Sports week in review: John Wall, Wimbledon, Texas Rangers, World Cup soccer, Landon Donovan, Steve Smith and Dick Vitale impressions

On and just prior to draft night, NBA teams traded away players, but more importantly cap space, in an effort to woo big name free agents like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh who remain without a team. Who knew America’s homeless problem could extend to NBA millionaires? I likened Thursday’s draft and the constant trading of otherwise, unnoticeable players to the first few games of college football’s bowl season. Nobody cares where Kirk Hinrich and Daequan Cook will play next year. We’ll watch… but we’re way more interested in the important stuff. Free agency officially begins after midnight on July 1 which means some city will be celebrating Christmas in July.

[image-1]In a Wimbledon match that lasted longer than many of my former relationships, the University of Georgia’s John Isner outlasted France’s Nicolas Mahut in a grueling 11-hour and five minute marathon. The match, which lasted over three days, included two stoppages in play and a combined 215 aces. The match almost doubled the previous record of 6:33. Not surprisingly, an exhausted Isner was bounced by his very next opponent, probably from lack of sleep.

The award for the hottest team in baseball goes to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have won eleven straight games and seven straight series. Of course, the streak should be taken with a grain of salt, for whoever plays the Pittsburgh Pirates will automatically become the hottest team in baseball. Not surprisingly, the Rangers are being led by Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero and Michael Young who are all batting over .300 and have double digit homeruns. Nelson Cruz, who also fits that bill, is expected to come off the disabled list this week and will add even more pop to their lineup. The Rangers are currently 16 games over .500 and boast a healthy lead over the L.A. Angels of Anaheim in the AL West. If the Rays, Sox and Yankees aren’t careful, the AL East might very well miss a wild card spot to this division.

[image-2]Let’s hear it for South American soccer. While France and defending champion Italy hang their collective heads in shame by heading home early, six South American teams, Uruguay, Mexico, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil, have all advanced. Would anyone like to give me the entire continent and take the field in return? Of those three nations, neither Mexico, Paraguay nor Chile have ever won a World Cup. You might want to consider planning a road trip if that happens in 2010.

I would hereby like to begin my “Landon Donovan for Sportsman of the Year” campaign. With Tiger Woods stinking up the links, LeBron James once again falling short of an NBA title and Lance Armstrong’s name being dragged through the mud by Floyd Landis, it seems only appropriate that Donovan should be named S.o.Y., not only for his game-winning goal against Algeria, but his overall captaincy of the team and its cause. Donovan’s last-minute goal may very well have been the highlight of the tournament to date, at least from an American perspective. His heroics might have finally inspired an entire new generation of soccer fans in America.

[image-3]I have a buddy who’s athletic career was cut short after tearing his Achilles tendon in a flag football game. Now all he’s good for is selling paint, drinking competitively, reciting random movie quotes and the doing the occasional Dick Vitale impression. Similarly, Carolina Panther wide receiver, Steve Smith, broke his arm playing flag football this week. I guess someone needs to sign these hard-hitting flag football guys to an NFL contract. Smith had already publicly announced he was no longer interested in being Carolina’s number one wide receiver. Hopefully he won’t resort to doing Dicky V. impressions.

Things we still don’t know for sure: whether Brett Favre will return, where LeBron James will sign, when Tiger will win again, who the next Free Credit band will be, whether Phil Jackson will return to the Lakers, whether Lady Gaga is actually a man and how Tim Tebow will fare as an NFL quarterback.

In case you missed it…

The Washington Wizards selected John Wall, Kentucky’s freshman point guard phenom, first overall in the 2010 NBA Draft. SportsChump can neither confirm nor deny whether he’ll make any less in Washington than he did while playing at Kentucky. Before Wizards fans get too excited about the pick, they should note that since 1985, only two players drafted number one, David Robinson (1987) and Tim Duncan (1997), won NBA titles for the teams which selected them. And did anyone else get the feeling that the table-hopping John Calipari knew exactly when each one of his Kentucky Wildcats was going to be drafted?

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