15 ‘2015 Sport Highlights’ I won’t forget

Roberta Vinci’s interview after Serena’s Us Open Upset

A 300/1 favorite to win her US Open Semifinal, Roberta Vinci shocked the Tennis and Sport World by stopping Serena Willams’ run to a Calendar Year Grand Slam.

After an amazing comeback win, Vinci won fans heart with a joyful and open-heart on-the-court interview.

Kobe Bryant announces his retirement from Professional Basketball

With an emotional letter on the Players’ Tribune, NBA legend Kobe Bryant announced his upcoming retirement from Pro Basketball.

The rest of the 2015-16 Lakers Season is going to be a long Farewell Tour to the Black Mamba, a unique catalyst of feelings, and an occasion to reflect on a long and incredible career.

Robert Lewandowski scores 5 goals in 9 minutes

On September 22 Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski entered the game against Wolfsburg right after halftime, but not even the most optimistic fan would have ever dreamed what happened in the second half first 15 minutes.

The Polish number 9 made history, scoring 5 goals in a 8 minutes and 59 second arch. And they were one better than the other.

Usain Bolt stays on top of Athletic’s World

Jamaican World Record Holder Usain Bolt entered the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing not in the best physical shape, with the concrete chance of losing his long primacy to controversial former Olympic Champion Justin Gatlin.

But in the Stadium where his legacy started, he reminded us why he’s the number one.

Gregorio Paltrinieri breaks the oldest Swimming World Record

Young Italian freestyle Swimmer Gregorio Paltrineri has had a breakout year in 2015.

He finally consecrated himself with winning the Gold medal in 1500m Freestyle at Kazan’s World Championship, but he was able to do more of that, by breaking the oldest Swimming World Record on books, the 1500 Freestyle Short Course one, made in 2001 by Swimming Legend Grant Hackett.

Danilo Gallinari breaks Germany’s heart at 2015 EuroBasket

After a long series of injuries, in 2015 Danilo Gallinari reminded us why he’s one of the best European players of his generation.

He scored an impressive 47-point-game Career High early in the year with his Denver Nuggets, but his most impressive performances were during the 2015 EuroBasket, where he led his Italian team through a though Group Stage with lots of impressive plays and numbers.

His clutch Game-Tying shot against the host German team has been an inexplicable moment to witness live.

MSN is alive, leading Barcelona to Football Dominance

My generation has grown up with MSN messenger, the first viral system to chat and communicate with friends worldwide.

Windows Live Messenger was discontinued in 2013, but the acronym regained new life with the explosion of the outstanding FC Barcelona trio of striker: Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar led the Catalan team to their second Treble (first team in Football History to accomplish that) in 6 years in 2015, scoring (as of today) 135 goals in the calendar year for Barça.

Golden State Warriors made Sport History

2015 was, without a doubt, the ‘Dubs Year’.

The Golden State Warriors won their first NBA Championship in 40 years, after an historical season (their 83 wins, combining Regular Season and Playoffs, is the 3rd highest in NBA History). But they were often labeled as ‘lucky’.

After that claims, they started the 2015-16 NBA Season with 24 consecutive wins, crashing by far the previous League Record (no team had done better than a 15-0 start in NBA history) but also making an all-time record for North American Professional Sports.

Klay Thompson’s Insane 37-point Quarter

Basketball fans could have feel that 2015 was going to be the ‘Warriors Year’ already on January 23rd.

Golden State entered the second half against the Sacramento Kings with the game in balance, when Klay Thompson made a 2-pointer for the 61-58 Warriors lead, with 9’45” remaining to play.

That basket was the beginning of an NBA Record: 37 points in a Quarter, the result of a perfect shooting display (13/13 from the field, 9/9 from the 3-point line, 2/2 on free throws).

Wawrinka defeats Djokovic in Roland Garros Final

2015 was a Record year for World Tennis Number 1 Novak Djokovic, whom was able to win 3 Grand Slam titles, 6 Master 1000 Tournaments, playing 15 consecutive finals (out of 16 tournaments played) and making All-Time record in Prize Money earnings.

He was only the third player in tennis history to reach, in a calendar year, all 4 Major Finals (after Rod Laver and Roger Federer), but the surprising loss to Stan Wawrinka in Roland Garros Final prevented him from a Year (and Career) Grand Slam. For now.

