It’s been two weeks since the NFL has begun its sleep. Today, even Premier League soccer decided to take a nap, but that doesn’t mean the fun has ceased. The NBA was the peak of the best headlines this weekend, along with some interesting features from Spanish soccer in La Liga and the start of the Pakistan Super League in cricket. Along with that, off the field, plenty of headlines to read were made in the NFL and the MLB.
All-Star game (RahimAli Merchant):
The best part about NBA All-Star weekend is the All-Star game, where we have two teams full of the best players in the NBA playing for a charity and the excitement of the fans. And boy was it a good one. Team LeBron beat Team Giannis 178-164 after shooting 35 of 90 from three and coming back from 18 down.
Team Giannis took control 53-37 early in the first quarter behind team captain Giannis Antetokounmpo and his Bucks teammate Khris Middleton with a combined 28 points. Giannis finished with 38 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in a losing effort. Team LeBron was led by Kevin Durant with 31 points on 10-for-15 shooting, scoring 11 in the fourth quarter and winning his second All-Star MVP.
Sonya Curry keeps it in the family:
To start off the All-Star Weekend, basketball players Stephen and Seth Curry, along with some members from their families, competed in basketball challenges, including a layup, a free throw, a 3-pointer and a half-court shot. In the dire final minutes, Stephen and Seth’s mother, Sonya Curry completed the half-court shot, erupting celebration and discussion within the family. Afterward, Sonya’s husband, Dell Curry told ESPN “She told me she was going to make it — she called it. I was shocked, surprised, amazed.”
Sonya herself was having a bit of fun with her children as she jokingly trash-talked her children before scoring, but Seth could simply call it a “lucky shot”.
Kyle Kuzma shows off with MVP in Rising Stars game:
In the recent past, Team USA hasn’t been as successful against Team World, but this time, thanks to Kyle Kuzma, Team USA was able to find a 161-144 win. Kuzma was able to win MVP through the people’s vote with his all-time high 35 points, 14 coming in the first quarter.
Dunk Contest/Skills Challenge:
Not only is Hamidou Diallo good at dunking, but he’s extremely impressive at it. Diallo managed to dunk over Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal, who is 7’1″, all while wearing a Superman shirt underneath his OKC jersey.
In the skills challenge, Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics won after scoring a half-court shot against Trae Young. Tatum went behind in the layup portion, but then came back to seal the victory.
Curry brothers’ bet:
When you have money, why not spice things up a bit? In the three-point scoring contest, the Curry brothers wanted to add more to the prize other than just the name. The winner would have to buy tickets for the family to their matches when they play each other for the entirety of their careers. Stephen Curry ended up winning the bet, so have fun, Seth!
It was quite an interesting Sunday in Daytona, with a huge crash that wiped out most of the field and led to an emotional win by Denny Hamlin.
It was Hamlin’s second career Daytona 500 win, but this one meant more, as he dedicated the win to J.D. Gibbs. Read more about that in the NFL section
Former NFL Coach Joe Gibbs touched by support:
Though he’s not on the NFL field anymore, Joe Gibbs and his son are now involved in NASCAR. Unfortunately, this weekend, between Gibbs and his son J.D. Gibbs, only one remains. J.D. Gibbs, unfortunately, passed away after his battle with a degenerative neurological disease. He was 49 years of age. His father expressed his gratitude to the support he’s received from the NASCAR community. Denny Hamlin, a NASCAR driver, pledged $111 for every lap he led on Sunday, as 11 was J.D.’s favorite number to the J.D. Gibbs Legacy Fund.
Colin Kaepernick settles grievances against NFL:
Kaepernick has won. The NFL has agreed to pay him an undisclosed fee after going through the court. Although technically the NFL didn’t admit to trying to prevent Kaepernick from playing, this is the one case in which the NFL didn’t walk away unscathed. This does open up opportunities now for Kaepernick to play football again, and some teams, such as the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Carolina Panthers could be looking for a new quarterback (though his agent thinks he could sign for the New England Patriots as well).
