Today in Sports History: September 1st

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(Kobe Bryant. Photo by Joe Murphy, Getty Images)

9/01/1989 - Atlanta hands Koncak big money

In one of the most dubious decisions in the history of the franchise, the Atlanta Hawks hand reserve center Jon Koncak a six-year, $13.2 million deal. The Detroit Pistons, desperate to find a power forward with the loss of Rick Mahorn, had offered Koncak a signing sheet where he'd make $2.1 million a year. The Hawks, to everyone's surprise, matched the offer.

$13.2 million doesn't sound like much -- nowadays, it's peanuts compared to what the average professional athlete makes -- but back then it made him one of the highest-paid players in the league, right there with Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Koncak wasn't a horrible player -- he was more than serviceable at the defensive end -- but for one of the top-paid men in the league, Koncak was a bust. He averaged around four points and five rebounds in his time in Atlanta, and he was too expensive for the Hawks to trade.

Koncak certainly earned his money, as he was routinely heckled by the hometown fans who wanted him to be more than a backup center. Koncak was labeled "Jon Contract" by them, an unfortunate nickname that was more the fault of the Hawks for giving it to him than than his own.

9/01/2004 - The Kobe trial comes to an end

Fourteen months and one day after the whole affair went down, charges that Kobe Bryant sexually assaulted a woman in Colorado are dropped. The prosecutors stated that the primary reason for the dismissal was that the woman in question did not wish to testify, leaving the state no choice but to end the trial.

Bryant did not come out of the proceedings unscathed, as he lost almost all of his corporate sponsorships. However for someone accused of something so sordid, Bryant maintained a more than respectable reputation. It took a few years, but Bryant slowly started to reappear in advertisements, as the short-term memory of the trial coverage wore off.

9/01/2007 - Appalachian State beats Michigan

The University of Michigan was one of the most prestigious football schools in the country -- it had been over four decades since they last had a losing season. Therefore, you can imagine what a colossal upset it was when the giant of college football lost to a university that no one had ever heard of: Appalachian State.

To read more about this story, click here for an in-depth Inhistoric article:

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