Unbreakable NBA Records

Unbreakable NBA Records

Records are made to be broken. After all, we just witnessed history as the Golden State Warriors topped the Bulls’ seemingly unbreakable overall win record, which had stood for a solid 20 years. Nobody dreamed that a 73-win season would ever happen, but it did.

Some NBA players, though, have set the bar so high and entrenched their spot in the record books so firmly it’s impossible to envision any new record holders taking their place. Here are the best of the best NBA records, which may never be topped.

Hitting That Century Mark

NBA Records - Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game

On an ordinary night in 1962, Wilt Chamberlain suited up for the Philadelphia Warriors and proceeded to completely destroy the record for most points scored in a single game (which he himself had set just a few months earlier). In the 50-plus years since, nobody has even come close to touching Chamberlain’s mind-boggling 100-point mark. The second-place record, set at 81 by Kobe Bryant in 2006, is considered a huge feat in and of itself.

While scoring more than 60 points in a game was almost routine for Chamberlain, it’s a pretty rare accomplishment. The Big Dipper managed to scrounge 60 or more points an astounding 32 times. But the record books pretty much fall off at that point, with most players only managing to attain it once.

From the Foul Line

NBA Records - Jose Calderon's Free-Throw Percentage

Not all NBA players excel at hitting free throws. Even record-breaking Chamberlain was notoriously not so great at it, attaining an overall career record of just 51.1% of his free throws.

Some guys are really good at it, including current Knicks player José Calderón. During the 2008-2009 season, he hit a crazy 151 out of 154 free throws for Toronto, notching him a No. 1 spot in the free-throw record books at 98.1%. Calvin Murphy attained the No. 2 spot back in the early ’80s; he clocked in at 95.8% when he played for the Rockets during the 1980-1981 season.

Stephen Curry also just slammed through the record for 3-pointers scored in a season, making 402 at 45.4%. He did the same last year and the year before. Who’s to say he won’t do it again next year? For the record, Curry hit the 93.4% mark for free throws during the 2010-2011 NBA season.

Calderón’s free-throw percentage, however, is probably going to stand the test of time. Sinking 151 out of 154 free throws is almost too superhuman a feat to repeat, much less beat.

Here Comes the Iron Man

NBA Records - The Iron Man: A.C. Green

It’s difficult to play a streak of consecutive games in the NBA. With 82 games in a season, it’s hard to fathom a player not getting sick, or injured, or missing a game for any reason. The current record holder for this singular achievement is one A.C. Green, who had snapped up the previous streak record of 906 games in 1997. He then went on to rack up a total of 1,192 consecutive games between 1986 and 2001.

It’s not looking likely that anyone will overtake this outstanding record. The current contender, Cavs forward Tristan Thompson, is holding steady at 370 consecutive regular season games. That’s pretty hard to top, but it doesn’t even come close to Green’s mammoth record, which will probably never be beat.

Steadfast Records

NBA records can and do fall. Sure, a 74-win season sounds completely impossible, but so did a 73-win season. But these unbreakable records are in another category altogether. Perhaps, in another few decades, this year’s historic win record will teeter and fall. But these select superhuman performances are on the record books to stay.

Want to channel some of that winning magic? Try to break your own records with gear from Fanatics.com, from Chamberlain’s jerseys to Calderón’s.

Sources

Kobe vs. Curry: A Race Around the World

Kobe Bryant has long ruled the NBA’s booming global market, which is being felt more than ever throughout his legendary retirement. Spending much of his childhood in Italy and making trips to China every offseason, Bryant’s worldwide pull is no surprise – but the numbers will still shock you.

A whopping 20 percent of Bryant’s total sales throughout April on Fanatics.com have come from outside the United States. Nearly half of that is from China and Hong Kong, the latter of which is Kobe’s second-most popular market behind Los Angeles.

Check out all the countries Kobe Bryant and Steph Curry have sold to in April 2016.
Countries Kobe Bryant (purple) and Stephen Curry (blue) have sold to in April 2016 on Fanatics.com.

April provides the perfect opportunity to compare the Black Mamba’s global reach with Stephen Curry, basketball’s new dominant force whose Golden State Warriors just broke 73 wins. In April sales, the Los Angeles Lakers star sold products in 87 different countries, just barely edging out Curry’s 86. The Black Mamba holds a decided edge in Asia and Europe, but Curry has a slightly larger reach in South America and Africa.

