The List: Best moves of 2001
Page 2 staff

Last week, we looked at the dumbest moves in sports from 2001. This week, we look at the best.

Ichiro Suzuki
American League MVP Ichiro Suzuki was a bargain compared with Alex Rodriguez.
Check out Page 2's list of the 10 best moves in sports from the past 12 months, and then read how our readers ranked their top 10. Also be sure to vote in the poll to pick No. 1 smart move of the year.

Here's our list:

1. Seattle Mariners sign Ichiro Suzuki and free agent Bret Boone
... and decide not to get into an insane bidding war with Texas owner Tom Hicks for A-Rod.

2. New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick sticks with Tom Brady after Drew Bledsoe returns from his injury
Seems obvious, in retrospect, but how many nonlegends would have the cojones to keep his $100 million man on the bench while staking everything on a minimum-wage rookie QB?

3. New Jersey Nets acquire ultimate team player Jason Kidd for perpetual malcontent Stephon Marbury
How to go from perennial losers to Eastern Conference title contenders with just one move.

Jason Kidd
Jason Kidd, right, has changed the face of the New Jersey Nets.
4. Colorado Avalanche obtain All-Star defenseman Rob Blake in midseason 2000-01
Avs already had plenty of stars, but despite giving up popular power forward Adam Deadmarsh and steady defenseman Aaron Miller to get Blake and center Steve Reinprecht, they needed Blake to help them capture Cup in Game 7 of finals.

5. New York Mets remake offense without adding salary
In effect, GM Steve Phillips traded washed-up Robin Ventura, weak-hitting Tsuyoshi Shinjo, backup infielder Desi Relaford, heavily overpaid Kevin Appier and overhyped perennial prospect Alex Escobar for Hall-of-Famer-to-be Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, speed merchant Roger Cedeno (more steals by himself -- 56 -- than the entire team last year), David Weathers and Shawn Estes.

6. L.A. Laker coach Phil Jackson sticks it to Kobe Bryant, publicly, for selfish and self-aggrandizing play
The result: back-to-back NBA titles. Hey, they don't call him The Zenmaster for nothing.

Michael Peca
Michael Peca missed all of 2000-01, but he's been every bit the leader the Islanders hoped he would be this season.
7. New York Islanders obtain Michael Peca and Alexei Yashin and pick up goalie Chris Osgood in waiver draft
How to go from perennial losers to serious playoff contenders with just three moves.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher sticks with Kordell Stewart
Sometimes, patience is a virtue, even in the NFL.

9. New Chicago Bears' GM Jerry Angelo offers head coach Dick Jauron a contract extension
OK, anybody would have done the same thing. But not being stupid is smart.

10. TNT turns over its NBA pregame, halftime and postgame shows to Charles Barkley
Only the funniest man in the business.

Also receiving votes:

  • New York Rangers obtain Eric Lindros despite his chronic history of concussions
  • Boston Celtics replace Rick Pitino with Jim O'Brien
  • Jeff Van Gundy quits as Knicks coach (one step ahead of the crash ... Pat Riley, take note)
  • Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly uses Randy Johnson to relieve in Game 7 of the World Series
  • Belichick tries to boot Terry Glenn from the Pats
  • L.A. Clippers acquire Elton Brand from Chicago Bulls for high school project Tyson Chandler
  • Jesse Ventura makes MLB commissioner-for-life Bud Selig look foolish at congressional hearing


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