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June 30, Week in Sports

June 30, Week in Sports

:: DERRICK ROSE, NO. 1 PICK IN NBA DRAFT (Pro. Basketball)

:: SPAIN WINS EURO 2008 (Int’l Soccer)

:: WILLIAMS SISTERS ADVANCE AT WIMBLEDON (Tennis)

———-

ROSE-Y FUTURE FOR CHICAGO BULLS

The Chicago Bulls selected Derrick Rose with the no. 1 pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. With the pick, the Bulls put to an end the weeks of speculation about whether they would take Rose or Michael Beasley with the first overall draft pick.

Rose, a native Chicagoan, will return to his home town to play for the team he grew up watching. Home probably feels a bit different for Rose, who returned to Chicago on Friday $10 million richer, throwing out the first pitch at the Cubs-Sox game.

As expected Michael Beasley went to the Miami Heat with the second pick of the draft. There were also a number of draft day trades. The most notable trade involved the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies, who engineered a trade to swap draft picks O.J. Mayo and Kevin Love, respectively.

Quote of the Week: “It feels great to go in and compete. I’m just blessed to be in that position right now, because a lot of people aren’t. And just knowing that we are a few pieces away from really contending as a team, it just makes me happy.” — Derrick Rose

Further Reading:Chicago Bulls pick Derrick Rose with first pick in NBA draft” — K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune


———-

¡VIVA ESPANA!

Spain defeated Germany 1-0 in the Euro 2008 Finals, a soccer tournament between European countries played once every four years.

While Spain attracts some of the top soccer talent in the world for the Spanish league, their national team also has a reputation for collapsing on the international stage. Before Sunday’s win, Spain had not won a major international tournament in 44 years. Spain’s one goal came from Fernando Torres, who normally plays in the English Premier League for Liverpool. Torres’ goal came in the middle of the first half, and that was all the Spanish team needed to outlast the powerful German squad.

Quote of the Week: “Torres was taken off in the 78th minute, with his job already done in waking the sleeping giants of European football.”

Further Reading:Party On, Spain!” — ESPN

———-

SISTER, SISTER

Sisters Venus and Serena Williams both advanced to the second round of competition at Wimbledon. Wimbledon, the third of the four Grand Slam events, is one of the most important tournaments of the year.

The Williams sisters’ success this year has brought a great deal of attention, in part because they are two of the biggest names in tennis, but also because Americans have struggled greatly at the tournament thus far. All of the American men in singles, including Andy Roddick, have been knocked out of the competition. Other big name players who were upset early in the tournament include Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, and Maria Sharapova. The Williams sisters are both favored in their upcoming matches.

While many of the world’s top players have already been knocked out, rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal remain in the competition. Nadal recently defeated Federer at the French Open, but Wimbledon is a grass court, and defending champion Federer is the world’s best player on grass.


Quote of the Week: “The epidemic of upset fever at Wimbledon this year has yet to prove contagious to the Williams sisters.” — Christopher Clarey, New York Times

Further Reading: Williams Sisters Find the Grass Is Greener” — Christopher Clarey, New York Times

———-

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK

:: TENNIS – Wimbledon, one of the biggest tournaments in professional tennis, is currently underway. It goes through July 6th.

———-

ALL-SPORTS UPDATE

 

ACTIVE SEASON

:: BASEBALL

MLB (Pro. Baseball): Baseball season is in full swing, but it is a long season, and teams tend to measure their success month by month. The All-Star break takes place the second week of July. By then, teams’ records will be a good indicator of how well they are performing this season. [Official MLB Website]

———-

:: GOLF

MEN’S GOLF: While there are professional tournaments throughout the year, the most important tournaments are the four Major Championships: The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open (The British Open), and the PGA Championship. Now that the U.S. Open is over, the next event is the Open (also known as the British Open), which is played in July. [Official PGA Website]

NOTABLE PLAYERS: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson

———-

:: TENNIS

MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TENNIS: While there are professional tournaments throughout the year, the most important tournaments of the year are the four Grand Slam tournaments: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. Wimbledon is currently underway, running through July 6th. [USTA Website]

NOTABLE PLAYERS: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic

———-

OFFSEASON

:: BASKETBALL

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL (College): Now that the tournament is over, college basketball news will focus on which players leave their schools for the NBA, and which college teams land the premier high-school players for next season. [CBS Sports]

———-

:: FOOTBALL

NFL (Pro. Football): The pre-season begins in August, and the regular season begins in September. [Official NFL Website]

NCAA FOOTBALL (College): Practice sessions for college football begin in summer, and the regular season begins in August. [NCAA Football, ESPN]

———-

:: HOCKEY

NHL (Pro. Hockey): The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals, completing the 2007-08 season. [Official NHL Website]

———-


:: BASKETBALL

NBA (Pro. Basketball): The Celtics defeated the Lakers to win the NBA Finals, ending the 2008 season. [Official NBA Website]

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May 26, Week in Sports

May 26, Week in Sports

:: SCOTT DIXON WINS INDY 500 (Auto Racing)

:: CHICAGO BULLS WIN FIRST DRAFT PICK (Pro. Basketball)

:: PITTSBURGH PENGUINS PLAY DETROIT RED WINGS FOR STANLEY CUP (Pro. Hockey)

———-

GOT MILK? DIXON WINS INDY 500

On Sunday afternoon, driver Scott Dixon won the Indianapolis 500–one of the most historical and important races of the year for motorsports enthusiasts.