While their global maps cover much of the same territory, Kobe made sales in Thailand, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic. Meanwhile, Curry beat out Kobe by selling products in Peru, Guyana, Kenya, Greece and Cambodia. Global reach, indeed.

Even with MLB’s Opening Day this month, Bryant absolutely dominated China’s overall sales. Kobe Bryant products alone have accounted for more than 38 percent of China’s total sales on Fanatics.com throughout April.

As LeBron James once said during Team USA’s 2008 trip to the Beijing Olympics, “I thought I was famous until I got here with Kobe.”

Thank you Guangzhou #rise #muse

A photo posted by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) on

Curry’s international breadth is growing along with his game. His sales in April have accounted for 12 percent of overall Stephen Curry merchandise sold on Fanatics.com, with our neighbors up north in Canada (where Curry spent three years as a teenager while father Dell Curry played for the Toronto Raptors) and friends down under in Australia as his top-selling countries outside the USA.

For an American player whose total merchandise sales on Fanatics.com are up more than 300 percent this season compared to last year’s MVP run, such a large chunk of sales outside the U.S. just might put him in line to be basketball’s next premier global icon.

Nobody will replace the global footprint that Kobe Bryant left on the game of basketball. And like many legends, his merchandise will continue to sell long after he hangs his sneakers up for good. But novelty breeds excitement, and the euphoria surrounding Curry has reached far beyond America’s borders.

Given the NBA’s continued investment in their global brand, Curry’s growing popularity abroad should only continue as he keeps breaking records.

#RoarBacon Because Everything is Better with Bacon

From an innocent social media typo to Roar Bacon T-shirts, you really can’t make up the story of how the St. Louis Blues’ new motto has galvanized a “hungry” fan base.

Back on November 4, the St. Louis Blues mounted a furious 6-5 road comeback in overtime over the Chicago Blackhawks in the rivals’ first meeting of the season. The Blues’ Instagram account wanted to alert their followers that the team had “roared back.” Their phone’s autocorrect feature had other ideas, and the hashtag began nationally trending – Roar Bacon was born.

Well that was something. #OurBlues roar bacon with three second-period goals to tie the game 5-5. #STLvsCHI

A photo posted by St. Louis Blues (@stlouisblues) on

So Blues fans would have their fun, make some memes and move on, right? Not quite.

From a pig’s visit to the Blues locker room to Roar Bacon-themed menu items at home games, the Blues kept riding the wave of #RoarBacon – and the team kept responding. When the Blues battled back in Chicago on Sunday in a 3-2 win to take a 2-1 series lead in their first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup, it marked the Blues’ third road comeback over the Blackhawks this season – the third chapter in the Roar Bacon saga.

So Roar Bacon is more than just a funny motto – it’s a rallying cry that defines the composure these Blues need to eliminate the Stanley Cup champions and make a run at the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. And if we know anything about St. Louis-Chicago rivalries, there’s no other team that the Notes would rather beat on their way to it.

After going viral early in the season, #RoarBacon has been channeled more and more by Blues fans during the playoffs. The postseason’s first week saw more than 900K impressions on Twitter for the delicious hashtag and around 640K alone during Sunday’s Game 3 comeback.

Roar Bacon tweets

Source: Sample data from Keyhole.co

Social media celebrities are taking notice, with ESPN’s Darren Rovell showing off the new Roar Bacon T-Shirt on Fanatics:

After it tapered off following November, it’s no surprise to see the uptick in search popularity for the term Roar Bacon as the Blues show their grit again in these playoffs.

Roar Bacon isn’t completely precluded to the land of The Gateway Arch. Among the 13.5K Google searches made for the motto in November, well over half came from outside the St. Louis area. So the #RoarBacon fever is spreading, and folks across the nation want to know its origin.

Call it sports’ most successful Internet typo if you want, or a quirky motto that induces stomach growling. But for the St. Louis Blues and their fans, Roar Bacon has evolved from an early season Internet trend into a motto that is defining their Stanley Cup run.

