For many sports fans, July and August mark a time of summer doldrums as we suffer through life without the country's two biggest sports: football and basketball at the professional and college level. Still, there is much to talk about in the sports world as the business of sports never stops, athletes continue to make moves, and sports like baseball and tennis help fill the void. All this to say, I plan to keep sports notes interesting no matter the season.
The NBA draft will never be as dramatic as the NFL draft, but still there was an air of unpredictability. For example, the presumptive number 1 draft pick Nerlens Noel ended up going #6 to New Orleans who traded him to the Philadelphia 76ers. Anthony Bennett out of UNLV was chosen by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the #1 pick overall and the Oklahoma City Thunder selected Steven Adams who is talented but may not give them the immediate impact in the paint they need. Those are just a few highlights, for total draft coverage visit the NBA's official draft tracker.
In between the actual business of the draft there were some fun, unexpected (and unplanned) moments. the highlights included outgoing commissioner David Stern thoroughly enjoying the boos he received from the crowd and former Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers getting into a tense back and forth with ESPN analyst and Celtics fan Bill Simmons over Rivers odd departure from the team. This further proves that awkward moments can make for great TV.
Changes to the Celtics storied franchise probably made for the biggest news this week. Veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce have signed deals with the Brooklyn Nets. The Celtics were an old team that needed to be blown up especially with Rivers and their mercurial young point guard Rajon Rondo unable to get along and stars in Garnett and Pierce who had bloated contracts and not much gas left. I'm not in the camp that thinks the Nets made a great deal here although watching Jason Kidd coach Garnett and Pierce should be entertaining. As far as the Celtics are concerned they're now Rondo’s team for better or for worse.
In some surprising news, Serena Williams was ousted in the 4th round at Wimbledon leaving Sloane Stephens has the final remaining American in London. If you remember, we listed Stephens as one of the top female athletes to watch.
Moving on to the WNBA, Grantland did a great job of profiling WNBA player Candace Parker. Parker is a 27-year-old married mother of one and is considered the best women's player in the world. The piece shines light on the rarely-discussed challenge of being an active female professional athlete and trying to raise a family. The article points out that only 6 WNBA players are mothers, a stat I found to be pretty astounding. It also touches on how hard it is to bounce back from pregnancy and return to previous form. Definitely worth checking out.
A final point on athletes…there have been a rash of news reports about various athletes getting into trouble. Former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez's murder charges are the most talked about story but there have also been quite a few incidences of athletes-NFL players specifically- getting into fights and things of that nature. In the midst of all this, I'm glad that at least one outlet took time out to, once again, point out that overall NFL players do not break the law more often than the general population. I think it's important to make that point and I'm glad Esquire did. Check out their article here.
Jessica Danielle is a speechwriter and blogger who covers sports with wit and ardor at Playerperspective.com.