Today in Sports History: February 4th

2/04/1987 - Lakers destroy Kings

It was an ugly scene in Los Angeles as the pitiful Sacramento Kings, who would lose 59 games in the '87 season, went up against a Lakers squad that would win 65 games and the NBA championship. After one quarter, the Lakers led by the unimaginable score of 40-4. Sacramento missed all 18 of their shots and only scored from the foul line -- their four points tied the lowest output ever in an NBA quarter. It took them 23 attempts to make their first shot, an NBA record as well.

"It's a good thing we're a good free-throw shooting team," Kings coach Phil Johnson lamented afterward.

The Lakers got off to an amazing 29-0 start, astounding the fans to such an extent that they actually began rooting for the Kings to score. When the Kings finally scored on a Derek Smith free throw with 2:54 to go, the fans at the Great Western Forum rose and handed the Kings a standing ovation. Although the Kings and Lakers would play even the final three quarters, Kings coach Phil Johnson and assistant Frank Hamblen were fired less than a week later. After suffering the most infamous first quarter in league history, the moves were of little surprise.

2/04/1993 - Schott suspended for season

In an agreement with baseball officials that allowed her to remain as owner, Reds owner Marge Schott is suspended for for the entire 1993 season for making racist remarks. Schott, baseball's only female owner, had been overheard calling former players Eric Davis and Eric Parker the n-word. This was not the first time Schott had reportedly used the word. Also factoring in to her suspension was her disparaging remarks about Jews and her statement that "Hitler had the right idea for them, but went too far."

Marge Schott was an extremely controversial woman. While she did great things as the owner, such as lowering food prices and making seats more affordable, she did not believe in scouting nor did she have much interest in baseball at all. She was the first woman to buy her way into ownership of an MLB team and allowed Schottzie, her prized Saint Bernard, to run loose on the field.

She was also a walking public relations nightmare. Besides making those disparaging statements, her team had the worst minority hiring record in all of baseball, and many were outraged at why she wasn't kicked out completely. Schott would mostly stay out of the spotlight for a years, but another incident in 1996 -- this time involving the death of an umpire -- would force her to leave the game for good.

2/04/2009 - LeBron gets temporary triple-double

Two days earlier, Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers had gone into Madison Square Garden, the home of the New York Knicks, and scored 61 points; he passed Bernard King for the most ever scored at the Garden, and Michael Jordan, for the most ever scored by a visiter (55). Now it was LeBron James' turn, as the Cavaliers faced the lowly Knicks. With the MVP race having become a one-on-one duel between Kobe and LeBron, many anticipated that LeBron to try to outdo Kobe's performance. LeBron denied that he wanted to do it, though from the opening tip, it was clear that he did.

The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks, 107-102, and though James did not match Kobe's 61, he was just as impressive, collecting 52 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds -- with the final board coming in the closing seconds. James was the first player to get a triple-double while also scoring 50 points in 33 years, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did it.

Unfortunatley for James, the most impressive triple-double in decades was discounted a few days later. NBA officials went through the game tape and ruled that James' second-to-last rebound should have been awarded to Ben Wallace instead. 52, 11, and 9 was still incredible, though it didn't have the flair of being a triple-double. A similiar thing happened in 1990, when the NBA removed a quadruple-double from Hakeem Olajuwon after taking away one of his assists.

After the game, James spoke openly about how much he enjoyed playing at the most famous basketball arena in the country. "I can't say that this is the same as any other road game. It's not, because it's the Mecca of basketball," he said. "The building is special, because it's the last one left. This is the last one that holds all the memories."

For years, there had been wild speculation that James could possibly sign with the Knicks in 2010, a rumor that LeBron had never fully dispelled. "July 1 of 2010 [the first day of free agency] is a very big day," James even said before the game. "It’s probably going to be one of the biggest days in free-agent history in the NBA."

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