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Raptors, Blues Celebrate Championships, Rose Leads US Open, Dodgers, Astros Dominate MLB

Sports That Matters

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June 14th, 2019

Welcome back have a great weekend!

Congratulations to the Toronto Raptors for winning the NBA Championship for the first time!

1. What’s New

The Associated Press

Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

Kawhi Leonard and the Toronto Raptors captured the country’s first major title in 26 years with their most remarkable road win yet in the franchise’s NBA Finals debut, outlasting the battered and depleted two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors 114-110 on Thursday night in a Game 6 for the ages.

Authorities will push for a battery charge against Toronto Raptors President Masai Ujiri after the executive was accused of pushing and hitting a sheriff’s deputy in the face as he tried to get onto the court when his team won the NBA title in Oakland.

Klay Thompson sustained a torn ACL in his left knee during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, more heartbreaking injury news for the Golden State Warriors after Kevin Durant ruptured his right Achilles tendon and had surgery.

The Golden State Warriors plan to offer Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both maximum contracts, despite the possibility that neither will play in the 2019-’20 season.

After two injury-riddled seasons with the Boston Celtics, 27-year-old six-time All-Star guard Kyrie Irving has now fired his longtime agent and is looking to sign with Roc Nation, the entertainment conglomerate and pro sports agency founded by hip-hop superstar Shawn Carter, better known as Jay-Z.

The Washington Wizards could be the third team in the Anthony Davis deal, with the Lakers and Pelicans supposedly interested in acquiring the Wizards’ prized shooting guard, Bradley Beal.

Philadelphia 76ers wing Jimmy Butler has reportedly decided to opt out of his contract for the 2019-20 season. Primarily linked to the Brooklyn Nets and his current Sixers team, Butler is reportedly now showing interest in the Miami Heat.

Kentucky coach John Calipari has signed a 10-year contract extension through 2029 worth $86 million that includes an option in the sixth year to step down and become a special assistant to the athletic director or university representative.

The BIG3 just locked up a new deal between the league and State Farm, the insurance company is set to become the official insurer of the professional 3-on-3 basketball league.

Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

There has been a narrative circulating around NFL circles since the Super Bowl that the Los Angeles Rams may not be committed to quarterback Jared Goff. Head Coach Sean McVay did everything he could to play down that thought.

Pat Bowlen, who transformed the team from also-rans into NFL champions and helped the league usher in billion-dollar television deals, died late Thursday, just under two months before his enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was 75.

After trying and failing to lure Nick Caserio from New England, the Texans have decided not to hire anyone at all, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Instead, head coach Bill O’Brien will team up with Executive Vice President of Team Development Jack Easterby to handle the personnel duties, in consultation with the Texans’ scouting department.

Rob Gronkowski was surrounded by retirement rumors for the past few years in the NFL, but even after officially announcing he was hanging up his cleats last March, the future Hall of Famer still can’t seem to avoid the rumor mill.

Jarvis Landry doesn’t believe recent harsh comments quarterback Baker Mayfield made about disgruntled running back Duke Johnson will affect chemistry for a Cleveland team dealing with high expectations.

Former Ohio State now Washington Redskins quarterback was seen as an absolute steal. Redskins head coach Jay Gruden noted that he believes Dwayne Haskins has earned an opportunity to vie for the starting job as a rookie.

Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves on an absolute roll as we head into the dog days of summer. They enter this weekend’s action with a 46-23 record and having won 20 of their past 27 games.

Over in the American League, the Houston Astros boast an identical 46-23 mark and have won 26 of their past 35 games since a ho-hum start to the regular season.

Justin Verlander added to his Cooperstown resume in a big way. The former Cy Young winner and seven-time All-Star struck out a career-high 15 batters in seven innings against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday evening. All 15 strikeouts were of the swinging variety, putting Verlander in an elite group.

After playing without their All-Star second baseman for over a month, Jose Altuve is taking the final big step before a potential return to the Houston Astros.

