This Week in Sports Talk (TWIST) is our weekly report on the big sports news headlines and major events, plus a preview of what’s up next. For June 12, 2022, here are the weekly top 10 sports news headlines to know: the big stories and major events in sports news this week in the NHL, the NBA, MLB and more.
weekly top 10 big sports news headlines and major events: June 12, 2022
It’s official – another billionaire has been born. Forbes reported this week that Tiger Woods’ net worth, for the first time ever, is estimated at $1 billion. Woods is reportedly just the third professional athlete to become a billionaire, joining a pair of basketball stars: Michael Jordan and LeBron James.
The report estimates that less than 10 percent of Woods’ net worth is from what he’s earned on the golf course. The rest is from sponsorship deals with companies including Gatorade, Nike, TaylorMade and Monster Energy.
Here are 10 other top headlines from the world of sports to know this Sunday.
1. Warriors and Celts tied in the NBA Finals
We knew the NBA Finals were gonna be good . . . and they’ve exceeded our expectations.
After a shocking loss at home to the Celts in Game 1, Game 2 saw a Golden State comeback. The Warriors outscored the Celtics 35-14 in the third quarter and (unlike Game 1) held their advantage. They beat Boston 107-88 and tied the series at one game apiece.
In Game 3 at The Garden, Boston used their Game 1 playbook, outscoring Golden State 23-11 in the fourth quarter to win 116-100 and take a 2-1 series lead. CBS Sports notes that Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart became the first trio to each record at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists in the same Finals game. That hasn’t happened since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Michael Cooper did it in 1984.
Then in Game 4 on Friday night in Boston, the Warriors’ Steph Curry – playing on a sore ankle – delivered an incredible performance, scoring 43 points to lead Golden State to a 107-97 win and a 2-2 series tie.
Emotions are understandably running high in this series. At one point in Game 3, the home crowd in Boston started booing and chanting obscenities about the Warriors’ Draymond Green. His wife and kids were present, and suffice it to say that it didn’t go over well with the Warriors. Karma is real, and our Sports Desk notes that Steph Curry restored order to the universe with his extraordinary win with the Warriors in Boston on Friday.
Game 5 is tomorrow night in San Francisco.
2. NHL Stanley Cup Finals set
The conference champions have been crowned, and the Finals for this year’s Stanley Cup are now set. It will be the Colorado Avalanche versus the two-time defending champions the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Western Conference Finals: Avalanche 4, Oilers 0.
In the end, the Western Conference finals series was a sweep. The Colorado Avalanche rallied from a 4-2 third period deficit to win Game 4 with a final score of 6-5 in overtime. Now the Avalanche are headed to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2001
Eastern Conference Finals: Lightning 4, Rangers 2.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have won the Stanley Cup each of the last two seasons. So it’s not a huge surprise that they beat the Rangers. But you have to give it up for New York: for the entire postseason, the Rangers were perpetually the underdogs – but somehow they keep advancing anyway.
Their luck ran out last night. After starting the series 2-0, the Rangers found themselves down 3-2. With Game 6 on their home ice at Madison Square Garden, local fans still had hopes for another Cinderella story. But it was not to be. In a low-scoring game with the two best goalies in the league facing off, the Lightning beat the blue shirts, 2-1.[white_box]
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3. Nadal wins the French Open
Rafael Nadal became the oldest man ever to win the French Open title at the advanced age of 36 by defeating the No. 8 seed, Casper Ruud, in the finals a week ago Sunday.
The Spanish superstar dominated Casper Rudd 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 to win his 14th career French Open and 22nd career Grand Slam despite his struggles with a chronic foot injury. He’s won more than any other player – eight more than the closest man in the Open Era (Bjorn Borg had six).
Rafa’s 22 Grand Slam wins are also the most of all time, two more than Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. This win came exactly 17 years after Nadal’s first triumph at Roland Garros.
4. MLB AL: Yanks still on top.
At 43-16, the New York Yankees remain the best team in baseball. They lead the AL East by 8.5 games (up from 6.5 last Sunday).
