ESPN (originally an initialism for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) is a U.S.-based sports television channel owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.
ESPN broadcasts primarily from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut. The network also operates offices in Miami, New York City, Seattle, Charlotte, and Los Angeles. James Pitaro currently serves as chairman of ESPN, a position he has held since March 5, 2018 due to the resignation of John Skipper on December 18, 2017 (who succeeded George Bodenheimer as president in 2012). While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of ESPN, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts.
As of January 2016, ESPN is available to approximately 91,405,000 paid television households (78.527% of households with at least one television set) in the United States. Nielsen has reported a much lower number in 2017, below 90,000,000 subscribers, losing more than 10,000 a day. In addition to the flagship channel and its seven related channels in the United States, ESPN broadcasts in more than 200 countries, operating regional channels in Australia, Brazil, Latin America and the United Kingdom, and owning a 20% interest in The Sports Network (TSN) as well as its five sister networks in Canada.
|Launched||September 7, 1979|
|Owned by||ESPN Inc.|
(The Walt Disney Company (80%)
Hearst Communications (20%))
|Slogan||The Worldwide Leader in Sports|
|Available on most U.S. cable systems||Channel slots may vary|
|Google Fiber||Channel 21|
|DirecTV Now||Internet Protocol television|
|Hulu Live TV||Internet Protocol television|
|PlayStation Vue||Internet Protocol television|
|Sling TV||Internet Protocol television|
|YouTube TV||Internet Protocol television|
Bill Rasmussen conceived the concept of ESPN in late May 1978, after he was fired from his job with the World Hockey Association's New England Whalers. One of the first steps in Bill and his son Scott's (who had also been let go by the Whalers) process was finding land to build the channel's broadcasting facilities. The Rasmussens first rented office space in Plainville, Connecticut. However, the plan to base ESPN there was put on hold because a local ordinance prohibiting buildings from bearing rooftop satellite dishes. Available land area was quickly found in Bristol, Connecticut (where the channel remains headquartered to this day), with funding to buy the property provided by Getty Oil, which purchased 85% of the company from Bill Rasmussen on February 22, 1979, in an attempt to diversify the company's holdings. This helped the credibility of the fledgling company, however there were still many doubters to the viability of their sports channel concept. Another event that helped build ESPN's credibility was securing an advertising agreement with Anheuser-Busch in the spring of 1979; the company invested $1 million to be the "exclusive beer advertised on the network."
ESPN launched on September 7, 1979, beginning with the first telecast of what would become the channel's flagship program, SportsCenter. Taped in front of a small live audience inside the Bristol studios, it was broadcast to 1.4 million cable subscribers throughout the United States.
ESPN's next big break came when the channel acquired the rights to broadcast coverage of the early rounds of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament. It first aired the NCAA tournament in March 1980, creating the modern day television event known as "March Madness." The channel's tournament coverage also launched the broadcasting career of Dick Vitale, who at the time he joined ESPN, had just been fired as head coach of the Detroit Pistons.
In April of that year, ESPN created another made-for-TV spectacle, when it began televising the NFL Draft. It provided complete coverage of the event that allowed rookie players from the college ranks to begin their professional careers in front of a national television audience in ways they were not able to previously.
The next major stepping stone for ESPN came over the course of a couple of months in 1984. During this time period, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) purchased 100% of ESPN from the Rasmussens and Getty Oil. Under Getty ownership, the channel was unable to compete for the television rights to major sports events contracts as its majority corporate parent would not provide the funding, leading ESPN to lose out for broadcast deals with the National Hockey League (to USA Network) and NCAA Division I college football (to TBS). For years, the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball refused to consider cable as a means of broadcasting some of their games. However, with the backing of ABC, ESPN's ability to compete for major sports contracts greatly increased, and gave it credibility within the sports broadcasting industry.