Flavia Pennetta wins US Open and announces her retirement from Tennis

Roberta Vinci’s exploit against Serena Williams was only one half of the fantastic cake baked by Italian Tennis Player in 2015 US Open: the american Slam saw a first-ever all-Italian Major Final in Pro-Tennis history between Vinci and Flavia Pennetta, two longlife friends both coming from Puglia.

Pennetta later prevailed over her fellow national, conquering her first Grand Slam title (on her first Final), and after that she shocked Tennis World by announcing her retirement, in ‘Sampras style’.

Jamie Vardy, Leicester making Premier League History

After 16 games into the 2014-15 Premier League Season, Leicester Football Club was at the bottom of England’s main Football League, with only 2 wins and 10 overall points.

Today, with 16 games into the current season, the Foxes are on top of England’s Football, with 10 won games and 35 points.

One of the reasons for such a turnaround is Jamie Vardy, a striker whom was playing semi-professional league Football only in 2012, able to make a new Premier League Record scoring in 11 consecutive matches.

Chelsea’s Downfall in just 7 months.

Chelsea Football Club began 2015 in fashion, winning their 5th League Cup and, later in May, their 4th Premier League title in 10 years (5th in team history). José Mourinho’s return to Blues’ bench paid off.

What no one could have ever imagined is that, as of today, Chelsea is living an authentic nightmare and one of the most unthinkable and quick downfalls in Football History, being only one point over Relegation zone after their loss to Leicester, a one resulted in the end of Mourinho’s second spell at Stamford Bridge.

Dinamo Sassari Historical Italian Treble

2009/10 was a season of ‘firsts’ for Italian Sport. For example, FC Internazionale became the first Italian Football Team Ever to accomplish the ‘Treble’. It was also the season, in Basketball, of the First Ever Promotion to ‘Serie A1’ for Dinamo Sassari.

5 years later, Sassari made Italian Basketball History by accomplishing a National Treble, winning ‘Supercoppa’, ‘Coppa Italia’ and ‘Scudetto’ after an amazing and unthinkable ride.

Wisconsin Stuns Kentucky’s Perfect Season Dreams

I started the piece with an amazing upset in 2015, I end it with another one.

The Kentucky Wildcats entered the NCAA Basketball 2015 Final Four with a 38-0 record, looking to becoming the first College Team in almost 40 years to accomplish the ‘Perfect Season’ and doing that with the best overall record.

Between Calipari’s Team and the Championship Game there were the Wisconsin Badgers, led by National Player of the Year Frank Kaminsky.

The Badgers took down the previously unbeaten Wildcats on the grand stage of the Final Four. And they did it in fashion.


The Golden State Warriors are rewriting a lot of NBA records.

While they seems unstoppable, is it worth asking ourselves if their incredible winning streak (22-0 to open the NBA season, 26 consecutive regular season wins -counting the final 4 2014-15 games-) is the most impressive in Basketball History.

I will take in consideration both historical overall winning streak record in 5 basketball main context (NBA, NCAA, Euroleague, Spain and Italy top leagues) and best winning streak to open a season (considering “modern era”).


Los Angeles Lakers (NBA) – November 1971 to January 1972

The 1971-72 NBA Champions

NBA Winning Streak Record belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, whom were able to win an impressive total of 33 games in a row in the 1971-1972 season.

Bill Sherman coached a team led by several Hall of Famers like Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West and Gail Goodrich, featuring also Elgin Baylor’s last NBA games before retirement.

Lakers’ streak began on November 5th, 1971, after a 6-3 start in October. Their 110-106 win against the Baltimore Bullets meant the start of two consecutive unbeaten months, being their streak-ending-loss on January 9th, 1972, against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 33-wins streak was the highlight of a 69-wins Regular Season, an NBA record at the time, passed only by 1995-96 Chicago Bulls (72-10 record). They went on their way to win, later that year, Franchise’s sixth NBA Title, the first one since their moving from Minneapolis to Los Angeles.

During that stretch the Lakers average an impressive 123.3 points per game, with an average win differential of 16 points.

