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What a birthday

By Jose Romero - Apr 14, 2016

Yours truly turned another year old Wednesday. Let's just say I am in my 40s. 

And while my big day was big for me and a handful of others, the 2016 version will go down in history as the day Kobe Bryant played his last NBA game and the day the Golden State Warriors set an NBA record with 73 regular-season wins. 

This was the most historic birthday I have ever had. Well OK, in 1741, the Dutch protested bad bread in Holland. That was huge. The first JC Penney store opened in 1902 and you don't seen many of those anymore.

In sports, some seating areas in the old Polo Grounds in New York caught on fire on April 13, 1911. 

Charlie Hustle aka Pete Rose got his first major-league hit on my birthday in 1963. I wasn't born yet.

The U.S. boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980. I was alive. There have been other significant (and not so much) sports events happen on my birthday since, even a Tiger Woods Masters win, but none that could compare with the Warriors and Kobe. 

Not sure how many birthdays I have left, but at this point it's kind of hard to imagine an April 13 that was so historic in the context of sports. 

7-3. 73 wins, 9 losses. Nine losses. In a 5 1/2 month NBA season. Wow. In this day and age of parity, the Warriors were unmatched. 

As for Kobe, he was about as Latino as a non-Latino could be in LA. Latino Laker fans  loved him. I remember a conversation I had with Adrian Garcia Marquez from the Lakers Spanish-language broadcast team, and how he explained Kobe's popularity with Mexicans there. Mexican-American wife. Speaks Spanish. Soccer fan. Part of five championship teams. 

For me, a Lakers hater, Magic Johnson will always be the guy I mainly associate with that team. It's a generational thing-- Magic was a star when I was a kid. 

 

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