For many, the Utah Jazz’s offseason revolved around one man — Gordon Hayward. Hayward’s Fourth of July free agency announcement left “STAYWARD” supporters with fireworks of disappointment. George Hill, Utah’s lead playmaker also departed. Hill perhaps played his best season in his lone season with the Jazz. While Hayward went eastward and Hill headed to Sacramento, the Jazz strode forward. 2017-2018 will be a test in the team’s resilience.
When I was a kid, Mo Vaughn joined the New York Mets. My grade-school Met-fan friends were really excited about Vaughn’s potential, saying he was the Mets’ version of Barry Bonds. (I was around eight years old, so those were probably the first hot takes ever heard in my sports fandom memory.)
The NBA Playoffs are in full swing! Despite predictability in some matchups, postseason basketball has been delightful. There have been monstrous performances, quotable rants and thrilling games so far. And with every timeout, highlight video and pause in play, we hear the thumping tones of “Humble,” the lead single of Kendrick Lamar’s Gospel-like DAMN. The use of Lamar’s song is quite fitting, actually.
Amidst the post-Wrestlemania glow, the WWE saw several major storylines. Yes, the Undertaker likely wrestled his final match. This is now Roman Reigns’ “Yard.” Kurt Angle is now Raw General Manager! Shinsuke Nakamura is on Smackdown Live! But those storylines may not be the most important news in sports entertainment’s (ugh) biggest traveling show.
On Tuesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs. They lost Game 5 in their first round series with the Houston Rockets, ending a season largely marked by the emergence (MVP-mergence?) of Russell Westbrook. The destruction that Westbrook laid upon opponents in the regular season was historic. He was the life force of an Oklahoma City team constructed under the assumption of Kevin Durant returning to the team. (Spoiler — Durant did not play for the Thunder this season.)
On Thursday night the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Indiana Pacers, 119–114. Cleveland took a 3–0 series lead, with LeBron James strapping the Cavaliers on his back, overcoming a 25-point deficit. LeBron has never (EVER) lost a first round series, so the Cavaliers’ second round spot is essentially a foregone conclusion. But it’ll be only a couple of days before some made up Cavs drama is stirred up in basketball media, right?