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Special – 1985 – Sports Illustrated Sportsman Of The Year Show – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Winner


The year in sports in 1985 provided many magical moments and some incredible athletic achievements…. including the San Francisco 49’ers climaxing a great season by beating the Miami Dolphins 38 – 16 to win Super Bowl XIX….and Pete Rose breaking Ty Cobb’s career hits record of 4191….while both future Hall of Fame pitchers Tom Seaver and Phil Kiekro join the exclusive 300 career wins club…then there was relief pitcher Rollie Fingers breaking Sparky Lyle’s career saves of 232….plus the Kansas City Royals winning the World Series in 7 games over the St Louis Cardinals (entire series is in our baseball library) after losing the first two games….while the unheralded University of Villanova Wildcats led by C Ed Pinckney over the heavily favored Georgetown University Hoyas and their legendary center Patrick Ewing.

When you consider incredible seasons by incredible athletes….how about The Great One, Wayne Gretzky winning the Art Ross Trophy for being the leading scorer in the NHL, along with winning the Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s MVP, while leading his team the Edmonton Oilers to Lord Stanley’s Cup over the Philadelphia Flyers….then there was Michael Jordan winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest while sporting his 1st Edition Nike Air Jordan shoes….in a year in which Libby Riddles became the 1st female to lead her dog sled team to a championship in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race across Alaska…..plus within the 4 corners of the boxing ring, 1985 saw Marvelous Marvin Hagler defeat Thomas “Hitman” Hearns in a the World Middleweight Championship in the greatest 9 minutes of boxing ever seen at Casears Palace in Las Vegas….while Hector “Macho” Camacho won the Lightweight Crown from Jose Luis Ramirez….not to mention, Michael Spinks thwarting Larry Holmes attempt to tie Rocky Marciano’s record of 49 – 0….with a victory that we a ImaSportsphile really don’t consider a victory….cuz Spinks didn’t decisively take the Champs’ crown….and in our book, a Champ cannot lose his title by decision…unless he was obviously and overwhelmingly defeated….which Holmes wasn’t.  

So, after all of these outstanding achievements in sports throughout the year of 1985, Sports Illustrated decided that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leading the Los Angeles Lakers to the NBA Championship with an MVP performance over the Boston Celtics….who had defeated the Lakers for the title the year before…. was worthy of crowning Kareem as the 1985 Sports Illustrated Sportman of the Year.  As with all of these awards shows that feature the best athletes, teams and events of the year….the viewing fan gets to see the best highlights of the best moments in sports….which makes this video well worth the watch.

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