SPORTS

how to talk about sports this week like a pro

TWIST: This Week in Sports Talk is our weekly recap of how to talk about sports this week like a pro. If you’re just starting to learn about sports, or need a quick summary of what’s up in your favorite league, or just want to know why your spouse keeps obsessively checking the sports scores, read on. Believe it or not, sports news can be fun! Here’s what you need to know to talk with a sports fan the week of March 10, 2019.

how to talk with a sports fan this week

we begin with girl power – and an unlikely love story

There’s a lot of love being shared in the sports world this week, dear reader. Who says romance and sports can’t occasionally occupy the same space? But first, there’s news of female superhero – and no, we’re not talking about Captain Marvel.

she got game

Jaden Newman is a 13-year old 8th grader who has been playing basketball at the high school level for several years. She broke the record for the youngest player to reach 1,000 points at the high school level when she was in 6th grade. Recently, she scored 70 points in a game and tied the record for 3-point shots made in a single game, at 17. She is averaging 45.7 points per game this year. And she once beat Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry in a 3-point shooting contest. First woman in the NBA? Watch your back, boys.

Jaden Newman

baby, you can drive my car

An NFL bromance between New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (TB12) and New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) seems to have advanced to the next level this week. Previously, the two players had been bantering back and forth on Instagram, to the delight of many avid fans. But this week, the whole world began to take notice.

TB12 posted an image of his kids watching the sunset, upon which OBJ commented “Love u brother.” Days later, TB12 posted an image of the new Aston Martin that debuted at the Geneva Motor Show (he’s one of the brand’s sponsors). TB12’s teammate Julian Edelman posted: “Still waiting for my car, bro.” To which OBJ chimed in: “Waitin’ for mine too, SHEESH!” 

Pats fans went beserk when TB12 replied Come to Foxboro for a test drive. Wut??? Is OBJ heading for New England? Watch this space for further updates. So. Cute.

Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots talks with Odell Beckham #13 of the New York Giants. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

jenny and her rock

This weekend, Jennifer Lopez and former Yankee Alex Rodriguez (you may know them as J-Lo and A-Rod) announced their engagement. The news came with a photo of a truly enormous diamond engagement ring. Estimated value? $1 million. Nice ice, baby.

Jennifer Lopez’s Engagement Ring

what you need to know to talk about sports this week 

For Those Who Do Not Avidly Follow Professional Sports and Want to Be Able to Talk to a Sports Fan, here are the happenings that you should know about for the week of March 10, 2019:

1. nba

must know:

LA Laker LeBron James (LBJ) has passed Michael Jordan (MJ) on the all-time points scored list. He’s now number 4, and the three players ahead of him all played with the Lakers, interestingly: Kobe Bryant, Malone, and Kareem Abdul Jabaar. On his current pace, LBJ could get to number one by the end of the 20/21 season. Cue the ongoing debate over who is the Greatest of All Time (the GOAT). Most think MJ is still the GOAT. Two months ago, LBJ reflected on the first time he met MJ, his childhood idol, as a high school prospect in 2001. “It was godly,” James said.

LeBron James and Michael Jordan

nice to know:

While LBJ achieves new personal milestones, his team the Lakers continue to sink. As of this posting, the Lakers are 6.5 games behind the number 8 team in the West. And teams have to be in the top 8 of either the Western or Eastern Conference to enter the playoffs. Right now, it seems highly unlikely the Lakers and LBJ make it to the playoffs. If that happens, it will be the first time in 13 seasons that LBJ has not played in the playoffs.

extra credit:

Meanwhile, the Golden State Warriors are heating up. Denver, Houston, Portland and Oklahoma City are looking good in the West. In the East, the Bucks, Raptors, Pacers, Sixers and Celtics are in the top 5. Personally, we’re happy to see the Celts somewhat snap out of their recent funk.

And in aging sports star news, 42-year old and 8-time all-star Vince Carter – now with the Atlanta Hawks – is looking to play next year. It would be his 22nd season in the NBA. Carter is currently shooting a career best 40.9% from 3-point land. Don’t count the dude out just yet.