The Yanks’ Aaron Judge maintains the MLB lead for most home runs of the season. Yesterday in a game against the Chicago Cubs, he hit numbers 23 and 24. In the same game, teammate Giancarlo Stanton hit his 13th homer of the season, and Gleybar Torres hit one, too. The pinstripes had 6 homers total by the end of the game.
On Friday at Yankee Stadium, they prevailed over the Cubs after 13 innings. Jose Trevino delivered the game-winning hit, a single that closed the game with a 2-1 Yankees victory. It was his son’s 4th birthday, making the win even sweeter.
While their bats are on fire, there’s been some softness in pitching for the Yanks. On Thursday, Gerrit Cole allowed a career-high five home runs (but the Yankees still beat the Twins 10-7).
LA Angels struggling
Elsewhere in the AL, the LA Angels have a 29-32 record, and this week they fired manager Joe Maddon. The team had a promising start to the season, but have since run off the rails. They were on a 14-game losing streak, even losing their first two games under interim manager Phil Nevin. It was the longest losing streak in franchise history. The team’s star ace Mike Trout has been out with a groin injury, and Anthony Rendon is out with an injured wrist. But Shohei Ohtani saved the day – at least for now – snapping the losing streak on Thursday with a 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.
Maddon is the second MLB manager to be fired this season, joining former Philadelphia Phillies manager Joe Girardi, who was fired on June 3. In a sharp contrast, the Phillies are went 6-0 in their first games under interim manager Rob Thomson.
On a somewhat brighter note, yesterday the Angels debuted their new surf-inspired City Connect uniforms in a game against the New York Mets. The Halos are setting the style bar for the league, as befits a SoCal team. The new togs are a homage to “the beach, the sun, the surfers, and the skateboarders.”
5. MLB NL: NY Mets lead, second place in MLB
The New York Mets are at 39-22, giving them the lead in the NL and the second-best record in the league. That’s despite a loss last night to the aforementioned LA Angles. Mike Trout was back on the mound, and they dominated the Mets at home for an 11-6 win.
6. Golf world in turmoil as players defect from PGA Tour
The professional golf world is in turmoil after this week’s high profile defections from the PGA to the new Saudi-backed LIV golf association. Paying massive amounts has coaxed PGA stars Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson, to name a few.
In response, the PGA announced that any player participating in the LIV now or in the future will be suspended from PGA play. The ban includes the Presidents Cup and PGA Tour-sanctioned tours, including the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Champions, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
Our Sports Desk notes that the PGA may have some issues with this ban due to anti-monopoly laws. Also – and perhaps more damaging economically to the PGA Tour – the organization does not run the majors. And the USGA ruled Tuesday that all qualified players — regardless of tour affiliation — can play in this year’s US Open.
CBS Sports conjectures that while individual players will see huge paydays, the true winners in all of this are actually the owners and broadcast partners of the Majors: the USGA, R&A, PGA of America and Augusta National. Those tournaments will become even more important as the “regular season” becomes more spread out around the world and less compelling.
7. Belmont Stakes
Yesterday was the 154th running of the Belmont Stakes, the final race in the Triple Crown. There was no possibility of a Tripe Crown winner this year, since the winner of the Kentucky Derby didn’t run in the Preakness.
In an interesting twist, a local owner’s horse won this year’s Belmont. Mike “Mike from Queens” Repole and his horse Mo Donegal took the prize. The Belmont winner had finished fifth in the Kentucky Derby. Filly Nest came in second. Skippylongstocking came home third.
8. Big paydays in the NFL this week
Walton family buys the Denver Broncos for a record sum
This week the Denver Broncos reportedly entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Walmart heir Rob Walton. Reports are that Walton and his family are set to purchase the Broncos for $4.65 billion. That’s a higher price than any American sports franchise has ever sold for.
