Most Awesome Sports Team Moments of the 2000s (So Far)
One of the greatest aspects of sports is camaraderie. Through the ever-changing landscape of sports media, we've gotten to know our favorite teams more intimately than ever before.
Team sports teach us great lessons in life: collaboration, communication, leadership. Sports are about a cast of characters playing various parts to create something magical. Sure, there is a lead actor and the supporting cast, but the production is what elicits passion from the audience. Whether you're on the court or on the couch, there is often an emotional connection with the game.
In the age of the internet, we've had the luxury of witnessing teams throughout the world dance in celebration and cry in defeat causing us to react accordingly with the same sentiment. Check out our round-up of the best moments in sports that define the word "team" over the last 15 years.
15. Rory McIlroy and European Ryder Cup Team Do a Really Awkward Dance After Win
The 2012 European Ryder Cup team completed one of the most amazing comebacks in the competition's history. Team USA led through much of the tournament until Europe made an impressive rebound on the last day to take the win.
During the trophy celebration, Rory McIlroy and the rest of the European team started doing the most uncoordinated dance ever. But the dance actually has some history behind it. They're imitating of the same dance Captain Jose Maria Olazabal did after the 1987 Ryder Cup victory.
As you can see, their moves aren't as graceful as their accents. Let's leave the dancing to the United States Junior Ryder Cup team.
14. Team USA's Shmoney Dance Celebration on the Podium at 2014 FIBA World Cup
Perhaps the most important display of this dance was on an international stage at the 2014 FIBA World Cup. Team USA breezed through the international basketball tournament, beating Serbia 129-92 in the finals for the gold medal. After receiving the championship trophy, James Harden, Steph Curry and the rest of the team celebrated by getting down with none other than the shmoney on the podium (with the Cup in hand).
13. New York Jets Take Ice Bucket Challenge Together Using a Fire Truck Hose
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge took the world by storm last summer. Many celebrities and athletes got in the action by drenching themselves in ice-cold water to raise money and awareness for ALS research. Although Bill Belichick and the Patriots and the Cleveland Browns completed the challenge, no one did it quite like the New York Jets.
Jimmy Fallon challenged the team after Jets owner Woody Johnson nominated the Tonight Show host. New York responded by ending their team practice with cold water shower from a fire hose mounted on a giant crane.
Former head coach Rex Ryan took the challenge by himself before also taking it with the rest of the team. Let's be honest, the New York media probably loved seeing Rex Ryan suffer twice as much.
12. Golden State Warriors Celebrate Wins, NBA Championship by Singing on Plane
The Golden State Warriors love gambling, singing and, of course, winning. After a franchise-breaking winning streak last fall, the Dubs adopted a tradition of singing along to popular songs in unison on their way home from games. Thankfully, someone on the team recorded the glorious post-victory ritual for the world to see.
Like many things on social media, it didn't come without some controversy. "CoCo-gate" began after teammate Marreese Speights posted a video of the Warriors singing the song "CoCo" by rapper O.T. Genasis on the team plane. The song, which glorifies a rapper's NSFW love affair with cocaine, brought some heat to the team.
The videos made national headlines and eventually Golden State couldn't continue the tradition. Fans wanted more of the CoCo but instead received a witty Cocoa Krispies themed response from the players.
Months later, GS not only won the championship but won big on social media when they trolled CoCo-hating authorities by posting one last video for kicks and giggles.
11. Wisconsin Men's Basketball Team Sing and Dance to Motown
The Wisconsin men's basketball team suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of Coach K and the Blue Devils during March Madness earlier this year. Months later, the team was in higher spirits as they sang and danced to 1960's Motown music on a very different stage.
Badgers players Nigel Hayes, Riley Dearring, Jordan Hill and Vitto Brown showcased their off-the-court talents at the University of Wisconsin's annual Buckinghams ceremony. The National Championship runners-up performed a rendition of "It's A Shame" by The Spinners with on-point dance choreography.
Brown was the lead vocalist and previously sang the national anthem at the NCAA Tournament Final Four. And we already knew Hayes' love/hate relationship with the microphone—challenging stenographers at press conferences and unknowingly calling women beautiful on the mic.
10. Miami Heat NBA Championship Champagne Celebrations
No one parties quite like the 2012 and 2013 Miami Heat championship teams. They worked hard all year during both seasons to win two consecutive NBA titles. The team's proximity to the vibrant Miami nightlife naturally encouraged the squad to party even harder. Some of the epic, all-night post-game celebrations were caught on video; some of it was written about the morning after; but most of what happened those nights will never be known.
The Heat easily conquered the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012, and King James won the MVP Finals Award, dispelling haters and silencing critics. That night, James and the rest of the world championship team hit up LIV nightclub at the Fountainebleau Hotel where they partied until 6 a.m., according to TMZ. The next year, after beating the San Antonio Spurs, the team racked up a $100,000 champagne bill celebrating at Story Nightclub.
Although these were already legendary back-to-back championship celebrations, we were also blessed with pop-culture by-products of the wins including the Drake girlfriend meme, the Bosh champagne shower gif and a slowmo video of LeBron jumping up and down in pure euphoria.
9. Yankees Run to Derek Jeter After Walk-off Hit in His Final Home Game
After 20 seasons with the Yankees, Derek Jeter gave fans a moment neither he nor they will ever forget. With the game tied in the bottom of the ninth, Jeter delivered the game-winning RBI single for New York in his last game wearing those iconic navy-and-white pinstripes at Yankee Stadium. The hit resulted in a one-of-a-kind ending for New York's most illustrious player as he cheered, overcome with emotion.
After the 14-time All-Star delivered the hit that sealed the game, the Yankees dugout immediately rushed on the field to congratulate the retiring star, creating a priceless scene under the stadium lights.
