IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Burns skates off with Norris Trophy; Iguodala to test free agency
June 23, 2017
BURNZIE TAKES NORRIS: Brent Burns of the Sharks captures the 2017 James Norris Memorial Trophy as the best defenseman in the NHL. He led all NHL defenseman in points last season while racking up 29 goals and 47 assists. This is the most points ever by a Sharks defenseman and 18th all-time in league history. A team leader, his season was outstanding as he was rewarded with a long term, lucrative contract.
SHARKS LOSE SCHLEMKO: They got off easy. With some top names unprotected, the Las Vegas Golden Knights picked defenseman Dave Schlemko from the San Jose Sharks in the expansion draft. It was hard to figure out the reason for some of the Golden Knights picks. They left one shrugging their shoulders. It may be a long season in Vegas. Not impressed.
IGUODALA MAY TEST FREE AGENCY: The Golden State Warriors have a very complicated salary situation. It will be a challenging equation to keep the championship team in place. Andre Iguodala may test free agency. He could command up to $20 million. He is great off the bench, but also a leader in the locker room … always the voice of reason that commands attention. However, several teams are interested in bidding for his services in July. The Warriors may be hard-tested to keep him. Kevin Durant may help keep Iguodala. Crazy summer.
ROSE HONORED: The Cincinnati Reds unveil a statue depicting the contributions of Pete Rose to the era known as "The Big Red Machine." He is now at least enshrined at Great America Ball Park. Rose's contributions to the sports, and the records he set, cannot be minimized. However, MLB will never allow him to be in the Hall of Fame as a result of his distant past betting transgressions. It is a shame Rose will never get his just. However, MLB believes his "just" is keeping him out of the Hall. Too late to reconsider. However, the Reds do the right thing.
NIGHT, NIGHT PHIL: As if things could not get worse for the New York Knicks, Phil Jackson could not stay awake while working out potential draft picks. Maybe he was dreaming about riding the bus home from the tryout — the same bus he threw Carmelo Anthony under.
YAHOO! FOOLED: Maybe you just have to chuckle. The Onion comes out with an article reporting the death of WWE's professional wrestler Big Show. Yahoo! bit too early. Front page news last Saturday morning that police had to shoot him dead in the ring after they feared for the life of a 7-year-old who had wandered into a cage match. Not at all true. Far-fetched nonsense WWE style. The story was abruptly removed at approximately 6:30 a.m. You just have to wonder.
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LITHUANIAN TEAM IN THE DARK AGES: Gedvydas Vainauskas, President of the Lithuanian Club Basketball Team Lietuvos Rytas, proclaims that he will have no more than two black players on the team. The reason? "Teams do not ever have more than two players because that's when bad things start to take place," he claims. He added they begin to form gangs. He attributes the team's downfall to too many black players. Incredible racism. How does this happen in light of the NBA position and team structure? Archaic thinking and he has the poor taste for stating it verbally.
A TALE OF TWO SERIES: The Oakland A's sweep a four-game set vs. the New York Yankees. It is timely hitting, sound pitching, and a "never say die" attitude. Simply feisty and impressive. Even Santiago Casilla shines in relief. The San Francisco Giants lose four at Coors Field in Denver. Pure sloppiness. Two of the games are lost in the bottom of the ninth. The final game sees the Giants lead 5-3 in the final frame only to give up a final three-run shot with merely one out for a 7-5 loss. A .500 week for the A's as they move on to lose four to the high-flying Houston Astros. The Giants? Ugh.
HOME PLATE RULE: Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo plows through Padres catcher Austin Hedges on a play at the plate Monday night. Hedges leaves the game in the following inning due to the injury. What is MLB to do? Nothing. What is widely known as the Buster Posey rule after the Giants catcher tore three ligaments after a collision, the catcher and runner are now allowed protection. However, Padres manager calls it "a cheap shot." The league disagrees.
TAURASI PERHAPS THE BEST EVER: You might remember Diana Taurasi draining 3's in the Olympics in route to the Gold Medal. Well, she has now become the all-time scoring leader in the WNBA. It is very much worth mentioning. On Sunday, she poured in her 7,489th point to take the accolade. A fierce competitor, she has shown her meddle as WNBA tweets, "Her work ethic and body of work … It's extremely consistent." Congratulations to a great competitor.
FINAL THOUGHT: Umpire Joe West officiated his 5,000th game Tuesday night. Love him or hate him, there are only two others who have worked more games. Controversial at times? Yes. However, at 64 years-old, great durability for the game.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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