca blocked for a tailback who would go on to eclipse 1,000 yards of rushing on the year. A former first-round NFL Draft pick out of LSU, Faneca is a member of both the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team and the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. ... Read More

Pro Football Hall of Fame Elects Eight For 2021 Induction

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced last Saturday night during NFL Honors the inductees into the 2021 class. The list was whittled down from 15 finalists in January and is led by quarterback Peyton Manning and also features Calvin Johnson, Charles Woodson, Alan Faneca, Calvin Johnson, John Lynch, Tom Flores and Bill Nunn.

The Hall of Famers usually appear in-person during the show but given that there was no live studio audience this year, the players were surprised in their hometowns by Hall of Fame president David Baker. Two surprises stood-out in particular, the first with Drew Pearson, who had been summoned to meet with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, and the other with Peyton Manning, who was filming at Empower Field at Mile High when he was ... Read More

Sports Speakers 360 Secures Joe Thomas, AJ Hawk, DeAngelo Williams and Fred Lynn for Virtual Event

Cleveland Browns Great, Joe Thomas

Due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations are foregoing in-person meetings and fundraisers and are instead hosting virtual events. Sports Speakers 360 was recently contacted by a leading cloud solutions company about their interest in hiring virtual speakers for a series of events as a way for them to stay engaged with current and prospective clients. Sports Speakers 360 put together a list of athlete suggestions based on their budget and markets and ultimately secured four athletes…retired Cleveland Browns great Joe Thomas, retired U. of Memphis and NFL running back DeAngelo Williams, retired Boston Red Sox outfielder Fred Lynn and retired Ohio State and NFL linebacker AJ Hawk. ... Read More

Religion in Sports

Whether it’s the sign of the cross, the point up to the skies or the genuflect after a score, overtones of religion in sports is not uncommon. Often, religion can be thought of as a personal or private matter. As long as the athlete performs to expectations, what they do and believe is their choice. However, what happens when sports and religion intersect? In this article about religion and sports, we’ll explore the role of religion and how it affects various athletes’ ideals and beliefs. We’ll also look into which religion doesn’t allow you to play sports in certain conditions and how religious athletes have responded.

What role does religion have in sports?

Historically, religion and sports were closely intertwined. Sporting events often had ties to religious ceremonies or festivals. These events acted as powerful symbols or metaphors of the transcendent. For example, the Olympic Games, held by ancient Greeks, were more of a festival or a celebration for their gods rather than merely a sporting event. While sports have become more secular today, religion still continues to have an impact. On a psychological level, studies have shown religion and spirituality enhance performance in sports. As with any human beings, athletes face their fair share of challenges and often cite religion as a key factor in overcoming their adversities. ... Read More

Nine of the Most Famous NASCAR Drivers in History

Aside from championships, race wins, winning percentage and impact on the sport are considered when naming the best NASCAR drivers of all time. The greatest drivers have achieved podium finishes more often than not and were big off the racetrack as well as on it. Here are some of the most famous NASCAR drivers who are considered the all-time best in the sport.

1. Richard Petty

When it comes to the racetrack, Richard Petty tops every list of greatest NASCAR drivers of all time because to date, no other race car driver has ever tallied as many wins as him. He holds the record of 200 wins, 123 poles, seven Daytona 500 wins, 1,027 career starts and 10 consecutive wins.

His illustrious career spanned from 1958 to 1992 and there has not been anyone since who has set as many records. He is arguably the best NASCAR driver ever. ... Read More

10 Greatest Hockey Players of all Time

The ice may have long melted, but some hockey greats’ names stay etched forever. There are those that are non-debatable on any “best hockey players of all time” list for the way they revolutionized the game and dominated in the rink. The National Hockey League (NHL) sees players come and go but the best hockey players are immortalized for years to come. Naming the greatest hockey player is almost impossible, but here’s a list of the top 10 hockey players of all time according to Sports Speakers 360.

1. Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky is probably the most famous hockey player to ever play in the NHL due to his scoring ability. He holds the NHL record of 215 points in a season, which he set in the 1985-86 campaign. ... Read More

The 9 Best Catchers of All Time

There are only 18 Major League Baseball (MLB) catchers in the Hall of Fame but true baseball fans know the list of the best catchers of all time is much longer. Many famous catchers are remembered for their role in leading their teams to victory. Some excel more at the plate than the field, and vice versa, but the top catchers of all time have been great no matter their position. Below is a compilation of who we consider the best catchers in MLB history.

1. Johnny Bench

When a player is elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, you know he is considered one of the greatest catchers of all time. Many consider Johnny Bench the best catcher in MLB history. A 16-year career (1967 – 1983) with the Cincinnati Reds saw Johnny Bench inducted as a Hall of Famer in 1989. The ‘“Little General” of the Big Red Machine led his team to two World Series wins in the mid-70s and in the process collected two NL MVP awards, 14 selections to the All-Star Game, 10 Gold Gloves and a Rookie of the Year award. ... Read More