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July 15th, 2019

Wimbledon gave us plenty of special moments.

Coco Gauff made noise as a 15-year old. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer gave us a three-hour semifinal for the ages.

In the end it was Simona Halep and Novak Djokovic winning championships. Serena Williams fell short of her 24th Grand Slam. Roger Federer lost in a fifth set tiebreaker after almost five hours…wow!

The NBA also continued to make news this off-season. The Rockets acquired Russell Westbrook from the Thunder for Chris Paul. It will be interesting to watch James Harden reunite with Westbrook.

Another great week of sports.

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July 8th, 2019

It has been a wild off-season in the NBA.

The latest rumblings came from Los Angeles and it was not the Lakers, who already added Anthony Davis to join LeBron James.

Steve Ballmer’s team added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Now the Clippers are the favorites to win the NBA title.

Major League Baseball hit the All-Star break. Most of the division races are not close so fans will concentrate on the wild card. The NL Central has been the most competitive division.

If you want to define MENTAL TOUGHNESS and ability to perform on the big stage, just look at the USNWT as they win a fourth World Cup. Amazing that they have been undefeated in a record 17 World Cup matches.

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June 30th, 2019

Major League Baseball put on a show in London as the Yankees battled the Red Sox.

The Bronx Bombers had the hot bats, putting up 29 runs in sweeping the two-game series. DJ LaMahieu has been a legit AL MVP candidate and he remained on fire.

The NBA free agency period started. The Nets made big noise with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving signing. The Celtics landed Kemba Walker. The Pelicans inked JJ Redick. Damian Lillard signed a supermax extension.

The Knicks lost out on several free agents, ouch.

Wow it is already a wild off-season.

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June 24th, 2019

While Zion Williamson dominated the NBA Draft, and a to of big names did not get called, the Yankees have been on fire in baseball.

Now that Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are all back, watch out. Guys like Cameron Maybin, Gio Urshela and DJ Lemehieu have stepped up and put the Yankees in great shape.

Aaron Boone and Brian Cahman have done great work this season despite many injuries. The Bronx Bombers look solid.

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June 21st, 2019

Here are some thoughts on the 2019 draft:

WINNERS

New Orleans. Starting with Zion Williamson, the Pelicans had a lot to gain. The Anthony Davis trade turned into a haul of draft picks. Adding a young, big talent in Jaxson Hayes will pay dividends in the long run. Nickel Alexander-Walker provides an outside scoring threat.

Atlanta. The tandem of DeAndre Hunter and Cam Reddish will help up front, adding defensive help. Bruno Fernando is a nice pickup in round two. If Reddish can consistently contribute, he will be a big plus.

Boston. Brad Stevens may lose Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier, so they stockpiled guards Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards and Tremont Waters. All three were stars on their college teams. Then add solid forward Grant Williams, the SEC Player of the Year and this is a nice group.

New York. RJ Barrett will be a star in the Big Apple. He can score, rebound, pass and defend. Iggy Brazdeikas has potential down the line.

Washington. A sleeper pick adding Rui Hachimura and Admiral Schofield. They also kept Brad Beal.

San Antonio. Luka Samanic was a factor in the combine. I love Keldon Johnson at 29 as a steal. Quanndary Weatherspoon is a nice second round choice.

Memphis. Ja Morant and Brandon Clarke will be instant impact players.

LOSERS

Houston. No picks in this draft.

EARLY SURPRISE

Cameron Johnson to Phoenix at 11. An experienced player and outstanding shooter with good range. Thought he would go around 20.

LATE SURPRISES

Nassir Little to Portland at 25. A lottery pick type of talent. Only averaged 18 minutes a game last season, he will blossom.

Keldon Johnson to San Antonio at 29. Spurs get another star late.

Bol Bol to Denver at 44. He has something to prove and you cannot teach height.

WHAT HAPPENED?

As usual, a number of early-entry players did not get picked. Teams stash foreign players and that cuts the number of youngsters chosen.

Think about some of these players who starred in college and did not hear their name called: Naz Reid from LSU, Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett of Syracuse, Shammorie Ponds of St. John’s, Moses Brown and Kris Wilkes of UCLA, Louis King of Oregon, Luguentz Dort of Arizona State, Jonta Porter of Missouri, Dedric Lawson of Kansas, and Zach Norvell of Gonzaga.

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June 19th, 2019

The NBA draft is Thursday and everyone has an opinion on what to expect.

 

I am excited because there is a lot of talent available. Zion Williamson will go number ne and the top three appears to be set. After that, it is a crapshoot.

