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15 Moments That Define Sports In 2000s

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15 Moments That Define Sports In 2000s

David Tyree Giants
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Sports in the 2000s was dominated by a select few, but their names ring on in sports history forever. Athletes like Tom Brady, LeBron James and Sidney Crosby dominated their respective sports in the decade. There were also several sports moments during the decade that still resonate today. These 15 moments defined the sports world in the 2000s.

15. The 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals

Shaquille O'Neal Lakers
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15. The 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals

Shaquille O'Neal Lakers
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Dates: May 18-June 6, 2002

In one of the most competitive Western Conference Finals series in recent memory, the Sacramento Kings held a 3-2 series lead over the two-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers. But in a controversial series marred by allegations of corruption, the Lakers forced a Game 7 after attempting 40 free throws, 27 in the fourth quarter alone. The Kings have not made it back to the Western Conference Finals since.

14. Controversy At The 2002 Winter Olympics

Jamie Sale and David Pelletier
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14. Controversy At The 2002 Winter Olympics

Jamie Sale and David Pelletier
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Dates: February 8-15, 2002

In the 2002 Winter Olympics, Canada's Jamie Sale and David Pelletier finished second in both the short and long programs, winning the silver medal. Controversy ensued as most thought Sale and Pelletier deserved the gold. Days later, several judges became involved in a fixing scandal. As a result, Sale and Pelletier were awarded gold medals.

13. The 2001 World Series

Luis Gonzalez Diamondbacks
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13. The 2001 World Series

Luis Gonzalez Diamondbacks
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Dates: October 27-November 4, 2001

The 2001 World Series was one of the greatest in MLB history as several dramatic late-game finishes helped the nation recover from the terrorist attacks of September 11. Arizona, led by dominant pitchers Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling, stymied the New York Yankees, but New York held tough. The series was finally decided in Game 7 as Luis Gonzalez's bloop single gave Arizona their only World Series win.

12. The Brett Favre Retirement Saga

Brett Favre Jets
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12. The Brett Favre Retirement Saga

Brett Favre Jets
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Dates: June 2005-June 2011 Offseasons

Since he first hinted at retirement following the 2005 season, Brett Favre's flip-flopping each summer captivated everyone, fans and haters alike. After not being wanted by Green Bay in 2008, Favre was shipped to the New York Jets in 2008 and retired a second time. He then came back in 2009 with the Vikings until he officially retired after the 2010 season.

11. Steve Bartman In Game 6 Of The 2003 NLCS

Steve Bartman 2003 NLCs
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11. Steve Bartman In Game 6 Of The 2003 NLCS

Steve Bartman NLCS
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Date: October 14, 2003

Leading 3-0 in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS and 3-2 against the Florida Marlins, the Chicago Cubs were destined to reach the World Series for the first time since 1945, but fate intervened. Attempting to catch a foul ball off the bat of Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo, Cubs fan Steve Bartman interfered with Moises Alou as he attempted to catch the ball. The Cubs then self-destructed, giving up eight runs in an 8-3 loss.

10. Dale Earnhardt Sr. Dies During The Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Sr. Daytona 500
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10. Dale Earnhardt Sr. Dies During The Daytona 500

Dale Earnhardt Sr. Daytona 500
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Date: February 18, 2001

Dale Earnhardt Sr. was in second place heading into the final lap of the Daytona 500, but the race took a tragic turn. Earnhardt suffered a basilar skull fracture and was killed instantly. The death of Earnhardt shocked everyone as "The Intimidator" died doing what he loved, which was racing. No other Cup series driver has died in competition.

9. Barry Bonds Breaks Hank Aaron's Career Home Run Record

Barry Bonds Giants
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9. Barry Bonds Breaks Hank Aaron's Career Home Run Record

Barry Bonds Giants
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Date: August 7, 2007

After previously setting the single-season home run record in 2001, Barry Bonds set his sights on Hank Aaron's career home run record. Facing the Washington Nationals in AT&T Park, Bonds made history as he hit career home run No. 756 off Mike Bacsik. To this day, most claim that Aaron is the true home run king after Bonds' connections to steroids.

