Archive for June, 2018

South Korean Team May Serve In Military, World Cup Round Of 16

WORLD CUP

The South Korean soccer team stunned the world by beating defending champ Germany, but the team still failed to reach the round of 16 at the World Cup. Now, many of the athletes will have to serve their two-years in the military (as dictated by Korean law). Athletes and celebrities have received exemptions in the past, but there has been no indication these players will get their service waived. In a  petition sent to the President of South Korea, “(the players) gave us so much hope and their talent should not be wasted in the military.”

Now that we’re in the round of 16 at the World Cup, each match is single elimination (which makes it much easier to follow and understand which team advances). Here is a rundown of all the upcoming matches.

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Reigning Champ Germany Shocks World, Alderson Steps Down From Mets, Tebow Improving, George Opts Out, Hammon Moves Up

WORLD CUP

South Korea shocked the soccer world by defeating reigning champion Germany 2-0. With Sweden’s 3-0 win over Mexico, Germany will not advance past the first round for the first time since 1938.

BASEBALL

Sandy Alderson announced he’s stepping down as the GM of the New York Mets due to a cancer recurrence. He told reporters, “I feel badly that we’ve had the season that we have had to date. I feel personally responsible for the results that we’ve had. … It’s been an incredibly difficult situation. And I’m really disappointed with where we are — disappointed to leave Mets fans, basically, in this situation.”

In other Met news, former Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow is making a show in the Mets Double-A affiliate. It’s still doubtful he’ll get the call-up to the Majors, but according to the scouts and other Double-A managers, Tebow has shown improvement and a great work ethic.

BASKETBALL

Oklahoma City Thunder’s Paul George announced he will become an unrestricted free-agent giving up his $20.7 million salary with the team. He could still end up on the Thunder, but there are rumors he may sign with the Lakers. The Lakers are also interested in the Cavs’ LeBron James and San Antonio’s Kawhi Leonard.

The San Antonio Spurs promoted Becky Hammon to a front of the bench assistant where she’ll sit next to coach Gregg Popovich. She’s been on the Spurs coaching staff since 2014 and became the first full-time assistant coach in NBA history.

 

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Two Bodies Found, Williams Waiting On Seeding

OTHER

In two odd stories, a body was found in a walk-in beer cooler at the Atlanta Braves park before the first pitch on Tuesday. Reports indicate the man was a third-party contractor. Also on Tuesday, a body was found in the home of New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins. Reports indicate Jenkins was in Florida at his off-season residence. Police are investigating both situations.

TENNIS

Serena Williams is waiting to hear if she will get a seeding at Wimbledon. After maternity leave, Williams ranking fell to 453 (and has since climbed to 183), but the WTA is considering revising its seedings for women coming back from maternity leave. US Open (the final Grand Slam tournament of the year) officials are already considering the new policy. One such official said, “It’s the right thing to do for these mothers that are coming back,” and that “players should not be “penalized” for starting a family”. Williams has won the US Open 6 times.

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2018 NBA Awards: Harden MVP, Simmons Rookie Of Year, Fired Casey Coach Of Year

BASKETBALL

The 2018 NBA Awards broadcast Monday night captured the great performances from the regular season.  James Harden won the MVP after scoring an average of 30.4 points per games.  Oddly, LeBron James hasn’t won the award in the last 5 years. Harden didn’t prepare a speech in case he didn’t win. He said he wasn’t going to get emotional, but sounded a bit choked up when he thanked his mom,”I’m not going to get emotional but she is my backbone, good times, bad times… Sixth Man of the Year [in 2011-12] to the MVP. Shout out to all the [young players]. They got a dream. There is a vision out there. Go chase that dream. … I’ll see y’all next year!” It’s the first MVP award for Harden.

Philadelphia 76ers Ben Simmons won rookie of the year (even though fellow rookie Utah Jazz Donovan Mitchell harrassed Simmons all year by claiming he wasn’t a “true” rookie having sat out the 2016 season). Mitchell even arrived at the awards show in a van plastered with “Rookie?” on the side.

Indiana’s Victor Oladipo took home the most improved player award, and Utah’s Rudy Gobert won defensive player of the year.

Lou Williams won 6th man of the year for the second time in his career (first time in 2014). Drake wrote a song about him as the 6th man.

In the most awkward moment of the night, Dwayne Casey won Coach of the year for the Toronto Raptors, even though he was fired by the Raptors after having lost to the Cavaliers in the playoffs. Casey is now the head coach of the Detroit Pistons.

 

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Julian Edelman To Appeal Drug Suspension, Dodgers Slugfest

FOOTBALL

New England Patriots’ wide receiver, Julian Edelman, will appeal his 4 game drug suspension. According to reports, Edelman tested for a drug not on the League’s official list. If the ban is upheld, Edelman will miss games against the Texans, Jaguars, Lions and Dolphins. Edelman apologized to his fans and posted on twitter, “I am very sorry — I don’t know what happened,” Edelman wrote Friday on Instagram. “I’ve taken many, many tests, obviously, over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened. I apologize to the Kraft family, my coaches, teammates and fans. As this matter is being appealed, I can’t say anymore but no matter what, I will be ready to play and pursue another championship with our team and for Patriots fans around the world.”

 

BASEBALL

The Los Angeles Dodgers hitters came out strong in a slugfest win over the NY Mets on Sunday. In an 8-7 win, the Dodgers hit 7 solo home runs, tieing a record (set in 1900) for the most home runs by a team in a single game.

