Las Vegas is now a sports mecca. Time to rank every local team by their best season.
The Las Vegas Raiders’ best season was in 2021, when Rich Bissacia led the team to a 7-5 record in the last 12 games. This came after Jon Gruden unceremoniously resigned due to an email scandal that engulfed the team. Henry Ruggs III also got arrested for DUI around the same time.
All of this left the Raiders in a state of freefall and the media came down hard on them. The Raiders still made the wild card round though, before being defeated by the Cincinnati Bengals. Unfortunately for Las Vegas, this means their best season is a 9-8 record with an interim head coach that got passed over for Josh McDaniels.
Remember when the Las Vegas Golden Knights almost won a championship in their first year of existence? The Stanley Cup Finals appearance showed just how strong the team was.
The Golden Knights went 51-24 in the regular season and followed that up with a 20-13 record in the playoffs. The Knights started things off by sweeping the Kings in the first round and then defeating the Sharks in a 4-2 series. This led to a pretty surprising 4-1 series against the Jets, which eventually put them in the Stanley Cup Finals.
The Knights then went up against the Washington Capitals, and while they put up a great fight, it wasn’t enough. Las Vegas only won one game.
Las Vegas native Kurt Busch winning the 2004 NASCAR Cup Series title is a special moment in NASCAR history for several reasons. This was the year that Nextel came on as a sponsor. This was also the first time that a playoff system was used to determine the champion.
While no one really saw Busch as a contender, he changed all of that with a historic win at Bristol Motor Speedway. He followed that up with two wins at New Hampshire, and some very consistent finishes. Busch came into the final race with the championship locked up.
Due to the new playoff format, Busch had five other drivers within 82 points of taking his championship. This included Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, and Mark Martin. Busch won the whole thing, however after losing a tire early and climbing his way up to fifth to secure the title.
There’s nothing like winning your first championship, and the Las Vegas Aces earned this honor in 2022! The Aces came to Sin City in 2018 and reached their first Finals series in 2020. Unfortunately, they got swept by the Seattle Storm that year in a very embarrassing showing.
Fast forward to 2022, and Becky Hammon came on to coach the Aces. This turned out to be a great decision and allowed the team to develop a winning strategy that would become unstoppable. The team eventually climbed their way back to the WNBA Finals and defeated the Connecticut Suns 3-1 for their title!
Kyle Busch is one of the most controversial figures in NASCAR, and one of their best iron men. The Las Vegas native proved this in 2015 by coming back from two severe leg injuries to secure a spot in the playoffs. Busch accomplished the feat despite missing 11 races and eventually nabbed the title with a win at Homestead Miami.
This is just one of those championships that history won’t forget. It is also one that might earn Busch a Hall of Fame spot. Looking at his final stats, Busch notched five wins, 12 top-fives, and 16 top-tens in 26 races that year.
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