Dixon started out the race in pole position (first), but he was losing to Vitor Meira with fewer than 30 laps left to go. However, Dixon beat Meira out of the final pit stop and was able to hold on for his first Indianapolis 500 victory. Following his victory, Dixon drank a bottle of milk on the track, as is customary for winners of the Indy 500.

The day was full of accidents, and tempers flared as reckless driving knocked some of the sport’s top drivers out of contention. About halfway through the race, Marco Andretti accidentally forced his own teammate, Tony Kanaan, into a wall. Late in the race, Ryan Briscoe hit Danica Patrick in pit row, and Patrick was seen fuming along the track until track personnel guided her away. Helio Castroneves finished the race in fourth place.

Quote of the Week: “He’d better be [sorry]. That was a very stupid move. Me being a good teammate, I didn’t want to turn into him and take out two cars. So I give up today.” — Tony Kanaan, on Andretti apologizing after knocking him out of the race

Further Reading:Pole sitter Dixon races to first Indianapolis 500 victory” — Associated Press, via ESPN


———-

LUCKY LOTTO: BULLS TAKE FIRST OVERALL PICK

On May 20th, the NBA held their annual lottery to determine the order of picks for this year’s draft. The Chicago Bulls, who only had a 1.7 percent chance of winning the NBA lottery, were the surprise winners, taking home the first overall pick in the draft.

The NBA Draft is more important than the draft in any other sport–sometimes the addition of a single player can entirely change a team’s future, as it did when the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted LeBron James in 2003. The order of the draft is roughly determined in the reverse order of teams’ success the year before. That is to say, the worst teams have the best odds of getting the highest draft picks. But to discourage losing deliberately, the worst teams are not guaranteed the top draft picks. Since the odds were overwhelmingly against the Bulls, though, their winning the NBA lottery was big news.

The Bulls will either take Memphis guard Derrick Rose or Kansas State power forward Michael Beasley with the first pick of the draft. Both players are exceptional, and both could fill major needs for the lucky Bulls organization. The Chicago sports media were also tremendously lucky, since they are now guaranteed to have a topic to debate every day until the June 26th draft takes place.

Quote of the Week: “I understand this was pure luck. Now we have to do our job.” — John Paxon, Bulls GM

Further Reading:A No. 1-track mind” — K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune


———-

PENGUINS FLOUNDER FIRST NIGHT IN HOCKEYTOWN


The Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins are currently playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, the most important event of the National Hockey League season. The Red Wings won the first game, defeating the Pens by a crushing score of 4-0.

This is considered a high-profile match-up for fans of the sport, since it pits Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby, one of the biggest stars of the league, against the Red Wings, one of the most storied franchises in the sport and a perennial contender. The NHL continues to struggle to draw casual fans to the sport, but league officials hope that a championship with this kind of intensity will help to get people to watch the games.

Game One of Stanley Cup Finals was played in Detroit (a.k.a. Hockeytown) on Saturday. Pittsburgh hopes to bounce back from the devastating opening loss when they play Game Two on Monday night.

Quote of the Week: “If a matchup ever was going to capture the attention of the casual sports fan and make the NHL matter during its showcase event, this seems to be the one to do it.” — Associated Press

Further Reading: First-period power-play failures come back to haunt Penguins” — Dave Molinari, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

———-

WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK

:: BASKETBALL The Conference Finals match-ups (Boston/Detroit and San Antonio/Los Angeles) continue this week. The full schedules are available at www.nba.com.

:: HOCKEY – The Stanley Cup Finals continue this week, with games scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

:: TENNIS – The French Open, the second Grand Slam event of the year, started this week and runs through June 8th.
———-

ALL-SPORTS UPDATE

 

ACTIVE SEASON

:: BASEBALL

MLB (Pro. Baseball): Baseball season is in full swing, but it is a long season, so teams tend to measure their success month by month. The All-Star break takes place the second week of July. By then, teams’ records will be a good indicator of how well they are performing this season. [Official MLB Website]

———-

:: BASKETBALL

NBA (Pro. Basketball): The NBA conference finals continue this week. The winners of those two best-of-seven series will face off in the NBA playoffs. [Official NBA Website]

———-

:: GOLF

MEN’S GOLF: While there are professional tournaments throughout the year, the most important tournaments are the four Major Championships: The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open (The British Open), and the PGA Championship. Now that the Masters is over, the next event will be the U.S. Open, which is played in the month of June. [Official PGA Website]

NOTABLE PLAYERS: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els

———-

:: HOCKEY

NHL (Pro. Hockey): The Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins are currently battling in the Stanley Cup Finals. [Official NHL Website]

———-

:: TENNIS

MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TENNIS: While there are professional tournaments throughout the year, the most important tournaments of the year are the four Grand Slam tournaments: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. The French Open is currently underway. The next event is Wimbledon, which runs from June 23rd to July 6th. [USTA Website]

NOTABLE PLAYERS: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova

———-

OFFSEASON

:: BASKETBALL

NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL (College): Now that the tournament is over, college basketball news will focus on which players leave their schools for the NBA, and which college teams land the premier high-school players for next season. [CBS Sports]

———-

:: FOOTBALL

NFL (Pro. Football): The pre-season begins in August, and the regular season begins in September. [Official NFL Website]

NCAA FOOTBALL (College): Practice sessions for college football begin in summer, and the regular season begins in August. [NCAA Football, ESPN]

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