Best of the 2010s, Sports Edition

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Sports in the 2010s produced many memorable moments, ranging from exciting plays to heroic actions. Some of our picks for the best of the decade include Keanon Lowe (top), the US Women’s national team (bottom left) and “the Block” (bottom right).

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The 2010s gave us some of the most iconic moments, players and stories in recent memory. As the decade ends, let’s take a look back at some of its players, moments and heroes.
Best Player: LeBron James (Basketball)
In a decade filled with so many dominant athletes, it was hard to choose one. But, at the end of the day, it’s hard to deny LeBron James’s greatness this decade, in which he won three NBA championships, three NBA Finals MVPs, three NBA MVPs, an Olympic gold medal and was an NBA All-Star 10 times. That resume is hard to beat. Lebron has become more than just a player- he is a brand, garnering almost $55 million in endorsements (Forbes).
Most Dominant Team: The US Women’s National Team (Soccer)
After starting the decade with a disappointing (for them) loss in the Women’s World Cup Final in 2011, the USWNT rallied, winning the next two Women’s World Cups, an Olympic gold medal and enjoyed a 21 game winning streak, all while breaking records and redefining norms in women’s sports. After their 2015 World Cup win, the USWNT became the first women’s sports team to visit the White House and attend a New York City parade.
Iconic Moment: “The Block” from the 2016 NBA Finals (Basketball)
It should not be that much of a surprise that the best player of the decade created the best moment of the decade: “The Block.” In a must-win game seven in the 2016 NBA Finals, Lebron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers faced off against a historically good Golden State Warriors team. After a miss by the Cavs with 1:55 left in a tied game, Warriors forward Andre Iguodala rebounded and started a fastbreak towards an open layup. Here is commentator Mike Breen’s description of what followed:
“Iguodala to Curry. Back to Iguodala. Oh! Blocked by James! Lebron James with the rejection!”
In what many call the defining moment of his illustrious career, Lebron ran an estimated 20.1 MPH to block Iguodala from behind. The Cavs went on to win the game and the NBA championship, the first in franchise history.
“So I’m watching the play- and this is not an exaggeration- … and all of a sudden I see this black blur come out of nowhere,” teammate Richard Jefferson said. “That play is probably the greatest defensive play in NBA history.”
Hero of the Decade: Keanon Lowe (Football)
Of everything mentioned on this list, Lowe’s name is almost certainly the least recognizable. But what Lowe did is undoubtedly more important than any previously mentioned accomplishment.
After graduating from Oregon and working for a few NFL teams, Lowe decided to become the head coach at Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon. Lowe led their football program from a 23-game losing streak to five wins in his first season. That’s impressive, but not heroic. The moment that made Lowe a hero occurred months after football season, on May 17, 2019. Lowe was in the fine arts building to retrieve a student when he noticed several students running out of a classroom. Walking over to investigate, he saw a student wearing a trench coat holding a gun. Lowe did what few would: he confronted the student and was able to disarm him before wrapping him in a bear hug.
“I’ll never forget that conversation I had with him. I told him I cared about him, that people care about him. He was really surprised. He said, ‘You do?’ I said, ‘Yep, I just met you and I care about you. It’s going to be OK,’” Lowe said in an interview with ESPN.
Lowe’s actions saved lives, and hopefully they will serve as an example of bravery and selflessness for future decades.
Those are our picks for the best of sports in the 2010s. Disagree with us? Let us know on our Twitter: @WSHSScroll or here on our website.