It was August 1999. Kobe and Shaq had no titles, Tom Brady was preparing for his senior year at Michigan and Terry Collins would soon resign as manager of the Angels, handing off the team to interim manager Joe Maddon.
Roger Federer was a Swiss tennis phenom fresh off his 18th birthday. He came to New York City to attempt to qualify for his first U.S. Open. He failed. He lost to then-23-year-old countryman Ivo Heuberger in the second round of qualification.
Since that failed 1999 U.S. Open bid, Federer played 65 straight Grand Slam tournaments, from the 2000 Australian Open to the 2016 Australian Open. The 34-year-old had knee surgery in February and has been hampered by a bad back for the past month, so he decided last week to pull out of the French Open to avoid "taking an unnecessary risk."
His streak is finally over, but the numbers, for Federer and tennis, deserve a summary.
65 consecutive men's Grand Slam tournament appearances
Federer's aforementioned streak is the longest in tennis history, but it is actually in slight danger. Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, 34, who has never surpassed the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, is making his 57th straight Grand Slam start at the French Open. Retired South African Wayne Ferreira played in 56 straight grand slams. Fernando Verdasco (51), Tomas Berdych (50), Novak Djokovic (45) and Guillermo García-López (45) all have high streaks going into Roland Garros. Ai Guiyama holds the women's record at 62.
Federer's 67 total Grand Slam appearances trail only Fabrice Santoro's 70. On the women's side, Amy Frazier made 71 with Venus and Serena Williams checking in at 70 and 63, respectively, in Paris this week.
17 Grand Slam singles titles
Federer broke Pete Sampras' record of 14 Grand Slam singles titles in 2009 at Wimbledon. Sixteen of his 17 titles were within a span of a 27-Grand Slam from 2003 Wimbledon to the 2010 Australian Open. Rafael Nadal is now tied with Sampras for second on the all-time list with 14. Novak Djokovic is tied for fifth with 11.
27 Grand Slam finals
Federer also lost in ten finals during this remarkable stretch. Four of those losses came in Paris at the hands of Rafael Nadal, who has won nine times at Roland Garros. Federer has lost to Nadal in six total Grand Slam finals (beating him twice), Djokovic in three finals (beating him once) and Juan Martin del Potro once.
1 French Open title
Federer has seven Wimbledon titles, five U.S. Open crowns, four Australian Open championships, but only one moment of French Open glory. In 2009, Nadal failed to reached the tournament final for the only time from 2005-2014, losing in the fourth round to Robin Söderling. Federer took advantage beat Söderling in the final in straight sets. Despite winning 14 Grand Slam titles, Sampras never reached a final in Paris.
302 weeks as ATP No. 1
After winning the 2004 Australian Open, his first hard court Grand Slam title, Federer become the World No. 1 for the first time, taking the crown from Andy Roddick (after 13 weeks). Federer held the spot for 237 consecutive weeks, a record. After finally dropping from No. 1 in August 2008, Federer reclaimed the spot twice, from July 2009 to June 2010 and from July 2012 to November 2012. His 302 total weeks at the top are an ATP record.
18 total Grand Slam champions
Federer's streak started in Melbourne in 2000, where four-time Grand Slam champion Jim Courier was making his final Grand Slam appearance. The 2000 Australian Open final featured No. 1 Andre Agassi taking down No. 2 Yevgeny Kafelnikov in four sets. During Federer's 65-Grand Slam run, 18 different champions were crowned, including Agassi, Sampras, Marat Safin, Gustavo Kuerten and other faces of the pre-Federer-Nadal-Djokovic-Murray Era. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic claimed 42 of the 65 titles during the streak, and Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray appeared in 75 of a potential 130 finalist spots.
27 Grand Slams titles for the Williams sisters
Although Venus Williams made the U.S. Open final as a 17-year-old in 1997, it was not until Serena won the 1999 U.S. Open that the family tasted a Grand Slam title. Federer's streak started one Grand Slam later, in Australia. The next 27 Williams sisters titles came during Federer's 65 straight appearances. They have 28 in all.
2 Grand Slam titles by other Swiss players
Although Martina Hingis was just 19 at the 2000 Australian Open, she had already won all five of her Grand Slam singles titles. However, Stan Wawrinka eventually gave Federer some Swiss company. The 31-year-old has two, winning in Australia in 2014 and France in 2015.
3 American Grand Slam men's champions
At the start of Federer's streak, American males were still at the top of the sport. Andre Agassi won the 2000, 2001 and 2003 Australian Opens, his sixth, seventh and eighth Grand Slams, just before Federer could win his first. Pete Sampras won at Wimbledon in 2000 and the U.S. Open in 2002 for his 13th and 14th. A guy by the name of Andy Roddick won the 2003 U.S. Open, and no American has won a Grand slam since. Federer beat Roddick in four Grand Slam finals -- three at Wimbledon and one at the U.S. Open -- and he beat Agassi once at the 2005 U.S. Open.
1 wife, 4 children (2 sets of twins)
Federer's wife, Mirka, actually played in the first eight grand slams of Federer's streak. She retired in 2002, and the two married in April 2009. In July 2009, Mirka gave birth to twin girls, Myla Rose and Charlene Riva. The couple added twin boys in 2014, Leo and Lennart.
3 U.S. presidents
Federer's streak started at the end of the Bill Clinton administration and it ends near the end of the Barack Obama presidency. Federer won most of his Grand Slams during the George W. Bush administration. He just could not hang on to extend this streak one more year for a new president. George H.W. Bush, pictured with Federer above, left the Oval Office seven years before the start of Federer's streak.
1 Key Biscayne, Florida, topless photoshoot
We're not really sure why these exist, but deep in the Getty Images archive is a shirtless photoshoot featuring Federer on South Florida beaches in March 2000. The teen was playing in the Ericsson Open, now called the Miami Open.
Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.