LA Rams lock in Donald and Kupp with record-breaking contract extensions
There are also large checks being written elsewhere in the NFL. The LA Rams announced this week that they’ve reworked Aaron Donald’s contract. He will now receive $65 million guaranteed over the next two years, with an option to return (for a guaranteed $30 million) in 2024 or retire. CBS Sports notes that at three years and $95 million, it is the largest contract ever for a non-quarterback on a per-year basis.
One day after that deal was announced, the Rams did the same with Cooper Kupp. The record-setting wide receiver agreed to a three-year, $80-million extension that ties him to the team through 2026. The extension includes $75 million guaranteed, the most ever for a wide receiver. With this change, Kupp’s contract is worth $110 million over the next five years. And most would say he’s worth it. Last year, Kupp became just the fourth player in the Super Bowl era to win the receiving “triple crown” — the most receptions, most receiving yards and most receiving touchdowns.
9. Trouble brewing for Watson and the Browns
new allegations against Deshaun Watson
In the past eight days, two more women have filed civil lawsuits against Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. That means there are now a total of 24 lawsuits alleging sexual misconduct against him. The Browns have no control over if/when Watson will be available this season — or even when the NFL will make a decision about whether he can play. Oddly, despite this uncertainty, they have told their quarterback Baker Mayfield that he’s not needed at the mandatory minicamp that started this week. Watch this space – they seem to be in a quarterback quandary and it will be interesting to see how it gets resolved.
Lamar Jackson absent from OTAs for the first time
In other negative developments for NFL teams, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has been absent from the team’s mandatory OTA’s for first time ever in his career. Our Sports Desk speculates that he may be holding out for a “Deshawn Watson-type contract.”
commanders fine Del Rio for 1/6 remarks
The NFL’s Washington Commanders apparently have a lot of opinions when it comes to what goes on in their hometown, For example, this week their defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio shared his view that the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol was a “dust-up” in comparison to riots across the country the prior summer.
On Friday, head coach Ron Rivera met with Del Rio to express disappointment with these remarks, then announced in a team statement that he’s fined Del Rio $100,000. Which will be donated to the U.S. Capitol Police Memorial Fund.
10. Rogers and Brady hint at their end games
There’s news this week about two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL: Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.
Rogers said this week that he will play out his career in Green Bay, despite rumors that he might be considering joining another team after this season ends. Interestingly, also this week his former teammate wide receiver Davante Adams said in an interview that Rodgers’ looming retirement is part of the reason he decided to join the Las Vegas Raiders. For the first time, he revealed that he spoke to Rodgers about his decision (which at the time came as a big shock to fans). “Oh, yeah. We’ve talked multiple times. We talked throughout the whole process, too, and he was aware of where I stood.” He says the two players are all good, and that Rodgers fully understands why Adams made the move.
Meanwhile, in Tampa Bay, the opposite story may be unfolding. Tom Brady was coy in his first interview since the news of his potential move to Miami broke earlier this year. Regular readers of this column will recall that after he “unretired,” returned to Tampa Bay and pushed out head coach Bruce Arians, it came out that Brady had seriously considered taking an ownership stake and joining the Miami Dolphins. Now it appears that story was true – and he may actually do that next season. For this season, it’s still unclear if Brady’s pal Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski will return to Tampa Bay. Most people think he will.
Weekly Top sports news headlines and major events to know: June 12, 2022
That’s our take on the big sports news headlines and major events, and a preview of the week ahead, including what to know about basketball, baseball, hockey and more. Stay well and safe out there, dear reader. See you next week.
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Pamela Thomas-Graham is the Founder & CEO of Dandelion Chandelier. A Detroit native, she has 3 Harvard degrees and has written 3 mystery novels. After serving as a senior corporate executive, CEO of CNBC and partner at McKinsey, she now serves on the boards of several tech companies. She’s all in with the Pats, the Warriors, the Red Sox and the Wolverines. Also Naomi and Coco. And Roger. She would like to thank her advisors on the Sports Desk, without whom this column definitely would not be possible.