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TWIST: This Week in Sports Talk June 3, 2018

TWIST: This Week in Sports Talk is a weekly recap of the three (and only three) things you need to know this coming week if you want to know how to talk about sports. Game on.

This week we begin with a tip of the hat to the best basketball player on Earth: LeBron James. His continued performance in the NBA Finals is considered to be the best pro basketball anyone has ever played. Somehow in his 15th season, he is at the zenith of his career – he played all 48 minutes in Game 7 of the Conference Finals and muscled the Cavs to victory seemingly by sheer force of will. That’s why he’s the King.

LeBron James

For Those Who Do Not Follow Professional Sports, here’s what you need to know this week.

3 for the week of June 3, 2018:

1. NBA Finals. Must know: After two dramatic Game 7s, the Cleveland Cavaliers clinched the Eastern Conference championship, and the Golden State Warriors took the Western Conference title. This is the fourth year in a row that these two teams have met in the Finals, and some fans are starting to get bored (can you imagine if the same two teams were in the Super Bowl for four straight years?) Nice to know: In Game 1, the Cavs lost to the Warriors in overtime. In the closing seconds of regulation play, the Cavs’ JR Smith didn’t seem to realize that the teams were tied and that the Cavs were not up 1 point. He had the ball, but failed to shoot with 5 seconds on the clock. So the game went into overtime, and the Warriors won. Extra credit: There will be many, many Internet memes about JR Smith and also about how LeBron got annoyed and walked out of the post-Game 1 press conference. Game 2 is tonight in California, so check the score before you head into work on Monday. Bonus Round: Despite their recent losses, the Boston Celtics are viewed as the future of the Eastern Conference, and the Houston Rockets will be very competitive next season in the West.

LeBron James and Steph Curry in Game 1 of the NBA Finals

2. MLB. Must know: The New York Yankees remain hot, but the Boston Red Sox are even hotter, making the American League East seriously fun to watch. The Yanks are just a half game behind the Sox as of this posting. Nice to know: In April, Chicago White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar suffered a brain hemorrhage stemming from a ruptured aneurysm. His road to recovery has been steep, and it’s not yet completed. But Farquhar got to throw out the first pitch before a White Sox game against the Milwaukee Brewers this week, with both his family and the medical staff that helped him in the aftermath of his hemorrhage by his side. Extra Credit: Here’s a fun fact to share with your sports-fan friends, co-workers and family members: What do Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Rusty Staub and Ty Cobb have in common? They are the only four players in Major League history to hit a home run both in their teenage years and after turning forty.

Former New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez and Gary Sheffield

3. The French Open goes to round 4. Must know: Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, is through to the fourth round of the French Open, and in hot pursuit of his 11th win at the French and his 17th Grand Slam title. if he does it, he’ll match Margaret Court’s all-time record of 11 Grand Slam singles titles won at one major. Novak Djokovic also advanced to Round 4. Nice to know: On the women’s side, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams is playing in her first Slam since leaving tennis 16 months ago to have her first child. She’ll play Maria Sharapova in a fourth round match-up. Extra credit: Williams debuted a new look on the court this week that attracted global attention: a skintight black jumpsuit with a red fabric belt. “I call it, like, my Wakanda-inspired catsuit,” she noted, saying that it makes her feel like a superhero. Turns out that there’s a serious reason for her choice – it’s not only about style. Health concerns over blood clots following her pregnancy require a compression garment, and Williams said she actually wears it for medical reasons.

Serena Williams at the French Open

Yep, the NHL playoffs are still going on – but they’re in the home stretch. As of this posting, the Vegas Golden Knights lag the Washington Capitals 2-1 in the Stanley Cup Finals.

That’s it. You’re good to go. See you next week.

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