UCLA Bruins (NCAA) – January 1971 to January 1974

Notre Dame’s Dwight Clay shooting the historical streak-ending shot

Probably the more unbeatable of the streak, the 88 consecutive wins achieved by UCLA between 1971 and 1974 surely represents a landmark in Sports History.

With Hall of Famers like Bill Walton, Jamaal Wilkes and coach John Wooden, the Bruins were able to stay unbeaten for two consecutive NCAA seasons, dominating college basketball with a 23.2 average win margin and a tenacious defense (only 61.7 points allowed per game).

During their streak, UCLA won three NCAA Titles, which added to their previous four wins since 1967 makes a total of 7 consecutive championships, a College Basketball record.

The streak came to an end on January 19th, 1974, due to a loss to Notre Dame, the same team which UCLA had lost his last game before the streak’s start. A late 12 points lead wasn’t enough to reach win number 89, but surely Bruins’ record will stand along for decades to come.

Real Madrid (Spain) – November 1971 to February 1974

Attendance of a Real Madrid game in 1971

Another historical streak straight from the 1970s is the Real Madrid 61 consecutive wins, a record for Spanish Basketball.

The Blancos managed to stay undefeated for the whole 1972-1973 season, plus big parts of 1971-1972 and 1973-1974.

The astonishing Real dominion is highlighted by an incredible average winning margin of 32.8 points per game, by far the best one in the streak considered here.

Madrid’s long winning path met an end in the 1974 clasico vs Barcelona, due to… a tie.

That game in Catalunya ended 58-58, as no overtime periods were expected at the time. Real went on to win the national championship that season, alongside with the European Champions Cup.

Olimpia Milano (Italy) – February 1962 to February 1964

1962-1963 Olimpia Milano

To track the Italian record we have to travel back to February 2nd, 1964, the day when ended the historical Olimpia (Simmenthal) Milano’s 47-games winning streak.

Led by Hall of Famers Cesare Rubini and Sandro Gamba, and by Italian Legend Sandro Riminucci, Milano reacquired the dominion of National Basketball with two consecutive titles during that streak, prevailing over their historical rivals Ignis Varese.

The series ending loss, occurred at the hands of Livorno, planed out the way to Varese’s return to Italian Basketball’s throne.

CSKA Moscow (Euroleague) – November 2006 to April 2007

Theo Papaloukas receiving the Silver Medal after Euroleague 2007 Final

Modern Era Euroleague has seen, in its brief history, a lot of great teams and amazing players. Competition is hard and it’s really tough to achieve a long winning streak.

That was the case of CSKA Moscow, able to score an impressive 18-win streak during 2006-2007 season, despite an attack under the standards of the team mentioned before (‘only’ 78.3 points per game during that stretch).

The team led by Greek legend Theo Papaloukas and coached by today’s San Antonio Spurs Assistant Coach Ettore Messina was title holder in 06-07, but their back-to-back campaign was stopped in Euroleague’s Final by Panathinaikos, making CSKA the only team between these ‘Fab Five’ to not have win their competition despite their record-streak.


Real Madrid (Spain) – October 2013 to April 2014

Real Madrid after 2014 Copa del Rey win. Their only trophy that season.

It is often said that achieving an impressive winning streak to open a season means a lock on winning the title during the same season.

That was not the case for Real Madrid during the 2013-14, able to tally a 27-games winning streak to open the 2013-14 ACB season, not counting also their February triumph in Copa del Rey.

Even when Valencia put an end to the 27-games streak, few people thought that this Real was going to lose it all.

Real was dominating that season with both good offense and great defense: 87.5 PPG with an average win margin of 17.3 points per game.

But at the end it all went wrong for Pablo Laso’s team, which lost both Euroleague Final in overtime and Liga ACB title to Barcelona in 5 games.

Montepaschi Siena (Italy) – October 2008 to February 2009

Montepaschi Siena - EA7 Emporio Armani Milano gara 5
Simone Pianigiani, Montepaschi’s Coach at the time

Montepaschi Siena was, without a doubt, the dominatrix of Italian Basketball League in the last 15 years. Their bad ending shouldn’t overshadow their impressive run of 7 consecutive Italian League Championships.

They probably reached their peak during the 2008/09 season, after reaching the Euroleague Final Four the season before.

