Whoever said that bad things come in threes is both a psychological marvel and likely an unpopular person—especially to Los Angeles Lakers fans these days.
First Dwight Howard spurns the Lakers for the Houston Rockets, then the stress of possibly amnestying Metta World Peace resurfaces, and now the Lakers no longer own the longest winning streak in U.S. professional sports history.
Tuesday night in Washington D.C., the Washington Kastles of World Team Tennis (WTT) clinched their 34th straight victory, eclipsing the seemingly unapproachable record of the 1971-72 Lakers 33 consecutive victories, which stood for more than 40 years.
Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain will always be revered for spearheading that Lakers team, especially since their win streak was a microcosm of going 69-13 en route to capturing the NBA Championship.
As records are meant to be broken, Lakers executive Jeanie Buss recognized that Tuesday was a passing of the torch.
"Winning 33 consecutive games was an amazing accomplishment by our 1971-72 Lakers team, as evidenced by the fact that no other team has come close to reaching it for over 40 years now."
"On behalf of the Buss family and the Lakers family, I want to congratulate the Washington Kastles, their players, and our good friends Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss on this milestone accomplishment of theirs."
Buss had been involved with WTT briefly in the 1970s as an executive for the Los Angeles Strings.
Beyond being thrilled for his team's achievement, Kastles owner Mark Ein had nothing but praise for the Buss family and the Lakers.
"They [Lakers] are one of the great organizations in all of sports, and for her [Jeanie] to note the accomplishment that the Kastles just set means an unbelievable amount."
"As a relatively new owner, it's families like the Busses that you try to emulate when you're building your own franchise."
Kastles coach Murphy Jensen couldn't hide his excitement for setting this record or his age (44), as he was the only person on the court Tuesday who was born prior to the 1971-72 Lakers.
Responding to the immediate buzz of making history, Jensen proudly stated, "Dynasty? You can say dynasty, gosh darn right you can."
"We look at what is in front of us. This is a team that works hard. Winning is a habit and a culture. We never give up and we are tough to beat."
The Kastles have overtaken the all-time consecutive wins record by succeeding in what every sports franchise sets out to do—prepare and execute night in and night out.
"In sports anything can happen, and for a team of athletes to do what it takes to prepare, pour their hearts out and have everything come together for 34 straight nights is really incredible," said Ein.
This kind of message is usually disseminated throughout every sports franchise; however, many fall short and have fallen short in the past four-plus decades.
Not the Kastles.
They have slayed the dragon, bumped the Lakers off their cushy pedestal and are now the new dominant organization in sports history.
"We'll pause for a second and take some pride in what we just accomplished," said Ein. "Hopefully we're on the road to winning a championship for the third straight year."
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
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