Fun Fact of the Day: Famed tennis player Serena Williams turned pro on September 24, 1995. Yep, she’s been crushing it for over 2 decades.
One and done. After 1 season playing for LSU, basketball-phenom Ben Simmons announced he’s heading to the NBA draft where he’s expected to be the #1 pick. What makes him so special? He’s often compared to LeBron James because of his size (he’s 6’10”) and versatility on the court. Want proof? This year he won National Freshman of the Year, and averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2 steals a game. If he’s so great, why haven’t I seen him in the NCAA tournament? Great question. Most people blame Ben’s lack of competitive fire and LSU’s mediocre basketball program for not making it into the Big Dance. If Ben is drafted #1 he will be the first player in the modern Tournament era (since 1985) to be selected #1 without playing in March Madness.
Who is this imposter and what have you done with the Steph we know and love? Last night the Golden State Warriors squeaked out a victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves (109-104). This was the second straight game where Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry was ice-cold. He missed 7 out of 9 of his 3-pointers last night and 11 out of 12 on 3-pointers against the San Antonio Spurs over the weekend. Ruh-roh!
Spotlight on Syracuse basketball
With Syracuse advancing to the Sweet 16, we thought it was time to spotlight the Orange.
Who invited them to dance? Syracuse had a middling 19-13 record for the regular season, so everyone was surprised when they were announced as a #10-seed in the tournament last week. No one was happier than coach Jim Boeheim, who has been through a lot the past couple of years.
What do you mean? Syracuse was busted for a decade of rules violations, including impermissible benefits for athletes, academic misconduct, and drug policy missteps. Syracuse paid the price by taking themselves out of the tournament last year and Coach Boeheim was sentenced to a 9-game suspension at the beginning of this year.
16’s never been sweeter. This tournament run marks Coach Boeheim’s 16th time making it to the Sweet 16! So far, the Orange’s overpowering 2-3 zone defense has already taken down #15 Middle Tennessee and #7 Dayton. On Friday, watch out for the team’s seniors and leading scorers Michael Gbinije and Trever Cooney, as they take on #11 Gonzaga!
Seen and Heard
Foot meet mouth. Raymond Moore, CEO of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden which hosts the BNP Paribas Open, said that the Women’s Tennis Association “ride[s] on the coattails of the men” and that if he were “a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.” Wrong bandwagon. After winning the Open yesterday Novak Djokovic was asked to comment on Moore’s remarks. Novak rambled about women’s hormones and said men might deserve more prize money than women because they have more spectators. Set them straight, please? Thankfully, Serena Williams was also asked about Moore’s remarks and she pointed out that the women’s US Open sold out faster than the men’s last year and women “shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point.” Mic drop.
The Cuba National Team will play the Tampa Bay Rays in an exhibition game at 1:30pm ET today, as part of President Obama’s Cuba visit. The last time an MLB team played in Cuba was 1999. But it won’t be all hotdogs and crackerjacks… This game has also served as a painful and controversial reminder of the past for some Cuban-Americans.