 

Here are my projections of what I think should happen on Thursday. Enjoy the draft, baby!

 

  1. New Orleans Zion Williamson, Duke
  2. Memphis Ja Morant, Murray State
  3. New York RJ Barrett, Duke
  4. New Orleans DeAndre Hunter, Virginia
  5. Cleveland Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech
  6. Phoenix Colby White, North Carolina
  7. Chicago Cam Reddish, Duke
  8. Atlanta Darius Garland, Vanderbilt
  9. Washington Sekou Doumboya, Limonges
  10. Atlanta Jaxson Hayes, Texas
  11. Minnesota Nassir Little, North Carolina
  12. Charlotte Romeo Langford, Indiana
  13. Miami Kevin Porter Jr., USC
  14. Boston Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga
  15. Detroit Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga
  16. Orlando Keldon Johnson, Kentucky
  17. Atlanta Goga Bitadze, Mega Bemax
  18. Indiana Bol Bol, Oregon
  19. San Antonio Mfiondu Kabengele, Florida State
  20. Boston Tyler Herro, Kentucky
  21. Oklahoma City PJ Washington, Kentucky
  22. Boston KZ Okpala, Stanford
  23. Memphis Matisse Thybulle, Washington
  24. Philadelphia Carsen Edwards, Purdue
  25. Portland Bruno Fernando, Maryland
  26. Cleveland Nickel Walker-Alexander, Virginia Tech
  27. Brooklyn Cameron Johnson, North Carolina
  28. Golden State Daniel Gafford, Arkansas
  29. San Antonio Naz Reid, LSU
  30. Milwaukee Ty Jerome, Virginia
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June 17th 2019

I celebrated my 80th birthday last week and the sport world celebrated several championships.

The Toronto Raptors beat injury-plagued Golden State to win the NBA title. Kawhi Leonard was brilliant. Guys like Pascal Siakam and Fred Van Vleet stepped up their games. Congrats to first-year head coach Nick Nurse on the championship.

The St. Louis Blues won th Stanley Cup title, winning game seven in Boston. Ryan O’Reilly won the Conn Smythe as Playoff MVP, and Jordan Binnington was brilliant in goal.
Gary Woodland made a number of clutch shots in winning the US Open golf tourney.
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June 10th, 2019

I celebrated my 80th birthday and was treated to great sports action. 

Rafael Nadal continued to show his dominance on clay, winning his 12th French Open

Kawhi Leonard showed his greatness as the Raptors won twice at Golden State.

Rory McIlroy showed his greatness with a 61 to win easily in Canada.

Sir Winston won the last triple crown race of the year at the Belmont.

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June 3rd, 2019

The Golden State Warriors showed heart on Sunday. The fought to a road win despite injuries to Key Thompson and Kevan Looney. They already were without Kevin Durant. The Finals are now tied 1-1.

The heavyweight boxing division has had several big names dominating. Deontay Wlder, Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury were the three big names.

Fans wanted to see Wilder-Joshua or a rematch of Wilder-Fury, which was a wild draw.

So much for a Deontay Wilder-Anthony Joshua heavyweight mega-fight. Andy Ruiz Jr. shocked the world by beating the previously-unbeaten Joshua at Madison Square Garden. Back to the drawing board for the Brit.

Ruiz Jr. was like Buster Douglas against Mike Tyson. He came in as a huge underdog. He shook up the heavyweight division.

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May 27th, 2019

The NBA and NHL finals are set. The Warriors are in the finals for the fifth straight year. Only the Celtics had more consecutive finals appearances. They take on the Toronto Raptors, who rallied from 2-0 down to win four in a row to send the Bucks home.
The St. Louis Blues are in the Stanley Cup final for the first time since 1970. They will face the Boston Bruins from the Stanley Cup.
The Minnesota Twins have dominated the AL. Rocco Baldelli is doing a great job in his first season as manager.
The French Open got underway. Rafael Nadal is the King of Clay.
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May 21st, 2019

A night I will treasure, receiving the Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement award. Thanks to my loving family, my second family at ESPN. I also want to thank so many special people, a la the late Scotty Connal and Jim Simpson for getting me started, Bob Ley in helping me in the studio and the Montag group for representing me.