Roar Bacon t-shirts are for sale on Fanatics.com in LadiesMen & Kids sizes


Highlighting AT&T Park

Ballpark Spotlight of AT&T Park

The eight-time World Series Champions San Francisco Giants have called their current ballpark home since 2000. With its seating capacity of 41,503, there is plenty of room and tons of amenities for their fans. The Giants have shared their home field with a few other sports over the last decade and a half, and the stadium is used for other events on occasion (a bit of trivia: AT&T Park is where Kanye West proposed to Kim Kardashian). As with most sports teams, the Giants enjoy a substantial hometown advantage when they take the field on game day.

Collecting Those Wins at Home

Hometown advantage of the Giants at AT&T park

When the Giants amble onto the field at AT&T Park, they know that the odds are in their favor more than when they play away games. Their win percentage at their home park is over 55 percent, which is better than their overall win percentage of around 53 percent over 133 years of play.

Fans hoping to catch their team winning a game have plenty of choices for seating around the park, including a ton of luxury seating options. In addition to traditional suites, patrons can sit in what’s known as Triples Alley, after staff escorts them along the warning track 30 minutes prior to game time. All fans can enjoy statues of famous players scattered throughout the park.

Runs for the Home Team

Average runs scored at AT&T park

The Giants also tend to score more points at home than their opponents do when looking at averages over the course of the last 16 seasons they’ve called AT&T Park home. Their average runs scored sits at a little over 4.26, while the average runs allowed holds at 3.96 per game. While it may not seem like a huge run differential, those averages do add up to more success at home.

This is good news for Giants fans, who have a few ways of getting to the park, including by car, taxi, or public transit. Those getting a workout of their own as they commute to a game on bike can take advantage of the park’s secure biking facility. There is also an abundance of food vendors on site, and PETA has designated AT&T Park as the most vegetarian-friendly MLB park in 2005, 2006, 2011, and 2014.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

San Francisco Giants game attendance since 1890

The San Francisco Giants baseball team did not start out in San Francisco, nor did they start out as the Giants – the first inception of the team could be found in New York, where they played under the name the New York Gothams for the first two years. They were called the New York Giants from 1885 to 1957. The team relocated to San Francisco for the 1958 season, and while their home field has changed locations and names over the years, they’ve remained a San Fran staple since.

Their current home field opened for the 2000 season as the first privately financed ballpark in the majors since 1962, and attendance grew sharply after the team settled into (what was then known as) Pacific Bell Park. The stadium has undergone two name changes since, and the team boasts an average attendance of 39,499 and a season win percentage average of 51.07 at their newest digs.

In addition to the obvious allure of seeing their favorite team take the field, fans at AT&T Park have plenty to do on game day. The locale has several unique features, such as gigantic slides linked to a huge Coca-Cola bottle, a 26-foot-high baseball glove, Little Giants Park for young fans, and of course, the foghorn that blares after each home run and win. An interesting feature is the distance from home plate to fans in the first row of seats – at 48 feet, these fans are closer to the plate than the pitcher is.

AT&T Park Is Tops

While AT&T Park provides an amazing home field advantage for its anchor tenant, the park also gives Giants fans a host of ways to enhance and enjoy their game-day experience: from different seating options and amenities to safety and security.

For all your San Francisco Giants gear needs – from jerseys and hats to hoodies and more – check out Fanatics.com.

Methodology

Using Baseball-Reference.com, we looked at the winning percentage, runs scored, and home attendance of the San Francisco Giants and focused on their time playing at AT&T Park.

Sources

The Evolution of the Boston Red Sox Jersey

Evolution of the Boston Red Sox Jersey

The history of the Boston Red Sox is rich with some of the most successful, colorful, and beloved ballplayers of all time. Even Fenway Park, which opened in 1912, is unique and storied.

Every decade since their inception in 1901 (until 1908, they were known as the Boston Americans, among other names) can boast hall of famers – except when that curse began in the 1920s …

But unlike many historic sports teams, the Red Sox have continuously tweaked their on-field attire.

Team brass long had a love-hate relationship with pinstripes, until fans complained they looked too much like the New York Yankees. They periodically bring back to life long-dead logos, with a twist or two, and the caps were a work in progress for about 60 years.

