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 4, 2023, here are the weekly top 10 sports news headlines to know – the big stories and major events in sports news this week in the NFL, NBA, MLB and more.
weekly top 10 big sports news headlines and major events: June 4, 2023
1. NBA Finals: Denver 1-0, Miami 0-1
The Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. The Nuggets’ star Nikola Jokic – arguably the best player in the league right now – registered another triple double in a game that was really never in doubt for Denver.
Our Sports Desk notes that Jokic is averaging a triple double every game in the playoffs. He has broken the record for the most triple doubles in the history of NBA playoffs. And he still has at least 3 more games to go!
Game 2 is tonight in Denver.
2. NHL Finals Game 1 is tonight
The NHL’s Stanley Cup finals start tonight with the Florida Panthers at the Vegas Golden Knights. A team from the desert meets a team from a swamp in the finals for a sport played on ice and once upon a time dominated by Canadian teams from the far North. Head-spinning.
3. MLB Slug-fest in NYC
The buzz in Gotham this week is about sluggers. Specifically, the betting has started on whether the Mets’ Pete Alonzo or the Yankees’ Aaron Judge will hit the most home runs in MLB this year. The two are likely to be the NL and AL home run kings respectively. As of this posting, Aaron Judge is on exactly the home run pace he had last year when he broke the record for homers in the regular season. He had 18 home runs by the 46th game last year, and he has them again this year. He’s on pace to match or exceed his historic performance last season. How cool would that be?
4. MLB AL Standings
At 35-25, the New York Yankees are in third place in the AL East, six behind the Tampa Bay Rays and four behind the surprising Baltimore Orioles. There’s hope that this will change soon. The Yanks are getting their slugger Giancarlo Stanton back. And also Josh Donaldson, the former MVP who hasn’t lived up to expectations so far with the pinstripes. Some think the team should stay with their younger line-up – especially with Donaldson. When players they come in from the IL, somebody has to go down to the minors, leading to great debate and drama.
If anyone is keeping score, our Boston Red Sox are still above .500! But they’re still last in the division, 10 games back. Ugh.
In the AL Central, the Minnesota Twins currently lead, with the Detroit Tigers 3.5 back. In the AL West, it’s all about the Lonestar State: the Texas Rangers lead the Houston Astros by 2.5.
5. MLB NL Standings
Like the Yankees, the New York Mets are also in third place in their division, 4.5 behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. The Miami Marlins are in second, 3.5 games back.
The Milwaukee Brewers have edged the Pittsburg Pirates by just half a game to lead the NL Central. And in the West, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers are tied for first, with the Giants way back in third place by 5.5 games.
6. French Open
The French Open is underway, but it’s just not the same without Rafael Nadal (out with a hip injury) and Roger Federer (retired). Nadal is missing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2005. As a result, Novak Djokovic is almost certain to win on the men’s side. Djokovic and Nadal are currently tied for the most men’s Grand Slam titles with 22 each. The Serbian is looking good for winning his 23rd trophy. Unless the top seed Carlos Alcaraz pulls off a star turn.
Up to this point, the most dramatic event on the men’s side is the huge upset when world No. 172 Thiago Seyboth Wild took down No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in five sets in the first round.
Iga Swiatek is working on defending her title on the women’s side. Our girl Coco Gauff is 19 now, and the press was watching with bated breath as she took on Mirra Andreeva, the 16-year-old Russian who has been on during the past five weeks. Gauff prevailed, and the New York Times notes that Gauff’s path forward has been made slightly easier with the withdrawal of Elena Rybakina, one of the hottest players in the world this year, due to a respiratory illness.
7. College athlete compensation debate continues in NCAA
This week, the state of California announced that it will address whether college athletes should be paid directly for their sponsorships and endorsements, as well as their public appearances. The NCAA had blocked such moves, and only recently allowed college athletes to profit from the use of their likenesses.
Of note is potential earning power of college athletes in sports other than football and basketball. For example, gymnast Olivia Dunne from LSU has built a highly valuable franchise around her personal brand already. You can catch her in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, alongside beach bunny Martha Stewart.
8. Churchill Downs
After a stunning series of horse fatalities in the past month, Churchill Downs – home of the Kentucky Derby – announced this week that is suspending operations. The track will conduct a review of safety and surface protocols after 12 horses died there in just a couple of weeks.
9. Oklahoma shines in the Women’s College World Series
The 2023 Women’s College World Series started on June 1 and will run through this Friday, if necessary. Today, the semifinal brackets will be set.
Top seeded Oklahoma is already through to the semis, having entered this year’s tournament with 48 consecutive wins (the longest in Division I softball history) and a 56-1 record in the regular season. The Sooners have made 16 trips to the Women’s College World Series, winning the title in 2000, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2021 and 2022.
Florida is also though to the semifinals. The two remaining spots will be determined by the outcome of today’s elimination games, where Stanford, Washington, Oklahoma State and Tennessee are battling to advance.
No, we’re talking about the Netflix show. We’re talking about the new highly public beef between Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. Our Sports Desk notes that the two have always been considered the greatest of NBA teammates. Pippen was there for nearly every Jordan win. But those halcyon days seem to be done: there’s a lot of backbiting these days. Could this be because Michael Jordan’s son is dating Scottie Pippen’s ex-wife? Hmmm . . . possibly.
Weekly Top sports news headlines and major events to know: June 4, 2023
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 and more to join the talk with the avid fans in your life this week. Have a great week, dear reader. See you next Sunday.