Later in 1984, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA could no longer monopolize the rights to negotiate the contracts for college football games, allowing each individual school to negotiate broadcast deals of their choice. ESPN took full advantage and began to broadcast a large number of NCAA football games, creating an opportunity for fans to be able to view multiple games each weekend (instead of just one), the same deal that the NCAA had previously negotiated with TBS. ESPN's breakthrough moment occurred in 1987, when it secured a contract with the NFL to broadcast eight games during that year's regular season – all of which aired on Sunday nights, marking the first broadcasts of Sunday NFL primetime games. ESPN's Sunday Night Football games would become the highest-rated NFL telecasts for the next 17 years (before losing the rights to NBC in 2006). The channel's decision to broadcast NFL games on Sunday evenings actually resulted in a decline in viewership for the daytime games shown on the major broadcast networks, marking the first time that ESPN had been a legitimate competitor to NBC and CBS, which had long dominated the sports television market.
In 1992, ESPN launched ESPN Radio, a national sports talk radio network providing analysis and commentary programs (including shows such as Mike and Mike in the Morning and The Herd) as well as audio play-by-play of sporting events (including some simulcasted with the ESPN television channel).
On October 10, 1993, ESPN2 – a secondary channel that originally was programmed with a separate lineup of niche sports popular with males 18–49 years old (with snowboarding and the World Series of Poker as its headliners) as well as serving as an overflow channel for ESPN – launched on cable systems reaching to 10 million subscribers. It became the fastest growing cable channel in the U.S. during the 1990s, eventually expanding its national reach to 75 million subscribers.
Ownership of ABC, and in effect control of ESPN, was acquired by Capital Cities Communications in 1985. ESPN's parent company renamed themselves as Capital Cities/ABC Inc. Capital Cities/ABC Inc. was then acquired by The Walt Disney Company in 1996 and was re-branded as Disney-ABC Television Group.
On April 26, 2017, approximately 100 ESPN employees were notified that their positions with the sports network had been terminated, among them athletes-turned-analysts Trent Dilfer and Danny Kanell, and noted journalists like NFL beat reporter Ed Werder and Major League Baseball expert Jayson Stark. The layoffs came as ESPN continued to shed viewers, more than 10 million over a period of several years, while paying big money for the broadcast rights to such properties as the NFL, NBA and College Football Playoff. Further cost-cutting measures taken include moving the studio operations of ESPNU to Bristol from Charlotte, North Carolina, reducing its longtime MLB studio show Baseball Tonight to Sundays as a lead-in to the primetime game and adding the MLB Network-produced Intentional Talk to ESPN2's daily lineup.
Alongside its live sports broadcasts, ESPN also airs a variety of sports highlight, talk, and documentary-styled shows. These include:
Many of ESPN's documentary programs (such as 30 for 30 and Nine for IX) are produced by ESPN Films, a film division created in March 2008 as a restructuring of ESPN Original Entertainment, a programming division that was originally formed in 2001. 30 for 30 started airing in 2009 and continues airing to this day. Each episode is through the eyes of a well known filmmaker and has featured some of the biggest directors in Hollywood. The 30 for 30 film O.J.: Made in America won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2017, the first such Oscar for ESPN.
Since September 2006, ESPN has been integrated with the sports division of sister broadcast network ABC, with sports events televised on that network airing under the banner ESPN on ABC; much of ABC's sports coverage since the rebranding has become increasingly limited to secondary coverage of sporting events whose broadcast rights are held by ESPN (such as NBA games, and the X Games and its related qualifying events) as well as a limited array of event coverage not broadcast on ESPN (most notably, the NBA Finals).
Ultimate Fighting Championship signed a 5 year contract with ESPN starting 2019 on ESPN and ESPN + which estimate every quarter 2 event on UFC on ESPN and 6 events on UFC Fight Night on ESPN+.
ESPN2 launched on October 1, 1993, it carried a broad mix of event coverage from conventional sports (such as auto racing, college basketball and NHL hockey) to extreme sports (such as BMX, skateboarding and motocross). The "ESPN BottomLine," a ticker displaying sports news and scores during all programming that is now used by all of ESPN's networks, originated on ESPN2 in 1995. In the late 1990s, ESPN2 was gradually reformatted to serve as a secondary outlet for ESPN's mainstream sports programming.