You have to admit, there couldn't have been a more perfect ending.
8. Colombia National Soccer Team's Salsa Dance Goal Celebration at the World Cup
The Colombian national soccer team have a history of busting a move. It should come as no surprise their salsa dance goal celebration, as seen above, is one of our top team moments.
Colombia made history in the 2014 World Cup by reaching the quarterfinals. And their fierce goal celebrations were still on everyone's minds even after Brazil eliminated them from the tournament.
Reuters said, “the Colombian team may have the best goal celebration dance at this World Cup,” while USA Today said, “Colombia’s dance party is the best goal celebration of the World Cup.” The Huffington Post says the celebration is more than just a dance, as "salsa dancing is the Colombia's second-favorite sport. In fact, there is even the equivalent of the World Cup for salsa dancing called the World Latin Dance Cup."
Here's a very helpful guide to dancing like the Colombian soccer team.
7. Clippers Teammates Videobomb Eachother During Live Post-Game Interviews
Emerging Clippers guard Austin Rivers is no stranger to embarrassment by his teammates, especially from Blake Griffin. This hilarious moment shown in the video above comes courtesy of Griffin and shooting guard J.J. Redick. Watch as Redick practices his flick of the wrist while Griffin moves awkwardly in circles during Rivers' live TV interview.
This wasn't the first time the Clippers had some fun during interviews. Check out the Clippers big men acting camera shy, DeAndre Jordan wiping his boogers on Redick and Glen "Big Baby" Davis making hilarious faces.
If this is what they're like in front of the camera, imagine how they act when no one else is watching...especially in hostage situations.
6. Boston Bruins Dress Up as Frozen Characters to Visit a Children's Hospital
The Frozen frenzy isn't thawing out anytime soon, especially for the Boston Bruins, who donned costumes from the widely popular Disney movie for Halloween last year. Teammates Matt Bartkowski, Matt Fraser, Seth Griffith, Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller dressed up as the famous characters for their annual team trip to the Boston Children’s Hospital putting a smile on everyone's faces while handing out candy.
The annual charitable team tradition often involves ridiculous ensembles. Check out the outfits from previous years including Hamilton as a giant baby, Zdeno Chara as a pink bunny and Jared Knight as Wilma from the Flintstones.
5. New Zealand Performs Haka Dance Leaving Team USA Perplexed
Team USA was not prepared for the New Zealand basketball team during the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. We're not talking about unprepared in a basketball way but rather in a mental way.
New Zealand performed a traditional national dance, called the Haka, before their game against the United States, fascinating USA players James Harden, Derrick Rose and Kenneth Faried.
In the video, Harden looks like he got hit with the Based God curse, Faried has a priceless eyebrow raise at 0:44 and Derrick Rose is forever unfazed. Although rugby teams do the Haka better, the passion of Team New Zealand combined with the collective captivation of Team USA makes this a priceless moment for both parties.
4. Entire Lakers Bench Hilariously Reacts to Shannon Brown's Monster Block
Bench reactions are one of the greatest gifts the basketball gods have bestowed upon sports fans. Seeing an entire team bond through the greatness of a single play can lift even the saddest of souls.
Take the above Lakers bench reaction to Shannon Brown's block on Mario West during his first game in Los Angeles. Each teammate has a different and hilarious reaction, culminating in a priceless team moment that will be immortalized as one of the most popular Vines and memes on the internet.
Maybe if one of the new rookies make an insane block, then they'll earn a call from Kobe?
3. LeBron James Returns Home to Teammates, Cleveland in "Together" Commercial
"One team. One city. One goal." That was the message behind LeBron James' Nike "Together" commercial that debuted during the start of the 2014-15 NBA season.
The goosebump-inducing ad follows Cleveland citizens as they enter Quicken Loans Arena and join the Cavaliers team huddle before the opening night tip-off. The past is long forgotten as the King has the entire city of Cleveland's support in the quest for a title.
Teammates Kyrie Irving, Dion Waters, Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova and Joe Harris also make cameos. LBJ lover or hater, it's a great feel-good moment for the Cavs and the entire city of Cleveland.
2. Nebraska Football Team Helps 7-Year-Old Jack Hoffman Score a Touchdown
The University of Nebraska football team gained national attention after letting seven-year-old Jack Hoffman suit up during the school's spring football game in 2013. Hoffman, a Nebraska native, was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011. The Hoffman family prepared for the worst, creating a bucket list of things Jack wanted to do if his surgeries weren't a success. One of the items on the list was meeting Jack's hero, then-Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead.
Jack's dream came true and then some. After he had lunch and a tour of Memorial Stadium with Burkhead, the running back stayed in touch, and Jack became an important part of the football program for the next two years.
During the Nebraska spring game in 2013, the team integrated him into the line up on a 4th-and-1 from the 31-yard line. Jack took a hand-off and ran 69-yards for a TD. The entire team ran onto the field, surrounding him in the end zone, capping off one of the greatest team moments in recent history.
1. San Antonio Spurs Capture the Essence of Teamwork in One Beautiful Play
With the resurgence of Hero Ball, there is something inherently beautiful about a squad that shares the ball equally for team gain instead of individual glory. Thanks in large part to head coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs are the epitome of a true team. It's not about the glitz and glamor. It's about the sport in its purest form.
For example, the Spurs executed the above play during the 2014 NBA finals against the Miami Heat. Notice how every Spurs player gets a touch, confusing the Heat defense and resulting in perfect poetry on the court.
Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat said, "San Antonio runs offense perfectly. It was like listening to Mozart. It's just ridiculous how they play."
Whether you're a Spurs fan or not, you have to respect the way they play the game together as one.