The Lists

This Week in Sports Talk: February 23, 2020

this week in sports talk February 23, 2020

This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly roundup of top headlines and sports news, plus a preview of what’s up next. Heading into the week of February 23, 2020, here’s the top sports news, with a twist. Skim it, and you’ll be good to go all week.

This Week in Sports Talk: February 23, 2020

Spring training is underway in Major League Baseball – can actual spring be far behind? Another sign of the end of winter? March Madness starts in three weeks. But let’s stay in the here and now, dear reader. We begin with some short takes in sports news heading into the week of February 23, 2020.

fight night in Vegas

No, we’re not talking about the Democratic Primary debate, dear reader. We’re talking about an actual boxing match. The highly-anticipated Heavyweight World Championship rematch between WBC Champion Deontay “The Bronze Bomber” Wilder and unbeaten lineal Champion Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury went down last night at the MGM Grand. Fury dominated throughout seven rounds, and ultimately defeated Wilder in a TKO.

Join our community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.

sign up now >

No Federer at this year’s French

Roger Federer, winner of 20 Grand Slam singles titles, announced on Thursday that surgery on his right knee would cause him to miss the French Open this May. Sacré bleu! He expects to be able to play at Wimbledon, which begins in late June.


NBA All-Star Game MVP

Kawhi Leonard was named the Kobe Bryant All-Star Game MVP last weekend. He was on fire with 3-pointers, nearly matching an All-Star Game record. The newly-renamed award was given three weeks after the Lakers great and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna were among nine people killed when their helicopter crashed near Los Angeles.

Tomorrow there will be a memorial service in Los Angeles to celebrate the lives of Bryant, his daughter Gianna and the other seven victims.

Kawhi Leonard was named the MVP of the 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago.

On a much lighter note, rapper Common, a Chicago native, was the MVP of the Celebrity All-Star Game, leading his team to a 62-47 victory. Loving that pink jersey, man. Actually, loving that entire look you’ve got going on there.

Common named MVP of the 2020 Celebrity All-Star Game in Chicago. Photo Credit: USA Today Sports.

Summer Olympics public health watch

There’s growing concern about the viability of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, given public health concerns over the coronovirus outbreak that continues to spread throughout the region. It’s unclear how it might impact the Games. So far, there have been no announcements about any change of plans. 

zamboni driver saves the day

In the feel-good story of the morning, a hero emerged from backstage to clinch a victory in the NHL. After the Carolina Hurricanes lost two goalies to injury in last night’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, 42-year-old Zamboni driver David Ayres suited up and played for 28 minutes as the Hurricanes’ emergency goalie. He made eight saves in a historic 6-3 win for the team. Dude! That’s just freakin’ awesome.

David Ayers, Zamboni driver and emergency goalie in last night’s NHL match-up. Photo Credit; USA Today Sports.

Top Sports Headlines heading into the week of February 23, 2020

Now that we’re warmed up, here’s everything else you need to know about sports heading into the week of February 23, 2020:

1. NFL

Must Know:

Who’s ready for a longer football season? We’re about to find out. On Thursday, the NFL owners proposed a new labor agreement that includes a 17th regular-season game (up from the current 16) and expanding the playoffs so that 14 teams participate instead of the current 12. One team in each conference would get a “bye” week off, while the other 6 would play on the first weekend of the post-season.

Two-thirds of the players’ union representatives and then a majority of all players would have to approve the proposal for it to take effect, and the early read is that it appears to be a no-go. JJ Watt, Leonard Fournette and Richard Sherman were among the players who issued Tweets or statements essentially saying “hard pass” due to concerns over injury and wear-and-tear on their bodies. The current collective bargaining agreement in the NFL expires in March 2021.

JJ Watt. Photo Credit: Reuters.

Nice to Know:

The chatter and speculation about the future of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady continues. And it’s starting to wear on people. Brady fatigue is real, people. We need this to be over, one way or another.

Extra Credit:

This week, a trailer for Season 3 revealed that Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch has a role in HBO’s Westworld. 

Thandie Newton in Season 3 of HBO’s Westworld. Courtesy Photo.

