Archive for 2017

NBA Draft: Markelle Fultz And Lonzo Ball #1 & #2, Jimmy Butler Trade

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The NBA draft took place Thursday night, and the first two picks went off as expected. The Philadelphia 76ers chose Washington’s Markelle Fultz with the #1 pick, the Los Angeles Lakers grabbed UCLA’s Lonzo Ball with pick #2, and the Boston Celtics selected Duke’s Jayson Tatum at number 3. With Phoenix taking Kansas’ Josh Jackson and the Sacramento Kings picking up Kentucky’s De’Aaron Fox at #4 and #5 respectively, the 2017 draft marked the first time in NBA history the top 5 spots went to college freshmen. For the rest of the draft, click here.

The big trade of the day went to the Minnesota Timberwolves who landed Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls and a #16 pick in exchange for Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine and a #7 pick.

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NBA Draft Tonight, Cavs Offer Billups Job

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The NBA draft is tonight with the Philadelphia 76ers owning the first pick. It’s been widely reported they will take Washington’s Markelle Fultz. All eyes will then be on Lonzo Ball (and his controversial dad LaVar) who will likely get picked picked #2 by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers made news this week by firing their GM David Griffin. According to reports, former NBA star Chauncey Billups has recently been offered the job of head of basketball operations. In addition to the front office disarray surrounding the team, rumors are flying about LeBron James either heading to the Los Angeles Lakers or LA Clippers when he becomes a free agent next summer.

 

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NBA Last Minute Trades, Petition To Remove Rodman From HOF

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Expect lots of action prior to tomorrow night’s NBA draft. One such development is the New York Knicks are discussing offers to trade their center Kristaps Porzingis. In other trade news, Dwight Howard is leaving the Atlanta Hawks (his third team in 3 seasons) and heading to the Charlotte Hornets. And, the LA Lakers are expected to send D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the 27th pick in tomorrow’s draft. Expect much more drama before Thursday night.

Former Hall of Famer, Dennis Rodman, traveled to North Korea again in hopes his trip will open a door for Donald Trump. Members of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation are disgusted by Rodman’s praise of Kim Jong-un (North Korea’s brutal dictator) and have started a petition for the NBA to remove Rodman from the Hall of Fame. Rodman has called the dictator his “friend for life”. According to the petition, “Individuals that praise murderers have no place being idolized by America’s youth or in any Hall of Fame in the United States”. No word yet on what the Hall of fame intends to do.

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Cavs Fire GM, LeBron Rumors, KD Prioritizing Winning

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are making headlines this week for some interesting developments. After only 3 seasons, the team decided to part ways with GM David Griffin. Griffin brought the Cavs to three consecutive NBA Finals (and their first Championship in 2016), so the move is widely considered bizarre.

LeBron James tweeted his disappointment in the move saying, “If no one appreciated you Griff I did, and hopefully all the people of Cleveland!” Speaking of LeBron, rumors are flying that the new Clippers’ consultant, Jerry West, will try and lure LeBron to LA when he becomes a free agent next summer.

NBA Finals MVP, Kevin Durant, appears to be prioritizing winning by signaling he’ll opt out of his player option but will re-sign with the team in order to free up money for players like Andre Iguodala, Zaza Pachulia and Shaun Livingston. By giving up the big payday this year, KD is expected to sign a longterm deal after next season. Steph Curry is also a free agent and could sign a 5 year $207 million dollar deal, the largest in NBA history.

 

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Koepka Wins US Open, Celtics Trade #1 Pick To Sixers, George Leaving Pacers In 2018

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Brooks Koepka won his first major championship this weekend by winning the US Open.  At 27 years old, Koepka finished 16 under par to edge out a close field and take home the $2.16 million earnings.

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The Boston Celtics shook things up this weekend by announcing they were trading their #1 pick in the upcoming draft to the Philadelphia 76ers (who have the #3 pick). The Sixers are expected to use their #1 pick for University of Washington Guard Markelle Fultz. The draft takes place Thursday the 22nd, 7 pm ET.

In other trade news, Indiana Pacers Paul George reportedly told the team he will leave in 2018 to become a free agent and will play instead for the Los Angeles Lakers. According to Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, “George can sign a four-year deal worth as much as $130 million with Los Angeles next year. George is a Southern California native and playing for the Lakers would represent a homecoming for him. George plans to play out the 2017-18 season with Indiana, but wants to give the organization the chance to plan appropriately for its future – which George told the team won’t include him”. If George does go to the Lakers in 2018, the team should be in good shape as they’re expected to use their #2 pick in this year’s draft for Lonzo Ball.

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NCAA Suspends Pitino, 18 Pro Football Hall Of Famers Arrive In Israel

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The NCAA suspended Louisville basketball legend Rick Pitino for five games for failing to monitor an escort scandal involving recruited athletes. The school may have to forfeit their 2013 championship as well as their winning record during the time the “sex-for recruits scandal” took place. The story came out in 2015 when Katina Powell wrote a book about Louisville’s basketball program claiming she was paid to provide women (including her daughters) to entertain the recruits.

