While America was busy grilling out and watching fireworks over the July 4th holiday, NBA GMs were hard at work wheeling and dealing. Here is an update on whose future is looking up, and a few who could be headed in the wrong direction.
LA has made the biggest splash of the NBA free agent season by landing two-time MVP Steve Nash. After the Lakers were plagued by poor point guard play last season, LA has solved their biggest problem. Nash will lead a scary Lakers offensive attack, and give a sometimes stagnant offense new life. Kobe should be able to flourish with Nash, with Nash forcing teams to respect both his playmaking and shooting abilities. Kobe should see less double teams and thrive with Nash handling playmaker duties. The biggest winner of all: Andrew Bynum. Nash makes bad big guys look average, average ones look good, and good ones look great. Just look at the centers he has played with. Amare Stoudamire, Robin Lopez, Channing Frye and most recently Marcin Gortat have all had career years while playing with Nash.
US Olympic Trials
The US Olympic trials have been good this year, and NBC has done a great job broadcasting them. Never before had I watched the riveting US Gymnastic trials. I was missing out. Seriously. But the trials finished on a few bad notes. Dara Torres, the 45 year old swimmer, barely missed on making the Olympic team for something like the 15th straight time. People want to see Torres in the Olympics. I don't care if someone beat her int he trials, Torres has been in the Olympics since they began in Greece. There should be a way to get her on the team. Then, during the aforementioned Gymnastic trials (watch them next year), Nastia Liuken failed to make the US squad. Liuken, the defending gold medalist and fan favorite, was someone everyone looked forward to watching. Some wanted to see her gymnastics, some just wanted to see her in a leotard. Either way, its a loss for everyone. But the biggest Olympic trial failure came in the women's 100m final. After Jeneba Tarmoh and Allyson Felix tied in the first race to determine the USA's representitives, the two runners agreed to a run-off, 1 vs. 1 final. How cool is that? Never have I taken time out of my day to make sure I watched a women's Olympic Trials race. This had potential to be the coolest 1 on 1 ever, like even better than a Jordan vs. Bird matchup. But on the day of the run-off, Tarmoh inexplicably conceded the spot and didn't race. Wow. Talk about a stock down.
Sure, they devoured dogs and soaked up national TV fame yesterday, but now they have to deal with the day after. Some July 4th party goers may deal with hangovers at work today, but their puny headaches are nothing compared to the pains Joey Chestnut must be facing after eating 68 franks. Yeah, most people might feel a little rough after a July 4th six pack, but just be glad you are not waking up after downing 68 dogs.
Murray has been Great Britain's only hope of keeping the Wimbledon title at home. In past years, Murray has struggled as the 4th ranked player, always facing tough Wimbledon semi finals matchups against Federer, Nadal or Djokovic. This year could be Murray's big breakthrough. Since Nadal was upset early, Murray will instead face Jo-Wilifried Tsonga in the semi final, and for the first time be favored to make the Wimbledon final. Watch for Britain to go Murray-crazy in the Wimbledon finals and the upcoming Olympics.
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