Our Sports Desk notes that he’s a man of few words, and wonders how many lines he will actually have. Personally, we’re a lot more interested in who made the dress that Thandie Newton is wearing in the trailer. Any who – if you’re into this, the season premiere is March 15.

Related Post

you need to see these national championship rings

read more >

2. NBA

Must Know:

The fresh young faces in the NBA continue to astound and delight fans. Zion Williamson of the New Orleans Pelicans has averaged 22.1 points and 7.5 rebounds in his first 10 games.

Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks is the 4th-youngest player ever to score 50 points in a game.

The Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic. Photo Credit: USA Today Sports.

But it’s Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks who’s generating the most praise and ink in the sports pages this season. Doncic, 20, is tied with LeBron James of the the LA Lakers for the league lead in triple-doubles, at 12 each. He’s averaging 28.9 points and 9.5 rebounds, and has helped his team deliver 116.5 points per 100 possessions, which is the best offensive rating in the history of the game.

Nice to Know: 

Mark your calendars: The New York Times Sports section notes that on March 25, the Milwaukee Bucks host the Houston Rockets. It’ll be the first time they’ll meet since the season opener, when the Bucks won. And the very first time that Giannis Antetokounmpo and James Harden will face off.

The Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis . Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Harden is still miffed that Giannis was voted last year’s regular season MVP. The two have thrown some shade at each other this season, started by Harden and more recently escalated by Antetokounmpo. Should be a good game for all kinds of reasons.

Extra credit:

After playing 20 games this season, Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving will have an operation on his right shoulder, and will miss the rest of the regular season. 

The Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving. Courtesy Photo.

With Kevin Durant already out for the entire season, both of the team’s stars have now been sidelined for this year. But hey – just wait ’til next year. Given that the Nets are paying the two players a combined $69 million+ this season to sit on the bench, you know that’s what management is hoping, at any rate.

Related Post

who are the best-dressed NBA players right now?

read more >

3. MLB

Must Know:

The 2017 Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal remains Topic A in Major League Baseball. And its turning into a case study on crisis and reputation management.

Despite the hope that the start of spring training might quiet the controversy, Commissioner Rob Manfred is increasingly under fire for his decision not to sanction any of the players involved in exchange for their testimony during the league’s investigation. The LA Dodgers and the New York Yankees remain furious at what they view as an unearned world championship title that hasn’t been stripped from the Astros.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred. Photo Credit: New York Times.

After a truly clumsy interview with ESPN a week ago, when in an offhand remark Manfred referred to the Commissioner’s Trophy, presented annually to the World Series champion, as a “piece of metal,” the league’s management is now in full-blown damage control mode.

The Commissioner convened all 30 team owners on an emergency mid-week conference call. The next day, he gathered more than 1,000 employees in the atrium of the new MLB offices in Midtown Manhattan.

This week, several current players spoke out in condemnation of the Astros and the league, including Aaron Judge and Mike Trout. Cincinnati pitcher Trevor Bauer asserted that the matter was on par with the Black Sox scandal, and called Astros players “cheaters” and “hypocrites.” Even LeBron James weighed in, Tweeting that “if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it, I would be f***ing irate.”

Will things settle down this week, or ratchet up another notch? Watch this space for further updates.

Nice to know:

Heading into the new season, the New York Yankees are the heavy favorites to win the World Series, with the LA Dodgers in second place in the Vegas odds book. This week, Yankees right-hander Luis Severino was sidelined in spring training camp, and may not be able to play at the team’s season opener on March 26th. 

Yankees spring training 2020

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge has a sore shoulder; our Sports Desk says it’s vital that Judge is healthy enough to play at least 140 games this year. Watch this space for further updates.

Related Post

why should I learn how to talk about sports?

read more >

This Week in Sports News February 23, 2020

That’s it. You’re good to go with the top headlines and coming attractions heading into the week of February 23, 2020. Have a good one, and see you next week.

Join our Community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter here. And see luxury in a new light.

Forward This Article

Join our community

For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier newsletter. And see luxury in a new light.

sign up now >