Notable Uniform Changes

The Boston Red Sox jersey morph over time

  • 1901 – For their first year in the American League, the club is known as the Boston Americans. There is no red in sight, just blue and gray.
  • 1908 – All the blue is changed to red, and the “BOSTON” chest lettering is now placed inside a tilted red sock on the front of the uniform. An alternate uniform has a red version of the “BA” of 1902.
  • 1909 – The “BOSTON” chest lettering comes back, scrapping the sock design on the front of the uniforms.
  • 1910 – The home uniform replaces its lace-up collar with buttons. The away uniform still uses the lace-up collar. This is the last year any big league ball club uses a lace-up collar.
  • 1912 – During their first year at Fenway Park, the club rolls out two sets of both home and away uniforms. The first set is largely the same as the previous year, but instead of “BOSTON,” the lettering is “RED SOX.” The second set has a dark sleeve with pinstripes incorporated.
  • 1916–1918 – The home uniform is completely white with red socks, and the away uniform has pinstripes, reverting back to the 1912 “second set” uniforms.
  • 1919–1929 – On an almost yearly basis, pinstripes appear and disappear on the Red Sox uniforms.
  • 1930–1931 – The Red Sox play around with adding the 1908 sock logo on both the left sleeves and ball caps a year later. The caps are white, with a single erect sock, a red bill, and red stripes.
  • 1931 – Numbers are added to the uniforms.
  • 1933 – The home uniform features “RED SOX” lettering. Red stitching outlining the buttons is added. Caps are switched to a dark blue, with a red “B” in the middle.
Boston Red Sox American Needle Cooperstown Fitted Hat
Boston Red Sox American Needle Cooperstown Fitted Hat
  • 1946 – The “B” on the cap is switched to an Old English “B” and is outlined in white. A second set of uniforms with a red tinge to the coloring – as opposed to the gray or white – is added.
Boston Red Sox '47 Brand Cooperstown Collection Basic Logo Cleanup Adjustable Hat – Navy Blue
Boston Red Sox ’47 Brand Cooperstown Collection Basic Logo Cleanup Adjustable Hat
  • 1972 – Blue “BOSTON” lettering replaces “RED SOX” on the away uniforms, and a red collar is added. A second set has red trim around the belt and neckline.
  • 1975 – The cap is now red, with a blue bill and a blue “B” with a white outline.
  • 1979 – The changed hat is scrapped for the old blue hat, and the road uniform is now gray with blue “BOSTON” lettering.1990 – The blue “BOSTON” lettering on the away uniform is switched to red.
  • 2003 – The introduction of an all-red third uniform looks very similar to 2016’s third uniform …
David Ortiz Boston Red Sox Majestic Cool Base Jersey with Retirement Patch
David Ortiz Boston Red Sox Majestic Cool Base Jersey with Retirement Patch

… but has the black piping of this koozie.

Boston Red Sox Bottle Jersey Koozie
Boston Red Sox Bottle Jersey Koozie

2011–2013 – The blue “BOSTON” lettering is back, for three years only, before going back to the red lettering of today.

Myths

One myth that won’t die regarding the Red Sox is that, at one time or another, the team was named The Puritans, The Pilgrims, or the Beaneaters.

But this myth has been debunked by both a lack of uniform evidence as well as baseball historian Bill Nowlin’s article “The Boston Pilgrims Never Existed.”

Trendsetters

In two modern instances, the Red Sox have been MLB uniform trendsetters.

After breaking the curse of the Bambino in 2004, the Red Sox opened up the 2005 season with gold trim on the lettering and numbers. Since 2005, eight other world championship teams have opened their season with gold-accented uniforms.

New Era Boston Red Sox 2013 World Series Champions On-Field Authentic 59FIFTY Performance Fitted Hat
New Era Boston Red Sox 2013 World Series Champions On-Field Authentic 59FIFTY Performance Fitted Hat

Their other sartorial innovation was to don advertisements on both their batting helmets and sleeves when they played their opening day game in Japan in 2008.

Looking Forward

While their days of constant uniform tweaks seem to be behind them, the Red Sox will soon update their list of retired uniform numbers.

With eight numbers already retired – 1 (Bobby Doerr), 4 (Joe Cronin), 6 (Johnny Pesky), 8 (Carl Yastrzemski), 9 (Ted Williams), 14 (Jim Rice), 27 (Carlton Fisk), and 45 (Pedro Martinez) – the Red Sox plan to retire 26 this year for Wade Boggs.