Siena started that season with 19 consecutive wins, an Italian Basketball record in the modern era. Their average are similar to Real’s one (90.9 PPG and 71.2 points allowed per game), but they later went on winning the title, being the streak-ending loss to Fortitudo Bologna in February 2009 Montepaschi’s lone lost game during their Italian League campaign that season.

Kentucky Wildcats (NCAA) – November 2014 to March 2015

Kentucky’s Perfect Season dreams vanishing after Semifinals loss to Wisconsin

Still in the minds of all Basketball Fans worldwide, Kentucky’s loss to Wisconsin during the last NCAA Basketball Final Four represented the end of the longest NCAA winning streak to start a season.

Calipari’s team, full of players who later were selected in the upcoming NBA Draft (between them the First overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns), started that year dreaming about the Perfect Season, something not been achieved since 1976 (Bobby Knight’s Indiana).

After a last-second win in the Elite 8 against Notre Dame, the Wildcats fell to the Wisconsin Badgers, led by Frank Kaminsky and Sam Dekker, in a heart-breaking way and said goodbye to a possible 40-games win streak.

CSKA Moscow (Euroleague) – November 2004 to March 2005

Tau Vitoria upsets CSKA Moscow in 2005 Euroleague Semifinal

The Russian powerhouse also detains the record for the greatest start in Euroleague history, having achieved an impressive 17-games winning streak to open their 2004-2005 Euroleague campaign.

However, their Top 16 loss to Barcelona was a sort of prelude to one of the greatest upset in Euroleague Basketball history: their Final Four Semifinal loss to Tau Ceramica Vitoria, which later lost that final to Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Golden State Warriors (NBA) – October 2015 to December 2015

Stephen Curry in Warriors’ 22nd consecutive win to open the 2015-16 NBA season

A lot has been written about the incredible Warriors’ winning streak, which smashed the previous record to start the season (15-0, detained by the Washington Capitols and the Houston Rockets).

While it seems like Golden State will never lose again, it’s interesting to observe how, between these 5 historical streaks, the Warriors detains the worst defense (100.2 ppg, 83.5 if we adjust it to 40 minutes), and their 14.9 ppg winning margin (12.4 adjusted to 40 minutes) is second-last only to 04-05 CSKA Moscow’s one.


USA Olympic Men Team – August 1936 to September 1972

Belov’s game winner for USSR against USA in 1972 Olympic Final

Between others relevant Basketball winning streaks, we surely have to count the USA Olympic Team winning streak: the Americans stayed unbeaten for the entire first seven Olympic Games edition, from Berlin 1936 to Mexico City 1968, as they entered the Munich 1972 games to make it eight in a row.

Between Team USA and their 67th consecutive Olympic Win there was the ‘traditional’ Final against the USSR Team.

The Americans were leading 50-49 in the final seconds. The rest is history.

Connecticut Huskies (Women) November 2008 to December 2010

Geno Auriemma, legendary Huskies coach

2015 marks the 30th anniversary of a long Basketball relationship: the one between Geno Auriemma and the Connecticut Huskies Women Team.

The Italian-born Hall of Famer has led UConn to 10 NCAA titles in the last 20 years, and was also able to surpass, with his team, the historical NCAA Basketball Record, made by John Wooden’s UCLA in the 70s, with 90 consecutive wins between November 2008 and December 2010.

Aris Thessaloniki (Greece) 1985/86 to 1988/89

Nikos Galis, Aris legend

The late 1980s were a Golden Era for Greek Basketball, which put itself into the European Basketball Map by winning the Gold Medal at 1987 EuroBasket and coming close to a repeat two years later, winning the Silver Medal in 1989 EuroBasket.

That historical team was led by Aris Thessaloniki’s legends Nikos Galis and Panagiotis Giannakis, whom were also able to lead their club team to an incredible 80-games winning streak between the 1985-86 and 1988-89 seasons.


Tonight (12AM, GMT) Warriors’ streak will be challenged by the Indiana Pacers, one of the most intriguing teams to watch in the NBA right now.

Maybe they will made it to 23 (and 27 overall, eventually tying the 2012-13 Miami Heat for the second longest winning streak in NBA History), but are we sure that this Warriors streak is the most impressive in Basketball History?