The One with the Newest Warrior: Kevin Durant!

Fun Fact of the Day:  Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the Nathan’s Famous 4th of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest on Coney Island! Joey “Jaws” Chestnut regained the Mustard Yellow belt after a surprise loss to Matt Stonie last year. He scarfed down a disgusting 70 hot dogs in 10 minutes—the most ever in the history of the competition, beating Stonie by 17 dogs.


Today's Rundown

TENNIS 

Grand Sam!  Californian Sam Querrey upset world #1 tennis superstar Novak Djokovic in the 3rd round of Wimbledon on Friday, ending Djokovic’s streak of 4 grand slam titles and 30 grand slam match-wins. Afterwards, Djokovic said he wasn’t completely healthy but didn’t go into specifics, saying he didn’t want to take anything away from Sam’s big win.  Who else is celebrating Djokovic’s early exit?  With Djokovic out of the tournament, aging tennis superstar Roger Federer has one of his best chances to win his 18th grand slam title.  Federer is still one of the best tennis players in the world, but the last time he won a grand slam was at Wimbledon 4 years ago.  He’s made 3 major finals since then and lost every time to Djokovic.  Sister Act.  Serena and Venus Williams have both made it to the quarterfinals! While this is old hat for Serena, who is still going for her 22nd grand slam title, this is Venus’s first time reaching the quarterfinals since 2010. 

 

MLB 

Is it time for the All Star break yet?  Last week, the N.Y. Mets completed a 4-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs, including a complete beatdown on Sunday (14-3). For now, the Cubs are still sitting on top of the MLB standings, but teams like the San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, and even the Cleveland Indians are putting up some dangerously stiff competition.  What’s going wrong?  The Cubs are starting to suffer from a rough schedule, a weak bullpen, and injuries to their starting outfield, including CF Dexter Fowler.

 

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Coaching isn’t for everybody.  Loyola fired their women’s basketball coach Sheryl Swoopes this weekend, after an investigation into allegations of player mistreatment.  Why do I know that name?  Swoopes is considered one of the best female basketball players of all time. She is a 3x Olympic gold medalist, 2x WNBA MVP, and she will be inducted in the Basketball Hall of Fame this fall.  What did she do wrong?  Players and assistant coaching staff have been leaving Loyola in droves, since Swoopes started coaching in 2013.  They say that she’s been threatening players with loss of scholarships, using bizarre coaching techniques, and subjecting players to verbal abuse.


Spotlight on Kevin Durant and NBA Free Agency Madness

Yesterday, while we were grilling burgers and watching fireworks, superstar Kevin Durant tried to slip one past us by quietly announcing that he’s leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for the Golden State Warriors.  Nice try, KD. 

Back-up, recap please?  Durant entered free agency just a few days ago, and he was the hottest ticket in town—think: the ‘Hamilton’ of the basketball world. Everyone was trying to get a piece of that sweet KD action, but he narrowed the field down to 6 teams that he met with this past week. Most basketball analysts thought Durant would stick it out one more season with the Thunder because he could get a bigger contract next year when the salary cap goes up and, more importantly, because he could get one last try at bringing home the trophy for the Thunder—the team he’s been with for his entire 9-year career.  So let’s just say, this news comes as a bit of a surprise.

Should we just hand the Warriors the trophy now? Last season, the Warriors dominated the league, setting an NBA regular-season record with 73 wins. Then in a crazy and momentous NBA Finals, they were upset by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 7 games. Now with KD on their roster, the Warriors are looking even more unstoppable.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em! Before KD’s move, the Thunder were one of the few teams that were serious contenders for the title.  This past season, they came this close to beating the Warriors in the Western Conference finals. Now, some folks are calling Durant a chicken for leaving a great team for an even better team and Thunder fans are giving KD the LeBron treatment.

Anything else I should know?  You’re going to hear a lot about KD, but there were other big free agency moves this weekend, too!  Former-Houston Rockets big man Dwight Howard signed with the Atlanta Hawks, to which Al Horford said ‘thanks, but no thanks and left the Hawks for the Boston Celtics. Some Hawks fans are adjusting easily to the change. And another big free agent, Pau Gasol is nearly a done deal for the San Antonio Spurs, which may be a sign that the legendary Tim Duncan is leaning towards retirement.  For all the trades of the weekend, check out this tracker.


Hot Read

TENNIS

Wimbledon. Women’s Quarterfinals from 8am-4pm on ESPN and ESPN2.