Two of baseball’s best still available:
Both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still available to be signed, though they might be close to a deal. CBS reports that Harper is extremely close to finalizing a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies, while Manny Machado is on the verge of signing a $240 million, eight-year deal with the San Diego Padres.
Real Madrid’s title challenge halted:
Third placed Real Madrid was six points off of first-placed Barcelona in La Liga, but now the lead’s nine. While Barcelona won their match against Valladolid 1-0, Real Madrid lost to 15th placed Girona 2-1, thanks to Girona goals by Christhian Stuani and Portu. However, along in the process, Real Madrid captain and defender Sergio Ramos received his 19th red card, breaking the record for most La Liga red cards.
Melbourne Stars let the BBL title slip in horrifying fashion:
After rivals Melbourne Renegades put up a short total of 145-5, Melbourne Stars were cruising to victory. Then the worst batting collapse in Big Bash League history happened. After Ben Dunk and Marcus Stoinis put up a 93-run partnership, the Stars lost seven wickets for 29 runs. For the Renegades, Dan Christain, Cameron Boyce and Chris Tremain each picked up two wickets a piece with Harry Gurney having the seventh.
Shahid Afridi fights champions Islamabad United for win:
On a new, green surface in Dubai, Multan Sultans used their bowling strength to restrict Islamabad United to 125-7. Despite Luke Ronchi’s 51(33), Junaid Khan, Shahid Afridi and Ali Shafiq still managed to grab two wickets each. However, the run chase wasn’t easy for Multan. It took Multan 18 overs to chase 126 thanks to the bowling of Faheem Ashraf and Samit Patel. However, captain Shoaib Malik’s 31(29)* and Afridi’s final two sixes won Multan the match.
Lahore Qalandars fight for win vs. Karachi Kings:
After the Karachi Kings restricted Lahore Qalandars to 138-6, it didn’t make sense that Karachi lost. Of Lahore’s six wickets, two were taken by 19-year old Umer Khan, who took the wickets of Sohail Akhtar and AB de Villiers, and one each by Mohammad Amir and Sikandar Raza. But Lahore’s bowling on Saturday was something else. Unplayable fast bowling it seemed. All ten of Karachi’s wickets were at the hands of seam bowlers, one for Hardus Viljoen, two for poster-boy Shaheen Afridi, three for veteran Rahat Ali, and best of all, four for emerging player Haris Rauf. Karachi was skittled for 116 off 19.5 overs and sit fifth in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) table (Lahore are still sixth).
Quetta Gladiators remain top; Islamabad face batting questions:
Things didn’t start well for Islamabad in their second match Sunday morning when Sohail Tanveer took the wicket of Luke Ronchi on the first ball. Trying to cut it for four past third man first ball, Ahmed Shehzad hunted the catch and Ronchi, and practically the entire Islamabad team, was sent back to the pavilion. Despite being 8-3 at one period, thanks to Hussain Talat 30(18) and Asif Ali 36(27), Islamabad managed to push past the 100 mark for a total of 157-8. Tanveer finished off with four wickets while Pakistani-born Australian Fawad Ahmed’s leg-spin added three.
In the second innings, Quetta Gladiators felt virtually no pressure. Shane Watson came to the show with his 81 off 55 not out and Umar Akmal maturely assisted again in the form of his 44 off 28. Quetta won by seven wickets.
Lahore no match for fiery Peshawar Zalmi:
Hasan Ali: injured knee, bowls three overs, takes four wickets. Lahore was sent to bat first and managed the second-lowest PSL total of 78 (the lowest total of 59 also belongs to Lahore). Along with Ali’s four, Wahab Riaz took three wickets and 20-year old leg-spinner Ibtisam Sheikh picked up the two wickets of Viljoen and Hassan Khan. Peshawar Zalmi chased the target down in ten overs thanks to Umar Amin’s carnage in his 61 off 39 not out.
Losses by top 25 teams:
24 Maryland to 6 Michigan (65-52)
18 Kansas State to 23 Iowa State (78-64)
1 Tennessee to 5 Kentucky (86-69) 13 Villanova to St. John’s (71-65)