Today in sports history: May 20 - Arise 'Sir' Michael Jordan, NBA legend named league MVP

Some of the sports stories of the past that led sporting headlines around the world on May 20.


Touring British & Irish Lions taste defeat in New Zealand for the first time, bowing 23-9 to Otago at Carisbrook. 

The game introduced world rugby to a new forward tactic called 'rucking'. 

Outlawed more than a decade ago, this strategy was designed to help speed up recycled ball at the breakdown. 

The Lions were unimpressed to leave the game without a win and the battle scars of war to boot. 


Michael Jordan is named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the second time, after guiding his Chicago Bulls to the second-best record in the regular season.

Jordan averaged nearly 32 points a game in 61 wins for Chicago, who would go on to win the first of six titles in eight years, sweeping Magic Johnson's Los Angeles Lakers in the finals. 

Jordan added an NBA finals MVP a month later. 


Graham Henry
Graham Henry Photo credit: Getty

The Welsh Rugby Union confirms New Zealanders Graham Henry and Gordon Hunter are on the shortlist to take the reins of the national side. 

Henry got the job and won his first 11 tests in charge to earn the nickname 'The Great Redeemer'. After decades of poor results, Henry turned the Welsh into an internationally competitive side, winning a Grand Slam and tests against every top tier side, apart from the All Blacks.

Henry left his post in 2002 to pursue his dream of coaching New Zealand. The rest is history. 


A torn knee ligament ends the career of Canterbury Bulldogs halfback Ricky Stuart.

Over a stellar rugby league career that began at Canberra in 1988, Stuart played 243 NRL games and won three premierships with the powerhouse 'Green Machine' of the late 1980s/early 1990s.

Ricky Stuart as coach of the Raiders
Ricky Stuart as coach of the Raiders Photo credit: Getty

Stuart has gone on to achieve great success as a coach, taking the Sydney Roosters to three straight Grand Finals, winning one. 

He is now back in Canberra and has turned the Raiders into one of the NRL's most feared teams. 


Sydney Roosters halfback Cooper Cronk announces plans to retire at the end of the season. 

The former Melbourne Storm halfback was a key part of Queensland's decade-long dominance of State of Origin and winning two premierships and having another two stripped for salary-cap breaches under Craig Bellamy.

After moving to Sydney, Cronk inspired the Roosters to 2018 Grand Final glory, playing with a dislocated shoulder, and starred again last year in a thrilling final against the Raiders. 


1952 - Cameroonian footballer Roger Milla, star of the 1990 Football World Cup 

1961 - New Zealand equestrian rider Vaughn Jefferis, Olympic bronze medallist and twice world champion
1968 - Fijian rugby sevens legend Waisale Serevi
1981 - Former Supercars champion Mark Winterbottom


2019 - Austrian motorsport legend & three-time F1 world champion Niki Lauda, aged 70

Newshub 12 months ago… 

Crusaders deny allegations of 'queerphobic' attack in South Africa

Crusaders management has denied accusations that players made homophobic 'attacks' against patrons of a Cape Town McDonald's outlet over the weekend.

The allegations have surfaced on social media, where user 'adamlennoxx' tweeted about an encounter with the visiting Crusaders team on Saturday night, after the defending Super Rugby champions drew 19-19 with the home-team Stormers.

"We were attacked by members of the New Zealand rugby team in the McDonald's on Long/Kloof St last night," he claims. "As we entered, we were met with jeering and sniggers from them.

"They then proceeded to record us as a joke (also, upon looking on his phone screen, it was a recording for either Insta/Snapchat). When catching them in the act, they told us they did it because we looked funny to them.

"They then said they can record us in a public space if they want to. Upon telling them that this is wrong, they then began physically intimidating us (coming up to our faces, telling us we better stop arguing or they will 'f**k us up if we don't watch it').

"Then, after arguing that straight white men are losing power - we were met with homophobic slurs, limp wrists and high-pitched voices, which were clearly in gest [sic]."