FOOTBALL

Interest in American football is growing rapidly in Israel, and the arrival this week of a group of Hall Famers certainly made a splash. New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft and the President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, David Baker are leading the delegation which includes Joe Montana, Roger Staubach, Jim Brown, Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis, Chris Carter, Joe Green, Bruce Smith and Jerome Bettis. 18 Hall of Famers embarked on the weeklong trip to the Holy Land called “Touchdown in Israel II-We are All Patriots”.  Kraft told the Associated Press, “I love football. I love Israel. I love America. I think kids in America would die to have this group of players come and view them. The game of football teaches you lessons in life that nothing else does.”

(photo credit:ALLON SINAI)

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Mickelson Missing Open For Daughter’s Graduation, Mayweather/McGregor Fight On

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It’s official, Phil Mickelson will drop out of the US Open. Mickelson had a scheduling conflict with his daughter’s high school graduation in California, but was hoping there might be a rain delay in Wisconsin allowing him to jump on his p plane and get there in time. Unfortunately for him, the weather looks great at the Open and his tee time is on schedule, forcing him to have to withdraw from the tournament (for the first time since 1993). He said he’ll have no regrets though, as his daughter is not only graduating, but also giving the commencement address.

BOXING

After years of trash talking, two of the biggest fighting champions will face each other. Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather will match up against UFC champion Conor McGregor on August 26th in Las Vegas. As a mixed martial arts competitor, McGregor will compete in the boxing ring against Mayweather who is an undefeated 49-0 and 12 years older than McGregor. After the fight was announced, McGregor took to social media and mocked Mayweather’s age by posting a photo of himself next to Mayweather’s father.

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Lonzo Claims He Can Beat Jordan One On One, Luck’s Shoulder Surgery

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Now that the NBA Finals are over, basketball fans are focusing on the upcoming NBA draft. And, of course, you can’t think of the draft without hearing about Lonzo Ball (and his controversial dad, LaVar). The Balls have been in the news the last few months (crazy statements about how great LaVar was and how unstoppable his sons are, the outrageous $495 dollar Baller shoes etc, etc). Recently LaVar and Lonzo were on Jimmy Kimmel stating they could both beat the LEGENDARY Michael Jordon one on one. Lonzo is hoping to become a Los Angeles Laker on June 22nd when the draft officially begins.

FOOTBALL

Indianapolis Colts fans are anxiously waiting to see when QB Andrew Luck will be ready to play. Luck had much needed shoulder surgery in January and is still unsure when he’ll be back on the field. He missed the first mandatory mini-camp, and said there’s no timetable yet for his return.

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Warriors Win NBA Championship, Durant MVP

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The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night to win their second NBA Championship in three years. After their devastating defeat last year against the Cavs (when Cleveland came back from a 3-1 deficit and beat Golden State), the Warriors were determed not to lose their lead. Not surprisingly, Kevin Durant was the unanimous choice for the Finals MVP. He averaged 35 points, eight rebounds and 5 assists during the Series. Durant had to deal with many critics when he left the Oklahoma City Thunder to play for the Warriors this season, but he was on a mission. He wanted an NBA title and he got it Monday night. As Durant reflected on his move to Golden State, he said “the camaraderie, just the togetherness of the whole organization. That’s what it was about. We just kept — I kept building on that from day one. So that’s what I found when I came here, and I definitely appreciate just the type of people we have here from the top to bottom. So a championship is just a cherry on top.” In one of the niceest moments right after the victory, Durant embraced LeBron in a show of respect, then couldn’t stop hugging his mom Wanda. Warriors 129, Cavaliers 120. CONGRATULATIONS GOLDEN STATE!

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Penguins Repeat Stanley Cup Champs, Warriors/Cavs Game 5, Tapwrit Wins Belmont, Nadal Makes History

HOCKEY

The Pittsburgh Penguins won the coveted Stanley Cup by beating the Nashville Predators in 6 games (4-2). With the win, the Penguins become the first team to repeat as Champions since the 1997 Detroit Red Wings.  Future Hall of Famer, Sidney Crosby won the Conn Smythe (most valuable player) award and is only the third player in NHL history to win the trophy in back to back seasons.

BASKETBALL

On Friday night the Cleveland Cavaliers snapped the Golden State Warriors 15 win playoff streak and staved off elimination. The best of seven series is now 3-1 with game 5 back in Oakland Monday night, 9:00 pm ET

Horse Racing

The first four finishers of the Belmont Stakes all ran in the Kentucky Derby, but skipped the second leg of the Triple Crown (the Preaknes) then came back for a strong showing in the Belmont on Saturday. Tapwrit (who finished 6th in the Derby) edged out Irish War Cry to win the 1 1/2 mile race.

TENNIS

Rafael Nadal made history on Sunday by winning the French Open and his 10th Grand Slam Title. The significance of the occasion was not lost on Nadal. He said through tears, “The adrenaline and nerves I feel on this court I can’t describe. This is the most important event in my career, without a doubt.”

 

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