8. Kobe Bryant Accused Of Rape

Kobe Bryant Lakers
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8. Kobe Bryant Accused Of Rape

Kobe Bryant Lakers
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Date: July 1, 2003

Before the 2003 season, Kobe Bryant went to Colorado as he was having surgery, but became involved in a major scandal. On July 1, the day before the surgery, a hotel employee claimed that Bryant raped her in his hotel room. Bryant admitted to committing adultery, but not rape. The case against the Los Angeles Lakers superstar was dropped after the accuser refused to testify.

7. Former MLB Players Testify To Congress

Mark McGwire Congress
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7. Former MLB Players Testify To Congress

Mark McGwire Congress
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Date: March 17, 2005

Major League Baseball took a major hit to its credibility after several of their former superstars testified to Congress about steroids. Former stars including Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro avoided most of the questions from the panel, and took a serious popularity hit. All three were great players, but none will be enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame anytime soon, if ever.

6. The Malice At The Palace

Ron Artest Pacers
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6. The Malice At The Palace

Ron Artest Pacers
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Date: November 19, 2004

Late in the Pacers' 97-82 victory over the Detroit Pistons, a fight broke out between the players on the court. After the fight subsided, a Pistons fan threw a cup of beer at Pacers forward Ron Artest, who then proceeded to attack the fan. After the game, the NBA suspended nine players a total of 146 games. Five players were also charged with assault, and five fans were banned from The Palace of Auburn Hills for life.

5. The Tiger Woods Sex Scandal

Tiger Woods Elin Nordegren
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5. The Tiger Woods Sex Scandal

Tiger Woods Elin Nordegren
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Date: November 27, 2009

In November of 2009, Tiger Woods officially fell from grace. crashing his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant. Several days later, reports surfaced that Woods had several affairs while he was married to Elin Nordegren. More than a dozen women claimed to have affairs with the golf superstar. Since the scandal, Woods has not won a major in six years, and his marriage with Nordegren was completely dissolved.

4. Michael Phelps Wins Eight Gold Medals At The 2008 Summer Olympics

Michael Phelps Olympics
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4. Michael Phelps Wins Eight Gold Medals At The 2008 Summer Olympics

Michael Phelps Olympics
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Date: August 8-24, 2008

Phelps' chase for eight gold medals captivated the country during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Phelps surpassed the previous of Mark Spitz's seven in 1972, and did so in dramatic fashion. His closest threat came in the 100-meter butterfly, as he defeated Serbian-American Milorad Cavic by one hundredth of a second.

3. Super Bowl XLII

David Tyree Super Bowl XLII
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3. Super Bowl XLII

David Tyree Super Bowl XLII
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Date: February 3, 2008

The New England Patriots, 16-0 in the regular season, were expected to steamroll the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII and claim the first 19-0 season in NFL history, but the Giants had other ideas. Helped by David Tyree's helmet catch, the Giants scored a game-winning touchdown with just under a minute to play to claim a 17-14 victory. The Giants pulled off one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

2. Super Bowl XXXVI

Adam Vinatieri Super Bowl XXXVI
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2. Super Bowl XXXVI

Adam Vinatieri Super Bowl XXXVI
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Date: February 3, 2002

Heavy underdogs against the St. Louis Rams, the New England Patriots capped a cinderella season with a last-minute victory in Super Bowl XXXVI. The two teams were tied at 17 with seconds remaining until Adam Vinatieri kicked a game-winning 48-yard field goal. The Patriots' win started their dynasty in the 2000s. The Rams, on the other hand, have not made it back to even the NFC Championship Game since.

1. Boston Comes Back From 3-0 To Dethrone New York Yankees In 2004 ALCS

Pedro Martinez Red Sox
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1. Boston Comes Back From 3-0 To Dethrone New York Yankees In 2004 ALCS

Pedro Martinez Red Sox
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Dates: October 12-20, 2004

Trailing 3-0 to the hated New York Yankees in the 2004 ALCS, the Boston Red Sox used late-inning heroics to force a Game 7 and became the first MLB team to win a seven-game series after trailing 3-0. Since that series, the Red Sox, who were notorious losers, have gone on to win three World Series Championships while the Yankees have won just one title in the last decade.

Brian Kalchik is a Detroit Lions writer for RantSports.com. He also adds to the site’s NBANCAA Football, Fantasy and NFL content. Follow him on Twitter, like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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