ESPN Classic is a subscription television network that launched in 1995 as Classic Sports Network, founded by Brian Bedol and Steve Greenberg. ESPN Inc. purchased Classic Sports Network in 1997 for $175 million, rebranding the channel to its current name the following year. The channel broadcasts notable archived sporting events (originally including events from past decades, but now focusing mainly on events from the 1990s and later), sports documentaries and sports-themed movies.
ESPNews is a subscription television network that was launched on November 1, 1996, originally focusing solely on sports news, highlights and press conferences. Since August 2010, the network has gradually incorporated encores of ESPN's various sports debate and entertainment shows and video simulcasts of ESPN Radio shows, in addition to sports news programming (which since the 2013 cancellation of Highlight Express, consists mainly of additional runs of SportsCenter); ESPNews also serves as an overflow feed due to programming conflicts caused by sporting events on the other ESPN networks.
ESPN Deportes (Spanish pronunciation: [i.es.piˈen deˈpoɾtes], "ESPN Sports") is a subscription television network that was originally launched in July 2001 to provide Spanish language simulcasts of certain Major League Baseball telecasts from ESPN. It became a 24-hour sports channel in January 2004.
The Longhorn Network is a subscription television network that was launched on August 26, 2011, focusing on events from the Texas Longhorns varsity sports teams of the University of Texas at Austin. It features events from the 20 sports sanctioned by the Texas Longhorns athletics department, along with original programming (including historical, academic and cultural content).
SEC Network is a subscription television network that launched on August 14, 2014, focusing on the coverage of sporting events sanctioned by the Southeastern Conference. Created as a result of a 20-year broadcast partnership between the two entities, the network is a joint venture between the conference and ESPN Inc. (which operates the network).
ESPN launched its high definition simulcast feed, originally branded as ESPNHD, on March 30, 2003. All studio shows based in Bristol and at L.A. Live, along with most live event telecasts on ESPN, are broadcast in high definition. ESPN is one of the few television networks with an all-digital infrastructure. Archived non-HD programming is presented in 4:3 standard definition with stylized pillarboxing. Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn began airing in HD on September 27, 2010, with the relocation of the production of both shows into the facility housing the Washington, D.C. bureau for ABC News.
ESPN, as with Disney/ABC's other television networks, broadcasts HD programming in the 720p resolution format; this is due to the fact that ABC executives had proposed a progressive scan signal that resolves fluid and high-speed motion in sports better, particularly during slow-motion replays. The network's Digital Center itself natively holds 2160p UHD/4K operations and equipment. In 2011, ESPNHD began to downplay its distinct promotional logo in preparation for the conversion of its standard definition feed from a 4:3 full-screen to a letterboxed format (via the application of the AFD #10 display flag), which occurred on June 1 of that year.
WatchESPN is a website for desktop computers, as well as an application for smartphones and tablet computers that allows subscribers of participating pay-TV providers to watch live streams of programming from ESPN and its sister networks (with the exception of ESPN Classic), including most sporting events, on computers, mobile devices, Apple TV, Roku and Xbox Live via their TV Everywhere login provided by their cable provider. The service originally launched on October 25, 2010 as ESPN Networks, a streaming service which provided a live stream of ESPN exclusive to Time Warner Cable subscribers. ESPN3, an online streaming service providing live streams and replays of global sports events that launched in 2005 as a separate website, was incorporated into the WatchESPN platform on August 31, 2011. Likewise, ESPN+ was launched in April 2018 as an add-on subscription for $4.99 per month.
ESPN Regional Television (formerly branded as ESPN Plus) is the network's syndication arm, which produces collegiate sporting events for free-to-air television stations throughout the United States (primarily those affiliated with networks such as The CW and MyNetworkTV or independent stations). ESPN Plus syndicates college football and basketball games from the American Athletic Conference, Big 12 Conference, Mid-American Conference, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Sun Belt Conference and the Western Athletic Conference.
ESPN MVP (initially known as Mobile ESPN) was a failed attempt in the 2000s and 2010s to have exclusive mobile content, first as a feature phone and later as part of a smartphone package.