In addition, it doesn’t take too much foresight to see numbers 24 (Manny Ramirez) and 34 (David “Big Papi” Ortiz) being retired shortly.

With the MLB season now underway be sure to stock up on your favorite Red Sox gear on Fanatics.com

Sources

Kobe Bryant played with these NBA stars over his 20 year career

Spanning a 20 year career, Kobe Bryant only played with the LA Lakers. In these 20 years, he played with a large number of other NBA stars. The Fanatics player network in the Six Degrees of the NBA is showing 142 players Kobe has played with. How many can you name without looking at the network below?

Six Degrees of Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is undeniably one of the best players currently playing. He is a five-time NBA champion, 17-time NBA All-Star, 11-time All-NBA First Team member, and two-time Olympic gold medalist. Bryant’s recent retirement announcement has caused stirs throughout the league and especially in Los Angeles, where Bryant has been the cornerstone of the Lakers for two decades.

Despite being drafted for the Charlotte Hornets, Bryant played only for the Lakers, making him the current record holder for the longest stint playing on a single team. Over 20 seasons, Bryant has been on the roster with 142 players. Besides his long tenure as a Lakers starter, Bryant’s two terms on the American Olympics men’s basketball team and repeated All-Star appearances helped to make him a well-known face in the league – although the node graph only considered relationships through official NBA play. The majority of Bryant’s connections are first-order, or directly connected to him.

Methodology

Using NBA roster data from Basketball-Reference.com, we created a data set containing each player’s name, the team he played for, and the year he played for that team. If he played for multiple years or multiple teams, each pairing counted separately. With 4,336 players on 104 teams, we were left with 23,919 player and team pairs over 70 seasons.

The second data set matched players who played together. This yielded 181,886 player-to-player pairs over 70 seasons. Players who were involved in trades for each other are listed as having played together.

Using Gephi, we built models and set up the entire NBA graph in a timeline to emphasize that players who played together in the 1950s tend to cluster together with one another and not with players who played together in the 1990s.

Colors are the result of clustering at a higher level, where players of one “color group” associate mostly with each other, and not as much with other groups. For example, for Michael Jordan, you can see his time with the Bulls separated into two distinct color groups (yellow and red) where players intersect but played more times with other members of their group. The third group shows his time with the Wizards (green) where most of the group is separated from other players in Jordan’s social network.

See the other posts in this series:

 

Kobe Bryant Fandom in the US

Kobe Fandom across the United States

The long and illustrious 20-year career of Kobe Bryant is coming to an end after this season closes out, but his fandom remains strong. Bryant’s merchandise sales alone have revealed peaks and valleys in his popularity. With his retirement coming, current Kobe sales peak, where he’s the number 2 selling player in the NBA on Fanatics.com up more than 100% over last year, just behind Stephen Curry. Some parts of the country are more eager to drop their hard-earned dough on this veteran player – even during his swan song and especially since he garnered his 15th All-Star appearance this year. Bryant joins the honorable ranks of Allen Iverson and Yao Ming for players earning the All-Star vote as their career winds down.

Kobe Bryant Sales Across the States

Popularity of Kobe Bryant across the United States

Map: Kobe Bryant sales per state on Fanatics from 2010 – 2016. Source: Fanatics.com & Census data

Kobe Bryant was drafted in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets, but he’s known for playing his entire professional career with the Los Angeles Lakers. Due to a trade agreement with the Hornets prior to draft day, he never played for the Hornets and instead headed West before his professional debut.

Looking at state data of Kobe gear purchases, North Carolina remains a hotspot for his merchandise. California, understandably, notches the highest volume of sales.. New York and Texas vie for top spots as well. Other notable states that bring in Kobe sales are Oregon, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Folks in the interior states generally aren’t into Kobe as much as their coastal peers, which is reflected by the large swath of purple on our map.  In general, his biggest sales spots are generally along the borders of the U.S. with a few notable exceptions (namely those few states that share a border with Canada and a few Gulf Coast states and New Mexico).

