On this day in 1980, Wayne Gretzky became the 1st teenager to score 50 goals in a season. He will always be known as "The Great One," but the anniversary of his 50-goal accomplishment got us wondering: What other great teen athletes have we had the pleasure of watching?
Here's our list of notable teenage athletes, starting, of course, with Gretzky:
As an Edmonton Oiler in 1979-80, his first season in the NHL, a 19-year-old Gretzky won the Hart Trophy. It was the first of his eight consecutive MVP awards.
Bryant started only seven games his first two seasons, but managed to rack up over 1,700 points, including 15.4 PPG in his sophomore season at age 19.
Crosby was the NHL's youngest Art Ross champion, 19, when he led the league in scoring with 120 points during the 2006-07 season. He also won the Hart Trophy that season, becoming the second youngest to earn the NHL's MVP.
As a New York Met in 1984, a 19-year-old Gooden marched through the National League, going 17-9 with a 2.60 ERA and leading the NL with a rookie-record 260 strikeouts in 218 innings.
In 2003-04, LeBron James jumped straight from high school to the NBA and won the rookie of the year award at age 19. He tallied 1,654 points, 465 assists and 432 rebounds.
In 2009, as a 19-year-old, Logano competed in his first Sprint Cup race during his first full year behind the wheel as a professional. He would start in 36 races and earned over $5 million.
Pele made his World Cup debut for Brazil in 1958 when he was just 17. He tallied three goals in a win over France plus two more in the title win against Sweden.
Tyson burst onto the scene in 1985, compiling an impressive 23-0 record by the time he turned 20.
Serena, Venus Williams
Serena, 17, and Venus, 19, won the French Open doubles title and US Open doubles title in 1999. Serena also won the US Open singles championship in '99, while Venus finished that year ranked No. 3 on the tour.
And some more notables:
Signed a professional soccer contract at 14.
Cauthen was 18 in 1978 when he rode Affirmed to the Triple Crown, which hasn't been won since.
At 17, Ko became the No. 1-ranked women's professional golfer.
Lemieux scored 100 points at age 19 in his rookie season of 1984-85.
Sugar Ray Robinson
Robinson was 16-0 with 13 KOs before his 20th birthday.
Verstappen was hired to drive in F1 by Toro Rosso (his current team) at just 16, which is unprecedented.
Wie had seven top-10 finishes on the LPGA Tour as a 19-year-old.
It's been an eventful 24 hours for Chris Paul.
In Tuesday's loss, the Los Angeles Clippers guard got victimized by a sick Stephen Curry move, to which even CP3 tipped his figurative cap.
During Wednesday's win, Paul got into the following scuffle with Portland Trail Blazers center Chris Kaman, which started with a hit by Paul below the belt. Accidental? You be the judge.
Kaman drew a flagrant foul for shoving Paul, which itself drew the attention of Glen "Big Baby" Davis. This led to a slight tangle-up with LaMarcus Aldridge, during which Davis, shall we say, embellished things just a bit.
After the game, Paul addressed the scuffle -- but didn't exactly think a whole lot of it:
This is going to be some Western Conference playoffs.
You hear lots of talk about Red Sox Nation, but what are its exact boundaries? Facebook has just released a new map showing the most-"liked" teams in every U.S. county and Canada, which enables us to now see the exact point at which Red Sox and Yankee fandoms collide (western Connecticut, mostly):
Seriously, this is fascinating for all teams. California's loyalties are fascinating, with the Giants and Dodgers divvying up the state north to south, split up only by isolated pockets of Angels and Padres fandom. The Mets and A's, unfortunately, have zero counties between them, although they're likely in second place in a number of places. The Astros have a foothold on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, with the Rangers taking the rest of Texas, most of Oklahoma, and part of Louisiana. It even makes you feel for Rays fans, sandwiched in between encroaching Braves and Yankees enclaves.
You could make a really cool game of Civilization out of this.
On Wednesday in England, 18-year-old steeplechase jockey Lewis Ferguson -- on what was reportedly his fifth career professional ride -- fell off his horse during a jump in a frightening fashion (see above).
Somehow, some way, Ferguson emerged virtually unhurt from the ordeal.
According to Barry Johnson, clerk of the course at Winconton Racecourse, it was "the worst fall I've ever seen."
"Lewis is absolutely fine," Johnson also told The Guardian. "Unbelievably. He walked into the parade ring and was chatting away as if nothing had happened, calm as you like."
Ferguson, meanwhile, posted the following on what appears to be his Twitter account:
Would just like to thank everyone for the messages!! Bit of a sore head but on the whole absolutely fine!!=M— Lewis Ferguson (@fergusonlewis_) April 1, 2015
H/T The Guardian
You can throw any talk of hyperbole out the window when discussing how good Stephen Curry has been this season.
Curry, who is averaging 23.7 points, 7.8 dimes and 4.2 boards a contest, has compiled a season worthy of high praise, whether you want to describe it as MVP-caliber, otherworldly, dominant, and yes, even on fleek. That incredible play has resulted in an endless stream of highlights to satisfy the appetites of hoopheads around the globe while elevating his case for MVP. We take a look at five of the best offerings Chef Curry has served up this season:
No defender's ankles are safe with Curry pounding the rock --- even if said defender is four-time NBA All-Defensive first-teamer Chris Paul. Curry caught his Clippers counterpart slipping multiple times this season, with the latest reducing Paul to a break-dancer, or, as comedian Kevin Hart put it, a Twister player. The move was so good, it set NBA Twitter ablaze and left CP3 no choice but to give Curry props.
Unfortunately for Paul and the Clippers, it wasn't the only time they got cooked by No. 30. In mid-March, this incredible display of handles left four Clippers flabbergasted and bolstered Curry's stock as an unguardable entity.
Curry is an unrelenting scoring machine and was in full cyborg mode in dropping 51 points on Dallas. He dazzled with an array of bombs from and beyond the arc, and his step-back game was simply jaw-dropping; just ask Raymond Felton.
Curry's various skills make him lethal in clutch situations as Orlando and several others have painfully learned. His late-game heroics have been vital in Golden State's NBA-best 61 wins.
Saucy dishes have been a Curry special this season, helping him to sixth in the league in assists per game and fueling the Warriors' top-ranked scoring attack.