ESPN owns and operates regional channels in Brazil, Caribbean, Latin America and Oceania. In Canada, ESPN is a minority owner of The Sports Network (TSN) and the French-language Réseau des sports (RDS). ESPN also has a minority stake in J Sports in Japan. In the United Kingdom, BT Group operates the channel BT Sport ESPN. In India, it is operated by Sony Pictures Networks under the name Sony ESPN with English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Malayalam feeds.
ESPN has been a part of popular culture since its inception. Many movies with a general sports theme will include ESPN announcers and programming into their storylines.
Many jokes have been made by comedians about fake obscure sports that are shown on ESPN. Dennis Miller mentioned watching "sumo rodeo," while George Carlin stated that ESPN showed "Australian dick wrestling." One of several Saturday Night Live sketches poking fun at the network features a fictional ESPN2 program called Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly, which includes a fake advertisement for "Senior Women's Beach Lacrosse." SNL also parodies ESPN Classic with fake archived obscure women's sports event telecasts from the 1980s (such as bowling, weightlifting and curling), with announcers who know nothing about the sport, and instead focus on the sponsors, which were always for feminine hygiene products. In the early years of ESPN, Late Night with David Letterman even featured a "Top Ten List" segment poking fun at some of the obscure sports seen on ESPN at the time. One of the more memorable sports on the list was "Amish Rake Fighting." A recurring skit on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon named Sports Freak-Out! is a parody of SportsCenter's overexcited anchors.
The 2004 comedy film DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story gently lampoons the channel's multiple outlets by referencing the fictional ESPN8, "The Ocho", a reference to a nickname formerly used by ESPN2, "the Deuce". ESPNU was rebranded ESPN8 The Ocho on August 8, 2017, airing obscure competitions such as disc golf, kabaddi, arm wrestling and roller derby. On August 8, 2018, the special returned on ESPN2, featuring competitions such as jousting, lightsaber fighting, ultimate frisbee, spikeball, lawn mower racing, roller derby and chess boxing.
Japanese videogame publisher Konami launched the ESPN MLS GameNight and ESPN MLS ExtraTime 2002 soccer games. In the early 1990s, Electronic Arts games featured a logo for a fictional sports TV network, EASN (Electronic Arts Sports Network); this was soon changed to EA Sports after ESPN requested that the company stop using the similar name. In 2005, both companies signed a 15-year partnership, where the ESPN brand and personalities are integrated into EA Sports video games. Grid 2 also features prominent ESPN branding.
An occasional joke used in comedic television and film involves people getting ESP (the common abbreviation for extrasensory perception, that was coincidentally the working abbreviation for the channel prior to its launch) confused with ESPN, often including someone saying a sentence along the lines of "I know these kinds of things, I've got ESPN." There are also at least 22 children that are named after the network.
ESPN has been criticized for focusing too much on men's college and professional sports, and very little on women's sports or extreme sports. Ice hockey and soccer fans have also criticized ESPN for not giving their respective sports more coverage. Other criticism has focused on ethnicity in ESPN's varying mediated forms, as well as carriage fees and issues regarding the exportation of ESPN content. Some critics argue that ESPN's success is their ability to provide other enterprise and investigative sports news while competing with other hard sports-news-producing outlets such as Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports. Some scholars have challenged ESPN's journalistic integrity calling for an expanded standard of professionalism to prevent biased coverage and conflicts of interest.
ESPN says it's heard of at least 22 babies named ESPN
Anthony Marshon Davis Jr. (born March 11, 1993) is an American professional basketball player for the New Orleans Pelicans of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He plays the power forward and center positions. Davis was selected first overall in the 2012 NBA draft by New Orleans, is a six-time NBA All-Star, and has been named to three All-NBA First Teams and three NBA All-Defensive Teams. He also earned a gold medal playing with Team USA at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Davis played one season of college basketball for the University of Kentucky, when he was first team All-American and the Consensus National Player of the Year. He also won the USBWA National Freshman of the Year, NABC Defensive Player of the Year and the Pete Newell Big Man Award. Davis led the NCAA in blocks and set Southeastern Conference and NCAA Division I freshman single-season blocked shots records. He led Kentucky to a National Championship and was named Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA tournament.
