In just under two weeks, 2009 will end. With it ends the decade that we still don't know what to call (the "aughts"?).
Both have been kind to the ol' Sportz Assassin in a variety of ways.
NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS: The Heels won their fifth NCAA hoops championship this year and their second of the decade. The Aughts were an interesting time in Chapel Hill. It started with an improbable run to the Final Four in 2000 and ended with a title. In between were the highly volatile Matt Doherty years ... which included an 8-20 mark. Along comes Roy Williams and he puts UNC back at the top of the heap. Two titles, four Final Fours. Player of the Year winner in Tyler Hansbrough as well as All Americans in Joseph Forte, Brandan Haywood, Sean May, Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS: Obviously, 2009 and the Aughts were great to the Lakers. The decade began with a three-peat and ended with a fourth title. In between was two MVP winners (Shaq and Kobe), six Finals appearances, Kobe's 81 point game and some outstanding postseason finishes. It also housed one non-playoff season, the Kobe-Shaq rift, Kobe's sexual assault trial and Kwame Brown. On a personal note, I saw the Lakers play in three different arenas against three different franchises this decade: Hornets at the Charlotte Coliseum, Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena and the Hawks at Phillips Arena.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS: Well, I can't have everything. Not a great year, nor a great decade for the burgundy and gold. Just two playoff appearances and a slew of bad press. Remember Steve Spurrier? All those bad free agent pickups? The lack of draft picks? Amazing that it has been 20 years since the Skins have done anything. Of course the worst moment of the decade was Sean Taylor's murder. It still stings to this day.