Kobe’s Contributions Year After Year

Like many pro athletes, Kobe’s career has ebbed and flowed over the years, but with nearly 20 solid NBA seasons under his belt, he will exit the sport as one of the best in the game. After his 1997 selection to the All-Rookie Second Team, he’s continued to collect quite a few honors along the way – this includes four All-Star MVP nods (2002, 2007, 2009, and 2011), 11 All-NBA First Team selections (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013), and one NBA MVP (2008).

Kobe’s fandom continues to be very strong even during the twilight of his career. Looking back to where he was in 2013, he signed a contract extension in November guaranteeing that he’d retire a Laker. Also notable that year was his highly anticipated return to play in December from a devastating Achilles tendon rupture, subsequent surgery, and recovery.

Kobe’s contributions continue to pile up as he ticks off year after year with the Lakers. For example, a November 30, 2014 overtime victory over the Raptors was made possible by Kobe’s impressive performance as he secured his 20th career triple-double. During the same game, he became the first player in NBA history with at least 6,000 assists and 30,000 points.

In his final season, Kobe continues to make waves and break records (currently second only to Stephen Curry in jersey sales). When he took the floor for the first game of the 2015-2016 season, he eclipsed a mark set by John Stockton at the culmination of his own 19-year career. At the end of the 2002-2003 season, Stockton set the record for most seasons played for a single team at 19. Kobe will retire this year, having played 20 seasons for a single team. And though he’s a long-time player whose stats may not be as impressive as they were when he was younger, Kobe still put up over 30 points for the first time since 2013 in a December win over the Washington Wizards.

The Culmination of Kobe

Overall, Kobe Bryant merchandise sales do follow the successes of his career, but not in a way that always makes sense on the surface. While some of his best statistical years do correspond to a boost in sales, it may also be the case that his off-court triumphs result in just as much merchandise movement, if not more. Breaking records, recovering from injuries, and tapping out after a 20-year stint with a single team are all good reasons fans have found to honor their favorite player.

kobe-bryant-jerseys-tshirts

Methodology

We looked at Fanatics merchandise sales data for Kobe Bryant across the United States since 2010. Using the latest U.S. Census population numbers, we determined the number of units shipped to each state per 100,000 residents. These data was compared to his points per game statistics over the same period.

Sources

Highlighting Madison Square Garden

Madison Square Garden Arena Spotlight

Since the 1800s, Madison Square Garden has hosted circuses, political conventions, dog shows, professional sports drafts, boxing matches, concerts, and a ton of basketball and hockey games. Its impressive list of tenants and visitors has made the arena a beloved fixture in New York City. And as with many sports venues, it boasts an amazing home-court advantage for local teams.

Quantifying Home Advantage

Hometown advantage. Win percentage of the Knicks and Rangers at Madison Square Garden

Home advantage (whether you’re talking about home court or home ice) is an easy thing to sum up and quantify. In the case of Madison Square Garden and two of its well-known tenants, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, the advantage is worth noting. The Knicks show a 60.31 win percent playing at home in the Garden, which is 10.76 percentage points better than their career winning percentage. In fact, if they played every game at home during the course of a season, they’d notch 50 wins (or an equivalent, if the season happens to be shorter than 82 games) every year – something they’ve only accomplished 13 times over the course of their 70-season history.

Likewise, the Rangers also have an at-home win percentage greater than their overall win value – 49.30 percent. It’s a rate that’s 11.60 percentage points greater than their career winning percent. This translates to a 40-win season if all games are played at home during the course of a full season, which is a feat they’ve managed to achieve 15 times since 1968.

The Difference Is in the Differential

Scoring at home. Average score of the Knicks, Rangers, and their opponents at Madison Square Garden.

Home advantage often works in the team’s favor no matter if they win or lose, which can show in the point differential when comparing losing efforts with winning outings. During home games of the New York Knicks, for example, their point differential average is around 1.75 points greater in winning decisions when compared with their average differential in losing games.

The Rangers also notably have a higher point average overall than their opponents do during games at the Garden, no matter if they win or lose. In winning efforts, they enjoy a greater point differential than during losing efforts, which also reflects a home-ice advantage – 2.56 average point differential in winning contests, compared to -2.21 in losing matches.