Davis left college for the NBA after one season and was drafted by New Orleans, then known as the New Orleans Hornets, and was selected that summer to play for the Team USA in the 2012 Olympics. After his rookie season, he was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The next season, he became an All-Star for the first time and led the NBA in blocked shots per game. He has since become a five-time All-Star and the youngest player to score at least 59 points in an NBA game. In 2017, he was named the recipient of the NBA All-Star Game MVP Award after setting an All-Star Game scoring record of 52 points en route.Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Kyam Anthony (born May 29, 1984) is an American professional basketball player who last played for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has been named an NBA All-Star ten times and an All-NBA Team member six times. He played college basketball for the Syracuse Orange, winning a national championship as a freshman in 2003 while being named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
After one season at Syracuse, Anthony entered the 2003 NBA draft and was selected with the third overall pick by the Denver Nuggets. While playing for Denver, he led the Nuggets to the playoffs every year from 2004 to 2010; the team won two division titles in that span. In 2009, Anthony led the Nuggets to their first Conference Finals appearance since 1985. In 2011, he was traded from Denver to the New York Knicks days prior to the NBA trade deadline. In a January 24, 2014 game against the Charlotte Bobcats, Anthony scored a career-high 62 points, setting a Knicks' single-game scoring record and a Madison Square Garden single-game scoring record. Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he played one season before signing with the Rockets.
Anthony has been a member of the USA Olympic basketball team a record four times, winning a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and gold medals at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. As of April 2016, he was the United States Olympic men's national basketball team's all-time leader in points, rebounds, and games played.Detroit Pistons
The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball team based in Detroit, Michigan. The Pistons compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division and plays its home games at Little Caesars Arena. The team was founded in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Fort Wayne (Zollner) Pistons in 1941, a member of the National Basketball League (NBL) where it won two NBL championships: in 1944 and 1945. The Pistons later joined the Basketball Association of America (BAA) in 1948. The NBL and BAA merged to become the NBA in 1949, and the Pistons became part of the merged league. Since moving to Detroit in 1957, the Pistons have won three NBA championships: in 1989, 1990 and 2004.Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Tyrone Wade Jr. ( dwayn; born January 17, 1982) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After a successful college basketball career with the Marquette Golden Eagles, Wade was drafted fifth overall in the 2003 NBA draft by Miami. In his third season, Wade led the Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history and was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States men's basketball team, commonly known as the "Redeem Team", in scoring, and helped them capture the gold medal. In the 2008–09 season, Wade led the league in scoring and earned his first NBA scoring title. With LeBron James and Chris Bosh, Wade helped guide Miami to four consecutive NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, winning back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013. After 11⁄2 seasons away from the Heat with the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers, Wade was traded back to Miami in February 2018. A 13-time NBA All-Star, Wade is Miami's all-time leader in points, games, assists and steals, shots made and shots taken.ESPNcricinfo
ESPNcricinfo (formerly known as Cricinfo or CricInfo) is a sports news website exclusively for the game of cricket. The site features news, articles, live coverage of cricket matches (including liveblogs and scorecards), and StatsGuru, a database of historical matches and players from the 18th century to the present. As of March 2018, Sambit Bal was the editor.
The site, originally conceived in a pre-World Wide Web form in 1993 by Dr Simon King, was acquired in 2002 by the Wisden Group—publishers of several notable cricket magazines and the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. As part of an eventual breakup of the Wisden Group, it was sold to ESPN, jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation, in 2007.Fox Sports (Southeast Asian TV network)
Fox Sports (formerly ESPN Star Sports) is a group of television sports channels broadcast to Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, currently operated by Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific. It also oversees Fox Sports operations in Taiwan, and a version of Star Sports available in Mainland China and South Korea. As ESPN Star Sports, it was also operated in South Asia, but Star India took over the Indian business in 2013.
