Happy Birthday: Erving, Lauda, Tait

Sport360 staff 22/02/2017
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Few nicknames rival Dr J’s. Even fewer match his impact on the basketball court. Julius Erving was the dominant player of his era and he fundamentally changed the way the game is played.

He was an artist on the court, his dancing feet like paintbrushes and his individual expression adding a splash of colour to the game, setting a style which would prevail in decades to come.

Dr J turns 67 today and he can look back on a career which saw him regarded as one of the greatest players of his time.

He began his professional career in the ABA with the Virginia Squires and the New York Nets and he is often considered to have been the main catalyst for the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.

He won three ABA championships and the NBA title with Philadelphia. He’s also the only man to be MVP in both the ABA and NBA.

Other sport stars born on this day

1949: Niki Lauda, three-time F1 world champion and the only driver to win titles for both Ferrari and McLaren (68).

1963: Vijay Singh, is a three-time major championship winner and the former world No1 in golf (54).

1969: Brian Laudrup, was a stellar Danish forward who formed a vital part of Denmark’s Euro 92 triumph (48).

1984: Tommy Bowe, is a winger for Ireland who was impressive for on British and Irish Lions tour in 2009 (34).

1983: Shaun Tait, Australian pacer, plays only in the T20 format.

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Happy Birthday: Mahrez, Ellis, Samaras

Sport360 staff 21/02/2017
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The Algerian playmaker might be struggling but once he rediscovers his form, there’s no denying he’s among the best.

Riyad Mahrez, who celebrates his 26th birthday today, began his career at French outfit at AAS Sarcelles before moving to Le Havre for four years. But it was at Leicester City where he made a name for himself.

Having helped the Foxes to the Championship title and promotion to the topflight in 2014, he played an instrumental role with 17 goals and 11 assists as Leicester defied the odds to complete a fairytale story by being crowned 2016 Premier League champions.

Last season was even more special for Mahrez as he claimed numerous individual awards including the Algerian Footballer of the Year and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.

He was also a member of the Premier League PFA Team of the Year.

Other sport stars born on this day

1974: Ivan Campo, retired Spanish footballer, who played for Real Madrid and Bolton (43).

1984: Andy Ellis, New Zealand rugby player, who plays as a scrum-half for Crusaders (33).

1985: Georgios Samaras, former Celtic and Manchester City striker, who now plays for Real Sociedad (32).

1985: Jaamal Westerman, American football defensive lineman in the Canadian Football League (32).

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Happy Birthday - Marta, Zambrotta, Icardi

Sport360 staff 19/02/2017
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There’s no name more synonymous with women’s football than the Brazilian’s and she’s widely regarded as the greatest female player of all-time.

Turning 31 today, Marta has already produced a stunning career that has seen her earn individual accolade after accolade.

She was named FIFA World Player of the Year five straight years from 2006 to 2010 and holds the record for most goals scored at a Women’s World Cup with 15, passing Birgit Prinz’s mark in the 2015 edition.

In leading Brazil to the final of the 2007 Women’s World Cup, Marta received the Golden Ball award for the top player in the tournament and the Golden Boot for top scorer. She also has silver medals won at the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics.

It’s no wonder then she’s drawn comparisons to another Brazilian great, Pele.

Other sport stars born on this day

1959: Roger Goodell, American NFL commissioner who, to put it mildly, is not the most popular figure (58).

1977: Gianluca Zambrotta, retired Italian Seria A and La Liga footballer and manager of Delhi Dynamos (40).

1980: Mike Miller, American NBA sharpshooter for the Denver Nuggets and two-time champion (37).

1993: Mauro Icardi, Argentine footballer for Seria A club Internazionale and the Argentina national team (24).

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