The Sunday between the Final Four and the national title game contest that awaits provides a calm amid the whirlwind of the sports calendar heating up.
That’s unfortunately not the case this year, and with this Sunday marking Day 25 without sports, what better way to mark the monotony than by deliberating the best athlete to wear No. 25?
The subjective opinion of this writer is that the honor belongs to Barry Bonds, who wore the number with the San Francisco Giants after wearing No. 24 to begin his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bonds became baseball’s home run king and set hitting records of all sorts — creating the most perfect Baseball Reference page of all time in the process — while wearing the number. He is among baseball’s greatest hitters, no matter how one feels about his connections to performance-enhancing drugs, which is more of an indictment on the state of the game as he rose to the top than Bonds himself.
Speaking of maligned sluggers with PED connections, hello Mark McGwire. “Big Mac” wore the 2-5 with both the Oakland Athletics and the St. Louis Cardinals, and he helped usher in the home run era Bonds capitalized on.
Another big-time slugger (who does not have a PED link) to wear 25? Jim Thome, who wore it for the Cleveland Indians and Philadelphia Phillies most notably and clubbed 612 home runs throughout his career, good for eighth all-time.
On the gridiron, cornerback Richard Sherman and wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff — the top college wideout receives the “Biletnikoff Award,” after all — come to mind as greats who have worn No. 25.
It’s not a popular basketball number, but Steve Kerr won four titles (three with Chicago Bulls, one with the San Antonio Spurs) as a player wearing it. Robert Horry wore it for the Houston Rockets, and Derrick Rose donned it for the New York Knicks.
In the NHL, Joe Nieuwendyk won Stanley Cups with three teams and is in the Hall of Fame. He won the Calder Trophy during his 1987-88 rookie season and the Conn Smythe following a Stanley Cup championship with the Dallas Stars in 1999. The Canadian was also a member of the 2002 gold medal-winning team at the Olympics.
FINAL FOUR DREAMS: Our projections on what would have happened Saturday night in any normal year.
MEAN TWEETS: The Rams new logo got ripped for a good cause.
VERLANDER HELPING OUT:The Astros ace plans to donate his paychecks to non-profits helping in the fight against COVID-19.
TRIUMPH AND SORROW: Kobe Bryant is heading to the Basketball Hall of Fame, but the announcement brings the fact he’s no longer with us back to the surface.
REALITY CHECK: When it comes to President Donald Trump’s prognostications about the return of sports, don’t waste your time, Nancy Armour says.
Sports video of the day
Sports to watch on TV today
NBA 2K Players tournament (LIVE)
12 p.m. – 2 p.m. ET: Round 1 (ESPN2)
8 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET: Round 1 (ESPN2)
NASCAR iRacing (LIVE)
1:50 p.m. ET (Fox/Fox Sports)
7 p.m. ET: 2014 Cowboys vs. Giants (NBCSN)
9 p.m. ET: 2018 Chiefs vs. Patriots (NBCSN)
4 p.m. ET: 2012 National Championship Kansas vs. Kentucky (CBS)
5 p.m. ET: 2012 Long Beach State vs. Creighton (ESPNU)
7 p.m. ET: 1997 Nebraska vs. Missouri (ESPNU)
2:30 ET: 2019 final round Valero Texas Open (NBC)
This day in sports, April 5
1959: Art Wall Jr wins the Masters by 1 stroke over Cary Middlecoff for his only PGA Tour major victory.
1967: 76ers big man Wilt Chamberlain sets NBA playoff record of 41 rebounds.
1972: The regular MLB season fails to open due to a player strike for the first time in history; 86 games are lost before the labor dispute settled.
1983: New York Mets righty Tom Seaver sets record with 14th National League Opening Day assignment.
1984: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar breaks Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time career scoring record of 31,419 points.
1992: Hulk Hogan defeats Sid Justice by DQ; Randy Savage beats Ric Flair for WWF Heavyweight title at WrestleMania VIII.
1993: North Carolina beats “Fab Five” Michigan, 77-71; It’s Tar Heels’ 3rd title.
2004: Connecticut beats Georgia Tech, 82-73 for the men’s basketball national championship.
2005: Baylor beats Michigan State, 84-62, for women’s basketball national championship.
2010: Duke beats Butler, 61-59, for the championship as Gordon Hayward’s half-court buzzer beater doesn’t fall.
Games we’re missing today
Atlanta Hawks at Charlotte Hornets
Orlando Magic at Philadelphia 76ers
Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics
Washington Wizards at Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat at New York Knicks
Dallas Mavericks at Brooklyn Nets
Utah Jazz at Denver Nuggets
Chicago Bulls at Phoenix Suns
Toronto Raptors at Houston Rockets
Detroit Pistons at Minnesota Timberwolves
New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs
Memphis Grizzlies at Portland Trail Blazers
Cleveland Cavaliers at Sacramento Kings
Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Lakers
Chicago White Sox at Boston Red Sox
Milwaukee Brewers at Philadelphia Phillies
Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees
Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers
Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves
Cincinnati Reds at Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Mets at Washington Nationals
Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals
Oakland Athletics at Minnesota Twins
Baltimore Orioles at St. Louis Cardinals
Arizona Diamondbacks at Chicago Cubs
Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers
San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies
Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants
Inter Miami CF at Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati at Atlanta United FC