Originally launched in early 1990s as Star Sports (earlier Prime Sports) and ESPN by Star TV and ESPN International respectively, both parties have agreed to combine their operations in Asia in October 1996. News Corporation took the full control of the venture in 2012, and relaunched the channels in two phases in January 2013 and August 2014, respectively.Kevin Durant
Kevin Wayne Durant (born September 29, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played one season of college basketball for the University of Texas, and was selected as the second overall pick by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2007 NBA draft. He played nine seasons in Oklahoma City before signing with Golden State in 2016, winning back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018.
Durant was a heavily recruited high school prospect who was widely regarded as the second-best player in his class. In college, he won numerous year-end awards and became the first freshman to be named Naismith College Player of the Year. As a professional, he has won two NBA championships, an NBA Most Valuable Player Award, two Finals MVP Awards, the NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award, four NBA scoring titles, the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and two Olympic gold medals. Durant has also been selected to eight All-NBA teams and ten NBA All-Star teams.
Off the court, Durant is one of the highest-earning basketball players in the world, due in part to endorsement deals with companies such as Foot Locker and Nike. He has developed a reputation for philanthropy and regularly leads the league in All-Star votes and jersey sales. In recent years, he has contributed to The Players' Tribune as both a photographer and writer. In 2012, he ventured into acting, appearing in the film Thunderstruck.Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978) is an American former professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He entered the NBA directly from high school and won five NBA championships with the Lakers. Bryant is an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. He led the NBA in scoring during two seasons and ranks third on the league's all-time regular season scoring and fourth on the all-time postseason scoring list. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Bryant is the first guard in NBA history to play at least 20 seasons.
The son of former NBA player Joe Bryant, Kobe Bryant enjoyed a successful high school basketball career at Lower Merion High School in Pennsylvania, where he was recognized as the top high school basketball player in the country. He declared for the NBA draft upon graduation and was selected in the 13th overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets, who traded him to the Lakers. As a rookie, Bryant earned himself a reputation as a high-flyer and a fan favorite by winning the 1997 Slam Dunk Contest, and he was named an All-Star by his second season. Despite a feud between them, Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive NBA championships from 2000 to 2002.
In 2003, Bryant was accused of sexual assault in Colorado, but the charges were eventually dropped, and a civil suit was settled out of court. After the Lakers lost the 2004 NBA Finals, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat. Bryant became the cornerstone of the Lakers, and he led the NBA in scoring during the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons. In 2006, he scored a career-high 81 points against the Toronto Raptors, the second most points scored in a single game in league history behind Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in 1962. Bryant was awarded the regular season's Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) in 2008. After losing in the 2008 NBA Finals, he led the Lakers to two consecutive championships in 2009 and 2010, earning the Finals MVP Award on both occasions. He continued to be among the top players in the league through 2013 when the 34-year-old Bryant suffered a torn Achilles tendon. Although he recovered, his play was limited the following two years by season-ending injuries to his knee and shoulder, respectively. Citing his physical decline, he announced that he would retire after the 2015–16 season.
At 34 years and 104 days of age, Bryant became the youngest player in league history to reach 30,000 career points. He became the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history on February 1, 2010, when he surpassed Jerry West. During his third year in the league, Bryant was chosen to start the All-Star Game, and he would continue to be selected to start that game for a record 18 consecutive appearances until his retirement. His four All-Star MVP Awards are tied for the most in NBA history. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the U.S. national team. Sporting News and TNT named Bryant the top NBA player of the 2000s. In 2018, Bryant won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for his film Dear Basketball.LeBron James
LeBron Raymone James Sr. (; born December 30, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is often considered the best basketball player in the world and regarded by some as the greatest player of all time. His accomplishments include four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three NBA Finals MVP Awards, and two Olympic gold medals. James has appeared in fifteen NBA All-Star Games and been named NBA All-Star MVP three times. He won the 2008 NBA scoring title, is the all-time NBA playoffs scoring leader, and is fifth in all-time career points scored. He has been voted onto the All-NBA First Team twelve times and the All-Defensive First Team five times.