It’s looking more likely that the shooting of David Ortiz wasn’t an isolated act but rather a premeditated plan to murder the Boston Red Sox legend.

Oakland Athletics outfielder Stephen Piscotty had to deal with a significant health scare that will lead to a brief absence from baseball activities. A routine spot check turned up a suspicious mole on Piscotty’s right ear, and it tested positive for melanoma. Piscotty underwent surgery to remove the melanoma, and is expected to miss about a week.

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is set to join Giancarlo Stanton on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

The Phillies announced today that they have selected the contract of recently acquired infielder Brad Miller. In a corresponding move, Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment.

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols joined an elite group of power hitters during Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo hoists the Stanley Cup after defeating the Boston Bruins in Game 7. (Photo: Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports)

The 41.8 rating in St. Louis for St. Louis Blues / Boston Bruins Game 7 exceeded the market’s rating for Super Bowl LIII (2019), which delivered a 39.8 rating for Rams-Patriots.

Jordan Binnington is expected to receive a lucrative contract after the goalie helped the St. Louis Blues win the Stanley Cup for the first time, general manager Doug Armstrong said Friday.

Zdeno Chara the 21-year veteran revealed Friday, two days after his Bruins fell to the Blues at home in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, that he suffered “multiple fractures” of his jaw during the championship series, confirming previous reports that he had suffered a broken jaw after taking a deflected puck to the face in Game 4.

The New York Islanders inked forward Jordan Eberle to a five-year deal, the club announced Friday. The contract will carry an average annual value of $5.5 million, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland expects Connor McDavid to be ready for the start of training camp after suffering a knee injury in the team’s regular-season finale in April. McDavid injured his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) after crashing into the post at nearly full speed but didn’t require surgery.

The Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals have swapped veteran defensemen ahead of the 2019 NHL offseason, with this year’s Metropolitan Division champions acquiring Radko Gudas in exchange for Matt Niskanen, a member of their 2018 Stanley Cup championship team.

Justin Rose

Photo: Justin Rose Dot Com

Justin Rose still has the lead at the U.S. Open after finishing the second round. Rose shot 1-under 70 to reach the halfway point at Pebble Beach at 7 under good for a two-shot lead over Aaron Wise, who shot 71, and a group of three heading out to the course to play in the afternoon.

A post-round practice session is common for Brooks Koepka. He even had one after the second round of the PGA Championship, where he shot the lowest score in major history and held a seven-shot lead.

Matt Kuchar’s reputation took a major hit when a story emerged this year that he paid his fill-in Mexican caddie only $5,000 after winning a tournament that earned him nearly $1.3 million. It wasn’t helped by a flap with Sergio Garcia at the Match Play event in March.

Statista has put out its annual list of top athlete endorsers and of the Top 10, three are golfers, two are tennis players, three are basketball players and two are soccer players. 

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was ranked toward the bottom of the pack at No. 81. According to Forbes, he earned $27 million in 2018, with endorsements worth $12 million and a $15 million-per-year salary. He may be one of the highest-paid quarterbacks (as well as one of the wealthiest athletes anywhere, with a total net worth estimated at $180 million, as of 2018), but he’s not even the best-paid athlete in New England.

Mike Francesa finished first overall in the New York-area radio ratings in May among men ages 25-54 for over-the-air and streaming audiences combined, according to data from Nielsen Audio covering the period April 25 to May 22.

Andrei Silnov, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist in the high jump, left his post as senior vice-president of the Russian track and field federation and will no longer sit on its board.

Wanda Sports Group has been listed on Nasdaq with an eye on raising funds and awareness ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing, and to aid coverage of the event with a growing interest in China.

In the first 24 hours after opening up deposits for season tickets, Austin FC received over 30,000. 

FIFA presidential adviser Zvonimir Boban is returning to the club closest to his heart, AC Milan, as its chief football officer.

Inspired by Canada’s first NBA title, the country’s national women’s soccer team is aiming to emulate the Toronto Raptors’ magical run.

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