With the NHL and NBA seasons fully over, we’re officially in that period of the sports calendar when there’s not that much going on. For the next few months, sports fans much settle for lots of baseball and a load of offseason news in the other major sports.
That said, Wednesday featured not only a full slate of Major League Baseball games but also the arrival of a much-awaited (and much derided) fight and the aftershocks of the Golden State Warriors’ NBA Finals triumph, including a Hall of Famer’s defection.
We’ve got all that and more. Welcome to The Cheat Sheet.
McGregor and Mayweather to fight in Las Vegas
It’ll never happen, they said. MMA and boxing are different sports, they said. It’s a lose-lose for everyone, they said.
Well they were wrong, apparently. Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather will actually fight, August 26 in Las Vegas, they announced Wednesday.
The fight will be a boxing match, not an MMA bout, which seems to offer Mayweather a massive advantage given that he is, you know, an actual boxer—albeit one who has been retired for nearly two years. Mayweather is a -1,100 favorite at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, according to ESPN.
On one hand, this pairing of an MMA fighter and a boxer feels like a silly gimmick that will result in a quick fight. On the other hand, the event will answer a fun hypothetical sports fans have been mulling over for more than a year now, while giving us something to argue about and making everyone involved a lot of money
THE FIGHT IS ON. pic.twitter.com/KhW0u3jRft
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) June 14, 2017
In many ways, this bizarre mismatch of a fight makes sense. With his bout against Manny Pacquiao behind him, Mayweather would have had a tough time finding a boxer with the type of name recognition and crossover appeal to make for a headline-grabbing fight. With that in mind, he settled for loud-mouthed MMA opponent, much to the excitement of McGregor and Dana White.
The fight will be available on Showtime pay per view for what will surely be a sizable fee.
Jerry West leaves Warriors for Clippers, Kevin Durant bares his soul
Two days have passed since the Warriors won the NBA title, and the fallout isn’t close to ending.
Wednesday featured several interesting Golden State-related storylines, the most notable of which was Hall of Famer Jerry West’s reported decision to leave his advisor role for a similar position in the Los Angeles Clippers’ front office.
West was not the architect of this Warriors team, but he is one of the best NBA executives of all-time, so his presence was presumably a boon to the organization. According to ESPN, West has not yet signed a contract with the Clippers but planned all along to leave Golden State because he wanted a new challenge.
Jerry West: "I don't feel old, I feel really competitive. Sometimes you need to be challenged. I've kind of been defiant my whole life."
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 15, 2017
West is certainly no stranger to Los Angeles, having played for the Lakers and later served as their general manager.
Elsewhere in Warriorsland, Finals MVP Kevin Durant made some waves on The Bill Simmons Podcast when he said he thought Kyrie Irving was better than Allen Iverson (before back-pedaling a bit).
“Kyrie is better than A.I. to me,” Durant said. “I’m going from like skill for skill. His handle is better.
“We might have to cut that out. I don’t want no problems with A.I. Y’all might have to cut that one. I don’t want that to get out. I’m just saying I feel like Kyrie got more skill.”
Durant had plenty of interesting thoughts on the podcast, about his teammates, about the Cavs, about Doc Rivers and Glen Davis, about how the Warriors’ title was about hard work, not just talent and much more. But that Kyrie-Iverson take needs some water poured on it, ASAP.
– This Kyle Schwarber home run traveled very, very, very far.
— #Statcast (@statcast) June 15, 2017
– This was a hell of a catch from Mariners outfielder Ben Gamel, though he paid the price.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 15, 2017
– Speaking of catches, Aaron Hicks robbed a grand slam, though the Yankees still lost.
— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) June 15, 2017
– Major League Baseball will reportedly allow players to customize their uniforms (even nicknames on uniforms!) during an upcoming Players Weekend.
– Chicago Bears linebacker Leonard Floyd made some startling comments about concussions.
– Lonzo Ball turned self-aware in an amusing new Foot Locker commercial.
— Foot Locker (@footlocker) June 14, 2017
– Michigan State police say football staffer Curtis Blackwell reportedly interfered with an investigation into alleged sexual assault committed by three Spartans players.
– McDonald’s restaurants in France will now give customers a fork and knife with their burgers… for some reason.
One last moment of procrastination
You’re going to want to check out the insane trailer for the new Stephon Marbury Chinese biopic starring Stephon Marbury.