Vince Carter

2. major league baseball

must know:

MLB opening day is the earliest one ever this year. The 2019 Major League regular season will begin with the Japan Opening Series, featuring the Oakland Athletics hosting the Seattle Mariners at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on March 20-21. Traditional Opening Day, featuring all 30 Major League Clubs, will take place on Thursday, March 28.

nice to know:

The $330-million man Bryce Harper started batting practice with his new team this week. Sales of his new Philadelphia Phillies jersey broke the all time record for a 48-hour sale period. Sadly, at a press conference, he misspoke and said he’s looking forward to bringing a World Series Win to the Nationals. Oops.

In related news, Harper may be fined for tampering as he seems to be publicly trying to recruit LA Angels center fielder Mike Trout to the Phillies. The Phillies are Trout’s boyhood team. But he still has 2 years left on his Angels contract before becoming a free agent. People are already speculating that Trout’s new contract could eclipse $400 million. How big is your checkbook, Philly?

Mike Trout

extra credit:

New York Yankees #1 pitcher Luis Severino is taking a break for two weeks before throwing a spring training game due to rotator cuff inflammation. This could plague him all year, or result in season-ending surgery if it’s more serious than expected.

In other New York news, the New York Mets are bringing ESPN analyst, Olympic and college softball great Jessica Mendoza into their front office as a Baseball Operations Advisor.

ESPN analyst Jessica Mendoza at the College World Series. Photo Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

3. nfl

must know:

In breaking news, Antonio Brown has been traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders. The 30-year-old receiver led the league in touchdowns last season, and will receive close to $20 million per year with this new deal. The immediate reaction in the world of sports is that Brown won, and Pittsburgh received very little for the loss of a star player in his prime. They got only $1 million in salary cap relief, plus a 3rd round and 5th round draft pick.

Antonio Brown (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Also breaking, the New England Patriots have signed Michael Bennet from Philadelphia. They traded from a 5th round pick to a 7th round pick in next year’s draft. This is viewed as a smart and strong acquisition for the Patriots. His brother, Marcellus Bennet (who played for the Pats for two years previously) now says he might want to return. Also, Danny Amendola was released from the Miami Dolphins, so the Pats could pick him up cheaply. These stealth moves have many people saying that Head Coach Bill Belichick “plays chess, the rest of the league plays checkers.”

nice to know:

The negotiating window for the 2019 NFL free agency period begins tomorrow; deals can  become official at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Here are some of the trades that fans will be watching. The rumor is that former Steeler Le’Veon Bell may sign with the New York Jets. There’s also a lot of discussion about Josh Rosen, a high draft pick of the Cardinals who came into the league a year ago and played only reasonably well. Since the Cardinals have the number one draft pick this year and are focused on a new quarterback, Rosen may be traded; a number of teams are inquiring about him.

If it happens, it will be an object lesson on  the foibles of the NFL draft process. A player is picked high in the draft, but plays for an average team, then potentially gets dealt away one season later for a 3rd round draft pick.

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles could get around $20 million per year if he signs as is rumored with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

extra credit:

In other trades to watch, the New York Giants appear likely to let All-Pro defensive back Landon Collins go. Fans are questioning the team’s willingness to let a great defensive talent go while continuing to support aging offensive talent (specifically, quarterback Eli Manning).

The Denver Broncos have traded for quarterback Joe Flacco, and dealt Case Keenum to the Washington Redskins.

Finally, the lack of playing time in this years Super Bowl for star running back Todd Gurley may be due to arthritis. Reports are that he is undergoing stem-cell treatment for an injured knee.

And in other news

Tom Seaver

In sad news, this week there was an announcement that Tom Seaver has dementia and is retiring from public life. The veteran pitcher played Major League Baseball from 1967 to 1986 for the New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox. He played a role in the Mets’ victory in the 1969 World Series.

Tennis

Andy Murray has reported that he feels good after his hip surgery. However, he still rates his chances of playing at Wimbledon this year as only 50/50. Still, fans are happy to hear that he might be back on the circuit this summer.

At Indian Wells yesterday, Novak Djokovic beat Bjorn Fratangelo in his pursuit of a record sixth title at the BNP Paribas Open. Venus Williams outlasted No. 3 seed Petra Kvitova. At 38, Williams is the oldest woman in the tournament; she’s seeking her 50th career title. Serena Williams is still in it, and plays this afternoon. Finally, Indian qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran stunned world no. 18 Nikoloz Basilashvili to achieve the biggest win of his career so far.

That’s what you need to know to talk with a sports fan this week. You’re good to go. See you next week!

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