The One with The Greatest

Fun Fact of the Day: Back in 1981, boxing legend Muhammad Ali talked a man down from committing suicide in 20 minutes, after professional police negotiators had tried for hours.


Today's Rundown

NBA

So… what’s the game plan, Cavs?  Last night, the Golden State Warriors trounced the Cleveland Cavaliers 110-77, to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals.  Through games 1 and 2, the Warriors have beaten the Cavs by a combined 48 points—the biggest point differential in NBA Finals history. This time around Draymond Green was the star of the show, scoring 28 points and even making five 3-pointers.  The Cavs will try to dig themselves out of this hole back home in Cleveland on Wednesday, but they may be short star Kevin Love who had to leave the game with dizziness after he was elbowed in the head by Harrison Barnes.  One lesson we’ve all learned this playoffs.  Start wearing a cup.

 

NHL

And the bay area celebrated all weekend.  The San Jose Sharks beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 in overtime, this past Saturday.  The Penguins still lead the series 2-1.  Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi scored the winning goal, despite the Penguins dominating through most of the extra period.  There’s a reason you haven’t heard the name Donskoi before—the Sharks signed the youngster this past summer fresh off the boat from Finland.

 

TENNIS

Grand Slammed. Yesterday, Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray to win the French Open and complete his long-awaited career Grand Slam.  This was his 12th appearance and 4th final at the tricksy and elusive French Open clay courts.  With this win, Djokovic is the 1st men’s reigning champ of all 4 major titles, since Rod Laver in 1969.  Meanwhile Serena’s still waiting…  Serena Williams was defeated by Garbine Muguruza in the women’s final on Saturday. Muguruza might be Serena’s kryptonite, because she also handed Serena the worst loss of her career in the in the 2nd round of the 2014 French Open. Serena’s lost her last 2 majors and is still on the hunt for her 22nd Grand Slam title to tie record-holder Steffi Graf.

 

MLB

All good things must come to an end.  The Chicago Cubs lost this weekend to the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2, ending NL Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta’s 20-game win streak.  The last time the Cubs lost with Arrieta at the mound was nearly a year ago.  Don’t worry too much for the Cubs yet, this was only their 2nd loss in the past 12 games and they are still sitting pretty with the best record in the league.

 

NFL

Night(club) terrors.  This weekend Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib was shot in the leg in a Dallas nightclub.  This wasn’t Talib’s first 50 Cent impression in da club. He was involved in another nightclub fight earlier this year and he allegedly pistol-whipped and shot at his sister’s boyfriend in 2011.  Can I get a rain check?  The Broncos are scheduled to be honored at the White House today for their Super Bowl 50 win, but Talib may have to change his RSVP to ‘regretfully decline’ with this fresh leg injury.


Spotlight on Muhammad Ali

Last Friday, boxing legend Muhammad Ali passed away at the age of 74, after suffering from respiratory issues and battling with Parkinson’s Disease since 1984.  Here’s a brief glimpse into what made Ali The Greatest.

The fighter.  Ali is widely considered to have been the best heavyweight boxer of all time. At 18, he won the gold medal at the 1960 Rome Olympics and went pro just a few months later. He upset Sonny Liston to win his 1st world heavyweight championship at age 22, and later fought in famous battles against rivals Joe Frazier and George Foreman.  He is the only fighter to be named the world heavyweight champion 3 times.

Religious beliefs. Ali was born Cassius Clay, but he changed his name in 1964 after converting to Islam. When he was supposed to be inducted into the armed forces in 1966, he refused because of his religious beliefs.  He said he was not a draft dodger, but he would not fight in the Vietnam War because he had “no quarrel with them Viet Cong.” He was found guilty of draft evasion, stripped of his heavyweight title, and denied a boxing license in every state. He appealed the decision all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, which finally overturned his conviction in 1971. As a result, Ali did not fight for 3.5 years during his prime from ages 25-28.

Float like a butterfly.  At the beginning of his career Ali was known for being impossible to pin down, constantly moving and dancing around the ring.  When he got back in the ring after his hiatus, he was a bit older and slower, so he adapted by developing a "rope-a-dope" strategy, where he would lean on the ropes, protect himself, and tire his opponents out before attacking.

Outside the ring. Ali will be remembered for his many memorable quotes and his humanitarian efforts.  He left behind 7 daughters and 2 sons, from 4 marriages and 2 extramarital relationships.  His youngest daughter Laila Ali followed in his footsteps and became an undefeated professional boxer.


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NHL

NHL Stanley Cup finals Game 4Pittsburgh Penguins @ San Jose Sharks, the Penguins lead the series 2-1. 8pm ET on NBC