It was quite an honor when you think about some of the prior winners. Joining the likes of Jim McKay, Curt Gowdy, Howard Cosell, Vin Scully, Brent Musberger and many others is special.
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May 19th, 2019

Well we now know where Zion Williamson is heading.
The Knicks, Suns, Cavaliers and Bulls were left disappointed.
Congrats to David Griffin, Alvin Gentry and the Pelicans. Now the big question is, will Zion and Anthony Davis team up?
Davis said he still wants to be traded. New Orleans fans can dream about the dynamic duo.
Brooks Koepka dominated and then hung on to win his fourth major in 23 months. He is putting up a Tiger Woods-type resume!
I also want to thanks the fans in Lubbock (TeamLukeHopeForMinds) and Ann Arbor (ChadTough) who came out to support two great charities last week.
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May 12th, 2019

Sarasota was the sports capital of the world on Friday night. The Dickie V gala raised millions of dollars for cancer research.

It was a a great night at the Gala. We raised over $4.3 million for kids battling cancer. Reaching our goal was an incredible feeling, and it is a year-long project. The event is top-shelf at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, and the grant money raised has made a big difference.

Each year I present the All-Courageous team, and you see the Dollars paying off, saving young lives. Over 14 years, we have totaled just under $30 million.

Thanks to our special honorees, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, former Alabama coach Avery Johnson and ESPN’s Chris Fowler. Also receiving the John Saunders courage awards were Lee Corson and Holly Rowe. A social grant was given in the name of courageous Purdue student Tyler Trent, who died of bone cancer in January.

Thanks to all of the guests in attendance. Over 77 celebrities came on their own dime to support the cause. This was a night I will always treasure.

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May 7th 2019

The Kentucky Derby ended in so much controversy.

Maximum Security crossed the line first. Then two jockeys protested the race. Twenty minutes later, 65-1 shot Country House was awarded the Derby win.

It was one of the biggest upsets in the races history.

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April 29th, 2019

The NFL draft, the NBA playoffs, the NHL playoffs, baseball…a great sports weekend.

Kyler Murray went first overall to the Cardinals, not a surprise. Dwayne Haskins going 15th to the Redskins was a bit shocking.

The Warriors and Celtics were impressive Sunday, going out to 1-0 leads.

Carolina is a surprising 2-0 leader over the Islanders in their series.

The Rays saw Tyler Glasnow move to 5-0 with a win over the Red Sox.

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April 24th 2019

We need your help! Join us in supporting the legacy of Tyler Trent and have your donation matched until my gala on May 10!

Donate at jimmyv.org/matchfortyler.

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April 22nd, 2019

This is an exciting week as the NFL draft starts Thursday.

Will Kyler Murray go number one? Will the Giants pick up a QB at 6? What will the Raiders do with multiple early picks?
 
The coaching carousel of college basketball is almost finished spinning. St. John’s hired Mike Anderson as its next coach.
 
The NBA and NHL playoffs roll on. I’m sad that the Lightning, after winning 62 games in the regular season, was swept by Columbus.
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April 15th, 2019

Congrats to Virginia on winning the national championship.Tony Bennett’s team responded after losing in the first round last year to UMBC, the first 1-seed fell to a 16.
 
The Cavaliers found ways to win over Purdue, Auburn and Texas Tech. Congrats to Kyle Guy, DeAndre Hunter, Ty Jerome and the entire team.
 
The Tiger Wood won his fifth green jacket at The Masters. What a performance by Woods, his first major title in 11 years. He was brilliant in the final round, looking like the Tiger of old. It’s amazing because many thought he would not play competitive golf again. Now he is a major champion again.
 
What a week in sports.
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April 8th 2019

The national championship should be special s Virginia battles Texas Tech. I will call the game on ESPN International.
 
It has been a busy week for me representing a number of groups in Minneapolis at the Final Four, including Coke. 
 
Congrats also to Kimm Mulkey and Baylor as they won the women’s title, edging Notre Dame in a thriller.
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April 1st 2019

The Final Four is set and I cannot wait to go to Minnesota.

There are so many great storylines. Texas Tech, picked seventh in the preseason Big 12 poll, is going to its first Final Four. Chris Beard has done an incredible job leading the Red Raiders. Defense got them to Minnesota, stopping Michigan and Gonzaga.

Virginia made up for last year's disappointing first-round loss to UMBC. Tony Bennett is a class act who is making history. His father, Dick, led Wisconsin to the 2000 Final Four, meaning the Bennetts are the second father-son duo at the Final Four, joining John Thompson and JT III.

Michigan State knocked off Duke to send Tom Izzo to his eighth Final Four. Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett were sent home short of a Final Four.
 
Auburn continued its Cinderella run. Bruce Pearl’s team beat blue bloods Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky en route to Minnesota.
 
Should be a fun Final Four.
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Quote of the Week

“All I can say is wow, two gladiators in Djokovic and Federer, put on a final for the ages.”

-Dick Vitale