All About the Garden

Madison Square Garden current capacity

Madison Square Garden, also affectionately known as “The Mecca of Basketball,” “MSG,” “The Garden,” and “The World’s Most Famous Arena” is located in the Manhattan borough of New York City at 4 Pennsylvania Plaza. With a capacity of 19,830 for basketball, and 18,024 for hockey (the discrepancy due to court and rink sizes), it’s a premiere destination for sports fans, and an obvious haunt for fans of the home teams.  If you’re going, forget driving – Madison Square Garden does not provide parking, although area parking garages do participate in prepaid parking voucher programs.

The arena is conveniently located directly above Penn Station, making it easy to access via public transit – Amtrak, Long Island Rail Road, and PATH provide access to the venue by train. The subway lines 1, 2, 3, A, C, and E run to 34th Street-Penn Station. The B, N, F, V, N, R, Q, and W lines to 34th Street-Herald Square station (and a walk one block west) provide access as well.

MSG was originally built as the New York and Harlem Railroad depot before being converted into P.T. Barnum’s Hippodrome. This first incarnation hosted the first Westminster Kennel Club dog show in 1877. The property was then purchased by William Vanderbilt in 1879 and renamed Madison Square Garden.

New Yorkers enjoyed checking out presidential rallies, elephant shows, boxing exhibitions, and cycling competitions in this space before Andrew Carnegie and J.P. Morgan bought the building, demolished it, and rebuilt it on the same site in 1890.

In 1925, the Garden was again demolished and replaced by the New York Life building, and a new Garden was opened at 8th Avenue and West 50th Street. Eventually, this location fell out of favor and was closed (and once again, torn down) in 1967. A new structure, the current Garden, was then built above Penn Station.

Today, the world-renowned arena not only hosts the Knicks and the Rangers, but the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, the Big East tournament, and the NIT finals. MSG has also played host to major presidential speeches and political conventions. It has hosted both NFL and NBA drafts as well.

Looking Forward

The long, colorful history of Madison Square Garden has a treasured place in the hearts of New Yorkers as well as people everywhere. The unquestionable home-court advantage also makes this a favorite of the local sports teams. But if you want to see if for yourself, you’ll need to check it out within the next seven years – its status is currently threatened by Penn Station renovations, and will be rebuilt in a new location for a fifth time by 2023.

Before heading out to MSG, get your Knicks and Rangers gear. Good news – Fanatics carries all your faves, from jerseys to hats to gear for your kids.

Methodology

Home games are determined after pulling data from Pro Sports Reference and removing records of any games at another venue.

For the New York Knicks, home-win percentage is total wins divided by the sum of total wins and total losses. For the New York Rangers, home-win percentage is wins divided by the sum or wins, losses, and ties.

Sources

NCAA best selling Final Four team in each state

Fanatics analyzed the sales for the merchandise of the 2016 men’s college basketball championship sales this week.

NCAA final four sales per state

The map represents top selling teams, which are still playing in the tournament, in each state between March 27 until March 31 2016, where the sales of merchandise happened on Fanatics.com.

Yahoo reported:

Syracuse fans have ordered more than the rest—a lot more. Sales of Syracuse gear rose 750% in the five days from March 27 to March 31. That’s not just the biggest sales spike of the Final Four teams, or of teams that played in the tourney this year. It’s the largest sales bump by any college on the site, ever.

Syracuse Orange gear was the number 1 searched term on Fanatics.com across all sports for 3/28 & 3/29.  More people searched for Syracuse merchandise in these two days, than for the Golden State Warriors or popular NBA or MLB players.

Week over week growth numbers in sales for the final four are:

  1. Syracuse Orange +750%
  2. Villanova Wildcats +640%
  3. Oklahoma Sooners +300%
  4. North Carolina Tar Heels +250%

Although Syracuse is showing the largest peak in sales over the last couple of days, UNC is the number 1 seller in this year’s NCAA tournament.

March Madness Long Shots

The biggest long shots in March Madness history

Not all teams that enter the NCAA tournament seem destined to be there. Some teams choose the tournament as their time to truly shine. Here we look at those Cinderella stories – the underdogs that defy the odds and strike down Goliath teams. They are nothing short of remarkable. Even though most don’t end in a tournament championship, these endearing stories have become the stuff of legends over time.