James played high school basketball for St. Vincent–St. Mary High School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, where he was heavily touted in the national media as a future NBA superstar. A prep-to-pro, he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003 as the first overall draft pick. The 2003–04 NBA Rookie of the Year, he soon established himself as one of the league's premier players; he won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 2009 and 2010. After failing to win a championship with Cleveland, James left in 2010 to sign as a free agent with the Miami Heat. This move was announced in an ESPN special titled The Decision, and is one of the most controversial free agent decisions in American sports history.
In Miami, James won his first NBA championship in 2012, and followed that with another title a year later. He was named league MVP and NBA Finals MVP in both championship years. In 2014, after four seasons with Miami, James opted out of his contract to re-sign with the Cavaliers. In 2016, he led the Cavaliers to victory over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, delivering the team's first championship and ending Cleveland's 52-year professional sports title drought. In 2018, James opted out of his Cleveland contract to sign with the Lakers.
Off the court, James has accumulated considerable wealth and fame from numerous endorsement contracts. His public life has been the subject of much scrutiny, and he has been ranked as one of America's most influential and popular athletes. He has been featured in books, documentaries, and television commercials. He also hosted the ESPY Awards, Saturday Night Live, and appeared in the 2015 film Trainwreck.Lionel Messi
Lionel Andrés Messi Cuccittini (Spanish pronunciation: [ljoˈnel anˈdɾez ˈmesi] (listen); born 24 June 1987) is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward and captains both Spanish club Barcelona and the Argentina national team. Often considered the best player in the world and regarded by many as one of the greatest players of all time, Messi has won a record-tying five Ballon d'Or awards, four of which he won consecutively, and a record five European Golden Shoes. He has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won a club-record 32 trophies, including nine La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles and six Copas del Rey. Both a prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, Messi holds the records for most goals scored in La Liga (404), a La Liga season (50), a club football season in Europe (73), a calendar year (91), El Clásico (26), most hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League (8), as well as those for most assists in La Liga (162) and the Copa América (11). He has scored over 670 senior career goals for club and country.
Born and raised in central Argentina, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency as a child. At age 13, he relocated to Spain to join Barcelona, who agreed to pay for his medical treatment. After a fast progression through Barcelona's youth academy, Messi made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004. Despite being injury-prone during his early career, he established himself as an integral player for the club within the next three years, finishing 2007 as a finalist for both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award, a feat he repeated the following year. His first uninterrupted campaign came in the 2008–09 season, during which he helped Barcelona achieve the first treble in Spanish football. At 22 years old, Messi won the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year award by record voting margins.
Three successful seasons followed, with Messi winning three consecutive FIFA Ballons d'Or, including an unprecedented fourth. During the 2011–12 season, he set the La Liga and European records for most goals scored in a single season, while establishing himself as Barcelona's all-time top scorer in official competitions in March 2012. The following two seasons, Messi finished twice second for the Ballon d'Or behind Cristiano Ronaldo, his perceived career rival. Messi regained his best form during the 2014–15 campaign, breaking the all-time goalscoring records in both La Liga and the Champions League in November 2014, and leading Barcelona to a historic second treble.
An Argentine international, Messi is his country's all-time leading goalscorer. At youth level, he won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, finishing the tournament with both the Golden Ball and Golden Shoe, and an Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics. His style of play as a diminutive, left-footed dribbler drew comparisons with compatriot Diego Maradona, who declared the teenager his successor. After making his senior debut in August 2005, Messi became the youngest Argentine to play and score in a FIFA World Cup during the 2006 edition, and reached the final of the 2007 Copa América, where he was named young player of the tournament. As the squad's captain from August 2011, he led Argentina to three consecutive finals: the 2014 World Cup, for which he won the Golden Ball, and the 2015 and 2016 Copas América. After announcing his international retirement in 2016, he reversed his decision and led his country to qualification for the 2018 World Cup.List of current UFC fighters
This list of current UFC fighters records current Ultimate Fighting Championship's (UFC) fighters info, country origins, recent fighter signings and departures, fight schedules and results, the champion of each division, as well as top 5 UFC records.
