IN THE WAKE OF THE WEEK: Rough week for Warriors; Giants can’t land Harper
KERR CONCERNED: What happened? Coach Steve Kerr asserts that the Warriors have not been prepared to play since the All-Star break. He is right. It is a disastrous week. The loss to the Rockets without James Hardin was alarming. They sneak by Charlotte and then lose to Miami on a last-second shot. Then there was the loss in Orlando on Thursday night. Too much “resting” players. Where’s the focus? Tonight’s tilt against Philadelphia will be telling.
KINGS DESERVED BETTER: This is a game they will win next year. The 46-14 Milwaukee Bucks come to town. Sacramento trails 104-91 after three quarters. However, they rally to tie it at the end of the fourth 126-126. They trail by six in overtime. Alas, it is not to be as the Bucks win 134-133. Doug Christie has done a great job as color commentator for the Kings. He quips, “Stay in there. Keep fighting.” This is a feisty, competitive squad that never quits. They deserve a better fate, but it serves as a preview of things to come.
KING-SIZE SCARE: Marvin Bagley III was helped off the court with what appeared to be a bad knee injury on Wednesday night. A sigh of relief emanated from the Kings on Thursday morning after it was diagnosed as a sprain. He will be evaluated in 1-2 weeks. For a team aspiring to play in the post season, Bagley’s injury could be threatening. However, it is a better diagnosis and Sacramento continues its quest. At least for the moment, it is without Bagley.
GIANTS LOSE OUT: Forget Bryce Harper. He is simply the big fish that got away. Were the Giants really in the running? The allegedly offered 12 years at $310 million but the Philadelphia Phillies come in at 13 years for $330 million. One of the main reasons for going to Philadelphia is that he did not want to pay California income taxes! Harper is set for the rest of his career while San Francisco now has to go back to the drawing board on how to regain relevance. Disappointing for the Giants and their fans, one has to wonder how this team will perform and what it means for the G-Men’s season.
SHARKS POSITIONED WELL: At the trade deadline, the San Jose Sharks make two quality moves. They acquire Jonathan Dahlen from the Vancouver Canucks and Gustav Nyquist from the Detroit Red Wings. Whereas Dahlen is up-and-coming (as well as the son of ex-Sharks star Ulf Dahlen), Nyquist was the second leading scorer for Detroit. This positions San Jose well for the balance of the regular season as well as a run in the playoffs.
WILLIAMSON TO CONTINUE AT DUKE: It was a big blowout for Nike. Zion Williamson experienced a major malfunction early in their loss to North Carolina when his shoe separated from the sole. It resulted in his exit from the game due to injury. Now NBA players weigh in, encouraging him to save himself for the NBA Draft. However, Williamson ignores it all and will be back for Duke as soon as he is mended. For Duke, it is probably a season salvation. He defies the advice while saying, “I want to be with my guys.”
KRAFT TAKES MORALITY HIT: Robert Kraft is the owner of the highly-successful New England Patriots. Now he is the subject of a sting at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida. Allegedly, videos show that he engaged in illegal sex acts. He actually made a visit before the AFC title game. Although this may be revealing as to his character, it illuminates poor decisions by one of the NFL’s most prestigious owners. He goes from Super Bowl champion to a man in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
PUIG NEVER WORKED HARD IN LA: It makes sense. Los Angeles Dodgers fans are reeling after Yasiel Puig openly admits “I never worked hard. Maybe that’s the reason why I didn’t have my better years.” Having been dealt to the Cincinnati Reds, he now asserts that since he is in his contract year, he will turn over a new leaf. A blow to a player with already questionable character, it makes one wonder if he will return to his old ways after obtaining a new deal. He has decent potential but is wasting it.
LEBRON KILLS LAKERS CHEMISTRY: As the L.A. Lakers seemed willing to trade half the team in exchange for New Orleans Pelicans Anthony Davis, LeBron James led the charge for the trade. Now, at least one NBA Executive says that he killed the Lakers chemistry with his openness about sacrificing his squad for one player. The executive claims through Bleacher Report that “he should not have been so open about it.” Indeed, the Lakers keep losing with regularity. Now people question whether the LeBron acquisition was a good one.
Jim Adams is a regular contributor to The Union. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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Despite high winds with numerous heat race cancellations on Saturday, the Reno STIHL National Championship Air Races concluded five days of racing on Sunday with the following Gold Championships in six of its seven classes