Jeff Harvey

After a seeming eternity, both the NBA and the NHL crowned new champions this past week as the Toronto Raptors and the St. Louis Blues won, respectively.

Going to the Stanley Cup Finals first, the Blues overcame a history of losing in the finals (0-13 as of Game One) to win four out of six games to win their first championship, finishing up with a decisive 4-1 victory in Boston. It wasn’t an artistic series with two suspensions due to bad penalties on the Blues’ part and injuries to key Boston players, but I seriously doubt St. Louis will care too much.

As for the NBA championship, the Warriors went out carried on their shields as champions, valiantly battling through disruptive injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson for six games before running out of steam.

Everybody and their brother has had their opinion about Durant’s short-lived return in Game 5, so here’s mine: He allowed the criticism he was getting to influence him to risk aggravating his previous injury or, in this case, making it worse (torn Achilles tendon). That injury isn’t one where people have made full returns from, although he did return from a foot fracture thought to be serious years ago, but he’s 32 now. I appreciate his willingness to be out there with his teammates instead of being a spectator, but one wonders how his mood will be from here on out.

I’m not the biggest booster of the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team, although I appreciate what they’ve done on the pitch. They’ve just become too political for me in an era where White House visits have become political footballs. Still, I must say that this fuss over their celebrations in their opening World Cup game is really making a mountain of a molehill.

On a more sobering note, future Hall of Famer David “Big Papi” Ortiz is recovering from a serious injury suffered in a shooting incident in his native Dominican Republic. I earnestly hope that it’s as apparently simple as it appears on the surface, but I fear it’s more complex.

Getting back to the NBA, the injuries to Durant and Thompson will affect their free agency status. Although both will be rehabilitating for most, if not all, of next year, they will still attract offers, especially Durant. However, Kawhi Leonard will be the free agent front-runner coming off his second playoff MVP and the fact that he finished the playoffs healthy.

Leonard’s the difference-maker among free agents in the NBA given the injuries to Durant and Thompson. If he stays in Toronto, the Raptors will be the favorites to win even if Masai Ujurii, the president of basketball operations, leaves for Washington as if rumored.

See you next week with more sports. Contact me at delimartman@yahoo.com.After a seeming eternity, both the NBA and the NHL crowned new champions this past week as the Toronto Raptors and the St. Louis Blues won, respectively.

Going to the Stanley Cup Finals first, the Blues overcame a history of losing in the finals (0-13 as of Game One) to win four out of six games to win their first championship, finishing up with a decisive 4-1 victory in Boston. It wasn’t an artistic series with two suspensions due to bad penalties on the Blues’ part and injuries to key Boston players, but I seriously doubt St. Louis will care too much.

As for the NBA championship, the Warriors went out carried on their shields as champions, valiantly battling through disruptive injuries to Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson for six games before running out of steam.

Everybody and their brother has had their opinion about Durant’s short-lived return in Game 5, so here’s mine: He allowed the criticism he was getting to influence him to risk aggravating his previous injury or, in this case, making it worse (torn Achilles tendon). That injury isn’t one where people have made full returns from, although he did return from a foot fracture thought to be serious years ago, but he’s 32 now. I appreciate his willingness to be out there with his teammates instead of being a spectator, but one wonders how his mood will be from here on out.

I’m not the biggest booster of the U.S. Women’s Soccer National Team, although I appreciate what they’ve done on the pitch. They’ve just become too political for me in an era where White House visits have become political footballs. Still, I must say that this fuss over their celebrations in their opening World Cup game is really making a mountain of a molehill.

On a more sobering note, future Hall of Famer David “Big Papi” Ortiz is recovering from a serious injury suffered in a shooting incident in his native Dominican Republic. I earnestly hope that it’s as apparently simple as it appears on the surface, but I fear it’s more complex.

Getting back to the NBA, the injuries to Durant and Thompson will affect their free agency status. Although both will be rehabilitating for most, if not all, of next year, they will still attract offers, especially Durant. However, Kawhi Leonard will be the free agent front-runner coming off his second playoff MVP and the fact that he finished the playoffs healthy.

Leonard’s the difference-maker among free agents in the NBA given the injuries to Durant and Thompson. If he stays in Toronto, the Raptors will be the favorites to win even if Masai Ujurii, the president of basketball operations, leaves for Washington as if rumored.

See you next week with more sports.

Contact Jeff Harvey at delimartman@yahoo.com.

 

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