The UFC is a mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, founded in 1993 by Art Davie and Rorion Gracie. The organization was purchased from its parent company SEG in 2001 by Zuffa LLC, a promotional company owned by Las Vegas casino magnates, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta and managed by Dana White (current president of operations). World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) was purchased by Zuffa in 2006 and officially merged under the UFC brand on January 1, 2011. UFC was sold to WME-IMG in 2016, and WME-IMG changed its holding name to Endeavor in September 2017.As of February 10, 2018 the UFC roster consisted of fighters from 60 countries as of in February 2019.
Fighters representing the United States, Brazil, Russia, Canada and England/Mexico are among the top five countries in the list as per the date indicated only for the number could change week by week. Updated as of February 2, 2019.Peyton Manning
Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976) is a former American football quarterback who played 18 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), primarily with the Indianapolis Colts. Considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time due to his numerous career achievements, he spent 14 seasons with the Colts and was a member of the Denver Broncos in his last four seasons. Manning played college football for the University of Tennessee, leading the Tennessee Volunteers to the 1997 SEC Championship in his senior season. He is the second son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and older brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Manning was selected by the Colts as the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. From 1998 to 2010, he improved the fortunes of the struggling Colts franchise and helped transform them into consistent playoff contenders. During his tenure as starting quarterback, Manning led the team to eight division championships, two AFC championships, and one Super Bowl title, the franchise's first in over three decades, as well as their first since relocating to Indianapolis.
After undergoing neck surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2011 season, Manning was released by the Colts and signed with the Broncos. Serving as the team's starting quarterback from 2012 to 2015, he contributed to the Broncos reaching the top of their division each year and his playing career concluded with a victory in Super Bowl 50.
Manning holds many NFL records, including touchdown passes (539), AP MVP awards (5), Pro Bowl appearances (14), 4,000-yard passing seasons (14), single-season passing yards (5,477 in 2013), single-season passing touchdowns (55 in 2013), tied for most First-Team All Pros for a quarterback with 7, and is second in career passing yards (71,940). A two-time Super Bowl winner and the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI, Manning is also the only quarterback to start the Super Bowl for two franchises more than once each, with different coaches at each Super Bowl start (Dungy, Caldwell, Fox, Kubiak), and the only starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two franchises. At 39 years of age, Manning was the oldest quarterback to start in and win a Super Bowl until Tom Brady surpassed him by winning a Super Bowl at 41.During a 2009 Monday Night Football game, Manning received the nickname "The Sheriff" from color commentator Jon Gruden due to his tendency to audible prior to the snap, and he was one of the most recognizable and parodied players in the NFL. Teams led by Manning typically utilized the hurry-up offense in place of the standard huddle.Stephen Curry
Wardell Stephen Curry II ( STEF-ən; born March 14, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). A six-time NBA All-Star, he has been named the NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice and won three NBA championships with the Warriors. Many players and analysts have called him the greatest shooter in NBA history. He is credited with revolutionizing the game of basketball by inspiring teams to regularly employ the three-point shot as part of their winning strategy.In 2014–15, Curry won his first MVP award and led the Warriors to their first championship since 1975. The following season, he became the first player in NBA history to be elected MVP by a unanimous vote and to lead the league in scoring while shooting above 50–40–90. That same year, the Warriors broke the record for the most wins in an NBA season en route to reaching the 2016 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Curry helped the Warriors return to the NBA Finals in 2017 and 2018, where they won back-to-back titles.
Curry is the son of former NBA player Dell Curry and older brother of current NBA player Seth Curry. He played college basketball for Davidson. There, he was twice named Southern Conference Player of the Year and set the all-time scoring record for both Davidson and the Southern Conference. During his sophomore year, he also set the single-season NCAA record for three-pointers made.
During the 2012–13 season, Curry set the NBA record for three-pointers made in a regular season with 272. He surpassed that record in 2015 with 286, and again in 2016 with 402. Curry is currently third in all-time made three-pointers in NBA history. The 2012–13 season saw Curry and teammate Klay Thompson earn the nickname of the Splash Brothers, with the pair going on to set the NBA record for combined three-pointers in a season with 484 in 2013–14, a record they broke the following season (525) and again in the 2015–16 season (678).