Winning Seeds in the NCAA Tournament



There are clear trends in seeds and win percentage, with higher-seeded teams having more success over the long run (since the 1970s) than lower-seeded teams. While there are certainly teams that fall outside of the norm (e.g., Cinderella teams), there is a definite line that correlates higher-seeded teams with a better chance of winning. But as we know, that’s not always the case.

There have been plenty of double-digit seed teams that have made their mark on history without getting all the way to the final game. Quite a few long shots made it to the Final Four, with VCU being a fairly recent example. In 2011, they began tournament play as an unlikely contender as a No. 11 seed and rumbled along until they fell to Butler, who was on a Cinderella run themselves that year.

And in 2006, one of the greatest underdog stories starred the roster of George Mason. They reached the Final Four after enjoying a gigantic upset victory over first-seeded UConn – and conquering sixth-seeded Michigan State, third-seeded North Carolina, and seventh-seeded Wichita State along the way – until they fell to the eventual champion, third-seeded Florida.

Legendary March Madness stories don’t always make it to the semifinals, and in some cases, even a shorter run can help catapult a career. The rise of Stephen Curry, for instance, gained some incredible momentum during the 2008 tournament when he helped lead his Davidson teammates all the way to the Elite Eight, where they were eliminated by eventual champion Kansas.

Another memorable run to the Elite Eight happened in 1990, when Loyola Marymount’s team recovered from the shocking on-court collapse and eventual death of star Hank Gathers during the WCC Tournament game. For the remainder of tournament play, where they fought hard as a No. 11 seed and advanced to the Elite Eight, teammate Bo Kimble shot his first free throw of each game left-handed in tribute to Gathers. They faltered in the final game against eventual champs UNLV, but their heartfelt story captured the nation.

Northern Iowa also has a place here, knocking off tournament favorite Kansas for its first Sweet 16 appearance in 2010. While that’s where their Cinderella story ended, this No. 9 seed, enjoyed their time in the spotlight after crushing the hearts of Jayhawk fans.

Beating the Odds During March Madness

The lowest seeded teams to ever make the NCAA Tournament championship game

While the majority of NCAA teams that reach the Final Four are seeded in the top four, the outliers certainly make tournament stories even more compelling, especially when the underdog goes on to represent their conference and school in the national championship. Butler, a private university in Indianapolis, graces this category twice. In 2010 and 2011, they entered the tournament as a No. 5 seed and a No. 8 seed respectively and played for (and lost) the national title.

Butler head coach Brad Stevens was no small part of their charge to and through postseason play, having captured several awards along the path to the big dance. His continued success as the present-day head coach of the Boston Celtics shows that his journey with Butler was no fluke.

There are a few other highly notable teams here, including the 1988 Kansas squad that entered the tourney as a No. 6 seed and went on to win it all, upsetting the favorite to win – first-seeded Oklahoma. That Kansas team spawned a number of NBA players, such as Danny Manning, who was drafted No. 1 overall in ’88 by the Los Angeles Clippers; Mark Randall, drafted 26 overall by the Bulls in 1991; and Kevin Pritchard, who was drafted 34 overall by the Golden State Warriors in 1990.

In 1983, NC State also entered (and won) the tournament as a No. 6 seed, and in 2014, Connecticut did the same as a No. 7 seed. But there has probably been no bigger surprise over the course of tournament history than the eighth-seeded 1985 Villanova Wildcats. They strung together victory after victory, topping it all off with a huge upset win over heavily favored Georgetown to be the lowest-seeded team ever to win the championship.

Wrapping Up the Madness in March

While not every Cinderella story ends with a championship win, the tale of a team beating the odds and making a run is something that everybody can relate to. Not all champions make their way along a well-worn or expected path, and when the underdog has success, it feels like everyone wins.

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Methodology

We collected the tournament win-loss record and results for every team to ever play in the NCAA Tournament. Using this data, we looked at which teams had the highest and lowest seeds and which rounds they were eliminated in.

For the NCAA Tournament Team Win Percentage interactive graphic, we looked at how teams performed in a particular decade. Only teams that won at least one game in the tournament in any decade since 1970 were included. If a team had multiple appearances in a single decade. Those numbers were averaged. If a team had a separate appearance in multiple decades, they show up in the number of different decades they made an appearance in the tournament.

Sources

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