 

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Ayton, Bailey Go #1,#2 In Draft, Atlanta And Dallas Big Trade, LeBron’s Dialogue With Cavs, Winston Suspended

BASKETBALL

Mock drafts are now irrelevant and the wait is finally over.  The NBA draft rolled out last night with the first two picks as expected. Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bailey III went #1 and #2 to the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings respectively. Then, the night got interesting. The Atlanta Hawks picked Luka Doncic, but  minutes later traded him to Dallas for Trae Young (the 5th pick in the draft) along with a 2019 first-round pick. Michael Porter Jr (formerly a #1  prospect) provided the other big surprise of the night when he fell to #14 due to concerns about his injuries. For a list of all the trades, click here.

In addition to analyzing the best and worst picks of the draft, we’re still focused on what LeBron James will do. He has until June 29th to decide to become an unrestricted free agent or exercise his $35.6 million contract option.  The Cavaliers GM Koby Altman has been communicating with LeBron and trying to keep him in Cleveland. He told reporters  “We continue to have good dialogue with his management team. I think LeBron has more than earned the right to approach his contracts the way he does.” Alabama guard Collin Sexton, the Cavs 8th pick in the draft, immediately started lobbying for LeBron to stay.

FOOTBALL

After an 8th month investigation, Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston will be suspended for 3 games at the start of the NFL season for reportedly groping an Uber driver in March of 2016. As a quarterback at Florida State in 2012, Winston was accused of rape but no charges were filed, and he became the #1 overall pick in the NFL draft in 2015.

 

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Kawhi Meets With Popovich, Mock Drafts, Brady Posts Cuarenta y cinco

BASKETBALL

The basketball world has been talking about Kawhi Leonard wanting out of San Antonio. To add to the rumors, Leonard met with coach Gregg Popovich on Tuesday to speak about his future.  Kawhi suffered from a quadriceps tendinopathy injury this season causing him to miss 73 regular season games and playoff games and creating a divide with the team. At 26 years old, Leonard will be a free-agent next year and has expressed a desire to head to his hometown of LA and possibly sign with the Lakers (or even the Clippers).  With the NBA draft on Thursday (and everyone also wondering where LeBron ends up), the Leonard situation remains fluid and interesting.  LeBron, for his part, isn’t likely to announce what he’ll do until after the draft. He has until June 29th to decide if he’ll exercise his $35.6 million contract option for next season or become an unrestricted free agent.

After weeks of mock drafts, the actual draft takes place Thursday night at 7:00 pm ET on ESPN. Many draft experts expect Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley III and Luka Doncic to go to Phoenix, Sacramento and Atlanta respectively.

FOOTBALL

With the basketball world focused on the mock draft, the football world seems focused on when New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady plans to retire. In an interview with Oprah on Sunday, Brady said,”As long as I’m still loving it. As long as I’m loving the training and preparation and willing to make the commitment. But it’s also, I think what I’ve alluded to a lot in the [‘Tom vs. Time’] docuseries was there’s other things happening in my life, too. I do have kids that I love, and I don’t want to be a dad that’s not there driving my kids to their games,” And, then adding to the speculation, Brady posted on Instagram “Cuarenta y cinco” which means 45 in Spanish.

 

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Caster Semenya Challenges Testosterone Ruling, World Cup Schedule

TRACK AND FIELD

South Africa’s Caster Semenya, a two-time gold medalist in the women’s 800 meters, will challenge  the “Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification” of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).” The regulations require women to submit to testing in order to reduce or limit their testosterone levels to maintain an even playing field for all athletes.  Semenya had to undergo gender testing in 2009 but was cleared to run 11 months later.

WORLD CUP

Not sure what to watch and when to watch it, click here for the schedule and everything you need to know about the 32 teams competing in the World Cup.

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Crazy Saturday At Shinnecock, Mickelson Runs After Putt, Koepka Wins US Open, Iceland & Mexico Stuns

GOLF

Saturday was a crazy day at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, NY leading many golfers to vocally criticize the USGA about the conditions of the course and the unfairness of playing early in the day vs late in the day when the winds from the Long Island Sound swept in and wreaked havoc. Daniel Berger and Tony Finau cruised to the top of the leaderboard partly because they played a different course then those heading into the day on top. Berger and Finau teed off before the winds swept in and went from 11 shots down to 3 over. The most stunning part of the day came on the 13th green when Phil Mickelson ran after his putt (which looked like it was going to roll off the green) and hit it before it stopped moving (which is a big no-no). He received a two-stroke penalty. The golf world was stunned. Listen to the commentators as they are watching the shot!

On Sunday, Brooks Koepka scored a final round 68 to win the 118th U.S. Open, making him the first back-to-back champion since 1988 when Curtis Strange held the honor.

WORLD CUP

In World Cup news over the weekend, a couple of big surprises. Newcomer, Iceland tied powerhouse Argentina, and Mexico stunned the world by beating reigning champion Germany.

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Bear Plays Vuvuzela, Russia Wins First Match, Open Underway With High Winds

WORLD CUP

World Cup madness has officially begun, and for the next month, fans will celebrate or cry, and we’ll hear that annoying vuvuzela (in fact, during a pre-game parade in Moscow, an actual Bear was playing the instrument while riding a float, creating an angry outpouring on twitter). The Russian National team, ranked last among the 32 teams in the tournament, kicked off the first day with a 5-0 win over an equally low ranked Saudi Arabia. President Putin was clearly happy and interrupted the coach’s post-game conference with a congratulatory call. Coach Stanislav Cherchesov said Putin asked him “to share his thanks with the team for their performance we put on. And he asked the team to continue playing like this.”

GOLF

The 118 U.S. Open is underway and after the first day with brutal 20 mph winds, some of the golfing greats including Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, and Rory McIlroy had a rough start. The final round of the Open at Shinnecock Hills, NY is always scheduled to fall on Father’s Day. Follow all the action by clicking here.

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